On Sunday night, Spanish-language station Univision – one of the only networks to provide critical coverage of President Obama’s failures in office instead of cream-puff interviews – broke open the Fast and Furious investigation, revealing new evidence of weapons smuggling and displaying shocking new images of the bloody aftermath of the government-supported gun-smuggling program.
The Univision report undermines the integrity of the recently released DOJ inspector general report on Operation Fast and Furious, already heavily criticized as an attempt to whitewash criminal activity within the Obama administration.
The hour-long Univision report revealed the existence of another 57 guns recovered by Mexican authorities, including some of those used in the mass-murder at a party just one year after Obama’s inauguration:
On January 30, 2010, a commando of at least 20 hit men parked themselves outside a birthday party of high school and college students in Villas de Salvarcar, Ciudad Juarez. Near midnight, the assassins, later identified as hired guns for the Mexican cartel La Linea, broke into a one-story house and opened fire on a gathering of nearly 60 teenagers. Outside, lookouts gunned down a screaming neighbor and several students who had managed to escape. Fourteen young men and women were killed, and 12 more were wounded before the hit men finally fled.
Indirectly, the United States government played a role in the massacre by supplying some of the firearms used by the cartel murderers. Three of the high caliber weapons fired that night in Villas de Salvarcar were linked to a gun tracing operation run by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), according to a Mexican army document obtained exclusively by Univision News.
These 57 recovered weapons discovered are in addition to the 122 weapons referenced in a congressional report. It is chilling to learn that each weapon recovered was dumped at the scene of a crime by cartel members who had attempted, and in most cases completed, the crime of first-degree murder. It is even more disturbing to know that American Department of Justice officials knew that most of the weapons walked over the border would only be discarded by the police and recovered by Mexican authorities after they were used in a crime, and that they were indifferent to the body count being racked up, callously noting that to make an omelet, eggs had to be broken.
Univision pulled no punches in describing the horrors of the Villas de Salvarcar massacre, even showing a graphic pool of blood reminiscent of the iconic Normandy D-Day invasion scene in the classic World War II film The Big Red One.
The report also shed more light on a fact that many in the media have attempted to ignore – namely, that Operation Fast and Furious was not the only federal gun-walking operation providing weapons to criminals at this time.
Operation Castaway, run with the same bloody-minded approach as Operation Fast and Furious, provided more than 1,000 guns to cartels via the Tampa ATF. Those guns leaked out across Honduras, Colombia, and Venezuela, according to the U.S. veteran who smuggled some of the weapons, Hugh Crumpler:
“When the ATF stopped me, they told me the guns were going to cartels,” Hugh Crumpler, a Vietnam veteran turned arms trafficker, told Univision News. “The ATF knew before I knew and had been following me for a considerable length of time. They could not have followed me for two months like they said they did, and not know the guns were going somewhere, and not want for that to be happening.”
Univision also uncovered evidence of weapons being smuggled from Texas: two gun-smuggling programs similar to Fast and Furious are rumored to have put thousands of additional weapons in the cartels’ hands in operations larger than Fast and Furious. U.S. Senator John Cornyn has repeatedly pressed the Obama administration for information about the documented trail of weapons coming from two Texas ATF areas of operations. The Department of Justice has denied the existence of such programs, despite the physical evidence of guns recovered suggesting otherwise. While the Univision report focused on guns the DOJ ran to Mexican cartels, there is enough evidence to suggest other Obama administration-sanctioned gun-walking plots arming domestic criminal gangs, such as the so-called Gangwalker plot in Indiana, which supplied Chicago street gangs, and similar rumored operations in California, North Carolina, northern Florida, and elsewhere, which provided weapons to gangs in U.S. cities. Nor has the Univision report focused on weapons that have found their way to cartels via the State Department or the Department of Defense.
Despite a concerted effort by the mainstream media to ignore the story and the Obama administration’s attempt to stonewall investigators, this story seems to be catching fire.
The first presidential debate between embattled President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney will occur Wednesday. You can rest assured the moderator Jim Lehrer will not ask questions about the bloody gun-smuggling plot. It will be interesting to see, however, if Romney himself is willing to bring the scandal out onto a stage so public that even the media can’t ignore it.