5 years, 8 months ago
It has been pointed out that there is a difference between Project Gunrunner and the subset of this project that involved the release of firearms to members of the Mexican drug cartel, or so-called “Fast and Furious.” The point is taken, but I think that it is easy to press this point too far.
I have pointed out that the ATF’s strategy expanded and had to be modified based on guidance from the White House and Department of Justice. There was knowledge of the operations and consistency of efforts up the chain of command. What under President Bush required only a handful of ATF agents to interdict weapons, suddenly became an operation funded with stimulus money, involving some 100 additional ATF agents at the Southwest border, according to Eric Holder’s own statements. Project Gunrunner without “Fast and Furious,” or the intentional, illegal transport of weapons across the border, is like a football camp without scrimmages.
The sordid details include the deaths of law enforcement officers on both sides of the border, but as the scandal grows, the list of consequences does as well. We have recently learned that the ATF helped to train corrupt Mexican police officers in the use of electronic tracking and detection techniques (with such training coinciding with the intentional release of weapons to the Mexican drug cartels as part of “Fast and Furious”).
But the scandal grows worse just in the last couple of days. Some 1000 weapons had been released to Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) in Honduras. This was done not through the Phoenix office of the ATF, but through Tampa office. David Codrea reports on the coverup currently going on.
The source reporting Special Agent in Charge of ATF’s Tampa Field Division Virginia O’Brien “ran a gun-running investigation that was walking guns to Honduras using the techniques and tactics identical to Fast and Furious” contacted these correspondents again this evening with this follow-up report:
O’Brien is in full meltdown. She ordered supervisors from around the Division to report immediately to division offices and to plan on working through the entire weekend on the coverup.
Her partner in the bungle was ASAC Scott McCampbell. At one point the case was ready to be wrapped up with arrests and remain relatively efficient but O’Brien and McCampbell decided on their own to keep it going to “get more” against the advise of thier (sic) field employees and the walked guns numbers got out of control.
OB is terrified that her intentional concealing of her walked guns is going to do her in since she disregarded orders to report to DOJ and Congress.
Nearly the same culprits above her are on the hook for this. Chait knew about it so did Hoover and Melson. The new player is DAD East Julie Torres. She took O’Brien’s old DAD job when OB went to Tampa and has given OB carte blanche to do whatever she wants with little oversight.
Reportedly the shredders are buzzing.
Thus the scandal – and coverup – expands to the Tampa office, and yet responsibility finds no home at the top of the administration (or even in the middle).
Prior: Project Gunrunner category