Free Markets, Free People

More Fast and Furious revelations

Business Insider has the details.   As the probe widens, more and more of the botched and frankly stupid operation becomes known:

The WSJ reports today that federal authorities are now investigating why the U.S. Attorney’s office in Phoenix — the same office that oversaw Fast and Furious — released Jean Baptiste Kingery after he confessed to providing military-style weapons to the now-defunct La Familia Michoacana drug cartel.

Kingery, who was arrested and released in June 2010, confessed to manufacturing improvised explosive devices (IEDs) using grenade components from the U.S. He also admitted to helping the cartel convert semi-automatic rifles into machine guns.

Mexican criminal organizations are increasingly using these military-style weapons as the cartels’ escalate their wars against the government and one another.

Despite Kingery’s confession, and over loud protestations from the arresting ATF officers, the U.S. Attorney’s office let Kingery go within hours of his arrest.

This has led the Phoenix U.S. Attorney’s office to attempt to push back:

The Phoenix U.S. Attorney’s office denies that it declined to prosecute the case, saying that it wanted to continue surveillance. The office alternatively told investigators that ATF agents wanted to make Kingery an informant, but lost contact with him within weeks of his release.

Prosecutors involved in the case also accuse ATF agents of devising a failed sting that allowed Kingery to take hundreds of grenade parts across the border in the months about six months prior to his arrest.

Kingery had been hauled in by ATF agents and confronted with the evidence and the U.S. Attorney’s office thinks he’s going to go back to work and it’ll be business as usual?  Really?  I guess they figured out that wasn’t the case when they “lost contact with him within weeks of his release”.

Botched?  That’s being kind.  And notice too the attempt to distract by the U.S. Attorney with the “failed sting”.  It seems to me if that’s the case and six months later the agents had the goods on Kingery, it was probably a good arrest at that point.  But apparently the U.S. Attorney there knows better, huh?

This is Clown College stuff.  How badly can an organization screw up an operation that was absolutely stupid to begin with?   Obviously worse than we thought.  The level of stupidity, incompetence and outright dumb decisions wrapped up in this case are staggering.   It was a dumb idea to begin with and it was compounded with incompetence, poor execution and it inevitably ended up killing a US agent and untold Mexicans.

The question is, who at what level knew about this in the administration.  There are those who believe Eric Holder is certainly knew and there’s speculation that the man in the White House may have known and condoned the operation as well.

The Fast and the Furious case has escalated over the past weeks, with news that at least three White House national security officials knew about the gunrunning program.

Emails obtained by the Committee last week show contact between the head of the Phoenix ATF and Kevin O’Reilly, then-director of North American affairs, about the operation. The White House confirmed that O’Reilly briefed Dan Restrepo, senior director for the Western Hemisphere, and Greg Gatjanis, director of counterterrorism and narcotics.

The emails, first reported by the LA Times, do not indicate that the White House aides knew about the more controversial tactics of letting the guns "walk." There is also no indication that the information went beyond those three officials.

Yeah, that sort of stuff never makes it into security briefings for the President, does it?

And you can already see the attempt to limit the damage if it is finally proven the President was aware of the operation (and tacitly approved it) with the line that says the White House security aides didn’t know “about the more controversial tactics of letting the guns “walk.””   That was sort of the whole point of the operation, wasn’t it?

Lots of interesting revelations yet to come methinks.  Whether or not the press will cover it in any depth remains to be seen, but in my estimation, this is a large enough scandal that at least Eric Holder’s job ought to be in jeopardy.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO

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12 Responses to More Fast and Furious revelations

  • The emails, first reported by the LA Times, do not indicate that the White House aides knew about the more controversial tactics of letting the guns “walk.” There is also no indication that the information went beyond those three officials.

    OK.  Time to hail them into a setting under oath where they can be examined about just what they DID know, and who they spoke to above them.
    I don’t think a naval officer commanding a vessel gets a pass by saying his junior officers failed to tell him what he needed to know about the safety of the ship.
    But I’m too harsh sometimes…

  • Has the Mexican government anything to say about this?  It seems that the US government was involved in allowing weapons to flow to the drug gangs, something President Calderon has notoriously complained about.  I would think that, at the very least, the Mexican ambassador would be asking some pretty pointed questions in DC if not at the UN.  Yet, apparently, there is silence.  Why?  Or have the Mexicans complained and MiniTru simply can’t be bothered to report it?

  • There was nothing BOTCHED other than the COVERUP.
    The goal of Fast and Furious was from the very beginning to make the LIE that was the “Iron river of guns from the US to Mexico”, true.
    The intent was violence in Mexico with American supplied weapons.
    Thats why the Mexican government was informed.
    Thats how you know it wasn’t an “investigation” botched or otherwise.
     
    This whole thing has one purpose and one purpose only. Violence in Mexico with American guns as a pretext for more Gun Control here in the states.
     
     

  • *WASN”T INFORMED*

  • “Whether or not the press will cover it in any depth remains to be seen, but in my estimation, this is a large enough scandal that at least Eric Holder’s job ought to be in jeopardy.
     
    Here’s the good news, we’re not required to consult the press to issue warrants for arrest or subpoena’s to appear before Congress.  Nor is consultation required to draft articles of impeachment.
     
    Fires still burn, even if the press is busy reading Sarah Palin’s emails that day.

  • Is it me, or is this kinda like Iran-Contra all over again?

    • With a different goal (as I remind myself that allegedly worthy goals do not excuse illegal behavior), but yes, I’ve been thinking the smell is basically the same.
       
      Now, who are they going to pick to be Ollie North.
      Meanwhile, I’d settle for them acting like they did when they wanted to know who outed Valerie Plame.

      • This time the role of Oliver North will be played by Eric Holder.

        • Except Holder is a dress up as a woman kinda guy, not a go down with the ship kinda guy.
           
          If it’s a choice between he goes down or Obama goes down, I’ll wager he’d let Barry take all the credit.
          Whatever it is, they need to get it investigated before Barry can no longer pardon the miscreants before he leaves office
           

    • Somewhat similar. Except Iran Contra was done to fight communism, while F&F was done to limit the rights of US citizens. And F&F actually resulted in the death of an American, a BP agent and Marine.

      If F&F is really what I think it is, it stands as the greatest scandal by any administration ever.

      • That was my point about illegal actions for seemingly worthy goals.  We can’t accept it, it’s the same basis the Dems use for what they’re doing if it was in fact a plan to limit gun owners rights.