Congressional Report Condemns DOJ’s Tragic Project Gunrunner
By Dave Gahary
A 51-page joint House and Senate report just released confirms what AMERICAN FREE PRESS has been reporting since January: A “reckless” program approved by Attorney General Eric Holder’s Department of Justice (DOJ) to facilitate sales of over 2,500 “assault-style weapons” to U.S. gun buyers in order to identify members of trafficking networks who funnel these weapons to Mexico’s deadliest drug cartels, was responsible for the death of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agent Brian Terry and will lead to many more deaths in years to come.
The report, titled “The Department of Justice’s Operation Fast and Furious: Accounts of ATF Agents,” prepared for Rep. Darrell E. Issa (R-Calif.) and Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), identified a procedure called “gunwalking,” which simply means that law enforcement allows suspect buyers to walk away with the gun, as the main culprit of this “hapless” operation.
Interviews with agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) comprise the bulk of the report, accompanied by several incriminating emails from the agents’ superiors. “Fast and Furious” was an operation associated with the lead project called “Gunrunner.”
AFP reporters Pat Shannan, Victor Thorn and Frank Whalen have been covering this story since two AK-47s were found near Terry’s lifeless body near the border between the U.S. and Mexico in December 2010. Some of the weapons that the cartel conspirators were allowed to walk away with included “AK-47 variants, Barrett .50 caliber sniper rifles, .38 caliber revolvers, and FN Five-Seven” tactical assault pistols.
Shannan posited that this fiasco provides more evidence to “close down” the BATFE. Thorn showed how Gunrunner has added to the violence in the Southwest, possibly aiding in the “murder of U.S. ranchers and lawmen, a beheading in Arizona, Hispanic sex slaves being transported into states such as Georgia, kidnapping children and trafficking in human organs.”
Whalen goes further, postulating that the ultimate aim of Project Gunrunner is more stringent gun control. The refusal of Holder’s DOJ to fully cooperate with this investigation and President Barack Obama’s “implying a need for more gun control” while “in Mexico on April 16, 2009,” while Gunrunner was in full swing, seems to add weight to this theory.
Typically, all the mainstream media, except CBS, either ignored or downplayed this explosive story, as it was again left to AFP to dole out the truth to its readers. As the report sadly notes in the section on Terry’s murder:
Agent Terry did not die in vain. His passing exposed the practice of knowingly allowing the transfer of guns to suspected straw purchasers. [BATFE] now maintains it no longer condones this dangerous technique. The cessation of this practice will likely save lives on both sides of the border. Tragically, however, we will be seeing the ramifications of the policy to allow guns from Fast and Furious be transferred into the hands of suspected criminals for years to come. These weapons will continue to be found at crime scenes in the United States and Mexico.
Dave Gahary is the host of AFP’s Underground Interview series, many of which are presented on CD by AFP. See americanfreepress.net.
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(Issue # 26, June 27, 2011)