CBS News reporter Sharyl Attkisson has revealed a recent document submitted by the Department of Justice to congressional investigators. The document shows that guns linked to Operation Fast and Furious are responsible for at least three more murders in addition to the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry:
Weapons linked to ATF’s controversial “Fast and Furious” operation have been tied to at least eight violent crimes in Mexico including three murders, four kidnappings and an attempted homicide.
According to a letter from U.S. Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich to Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), the disclosed incidents may be only a partial list of violent crimes linked to Fast and Furious weapons because “ATF has not conducted a comprehensive independent investigation.”
The letter is specifically worded, tailored to answer congressional questions about a narrow range of “walked” firearms using a very specific definition of what constitutes an Operation Fast and Furious gun:
For the purposes of responding to this question, we consider a firearm to be associated with Operation Fast and Furious if it was purchased by an individual who is a target of that investigation. It is important to note that many of the purchases described below took place before ATF opened the case that became know as Operation Fast and Furious on November 16, 2009; before the purchaser had been identified as a target of the investigation; or without the ATF’s knowledge at the time that a firearm was purchased.
Some amazing caveats that the Department of Justice has chosen to ignore and not count:
- Weapons that were purchased by both targeted and untargeted straw purchasers if the ATF was not aware of the purchase in real-time as the buy occurred;
- If the straw purchaser was not on a pre-approved and narrow (roughly 20 suspects) list of acceptable targets (some of whom were FBI informants who bought weapons and armed the cartels using taxpayer dollars);
- Any suspect or weapon that was not officially part of Operation Fast and Furious before its “official” Nov. 16, 2009, launch date;
- Any suspect or weapon from other suspected gunwalking programs alleged to originate from Houston, Dallas, Tampa, or the Midwest;
- Related scandals involving some of the same co-conspirators, such as the grenade-walking debacle.
This extremely narrow — and self-serving — definition provided by the Department of Justice notably excludes the third rifle (and possible murder weapon) recovered at the scene of Agent Brian Terry’s death. That gun, while “walked” and used by the cartels in a violent crime, was purchased in an unnamed Texas gun-walking operation. Further, the DOJ — and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, in particular — tried to make that SKS carbine “disappear.”
The weapons used to ambush ICE agents Jaime Zapata and Victor Avila were also not included in the DOJ’s figure, as these guns were also “walked” from Texas.
For the first time, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano officially denied having any knowledge of Operation Fast and Furious as it was being run. She testified under oath before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. Napolitano made her statement while being grilled by Senator John McCain (R-AZ).
While plausible, Napolitano’s claimed ignorance of the operation is highly suspect. She served as both Arizona attorney general and governor before she joined the Obama administration, and her long-time chief of staff, Dennis Burke, ran Operation Fast and Furious as the U.S attorney for Arizona — a post she helped him acquire. She had a personal stake in operations in her home state, and a professional obligation as the executive in charge of Homeland Security, one of the agencies involved in the operation.
Another senator, John Cornyn (R-TX), asked the Department of Justice weeks ago if there were any gun-walking operations like Operation Fast and Furious running in his home state of Texas. To date, the Department of Justice has not answered. Rep. Gus Bilirakis and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida have similarly asked DOJ about the 1,000 guns allegedly run to drug gangs out of Operation Castaway in Tampa, and have also met a stonewall of silence.
The Obama administration has launched a series of smears against Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), chair of the committee investigating the gunwalking scandal.
Issa was first attacked in an article published by the Washington Post after it had been shopped by the White House to several other news outlets and at least one liberal blog. Those outlets turned the story down because it was not credible.
Later, the New York Times published a front-page hit piece of its own on Issa that was factually wrong on almost every point and may have been plagiarized as well. Issa pushed back forcefully against the White House-orchestrated smears and forced the Times to issue corrections, but the editors refuse to issue a full retraction nor discipline an author.
It now appears the Obama administration is using front groups and radical leftist bloggers to parrot the debunked Times article, their further actions possibly the reason the Times will not issue a full retraction.
Both attempted character assassinations in the media have failed in tarring Issa or derailing this and other congressional oversight investigations — indeed, the revelations of more murders and DOJ semantic games show an investigation that remains on track.