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Judi's avatar

Help me get the history straight here.

Asked by Judi (39784points) July 25th, 2012 from iPhone

I thought I remembered hearing about the Fast and Furious debacle being something that started during the Bush administration and blowing up at the beginning of the Obama administration. Am I wrong? What’s the timeline?

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5 Answers

jrpowell's avatar

It looks like Fast and Furious was a continuation of a program started in 2006. It started with Operation Wide Receiver in 2006. Then Fast and Furious started in 2009 and carried the torch. They were pretty much the same just with different names. It did start under the Bush administration. Obama just failed to stop it.

ETpro's avatar

You are right. Gun walking started under Bush in 2005. The Republican lie factory uses the inconsequential subterfuge that the Gun Walking had a number of different project names, and the one in vogue when the Border Patrol Agent was killed with such a gun happened to be “Fast and Furious” and started under the Obama Administration. This ignores the truth that the problem was NEVER the name of a particular project, but the idea of Gun Walking in itself, that led to the killing of the border patrol agent. It ignored the thousands of innocent Mexicans killed with guns under the Bush “gun walking” projects.

Linda_Owl's avatar

So much of the Bush Presidency (along with Cheney) was an absolute disaster for the United States. The ‘Gun Walking’ was an insane idea from the start, an idea that was fraught with danger for both American citizens & Mexican citizens.

Jaxk's avatar

Despite all attempts to paint this as a Bush operation, it wasn’t. The truth is that this type of operation is a common law enforcement tool. You let the bad guys buy something and trace it back to the criminal organization and bust the upper echelon. This was the premise for both Wide Receiver and Fast and Furious. Wide Receiver started in 2005 and was shut down the end of 2007. Under this program gun were sold and were tracked through a variety of means including helicopter surveillance. The Mexican government was aware of the program and when gun were tracked to the border and Mexican officials were notified to continue tracking from their side of the border. It didn’t work. Mexican officials lost track and guns walked into the hands of the cartels.

After Wide Receiver was shut down, they decided to try it again in 2009. The big difference seems to be that there was very little if any tracking of these guns. Mexico was never aware of the program nor did we even try to notify them of any guns walking across the border. And to add insult to injury, we let a lot of guns walk. In Wide receiver a few hundred walked while in Fast and Furious, a few thousand walked. During Fast and Furious even the gun shops were complaining that there were too many guns going out the door.

When you look at both programs, you can criticize Bush for Wide Receiver. But if you do, it would seem that you can’t use that to excuse Obama. The same Justice Department officials were involved in both programs. The big difference in the two is that with Fast and Furious, you already knew it didn’t work from your experience with Wide Receiver. And if Wide Receiver didn’t work how could another program with less tracking do any better. Somebody in Justice needs to explain why they approved a second plan, why they did even try to track the guns, and why the Mexican government was never notified. No matter how you slice it, letting guns walk across an international border, without even trying to get cooperation from the other country, is a difficult plan to justify. Somebody needs to go to jail for that one. Or at least get fired.

The Democrats seem to want to use Bush as the ‘Gold Standard’. If Bush did it, it must be OK. What is wrong with those guys?

ETpro's avatar

@Jaxk I do not excuse either one. Both plans failed. ATF had been told by Justice to cut it out, and they initiated Fast and Furious anyway. I doubt that either program ever came to the attention of either president. What I find fault with is trying to hang blame on Obama and Eric Holder instead of the people at ATF who came up with the ignominious plans. Neither operation resulted in any significant arrests of drug lords.

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