Monday, April 18, 2011

Another Day, Another CPI Report Humiliates the ATF

This is turning into a routine:

An Arizona gun dealer pressed by federal agents to continue selling weapons to suspected straw buyers for Mexican cartels repeatedly sought assurances from prosecutors and law enforcement that the government would not let the guns cross into Mexico or be used against U.S. border agents, according to evidence gathered by Senate investigators.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and federal prosecutors assured the dealer in e-mails that they were “continually monitoring the suspects” who ended up buying more than 1,700 guns in 2009 and 2010 with the government’s knowledge as part of a controversial investigation code-named Operation Fast and Furious, the e-mails show.

But the government’s promises, detailed in emails obtained the Center for Public Integrity, turned out to be hollow. In fact, almost 800 of the weapons turned up after they were used in crimes, collected during arrests or seized through other law enforcement operations, including 195 in Mexico alone. Two weapons traced to the Fast and Furious operation were recovered near the scene of a murdered Border Patrol agent – an outcome that the firearms dealer specifically feared, according to the e-mails.

When an arms dealer is urging more caution with regard to arms traffic than the agency specifically charged with combating it, something is very wrong.

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