the Church, the State, and me

Lord, thou hast made us for thyself, therefore our hearts are restless until they rest in thee.
- St. Augustine of Hippo
Posts tagged "ATF"

Yes, friends, this is the information the DOJ thinks you (and Congress) are entitled to review about the ATF Fast and Furious program:

DOJ redacted Fast and Furious file shown by Rep. D. Issa (R-CA)

Moe Lane has more, including the entire CBS Face the Nation segment on Fast and Furious with Rep. Darryl Issa (R-CA):

…[This] is one of the pages that the Department of Justice considered to be an adequate response to an information request by the House Oversight Committee. About the only information that you can gather from that is that the Justice Department apparently has plenty of black ink.

Check it out.

Fast & Furious strikes again. From the LA Times:

High-powered assault weapons illegally purchased under the ATF’s Fast and Furious program in Phoenix ended up in a home belonging to the purported top Sinaloa cartel enforcer in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, whose organization was terrorizing that city with the worst violence in the Mexican drug wars.

In all, 100 assault weapons acquired under Fast and Furious were transported 350 miles from Phoenix to El Paso, making that West Texas city a central hub for gun traffickers. Forty of the weapons made it across the border and into the arsenal of Jose Antonio Torres Marrufo, a feared cartel leader in Ciudad Juarez, according to federal court records and trace documents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

These Fast and Furious guns were going to Sinaloans, and they are killing everyone down there,” said one knowledgeable U.S. government source, who asked for anonymity because of the ongoing investigations. “But that’s only how many we know came through Texas. Hundreds more had to get through.”…

Under Fast and Furious, begun in fall 2009, the ATF allowed illegal buyers to walk away with weapons in the hope that agents in Phoenix could track the guns and arrest cartel leaders…

And DOJ Sec. Holder is still stonewalling this investigation.

Don’t forget—guns released through Fast & Furious have been implicated in the death of at least one U.S. Border Patrol Agent and unknown innocent Mexicans. Answers on this were needed months ago.

Check it out.

Has critical mass been reached on this story?

So much is happening so quickly, it’s best to take a look at Legal Insurrection and their list of most recent stories on the ATF Fast & Furious debacle:

… Three major revelations have recently come to light.

1. The ATF actually bought weapons with taxpayer funds and sold them to Mexican drug cartels.  They did not merely observe and encourage existing gun dealers…

2.  Attorney General Eric Holder may have lied to Congress about when he became aware of Operation Fast & Furious…

3. Three White House officials  were kept apprised of the operation, but it is unclear how much they knew or who they shared it with…

And from the L.A. Times, a report on ATF officials reassigned:

The new assignments [for William J. Hoover, the No. 2 man at ATF, and Thomas Brandon, who ran the Phoenix field office] along with other job changes, were announced today by Todd Jones, the U.S. attorney in Minneapolis who was named acting head of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives this year. He succeeded ATF chief Kenneth Melson, who was reassigned to a lower-level position in the Justice Department.

Hoover had broad supervision over Fast and Furious, was given routine updates on the “gun walking” operation, and grew concerned over the number of firearms getting into Mexico without any U.S. indictments on this side of the border.

He tried to get it shut down six months after it began in the fall of 2009. But he failed, and the program continued until January of this year. During that time, a U.S. Border Patrol agent was killed in Arizona and two Fast and Furious weapons were recovered at the scene.

Under the program, the ATF allowed the illegal purchase of countless weapons and expected agents to track them to Mexican drug cartels.

Instead, more than 2,000 were lost and many turned up in at least 170 violent crime scenes in Mexico

And from the New York Post, a look at the panic inside the Department of Justice as more and more is exposed:

Justice Department documents indicate that Holder knew of the operation way back in July 2010 — far earlier than the “in the last few weeks” that he told congressional investigators under oath last May.

Memos from Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer and others to Holder clearly show the scope, if not the nature, of the disastrous project: “This investigation, initiated in September 2009 … involves … straw purchasers [who] are responsible for the purchase of 1,500 firearms that were then supplied to Mexican drug cartels.”…

And coverup there seems to be. On top of stonewalling Rep. Darrell Issa’s House investigation of the mess, Justice has floated a series of contradictory excuses:

* There was no such program.

* Even if there weres, Holder never knew about it.

* Even if he should have known about it, he might not have read Breuer’s memos.

* Even if he read Breuer’s memos, he misunderstood the simple question: “When did you first know about the program, officially, I believe, called Fast and Furious?”…

If Holder is so innocent, why, sources inside Justice say, are folks there engaging in a panicked orgy of finger-pointing and blame-shifting?

A trial balloon has reportedly been floated within Justice to essentially eliminate the ATF by firing 450 agents and transferring the embattled agency’s duties to the Drug Enforcement Administration and the FBI.

While the bulk of the national press corps is off inspecting Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s back forty for residual signs of racism, CBS’ Sharyl Attkisson and Fox’s William La Jeunesse have been doing the heavy lifting on Fast and Furious — and getting some tough pushback from Obama officials…

They never learn, do they? Although in this case, I don’t know if the coverup is worse than the crime, since the crime resulted in deaths of U.S. Border Patrol agents and who knows how many Mexican citizens.

More on the Fast & Furious ATF cover-up from Michael Walsh at the New York Post:

… After months of pretending that “Fast and Furious” was a botched surveillance operation of illegal gun-running spearheaded by the ATF and the US attorney’s office in Phoenix, it turns out that the government itself was selling guns to the bad guys.

Agent John Dodson was ordered to buy four Draco pistols for cash and even got a letter from his supervisor, David Voth, authorizing a federally licensed gun dealer to sell him the guns without bothering about the necessary paperwork.

“Please accept this letter in lieu of completing an ATF Form 4473 for the purchase of four (4) CAI, Model Draco, 7.62x39 mm pistols, by Special Agent John Dodson,” read the June 1, 2010, letter. “These aforementioned pistols will be used by Special Agent Dodson in furtherance of performance of his official duties.”

On orders, Dodson then sold the guns to known criminals, who first stashed them away and then — deliberately unhindered by the ATF or any other agency — whisked them off to Mexico.

People were killed with Fast and Furious weapons, including at least two American agents and hundreds of Mexicans. And the taxpayers picked up the bill.

So where’s the outrage?

There’s none from the feds. Attorney General Eric Holder has consistently stonewalled Rep. Darrell Issa, Sen. Chuck Grassley and other congressional investigators.

In a constantly evolving set of lies, Holder has denied knowing anything about Fast and Furious while at the same time withholding documents from the House and Senate committees looking into the mess while muzzling some witnesses and transferring others…

Read the whole article to see Walsh’s possible explanations for a government operation like this. None of them are pretty—but which of them are likely? Check it out.