Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Alright Chumps, let’s do this: Leeroy Jenkins presents great moments in bad ideas history. Today’s Episode, Operation “Fast and Furious.”

If reports are reliable, at very best this harebrained scheme had a 32.33% (repeating of course) chance of success, assuming that we can figure out exactly what its creators thought it would accomplish.

Rendered as a familiar WoW episode:

We join the World of Warcraft gang (Leeroy, Jamaal, Ritter, Forekin, Therien, Spiffy, Basphemy and Abduhl) outside the drug cartel dragon lair / rookery, as they discuss strategy (explanatory insertions where necessary). The group of avatars is surrounding Leeroy, weapons occasionally twirling, the odd bounce in place, as avatars tend to do:

Leeroy has the floor: “So, guys, the basic idea is like this: We normally tail and arrest ‘straw buyers’...”

[Ed. These are people that can legally purchase guns. They purchase the guns, and then turn them over to drug trafficking gangs. At this point the straw men are breaking law.]

“SOP is to arrest them after they purchase the guns or upon transfer of firearms to the drug gang elements. Right?”

Others: “Right.”

“Well, here’s the new improved idea. You all are going to love this. Let’s NOT arrest those guys, and, not only allow them to turn the items over to the gangs, but allow those guns to make the trip into the belly of the drug cartel beast, and be redistributed to its various gangs.”

The others exchange quizzical looks, fidget, bounce in place, twirl weapons occasionally, but still listen.

Leeroy continues: “But, wait, here’s the genius part! Before we do all that, we’ll work with the firearms dealers to record the serial numbers of the guns that straw men purchase. We’ll tell ‘em who the straw men are, so they’ll be on the lookout for them. Then, get this…when the straw men do buy the guns, and do turn them over to the drug gangs, and when those guns make their way into the redistribution network of the cartels, the local gangs in Mexico or on the border will have these guns, and then we can recover them at crime scenes. And, we won’t let the Mexican government in on the plan. Whooo-boy! But we’ll have the guns...We’ll have the serial numbers! We’ll nail ‘em. What do you think guys? Great eh?”

More uncomfortable silence, shuffling, bouncing in place, weapon twirling and quizzical looks. Finally, Jamaal speaks:

Jamaal: “Er…OK...I’m not clear here Leeroy. How is this good?”

Leeroy: “Well, if we are recovering the firearms, we’ll have a clearer picture of the network, kind of like cardiologists sending radioactive tracers through the circulatory system...see?”

J: “But, don’t you have to be watching the circulation of the guns at all times to be able to see the network?”

L: “What do you mean?”

J: “Well, you’re not informing the Mexicans, right?”

L: “Yep.”

J: “So, they will not be able to watch the flow as it goes on?”

L: “Yes.”

J: “And we are not going to watch the flow because we don’t have nearly enough agents inside these groups, but we’re going to allow the guns into the belly of the beast, for redistribution. Right?”

L: “Yes.”

J: “So, we are blind and the Mexicans are clueless. It’s like you’ve injected the radioactive tracer but didn’t turn the X-Ray machine on Leeroy.”

[Ed: Jamaal knows what he is talking about. When not playing WoW, he’s a radiological technician by profession. And, Spiffy is a dentist]

Spiffy: “Leeroy, Jamaal’s got something there...”

L: “But, we will be able to recover the firearms at crime scenes! See? We’ll have ‘em dead to rights.”

Leeroy is becoming visibly agitated. His avatar’s weapon is twirling and he is bouncing in place at a furious rate.

Ritter now steps in. He’s a lawyer by day: “Leeroy, in terms of end results how is this plan of yours any better than what we usually do? When we follow the straw men and arrest them and the gang members they interact with immediately upon transfer of goods, don’t we actually prevent the guns being used to kill people? With your plan one of our people could end up being killed with the damn guns we let in there.”

L: “Well, yes, but...”

Forekin follows up. He’s a third grade teacher: “Uh huh, and don’t we dry up the supply if we just concentrate on the straw men? Isn’t that good?”

L: “But we have to dry up demand too.”

F: “Without the cooperation of the Mexicans. Uh huh. Right.”

L: “But, can we trust them? The corruption is endemic...”

Jamaal: “So, let me get this straight Leeroy, we are going to trace the circulation, and find nodes of the cartel organization after we purposefully turn off the X-Ray machine, and while we keep the Mexicans in the dark. And, we might even end up getting some of our own people killed in the process. Leeroy, you are just as stupid as hell.”

Leeroy has had enough talk: “Never mind that chumps! Let’s do this!”

He jumps up, brandishes his weapon and runs pell mell into the dragon lair:

“Leeroy Jeeenkiiins!”

And we know how that turned out…

Unfortunately, it wasn’t avatars that were the victims of the bad planning in the real world.

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