President Barack Obama’s (D-USA) administration and Attorney General Eric Holder’s Department of Justice is deliberately being confusing and obfuscating the truth over the two ATF programs named Wide Receiver and Fast and Furious. Sometimes they pretend they’re the same thing. Sometimes they tell us that when individuals mention one, they in fact mean the other. Sometimes they pretend that Wide Receiver never existed, and there’s only been one program, Fast and Furious, and that it’s been going on for years.
It’s all smoke and mirrors.
Wide Receiver was an ATF program run during the administration of President George W. Bush (R-USA). It was a gunwalking program, with the apparent goals claimed by Fast and Furious. However, there are some key points worth noting about Wide Receiver. The goal was apparently to “catch some big fish” in Mexican drug cartels who were using U.S. manufactured guns in their operations. This program was done with the consent and participation of the Mexican government. It involved a fairly small number of weapons, which were carefully tracked, often even with electronic tracking equipment.
Of course, what happened next will be surprising to no one. Despite the careful tracking, ATF lost some of the guns. When that happened, the program was shut down. You can certainly argue that this was inevitable from the beginning, and the entire program should have never been implemented. I might even agree with you.
Fast and Furious was an ATF program run during the administration of President Barack Obama (D-USA). The claimed goals were the same as Wide Receiver, but there were some significant differences. (And remember, Wide Receiver had already been shut down by this time, due to the inherent and somewhat obvious problems with the program) The differences included, but were not limited to the following. The Mexican government was not involved, and in fact was unaware of the program. The gunwalking was on a much larger scale, and the guns were not tracked (at least as far as we can tell) at all once they left the point of sale.
These differences are significant and are at the heart of the problems with Fast and Furious.
Now, you are probably asking yourself why would someone start a program that’s clearly an expansion of Wide Receiver and without Wide Receiver’s controls, after the failure of Wide Receiver? Or you might be asking yourself, how the people in charge expected it to succeed at the stated goals when the guns were not tracked at all?
Those are the two key questions regarding this program. And, of course, there others, such as, who was in charge of this program, and who approved it? And, if there was a cover-up afterwards, as now appears likely, who ordered the cover-up?
I’m sorry this post is not littered with links as is typical for my posts, but all of the information and much, much more is available in Katie Pavlich’s excellent book, “Fast and Furious: Barack Obama’s Bloodiest Scandal and the Shameless Cover-Up”.