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What Happened to Congress’ ‘Fast and Furious’ Fury?

Scandal resurfaces as a Mexican police chief and his bodyguard fall victim to a gun from the ATF operation.

by
Bill Straub

Bio

July 12, 2013 - 12:15 am
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The federal courts have taken a dim view of executive privilege in recent years. The U.S. Supreme Court has held that the assertion is invalid if a suspicion of governmental wrongdoing is involved. Five years ago, during the last year of President George W. Bush’s administration, a similar executive privilege claim aimed at blocking the testimony of several senior White House officials before the House Judiciary Committee regarding the firing of nine U.S. attorneys, reportedly for political reasons, was rejected by U.S. District Judge John Bates.

“Fast and Furious” was a gunwalking operation conducted by the ATF in Arizona from 2006 to 2011. Basically, the agency abandoned its practice of immediately confiscating illegally purchased arms and instead allowed licensed firearms dealers in the Tucson and Phoenix areas to sell weapons to illegal straw buyers – middle men who purchase guns in behalf of those prohibited from doing so themselves.

The ATF hoped that by permitting these purchases agents could track the firearms that were provided to the cartels, resulting in the arrest of high-level drug kingpins. The agency monitored about 2,000 straw sales but only slightly more than 700 were recovered. Agents lost track of about 1,400 weapons. No high-level cartel figure has been arrested.

Guns purchased under “Fast and Furious” have been found on both sides of the border separating the U.S. and Mexico. On Dec. 14, 2010, U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed during a firefight while on patrol near the border. Two AK-47s found at the scene were linked to Fast and Furious. The operation, which drew criticism from several agents and gun dealers while it was active, was made public shortly thereafter.

One estimate places the number of Mexican citizens killed by Fast and Furious guns at 300.

On Jan. 29, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times, one of the guns was located at the scene of a shooting that led to the death of Luis Lucio Rosales Astorga, the police chief in the city of Hostotipaquillo. Gunmen intercepted his patrol car and opened fire. A bodyguard was also killed. Astorga’s wife and a second bodyguard were wounded.

A semi-automatic WASR rifle, the firearm that killed the chief, was traced back to the Lone Wolf Trading Company, a gun store in Glendale, AZ, according to the Times. It was purchased on Feb. 22, 2010, about three months into the Fast and Furious operation, by 26-year-old Jacob A. Montelongo of Phoenix. He later pleaded guilty to conspiracy, making false statements and smuggling goods from the United States and was sentenced to 41 months in prison.

Court records show Montelongo personally obtained at least 109 firearms during Fast and Furious.

Issa’s committee isn’t the only organization seeking documents. Judicial Watch, a conservative foundation that promotes transparency in government, has filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit seeking access to the Fast and Furious records being withheld from Congress.

Justice refused to comply and has asked the court to stay proceedings while it deals with the committee’s civil contempt claim. Judicial Watch opposed the motion and is asking the court to address the issue.

“Getting beyond the Obama administration’s smokescreen, this lawsuit is about a very simple principle: the public’s right to know the full truth about an egregious political scandal that led to the death of at least one American and countless others in Mexico,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The American people are sick and tired of the Obama administration trying to rewrite FOIA law to protect this president and his appointees. Americans want answers about Fast and Furious killings and lies.”

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Washington freelancer Bill Straub is former White House correspondent for Scripps Howard News Service.

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Top Rated Comments   
Most corrupt Administration ever. These turds make Nixon look like a choirboy. A cross between Karl Marx and Al Capone, the Community Organizer from Chi-town has his grimy paw prints on scandal after after scandal, but the silence from the LSM is deafening.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Unsuccessful gun-tracking program?

I don't recall any evidence at all that there was any attempt to actually track the guns.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Until the ridiculous invocation of executive privilege in this matter is thwarted, and until the coming revelations shame the media into reporting the facts, the American sheeple will continue to bask in their navel gazing ignorance of the intentional behavior of Mr. Holder and his boss. It's not just this malfeasance, it's Bhengazi, IRS, and all of the other sordid abuses that this Administration has commited that are going to reflect poorly on this crew for eternity. The Obama White House will go down in history as the most corrupt Presidency to date.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (38)
All Comments   (38)
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Hey MV being totally stupid doesn’t help either - and you went to high school?
How about ‘coup’ - that come up in your civics class - sure is coming up here in the ‘heart land’!
Our Communist influenced - Jihad juggling - Islamist coddling - Socialist leaning - Alinskyite president and his many cohorts seem good fits for ‘water boarding’ and other truth seeking applications.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Eric Holder sporting an Afro-Hair do and looking like Angela Davis with a mustache, Was one of the leaders of the Student Afro-American Society (SAAS) involved in the armed take over of the NROTC office at Columbia Univ back in 1970. They demanded that the former ROTC office be renamed the "Malcolm X Lounge". The University caved and renamed the Office in Malcolm X's name.
SAAS also pledged Solidarity with the Black Panther Party.
Be it little wonder why the attorney general bestows favors upon the Black Panthers today.
Amazing how quick Holder in his vibrent youth realized the words of another of his admired, world leaders, "Power comes out of the barrel of a gun." Remembrence of such he applied over 40 years later with Fast N Furious.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
my best friend's sister-in-law makes $72 every hour on the laptop. She has been laid off for eight months but last month her payment was $15645 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Read more here http://www.wep6.com
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Yep, just do nothing & let the feds run ragged over us. Oh, we can't do anything! Sick you head in the sand. People need to get mad & act run these people out of town. Another American Revolution would be good...
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
We have an administration that will lie to your face and brand you a terrorist because you disagree with them. Furthermore, they will audit your taxes in an attempt to shut you up. We have an administration that is close to being criminally out of control. Right now their main focus is to convict a young man for what they wanted to be a crime of 2nd degree murder. They realized that would be impossible, they lowered the charge. If it becomes too tenuous, they will probably drop the charge to jay walking, depending on who crossed the street just to get a conviction.

What happened to Fast and Furious? They have simply ignored it and will use executive orders/privilege to make it go away forever. Master criminals.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The Valerie Plame case was a hoax!

ALERT: Obama’s nominee for FBI Director in jeopardy!

http://illinoispaytoplay.com/2013/07/11/alert-obamas-nominee-for-fbi-director-in-jeopardy/
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Once again, NOTHING will ever be done about fast & furious. Now that all of the posturing is done it is over. Besides, there isn't ONE pubbie w/ the cajones to do anything about it but whine & complain. What a bunch of wimps & wusses!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Ok, Mr. Macho Cajones, what would you do? You can't order the US Attorney to indict his boss. It takes forever to work through the courts to get an injunction and then you don't have any way to enforce it. It is a serious, systemic problem with the federal government; there is no federal remedy for a lawless federal government, and it has become so big and powerful that states are very reticent to challenge the US for fear of being invaded by federal auditors, regulators, and various law enforcement agencies. Welcome to post-republican America.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Easy! First, I'd fire holder & deputize people to actually enforce the law. Tell the states just to ignore the feds & call out the state cops if the feds try to interfere & jail 'em. That is a start!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Everything's easy if you don't know enough.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Well go ahead and fire him!


Oh, wait, you don't have the authority to do that? Oh, yeah, that's right.

Neither do I, or it would be done already. Bummer, I can't deputize anybody, either.

Uh-oh, I just realized something... (probably because I passed high-school civics class)

Neither does Congress!


Hey, I've got an idea.

If you really want to help, start by getting a clue how our government is set up, and get some inkling of who has what authority and who doesn't.

Being angry and profoundly ignorant really isn't helping our country right now.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I had commented a while back that until the congress can get to scandals done, they should stop all other business because it is obvious that they can't chew and breathe at the same time.


So no immigration until Fast and Furious, Benghazi, IRS and media is resolved.

No health care, put on hold, until Fast and Furious, Benghazi, IRS and medi snooping is done.

And where is the lame stream media who seem to think that guns in law abiding citizens hands is a wrong, but shipping guns into drug cartel hands is fine and dandy
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Gun walking + The Justice Dept. Illegal Activities to influence public opinion regarding the second amendment still equates to the Obama Administration complete disregard for the rule of law, Complete disregard for our constitution,complete disregard for human life be it across and or on our side of the border, This whole Administration from the Top Down Needs to punished for it's crimes against both the citizens of the United State and The Citizens of Mexico, The slaughter of human beings is on the scale of war crimes, and the Human rights abuses by this administration is punishable by impeachment and imprisonment.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
That's right I almost forgot Barack Hussein Obama and Erick the Red Holder Snuck three thousand rifles into Mexico till one of our border agent got murdered. Their plan was to start a great deal of chaos in the border area. then use that to Turn Americans against Guns they waited to long had two many other dirty tricks to push on the American People. They got caught but true the Chicago Gangster Politics the wormed their way out for now!!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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