It’s no secret Fast and Furious was a bad idea. One or more likely two federal agents were murdered by guns the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (ATF) let walk from Arizona gun dealers.
Despite the outrage from agents in the ill-fated Fast and Furious Phoenix home office, overzealous leaders in ATF and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) clamored at the idea of netting drug cartel leaders.
This objective draws the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) into the gun-walking fray. The political posturing between DHS and the Department of Justice (DOJ) provides a glimpse of what unsupervised-bureaucratic government is capable of covering up.
Recent speculation about Fast and Furious claims the Mexican government knew nothing about the ATF gun-walking program. Meanwhile, Fast and Furious guns were slaughtering more than 200 Mexican cartel members, innocent bystanders as well as federal agents battling the cartels on a daily basis south of the border.
Mexico’s response included limited outrage from President Calderon; some Mexican official finger pointing that led to silence. If this happened in America, citizens and leaders alike would be calling for war, rounding up all suspected cartel members and creating a “no fly” zone. Of course, none of the above happened, but why would Mexico fight so hard to “get” Border Patrol Agent Jesus “Chito” Diaz who was accused (and now convicted) of mishandling a handcuffed 15-year-old drug smuggler carrying 75 pounds of marijuana?
A more likely explanation for the relatively tepid response from Mexico points to their knowledge of Fast and Furious. If past U.S. federal agency precedent is any indication, ATF’s Mexican counterparts knew about the program. DHS/ICE continues to run “Operation Armas Cruzadas” an international gun trafficking program similar to DOJ/ATFs Project Gunrunner. (Note: Both DHS/ICE ignored multiple requests for information regarding Armas Cruzadas.)
If Mexico indeed knew about the program, it was either the government’s inability to track the weapons once they left the U.S. or corrupt agents inside Mexico who were ecstatic to be the beneficiaries of U.S, high-power weapons needed by warring cartels.
Another curious element that ties Fast and Furious, ATF, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), DHS, ICE, DOJ and the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) together is government informants.
An example of this is now playing out in a United States District Court located in Chicago, in U.S. verses Jesus Vicente Zambada-Niebla. Zambada has admitted ties to the Sinaloa drug cartel, where his father is a financier/top lieutenant for Sinaloa leader Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.
According to pretrial court transcripts, Zambada declared he was an informant for the DEA (under the helm of Eric Holder’s DOJ). He discusses the inner workings of cartel life and his attorneys contend that Zambada had an agreement with U.S. law enforcement agencies for complete immunity. However, the government continues to stonewall attorneys and refuse to release evidence substantiating Zambada’s informant status. The government says the disclosure of documents is barred under the “national security” agenda. The government even notes, “The first ambiguity might arise out of what does the Court mean by the production of any government reports of any kind related to any defendant?”
The judge sees it a bit differently. “But I do think that if we’re talking the U.S. State Department or the U.S. DEA or Customs, otherwise referred to as ICE, and they have offices in the country of Mexico and they have government reports that relate to these two defendants who are scheduled to proceed to trial in front of me, then I do think that is covered and that should be disclosed to the extent they’re covered by 3500 or Giglio or Brady for that matter, as the government has acknowledged its ongoing Brady obligations. I am not ruling yet on the request by the defense for the production of a whole bunch of other materials that relate to the defense of public authority… And as I said, I’m reserving ruling on the motions to dismiss the indictment.”
This information further confirms many branches of U.S. government know a lot more about the drug and gun trafficking business than they are willing to admit.
The Los Angeles Times reported that “El Chapo’s” wife entered the U.S. a few weeks ago to give birth to twins (now anchor babies) before returning safely to her Sinaloa drug cartel husband in Mexico.
Is it merely coincidence? Or, are government agencies imbedded so deeply with cartel members that prosecution is impossible without disclosing informants or “national security” issues?
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