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
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.