How many federal officials are in law enforcement, or alternatively, how many can, like Environmental Protection Agency “agents”, carry firearms? Your guess is as good as mine. Apparently, however, the massive federal law enforcement bureaucracy is in need of serious reform.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has struck again. On the heels of gunwalking via the Fast and Furious scandal, ATF has set up sting operations in a number of U.S. cities. In Milwaukee (Wisc.), ATF blew the operation in more ways than one.
The agency set up a fake storefront, Fearless Distributing, stocking clothing, jewelry and drug and other paraphernalia. So far, no big busts have been announced.
What did happen?
The ATF crew brutalized the landlord’s property and then threatened him with harassment laws if he tried to collect what he was owed. An ATF attorney so abused federal law she should be fired immediately.
One agent left guns in a car that was burglarized. Still missing: a machine gun.
The Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel featured an expose about the operation, and the story hearkens to a time when there were actually a few newspapers doing real journalism.
One other matter warrants attention—on some occasions, innocent people were charged with crimes.
Meanwhile, after thousands of guns were spirited into Mexico via federal government policy in Fast and Furious, and operations like Fearless Distributing were botched, federal officials are decrying Americans’ concerns about limitations on private ownership of guns.
Kudos to John Diedrich and Raquel Rutledge of the Journal Sentinel for a riveting story that should win an award if various publishing industry committees can break away from picking their chums when accolade time rolls around.
President Barack Obama might want to have a talk with the federal employees he allegedly is responsible for. Furthermore, in the spirit of decency, Obama should make sure the landlord gets his money. We're not quite communist China yet, although we're close.
Fast and Furious (U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform)
(Commentary by Kay B. Day/Jan. 31, 2013)