Attorney General Eric Holder might be charged with contempt of Congress if he doesn’t release some fancy classified documents that the White House has ordered he not release and Congressional Democrats swear are illegal for him to release. This smokescreen has been all over the news lately, and is so unbelievably boring, apparently partisan, and legally technical that anyone tuning into any kind of broadcast containing information about it would feel compelled to either change the channel or hit themselves over the head with a hammer (or both).
The real story that should be all over the news is that between 2006 and 2011, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms wantonly let at least 2,500 U.S.-made, military-grade weapons be “walked” across the border into the hands of Mexico’s most violent and dangerous drug cartels. More than 200 Mexicans are known to have been murdered with these weapons already, the ATF agent who blew the whistle about it got royally fucked (and so does everyone else who blows the whistle on government these days), and it was all in a supposed attempt to track the guns to bigger, more deadly people than the straw buyers who purchase them and have them sent across the border typically are. Of course, at over a year old, these news stories are being drowned out by fresher, far more important reports about what Justin Bieber did 5 minutes ago.
So, why is the U.S. supplying the Zetas and Sinaloa with heavy weaponry when the government already has insane electronic eavesdropping and hacking abilities and satellites that can see into people’s homes from orbit around the Earth? Surely those technologies could reveal nearly all high-ranking members of Mexican cartels. There has to be something else going on here. Something particularly stinky. It’s almost as if Igloo, the company that makes the coolers the cartels leave their severed heads in greased the ATF’s palms through the legislative branch to let the guns walk.
2,500 guns. Mind you, these were not little handguns, as I’m sure the cartels have no trouble acquiring pea-shooters, even in a country with stricter gun laws than the U.S. These had to be AR-15’s with night vision scopes and AK’s with banana clips and .50-caliber sniper rifles that in capable hands could take a target out from miles away. Otherwise, why else would the straw buyers for the cartels be interested in them at all? So this means 2,500 or more small arms at least as powerful as assault rifles. In other words, the ATF sold enough guns to the cartels to measurably destabilize the region further, enough arms to cause an all-out civil war in a slightly smaller country than Mexico.
In the Irish revolution, 3,000 people overthrew a sympathetic nation of 3 million to extirpate the British from all but the northern areas (and the cartels have sympathy; just listen to any mariachi narcotrafficante ballad). 300,000 men could likewise rescue the U.S. from the politicians and corporations if armed with Viagra and sweatpants. It can take surprisingly little to make war break out, and 2,500 very powerful guns is more than enough.
So: Why? Why would the U.S. government want to make matters worse in northern Mexico, when they share a border with it? People have been getting killed and kidnapped in the northern states for decades, and while Tijuana is stabilizing after the latest wave of violence, many of the border towns south of Texas and Arizona have not yet seen their worst times, obviously. In fact, the violence has only crescendoed since Fast and Furious (the ATF’s codename for the gunwalking program) started. That more heads have been showing up in ice chests in Mexico was likely the intended result of the U.S. government all along.
You see (my precious, dear sweet audience of one), if northern Mexico becomes a dangerous no man’s land that gets vilified enough by the press to truly terrify most Americans living in border cities, this will allow the conscience of the American taxpayer to spend untold billions or trillions of their tax dollars on a supposedly impermeable border fence. Granted, the government has been trying to build said fence for a long time, but the project gets more and more politically unpopular as it gets more and more expensive and the fence becomes more and more militarized and dangerous, increasing the human costs of cross-border traffic dramatically. Moreover, building an impermeable border fence between the U.S. and Mexico is like building a unicorn or something else that doesn’t exist: there’s virtually no limit to the amount of money you could spend on the project. Human ingenuity driven by the economic disparities between the U.S. and Mexico will always make whatever fence is there holier than Swiss cheese.
So, while conspiracy theories are impossible to prove by definition, there has to be something else that is much larger going on here than “We gave them 2,500 excessively dangerous guns so we could…uh…catch them(?)”. I call the “bullshit” card, and I do so with vigor, gusto, and in an unapologetic manner!
Where does this leave us with Obama, Mr. Hope and Change, who I elected in 2008 to go clean up Washington? I thought the guy I elected was the kind of person who would make sure Fast and Furious only went from 2006-2008, ending as soon as he knew about it and could do something about it. Oh wait, as Obama has shown me time and time again, the guy I elected in 2008 was far better than this total-sellout-to-government-fearmongering automaton that he has become. Yet another reason to not fucking vote for president this election cycle: no matter who wins, the owners of the country will make sure that moneyed interests will always be capitulated to, ideals, humanism, liberty, and humanity be damned.
Wake up, America, it’s 2012!!! If our government does something rotten or unconstitutional and you know about it, and then someone blows the whistle to put a stop to it and ends up naked in solitary confinement like Bradley Manning and you still haven’t figured out that this is the beginning of a new age and the cyborg hand of Uncle Sam 2.0 is sweetly beckoning you to a nightmarish dystopia in which your only freedom is what you can consume, you need no more proof than the important details surrounding operation Fast and Furious (that Congress is trying to make you ignore by staging a sideshow with the Attorney General).
P.S.: Fuck you, ATF. My alcohol and tobacco have always been fine without you (and so has my single firearm). And if you’re selling guns to cartels, how could you possibly pretend to give a shit about guns owned by everyday citizens in the U.S.? Looks like hurting people has always been part of your soup du jour and it was never about letting powerful weapons get into the wrong hands. I think you’re one of the reasons why so many Americans are making good use of the expiration of the assault weapons ban. Who needs an anachronistic government pork production with a 19th-century framework for busting moonshiners that no one in 2012 cares about, anyway?