Thursday, 10 November 2011

Holder Cites Lack of Gun Control on Mexican Drug Cartel Problem

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According to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder (left), the United States is “losing the battle” to stem the flow of illegal guns into Mexico. Holder contends that Congress is partially to blame for the fact that American guns are landing in the hands of Mexican drug cartels which are responsible for murdering tens of thousands of people because Congress refuses to pass stringent gun control. The irony of Holder’s assertions given the recent revelations regarding the ATF’s and DOJ’s botched Project Gunrunner scandal has not gone unnoticed.

Holder indicates that attempts on the part of Congress to stop the flow of American guns to Mexican drug cartels has been “flawed” and places much of the blame on what he views as congressional contempt toward gun control.

The Guardian reports,

Holder described as "flawed" American attempts to break the cycle, in which the profits from selling illegal drugs in the United States are used to buy guns that are shipped across the Mexican border to the cartels which use them to protect their operations — and conduct a small scale war in which 40,000 Mexicans have been killed over the past five years — in order to send more drugs to the US. He noted that of 94,000 weapons captured from drug traffickers by the Mexican authorities, more than 64,000 originated in the U.S.

“We are losing the battle to stop the flow of illegal guns to Mexico,” said Holder, who claims that the federal authorities are grappling with a “lack of effective enforcement tools,” which he contends include tough legislation to prosecute gun traffickers.

He specifically mentioned legislation that raises legal challenges to gun laws such as the bill which requires gun shops on border states to report attempts by individuals to purchase more than one assault rifle in a week. He criticized members of Congress who voted to block that legislation: "Unfortunately, earlier this year, the House of Representatives voted to keep law enforcement in the dark when individuals purchase multiple semi-automatic rifles and shotguns in southwest border gun shops." He continued, "That regulation is an extremely reasonable one … I don't understand how that can be opposed given the fact that this would provide … federal agencies with useful information in trying to stop the problem."

Ironically, Holder’s statements were made during a Senate hearing in which he was being asked to address the failed Operation Fast and Furious, a scheme of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (still called ATF) that permitted guns to “walk” into the hands of drug cartels in the hopes that it would lead U.S. authorities to major gun smugglers. The operation became a major scandal when guns used in Fast and Furious turned up at a number of major crime scenes in both the United States and Mexico — and one of the guns was discovered to be the weapon which killed Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.

Evidently, the agents responsible for monitoring the firearms which were being "walked" lost track of over 1,000 guns, many of which were used in killings and attacks.

Holder said of Operation Fast and Furious, "This operation was flawed in its concept and flawed in its execution, and unfortunately we will feel the effects for years to come as guns that were lost during this operation continue to show up at crimes scenes both here and in Mexico. This should never have happened and it should never have happened again.”

Holder has done his best to distance himself and his department from the failed operation, even as evidence emerged revealing that he did have prior knowledge of the operation before it became a scandal. Republican Senator Charles Grassley produced five separate memos dated from July and August of 2010 addressed to Holder which cited the project by name. Though the documents have clearly implicated him in the scandal, he has continued to insist that he has “no recollection about ‘Fast and Furious’ or of hearing its name prior to the public controversy about it.”

Holder’s calls for increased gun control as the solution for keeping guns out of the hands of Mexican drug cartels corroborates National Rifle Association president Wayne LaPierre's assertions that Project Gunrunner was purposely botched so as to subvert gun rights in America.

LaPierre said during an October 14 interview with Newsmax TV that “over a period of two or three years they were running thousands and thousands of guns to the most evil people on earth,” while the authorities were simultaneously indicated that 90 percent of the guns used by Mexican cartels were coming from the United States. He noted:

That [90 percent] was a phony figure from the very start. Even the Wikileaks cables from our own State Department prove they are coming from Central America; they are not coming from the U.S. Every police officer will tell you that they’re coming from Russia, they’re coming from China, most of them are coming from Central America and a lot of them are coming from defections from the Mexican Army.

The idea was to point to the staggering 90 percent figure as a means to call upon Congress to pass stricter gun control.

LaPierre contends that the U.S. government’s plot was undermined, however, by the revelations that arose from the scandal, most specifically that it was the federal government purposely supplying the cartels with these guns.

Most frightening and telling for LaPierre was that the plot to push for further gun control could have been successful had it not been for a few key elements. “We wouldn’t know about this at all if [Terry] had not been killed and some of the good, honest, decent federal agents down the line had enough of the stench coming out of Washington and started to use the Whistleblower Act to go public and call the Justice Department out on this whole rotten, stinking scheme,” LaPierre told Newsmax. "Otherwise thousands of guns would still be going over the border into the Mexican drug cartels and the President and the Attorney General and the Secretary of State would all be running around going, '90 percent of the guns come from America' in an attempt to seek political advantage and in an attempt to enact more gun control laws on honest American citizens and use this whole issue politically against the Second Amendment of the United States.”

If LaPierre is indeed correct in his analysis, Holder is proving to be a steadfast supporter of that plot to use Operation Fast and Furious to push for increased gun control. Interestingly, however, most Americans are not calling for stricter gun control as a result of the scandal, but instead are calling for Holder’s resignation.

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