- Eric Holder’s exoneration by Fast and Furious report strains credibility!
by Jim Geraghty, guardian.co.uk
Can we believe that information on the disastrous gun-trafficking operation repeatedly reached the AG’s office but not the AG?
Picture it: US federal prosecutors and agents, deeply frustrated over an inability to stem violence related to the drug trade and Mexican cartels, decide to pursue a bold strategy to go after arms trafficking on the US-Mexican border.
Under the plan, agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives will permit known gun traffickers to make “straw purchases” – legal purchases of firearms in significant quantities to be resold to criminals on the other side of the border. This sort of purchase-monitoring had been used before, but the existing law enforcement policy was to intercept the arms shipments shortly after purchase or transfer. Under the new approach, the guns will “walk” – into the hands of the cartel buyers, allowing investigators to identify how the firearms were being paid for and transported to Mexico – and set up major prosecutions of the cartels in the future.
But the more significant busts never come. Instead, more than 2,000 firearms – mostly AK-47 style rifles and FN Herstal 5.7mm caliber pistols – flow across the border into the hands of the cartels. No arrests or indictments are made. The agents on the ground start complaining. The guns start showing up at crime scenes in Mexico.
Only when gunman use the weapons to murder a federal law enforcement agent, US Customs and Border Protection Agent Brian Terry, does the program get shut down and arrests of the “little fish” suspects occur.
If you read this scenario in a thriller novel, you would probably toss the book away halfway through, dismissing the agents’ and prosecutors’ foolishness on a grand scale as too implausible. But that is indeed what occurred in “Operation Fast and Furious”, a deadly scandal of egregiously reckless judgment in federal law enforcement that has received far too little attention from the media in the United States.
Since the story broke in early 2011, most of the parties involved, including US Attorney General Eric Holder and other department of justice (DOJ) officials, have reserved comment or offered few details, citing an ongoing investigation by the DOJ’s office of inspector general (OIG). After 19 months, OIG completed and released its report, recommended that the justice department take disciplinary action against 14 current and former officials from the department and ATF.
Ben Swann, Fast & Furious –
Reality Check: U.S. Backing a Mexican Drug Cartel !