Sharyl Attkisson of CBS News had a report this morning on The Early Show about an earlier ATF operation called Operation Wide Receiver. It was run out the ATF’s Tucson office. The operation which began during the Bush administration also involved gun walking and Mexican drug cartels.
Kurt Hofmann, the St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner, does an excellent job in analyzing the differences between Operation Wide Receiver and Operation Fast and Furious. While they both involved ATF, Mexican drug cartels, and gun walking, Kurt notes some important differences.
Well, for one, four or five years ago, we didn’t have the administration (from the President on down), the mass media, and “gun control” advocates incessantly claiming that, “[Some variable, but invariably wildly inflated] percentage of seized Mexican crime guns come from the U.S.,” imposing on us the moral imperative to “strengthen” our “weak gun laws.”
We didn’t have a requirement in the southwest border states to report multiple long gun sales–a requirement for which “walked” guns ouf of “Operation Fast and Furious” were used as justification. Nor did we have guns “walked” from Indiana to Chicago used to attempt to impose extra reporting requirements on and Indiana gun dealer.
At this point, we don’t seem to have any evidence that earlier “gunwalking” involved the FBI, the DEA, DHS, the State Department, the IRS, and even the White House Security Council.
Kurt is correct that this should be investigated as well. He is also very correct in saying that the signs of failure of Operation Wide Receiver were known by 2009 and that it should have been a warning about going ahead with Operation Fast and Furious.
Jim Shepherd of the Outdoor Wire was writing about this failed program back in June and I had a post on it then. You can compare the newest story with what we knew in June.