The ATF Let Main Gunwalker Suspect Walk

Fast and Furious is the gift that keeps on giving. Not only did the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) arm Mexican drug cartels, only did a border patrol agent get murdered by one of those guns, but the ATF even arrested one of the main suspects they were supposedly looking for and let him go:

The prime suspect in the botched gun trafficking investigation known as “Fast and Furious” — Manuel Acosta — was taken into custody and might have been stopped from trafficking weapons to Mexico’s killer drug cartel early on. But the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) let him go, according to new documents obtained by CBS News.

An ATF “Report of Investigation” obtained by CBS News shows Border Patrol agents stopped Acosta’s truck on May 29, 2010. Inspectors said they found illegal materials including an “AK type, high capacity drum magazine loaded with 74 rounds of 7.62 ammunition underneath the spare tire.” They also noted ledgers including a “list of firearms such as an AR15 short and a Bushmaster” and a “reference about money given to ‘killer.'”

A copy of the report can be found here [PDF]. Let me just start by saying the ATF obviously does some stellar work. I guess when you set up an operation to advance gun control in the United States the last thing you want to do is actually stop the gun running.

The Fast and Furious rabbit hole gets deeper and deeper with each passing day. While I’m generally not one to attribute malice when stupidity and incompetence can explain a scenario, the case of Fast and Furious is looking more like purposeful action on behalf of the ATF than pure bureaucratic incompetence. The very fact that evidence exists showing Fast and Furious was about gun control and that the ATF had, but set free, one of the primary gun smugglers seems like an awfully large coincidence. Of course I will close by stating my cynicism which does make me bias.