Jun 032013
 

The Blaze
Jason Howerton

A high-ranking Mexican drug cartel operative currently in U.S. custody is making startling allegations that the failed federal gun-walking operation known as “Fast and Furious” isn’t what you think it is.

It wasn’t about tracking guns, it was about supplying them — all part of an elaborate agreement between the U.S. government and Mexico’s powerful Sinaloa Cartel to take down rival cartels.

The explosive allegations are being made by Jesus Vicente Zambada-Niebla, known as the Sinaloa Cartel’s “logistics coordinator.” He was extradited to the Chicago last year to face federal drug charges.

Sinaloa Cartel Operative Jesus Vincente Zambada Niebla Makes Explosive Allegation About Operation Fast and Furious

Zambada-Niebla claims that under a “divide and conquer” strategy, the U.S. helped finance and arm the Sinaloa Cartel through Operation Fast and Furious in exchange for information that allowed the DEA, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and other federal agencies to take down rival drug cartels. The Sinaloa Cartel was allegedly permitted to traffic massive amounts of drugs across the U.S. border from 2004 to 2009 — during both Fast and Furious and Bush-era gunrunning operations — as long as the intel kept coming.

This pending court case against Zambada-Niebla is being closely monitored by some members of Congress, who expect potential legal ramifications if any of his claims are substantiated. The trial was delayed but is now scheduled to begin on Oct. 9.

Zambada-Niebla is reportedly a close associate of Sinaloa Cartel kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman and the son of Ismael “Mayo” Zambada-Garcia, both of which remain fugitives, likely because of the deal made with the DEA, federal court documents allege.

Based on the alleged agreement  ”the Sinaloa Cartel under the leadership of defendant’s father, Ismael Zambada-Niebla and ‘Chapo’ Guzman, were given carte blanche to continue to smuggle tons of illicit drugs into Chicago and the rest of the United States and were also protected by the United States government from arrest and prosecution in return for providing information against rival cartels which helped Mexican and United States authorities capture or kill thousands of rival cartel members,” states a motion for discovery filed in U.S. District Court by Zambada-Niebla’s attorney in July 2011.

A source in Congress, who spoke to TheBlaze on the condition of anonymity, said that some top congressional investigators have been keeping “one eye on the case.”  Another two members of Congress, both lead Fast and Furious Congressional investigators, told TheBlaze they had never even heard of the case.

One of the Congressmen, who also spoke to TheBlaze on the condition of anonymity because criminal proceedings are still ongoing, called the allegations “disturbing.” He said Congress will likely get involved once Zambada-Niebla’s trial has concluded if any compelling information surfaces.

“Congress won’t get involved in really any criminal case until the trial is over and the smoke has cleared,” he added. “If the allegations prove to hold any truth, there will be some serious legal ramifications.”

Earlier this month, two men in Texas were sentenced to 70 and 80 months in prison after pleading guilty to attempting to export 147 assault rifles and thousands of rounds of ammunition to Mexico’s Los Zetas cartel. Compare that to the roughly 2,000 firearms reportedly “walked” in Fast and Furious, which were used in the murders of hundreds of Mexican citizens and U.S. Border Agent Brian Terry, and some U.S. officials could potentially face jail time if they knowingly armed the Sinaloa Cartel and allowed guns to cross into Mexico.

If proven in court, such an agreement between U.S. law enforcement agencies and a Mexican cartel could potentially mar both the Bush and Obama administrations. The federal government is denying all of Zambada-Niebla’s allegations and contend that no official immunity deal was agreed upon.

To be sure, Zambada-Niebla is a member of one of the most ruthless drug gangs in all of Mexico, so there is a chance that he is saying whatever it takes to reduce his sentence, which will likely be hefty. However, Congress and the media have a duty to prove without a reasonable doubt that there is no truth in his allegations. So far, that has not been achieved.

Zambada-Niebla was reportedly responsible for coordinating all of the Sinaloa Cartel’s multi-ton drug shipments from Central and South American countries, through Mexico, and into the United States. To accomplish this, he used every tool at his disposal: Boeing 747 cargo planes, narco-submarines, container ships, speed boats, fishing vessels, buses, rail cars, tractor trailers and automobiles. But Guzman and Zambada-Niebla’s overwhelming success within the Sinaloa Cartel was largely due to the arrests and dismantling of many of their competitors and their booming businesses in the U.S. from 2004 to 2009 — around the same time ATF’s gun-walking operations were in full swing. Fast and Furious reportedly began in 2009 and continued into early 2011.

According Zambada-Niebla, that was a product of the collusion between the U.S. government and the Sinaloa Cartel.

Sinaloa Cartel Operative Jesus Vincente Zambada Niebla Makes Explosive Allegation About Operation Fast and Furious

The claims seem to fall in line with statements made last month by Guillermo Terrazas Villanueva, a spokesman for the Chihuahua state government in northern Mexico who said U.S. agencies ”don’t fight drug traffickers,” instead “they try to manage the drug trade.”

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May 072013
 

Real Clear Politics

“Most of the guns used to commit violence here in Mexico come from the United States,” President Obama said during a speech at Mexico’s Anthropology Museum. “I think many of you know that in America, our Constitution guarantees our individual right to bear arms. And as president, I swore an oath to uphold that right, and I always will.”

“But at the same time, as I’ve said in the United States, I will continue to do everything in my power to pass common-sense reforms that keep guns out of the hands of criminals and dangerous people. That can save lives here in Mexico and back home in the United States. It’s the right thing to do,” Obama added. Continue reading »

May 072013
 

CBS
Sharyl Attkisson

Federal agent John Dodson says what he was asked to do was beyond belief.

He was intentionally letting guns go to Mexico?

“Yes ma’am,” Dodson told CBS News. “The agency was.”

An Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms senior agent assigned to the Phoenix office in 2010, Dodson’s job is to stop gun trafficking across the border. Instead, he says he was ordered to sit by and watch it happen.

Investigators call the tactic letting guns “walk.” In this case, walking into the hands of criminals who would use them in Mexico and the United States.

Sharyl Attkisson’s original “Gunrunner” report

Center for Public Integrity report

Dodson’s bosses say that never happened. Now, he’s risking his job to go public.

“I’m boots on the ground in Phoenix, telling you we’ve been doing it every day since I’ve been here,” he said. “Here I am. Tell me I didn’t do the things that I did. Tell me you didn’t order me to do the things I did. Tell me it didn’t happen. Now you have a name on it. You have a face to put with it. Here I am. Someone now, tell me it didn’t happen.”

Agent Dodson and other sources say the gun walking strategy was approved all the way up to the Justice Department. The idea was to see where the guns ended up, build a big case and take down a cartel. And it was all kept secret from Mexico.

ATF named the case “Fast and Furious.”

Surveillance video obtained by CBS News shows suspected drug cartel suppliers carrying boxes of weapons to their cars at a Phoenix gun shop. The long boxes shown in the video being loaded in were AK-47-type assault rifles.

 

So it turns out ATF not only allowed it – they videotaped it.

Documents show the inevitable result: The guns that ATF let go began showing up at crime scenes in Mexico. And as ATF stood by watching thousands of weapons hit the streets… the Fast and Furious group supervisor noted the escalating Mexican violence.

One e-mail noted, “958 killed in March 2010 … most violent month since 2005.” The same e-mail notes: “Our subjects purchased 359 firearms during March alone,” including “numerous Barrett .50 caliber rifles.”

Dodson feels that ATF was partly to blame for the escalating violence in Mexico and on the border. “I even asked them if they could see the correlation between the two,” he said. “The more our guys buy, the more violence we’re having down there.”

Senior agents including Dodson told CBS News they confronted their supervisors over and over.

 

Their answer, according to Dodson, was, “If you’re going to make an omelette, you’ve got to break some eggs.”

There was so much opposition to the gun walking, that an ATF supervisor issued an e-mail noting a “schism” among the agents. “Whether you care or not people of rank and authority at HQ are paying close attention to this case…we are doing what they envisioned…. If you don’t think this is fun you’re in the wrong line of work… Maybe the Maricopa County jail is hiring detention officers and you can get $30,000 … to serve lunch to inmates…”

“We just knew it wasn’t going to end well. There’s just no way it could,” Dodson said.

 

On Dec. 14, 2010, Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was gunned down. Dodson got the bad news from a colleague.

According to Dodson, “They said, ‘Did you hear about the border patrol agent?’ And I said, ‘Yeah.’ And they said ‘Well it was one of the Fast and Furious guns.’ There’s not really much you can say after that.”

Two assault rifles ATF had let go nearly a year before were found at Terry’s murder.

Dodson said, “I felt guilty. I mean it’s crushing. I don’t know how to explain it.”

Sen. Grassley began investigating after his office spoke to Dodson and a dozen other ATF sources — all telling the same story.

Read Sen. Grassley’s letter to the attorney general

The response was “practically zilch,” Grassley said. “From the standpoint that documents we want – we have not gotten them. I think it’s a case of stonewalling.”

Dodson said he hopes that speaking out helps Terry’s family. They haven’t been told much of anything about his murder – or where the bullet came from.

“First of all, I’d tell them that I’m sorry. Second of all, I’d tell them I’ve done everything that I can for them to get the truth,” Dodson said. “After this, I don’t know what else I can do. But I hope they get it.”

Dodson said they never did take down a drug cartels. However, he said thousands of Fast and Furious weapons are still out there and will be claiming victims on both sides of the border for years to come.

Late tonight, the ATF said it will convene a panel to look into its national firearms trafficking strategy. But it refused to comment specifically on Sharyl’s report.

Statement from Kenneth E. Melson, Acting Director, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives:

 

“The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) will ask a multi-disciplinary panel of law enforcement professionals to review the bureau’s current firearms trafficking strategies employed by field division managers and special agents. This review will enable ATF to maximize its effectiveness when undertaking complex firearms trafficking investigations and prosecutions. It will support the goals of ATF to stem the illegal flow of firearms to Mexico and combat firearms trafficking in the United States.”

© 2011 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

  • Sharyl AttkissonSharyl Attkisson is a CBS News investigative correspondent based in Washington. All of her stories, videos and blogs are available here.

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Oct 302012
 

Daily Caller
Matthew Boyle

The latest congressional report on Operation Fast and Furious found that the gunwalking-program-turned-scandal was the result of a “deliberate strategy created at the highest levels of the Justice Department aimed at identifying the leaders of a major gun trafficking ring.”

The report is the second installment in a three-part series from Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Sen. Chuck Grassley and House oversight committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa.

That “deliberate strategy,” congressional investigators argue, sprang from “a series of speeches about combating violence along the Southwest border” that Attorney General Eric Holder delivered shortly after taking office.

“Although [the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives] ATF did not officially open the Fast and Furious investigation until the fall of 2009, the groundwork for the strategy that would guide the operation began shortly after new leadership took control of the Department of Justice nine months earlier,” the report reads. “On February 25, 2009, just one month after Attorney General Eric Holder took office, he gave a speech noting the danger of the Mexican drug cartels, focusing on the Sinaloa cartel in particular.”

On Feb. 25, 2009, Holder said the drug cartels “are lucrative, they are violent, and they are operated with stunning planning and precision” and, under his leadership, he promised “these cartels will be destroyed.”

A little more than a month later, on April 2, 2009 in Cuernavaca, Mexico, congressional investigators say Holder “gave further insight into the department’s new strategy for combating these dangerous cartels.”

“He spoke about the development of a prosecution and enforcement strategy with respect to firearms trafficking, noting that the ‘administration launched a major new effort to break the backs of the cartels,’” the report reads. “In particular, the attorney general said that the Justice Department was committed to adding ‘100 new ATF personnel to the Southwest Border’ and that Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) would add ‘16 new positions on the border.’ Most importantly, the attorney general noted that there must be ‘an attack in depth, on both sides of the border, that focuses on the leadership and assets of the cartel.’”

Shortly after that April 2, 2009 speech by Holder, congressional investigators say “a Firearms Trafficking Working Group was formed.” Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer, the head of DOJ’s Criminal Division, led the working group. It was tasked with “exploring and recommending proposals to enhance law enforcement efforts to curb firearms trafficking, focusing specifically on investigation, interdiction, training, prosecution, and intelligence-sharing.”

Later, on June 30, 2009, congressional investigators say Deputy Attorney General David Ogden argued that the border between the U.S. and Mexico was the “front line” to fight firearms trafficking. The report lays out how Ogden “also said that ATF and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) would sign a new agreement to ‘ensure coordination between the departments on firearms investigations.’”

Then, on Aug. 19, 2009, that working group presented its recommendations to Holder in a memo. “The recommendations section of this August 2009 memo included many of the previous public comments by Attorney General Holder and Deputy Attorney General Ogden,” the congressional report says of that memo.

“The document went on to recommend “intelligence-based, prosecutor-led, multi-agency task forces,’” congressional investigators write. “It suggested that under its new model, ‘we develop priority targets through the extensive use of intelligence,’ which would allow it to ‘build cases, coordinating long-term, extensive investigations to identify all the tentacles of a particular organization.’”

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Oct 162012
 

The Blaze
Jason Howerton

Department of Justice Seeks Dismissal of Fast and Furious Lawsuit
The Justice Department on Monday night sought dismissal of a lawsuit by a Republican-led House committee demanding that Attorney General Eric Holder produce records about the botched law enforcement probe of gun-trafficking called Operation Fast and Furious.
President Barack Obama has invoked executive privilege and the attorney general has been found to be in contempt of Congress for refusing to turn over documents that might explain what led the Justice Department to reverse course after initially denying that federal agents had used a controversial tactic called gun-walking in the failed law enforcement operation. The tactic resulted in hundreds of illegally acquired weapons purchased at Arizona gun shops winding up in Mexico, where many of them were recovered from crime scenes. Two guns in Operation Fast and Furious were found on the U.S. side of the border at the scene of a shooting in which U.S. border agent Brian Terry was killed. In a Feb. 4, 2011 letter to Congress, the Justice Department said that agents made every effort to interdict weapons that have been purchased illegally and prevent their transportation to Mexico, which turned out to be incorrect. Ten months later, the department withdrew the letter.
In its court papers, the Justice Department says the Constitution does not permit the courts to resolve the political dispute between the executive branch and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that is seeking the records. The political branches have a long history of resolving disputes over congressional requests without judicial intervention, the court filing said.

If the lawsuit is allowed to go forward, “countless other suits by Congress are sure to follow, given the volume of document requests issued by the dozens of congressional committees that perform oversight functions,” the Justice Department’s court filing stated. “This case thus illustrates vividly why the judiciary must defer to the time-tested political process for resolution of such disputes.”

The Justice Department cited a Supreme Court ruling which said the court lacked jurisdiction to decide a challenge brought by several members of Congress to the constitutionality of the line item veto law.
In the current dispute over records from Operation Fast and Furious, the House asked the court to reject a claim by the president asserting executive privilege, a legal position designed to protect certain internal administration communications from disclosure.
The failure of Holder and House Republicans to work out a deal on the documents led to votes in June that held the attorney general in civil and criminal contempt of Congress.
In Fast and Furious, ATF agents abandoned the agency’s usual practice of intercepting all weapons they believed to be illicitly purchased, often as soon as they were taken out of gun shops. Instead, the goal of the tactic known as “gun-walking” was to track such weapons to high-level arms traffickers, who had long eluded prosecution, and to dismantle their networks. Federal agents lost track of many of the guns. The operation identified more than 2,000 illicitly purchased weapons, and some 1,400 of them have yet to be recovered.

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Oct 032012
 

Business Insider
Michael Kelley

Leaked emails from the private U.S. security firm Stratfor cite a Mexican diplomat who says the U.S. government works with Mexican cartels to traffic drugs into the United States and has sided with the Sinaloa cartel in an attempt to limit the violence in Mexico.

Many people have doubted the quality of Stratfor’s intelligence, but the information from MX1—a Mexican foreign service officer who doubled as a confidential source for Stratfor—seems to corroborate recent claims about U.S. involvement in the drug war in Mexico.
Most notably, the reports from MX1 line up with assertions by a Sinaloa cartel insider that cartel boss Joaquin Guzman is a U.S. informant, the Sinaloa cartel was “given carte blanche to continue to smuggle tons of illicit drugs into Chicago,” and Operation Fast and Furious was part of an agreement to finance and arm the Sinaloa cartel in exchange for information used to take down rival cartels.
An email with the subject “Re: From MX1 — 2” sent Monday, April 19, 2010, to Stratfor vice president of intelligence Fred Burton says:
I think the US sent a signal that could be construed as follows:
“To the [Juárez] and Sinaloa cartels: Thank you for providing our market with drugs over the years. We are now concerned about your perpetration of violence, and would like to see you stop that. In this regard, please know that Sinaloa is bigger and better than [the Juárez cartel]. Also note that [Ciudad Juárez] is very important to us, as is the whole border. In this light, please talk amongst yourselves and lets all get back to business. Again, we recognize that Sinaloa is bigger and better, so either [the Juárez cartel] gets in line or we will mess you up.”
In sum, I have a gut feeling that the US agencies tried to send a signal telling the cartels to negotiate themselves. They unilaterally declared a winner, and this is unprecedented, and deserves analysis.
Bill Conroy of Narco News reports that MX1’s description matches the publicly available information on Fernando de la Mora Salcedo — a Mexican foreign service officer who studied law at the University of New Mexico and served at the Mexican Consulates in El Paso, Texas, and Phoenix.
In a June 13, 2010, email with the subject “Re: Get follow up from mx1? Thx,” MX1 states that U.S. and Mexican law enforcement sent their “signal” by discretely brokering a deal with cartels in Tijuana, just south of San Diego, Calif., which reduced the violence in the area considerably. 
It is not so much a message for the Mexican government as it is for the Sinaloa cartel and [the Juárez cartel] themselves. Basically, the message they want to send out is that Sinaloa is winning and that the violence is unacceptable. They want the CARTELS to negotiate with EACH OTHER. The idea is that if they can do this, violence will drop and the governments will allow controlled drug trades.
The email went on to say that “the major routes and methods for bulk shipping into the US” from Ciudad Juárez, right across the border from El Paso, Texas, “have already been negotiated with US authorities” and that large shipments of drugs from the Sinaloa cartel “are OK with the Americans.”
In July a Mexican state government spokesman told Al Jazeera that the CIA and other international security forces “don’t fight drug traffickers” as much as “try to manage the drug trade.” A mid-level Mexican official told Al Jazeera that based on discussions he’s had with U.S. officials working in Ciudad Juárez, the allegations were true.
WikiLeaks has published 2,878 out of what it says is a cache of 5 million internal Stratfor emails (dated between July 2004 and December 2011) obtained by the hacker collective Anonymous around Christmas.

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Oct 032012
 

Business Insider
Michael Kelley

Mexican Army Special Forces

Ciudad Juárez, right across the border from El Paso, Texas, was perhaps the most dangerous place in the world between 2008 and 2011 as a “cartel turf war” led to more than 10,000 murders.

But U.S. and Mexican officials told Stratfor that the surge of killings can be partly attributed to Mexican special forces and hitmen who were acting as U.S. informants.
One email from a Mexican diplomat—identified by Narco News as Fernando de la Mora Salcedo—to Stratfor describes special-operations and intelligence units, embedded within the larger Mexican military force being sent to Ciudad Juárez in 2008 and 2009, that would carry out “surgical strikes” against low-level criminals.
The major groups of killers have left the city, scared shitless, to take refuge elsewhere for an indeterminate amount of time… The military will surgically remove cells that had been previously identified, but for whatever reason were not taken down yet. Periods of adjustment will ensue, but the military will fill any void left in terms of territorial control, ultimately causing the competing [drug trafficking organizations] to wait/give up.
The aim of the special forces, according to the Mexican diplomat, was to “give some breathing room to the [cartel] bosses so that they can issue orders to calm things down” and continue to traffic massive amounts of drugs across the border into the U.S. with less social violence..
Narco News’ Bill Conroy notes, in the definitive piece about the units he calls “death squads,” that the “military cartel” was present in 2008 based on an analysis of murder cases in Ciudad Juárez.
Conroy noticed that “the murders in Juárez are, in almost all cases, not the result of random violence or shootouts between rival drug gangs. In most cases, they are cold-blooded assassinations, often involving coordinated teams of armed, sometimes masked, men who are making use of intelligence, surveillance and paramilitary-like tactics to take out their victims.”
Hitmen from Ciudad Juárez were also given the ability to cross borders and kill due to their relationship with U.S. officials, according an email with the subject “Re: INSIGHT-MEXICO/US-Mishandling of ICE informants-US714.
The email cites a “U.S. Law enforcement Officer with direct oversight of border investigations” who says that the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was “handling big hitmen from Juárez and letting them kill in the U.S.
An analyst then notes that Stratfor previously covered the subject of cartel hitmen who were also ICE informants.

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Oct 022012
 

Daily Bail

Take a step back in time with Big Sis.
If it’s this easy to find evidence (20-second search on Youtube), why doesn’t the MSM publish the truth and expose Holder and Obama?  This is blatant.  They are even bragging about it.  Where is the outrage?  Where is the accountability?  Why isn’t this a huge story?
Here’s the answer from a Democratic pollster.
The White House wants you to believe that Holder and Obama knew nothing about Fast & Furious even though you are watching video of the Deputy Attorney Generalicon1.png holding a press conference to announce the bold, new program that was ‘directed by the President.’
And the worst part is – they are getting away with it.

On January 30, 2010, a commando of at least 20 hit men parked themselves outside a birthday party of high school and college students in Ciudad Juarez.  Near midnight, the assassins, later identified as hired guns for the Mexican cartel La Linea, broke into a one-story house and opened fire on a gathering of nearly 60 teenagers.  Outside, lookouts gunned down a screaming neighbor and several students who had managed to escape.  Fourteen young men and women were killed, and 12 more were wounded.
The U.S. government played a role in the massacre by supplying some of the firearms used by the cartel murderers.  One source called Univision’s findings the ‘holy grail’ that Congressional investigators have been seeking.  The guns didn’t stop in Mexico, either:
Additional guns, previously unreported by congressional investigators, found their way into the hands of drug traffickers across Latin America in countries such as, Honduras and Colombia, as well as the U.S. Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
CBS News reminds us that the Obama administration is still hiding Kevin O’Reilly, a key figure in Operation Fast and Furious:
O’Reilly, then a White House National Security staffer, had phone and email exchanges about Fast and Furious from July 2010 to Feb. 2011 with the lead ATF official on the case: ATF Special Agent in Charge Bill Newell. Just days after Newell testified to Congress on July 26, 2011 that he’d shared information with O’Reilly, whom he described as a long time friend, O’Reilly was transferred to Iraq and not available for questioning. Thereafter, he declined interviews with congressional investigators and the IG.
In a letter sent to O’Reilly’s attorney Thursday, Issa and Grassley state that O’Reilly’s “sudden transfer” to Iraq took him out of pocket in their investigation, and placed him in a position that had already been given to somebody else, raising “serious questions about O’Reilly’s assignment in Baghdad (and) the motivation for his transfer there.” …
“Given that O’Reilly was the link connecting the White House to the scandal, and that the President subsequently asserted executive privilege over the documents pertaining to Fast and Furious, it is imperative that the American people get to the bottom of O’Reilly’s involvement with Fast and Furious,” says the letter to O’Reilly’s attorney.
It goes on to say that if O’Reilly does not agree to an interview within 30 days, congressional Republicans will have no choice but to “use compulsory process” or subpoena power to require his testimony.

Unfortunately your browser does not support IFrames.

Here’s the ABC story that goes with the video.
Univision has aggressively covered Fast and Furious, and its most recent major run-in with the scandal came when network anchor Jorge Ramos grilled Obama in an interview on the scandal, asking him why he hasn’t “fired” Holder. During the interview, Obama made at least one false statement relating to Fast and Furious.

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Oct 012012
 

ABC

Unfortunately your browser does not support IFrames.

Who are the human faces of the U.S. government’s botched “Fast and Furious” gun-walking operation?

Often lost amid the rancor in Washington are the stories of dozens of people killed by guns that flowed south as part of the undercover operation, and later slipped out of view from U.S. officials. Univision’s Investigative Unit (Univision Investiga) has identified massacres committed using guns from the ATF operation, including the killing of 16 young people attending a party in a residential area of Ciudad Juárez in January of 2010.

Univision Univision’s TV Special On The Fast and… View Full Size Additional guns, previously unreported by congressional investigators, found their way into the hands of drug traffickers across Latin America in countries such as, Honduras and Colombia, as well as the U.S. Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. A person familiar with the recent congressional hearings called Univision’s findings “the holy grail” that Congress had been searching for.

Get the full story on “Fast and Furious” on a special edition of Univision’s “Aquí y Ahora” (Here and Now) this Sunday, September 30, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. ET/PT (6 p.m. Central), which will be aired with closed captioning in English.

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Sep 242012
 
By 

Fast and Furious report reveals inaccurate statementsRepublicans on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee (OGR) are asking whether the Democrats’ on the OGR who made “false statements on Fast and Furious wiretap applications: willfully misleading the American people” or were they “just plain wrong?

OGR Democrats have said that the wiretaps in the Fast and Furious matter did not show reckless tactics. Cases in point:

“All six of these wiretap applications state explicitly that law enforcement agents on the ground in Arizona did not observe the illegal acts of transferring firearms to unauthorized persons or trafficking firearms across the border to Mexico,” Ranking Member Elijah Cummings, on 6/15/2012.

“The wiretap applications. I read through them yesterday, and I would say without — since we can’t talk about what was in them, that my perception of what they would imply was far different than my friend from South Carolina’s perception,” Rep. John Yarmuth, on 6/20/2012.

“We have to be cautious because of the privileged nature of the wiretaps. So, I can’t talk about the contents of those. But I can say after reading those, nothing — nothing in those wiretaps supports what you’re alleging. Not a — matter of fact, they refute — they refute everything you’re saying,” Rep. Stephen Lynch, on 6/20/2012.

However, Republicans say that the Inspector General’s report released last week, “contradicts their false assurances to the public” He cites cases in point:

The report reads on page 277, “We found that the affidavits described specific incidents that would suggest to a prosecutor who was focused on the question of investigative tactics that ATF was employing a strategy of not interdicting weapons or arresting known straw purchasers.”

On page 279, it reads, “Moreover, a reader of only the 5-page OEO cover memorandum would have learned significant facts [redacted] . . . We concluded that a reader of the OEO cover memorandum would infer from the facts stated that ATF agents did not take enforcement action to interdict the weapons or arrest [redacted].”

According to Jake Tapper of ABC News, President Obama has also made a false claim about Fast and Furious. Tapper writes:

Asked about the Fast and Furious program at the Univision forum on Thursday, President Obama falsely claimed that the program began under President George W. Bush.
“I think it’s important for us to understand that the Fast and Furious program was a field-initiated program begun under the previous administration,” the president said. “When Eric Holder found out about it, he discontinued it. We assigned a inspector general to do a thorough report that was just issued, confirming that in fact Eric Holder did not know about this, that he took prompt action and the people who did initiate this were held accountable.” 

In actuality, the Fast and Furious program was started in October 2009, nine months into the Obama presidency.



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