It’s hard to guess what the government’s true intentions were in the Gunwalker scandal. The ATF claims that it was a strategy — gone horribly wrong — to track illegal guns to the leaders of Mexican drug cartels, but that claim doesn’t make sense since they didn’t actually try to track the guns.
Many have speculated that the ATF’s true purpose in trafficking illegal weapons to Mexico was to buttress the narrative that too many illegal weapons are being trafficked into Mexico (the old 90% lie), in an effort to promote additional gun control regulations in the United States. This theory is supported by a paper trail showing that the same people who ran the ill-fated operation were being asked to provide support for the anti-gun narrative. It’s also supported by the fact that the speculative aim of the strategy, more gun control, is exactly what happened, despite public exposure of the ATF’s misdeeds.
This speculation is increasingly seeming likely to be true, because of the lack of any other explanation for the ATF’s behavior. But Robert Farago has another theory. He says that we should assume that the government meant to do exactly what it did: arms Mexican drug cartels; in particular, the Sinaloa drug cartel.
According to his theory, the US government was concerned that the Mexican government might fall to the Zetas. (That’s the extremely dangerous drug cartel originally formed by mutinying Mexican special forces.) The ATF got the job of supplying weapons to the Zeta’s enemy, the Sinaloa cartel.
It’s an interesting theory. It strikes me as a little less reprehensible than the political theory (at least they would have had a legitimate aim in mind), but even more reckless.
Occam’s razor would seem to support Farago’s theory, but beyond that, there’s not any real evidence to support it. Also, the theory fails to explain why the State Department was also reportedly trafficking guns to the Zetas.