Gunwalker: Under White House Control?
New documents reveal extensive White House communication with the ATF head behind the scandal.
October 2, 2011 - 8:46 am
For months, congressional investigators have battled a recalcitrant White House and Department of Justice over Operation Fast and Furious, a conspiracy that had the apparent goal of sending thousands of guns from American gun stores into Mexico. Recovery of the guns could be used as evidence to support the Obama administration’s 90-percent lie — and perhaps even serve a more nefarious goal.
That deception seems to be collapsing, as the long suspected proof of other gunwalking operations was confirmed by Sharyl Attkisson of CBS News:
An administration source would not describe the Tucson OCDTF case. However, CBS News has learned that ATF’s Phoenix office led an operation out of Tucson called “Wide Receiver.” Sources claim ATF allowed guns to “walk” in that operation, much like Fast and Furious.
“Wide Receiver” joins Operation Fast and Furious as the second named gunwalking operation based in Arizona, but they do not appear to be the only gunwalking operations that existed.
The White House has so far refused to answer inquires from Senator John Cornyn about two other suspected gunwalking operations based out of the Houston and Dallas field operations areas. Additional gunwalking operations supplied drug gangs in Honduras from Florida, and supplied Chicago-area gangs from a gunwalking operation in Indiana.
While administration officials have stuck to the cover story that these were law enforcement operations, there was never any possibility of them working. There were no mechanisms to track the weapons, personnel were ordered not to make arrests, and there was never any possibility of U.S. agents affecting arrests in Mexico.
The cover story was further demolished by recent revelations that the ATF supervisors directed agents to personally walk guns to cartel members, and refused repeated attempts by field agents to have smugglers arrested before they could carry firearms over the border into Mexico. Interdiction was never on the table. Creating and insuring a steady flow of U.S. weapons into Mexico must have been the goal.
The steady demolition of the administration’s wall of silence continues. The White House finally responded — partially – to a request by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee for communications between ATF Special Agent Bill Newell and three members of the White House national security staff. The administration released 102 pages of emails, most of which were replies and copied replies to previous emails, but refused to hand over all of the requested communications. They claimed “significant confidentiality interests in its internal communications.”
The email exchanges span a little over a month last summer. They discuss ATF’s gun trafficking efforts along the border including the controversial Fast and Furious case, though not by name. The emails to and from O’Reilly indicate more than just a passing interest in the Phoenix office’s gun trafficking cases. They do not mention specific tactics such as “letting guns walk.”
A lawyer for the White House wrote Congressional investigators: “none of the communications between ATF and the White House revealed the investigative law enforcement tactics at issue in your inquiry, let alone any decision to allow guns to ‘walk.’”
The White House explanation does not match with the chart submitted by the ATF to the White House — the chart clearly shows that the weapons leaving Arizona were being recovered all over Mexico. The lack of interdiction was not just obvious, but glaringly so, and presented in the chart in such a way as to suggest that the spread of guns throughout Mexico was the operation’s clear goal.
The entire executive branch involved in the scandal, from the White House down through cabinet-level agencies, has been evasive since the congressional investigations began. They have (illegally) fired and reassigned whistleblowers to undesirable posts. They promoted supervisors involved in the operation to management jobs in Washington, D.C.
U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke, a long-time confidant of Homeland Security Director Janet Napolitano, suddenly resigned. There is every indication that the weight of bureaucracy is being used to engineer a coverup — a sign that the “most transparent administration in history” may be among the most transparently corrupt.
The continual drip of evidence completely undermines the explanation that these gunwalking operations had any legitimate or lawful intent. These operations are only logical as a means of creating a reality to match the administration’s political myth of an “iron river of guns” flowing into Mexico from American gun dealers.
Perhaps desperate to avoid the political and legal fallout from their actions, the administration seems ready to trigger a “nuclear defense” — burning down the entire ATF. Townhall’s Katie Pavlich, who confirmed the existence of a white paper floating that exact plan, notes the self-serving goal:
ATF field agents weren’t the problem with Operation Fast and Furious, high ranking officials within ATF and the Department of Justice were and still are. DOJ would eliminate ATF only to take the heat off of the Obama administration. By eliminating the bureau, it makes it seem like DOJ is taking Operation Fast and Furious so seriously, they decided to “clear out the corruption, clean house,” however, it would only be a distraction away from the people at the top of the investigation. In fact, evidence shows the DOJ has been stonewalling the Oversight Committee investigation into the operation to protect Obama political appointees.
“It was very frustrating to all of us, and it appears thoroughly to us that the Department is really trying to figure out a way to push the information away from their political appointees at the Department,” former ATF Acting Director Kenneth Melson, who has since been moved to a position within DOJ, said of his frustration with the Justice Department’s response to the investigation in transcribed closed door testimony with the Oversight Committee in July 2011.
The Obama administration had a direct line of communication to updates about a plot carried out by one of its agencies that had the apparent goal of supporting one of the president’s favorite lies. It is unquestionable that the plot implemented to support this lie shipped thousands of weapons to the Sinaloa cartel and contributed to the deaths of many on both sides of the border, including U.S. law enforcement officers.
As critics of the administration have been repeating more frequently, nobody died in Watergate. The body count and damning evidence from Gunwalker continue to grow.