Friday, April 06, 2012

Channeling James Ellroy

Someone in the Administration has apparently been reading too many James Ellroy novels. (As opposed to doing their job.) Some convictions have now occurred as part of the "Fast and Furious" gun running scandal. From a Reuters story on Yahoo! News:

Jaime Avila Jr., Joshua David Moore and Kenneth James Thompson were among a ring of 20 defendants charged with buying and running high-powered firearms including Kalashnikov-type assault rifles, 5.7mm pistols and Barrett sniper rifles to the Mexican cartels.  
The purchases were made in the Phoenix area from 2009 to 2010 when a bungled Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives operation allowed more than 2,000 U.S.-bought weapons to slip across the border to Mexico.  
Two of those weapons were found at the spot near the Arizona-Mexico border where Border Patrol agent Brian Terry was killed during a shootout with illegal immigrants in December 2010. It was not clear, however, if those weapons fired the fatal shots.  
Fast and Furious was run by the Phoenix field office of the ATF and the U.S. Attorney. Its goal was to try to track guns being smuggled from the initial purchaser to senior drug cartel members.  
Avila was named as the primary defendant in the suit. According to court documents, he was recruited in November 2009 by a co-conspirator, Juan Jose Martinez-Gonzalez, to make third-party straw purchases from licensed dealers. He bought 52 firearms, including powerful .308-caliber rifles and two .50-caliber Barrett sniper rifles.
The whole thing sounds like something Kemper Boyd would have dreamed up with John Stanton. Pete Bondurant would have run the day-to-day operation. (Two differences: It would have probably been more competently run, and a Tiger Kab company would have been involved.) Back in the 1960s government agents would have possibly gotten away with this. But these days this just looks amateurish - and a little bit like something Nixon's plumbers might have attempted. We're going to get a current equivalent to Hunt or Liddy out of this operation. So much for the Age of Competence some told me that Obama would usher in. It's not just amateur hour, it's unoriginal and derivative too.