Rep. Darrell Issa (Calif.), who has repeatedly called for top Justice Department officials to be held accountable for the now-defunct operation, was given highly specific information about it at an April 2010 briefing, the sources said. Members of his staff also attended the session, which Issa and two other Republican congressmen had requested.
Issa’s office told Newsmax that the WaPo report was an “outright lie.”
…Issa spokesman Frederick Hill told Newsmax on Thursday that “what is reported in the Washington Post is an outright lie.
Representative Issa did not learn about the operation until after the death of [Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives] agent Brian Terry” in December 2010.
The “Fast and Furious” operation oversaw the sale of weapons to known and suspected suppliers for Mexican drug cartels. The program was designed to go after drug traffickers, but two of the guns were found at the Arizona crime scene where agent Terry was killed.
Hill told The Hill newspaper that Issa was not briefed at the April 2010 meeting, during a meeting with officials from the ATF — a Justice Department agency — and did not learn about the controversial gun-tracking program until this year.
Spokesman Hill told The Daily Caller that the Justice Department has been shopping the Issa story around town. “We have had people who have contacted us before the Washington Post,” he said. “They told us people in the Justice Department were trying to push this story and I think a number of publications didn’t think it was credible or, for whatever reason, decided not to run it.”
Jerry Markon and Sari Horwitz also wrote a long piece on Dec 15, 2010, that seemed to blame the increase in gun violence on lax gun laws and corrupt gun dealers, naming one dealer in particular:
No other state has produced more guns seized by police in the brutal Mexican drug wars than Texas. In the Lone Star State, no other city has more guns linked to Mexican crime scenes than Houston.
(Amazingly enough, Operation Fast and Furious, [ostensibly] targeted gun traffickers who were believed to be funneling weapons bought in Texas, Arizona and other border states to Mexican drug cartels. Whistleblowers allege that ATF agents failed to stop questionable buyers from acquiring as many as 2,500 weapons.)
And in the Texas oil town, no single independent dealer stands out more for selling guns traced from south of the border than Bill Carter.
Carter, 76, has operated four Carter’s Country stores in the Houston metropolitan area over the past half-century. In the past two years, more than 115 guns from his stores have been seized by the police and military in Mexico.
As an unprecedented number of American guns flows to the murderous drug cartels across the border, the identities of U.S. dealers that sell guns seized at Mexican crime scenes remain confidential under a law passed by Congress in 2003.
I wonder who was tipping the reporters?
Eight of the top 12 dealers are in Texas, three are in Arizona, and one is in California. In Texas, two of the four Houston area Carter’s Country stores are on the list, along with four gun retailers in the Rio Grande Valley at the southern tip of the state. There are 3,800 gun retailers in Texas, 300 in Houston alone.
After that report came out, the big gun dealer, Bill Carter hired an attorney and fought back.
The Legendary reported on January 13, 2011: Attorney: ATF Approved Gun Dealers’ Selling To Smugglers:
Houston – Famous criminal attorney Dick DeGuerin told television newsmen that ATF agents approved sales of guns to customers who fit the profile for smugglers.
“It’s all profiling…” he said, explaining that Carter Country, a big box gun sales organization with four Houston outlets which he represents, had tipped off the government that young Hispanic males bought and paid for multiple firearms with cash.
Sales of 5 or more pistols or 3 or more rifles are typical, he said, a fact duly noted by government agencies such as FBI and ATF.
Media reports of Carter Country supplying large amounts of guns later confiscated in Mexico mention only the gun dealer’s complicity in the transactions and not the government’s approval of the sales or the fact that the dealer has made many reports of suspicious transactions. “They did this for many months,” Mr. DeGuerin said.
Also in the Dec. WaPo report:
Under federal law, a gun dealer who sells two or more handguns to the same person within five business days must report the sales to ATF. The agency has identified such sales as a red flag, or “significant indicator,” of trafficking. But multiple sales of “long guns,” which include shotguns and rifles such as AK-47s, do not have to be reported to ATF.
The Justice Department inspector general said in a report last month that “the lack of a reporting requirement of multiple sales of long guns – which have become the cartels’ weapons of choice – hinders ATF’s ability to disrupt the flow of illegal weapons into Mexico.”
Oddly enough, these are just the types of guns the ATF was pressuring gun dealers to sell during operation Fast and Furious:
It seems that over roughly a three year period, ATF agents have been pressuring US gun dealers, mostly along the Arizona-Mexico border, to sell thousands of semi-automatic weapons to ‘straw buyers,’ in this case to Mexicans (it’s illegal for US gun dealers to sell weapons to Mexican nationals), who then, with ATF’s knowledge and approval, would smuggle these weapons across the US-Mexico border and into Mexico, where they were sold (with or without the knowledge of Mexican authorities—still an unanswered question) to members of Mexico’s criminal cartels.
An AK-47 recovered at the murder site of US Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry has been identified as one of the rifles ATF agents permitted to be sold to a Mexican straw buyer and ‘illegally’ trafficked into Mexico. There are also links between Fast and Furious and the weapon used to kill ICE Agent Jaime Zapata.
Is it really possible that the Justice Dept. was complaining about sales of AK-47s that don’t have to be reported to the ATF, while the ATF was pressuring gun dealers to sell AK-47s to straw buyers?
“I am outraged by findings in a new Congressional report that alleges federal agents were instructed to stand aside and do nothing as up to 2,000 weapons were illegally purchased in Arizona and resold. In many cases, the end result appears to have been the arming of violent drug cartels south of the border.
“During Operation Fast and Furious in 2010, according to this report, agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms were ordered to simply track these „straw buyer? weapons sales but not intervene. Longtime federal agents have now testified before Congress that allowing these weapons to leave the premises, a practice generally known as „gun walking,? was a marked departure from accepted law enforcement practices.
ATF agents lost track of many of these weapons, including assault weapons and .50 caliber sniper rifles. A significant number undoubtedly found their way to Mexican drug cartels. Tragically, two AK-47s traced back to Operation Fast and Furious later turned up at the crime scene near Rio Rico, Arizona, where Arizona Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was murdered by bandits. Authorities are still looking for the murder weapon.
“If the allegations contained in this Congressional report are accurate, then Operation Fast and Furious endangered the lives of innocent people on both sides of the border. The people of Arizona deserve answers from the Department of Justice and ATF as to how this could have been sanctioned, let alone encouraged. We may never know how many weapons illegally sold as part of this operation later turned up at a crime scene. But the connection between this failed federal operation and the death of Border Patrol Agent Terry is clear. The Congressional report puts it best: „The death of Border Agent Brian Terry was likely a preventable tragedy.”
Bob Owens, Pajamas Media: ‘Gunwalker’ Goes Pravda: White House Unleashes MSM
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