Friday, August 12, 2011
Fast And Furious
Covering Up Gun Smuggling Scandal
To Protect Obama Officials
The LA Times reports the Director of the ATF is blowing the whistle on a Justice Department cover up of the U.S. government’s guns smuggling operations.
As I have previously reported, the U.S. government gun smuggling scandal has grown to include at least two Mexico drug cartels and along with sister operations that involved gun smuggling to Puerto Rico and Honduras with some guns reaching as far as Columbia.
In the latest developments in the ATF gun smuggling scandal evidence emerges showing the Feds have been smuggling guns to criminals in Puerto Rico and Honduras, with guns making it as far as Columbia.
As previously reported, the U.S government has been caught smuggling guns to drug cartels in Mexico.
In fact, the leader of the La Familia cartel in Mexico was ousted as the Feds point man for the gun smuggling operation.
That was followed by another cartel leader being arrested and telling police his cartel was exclusively supplied guns by the Feds.
Meanwhile, critics pointed out that while Obama was smuggling guns to criminals behind the scenes, he used the violence being perpetrated by those criminals with government supplied guns as justification to take guns away from U.S. citizens.
The latest developments in scandal now provide evidence that the U.S. government’s gun smuggling operations have not been limited to Mexico but have also included operations to smuggle guns to Puerto Rico and Honduras.
Those guns have been tied to several crimes and have made their way to nations as far away as Columbia.
As noted prior the Obama administration has been caught in several lies about their knowledge of the gun smuggling operation. The list of lies include denials from Attorney General Eric Holder under sworn oath giving testimony before congress.
Now, the L.A Times reports that the acting director of the ATF has come forward to blow the whistle of a further cover up within the Justice department.
Justice Department trying to shield officials in guns scandal, ATF chief says
Kenneth Melson, the ATF’s acting director, claims Justice Department officials refuse to release a telling internal report on the Fast and Furious operation.
Reporting from Washington— The Justice Department is trying to protect its political appointees from the Fast and Furious scandal by concealing an internal “smoking gun” report and other documents that acknowledge the role top officials played in the program that allowed firearms to flow illegally into Mexico, according to the head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Kenneth E. Melson, the ATF’s acting director, also told congressional investigators this month that the affidavits prepared to obtain wiretaps used in the ill-fated operation were inconsistent with Justice Department officials’ public statements about the program. Justice Department officials advised him not to raise his concerns with Congress about “institutional problems” with the Fast and Furious operation, Melson said.
“It was very frustrating to all of us,” Melson told congressional investigators in a private meeting over the Fourth of July holiday, “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.”
Not only was the department slow to react, Melson said, but Justice Department officials indicated they did not want him to cooperate with Congress.
A transcript of his comments was released Monday by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista), chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and Sen. Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Melson said he wasn’t attempting to shield his agency from its share of the blame. He acknowledged an instance in which his agents failed to intercept high-powered weapons when they could have.
“The deputy attorney general’s office wasn’t very happy with us” at the ATF, Melson said, “because they thought this was an admission that there were mistakes made. Well, there were some mistakes made.”
Melson said the Justice Department repeatedly thwarted his attempts to tell investigators about the failures of Fast and Furious, which was run out of the ATF’s Phoenix field office. When the ATF reassigned managers in Phoenix, he said, “the department resisted” his offer to tell Congress about the changes. Melson said he was told not to issue any news releases about Fast and Furious and was instructed not to brief rank-and-file ATF agents about the growing scandal.
When Grassley sought to meet with Melson this year, the Justice Department blocked that interview too, Melson said. “This is really just poking [Grassley] in the eye,” Melson said he told Justice Department officials. “He’s going to get it through the back door anyway, so why are we aggravating this situation?”
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