The ATF agent who oversaw Operation Fast and Furious now says his testimony to Congress “lacked clarity and completeness,” Fox News reports:
“After taking time to reflect and review my testimony from the hearing on July 26, 2011, I realize I could have given clearer, more complete and more direct responses to some questions,” former Special Agent in Charge William Newell said in a 12-page document submitted to the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee and obtained by Fox News.
In other words, Newell previously lied:
In a “supplemental statement,” Newell insisted agents did not knowingly allow thousands of weapons to reach criminal hands. Any concerns raised over the program were never voiced to appropriate authorities, he said, and only once did higher-ups tell agents not to arrest a suspect — when the safety of the agents was in jeopardy.
“Rather than conduct any enforcement actions, we took notes, we recorded observations, tracked movements of these individuals, wrote reports, nothing more. Knowing all the while that just days after these purchases, the guns we saw these individuals buy would begin turning up at crime scenes in the U.S. and Mexico. And yet we still did nothing,” says John Dodson, ATF Special Agent.
In the filing Wednesday, Newell said any mistakes were “unintentional errors of omission” rooted in, among other things, “the laws we have at our disposal.”
Meanwhile, one of the cooperating gun shop owners — Andre Howard, who ran the Lone Wolf Trading Company – was apparently concerned about the operation and secretly recorded conversations with ATF Agent Hope MacAllister. Two of the weapons Howard sold turned up just days later at the scene of the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, according to CBS News:
Among other things, Howard and MacAllister expressed concerns about ATF Special Agent John Dodson, who by that point had gone public about “Fast and Furious” in an exclusive interview with CBS News correspondent Sharyl Attkisson.
The transcripts are damning, as MacAllister suggests the FBI is in real trouble:
Dealer: But you have got to put the word out there to all the departments tell the f****ing FBI shut the f*** up. (whispering)
Agent: FBI’s got their own problems, trust me.
Dealer: I know, I hear.
Agent: They’ve got their own problems.
Agent: If anybody’s gonna get sued it’s gonna be the FBI, in my opinion.
It’s not an ATF agent who utters those magical words, it’s the Arizona gun dealer who was working with the ATF on Fast & Furious. He utters them to an ATF agent, though, to which she replies with a cryptic “mm-hmm.” Callousness — or strategy?