The Young Turks Cenk Uygur did one of the better summations of just what went wrong with this Fast and Furious operation and on Fortune Magazine's investigative report: ‘The Fast and Furious program as you know it is a myth’ :
Cenk digs into Fortune Magazine’s report following a six-month investigation into claims that agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives sold guns to straw purchasers for Mexican cartels during Operation Fast and Furious. Attorney General Eric Holder may be held in contempt, but Fortune concludes that ATF agents never purposely sold to cartels. Instead, their efforts to track purchasers were often blocked by weak gun control laws. “You want to know the irony of this? The NRA had those weak laws passed in the first place,” Cenk says. “Do you know that, in Arizona, all you need to do to buy a gun is to be 18 and pass a background check? In fact … you can buy 10 guns — 100 guns, if you want.”
Here's more from Dave Dayden over at FDL's News Desk: On Eve of Contempt Vote, Revelation that Fast and Furious Is a Convenient Fiction:
White House officials have been in consultation with the GOP House leadership in advance of tomorrow’s contempt of Congress vote for Attorney General Eric Holder over the Fast and Furious scandal and the Justice Department’s response to an Oversight Committee investigation and document request. However, the two sides have not reached an agreement, and as of now, the contempt vote will be held as scheduled. Even though the White House provided access to 30 new documents, that was not enough to delay the contempt vote, suggesting that the vote itself and not the investigation is the end goal here.
Meanwhile, a piece from Fortune magazine reveals that the Fast and Furious investigation was not as it has been portrayed, particularly in conservative media. First of all, it was not a so-called “gun-walking” investigation:
Quite simply, there’s a fundamental misconception at the heart of the Fast and Furious scandal. Nobody disputes that suspected straw purchasers under surveillance by the ATF repeatedly bought guns that eventually fell into criminal hands. Issa and others charge that the ATF intentionally allowed guns to walk as an operational tactic. But five law-enforcement agents directly involved in Fast and Furious tell Fortune that the ATF had no such tactic. They insist they never purposefully allowed guns to be illegally trafficked. Just the opposite: They say they seized weapons whenever they could but were hamstrung by prosecutors and weak laws, which stymied them at every turn.
Indeed, a six-month Fortune investigation reveals that the public case alleging that Voth and his colleagues walked guns is replete with distortions, errors, partial truths, and even some outright lies. Fortune reviewed more than 2,000 pages of confidential ATF documents and interviewed 39 people, including seven law-enforcement agents with direct knowledge of the case. Several, including Voth, are speaking out for the first time.
Read the whole thing. This is the heart of the scandal, that ATF intentionally let straw purchasers, who were buying guns for drug cartels in Mexico, walk without investigation or arrest. But it didn’t happen, and it didn’t happen for an interesting reason. The ATF agents tried to make cases, but current state and federal gun drug laws, particularly in Arizona, hobbled them. In other words, the success of the NRA in gutting gun control laws led to the outcomes in the Fast and Furious operation as much as anything else. [...]
That set of facts must frame any discussion of Fast and Furious. The operation was not, as the NRA wants you to believe, an effort to make gun purchasing look bad in order to push a spate of gun control laws. No, it was a failed effort to negotiate those laws and stop guns at the border, made impossible by previously passed, NRA-endorsed legislation. And the Administration won’t tell you that because, as ever, they are afraid of being seen as on the side of gun control, even though they’re being accused of that anyway.
Which is the point Cenk made at the end of his segment above. On one hand, you've got the NRA and Republicans causing this mess, then being willing to exploit it for political gain and Democrats scared to death of the NRA and just making their own problems worse by capitulating to them.
The fact that we've got any Democrats, much less potentially a few dozen, who are so beholden to Wayne LaPierre and his extremist organization just turns my stomach. The man is a wingnut of the highest order who ought to be drummed out of the public square instead of dictating public policy to anyone in either party. He and the NRA have blood on their hands with the radical policies they've been pushing with gun ownership in the United States and the hypocrites are going berserk over one death when they've cost countless numbers of deaths themselves. It's the height of hypocrisy and sadly the better part of our corporate media is not calling them out for it.