Second, the Bush operation ("Wide Receiver") was shut down long before F&F began ... when they realized it wasn't working, they shut it down. And that operation had even used tracking devices on the guns. The bad guys figured it out, and were removing the tracking devices, and the guns were "lost". So the operation was terminated. The #s of guns involved were much less than F&F distributed ... and F&F had no effective provisions for tracking the guns. F&F was separate and distinct from the Bush operation. And, guess one might say it was pretty much dumber, since they already knew about the failure of Wide Receiver. And would the F&F operation still be going on if someone of conscience at the field level had not blown the whistle on it? You may recall there were emails that hinted that the flaws in the operation that allowed these guns to be used in violence & traced back to the US might carry some collateral benefit to the cause of stricter gun control. Makes me wonder if anybody even cared about catching any of the bad guys or a few dead Mexicans as long as the gun control agenda could be advanced.
Nope, not at all surprising to me or you that some (many? most?) of the arms end up in the hands of the wrong people. Evidently, however, it WAS a surprise to Obama (according to the Times article).