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CNN's Fortune has a long, detailed investigation into the truth about the Fast and Furious scandal. Briefly, Darrell Issa's witch-hunt claims that Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents deliberately walked guns to Mexican drug warriors, which somehow conflates into an Obama administration plot to chip at the Second Amendment's right to keep and bear arms; however, CNN's investigation finds that the opposite is true. Instead,

Quite simply, there's a fundamental misconception at the heart of the Fast and Furious scandal. Nobody disputes that suspected straw purchasers under surveillance by the ATF repeatedly bought guns that eventually fell into criminal hands. Issa and others charge that the ATF intentionally allowed guns to walk as an operational tactic. But five law-enforcement agents directly involved in Fast and Furious tell Fortune that the ATF had no such tactic. They insist they never purposefully allowed guns to be illegally trafficked. Just the opposite: They say they seized weapons whenever they could but were hamstrung by prosecutors and weak laws, which stymied them at every turn.

Indeed, a six-month Fortune investigation reveals that the public case alleging that Voth and his colleagues walked guns is replete with distortions, errors, partial truths, and even some outright lies.

Fast & Furious is a a textbook example of rightwing outrage over absolutely nothing. A small piece about the death of agent Brian Terry was picked up by a disgruntled ATF agent-turned-whistleblower and a former militia member who has advocated armed insurrection against the U.S. government. From there, the right wing beat the drums of outrage, Darrell Issa found what he thought was his ticket to fame, and by now the less sane elements of the blogosphere have twisted it into a story about Eric Holder personally mowing down ATF agents in order to TAEK AWAY YOUR GUNZ, MORANS!!!

Fast & Furious is also a textbook example of the danger to the left in ignoring stories outraging the right. While Issa has been tweeting about his investigation for the better part of a year, very few bloggers on the left bothered to address the fallacies of his case. Then, when the story burst into prominence thanks to Issa's subpoena of Holder, national reporters had only Issa's version. Now the reporters are finally digging into Issa's claims, and finding that "there's no there, there."

It's surely a coincidence that Fast & Furious is getting going just as the House GOP is forced to wind down its investigation into the Solyndra non-scandal.

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Comment Preferences

  •  not so fast (6+ / 0-)
       no climate angle
    You managed to get the Solyndra remark in there.

    Let us not overlook the "scandal" began under the Bush administration, when it was called Operation Wide Receiver. Where was the GOPoutrage then?

    They are worse than spoiled children. This modern day right wing smacks of spoiled British monarchy circa 18th C.

    Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.

    by LaughingPlanet on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 09:22:47 AM PDT

    •  This article is a Must Read (12+ / 0-)

      http://features.blogs.fortune.cnn.com/...

      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.

      When someone is impatient and says, "I haven't got all day," I always wonder, How can that be? How can you not have all day? George Carlin

      by msmacgyver on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 09:26:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  totally absorbing read (5+ / 0-)

        an absolute must read! ms eban and fortune magazine have done an excellent job of detailing what really happened. i've been looking for a in-depth explanation rather than the dumbed-down sound bites. This is the money quote that sums up what has been bothering me about this whole mess: "Irony abounds when it comes to the Fast and Furious scandal. But the ultimate irony is this: Republicans who support the National Rifle Association and its attempts to weaken gun laws are lambasting ATF agents for not seizing enough weapons—ones that, in this case, prosecutors deemed to be legal". Oh republicans...oh arizona...oh fox news...your faux outrage is showing

        does anyone else think this would make an amazing movie?

        "DC...the chocolate city with the marshmallow center and graham cracker crust of corruption" - Stephen Colbert

        by foxsmartchicago on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 09:43:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I had thought that the Arizon office (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RLMiller, skohayes, wasatch, thomask, SolarMom

          had a problem with internal disputes, possibly because of the culture created under GW Bush.  I thought this before I read the article and guessed that there was at least one rogue agent who pushed too hard and too far.  Apparently the "whistleblower" and media star is the one to focus on:

          The prosecutor had told Dodson that an assistant U.S. Attorney "won't be able to approve of letting firearms 'walk' in furtherance of your investigation without first briefing the U.S. Attorney and Criminal Chief."

          It was the first time Voth learned that Dodson intended to walk guns. Voth says he refused to approve the plan and instead consulted his supervisor, who asked for a proposal from Dodson in writing. Dodson then drafted one, which Voth forwarded to his supervisor, who approved it on May 28.

          On June 1, Dodson used $2,500 in ATF funds to purchase six AK Draco pistols from local gun dealers, and gave these to Fernandez, who reimbursed him and gave him $700 for his efforts. Two days later, according to case records, Dodson—who would later testify that in his previous experience, "if even one [gun] got away from us, nobody went home until we found it"—left on a scheduled vacation without interdicting the guns. That day, Voth wrote to remind him that money collected as evidence needed to be vouchered within five days. Dodson e-mailed back, his sarcasm fully restored: "Do the orders define a 'day'? Is it; a calendar day? A business day or work day….? An Earth day (because a day on Venus takes 243 Earth days which would mean that I have plenty of time)?"

          The guns were never recovered, the case was later closed, and Fernandez was never charged. By any definition, it was gun walking of the most egregious sort: a government agent using taxpayer money to deliver guns to bad guys and then failing to intercept them.

          When someone is impatient and says, "I haven't got all day," I always wonder, How can that be? How can you not have all day? George Carlin

          by msmacgyver on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 10:00:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I wish Fortune had interviewed Dodson. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    msmacgyver, FiredUpInCA, wasatch, SolarMom

    He's the guy who started the whole scandal, and Fortune apparently didn't attempt to interview him, although it contradicts his account.

    I'm about to re-read the entire article carefully.

  •  I just read a related post saying that even a (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skohayes, RLMiller, wasatch, SolarMom

    writer in the conservative NRO is critical of Darrel Issa's abuse of these hearings for blantantly political purposes.  

    What do experts think will be the impact, if any, on Issa's plans to escalate these hearings as much as possible into the election season?  Any chance that this blowback will temper these investigations?

    The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

    by HoundDog on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 10:08:51 AM PDT

    •  There's a lot of information (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RLMiller, wasatch, thomask, SolarMom

      coming out right now, but with the executive privilege order from Obama (and another DoJ offer of more documents was refused by Issa last night), there's not much more to be investigated.
      Issa wants the big vote for contempt tomorrow. Wants it badly.

      “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

      by skohayes on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 10:14:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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