published Monday, September 26th, 2011

Hard questions about a failed sting

There was widespread disgust and heartbreak a few months ago when it was learned that a federal sting had deliberately allowed firearms to fall into the hands of drug traffickers in Mexico -- with deadly results.

The idea was to let the guns be sold to lower-level traffickers then try to track them to the "big fish" in Mexican drug cartels.

But the sting went horribly wrong. Hundreds of the weapons wound up at crime scenes, including one found near the body of a murdered U.S. Border Patrol agent, Brian Terry.

Making matters worse, no leaders of the cartels were arrested in the sting.

The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has acknowledged that the sting was riddled with mistakes, and Congress has opened an investigation.

Recently, moreover, the acting director of the ATF and the U.S. attorney in Arizona resigned in connection with the failed sting.

Those resignations appear to be necessary, but they will be of little comfort to those who were harmed by the unsuccessful federal operation.

Catching drug traffickers is important, but common sense was left behind in this particular sting. Congress should ask hard questions until it finds out how things went so wrong.

Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
nucanuck said...

Current American thought on weapons seems to be widepread proliferation and then see who survives.

September 26, 2011 at 9:17 a.m.
dao1980 said...

I wonder what these drug traffickers would turn to for revenue if the drugs in question were legal and their sales were taxed.

September 26, 2011 at 9:38 a.m.
nucanuck said...

Legalizing drugs is too senseable to happen.

September 26, 2011 at 9:54 a.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

The ATF did not track the weapons long after they were sold so it is ridiculous to say the intent was to identify high level criminals. If you believe this explanation you would also endorse a strategy to get drug kingpins by watching street level drug transactions and never even following the parties around the corner, let alone follow them to their sources.

For years gun control advocates have been claiming that lax US gun laws made it easy for criminals in Mexico to arm themselves with guns from the US. Forget reality, that was the story they wanted US citizens to believe. We are going to find out that the anti-gun ATF was intentionally letting guns go to known Mexican criminals so they could then collect statistics that proved their own story. We will also find that the Obama administration and the Obama Justice department have fingerprints all over this outrageous misuse of power.

Nucanuck, why don’t you spare us your bumper sticker logic and put some thought into your posts?

September 26, 2011 at 2:34 p.m.
WWWoodward said...

he Gunwalker fiasco was NOT a failed sting. It accomplished exactly what was intended, that being getting as many guns that could be traced back to US firearm dealers into Mexico as possible in the time allotted. Problems arose when the guns started showing up in locations that were not anticipated by the federal agencies that were subsidizing the operation. [W3

September 26, 2011 at 6:59 p.m.
please login to post a comment

videos »         

photos »         

e-edition »


Find a Business

400 East 11th St., Chattanooga, TN 37403
General Information (423) 756-6900
Copyright, Permissions, Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, Ethics policy - Copyright ©2014, Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
This document may not be reprinted without the express written permission of Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc.