President Barack Obama appears to be getting it from all sides regarding a government snafu dubbed Operation Fast and Furious. Besides both houses of the U.S. Congress and a number of public-interest groups investigating what is being characterized as a rogue federal law enforcement operation, Mexico’s attorney general is infuriated over the allegations that the U.S. was behind the smuggling of weapons into Mexico that ended up killing her countrymen.
In a statement released by Mexican Attorney General Marisela Morales, she called Operation Fast and Furious “an attack on Mexicans’ security.”
Morales told Mexican reporters that she is demanding a full and honest explanation from the United States government especially since evidence is being gathered that reveals the Obama administration was more involved in Operation Fast and Furious than top officials admitted in their sworn statements.
If what is being reported is true, U.S. Attorney General and other government officials may have committed perjury and/or obstruction of justice if it’s proven they lied when testifying before House and Senate committees.
Operation Fast and Furious was a botched Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives covert operation initiated in order to track more than 2,000 smuggled guns to Mexican drug cartels by allowing gang members to purchase them illegally from U.S. gun stores then take them back to their leaders.
However, according to Congressional reports by both Rep. Darryl Issa (R-CA) and Senator Charles Grassley (R-NE), the federal agency lost track of many of the guns. Some later were traced to murders of police and civilians in Mexico and the killing of a U.S. Border Patrol Agent, Brian Terry.
There is also mounting evidence that the Cartel members obtained other weapons including grenades and brought them back to Mexico with the full knowledge of the ATF and the U.S. Justice Department.
President Obama said in June he would discipline the Fast and Furious organizers once the investigation is completed. He then stated that the Fast and Furious fiasco was never approved by his Justice Department officials.
However, reports from several sources including the non-governmental agency Judicial Watch, Fox News Channel and The Examiner strongly suggest there indeed high-level government involvement.
According to Fox News, documents obtained by their news staff revealed that the ATF agents involved actually sold some of the guns to gang members. They allegedly purchased the guns with taxpayer money.
Meanwhile Mexico’s Attorney General claims she learned about the operation in the news media rather than being told about it in advance by U.S. government officials, including members of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s staff.
Morales said that if U.S. federal officials were involved, it would be a “betrayal” of Mexico while its police and military were fighting a war against drug cartels. Tens of thousands of Mexicans have been killed since the “war on drugs” began in 2006. Almost weekly, Mexican authorities are finding mass graves of those murdered by the cartels.
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), the House Oversight Committee’s chairman, recently said that it appears the trail of evidence about who authorized Operation Fast and Furious leads back to the White House.
Operation Fast and Furious began in October 2009 with sales from American gun stores to Mexican cartel members. They allegedly spent over $1 million on the firearms. Then in June 2010, ATF picked up the pace of the smuggling by allowing its agents to sell the guns to gang members, according to government documents obtained by Fox News and Judicial Watch.
According to his own testimony, ATF Agent John Dodson was ordered to buy six semi-automatic handguns then sell them to buyers he knew were illegal, the documents say.
Dodson claimed during his House testimony, that he acted on his own, against supervisors’ instructions, to monitor the movement of the guns to a “stash house.” He kept the house under surveillance until a vehicle showed up to pick up the guns for smuggling into Mexico.
Dodson says he called for a team to move in to arrest the smugglers, but his supervisors refused. The guns then disappeared from ATF surveillance.
Groups such as the Second Amendment Foundation believe the operation was “dreamed up to show proof that U.S. guns are contributing to the crime and violence in Mexico,” something that has been alleged by President Obama, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and their supporters in the gun-control lobby.
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