Posts tagged gunrunning
While federal officials publicly denounced a lone whistleblower and told Congress the Obama administration had done everything it could to stop guns from going to Mexico, administration officials had signs that Fast and Furious investigators were losing track of weapons, a new memo obtained exclusively by Fox News suggests.
The memo, written in early February by Agent Gary Styers with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, appears to corroborate allegations made a few weeks earlier by whistleblower ATF Agent John Dodson about the gunrunning probe. It also conflicts with a letter from Assistant Attorney General Ron Weich to Congress, in which he insisted, “The allegation … that ATF ‘sanctioned’ or otherwise knowingly allowed the sale of assault weapons … is false.”
Styers’ memo to top ATF officials was dated Feb. 3, a day before Weich told Congress on Feb. 4 that Dodson’s claims were false. Styers explained that Fast and Furious “divided and isolated agents,” and the agent in charge called off surveillance. He detailed one instance in which agents monitoring a firearms transaction at a gas station were told they were too close to the scene — while they repositioned, the buyer left the area without agents following.
“It is unheard of to have an active wiretap investigation without full time dedicated surveillance units on the ground,” he wrote.
Styers wrote that his advice, and the advice of other agents, was “widely disregarded.”
The memo was meant to describe conversations Styers had with staff for Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, after the senator’s staff contacted him with questions about Fast and Furious. And it presents a starkly different portrait of the probe than that portrayed by the Feb. 4 letter from Weich — that letter is at the center of the controversy on Capitol Hill.
And while Attorney General Eric Holder now admits Weich’s letter was inaccurate, many in Congress feel deliberately misled. Holder is accused of knowing from multiple sources that Operation Fast and Furious deliberately allowed guns to go to Mexico, and that some of those guns had been linked to the killing of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry the previous December.