Did the ATF intentionally allow guns to fall into the hands of Mexican cartels? Fortune mag says no.



Interesting development, if true.

“Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”

R.J. Hanlon

I haven’t read the whole article yet, but so far any stupidity doesn’t appear to be on the part of the ATF.

ETA: I should add that it appears that some of the roadblocks may be due to past NRA lobbying.

And the fact that in many areas gun-running was perfectly legal.

It’s a great article and goes into just how dramatically different it was for the ATF than other law enforcement agencies.

I read this story earlier today, and if it’s accurate, it does change a lot of things about the scandal - such as making it appear the entire scandal is phony.

Man, as if there were not enough reasons already to criticize the current legislative and executive leaders of Arizona.

Arizona Republican Sen. Jon Kyl has let it be know that the United States would be a better place if Eric Holder wasn’t the attorney general, when I see how the Arizona laws tied the hands of many ATF investigators, I would have to say that guys like Kyl have a nice racket going in the way they assign blame elsewhere and at the same time they ignore the mess that they have at home.

The ATF is a federal agency. How do state laws hinder federal investigations?

Which begs the question why all the resistance from the AG and the President. My guess would be that it involves something embarrassing like illegal aliens buying the guns.

To be fair Kyl is a US Senator not a State Senator and has no say in Arizona state laws.

Or Issa wants documents that can’t be shared because of security concerns.

Issa is pushing a right-wing conspiracy theory and Holder has cooperated extensively. It makes sense that eventually he would ask for something that can’t be shared.

Interesting article - did Voth write it for them? Reading this feels like a reprint of press release in a business publication.

At first skim, questions I have:

  1. How did Fortune get access to 2,000 confidential files?

Maybe they should provide them to Congress, since ATF seems to want to use Executive Privilege.

  1. What Fortune writer uses the term “long-gun”?

That sounds like a parroted quote from the interviews with Voth.

Now, even with my skeptic’s specs on - this does appear to show the Fast & Furious debacle to be more of an incompetent manager (Voth) / laziness (Hurley) than a scandal. But if that was true, why didn’t ATF just share all of this with Congress? Hang Hurley out to dry and protect your organization!

Very interesting - can’t wait to see what comes next.

That’s not what “begs the question” means. I think you mean “raises the question”. The answer to the question of why Obama asserted executive privilege (which I assume is what you mean) is that the Justice Department says that the documents are related to ongoing criminal investigations and thus cannot be released.

It strikes me that, assuming this article is correct, it doesn’t raise any such question. If it’s correct then it eliminates the question since, if there’s nothing to hide, then the Justice Department’s claims are perfectly reasonable and believable.

When statements are made about when something is known and then those statements turn out to be false then it raises questions. And the “ongoing criminal investigations” aspect of it doesn’t ring true if they’ve already been handing over information on it.

It was written by Katherine Eban.

In what way? I don’t see that at all. Anyone else get that impression from it?

2,000 pages, not 2,000 files, which would be a lot more that 2,000 pages. They must have gotten them from an informant. Where else?

“Parroted quote”? Just what do you think “quote” means? A quote is parroted by definition. What exactly would be wrong with using Voth’s terms?

We don’t know what they did or didn’t share with Congress and whether or not Congress misinterpreted it (unintentionally or otherwise) in their zeal to attack Obama.

What statements were made that turned out to be false? Issa’s mistaken representation about the nature of the gun running?

Seriously? I have to explain this? Not all information is equal. Some documents are confidential and some aren’t.

When AG Eric Holder knew about the operation.

Yes, you have to explain it. This is a Congressional investigation and not a FOIA request.

I am constantly amazed at how gullible the Republicans are. The very concept of this conspiracy theory requires that Obama gave guns to Mexican criminals, hoping that they would murder people. That Obama literally set up innocent people to get murdered to further his political goals.

The God-damn stupidity of the people who bought into this is very upsetting.

One would think that they do not, but in practice local enforcement can make it harder.


Well, you are correct there, but I think it is too much to assume that Kyl was that ignorant of what was actually happening.

The quote you cite talks about federal prosecutors thwarting ATF. “Federal prosecutors”. That is, Holder’s people. Not Arizona state officials.