By lex, on December 5th, 2011
In NRO’s The Corner, Andy McCarthy punches holes in the notion that Operation Fast and Furious – also known more colloquially as the Gunwalker Fiasco – was somehow inherited from President Obama’s predecessor:
The key to their strategy is conflating two very different programs: Operation Fast & Furious and a Bush era ATF initiative known as “Operation Wide Receiver.” In the questions from Judiciary Committee Democrats (principally, Senators Dianne Feinstein and Chuck Schumer — there may have been others but, again, I didn’t see the entire hearing), it emerged that Wide Receiver began in 2006, when Alberto Gonzales was the Bush administration attorney general. Senator Schumer took pains to describe Wide Receiver as involving the “tracing” of firearms that crossed into Mexico. As we shall see, Wide Receiver’s notion of tracing was night-and-day different from the tracing involved in the reckless gun-walking approach employed by Fast & Furious. Obviously, however, Democrats hope that if they get enough help from their friends in the media, the public will miss the distinction.
Mission Accomplished, courtesy of the New York Times:
Officials now acknowledge that the claim was misleading. It has come to light that A.T.F. agents in Arizona have on several occasions, dating to a 2006 investigation called Operation Wide Receiver, tried to identify the leaders of gun-trafficking networks by allowing lower-level suspects to transfer guns — and have lost track of weapons in the process.
In other words, the 2009 uncontrolled transfer of thousands of high-powered weapons, including one that killed a federal agent and lord knows how many hundreds of Mexican citizens was, wait for it:
McCarthy isn’t buying:
(There) is another major distinction between Wide Receiver and Fast & Furious. The former was actually a coordinated effort between American and Mexican authorities. Law enforcement agents in both countries kept each other apprised about suspected transactions and tried to work together to apprehend law-breakers. To the contrary, Fast & Furious was a unilateral, half-baked scheme cooked up by an agency of the Obama Justice Department — an agency that was coordinating with the Justice Department on the operation and that turned to Main Justice in order to get wiretapping authority.
“Bush did it” should be sufficient for the president’s partisans. I wonder whether it will seduce those otherwise uncommitted.