Can A Family Re-open “Fast and Furious”?

I have to hope so, because after Benghazi, the election, and now “the Fiscal Cliff,” the whole world seems to want to move on. But they shouldn’t. This is a horrific story that, despite a whitewash that tries to scapegoat lower level agents and bureaucrats, seems to go all the way to the White House. Why else would Obama invoke “executive privilege” to prevent the release of information?

But now a family of one of the victims is taking action:

“The family of slain U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian A. Terry have filed a lawsuit against the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), claiming the failure of officials within the agency to properly oversee the Fast and Furious gunrunning operation led to the agent’s death. The lawsuit seeks $25 million in compensation. Terry was fatally wounded on the night of Dec. 14, 2010, during a firefight with Mexican bandits in an isolated canyon just north of the U.S.-Mexico border, about 60 miles south of Tucson. He was shot in the back by one of five men who had sneaked across the border with the intent to rob marijuana smugglers. The lawsuit… also accused a federal prosecutor who previously handled the case and the owner of a Phoenix-area gun store where the weapons were purchased by “straw buyers” with the knowledge of the ATF. Two AK-47 semi-automatic assault rifle variants were found at the scene of the Terry killing.”

A mere civil suit is rather unsatisfactory. After all, none of the agents will actually pay the money out of their own pockets. It really ought to be a criminal investigation. But one can hope that this will at least keep the scandal in the news. Furthermore, as the lawyers depose witnesses, perhaps some admissions can be shaken loose.

It is now known that we allowed hundreds of weapons to be bought and transported to Mexico Drug Cartels. The one used to kill Terry is one of the few we know about. There is no reason to doubt that other weapons have killed other people in Mexico. I would be surprised if no young Mexican children have been shot to death or wounded by gunshots fired from American rifles that were part of “Fast and Furious.”

You have to appreciate the irony: President Obama is openly using the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre to set the stage for attempting to restrict gun ownership, while parents of a man who was murdered with the complicity of a Federal agency violating US gun laws are forced to go to court to get redress from the government. If you are so opposed to gun crime, Mr. President, why did you administration sponsor it?

I must protest the passive language used to describe the “Fast and Furious” program. From the lead paragraph posted above: “the failure of officials within the agency to properly oversee the Fast and Furious gunrunning operation led to the agent’s death.” A “failure” usually implies a genuine attempt was made to do something, but due to some weakness or negligence or obstruction that attempt did not succeed. I have yet to see anyone show us any evidence that there was ever such an attempt to properly oversea “Fast and Furious.” It seems to me that the complainants should charge that “the refusal of officials within the agency to properly oversee the Fast and Furious gunrunning operation led to the agent’s death.” Or better, they could state it more directly: “officials within the agency oversaw the Fast and Furious gunrunning operation, which brought about the agent’s death.”

“Fast and Furious” is a horrendous crime, and the criminals need to be forced to give an account. If the civil court is the only way that can be done, we must hope and pray that somehow it reveals to the nation how this administration has broken firearms laws and aided and abetted the killing of American agents.

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