Gunwalker expands, again

It’s getting hard to keep track of all the agencies that were part of the Gunwalker scandal. It now appears that the FBI was involved, rigging its background-check system so that felons could buy guns:

In the latest chapter of the gunrunning scandal known as Operation Fast and Furious, federal officials won’t say how two suspects obtained more than 360 weapons despite criminal records that should have prevented them from buying even one gun. Under current federal law, people with felony convictions are not permitted to buy weapons, and those with felony arrests are typically flagged while the FBI conducts a thorough background check.

However, according to court records reviewed by Fox News, two of the 20 defendants indicted in the Fast and Furious investigation have felony convictions and criminal backgrounds that experts say, at the very least, should have delayed them buying a single firearm. Instead, the duo bought dozens of guns on multiple occasions while federal officials watched on closed-circuit cameras.

Congressional and law-enforcement sources say the situation suggests the FBI, which operates the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, knowingly allowed the purchases to go forward after consulting with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which initiated Operation Fast and Furious. . .

When asked about the breakdown, Stephen Fischer, a spokesman for the NICS System, said the FBI had no comment. However, an ATF agent who worked on the Fast and Furious investigation, told Fox News that NICS officials called the ATF in Phoenix whenever their suspects tried to buy a gun. That conversation typically led to a green light for the buyers, when it should have stopped them.

If this is true (as seems likely), the NICS had these criminals flagged so the FBI would contact ATF whenever they tried to buy a gun, and the FBI then allowed the purchases.

In addition, William Newell, the former head of the Phoenix ATF, said in testimony before Congress that three other agencies were “full partners” in Fast and Furious: the DEA, the IRS, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. When asked if they knew “that guns were being walked to Mexico,” Newell said “they were aware of the strategy.”

That’s five government agencies from three different departments: Justice, Treasury, and Homeland Security.

But that’s not all. According to Phil Jordan, a former director of the DEA’s El Paso Intelligence Center, the State Department has been selling military-grade weapons directly to the Zetas, the Mexican drug cartel originally formed by mutinying Mexican special forces.

It is not alleged that the Zeta sales were connected with Fast and Furious, but that only makes it worse. At least Fast and Furious was ostensibly a law enforcement operation.

So we have four departments of the Obama administration all working to make sure that Mexican drug cartels have weapons. But at the same time, the Obama administration is tightening gun controls on law-abiding Americans.

(Previous post.)

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