Fast & Furious has grabbed my attention. I bounce around on the major networks to see what they are reporting on Fast & Furious. I have watched 4 of the hearings in their entirety and read on the net about the ones I missed. I have spent a lot of time on the net seeking news coverage. I also visit the Oversight Committee's website to read their progress reporting.
What is amazing to me are the errors reported by reporters and commentary analysts. Yes, incorrect information has been on Fox News, too. Last Friday's "The Five" program had me shouting at Juan Williams. "You are an idiot, Juan. You haven't spent any research time to get the facts straight before you give an opinion." Operation Wide Receiver (Bush administration) was started and then stopped. (Fast & Furious started during the Obama adm.) Wide Receiver was an entirely different operation than Fast & Furious. The guns had GPS units installed so they could be tracked. Arizona ATF agents followed the guns; Mexico was part of the sting. They followed the guns after they crossed the border. Arrests were made. Less than 300 guns were involved. When it was discovered that the gun cartels had discovered how the guns were being tracked and removed the GPS units, the program was ended immediately.
While the ATF office in Arizona handled F & F and while it was approved by the ATF head in WA DC, the DOJ also knew about it and had meetings about it. We have to assume that the approval to run the operation went from ATF up through the DOJ at least through and to several Deputy AG's as they attended DOJ meetings.
The question is: did knowledge of F&F stop at the Deputy AG level without their reporting Fast & Furious to Holder? Is that how the DOJ works? Keep the boss in the dark? We already know that Holder misspoke when he said in a hearing that he had learned about it only recently. UH, emails were found which proved Holder had lied about when he said knew about F & F.
Over 2,000 illegal guns were made available to gun shop owners by ATF (that's substantially more than the almost 300 involved in Wide Receiver before it was shut down.)
The gunshop owners then sold the guns to straw buyers and the guns made their way to Mexican drug cartels. Over 2,000 guns... this was not a cheap gun-walking operation. Somebody higher than ATF had to approve this type of expenditure. Instead of watching the guns (which was given as the purpose of the operation), the ATF agents were told to stand down and to not follow them to the Mexican border. If customs caught the guns at the border, they were told by ATF to let them pass.
Neither ATF nor the DOJ told Mexico about this gun-walking operation so there were no Mexican authorities on the other side of the border watching where the guns went (which was done in previous gun-walking operations).
So if ATF was not going to monitor the over 2,000 guns nor tell Mexico so they could monitor the guns, exactly what was the purpose for the gun-walking operation? In reality, the ATF / DOJ supplied the Mexican cartels with over 2,000 AK47s, 50 caliber rifles, and other illegal guns. As of this date, they don't know where most of the guns went. They do know one Border Agent was killed and the estimate they give is that around 200 Mexican people have been killed by those guns. No explanation as to how they arrived at that figure.
No figures have been released as to where the guns have shown up in other crimes and where those crimes took place in the US. A Texas congressman wrote a letter to the DOJ asking how many guns have ended up in Texas and to what crimes they can be attibuted. The DOJ has not replied to his letter.
An ATF / DOJ cover-up? Did the ATF / DOJ lie to the House Oversight Committee ? Yes. For over 10 months they denied that the F & F operation existed.
A whistle blower changed that.
What did Holder know, when did he know it, and did he give approval for F & F ? The answers may be in the documents that the Oversight Committee has requested. Does it go beyond the AG and does it lead to the White House? There is a reason why AG Holder will not provide the documents and why the President requested executive privilege. Sort of like Nixon who used executive privilege so the WH tape recordings would not become public. The Supreme Court ruled on that one; the tape recordings became public and Nixon resigned over a botched petty burglary attempt. It pales by comparison to Fast & Furious.