Under the Bush Administration this program was called “Wide Receiver”, but in that program the guns were stopped at the border and the “straw man” gun runners were arrested. Under the Obama Administration the guns were allowed to go into Mexico so that the administration could say we needed new gun laws to stop it.
Hillary Clinton early on tried to make an issue out of American guns going to drug cartels, but when the media and others investigated only a small percentage of American guns were being smuggled to the cartels; the vast majority of guns that cartels use are from the Mexican military, Colombian FARC communist rebels, etc.
So, according to whistle blowers in the ATF and recovered documents the administration sought to make the issue about American guns and the result was over 200 Mexicans killed and an American border agent gunned down.
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