I haven’t covered this scandal in a while, so here is a roundup of where this story has been going. Who knows, it might even get serious enough that the MSM will take a break from looking under rocks in middle-of-nowhere-Texas for dirt on Republicans and focus on the ATF selling thousands of guns to drug cartels that were used to kill hundreds. 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.
Not only did U.S. officials approve, allow and assist in the sale of more than 2,000 guns to the Sinaloa cartel — the federal government used taxpayer money to buy semi-automatic weapons, sold them to criminals and then watched as the guns disappeared…
According to documents obtained by Fox News, Agent John Dodson was ordered to buy six semi-automatic Draco pistols — two of those were purchased at the Lone Wolf gun store in Peoria, Ariz. An unusual sale, Dodson was sent to the store with a letter of approval from David Voth, an ATF group supervisor.
Dodson then sold the weapons toknown illegal buyers, while fellow agents watched from their cars nearby.
This was not a “buy-bust” or a sting operation, where police sell to a buyer and then arrest them immediately afterward. In this case, agents were “ordered” to let the sale go through and follow the weapons to a stash house.
According to sources directly involved in the case, Dodson felt strongly that the weapons should not be abandoned and the stash house should remain under 24-hour surveillance. However, Voth disagreed and ordered the surveillance team to return to the office. Dodson refused, and for six days in the desert heat kept the house under watch, defying direct orders from Voth.
A week later, a second vehicle showed up to transfer the weapons. Dodson called for an interdiction team to move in, make the arrest and seize the weapons. Voth refused and the guns disappeared with no surveillance.
2. Attorney General Eric Holder may have lied to Congress about when he became aware of Operation Fast & Furious.
WASHINGTON – New documents obtained by CBS News show Attorney General Eric Holder was sent briefings on the controversial Fast and Furious operation as far back as July 2010. That directly contradicts his statement to Congress.
On May 3, 2011, Holder told a Judiciary Committee hearing, “I’m not sure of the exact date, but I probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks.”
Yet internal Justice Department documents show that at least ten months before that hearing, Holder began receiving frequent memos discussing Fast and 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.
The emails indicate three White House officials were briefed on gun trafficking efforts that included Fast and Furious. The officials are Kevin O’Reilly, then-director of North American Affairs, now assigned to the State Department; Dan Restrepo, senior Latin American advisory; and Greg Gatjanis, a national security official.
The White House officials were provided information on Fast and Furious and other border gun trafficking efforts through what an administration source calls “back channels” by ATF’s then-Special Agent in Charge of Phoenix Bill Newell. “…don’t want ATF HQ to find out, especially since this is what they should be doing (briefing you),” Newell wrote in an email to the White House’s O’Reilly on July 28, 2010. Newell has since been transferred out of that post.
An administration source describes the emails as colleagues sharing information about a gun trafficking initiative. On July 28, 2010 O’Reilly emails Newell: “Just an informal ‘how’s it going?” Newell replied by reporting good progress in efforts to stop gun trafficking to Mexico, and gave specific anecdotes. “This is great; very informative,” O’Reilly replies.