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Stung by a gun-running sting

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By Pittsburgh The Tribune-Review
Friday, April 1, 2011

A federal gun "sting" that was supposed to track weapons bought in the United States and headed to Mexico instead has stung government officials.

Never mind that the supposed "point of origin" for illegal weapons is dead wrong. Now nobody wants to 'fess up as to how these operations sent an estimated 1,700 weapons to Mexican thugs.

Under Operation Fast and Furious and Project Gunrunner, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives encouraged U.S. gun dealers to sell to certain people suspected of working for Mexican drug cartels, according to accounts first reported by CBS News. The weapons, including hundreds of AK-47s, were supposed to be intercepted at the border.

They weren't.

Instead, some have been identified in the deaths of a Border Patrol agent and a U.S. immigration official, along with at least 150 Mexicans, officials say.

President Obama acknowledged that Fast and Furious was maybe "a serious mistake" but one that he didn't authorize. Ditto from Attorney General Eric Holder.

So, the buck stops where?

The operations themselves are questionable in that most illegal arms entering Mexico come from Latin America. And a whistle-blower alleges that the feds intentionally allowed the illegal gun trafficking.

So, who's behind this mess• Congressional subpoenas would be a good start in tracking down the answers. For the recoil from what has all the makings of a rogue operation has been deadly and, possibly, criminal.

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