How did the Gunwalker scandal happen? Did the ATF deliberately facilitate the smuggling of weapons into Mexico in order to bolster the (false) story that weapons used in Mexican crimes mostly come from the United States, in order to advance a gun-control agenda?

We don’t know. It’s hard to believe that any administration could be so corrupt. But so far, it is the only explanation that has been offered that makes any sense. Why did the ATF traffic guns to Mexican drug cartels? It defies all reason!

The agents who are talking don’t know. They warned that the scheme would be a disaster, but their pleas were ignored.

Those who do know, on the other hand, aren’t talking. And that makes me suspect the worst. If they had a good faith reason, they should tell us. Instead, the ATF and the Justice Department have been stonewalling for months.

We don’t know when Eric Holder was briefed on the scheme. It’s hard to believe that a plan to traffic weapons into a foreign country would have been approved without going to the top. (And it hardly absolves him if he is such a careless manager as to allow crazy schemes to be put into motion without his knowledge.)

But what we do know for certain is that Eric Holder has approved the cover-up. We know that because the cover-up is ongoing and he could put a stop to it. Regardless of what he knew and when he knew it, Holder should go for that reason alone.

The latest development is someone at the DOJ is trying to fight back against Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA). The Washington Post ran a story yesterday alleging, based on an anonymous source, that Issa was briefed on the scheme in April 2010 and raised no objections. Issa categorically denies the report, and adds that his office has been contacted by several publications to whom the story was shopped. The Post was the only publication to find it credible.

Even if the Issa story were true, it would not absolve the ATF, Eric Holder, or the Obama administration. But there’s no good reason to believe it, since there’s no good reason for the source to remain anonymous, unless he’s lying. He can’t be afraid of retaliation; one simply does not face negative consequences for running interference for your boss by attacking a Republican congressman.

If the Gunwalker scandal is as bad as it is starting to look — trafficking guns into a friendly country, for political purposes, leaving countless dead including a federal agent — it would be the worst scandal in American history. No one died in the Watergate burglary.

(Previous post.)

UPDATE: Instapundit follows the Internet Scofflaw lead.

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