We've had an awful lot of really terrible reporting on the so-called Fast and Furious "scandal," primarily from the right, Fox "News" and right wing hate talk and in the mean time, we also were lucky enough to have some good reporting on the issue, like Cenk here from this week, or Rachel Maddow from this week as well. This Saturday on Chris Hayes' show on MSNBC, we were treated to even more in depth coverage of the issue with this really great interview of Forbes reporter Katherine Eban.
If anyone has not read the entire article yet, here's the link: The truth about the Fast and Furious scandal.
Here's a rough transcript of the early portion of Eban's time on the show and the portion about the kids being paid for the gun walking and how ATF's hands were tied was just astounding to me, but in this day and age with the NRA having the hold it does over our members of Congress, nothing should be surprising these days.
HAYES: So Katherine, let's start with the context. I think one of the most important things about this article […] it was sort of unclear, like what was the whole problem it was set up to solve, that, it was a point unclear, like what exactly was the issue they faced? And one of the things you created is the context of this, which is that there is a massive flow right now, of weapons from the U.S. to Mexico. In fact, 70 percent of weapons recovered in Mexico come from the U.S., which is a startling statistic and that's largely due to the fact that Mexico has very tight gun restrictions and the U.S., particularly along the southwest border has particularly lax ones.
So what was the idea behind this operation to begin with?
EBAN: What's alleged or what in fact is the idea behind the operation?
HAYES: Let's go with the facts. I think the allegations have gotten a lot of time. So what was the idea?
EBAN: Basically the idea behind this ATF investigation, it's not a program, it's a single investigation called Fast and Furious was to stop straw purchasers from buying guns that they were then funneling to Mexican drug cartels.
HAYES: Explain what a straw purchaser is.
EBAN: A straw purchaser is basically somebody the cartels tap who can legally go and buy weapons, so in Arizona that might be an 18 year old kid who is not old enough to buy beer, but who, if he has no criminal record, or she, can go into a gun dealership and buy 50 AK47's, pay in cash and face no waiting period, no need for extra permits.
So there are lots of kids in Arizona for example who want to make a few extra bucks. This is what they do.