Very soon after his inauguration, Barack Obama decided to move ahead with plans to use the horrific number of deaths in the Mexican drug wars as a pretext for new gun control laws.
On March 26, 2009, Attorney General Eric Holder proposed a ban on "assault weapons" in order to reduce violence south of the border.
The administration made its case by citing a GAO report. "The number of guns that are used by the drug cartels against the police and the military -- 90 percent of them come from America," Hillary Clinton declared later the same day.
The number was too good to be true. The report actually states that of about 30,000 firearms seized from criminals in 2008, the Mexican government submitted only 7,200 (25%) to the ATF. The authorities knew or suspected that the rest came from their own military or police, or overseas suppliers. Of the 7,200 weapons, only about 4,000 could be traced, and of these 4,000 about 3,480 (87%) originated in the U.S. The real figure for guns seized from criminals in Mexico that could be traced to the U.S. is thus about 11.6%.
There is no other reasonable explanation for Fast and Furious except to improve on this dismal number.