Fox News reports today that Mexican lawmakers want the U.S. government officials behind the “Gun Walker” scandal extradited to Mexico, where they can face judgment in Mexican courts for the hundreds of people killed by the guns our Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives pushed across the border.
“I obviously feel violated. I feel my country’s sovereignty was violated,” Mexico Sen. Rene Arce Islas told Fox News. “They should be tried in the United States and the Mexican government should also demand that they also be tried in Mexico since the incidents took place here. There should be trials in both places.”
Arce is chairman of Mexico’s Commission for National Security, a congressional panel similar to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee.
So after we’re done grilling these characters in the United States, we hand them over to Mexico for another trial? Would they have to serve the sentences from both courts, and if so, would they get credit for time served before checking into the Mexican prison system?
Keep in mind that depending on how the Gun Walker investigation shakes out – and how loudly outbound ATF chief Ken Melson sings – the officials Senator Arce wants to perp-walk across the Rio Grande could include Attorney General Eric Holder, Homeland Security secretary Janet Napolitano, and maybe even President Barack Obama.
No matter how heinous the deed, it should be American courts that hold our politicians responsible for dereliction of duty. Allowing other nations, or trans-national organizations, to criminalize American policy decisions is unwise. It’s no more appealing today than it was when far-left bloggers were daydreaming about George Bush and Dick Cheney getting arrested during overseas visits and dragged off to the Hague, so they could be tried for war crimes.
[Arce’s] point of view is shared by many Mexican politicians, including Sen. Santiago Creel, a former Interior Minister and the likely presidential nominee next year of the National Action Party to succeed Felipe Calderone, also of PAN.
“I think we should at least try to prove that what happened in Mexico must be sanctioned by Mexican laws and under our sovereignty,” Creel told us. “What can’t happen is that this now ends on an administrative sanction, or a resignation. No, no, no. Human lives were lost here. A decision was made to carry out an operation that brought very high risk to human lives.”
The anger of these Mexican officials is understandable. What the ATF did through its “Operation Fast and Furious” is not difficult to characterize as an act of war. There is little practical difference between this bizarre program and Iran or Syria smuggling arms to Hamas.
Fox News notes that “Mexico doesn’t completely understand Operation Fast and Furious, the American plan to help send assault rifles to Mexico as a means of exposing the gun trafficking rings that operate along the border.” The more completely Mexican and American citizens understand this program, the less they like it. Senator Creel is quite correct to note that this has gone far beyond the point where a few well-timed resignations from cut-outs and fall guys would be an acceptable ending for the Gun Walker saga.
The people responsible for this operation should be made to explain themselves to the families of both Americans and Mexicans killed by their astonishing negligence. If it can be proven that this was a political operation, intended to generate headlines useful for the American gun control movement, then they should be wearing orange jumpsuits when they do it, because they are guilty of far worse than negligence.