The Truth About the Fast and Furious Scandal
Katherine Eban, Fortune, June 27, 2012
An important, in-depth investigation into the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) Fast and Furious program, a group of Phoenix, Arizona-area gun trafficking cases under ATF’s Project Gunrunner. Project Gunrunner is a national initiative of ATF aimed at reducing U.S.-Mexico border drug and gun trafficking.
While most media stories have focused on the allegation that ATF let traffickers “walk” with guns – intentionally allowing criminal suspects to traffic firearms in the hope that the guns or the illegal possessor might lead law enforcement to more serious criminal activity – Fortune magazine’s investigation reveals that ATF never intentionally allowed guns to fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartels, contrary to the misinformation being disseminated by the gun lobby and those opposed to the Obama Administration. The greatest problems with Fast and Furious have been ATF’s lack of resources to enforce federal laws, and convincing federal prosecutors that there are sufficient grounds to seize guns and arrest straw purchasers, cases made more difficult because of notoriously weak federal and state gun laws.