This I can no longer take.
But unlike a similar Bush administration program, the Obama administration's Fast and Furious guns were never tracked and no one was ever arrested. It was irresponsible, poorly conceived, disastrously executed, and ended up causing the death of Michigan-native and U.S. border agent Brian Terry, as well as the less-reported deaths of over 300 Mexican civilians.
Since a Republican is not currently serving as president, the liberal media has decided that the outrage being voiced by the right is nothing more than politics. Nearly every left-wing news source, up to and including White House spokesperson Jay Carney, has eagerly dismissed the Fast and Furious investigation as a "Fishing expedition." Perhaps CNN's Andrea Mitchell summed up the progressive stance best, saying "it is a distraction. It is politics."
Well, first off, the truth about "Fast and the Furious." I warn you, it's a different story than the one being peddled by rightwing bloggers whose story is based on the feverish conspiracy mongering of a few of the brethren who believe it a part of a federal gun confiscation program.
Some call it the "parade of ants"; others the "river of iron." The Mexican government has estimated that 2,000 weapons are smuggled daily from the U.S. into Mexico. The ATF is hobbled in its effort to stop this flow. No federal statute outlaws firearms trafficking, so agents must build cases using a patchwork of often toothless laws. For six years, due to Beltway politics, the bureau has gone without permanent leadership, neutered in its fight for funding and authority. The National Rifle Association has so successfully opposed a comprehensive electronic database of gun sales that the ATF's congressional appropriation explicitly prohibits establishing one.
The author in the first linked piece, writing at Henry Payne's Museum of Half-Formed Thoughts, goes on to accuse "the left" of not caring about the 300 dead Mexicans that resulted in poorly tracked drug cartel gun sales, not to mention the Border Patrol agent, who it is never failed to mention comes from Michigan. He headlines his piece, "How many dead Mexicans are required for liberal outrage?"
Yes, how many dead Mexicans are required? Well, let's get to the cause of all those dead Mexicans. They were all shot with firearms purchased more-or-less legally in the United States and sent south where they found service in drug cartels. For years, the pro-gun lobby has made hay from the idea that guns don't kill people, people do. In fact, it goes back to the glory days of Archie Bunker, and during an episode in which Meathead bemoaned gun deaths. "Would it make you feel any better if they was all pushed from windows," Archie Bunker asked as a zinger. Let's update this to today ... guns don't fill mass graves in Mexico, Mexicans do; or, to zing like Archie Bunker, "Would it make us feel any better if those 300 dead Mexicans were hauled to the tops of buildings and thrown off, rather than killed execution-style?"
In other words, without the firearms, you don't have the mass killings in Mexico. You don't get the firearms without an easy conduit from firearms manufacturers to the drug gangs. That's what you get in Arizona, where a gun nut culture and xenophobic paranoia have been fed and nurtured by the NRA and rightwing pundits like those found at Henry Payne's Museum of Half-Formed Thoughts, have created an environment where the young and stupid can purchase $20,000 of firearms from a gun show and send it all south of the border. After all, the Border Patrol doesn't give a shit what goes from north to south. It only cares about what's going from south to north.
So, the answer to the question, "How many dead Mexicans are required for liberal outrage," is, "One, when he's pushed out a window; otherwise, that's all you and your freewheeling gun-nut culture."
By the way, read the full story at Fortune. This really is yet another case of phony, rightwing outrage. There is getting to the bottom of something, and there is cloaking yourself in the tragedies of others to execute a political witchhunt. Most of us have experience spotting the latter, leastways those of us who observed politics during the 90s.