Obama’s Jus­tice De­part­ment At­tacked on “Fast and Fu­ri­ous” Cover-ups

In­quir­ing minds still want to know what mo­ti­vated Obama to arm Mex­i­can drug car­tels with Amer­i­can weapons

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A new joint con­gres­sional re­port takes Eric Holder’s Jus­tice De­part­ment to task over its de­lib­er­ate ob­struc­tion and mis­han­dling of in­ves­ti­ga­tions into the “Fast and Fu­ri­ous” op­er­a­tions to put guns in the hands of Mex­ico's drug gangs by get­ting Amer­i­can gun deal­ers to sell to sus­pected and known gun smug­glers.

Be­tween 2006 and 2011, the Arizona Field Of­fice of the United States Bureau of Al­co­hol, Tobacco, Firearms and Ex­plo­sives (ATF) had what their bosses at the U.S. Jus­tice De­part­ment claimed at the time was a bril­liant idea. To help trap mem­bers of the var­i­ous Mex­i­can drug car­tels, the ATF, via their Tuc­son and Phoenix of­fices, en­cour­aged li­censed firearms deal­ers to sell weapons to il­le­gal straw buy­ers, in or­der to track the guns to Mex­i­can drug car­tel lead­ers and ar­rest them.

The big prob­lem with their stated plan was that they had ab­so­lutely no sys­tem in place to track the guns. Not only was their no mech­a­nism by which they could track the guns, they had no in­ten­tion and made no ef­forts to track the guns un­til one of them was used to kill one of their agents.

De­lib­er­ately sell­ing guns to car­tels was first launched by Ge­orge W. Bush un­der cover of another Fed­eral Op­er­a­tion, Project Gun­run­ner, which was at least more up-front about what it was try­ing to do. It was cre­ated sup­pos­edly to slow the flow of firearms into Mex­ico by catch­ing pur­chasers of guns supplied by the United States (in small quan­ti­ties) to gun traf­fick­ers and then catch­ing them via trace­able weapons, or so the Bush ad­min­is­tra­tion claimed.

The drug car­tel trap was of an en­tirely dif­fer­ent na­ture, with in­ten­tional sup­ply and arm­ing of the al­ready vi­cious peo­ple within those gangs. The pro­gram shifted to be­come known as “Op­er­a­tion Fast and Fu­ri­ous” when some of the sus­pects un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion in one

par­tic­u­lar case were de­ter­mined to be­long to a car club.

Un­der the Obama pro­gram, more than 2,000 firearms were de­lib­er­ately pro­vided to the car­tels as part of the Op­er­a­tion. Of those, only 710 were ul­ti­mately re­cov­ered by Mex­i­can police and none traced to their ul­ti­mate buyer or users.

How­ever, many deaths were tracked to this ‘gun­walk­ing’ op­er­a­tion, in­clud­ing notably when United States Bor­der Pa­trol Agent Brian Terry was killed in De­cem­ber 2010. He had hero­ically en­gaged in a gunfight with U.S. ATF armed ban­dits along the Arizona-mex­ico bor­der, and was killed at the scene. Af­ter rou­tine anal­y­sis of the weapons found at the scene, it was de­ter­mined at least two of the high-pow­ered as­sault ri­fles on the ban­dit site had been supplied by none other than the U.S. Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment.

Be­sides shoot­ings at the U.s.-mex­ico bor­der, deaths within Mex­ico di­rectly re­lated to U.s.-supplied weapons were pil­ing up. Al­though real num­bers are likely far higher, tes­ti­mony by Hum­berto Benítez Tre­viño, for­mer Mex­i­can At­tor­ney Gen­eral and chair of the jus­tice com­mit­tee in the Cham­ber of Deputies, showed Op­er­a­tion Fast and Fu­ri­ous firearms present at Mex­i­can crime scenes where over 150 Mex­i­can civil­ians were maimed and killed. To date, more than 200,000 peo­ple have been killed in Mex­ico's drug wars and most all of the guns do­ing the killing came from the United States.

Be­sides the deaths that were di­rectly at­trib­ut­able to the gun­walk­ing cam­paign by the U.S. Jus­tice De­part­ment, the pro­gram also turned out to be a dis­mal fail­ure in its in­tended goals. No guns were ever traced to any car­tel mem­bers.

As the bor­der and car­tel-driven killings in­creased, the Mex­i­can gov­ern­ment in­creased its plead­ings for Obama to stop flood­ing the coun­try with guns.

Other in­for­ma­tion leaks about the scan­dal ended up reach­ing the high­est lev­els of the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion. Pres­i­dent Barack Obama re­fused to as­sist with dis­cov­ery of in­for­ma­tion about the gun­walk­ing cam­paign, in­vok­ing ex­ec­u­tive priv­i­lege in 2012 to jus­tify his ad­min­is­tra­tion’s cover-up about the mess. Later that same month, then At­tor­ney Gen­eral Eric Holder was sum­moned to pro­vide cer­tain ma­te­ri­als and tes­ti­mony about the Op­er­a­tion to Congress, and he re­fused. From that act, he has the du­bi­ous dis­tinc­tion of be­ing the first sit­ting mem­ber of the United States Cab­i­net to have been held in con­tempt of Congress, on June 28, 2012.

Ap­prox­i­mately 5 years later, on June 7 of this year, a joint con­gres­sional re­port was is­sued re­gard­ing its own in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the pro­gram. It minced few words, hit­ting the Jus­tice De­part­ment of the time for a to­tal “lack of re­spect for con­gres­sional over­sight” dur­ing the six-year term of the U.S. Leg­isla­tive branch’s dig­ging into what re­ally hap­pened in the dis­as­trous Op­er­a­tion.

In that 263-page joint con­gres­sional re­port, the au­thors said the Jus­tice De­part­ment had de­lib­er­ately hid doc­u­ments from con­gres­sional com­mit­tees charged with in­ves­ti­gat­ing the De­cem­ber 2010 death of Bor­der Pa­trol Agent Brian Terry.

It also shows how the ad­min­is­tra­tion lied about know­ing about the op­er­a­tion and quite a bit of its specifics. As one par­tic­u­larly dis­gust­ing ex­am­ple, the re­port in­cludes a let­ter dated Fe­bru­ary 4, 2011, from then As­sis­tant At­tor­ney Gen­eral Ron­ald We­ich to Se­na­tor Chuck Grass­ley bluntly deny­ing the ATF had any in­volve­ment in Op­er­a­tion Fast and Fu­ri­ous. Yet other doc­u­ments re­trieved later from the Jus­tice De­part­ment show that, at the time of the let­ter, the Cab­i­net of­fi­cials in­clud­ing Ron­ald We­ich knew both about the pro­gram and that Bor­der Pa­trol Agent Terry’s death was linked to weapons supplied as part of that op­er­a­tion.

The re­port goes on to at­tack the Jus­tice De­part­ment that it “al­lowed peo­ple with con­flicts of in­ter­est to in­flu­ence [its own in­ter­nal] in­ves­ti­ga­tion”.

It even points out that the Jus­tice De­part­ment used as part of its jus­ti­fi­ca­tion not to re­spond to re­quests for in­for­ma­tion that some of those re­quests were com­ing from Se­na­tor Chuck Grass­ley, who was at the time just a mem­ber of the mi­nor­ity party. So ap­par­ently even if a Se­na­tor was duly elected to the U.S. Congress and duly ap­pointed as a mi­nor­ity party mem­ber of the in­ves­tiga­tive group look­ing into the mess, it was con­sid­ered ‘le­gal’ to ig­nore them be­cause they were part of that mi­nor­ity.

Af­ter dig­ging fur­ther, the in­ves­tiga­tive group from Congress also says bluntly that once the prob­lems with the out-of-con­trol pro­gram were be­gin­ning to un­ravel, that even then lit­tle hap­pened. As the re­port noted, “Doc­u­ments ob­tained by Congress demon­strate the de­part­ment’s fail­ure to ad­e­quately su­per­vise field of­fices or to fo­cus on fix­ing the prob­lems brought to light in the controversy over Op­er­a­tion Fast and Fu­ri­ous”.

The re­port takes the dam­age claims against then At­tor­ney Gen­eral Eric Holder one step fur­ther by sys­tem­at­i­cally track­ing how he was in­volved in a step-by-step ap­proach to counter ev­ery neg­a­tive state­ment re­lated to Op­er­a­tion Fast and Fu­ri­ous. The goal was noth­ing

less than to throw a smoke­screen around any pos­si­ble wrong­do­ing by the De­part­ment of Jus­tice or the White House in this ef­fort.

In the end, the re­port also con­cluded that over 2,000 of the weapons pro­vided to the drug car­tels and traf­fick­ers in Mex­ico were never re­cov­ered. It is pre­sumed they are still around and ac­tively be­ing used to hunt down and slaugh­ter those who might dare stand up against them.

When the re­port was is­sued last month, there was a House Over­sight hear­ing that re­viewed some of the high­lights of this joint con­gres­sional re­port. In those hear­ings, Grass­ley him­self tes­ti­fied, say­ing that, af­ter six years of seek­ing the whole truth of Op­er­a­tion Fast and Fu­ri­ous, it is clear that “our sys­tem of checks and bal­ances is bro­ken”. The big ques­tion re­main­ing af­ter that state­ment is, of course, how to do some­thing about fix­ing them.

Un­der the Bush regime, pro­vid­ing the car­tels with easy ac­cess to weapons was just busi­ness as usual for the Bush crime fam­ily, which has been deeply in­volved in the in­ter­na­tional drug trade for decades, at least.

The Bush fam­ily has long been closely associated with known car­tel lead­ers and re­main deeply con­nected to the rogue el­e­ments within the CIA who ul­ti­mately con­trol and ben­e­fit from the drug trade. The CIA con­trols the bulk of the in­ter­na­tional drug trade to fund il­le­gal black ops, and it skims a sub­stan­tial per­cent­age of drug pro­ceeds from the Mex­i­cans.

The U.S. Drug En­force­ment Ad­min­is­tra­tion was formed in 1973 to pro­tect the CIA'S drug op­er­a­tions from ri­vals and it con­tin­ues to func­tion in this ca­pac­ity.

Amer­ica has spent close to $1 tril­lion on its phony drug war and the drug trade con­tin­ues to grow and drug car­tels be­come ever more pow­er­ful.

Thanks to the CIA and Bush fam­ily, Mex­ico's largest in­dus­try is the drug trade and the coun­try is es­sen­tially a narco-state ruled by the car­tels.

The real agenda be­hind Obama's arm­ing of Mex­i­can drug lords is be­lieved to be some­thing else en­tirely. Some sus­pect that it was part of a plan to in­crease gun vi­o­lence to jus­tify greater gun con­trol and con­trol over who can buy guns in the United States, just as many of the mass shoot­ings by crazed Amer­i­cans are mind con­trol and so­cial en­gi­neer­ing op­er­a­tions de­signed to man­u­fac­ture sup­port for greater gun con­trol.

A truly sin­is­ter force rules the United States fed­eral gov­ern­ment and Congress dare not dig too deep.

Photo by Andrea,

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