Federal gunrunning scandal resurfaces with Chaffetz Tweet

Fast and Furious guns

Guns seized by Mexican authorities in 2009 included weapons walked via Fast and Furious. One suspect purchased more than 700 guns. Dealers were forced by the US Government to make the sales. (Photo: US Government)

The gunrunning scandal stemming from the Dept. of Justice’s role and actions in the operation known as Fast and Furious has resurfaced.

With a Tweet on January 5, House Oversight chair Jason Chaffetz [@jasoninthehouse] resurrected the years-long scandal most media ignored until it became impossible to do so. 

Fast and Furious comprised federal law enforcement agencies permitting guns to be purchased and walked into Mexico. Hearings, information disclosed by whistleblowers, and a story broken by indie bloggers culminated in then-attorney general Eric Holder being held in contempt of Congress and President Barack Obama invoking executive privilege over documents Congress wanted.

Eric Holder

Despite AG Holder’s testimony about the Fast and Furious scandal in 2011, Americans still don’t have answers on the federal government’s botched gun running operation. (Snip: www.therightscoop.com video)

In his book The Unarmed Truth, federal agent John Dodson (Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) recounted his concerns about Fast and Furious and how he was targeted for attempting to get something done about an operation figuring in deaths of an untold number of people.

The drug lord El Chapo reportedly had a weapon acquired via Fast and Furious when a safe house was busted as Mexican authorities sought to recapture him after his escape from a prison in that country.

Award winning reporter Sharyl Attkisson covered the scandal, first for CBS and then for her own independent news site. Although Holder claimed to know little about the operation, documents acquired by Attkisson contradicted his claims:

“Holder was sent briefings on the controversial Fast and Furious operation as far back as July 2010. That directly contradicts his statement to Congress.”

Attkisson credited indie blogger the late Mike Vanderboegh and his co-blogger David Codrea (Sipsey Street Irregulars) for helping to break the story.

Officer Terry Officer Down Memorial Page

Officer Terry’s memorial at the Officer Down Memorial Page. [http://www.odmp.org/officer/20596-border-patrol-agent-brian-a-terry]

The Obama administration stonewalled Congress’ requests for documents, even after Customs and Border Protection agent Brian Terry was murdered in 2010 by illegal aliens with a Fast and Furious weapon.

Watchdog group Judicial Watch criticized the Obama administration and Holder for covering up the scandal and refusing to hand over documents as a result of a federal court ruling. JW president Tom Fitton said, “Americans will be astonished that Obama asserted executive privilege over Eric Holder’s emails to his wife about Fast and Furious.” JW has continued to file requests for documents for years.

A statement published by the House Oversight committee in May, 2016 said:

“The Fast and Furious operation was responsible for allowing approximately 2,000 firearms to illegally flow into the hands of criminals, including Mexican drug cartel associates. On December 14, 2010, Customs and Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, a United States Marine, was killed while on patrol just miles from the Mexican border.  The firearms found at the scene were semi-automatic rifles that were allowed to walk as part of Operation Fast and Furious.

Congressional Republicans have investigated Fast and Furious since January 2011.  Over the course of the investigation, the Justice Department has provided false information, stonewalled document requests, produced scores of blacked-out pages and duplicate documents, and refused to comply with two congressional subpoenas.” 

Although Hillary Clinton was secretary of state when Fast and Furious was ongoing, she was never asked by media about the repercussions of the illegal operation on US relations with Mexico. Were bargains struck to assist the administration in saving face? No one knows what, if anything, the US yielded to Mexico to make up for the damage that country suffered because of the operation.

Lionsgate, the company who produced The Hunger Games, picked up rights to Dodson’s book for a film.

Attkisson recounted her own struggles against non-transparency in the Obama administration in her bestselling book Stonewalled. Attkisson said more than a dozen agency employees provided her information on Fast and Furious.

On Jan. 5, 2017, Chaffetz Tweeted:

Just reissued Fast & Furious subpoena to AG Lynch 6+ years after death of American hero Brian…

Chaffetz included a link to an Instagram page with a photo of the late CBP Agent Brian Terry.

(Filed by Kay B. Day/Jan. 6, 2017)

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About Kay Day

Kay B. Day is a freelance writer who has published in national and international magazines and websites. The author of 3 books, her work is anthologized in textbooks and collections. She has won awards for poetry, nonfiction and fiction. Day is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors and the Authors Guild.
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