Another great summary of Fast and Furious
This one at Foreign Policy Blogs:
"First, ATF’s Operation Fast and Furious was never intended or designed to be a ‘gun tracking/tracing’ operation, since there were never provisions in place to allow agents to trace or interdict weapons once they were sold, with the backing of ATF, to straw buyers and allowed to be trafficked, unimpeded, across the US-Mexico border.
Second, ATF never intended the existence of Fast and Furious to become public knowledge; funding requests were buried in larger appropriations requests. Although no tracing or tracking devices were attached to the military-grade weapons that ATF allowed to be trafficked into Mexico, serial numbers were entered in ATF’s eTrace data bank, allowing agents, once weapons had been recovered at crime scenes and returned to ATF by Mexican authorities, to verify that they had been obtained illegally and within a short ‘buy-to-crime’ time frame from US gun dealers. Verification of this kind would offer strong support to Mexico’s claim that gun violence along border regions is fueled by illegal gun sales in the US and lend muscle to cries in the US for stronger gun legislation.
Third, any ATF operation that involved the trafficking of weapons across the US border required Justice to coordinate first with ICE (DHS), the agency with legal jurisdiction for cross-border weapons transfers, and the US Department of State, which is responsible for issuing exemptions to the Arms Export Control Act (AECA). Janet Napolitano, in charge of ICE, denies any knowledge of Fast and Furious, as does Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State. If ATF did indeed walk roughly 2000 lethal weapons across the US border absent waivers from State, the agency and the officials involved would be guilty of violating USC 7228 (AECA)–multiple felonies.
Fourth, Fast and Furious was not a bottom-up operation: Special Agent John Dodson, a field agent in the Phoenix office was the first to claim ‘whistleblower status’ and inform Congress re the existence of the Operation and its consequences–the deaths of roughly 300 people attributable to ATF’s gunwalking operation, including the death of US Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry on US soil. Emails and other documents proving the involvement of DOJ and other admininstration officials in Fast and Furious at early stages of the operation suggests motive and planning at high levels."