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November 01, 2011

"Wide Receiver" Wasn't Gunwalking Like Fast and Furious Is Gunwalking

Sheryl Aktinson, one of the only major media reporters even covering Fast and Furious, alleged that "Wide Receiver," a Bush era program, was a "gunwalking" program in the same sense that Fast and Furious was.

But was it?

Confederate Yankee, Bob Owens, notes that Wide Receiver actually involved surveillance -- or at least attempted surveillance. It's just that the surveillance failed.

In Operation Wide Receiver, Tucson agents allowed the sales of more than 500 firearms to known straw purchasers. Like Gunrunner/Fast and Furious, the operation apparently backfired.

Some firearms in Wide Receiver were equipped with RFID tracking devices. In Wide Receiver, it seems the illegal purchasers seemed more than slightly knowledgeable of the ATF and how to take their aerial and electronic tracking procedures down.

Knowing the time aloft numbers for virtually all planes used in government surveillance, the buyers had a simple method of getting their purchases across the border undetected. They simply drove four-hour loops around the area.

As surveillance planes were forced to return to base for refueling, the smugglers simply turned and sprinted their cargo across the border.

The RFID tags also turned out to be problematic.

Rather than making large enough holes for the tags to be laid out inside weapons, agents force-fit them into the rifles.

That cramming caused the antennae to be folded, reducing the effective range of the tags. And an already short battery life (36-48 hours maximum) meant that should purchasers allow the firearms to sit, the tracking devices eliminated themselves.

In addition, Wide Receiver was conducted in cooperation with the Mexican authorities -- not kept secret from them, as a rogue American agency conducted a murderous covert operation in a neighboring sovereign country.

Now, Wide Receiver failed. It all seems like a pretty dumb operation in hindsight. But you can see how it could have been predicted to work -- if the surveillance works, you've nabbed your bad guys.

In Fast and Furious, there was no surveillance.

So what was the goal?

In Wide Receiver, the guns "walked" without surveillance due to technical failure of the RFID devices and the gun-runners outwitting the ATF.

Someone in the administration please tell me a story wherein Fast and Furious was also a botch, a failure -- rather than having proceeded as planned.

I don't want to think that -- that seems a little farfetched -- but unless the administration can explain how their plan to let 2000+ guns "walk" into Mexico (without a head's up for Mexican law enforcement) accidentally became a failure, rather than proceeded according to plan, there are going to be serious suspicions about our government's actual motive.


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posted by Ace at 04:31 PM

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