Why was the U.S. government, through “undercover” agents at the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms allowing known Mexican drug cartel members to buy weapons in the United States? Who in the administration gave the orders to do this and why?
Consider the well-known anti-gun stance of the Obama administration. Could it be that this covert government operation, which appears to go all the way “upstream” in the administration, was a way to gain public support for increased gun control legislation? [Chuck Norris thinks so.]
Keep that in mind while you read the latest developments in what is now being called the “Fast and Furious” investigation. Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and his Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is trying to pry documents out of the Obama administration. There should be strong public support of his efforts. Here’s why:
Think how evil this is: The Barack Obama administration, through the Eric Holder Department of Justice and on down, was selling weapons to the drug gangs who are brutally gunning down and butchering their own people, police and elected officials: 35,000 dead in the past four years, 1400 dead in April alone, 15,000 last year. It appears this gun operation was being done to make the case for stricter gun controls in the U.S.; that America’s liberal gun laws were allowing the cartels to easily come and purchase weapons. While the Obama administration idealogues manipulated the facts, how many people died in Mexico due to the U.S. government-faciliated firepower? Don’t forget that this whole thing “blew” wide open because U.S. drug agents in Mexico were killed with the very weapons their government made available.
How many more people died because of a small group of elitist liberals and their visceral ideology against gun ownership. [read my archives of murders, beheadings, kidnappings and Middle East terror connections in Mexican drug cartel]
National Rifle Association president Wayne LaPierre delivered a blistering speech to the national membership last week, demanding that U.S. attorney general Eric Holder resign immediately because: He either directed the gun deal himself, or he had knowledge of it and should have stopped it. [ listen to his speech here.]
Here is the latest news in the past week in “Operation Fast and Furious.” Congressman Issa called Attorney General Eric Holder for questioning…..and didn’t get very far with him. This is a lawless government. Try to catch them.
“Congressional investigators have just released documents in the so-called gunwalking scandal at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF). This in advance of a Senate hearing in which Attorney General Eric Holder will testify.
One document indicates a Holder Asst. Attorney General, Lanny Breuer, authorized a wiretap in the controversial gun trafficking case headquartered in Phoenix. In that case, called “Fast and Furious,” multiple sources say ATF allowed thousands of guns to hit the streets, destined for Mexican drug cartels.
Yesterday, at a House hearing, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) asked
Holder who authorized Fast and Furious. President Obama has previously said neither he nor Holder authorized the operation.
“What about the Asst. Attorney General of the Criminal Division, Lanny Breuer? Did he authorize it?” Issa asked Holder.
“I’m not sure,” answered Holder.
Another newly-released document is an ATF Briefing Paper dated Jan. 8, 2010, just four months into Fast and Furious – which continued for over a year. It indicates that ATF knew early on that so-called “straw purchasers” who bought guns for personal use were illegally transferring them to third parties, and that some of the guns were already showing up in Mexico.
Critics say this counters claims of ATF and Dept. of Justice officials who have recently argued nobody was intentionally letting guns “walk,” that there was simply no evidence to stop people who legally purchased guns.
The Briefing Paper says more gun purchases were to be allowed and “monitored.”
The practice of law enforcement allowing guns to hit the streets is known as letting guns “walk.” Critics say it’s a dangerous practice that is virtually unprecedented in law enforcement because it’s deemed too dangerous to ever be allowed, even for a larger goal.
The ATF Briefing Paper also states that Arizona US Attorney Burke was in “full agreement with the current investigative strategy.”
In response to the controversy, Holder issued directives to US Attorneys in recent weeks making it clear that guns should never be allowed to “walk” even if intercepting them jeopardizes a bigger investigation.
Late today, the Department of Justice sent this statement about our story:
“The review process for wiretap applications is a narrow assessment of whether a legal basis exists to support a surveillance request that ultimately goes before a judge for decision. These reviews are not approval of the underlying investigations or operations. As the department has stated, the Fast and Furious operation was approved by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona and the ATF Phoenix Field Office. The investigation was subsequently approved by the multi-agency Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Program.
The Attorney General takes the allegations that have been raised seriously, which is why he has asked the Inspector General to investigate and made clear to everyone in the Department that under no circumstances should guns be allowed to cross the border.”
“In a second, equally explosive disclosure, a law enforcement source tells Fox News, that ATF undercover agents were acting as the straw buyers and purchasing guns using government-issued false identifications and then providing those guns to cartel traffickers to gain credibility in their undercover roles. In that capacity, the ATF “provided 2, 50 cal. machine guns to traffickers that are loose in Mexico and unaccounted for,” the source said.”
From the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Committee website, Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.):
“WASHINGTON- At a House Judiciary Committee hearing yesterday, House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa confronted Attorney General Eric Holder on the DOJ’s Operation Fast and Furious, a highly controversial operation where federal authorities facilitated the purchase of assault weapons for drug cartels and chose not to interdict them before being transported to Mexico.
While Attorney General Holder was unwilling to provide answer about who at the Department of Justice authorized, knew about, and even whether he still defended Operation Fast and Furious, three new documents provide information that Attorney General Holder did not address in response to questions posed by Rep. Issa.
“Two federal agents are dead,” said Chairman Issa. “While Attorney General Holder and other top officials at the Justice Department have refused to address the reckless decisions made in Operation Fast and Furious that have created a serious public safety hazard, investigations led by Sen. Charles Grassley and I continue to receive information from deeply concerned insiders who believe those responsible for what has occurred cannot be trusted to investigate themselves.”
What the documents say that Attorney General Holder wouldn’t:
US Attorney for the District of Arizona Dennis Burke was in full agreement with the investigative strategy of allowing the transfer of firearms to continue.
A January 8, 2010 memo from the ATF Phoenix Field Division Office on Operation Fast and Furious noting the involvement of US Attorney for the District of Arizona Dennis Burke who was in “full agreement with the current investigative strategy.” The memo states that “currently our strategy is to allow the transfer of firearms to continue to take place … in order to further the investigation and allow for the identification of additional co-conspirators who would continue to operate and illegally traffic firearms to Mexican [Drug Trafficking Organizations].”
Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer knew about and even approved a wiretap application for suspects targeted in Operation Fast and Furious over a year ago
A March 10, 2010 memo from Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer authorizing a wiretap application and revealing his participation in and knowledge of Operation Fast and Furious.
As Pressure from Congress has risen, DOJ officials are now scrambling to stop the practice of letting guns walk into Mexico.
A March 10, 2011 e-mail referencing a directive from the Deputy Attorney General ordering law enforcement agents not to “design or conduct undercover operations which include guns crossing the border.” The e-mail clarifies that this includes “cases where we are working with the Mexican government to have them follow the vehicles once they are in Mexico.
Holder: This operation has gotten a great deal of publicity.
Issa: There are dead Americans as a result of this failed and reckless program. So I would say this hasn’t gotten enough attention, has it Mr. Attorney General?
Issa: Mr. Attorney General, we’re looking at you. We’re looking at your key people who knew or should have known about this and whether or not your judgment was consistent with good practices and whether or not, instead, the Justice Department is basically guilty of allowing weapons to kill Americans and Mexicans. So will you agree to cooperate with that investigation, both on the House and Senate side?
Holder: We’ll certainly cooperate with all the investigations, but I’m going to take great exception to what you just said. The notion that somehow or other, this Justice Department is responsible for those deaths that you mentioned, that assertion is offensive. I want to tell you that -
Issa: But what if it is accurate, Mr. Attorney General?
Issa: So what am I going to tell Agent Terry’s mother about how he died at the hand of a gun that was videotaped as it was sold to a straw purchaser fully expecting it to end up in the hands of drug cartels?
Holder: Well, you know, what we’ll have to see exactly what happened with regard to the guns that are at issue there. And I’ve attended funerals, you know? This is something that – This isn’t theoretical. It’s not political. This is extremely real from me, as Attorney General.
Issa: It is for us too.”
Nothing but mushmouth from the U.S. Attorney general. Patterico has the complete testimony and a transcript with notes here. Here is an excerpt: