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.