Wednesday, July 6, 2011

"Operation Fast And Furious" Gets The Furious Part Right

This has been an evolving issue, the ATF's Operation Fast and Furious. In case you are unfamiliar with this program, here are the basics to this program:
A U.S. law enforcement operation intended to crack down on major weapons traffickers on the Southwest border spiraled out of control as federal agents were told by superiors to "stand down" and ignore weapons bought in Arizona headed for Mexico, a House panel heard Wednesday.

Three federal firearms investigators told the House Oversight and Government Reform committee that they wanted to "intervene and interdict" loads of guns, but were repeatedly ordered to step aside.

"Allowing loads of weapons that we knew to be destined for criminals -- this was the plan," John Dodson, a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent, testified to the panel. "It was so mandated."

He added: "My supervisors directed me and my colleagues not to make any stop or arrest, but rather, to keep the straw purchaser under surveillance while allowing the guns to walk." [snip] (Click here to read the rest.)

Holy cow. I don't know about you, but I find that to be incredibly disturbing.

This program was halted when Border Patrol Agent Brian A. Terry, 40, was killed with one of the guns from this incredibly misguided, ill conceived, dare I say, idiotic, program.

Here's the thing - finding out who actually authorized this program has been much harder than it should be. Obama denied that it was Eric Holder, though the ATF is under his purview. If you have seen any of the hearings on Capitol Hill, you know that trying to get that name has been like trying to pull hen's teeth. But Obama said that there will be swift action against whoever it was, though it sure wasn't Holder. Yeah, okay. Well, SOMEONE approved this plan.

That was then. This is now. And that is not the end of it, not by a long shot. The All Stars discussed this very issue on Tuesday night after several Mexican officials, in response to deaths in Mexico as a result ofn "Operation Fast and Furious" spoke out:

Yes, this is a big deal, and Eric Holder has lots of 'splaining to do. That's what Rep. Darrell Issa and Sen. Chuck Grassley think, too, as this Daily Caller article highlights:
Top Republican lawmakers have authored an explosive new letter containing details of secret testimony by acting ATF Director Kenneth Melson, which reveal for the first time the extent to which his agency was involved in an international gun selling scandal.

House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa, California Republican, and Sen. Chuck Grassley, Iowa Republican, fired off the letter to Attorney General Eric Holder Tuesday detailing what Melson told Congressional investigators in a secret July 4 testimony.

One key takeaway from the meeting was that Melson acknowledged to investigators that agents had witnessed transfers of weapons from straw purchasers to third parties without following the guns afterwards. Straw purchasers are people who could technically legally buy guns in the U.S. but their intent was to turn around and sell them to drug cartels in Mexico.

Another point Melson clarified for investigators was that the ATF group carrying out the mission of Operation Fast and Furious was placed under the direction of the Arizona U.S. Attorney’s office. The U.S. Attorney in Arizona, Dennis Burke, is a political appointee of the Obama administration.[snip]

Here's the thing, though - it seems that, Obama's pledge notwithstanding, the DOJ is not being at all helpful in getting to the bottom of this. Gee, aren't you surprised by that? No? I wasn't, either:
The DOJ has not been fully cooperative with a number of Issa’s and Grassley’s requests for documents and other evidence in this investigation. According to the July 5 letter, Issa and Grassley said Melson told them he asked the Office of the Deputy Attorney General (ODAG) to be more cooperative with Congressional requests for information, evidence and documents.

Their letter also details how Melson told Issa and Grassley that he and other senior ATF officials moved to reassign every major official involved in Operation Fast and Furious. Melson said Obama administration Justice Department officials directed him and other ATF officials to not communicate to Congress the reasoning behind the reassignments. [snip]
(Click here to read the rest.)

Oh, the plot thickens. No doubt, it will get thicker before all is known about this incredibly stupid, moronic plot. As you might guess, those firearms that were purchased were done so on our dime.

Despite the Democrats' attempts to try to defuse this issue and make it all about gun laws, this is about the DOJ, and the ATF. It is about who crafted, and authorized, this program which cost the life of an agent, and lives across the border. I hope Rep. Issa and Sen. Grassley stand firm in getting to the bottom of this.

I have a feeling this is just the tip of the iceberg. What do you think? Copyright © 2011 by Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy

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