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Credit Where It's Due: CBS News' Sharyl Attkisson Reports 'Fast and Furious' Docs Reveal Gun Control Push


It almost seems unfair to give CBS News’ investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson a “Credit Where It’s Due.” That gives the impression that this is an anomaly when, in reality, Ms. Attkisson’s consistency in fair and robust reporting on the brewing “Fast and Furious” scandal has been exemplary, a reminder of what Legacy Media is still capable of when the only agenda is truth and watchdogging the powerful.

Today, Ms. Attkisson reported what could very well be a game changer in a story few of Obama’s Media Palace Guards desire to cover. Probably because they fear the story might take them directly to a point such as this: [emphasis mine]

Documents obtained by CBS News show that the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) discussed using their covert operation “Fast and Furious” to argue for controversial new rules about gun sales.

In Fast and Furious, ATF secretly encouraged gun dealers to sell to suspected traffickers for Mexican drug cartels to go after the “big fish.” But ATF whistleblowers told CBS News and Congress it was a dangerous practice called “gunwalking,” and it put thousands of weapons on the street. Many were used in violent crimes in Mexico. Two were found at the murder scene of a U.S. Border Patrol agent.

ATF officials didn’t intend to publicly disclose their own role in letting Mexican cartels obtain the weapons, but emails show they discussed using the sales, including sales encouraged by ATF, to justify a new gun regulation called “Demand Letter 3”. That would require some U.S. gun shops to report the sale of multiple rifles or “long guns.” Demand Letter 3 was so named because it would be the third ATF program demanding gun dealers report tracing information.

On July 14, 2010 after ATF headquarters in Washington D.C. received an update on Fast and Furious, ATF Field Ops Assistant Director Mark Chait emailed Bill Newell, ATF’s Phoenix Special Agent in Charge of Fast and Furious:

“Bill – can you see if these guns were all purchased from the same (licensed gun dealer) and at one time. We are looking at anecdotal cases to support a demand letter on long gun multiple sales. Thanks.”

In the past, others have floated the idea that gun control might have been one of the agendas behind an operation that is now looking much less like it was botched and much more like it was calculated. But if you read the emails embedded in the story, that theory appears to have been confirmed.

With a host of Republicans and GOP presidential candidates demanding Attorney General Eric Holder resign and Democratic Congressman Luis Gutierrez not completely opposed to the idea, this story still has a long way to go.

As I’ve said before, while the media coverage of President George W. Bush was frequently hostile, stupid, shrill and biased, at the very least the American people didn’t have to worry about something like “Fast and Furious” or Solyndra getting out of hand. Bush’s media watchdogs could be rabid, but at least they were watching. Under Obama we’re seeing the other extreme, a media unwilling to do anything other than ignore, dismiss, or make excuses for Obama’s scandals.

The MSM under Bush was annoying. The MSM under Obama is dangerous.

More Sharyl Attkissons, please.


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