Operation Fast and Furious Twist, DOJ Involvement Deeper Than ATF

Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry killed by weapons purchased in Operation Fast and Furious
Among the many serious scandals that have plagued Barack Obama’s presidency and for which nobody in charge has ever been held accountable, Operation Fast and Furious was one which the White House had hoped was forgotten, but the original ATF whistleblower has revealed a new twist. Attorney General Eric Holder, who previously lied to Congress about his knowledge of the botched illegal gun-running scheme, cannot escape the obvious fact that he is still responsible, ultimately, for the entire tragic and criminal enterprise.

Fast and Furious was an ATF sting operation that allowed associates of Mexican drug cartels to enter the United States and make straw purchases of firearms in US gun stores, before returning to Mexico with the weapons and selling them to the cartels. The stated objective was to track and apprehend senior cartel members but this never happened; the weapons were not tracked effectively – if at all – and most of them disappeared; some being recovered later at the scenes of numerous murders.

Since an ATF agent blew the whistle on the operation – which began in 2009 – congressional hearings have failed to reach any actionable conclusions; the Justice Department (DoJ), of which the ATF is a branch, has refused to hand over most of the documentation relating to this criminal enterprise. The Attorney General himself lied to Congress when he told the hearing that he had known nothing about the operation until just a couple of weeks before the hearings. The oversight committee later acquired internal documents that proved Holder had known about the operation much earlier.

The House of Representatives later voted to hold the Attorney General in contempt. As head of the Justice Department, he clearly knew of, and approved, the illegal gun-running; since, if he did not, then he displayed a level of incompetency that would warrant instant dismissal. The guns that Holder allowed to be sold to Mexican criminals have been linked to the deaths of over 200 Mexican citizens and at least two US federal agents.

The latest revelation comes in a book, The Unarmed Truth – the publication of which the Obama administration attempted to block. In the book, former ATF Special Agent John Dobson states that the FBI – also part of the Justice Department – was working closely with Mexican drug gangs, setting them up to “rip off” drug shipments coming over the border into the US. One such encounter lead to a shoot-out with an elite tactical team from Border Patrol. The gun battle claimed the life of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry. Dobson claims that his information is based on firsthand knowledge, personal opinion and press reports. Whilst it is possible to question the veracity of “personal opinion and press reports,” it is beyond question that the facts so far established should have resulted in criminal charges for a number of top Justice Department officials.

Those facts are; that Operation Fast and Furious was actually begun in 2009. During a televised interview with Univision, President Obama stated that the operation was actually begun during the Bush administration and that Holder had no prior knowledge of it: Both of these statements were already known not to be true.

A similar sting operation was, In fact, conducted by the ATF, during the Bush years; known as “Wide Receiver,” this operation involved far fewer weapons and was conducted with the knowledge and co-operation of the Mexican authorities – Fast and Furious was a different operation, conducted without notifying the Mexican government or law enforcement agencies. At the scene of Brian Terry’s death, two long guns – described as “assault-style” rifles – were recovered and later traced to operation Fast and Furious. Eric Holder lied under oath when he told a congressional hearing that he had no prior knowledge of Fast and Furious. In reality, internal DoJ documents revealed that Holder had known about the operation far earlier than he had stated.

Wide Receiver was also unsuccessful because of the ATF’s inability to track the weapons. Although the impact of Wide Receiver was not as tragic as Fast and Furious, the implications are the same; the federal government of the United States was deliberately circumventing US firearms laws – or allowing others to do so. As now, criminal charges should have been brought against the US Attorney General, who, as head of the Justice Department, must have known and was ultimately responsible. Nobody should get to decide what is and is not legal, based on a political preference.

“Essentially,” says Dobson, “the United States government is involved in cartel-building.” His claims are supported by a former member of the ruthless Sinaloa Cartel, Jesus Vicente Zambada-Niebla. Awaiting trial on federal drug charges, Zambada-Niebla claims that the DEA, another DoJ agency, granted him immunity from prosecution in exchange for information and described an environment of collusion between the DEA and the Sinaloa Cartel.

Like Benghazi, Operation Fast and Furious is an episode, the Obama Administration wishes, would be forgotten. Justice Department involvement goes far deeper than a small group of ATF agents in Arizona. Three DoJ agencies have now been drawn into the gun-running debacle. Speculation attributes several different agendas to Fast and Furious, including conspiring with the Sinaloa Cartel to bring down its rivals and creating justification to introduce sweeping gun-control measures in the US. Whatever the true agenda behind the ill-fated operation, the mere idea that the Attorney General was in no way involved with the decision-making in this operation becomes increasingly implausible.

Editorial by Graham J Noble

Sources:
The Blaze
The Examiner
Investor’s Business Daily

One Response to "Operation Fast and Furious Twist, DOJ Involvement Deeper Than ATF"

  1. Stanley A. McHugh   December 28, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    The more I see about “Fast and Furious” the more frustrated I become. I propose that everything that happened with the Mexican drug cartels including Brian Terry’s death was actually “after the fact” activity and was really part of the coverup for the original purpose for the entire operation. I will explain.

    Well before “Fast and Furious” became public, I had a very interesting conversation with a friend who at the time managed of one of several units of a large Houston, TX gun store chain and who also happened to be a retired police captain. In our conversation he related to me something that he found very strange that had been happening in their stores. He described an instance that he had handled personally in which an individual came in to the store and wanted to buy several AR 15s. Although this individual had all of the required identification, something about him made my friend (the retired cop) suspicious so he made the buyer wait while he went into the back room and called the BATF. After describing the situation to the BATF agent over the phone he got a very surprising response. He was told to go ahead and sell the weapons along with being told, “You make the sale and we’ll make the case”. This happened several more times at other stores in the chain and always with the same instruction: “You make the sale and we’ll make the case”.

    Sometime following the visits by the “straw buyer” my friend was visited in the store by two individuals claiming to be BATF agents to discuss what had happened. While talking to these two gentlemen my friend learned, somewhat to his surprise, that they were not actual agents of the BATF but were rather private investigators working under sub contract to the agency. In other words nothing that these so called “agents” said or did in the matter could later be taken as any sort of official Agency word or position.

    Based on what my friend told me, I believe that the entire “Fast and Furious” operation as originally planned had nothing whatever to do with tracing guns to Mexican drug cartels. It was instead, planned as a “sting” operation intended to entrap large American retail gun dealers into breaking the law regarding “straw buyers” with the goal of shutting them down. Fortunately, that never happened anywhere it was attempted and all of the dealers so approached followed the law to the letter. All of the later fallout, including the tragic death of Brian Terry, was the result of those originally behind the entire operation fumbling around trying to come up with some sort of excuse to hide the real facts from the public. We certainly have other examples of incompetent coverups being launched by our current administration following botched operations. Remember that the first attempt to explain Benghazi was that it was all caused by some unknown anti Islamic video.

    Has anyone ever heard anything regarding the original “straw buyers” and whether or not they were ever apprehended and prosecuted? In order to buy guns at US stores the purchaser must be a US citizen and a legal resident of the state where the purchase is being made. “Straw buying” or intentionally buying guns for someone not themselves legally able to purchase firearms, is a crime. Are these original “straw buyers” in jail, now?

    The entire idea of supposedly having “straw buyers” walk in to stores and buy guns at retail prices to illegally export to sell or transfer to Mexican drug cartels should certainly raise questions. First of all, do Mexican drug cartel leaders, who have huge supplies of untraceable cash, actually arm their private armies by buying semi automatic weapons in small numbers at retail prices from stores in the US where records are kept? Don’t these individuals have the ability to buy fully automatic weapons directly from either offshore arms dealers or even manufacturers in shipping container quantities at wholesale prices? Secondly, if the so called “straw buyers” were actually working for the cartels as claimed, how did our people know about them and what were our plans for tracing the buyers and guns back to Mexico? To whom did these US citizen “straw buyers” actually report, the Mexican cartels as claimed or someone much closer to home? Could it have been someone with the power to keep them from going to jail? One might conclude that Eric Holder has very good reason to keep his mouth shut even if it means a contempt citation from Congress.

    Stan McHugh
    Bellaire, Texas

    Reply

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