Both the gunwalking and money-laundering operations would seem to require multi-agency coordination across several cabinet-level departments. Both appear to be in clear violation of federal criminal statutes, especially if the correct waivers were not obtained. And it appears neither scheme could have been approved without high level approval from within the Justice Department, probably coordinated at a high level with Treasury and Homeland Security.
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman Darrell Issa has been at the forefront of investigating Operation Fast and Furious, and was quick to notice the parallels between that operation and the DEA’s money laundering. He is now expanding the probe to encompass the money-laundering operation as well:
In a Monday letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, Issa announced he’s investigating the allegations made against the DEA in the New York Times article.
“As you are fully aware, since March of this year, I have been investigating the reckless tactics — in particular gunwalking — used in ATF’s Operation Fast and Furious,” Issa wrote. “That operation, which you personally acknowledged was ‘fundamentally flawed,’ failed spectacularly to meet its objective of bring down Mexican drug cartels. Precisely because the ends do not justify the means, the law limits the conduct alleged in this story.”
“Apparently, this same goal of dismantling Mexican drug cartels motivated the Drug Enforcement Administration in aiding and abetting these same cartels in laundering millions of dollars in cash,” Issa continued. “In fact, The New York Times reports that agents needed to seek Department approval to launder amounts greater than $10 million in any single operation.”
Issa wrote that, according to the report, many agents said the $10 million requirement was frequently “waived” because it was treated more like a guideline. He said that means “hundreds of millions of dollars” could’ve been “laundered” into the hands of drug cartels by the Obama administration and Holder’s Justice Department.
Several thousand guns were provided to cartels in ten alleged gunwalking operations, and hundreds of millions of dollars were potentially laundered on their behalf. All of it was orchestrated in the Justice Department, apparently at the highest levels. This strongly suggests that not only does Eric Holder bear responsibility for these operations, but so does much of the DOJ’s long-term bureaucracy as well. The attorney general can certainly approve such operations, but the volume of guns walked and dollars laundered could not have taken place without the direct knowledge of long-term, high-level DOJ managers.
When the nation’s cops have become criminals, where can you turn?