ATF's Milwaukee sting operation marred by mistakes, failures
A store calling itself Fearless Distributing opened early last year on an out-of-the-way street in Milwaukee's Riverwest neighborhood, offering designer clothes, athletic shoes, jewelry and drug paraphernalia.
Those working behind the counter, however, weren't interested in selling anything. They were undercover agents from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives running a storefront sting aimed at busting criminal operations in the city by purchasing drugs and guns from felons.It's nothing short of stunning how utterly incompetent our government is. This is the kind of story that I refer to when I hear people talking about some grand government conspiracy in the Newtown shooting - the ATF couldn't plan a straight sting operation without it failing spectacularly, yet folks believe that the same government agencies planned, executed, and successfully covered up a horrific shooting of six year olds. Nope. Ain't buyin' it, folks. You don't see incompetence and petty malfeasance of the kind of scale on display in Milwaukee from the same people that could pull off an evil plot like that which has been alleged in CT.
Go read the entire article. All along it appears that there was no planning; little vetting of employees; and certainly no rhyme nor reason to how the "store" was to operate. When they did catch people selling stolen guns; they didn't arrest them - or even charge them - for months or even at all. ATF weapons were stolen when one of the agents took a donut break; they trashed the building they rented, skipped out on fixing what they broke, then told the landlord he was not allowed to contact the agency about reimbursement because that would be "threatening" a federal agency.
I'd call this the Keystone Kops, but that would be an affront to the Keystone Kops.
My opinion? This is what happens when you have True Believers at the top and Non Believers in the rank-and-file. The True Believers in the higher echelons of the ATF honestly believe that these crazy schemes might work - and with proper planning and execution, they might. Had the agents on the ground taken time to plan out how they would ensnare, follow, and then arrest these felons, this sort of sting could have been very successful. Instead, you had a group of agents who really didn't care if they got illegally-owned weapons off the street or not playing junior undercover G-man on the government's dime.
Very few weapons were taken off the street. A business owner was left with thousands of dollars in damage to his property and a bad reputation in the community. They left behind sensitive documents with agents' names in the building, jeopardizing future operations that might be performed by these agents as well as putting the agents themselves at risk. And, as is shockingly too common with these sorts of things, no one will put a price tag on this botched sting, leaving us to speculate just how much of our tax dollars were flushed down the toilet in this idiotic operation.
And remember, this is the group that Senator Feinstein wants to put in charge of registering your legally-owned semi-automatic weapons. There's a six to eight month backlog on the processing of NFA paperwork for short-barreled rifles - now imagine this same incompetence applied to tens of millions of semi-automatic rifles submitted for registration. We're talking about agents that left a gorram machine gun - a real, honest-to-goodness machine gun - sitting in the back of their van while they went for a freakin' coffee break. I can't put my finger on it, but something tells me that we might not have the fullest of confidence in their ability to run such a large endeavor.
But hey, it's only tax dollars, right - it's not like it cost anything...
That is all.