White House showdown with drug cartel issues

White House showdown with drug cartel issues

It has come to light that a program has allowed guns to reach Mexican drug cartels.  The drug cartels in Mexico have been on a rampage of killing.  Just a few months ago several headless bodies were discovered near the American border, all linked back to deaths by drug cartel hands.  The White House and congressional Republicans are at odds due to the controversial program that has allowed the guns to get to the drug cartels.  President Obama provided Attorney General Holder with executive privilege regarding the issue.  The head of the House Panel will examine the government’s conduct and decide if there were issues of law enforcement breaches.  Some believe the acts were not in contempt of Congress, but that is what the rulings will be about.

For those looking from the outside in to the issue, it might be surmised that a program giving guns to the cartels would just spark issues for the military.  A military move into Mexico might be the only way to make non-drug related families safe and stop any drug cartel movements over the American border.  There are no talks as yet that the military moves will be towards Mexico but it can be assured that clandestine moves might occur in the near future, depending on Congress’ decision.

The Justice Department may prove troublesome because it can withhold documents from Congress; however, a subpoena will make the courts open the documents to the Oversight Committee.  It will be a long process to determine if any of the moves by US law enforcement were indeed in contempt of the US.  A letter to the Oversight Committee stated that the Justice Department is disappointed that the Committee seems to want to proceed with the contempt vote.  The documents in question involve Operation Fast and Furious, which originated in Arizona where guns were put into the hands of purchasers known to have links to the smuggling cartels.  Apparently thousands of these guns appeared in Mexico and one has been linked to a US border agent killing recently.  It is this killing that brought the moves to light.

Issues of this magnitude are quite serious.  The drug cartels have been battling for control in recent years with all of the changes that have happened in Mexico.  The fact that they are gaining more power because of their access to guns has perhaps led to major issues with relationships between Mexico and America.  These relationships are already strained under the Obama administration, given his stance on immigration and the number of Mexicans who have been sent back.  Many have also stated that they would return by being smuggled in again.  The economic downturn may have helped with some of the immigration issues, but on the whole there is definitely an issue with the border relationship.

The evidence that certain authorities allowed guns to be purchased by the cartels knowingly creates quite the issue.  The resolution by the congressional committee might be the first controversial issue of the new decade.

Jon Huser