Sangamon County Rifle Association
Right Reason on Second Amendment Rights
Fast & Furious Scandal: A Putrid Mess
by Jim Butler, President, SCRA
October 2011 GunNews
The "Fast and Furious" scandal hatched by the ATF which resulted in the murder of a Border Patrol Agent Terry in Arizona last December, has continued to heat up as more facts become known. At least two semi-automatic rifles ATF had allegedly allowed onto the street without interdiction in the "Fast and Furious" scheme were found at the scene.
Congressional investigators told CBS News there's evidence the U.S. Attorney's office in Arizona sought to cover up a link between their controversial gun walking operation known as "Fast and Furious" and the death of Agent Terry.
Two Republicans investigating the scandal, Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) say there's evidence that officials at ATF and the U.S. Attorney's office sought to hide the connection between Agent Terry's murder and the botched ATF operation.
Grassley and Issa wrote in a letter that lead prosecutor on "Fast and Furious", Assistant U.S. Attorney Emory Hurley, learned almost immediately that Fast and Furious guns had been recovered at the scene of Terry's murder. "In the hours after Agent Terry's death", says the letter, Hurley apparently "contemplated the connection between the two cases and sought to prevent the connection from being disclosed." The Justice Department recently transferred Hurley out of the criminal division into the civil division.
The Supervisor of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives operation in Phoenix specifically mentioned "Fast and Furious" in at least one e-mail to a White House national security official and two other White House colleagues were briefed on reports from the supervisor,according to White House e-mails and a senior administration official.
He identified the three White House officials who were briefed as Kevin M. O'Reilly, Director of North American affairs for the White House national security staff; Dan Restrepo, the president's senior Latin American advisor; and Greg Gatjonis, a White House national security official.
The e-mails were sent between July 2010 and February of this year before it was disclosed that agents had lost track of hundreds of guns. Many are thought to have fallen into criminal hands, and some have turned up at crime scenes in Mexico and the United States, including at the fatal shooting of Brian Terry.
The replacement of acting director Kenneth Melson of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, who led Operation "Fast and Furious", and the resignation of the U.S. Attorney for Arizona who oversaw related prosecutions, are far from fitting consequences for their roles in that fiasco, but it's a start.
The replacement of Kenneth Melson as acting head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is a political charade by the man who really ought to tender his resignation. That man is Attorney General Eric Holder.
Melson is just the latest player to be shifted around, rather than lose his job. Everyone directly involved in the "Fast and Furious" scandal has simply been moved to another position. There has been no discipline and no accountability, because the man who should be ultimately accountable is still running the Justice Department, Attorney General Eric Holder.
"Not even the Department of Justice is above the law . . . The best way to disinfect the putrid mess that is Operation "Fast and Furious" is to expose it to sunlight."
New York Post 7/11/2011
A special prosecutor should be named to handle the on-going investigation of Operation "Fast and Furious" and take it out of the hands of the Justice Department.
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