Another former agency official, who asked not to be identified speaking publicly about delicate operations, said, “My rule was that if we are going to launder money, we better show results. Otherwise, the D.E.A. could wind up being the largest money launderer in the business, and that money results in violence and deaths.”
Those are precisely the kinds of concerns members of Congress have raised about a gun-smuggling operation known as Fast and Furious, in which agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives allowed people suspected of being low-level smugglers to buy and transport guns across the border in the hope that they would lead to higher-level operatives working for Mexican cartels. After the agency lost track of hundreds of weapons, some later turned up in Mexico; two were found on the United States side of the border where an American Border Patrol agent had been shot to death.
Former D.E.A. officials rejected comparisons between letting guns and money walk away. Money, they said, poses far less of a threat to public safety. And unlike guns, it can lead more directly to the top ranks of criminal organizations.
The entire article is worth reading, albeit upsetting. The New York Times article comes in the wake of Eric Holder’s “You Can Help” radio ad that stated:
“This is Attorney General Eric Holder. We are working hard to protect our communities by reducing gang violence and organized crime and there is an important and simple way that you can help. Some street gangs and organized crime groups are selling counterfeit products, such as fake watches, DVDs and purses, as an easy way to make money. And they use that money to fund other crimes, like trafficking in drugs and guns.”
“When you buy knock-offs on the street or online, although it may not be obvious, you could be supporting gangs, putting money in their pockets and helping them to engage in other illegal activities that put our communities at risk.”
It’s getting harder and harder to think this wasn’t a great big conspiracy to justify a huge power grab and increased budgets. The D.E.A. is illegally laundering money for cartels, the BATFE is illegally supplying them with guns, the FBI is illegally covering up the evidence, the government forced a private business owner to commit crimes, and the DOJ used taxpayer funds to illegally approve the (known) straw purchase sales. And to add insult to injury, the informants are penalized, and those responsible are promoted.
There is no such thing as accountability in government, it’s one of the many reasons why we need government to be as small as possible.