Skip to comments.Documents Suggest Bush Administration Used 'Fast And Furious' Tactics
Posted on 01/06/2012 11:01:26 AM PST by neverdem
The Justice Department sent nearly 500 pages of documents to Republican lawmakers Thursday that suggest the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives may have used questionable tactics and lost track of American-made weapons in a gun trafficking investigation on the Mexican border as early as 2006.
The documents sent to House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) could add a new dimension to a political controversy that's raged on Capitol Hill for a year. Issa and other Republican lawmakers have accused the Obama administration of acting recklessly by losing track of almost 2,000 guns on the Southwest border in a botched ATF operation called Fast and Furious. Two of those weapons were recovered near the body of slain U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in December 2010.
The newly released email messages and briefing papers suggest there may be similarities between the Obama operation "Fast and Furious" and an earlier effort during the Bush administration to target the flow of guns into Mexico. The papers include several communications between ATF supervisors and Justice Department prosecutors in Arizona who were trying to build a case against "a very powerful, aggressive and violent" Mexican drug cartel in an earlier operation dubbed "Wide Receiver."
A senior Obama administration Justice Department official who briefed reporters on the documents said the papers show law enforcement officers in the Bush years could have filed criminal conspiracy and false statements charges against lower level figures in the gun trafficking operation, but they decided to watch and wait until they could move higher up the chain of command.
"We want the... manufacturing and distribution pieces also we want it all," an ATF official wrote in March 2006.
The case ultimately languished in the U.S. Attorney's office in Arizona until the Obama administration sent help from Washington D.C. and indictments were handed down in May and October 2010. Six people have been convicted in connection with Wide Receiver, the senior Justice Department official said.
The new disclosures could be featured in a Feb. 2 hearing where Attorney General Eric Holder will square off against Issa over the ATF failures. The last time the two men met on Capitol Hill, fireworks erupted, when Issa likened Holder to the Nixon era Attorney General John Mitchell and Holder reached back to the era of Joseph McCarthy and asked Issa whether he "had any shame."
NPR got nailed for its spin of Wide Receiver in the comment section.
Right....of course it was Bush that started it.
Hmmmm....didn’t the Democrats take control in 2006? Funny how this stuff always spins back to Bush’s fault...especially during the time the Dems controlled things.
This is half a click away from using the excuse that it was all Bush’s fault.
I don’t see how this has any resemblance to what Obama was doing. I see the word “could” used in the article. Looks like NPR is putting up a smoke screen to try and cover for Obama.
Even if this is true, “they did it too” is NOT a valid defense for the actions of this administration.
Weasel words. Good grief!
this is not acceptable no matter who started it, opr who could have and should have terminated it. people are being killed, and this is wrong whether it is a dem or a rep.
Oliver type writer.
HERESY! Nationalized People’s Radio would never do that for Dear Leader.
The Obama administration was trying to build a case against American gun merchants. Difference #1.
the papers show law enforcement officers in the Bush years could have filed criminal conspiracy and false statements charges against lower level figures in the gun trafficking operation, but they decided to watch and wait until they could move higher up the chain of command.
The Obama administration didn't watch at all. They didn't care where the guns ended up, apparently. Difference #2.
This writer may have some profession or other, but she sure ain't a journalist.
1. When all else fails. Blame Bush.
Every BAD thing Bush II did, Obama repeated IN SPADES.
BOTH are wrong and one of the reasons this doofus is sitting in the Oval is his predecessor. The other reason just endorsed Romney (John McPain).
Well then, that mikes it all OK, huh?
No kidding...I guess this makes it okay not to pay my taxes because Obama's cabinet didn't pay their's.
WRONG! For a liberal this is the most valid defense in existence.
I have noticed an absolutely frantic and widespread ‘Bush did it’ effort on the part of the lefty media and their unthinking, unblinking minions since the New Year arrived.
They must realize that selling Obama is a fool’s errand so they’re going back to 2007 and beyond.
1. “Bush did it too” is not an excuse in any court.
2. Thanks Dubya!
You might be on to something, there...
“Even if this is true, they did it too is NOT a valid defense for the actions of this administration.”
Right, but it is the only defense they have - valid or not. Of course when we try to apply their standards to our actions in the future (vis-a-vis recess appointments or anything for that matter), the gnashing of teeth will be able to be heard from outer space. I think Glen Beck played the sound of it on his show about a year or so ago.
Let’s face it... if we are unwilling to play by their rules we will always get beat by them (moral equivalence being ingrained in the public mindset and all).
Johnny: "But Susie stole cookies."