Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Project Gunrunner/Operation Fast and Furious update

Uh-oh. Reuters is on the beat. That can't be good news for Team O.

Since ATF agents were told not to track them, why should this be a big surprise?

At least 122 firearms from a botched U.S. undercover operation have been found at crime scenes in Mexico or intercepted en route to drug cartels there, a Republican congressional report issued on Tuesday said.

Mexican authorities found AK-47 assault rifles, powerful .50 caliber rifles and other weapons as early as November 2009 that were later linked to the U.S. sting operation to trace weapons crossing the border to Mexico, the report said.

Guns from the program, dubbed "Operation Fast and Furious," were also found at the scene of the murder of a U.S. Border Patrol agent in the border state of Arizona last December. It is unclear if they were the weapons responsible for his death.
(italics, ours)

Again, with the "botched" and whether or not those guns were the actual ones that killed Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry is a distinction without a difference.

Of the 2,000 weapons sold to the suspected gun traffickers, just over half remain unaccounted for, the report added. The ATF was unaware of most of the gun sales when they occurred, according to the Justice Department, which oversees it.

"Given the vast amount of 'Operation Fast and Furious' weapons possibly still in the hands of cartel members, law enforcement officials should expect more seizures and recoveries at crime scenes," the congressional report said.

Terrific. So, we've got 1,000 weapons out in god-knows-where in the hands of god-knows-who and we expect to recover more at crime scenes where hopefully there are not dead bodies present as well.

In further grilling today on Capitol Hill:

ATF officials acknowledged making mistakes but the head of the Phoenix office at the time, William Newell, insisted the sting did not let weapons freely go to Mexico and the goal was to take down the network supplying the drug cartels.

"It is my opinion that we did not let guns walk," he said.

"You're entitled to your opinion, not to your facts," Issa quickly retorted.

Issa's right. There is sworn testimony from ATF agents that they were ordered to stand down when it came to actually tracking the weapons purchased here back into Mexico.

Speaking of Issa, here he is at a presser, we're assuming after the hearings yesterday.

(via: The Washington Times)

From the time we started following this, we've pondered the same thing Issa muses upon: either the miserable hack that runs the Justice Department did know about this and at least gave it his tacit approval and then lied to Congress about his knowledge of it or because he is so incompetent, he knew nothing of the true nature of an operation of this magnitude and we're not really sure which is worse?

Either way, we're in the very best of hands.

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