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June 17, 2011

Gunwalker Much Worse Than Iran-Contra?
Update/Corrections: Mistakes Were Made, And Some Eggs Were Scrambled?

Bob Owens thinks so.

From a report:

“DOJ and ATF inappropriately and recklessly relied on a 20-year-old ATF Order to allow guns to walk.” The agencies misrepresented the intention of the order to justify their actions.

“Supervisors told the agents to ‘get with the program’ because senior ATF officials had sanctioned the operation.” At least one agent was cautioned that if he didn’t stop complaining about the dangerous nature of the operation, he would find himself out of a job, and lucky to be working in a prison.

“Operation Fast and Furious contributed to the increasing violence and deaths in Mexico. This result was regarded with giddy optimism by ATF supervisors hoping that guns recovered at crime scenes in Mexico would provide the nexus to straw purchasers in Phoenix.” ATF officials were seemingly unconcerned over the deaths of Mexican law enforcement officers, soldiers, and innocent civilians, noting that you had to “scramble a few eggs” to make an omelette, in a callous disregard of human life.

The split on the right, to the extent there is one, is over that "gleeful" line.

Some on the right -- a few bloggers -- are postulating a sort of deliberate effort at a Reichstag Fire situation an anti-gun-dealer frame-up: That, wanting evidence that American gun dealers were supplying Mexican gangsters with weapons, the ATF... ordered gun dealers to supply Mexican gangsters with weapons.

I don't believe that, because I don't think people usually think like that. I think a key of understanding people's psychology is everyone is the hero of their own story. And I don't believe many -- very, very few, not enough for a large conspiracy -- could possibly convince themselves they're acting like the Good Guys in pursuing a Reichstag Fire scenario an attempt to frame up a perpetual bogeyman for the left.

Rather, I think the "gleeful" indicates how terribly, bizarrely misplaced their priorities are. In an effort to get at the Straw Buyers who are responsible for gun deaths down the line, they... caused a lot of gun murders down the line.

But hey! At least we have some good data on those Straw Buyers! We'll get those malefactors now!

Sure, a few dozen more people died as a result of our investigation than we'll wind up saving but... Straw Buyers! Evil! Google it!

I don't even get how you get information about Straw Buyers when you're cutting the Straw Buyers out of the equation entirely by selling these guns to the narcoterrorists directly.

Like, haven't you put them out of a job at that point? (And-- was that your goal? Undersell them out of business?!)

Of course, what we have right here is a lawless administration attempting to cover up its responsibility for the death of at least one American ATF agent.

This will get worse.

Corrected: I summed the more "deliberate" theory of the crime as "Reichstag Fire scenario," which I now realize is denigrating, by over-exaggerating the actual theory.

I have rewritten to specify the actual theory here, supplied to me by Have Blue.

More Corrections: I'm a little bit behind on this story. Now I know why Andrew Breitbart skips the posts and reads the comments.

Ed says the straw buyers were not clipped out of the chain:

Seriously though, Straw buyers were always buying the guns. The scandal is...we watched them buy the guns, and then stopped surveiling the guns and let the straw buyers send them god knows where. (Obviously, south to the Drug Cartels.)

Here's another correction: In the comments, I specifically said that I don't think people usually employ Break A Few Eggs To Make An Omelet type thinking.

But ed points out I really should have read through my whole pull-quote:

ATF officials were seemingly unconcerned over the deaths of Mexican law enforcement officers, soldiers, and innocent civilians, noting that you had to “scramble a few eggs” to make an omelette, in a callous disregard of human life.

Ahem.

Well, I never said I was an expert on anything except a couple of penises.

Still, I think my general point is sound. (I always say this; this is how you know I'm really wrong, when I begin talking up my general point being sound.)

But seriously, my general point is sound: Explore this, investigate this, try to prove this. But don't sell this as the main theory of the crime.

Why? Because this is their Culpability Turned To 11, which is great, but what if the evidence only establishes what I suggested (an 8 on the culpability scale)?

You never want to over-speculate the charges into such a flagrant, horrific crime that if the evidence comes in that merely an awful crime was committed, you've given them an "out" where they can say, "Hey, at least I didn't do that other thing."

From The Report, Pages 38-39:

B. "You Need to Scramble Some Eggs"

According to the ATF agents, their supervisors in Phoenix were sometimes shockingl: insensitive to the possibility the policy could lead to loss of life. Agent Dodson explained:

Q. [S]omebody in management . . . used the terminology "scramble some eggs."

A. Yes, sir.

Q. If you are going to make an omelette you have got to scramble some eggs. Do you remember the context of that?

A. Yes, sir. It was — there was a prevailing attitude amongst the group and outside of the group in the ATF chain of command, and that was the attitude. . . . I had heard that . . . sentiment from Special Agent [E] Special Agent [L], and Special Agent Voth. And the time referenced in the interview was, I want to say, in May as the GRIT team or gunrunner initiative team was coming out. I was having a conversation with Special Agent [L] about the case in which the conversation ended with me asking her are you prepared to go to a border agent's funeral over this or a Cochise County deputy's over this, because that's going to happen. And the sentiment that was given back to me by both her, the group supervisor, was that. . . if you are going to make an omelette, you need to scramble some eggs.

Well there is some Break A Few Eggs thinking. I still think it is hard to conceive of someone deliberately doing this for a frame-up and then convincing himself, as most people convince themselves, he's the Good Guy.

Very few people think of themselves as the Black Hat.



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posted by Ace at 02:26 PM

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