Order of events. If it’s a conspiracy.
Obama is inaugurated. His career has had a constant throughout. More gun control. One of his first acts is to talk about how drugs murders in Mexico is somehow the fault of our gun rights.
Trace numbers are trumped up that on the surface support his warped way of thinking, but the lie is quickly put paid to and called the Gun Canard.
His Secretary of State gets in on the act. Heck Michael Yon gets in on the act. His Attorney General gets in on the act but goes a step too far and mentions that gun control legislation is a distinct possibility. This trial baloon, or unforced error tipping their hand, goes over like it was made of lead, filled with hydrogen, and on fire. There is little popular support for abridgement of the 2nd Amendment and the political climate, even with Dems in charge, is not conducive. They have other fish to fry in 2009, and will bide their time and political capital until after they socialize medicine.
So either the president takes Holder aside, or Holder comes up with a similar internal monologue: "No movement on disarming US subjects can go forward unless things down Mexico way get worse. We need a tragedy or unacceptable and frightening environment or crisis to ram gun control legislation through. If somehow the violence in Mexico got worse and scarier looking, and we could make that look like the bitter-clinger NRA types are at fault… This may take some time, but if we prepare the ground properly now it will give the weak kneed legislators political cover."
Holder comes up with a scheme to make the Gun Canard look more true after the fact. Get more firearms traceable to US gun dealers into Mexico, where there is already extra strife in drug cartel’s power struggles. Holder sets the ATF to make this happen.
The ATF can easily cow gun dealers into agreeing to participate. After all, the Feds can destroy the store owners livelihood with impunity and at a whim. "We don't like the handwriting on the 4473..."
An operation that on the outside kinda looks like the ATF is tracing straw purchasers to their customers is in reality literally arming drug cartel soldiers with some US sourced firearms. There is no effort at all to trace a gun that crosses the border south, and their cannot possibly be. It kinda looks like gun dealers in the US are the cause of mayhem, if you spin it right and silence a few store owners with implied threats.
ATF brass are too myopic to notice how transparent this perfidy is, or thinks that a friendly press corps will spin the scenario to the Left’s favor. They don't seem to consider that the cat could get out of the bag and information out of their control.
On the front lines, ATF worker bees and participating gun dealers aren’t too comfortable with this scheme. The gun stores are silenced by assuring them that ATF has it under control, and besides, they have no choice. The gun stores keep records showing their concerns, just in case, you know? The ATF front line troops know the truth and how out of control it is and gripe up the chain about how lots of Mexicans will get hurt with these loose guns and maybe some US folks on the border areas. ATF agents are told to do their job or face reprisals and that “to make an omellete you have to break a few eggs.” Those broken eggs are people. These ATF agents remember the bad old days of the 90s where their bureau made some colossal screw ups and looked like thugs and suchlike and were hoping they’d rehabilitate themselve a bit by now. ATF agents start saving documents about such questionable orders from on high, just in case, you know? This is in early 2010.
In late 2010 a border patrol agent is killed (on top of many Mexican citizens, probably, killed) with one of these weapons released to cause mayhem and political cover for rights restrictions. This is the straw that breaks the camel's back for some frontline ATF troops, and they start blowing the whistle, talking to pro-gun bloggers, talking to CBS. Details get reported in public, GOP Congressional committees start investigating too.
Administration goes into lockdown stonewall mode in 2011. The cover-up and insulation of the higher ups goes into full force. No one in the upper echelon is talking (yet). The head of the ATF makes noises he is resigning, but that would mean he is free to implicate all involved, including the AG, unless they have something on him. But causing the deaths of innocent people through a harebrained anti-rights conspiracy is something that is also held over his head. To save his skin he might give up AG Holder. If Obama is involved Holder is certainly a firewall to protect him. But Holder presumably doesn’t want to be impeached and imprisoned for decades for causing the deaths of innocents so he may be rolled, as well. Then impeachment procedures for the President go into high gear if Holder doesn’t fall on his sword (he has already lied in congressional testimony over when he knew about Gunwalker). This all assumes the President is the source of such shennanigans AND, more importantly, he is covering up his complicity. Holder may be the ultimate source and covering up, or on down the chain. It all depends on how the last highest guy on the hotseat wants to avoid prison and is thus willing to point to his boss and testify "He told me to do it!"
Whistleblowers are reprimanded or released from the ATF, midsummer 2011. Despite being told by Congress that the ATF was not to retaliate against whistleblowers. This is the ATF. Rules don't apply to them...
It all depends on how the Committee hearing in Congress go, and what evidence has slipped through the administration fingers, through carelessness or leaks, and how likely prosecutions may succeed as they work their way up through the responsible officials. (Which could easily be more wide ranging than DOJ, and ATF. DHS, IRS, and State are reportedly implicated with this big mess.)
Instead of gun control in 2013, the president, if re-elected, is looking at possible impeachment proceeding, and the ensuing goat rope that impeachment causes to everyone in country. Gawd, I dread such a circus. But he is NOT looking at infringing on the 2nd Amendment, at least, while trying to save his own bacon and saddled with a deadly scandal and subsequent cover up. The harebrained scheme works for the civil rights side of the aisle, even if no more damning details of the scandal come to light. They've poisoned their own well for a long time with this unforced error. (Hey, is that a mixed metaphor?)
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