In recent weeks we have witnessed a developing and disturbing story unfold. Reports have emerged that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) smuggled 2,000 (30,000 is the high-ball number but unverified at this point) guns from the United States to Mexican drug cartels. The operation, called Fast and Furious, was blown wide open by a border patrol agent who blew the whistle after several of his fellow agents were killed by these smuggled weapons.
Previous to all of this, the United States and Mexican governments had both asserted that the vast majority of the violence in Mexico (now tantamount to a full blown insurgency) is perpetrated with guns bought in the United States by straw buyers and then smuggled across the border into Mexico. I recall staring slack jawed at the television set as the President Calderon spoke to our Congress last year and called for the curtailing of the second amendment here in the US, all to great applause.
Later, I began reading rumors and unsubstantiated reports on the internet that ATF was actually responsible for illegal weapons transfers to the drug cartels. Of course I blew these reports off as nonsense at the time. I figured that it was just conspiracy theories being spread on internet message boards by the fringe right-wingers who always think the government is on the verge of declaring martial law and rounding us up into internment camps. Craziness, right? How wrong I was.
This story has been slowly gaining momentum since it first broke several months ago, the ATF and Justice Department now engaged in damage control, pointing figures and issuing denials as fast as the papers can print them. The official story is that Fast and Furious was a sting operation that the ATF carried out in order to track illegal weapons shipments to high ranking mafioso inside Mexico. From there they would have had the evidence needed to make arrests, and presumably, move in on the cartel leaders alongside Mexican authorities.
Before I critique the ridiculousness of this explanation, let us first look back at the past and examine other historical examples that may allow us to better understand our current situation. I believe that by examining the inner workings of the State and the tactics and strategies employed by intelligence organizations that we can address the ATF smuggling case obliquely, setting the context before moving forward with the rest of our analysis.
Riaan Lauschange was an agent of South Africa’s apartheid-era Nation Intelligence Service through the 1980’s and 90’s. In his book, On South Africa’s Secret Service, Lauschange details a previously unknown unit created by the NIS called Directorate K.
“Through Neil Barnard and Mike Kuhn, Directorate K became a mirror image of the National Intelligence Service and the private intelligence service of President PW Botha and his inner circle. An example was the surveillance ordered and executed on Minister of Foreign Affairs Pik Botha. Despite what might have been said to the contrary, there was no love lost between the two Bothas. Pik’s heavy drinking habits, the perception that he behaved badly around women and his loyalty or lack of loyalty of PW’s leadership, became suspect. Directorate K was ordered to monitor his activities. The bugging of his telephones was conducted by K22 from its Midrand listening post. All the minister’s telephone conversations were recorded, transcribed and passed to Mike Kuhn. There seems little doubt that the end product ended up with President PW Botha.”
And so, the NIS had created a parallel but shadow intelligence gathering organization for both external and domestic purposes. Labuschagne further asserts that Directorate K was responsible for a deep black program designed to arm AZANLA with explosives to be used for blowing up Port Elizabeth. The Azanian National Liberation Army was at that time the military wing of the Azanian People’s Organization (AZAPO) which was a black anti-apartheid group. With Directorate K acting as saboteur provocateur AZANLA would carry out acts of terrorism, thereby provoking the right-wing Afrikaaner movement into attacking black civilians in retaliation. This completed, the South African government would now have the political capital needed to send in the troops and crush the Afrikaaner militants, a necessary action by the government’s ill-fated logic as it was feared in some circles that they would eventually rise up and stage a coup. The hardcore members of the apartheid government would do nearly anything to maintain their grip on power.
The South African Defense Force (SADF) also created a parallel shadow organization that they dubbed the Civil Cooperation Bureau or CCB. This name was to be largely euphemistic as the current State Peace and Development Council is in Burma today. Former Executive Outcomes CEO, Eeben Barlow recounts in his memoirs how he was recruited into CCB from military intelligence, where upon entry into the unit he was informed that their mission was to “eliminate enemies of the state”. Barlow’s area of operation was Europe and the Middle East, and while he took the moral high road and refused to engage in criminal behavior, the same could not be said for many CCB operatives working within South Africa.
During the Truth and Reconciliation Hearings the unseemly story began to unravel. Political opponents and dissidents were gunned down in cold blood, harassing journalists and a UN representative, bombings, and other mayhem were perpetrated under the auspices of the CCB. All of this is really just the tip of the iceberg when it came to the activities of the “deep state” during this time period. The manipulation of political groups was pervasive, an extensive biological and chemical warfare program was launched under Operation Coast, and terrorists like Eugene De Kock were set loose upon an unsuspecting public.
In Warfare by Other Means by Peter Stiff, it appears that CCB eventually became so out of control and paranoid that they set about cannibalizing themselves, murdering their own members when it became feared that they may go public with insider knowledge about the organization.
I would be remiss not to mention that the CIA did leave their fingerprints on many of the events happening within and around South Africa at this time.
Now that we have seen that nations can and do engage in false-flag or provocateur type contrived events in order to build political capital to order to push their agenda, we must now ask ourselves an uncomfortable question: Does America have it’s own version of Directorate K or CCB?
When border patrol agent Brian Terry was killed by Mexican bandits, two AK-47 rifles were found near his body which were eventually traced back to Operation Fast and Furious. During the investigation into the shooting, much like the Truth and Reconciliation hearings, the ugly truth began to rear it’s head.
“Allowing loads of weapons that we knew to be destined for criminals — this was the plan,” John Dodson, a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent, testified to the panel. “It was so mandated.” He added: “My supervisors directed me and my colleagues not to make any stop or arrest, but rather, to keep the straw purchaser under surveillance while allowing the guns to walk.” (Fox News Article)
“Arizona gun store owners say they were explicitly told by the ATF to sell the guns, sometimes 20, 30, even up to 40 in a single day to single person. And those orders, from at least one ATF case agent, are on audio recording. “We would say, ‘Do you (the ATF) want us to stop selling, is there something we should do here?'” Brad DeSayes, owner of J&G Gun Sales in Prescott, said. “And they would say, ‘No, no, no, keep selling – just tell us after the fact.’” (Fox News Article)
At this point, it could not be clearer that Operation Fast and Furious is a contrived false-flag operation used to funnel weapons into the hands of Mexican cartels.
Currently the head of the ATF and the head of the Justice Department, Eric Holder, are trying to shift the blame, both refusing to step down, at least for the time being. I wouldn’t be surprised if they both end up blaming an unpaid intern at DOJ for the entire operation, or better yet, a former agent who passed away of natural causes in recent months. The dead and interns always make the best scapegoats for political appointees and careerists.
The very concept behind the operation, that ATF agents would follow these weapons as they were smuggled into Mexico and into the hands of cartels, every step of the way is absurd and a non-starter. This isn’t a plausible operation unless there are additional details that haven’t yet been revealed to the public. Did the weapons have some kind of transmitters hidden in them to allow agents to use direction finding equipment to “ping” them as they followed the smugglers? If the weapons were altered, then why not take the additional step of modifying them in one of any number of ways that would render the weapons inoperable and inert? This would have ensured the safety of both US and Mexican citizens as well as prevented the death of Agent Brian Terry. Why was in necessary to smuggle literally thousands of weapons, rather than just a few dozen, if the purpose was to establish that they ended in cartel hands? 2,000 (the low-ball number) weapons is enough guns to arm an entire infantry brigade in the US Army.
We should also note that Operation Fast and Furious was a cross-border operation in nature. Because of this international scope it is inconceivable that Eric Holder was not informed from the get-go. It is also suspect that the CIA may have had a hand in some aspects of the operation as well.
The question is, why? With the official explanation for Fast and Furious being so ludicrously over the top, what was it’s real purpose?
The American right-wing is stomping their feet. For years the anti-gun lobby and certain sectors of the government had been spreading propaganda pieces that the vast majority of guns used in cartel murders south of the border originate from US gun shops. Many were calling for the further curtailing of the second amendment to counter this alleged menace. Remember President Calderon’s speech to the US congress? Right-wingers maintain that ATF created a reality in order to fit the fictional narrative, all in order to erode our right to bear arms.
I have to agree with this assessment, however, I think that many of these types of operations incorporate more than one goal in mind. It would be interesting to find out where the money paid to the straw buyers ended up. I wonder who benefited from these illegal sales after these weapons left the gun shops, all under ATF orders.
I also suspect that this had something to do with escalating the level of violence on the Mexican side the border, in order to build political capital for initiatives and policies that we have yet to see pushed publicly. What those are I can only suspect. It could be immigration reform in the context of blanket amnesty as a bargaining chip. Most frighteningly, it could be another stab at North American integration via the proposed North American Union. With whole sale slaughter on our southern border, it would make it a lot easier to sell the merging of the US, Canada, and Mexico to the public for “mutual security”.
The only thing we can count on at this point is that there is much maneuvering, political and otherwise, beneath the surface. We could see the Tiger Woods effect, where all sorts of nastiness comes out of the closet as a result of the initial revelations.
We could also see this story buried entirely, that hapless intern responsible for this mess being shuffled to another department for his indiscretions.
But it’s all just a conspiracy, right?
Huffington Post Article
Selected quotes via Sentinel Projects: SADF