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NPR: Justice Dept. Details How It Got Statements Wrong (Fast & Furious)

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friendly_iconoclast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-02-11 11:33 PM
Original message
NPR: Justice Dept. Details How It Got Statements Wrong (Fast & Furious)
Edited on Fri Dec-02-11 11:37 PM by friendly_iconoclast
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=14...

Justice Dept. Details How It Got Statements Wrong

Justice Dept. Details How It Got Statements Wrong
by The Associated Press

WASHINGTON December 2, 2011, 10:56 pm ET WASHINGTON (AP) The Justice Department on Friday provided Congress with documents detailing how department officials gave inaccurate information to a U.S. senator in the controversy surrounding Operation Fast and Furious, the flawed law enforcement initiative aimed at dismantling major arms trafficking networks on the Southwest border.

In a letter last February to Charles Grassley, the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Justice Department said that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms had not sanctioned the sale of assault weapons to a straw purchaser and that the agency makes every effort to intercept weapons that have been purchased illegally. In Operation Fast and Furious, both statements turned out to be incorrect....

...In an email four days later to Justice Department colleagues, then-U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke in Phoenix said that "Grassley's assertions regarding the Arizona investigation and the weapons recovered" at the "murder scene are based on categorical falsehoods. I worry that ATF will take 8 months to answer this when they should be refuting its underlying accusations right now." That email marked the start of an internal debate in the Justice Department over what and how much to say in response to Grassley's allegations. The fact that there was an ongoing criminal investigation into Terry's murder prompted some at the Justice Department to argue for less disclosure....

...The emails sent to Capitol Hill on Friday showed that Burke supplied additional incorrect information to the Justice Department's criminal division that ended up being forwarded to Breuer. For example, Burke said that the guns found at the Terry murder scene were purchased at a Phoenix gun shop before Operation Fast and Furious began. In fact, the operation was under way at the time and the guns found at the Terry murder scene were part of the probe. Breuer was one of the recipients of that information. In written comments this week to Grassley, Breuer said that he was on a three-day official trip to Mexico at the time of the Justice Department response and that he was aware of, but not involved in, drafting the Justice Department statements to Grassley. Breuer says he cannot say for sure whether he saw a draft of the letter before it was sent to Grassley....


More details here:


http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2011/12/02/14306785...

Justice Withdraws Inaccurate 'Fast And Furious' Letter It Sent To Congress

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1211/69680.html

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-31727_162-57335983-10391695... /

http://rss.cnn.com/~r/rss/cnn_allpolitics/~3/FgWGW4YOsW... /

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-12-02/erroneous-g...

http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2011/12/02/files-on-fast-and-... /


Lots and lots of CYA on evidence, for those willing to dive into this sump of denial, willful ignorance and flat-out mendacity.
This also puts paid to the prior assertions of certain ATF apologists here that the problems with F&F were ginned up by a coalition
of disgruntled ATF agents and Republicans in Congress







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sethgrogen Donating Member (83 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 12:50 AM
Response to Original message
1. what does all of this mean?
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Hoyt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 10:23 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. It means lots of gun owners despise ATF and anyone who might turn off their pipeline to more guns.

Stings fail all the time. This one has already led to indictment of 20 gun criminals and more are likely. Could it have been handled better? Yes.

Should the ATF stop trying to prevent illegal sales of guns in this country? -- NO. In fact, they need to increase efforts.
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gejohnston Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 12:15 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. you agree with us that
Should the ATF stop trying to prevent illegal sales of guns in this country? -- NO. In fact, they need to increase efforts.

The problem with this is that they were encouraging and forcing illegal gun sales in this country.

Most of the time you complain about legal gun sales.
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beevul Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 02:24 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. You keep saying things as if they're true hoyt.
The facts of the matter:

ATF encouraged gun dealers to sell large quantities of guns to suspected gun traffickers even though the gun dealers objected and would not have made the sales on their own.

ATF made no attempt to interdict the guns.

ATF made no attempt to track the guns.

ATF made no attempt to follow the suspected traffickers to learn who they were dealing with.

ATF actually purchased some guns which they apparently transferred to traffickers.

ATF did try to secure wiretaps on some of the suspected traffickers.

ATF did not inform Mexican authorities about the traffickers or the guns headed their way.

ATF did not inform their own agents in Mexico about the traffickers or the guns.

ATF did not shut down the operation until BPA Brian Terry was killed.

ATF made no arrests in the operation until after BPA Terrys death.

ATF made no arrests beyond the actual straw purchasers.

At least two semi-auto AK-style rifles were recovered at the scene of Agent Terrys murder. Those guns had been sold under ATF supervision by a dealer who had expressed concern about making the sales and suggested that someone even a federal officer could be killed if these guns were allowed to enter the black market.

ATF gave strong reassurances that the guns would be interdicted before harm could be done even though they knew that was not true.


If those aren't despicable actions in YOUR eyes, one really has to wonder, what actions by the same bunch WOULD BE?


For the record, gun dealers know that straw purchases are illegal and that ATF routinely tries to trap them with straw purchase stings so any time something looks suspicious they report it to ATF.

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Hoyt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 03:44 PM
Response to Reply #6
12. You finally got it, gun dealers are afraid of ATF -- otherwise guns would be flying out back door.

We'd be in a world of hurt without ATF and other law enforcers -- notwithstanding your desire to buy, sell, carry, hoard, etc., deadly weapons unfettered.
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beevul Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 07:38 PM
Response to Reply #12
15. Excuse me?
"notwithstanding your desire to buy, sell, carry, hoard, etc., deadly weapons unfettered."

MY desire?

I have neither bought nor sold a firearm in around ten years time, jackass.

And as you've been reminded NUMEROUS times, I don't carry a gun.

As far as "hoarding" weapons, I own 1 handgun, and small caliber rimfire rifles, half of which are older that YOU are, and the other half of which are the same caliber as most BB guns.

So you can take your assumptions and stuff them right back in the same dark orrifice you pulled them out of.

"We'd be in a world of hurt without ATF..."

I'll tell you what, you get on the phone and explain that to the Terry family. Tell THEM how much of a "world of hurt" we'd be in.

Then get back to us and let us all know what they had to say.

We'll wait right here.
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friendly_iconoclast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 09:41 PM
Response to Reply #15
23. Don't bother. Believing is seeing for some- the sort that claim the Iraq invasion was a succe
Edited on Sat Dec-03-11 09:41 PM by friendly_iconoclast
and the defenders of Fast and Furious are in no way different...
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burf Donating Member (745 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 03:03 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. Are you willing to let your blind hatred of civilian
firearms ownership allow a goverment agency to ignore the rule of law? Pretty slippery slope you're headed for there, sir.
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Hoyt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 03:11 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. The "slippery slope" is toward arming more and more people in public, sir.

The ATF tried a sting to help ease guns going to Mexico from America. It didn't work as planned -- but, I support them continuing to find a solution. Hope they next turn their attention to illegal sales that stay in this country.
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burf Donating Member (745 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 03:24 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. As long as gun ownership is legal,
what is wrong with law abiding citizens evercising their constitutional right? If you ban these actions, what's/whos next? Who is the sole arbitter of "your" rights? Perhaps a "unitary executive" like we had under Bush 43? Remember when a persons patriotism was questioned because of their opposition to the Iraq war? Stuff like that makes it pretty easy to demonize those whom disagree with the conventional wisdom of the day.

If you think some in charge are simply gonna stop when they limit the right to keep and bear arms, you are only kidding yourself.
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Hoyt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 03:37 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. Lots of things are legal, but wrong -- banks stealing, bigots waving confederate flags, etc.

Just because something is legal . . . . . .doesn't mean you have to do it, and do it to excess like many here.

If you are into your guns because of the coming revolution -- leave the friggin things at home until it happens.
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burf Donating Member (745 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 04:00 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. Who is the controlling legal authority on excess?
The Brady Bunch or the NRA? If it comes down to a popular vote, polls indicate your viewpoint is not one that would prevail.

If you are so high and mighty on the law, how about enforcement of the laws that were broken by the ATF and other federal agencies during Fast and Furious?

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beevul Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 07:49 PM
Response to Reply #9
17. "The ATF tried a sting ..."
"The ATF tried a sting to help ease guns going to Mexico from America."

No, they really didn't. You can say it as many times as you like, but that will not make it the truth.

ATF made no attempt to interdict the guns.

ATF made no attempt to track the guns.

ATF made no attempt to follow the suspected traffickers to learn who they were dealing with.

ATF actually purchased some guns which they apparently transferred to traffickers.

ATF did not inform Mexican authorities about the traffickers or the guns headed their way.

ATF did not inform their own agents in Mexico about the traffickers or the guns.



How does one attempt a "sting" without those things? Please explain, we're all ears.



Oh, look what The National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers is saying:

We call it a scheme for we will not dignify it by calling it an investigation. Our members have been involved in investigations and this activity was so far removed from acceptable investigative practices that scheme is a more appropriate word for it.

http://nafbpo.org/editorial-fast%20and%20furious.html


But you know better than they do, right hoyt?
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friendly_iconoclast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 09:46 PM
Response to Reply #17
24. "Iraq had weapons of mass destruction". "The North Vietnamese attacked us in the Gulf of Tonkin"
"The warmongering Poles attacked a radio station in Gleiwitz".

It's both amusing and infuriating to see a DUer resort to the same schtick.
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Oneka Donating Member (319 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-11 09:15 AM
Response to Reply #9
32. Finally the truth at the heart of the matter.



"The ATF tried a sting to help ease guns going to Mexico from America. "


Mission accomplished.
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friendly_iconoclast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 05:59 PM
Response to Reply #4
14. 20? You've been claiming (without evidence) 30 or more for months now
Edited on Sat Dec-03-11 06:03 PM by friendly_iconoclast
Looks like you've got some 'splainin to do:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Hoyt (1000+ posts) Sat Oct-15-11 01:35 PM
Response to Reply #36
44. Well, they've indicted over 30 suspects who were trafficking guns -- that sounds pretty good to me.


http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

"While mistakes were made, 30 gun traffickers were indicted and more will be."


http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Hoyt (1000+ posts) Tue Nov-08-11 09:04 PM
Response to Original message
10. You mean they weren't up in arms about Holder, et al. Add that to the 30 indictments already.


"I have here in my hand a list of..."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_McCarthy
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Hoyt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 07:48 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. Glad to see you finally realizing that F&F worked and there will be more indictments.

Now tell your buddies that there were 20 indictments in January and more are coming.
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Oneka Donating Member (319 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 08:29 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. F&F worked how again?
The investigation netted 20 indictments so far, how many of these were the cartel leaders in Mexico, you know that ones that were the "stated"
target of F&F from the beginning? None? Exactly,, so how again did F&F work, and at what cost, in lives both here and in Mexico?

20 indictments of low level suspected straw purchasers, for the low low cost of two dead federal agents, scores of dead Mexican citizens, and who knows how many still to come?

If that is an example of our ATF at work, maybe we should ask them to just STOP!!!
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friendly_iconoclast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 09:36 PM
Response to Reply #18
21. That works out to about 10 deaths for every purported indictment caused by F&F
The sort of logic that deems F&F a success has been most recently used to justify the War on (Some) Drugs and the invasion of Iraq.
Sad to see it used here at DU.
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burf Donating Member (745 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 09:37 PM
Response to Reply #18
22.  How do we know?
With the records sealed, we will never find out. DOJ and ATF have been trying to piecemeal the information all the while hoping it will just go away.

Ain't gonna happen.

What missions does the ATF do that cannot be accomplished by other existing agencies (DEA, FBI, Treasury)?
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friendly_iconoclast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 09:30 PM
Response to Reply #16
20. F&F in no way "worked". And what happened to the other 10 you repeatedly claimed?
Edited on Sat Dec-03-11 09:37 PM by friendly_iconoclast
Protip:

If you only tell the truth, you don't have to worry about contradicting yourself...
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gejohnston Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-04-11 12:09 AM
Response to Reply #16
29. never mind the indictments
Edited on Sun Dec-04-11 12:11 AM by gejohnston
let's see some fucking convictions. Indictments don't mean shit. All an indictment is that the DA or US attorney convinces the grand jury that there might be enough evidence for a trial. There is no cross examinations, so the grand jury only has his or her word for it. Without cross examination, the witnesses could be making shit up for the money or less time in jail.
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friendly_iconoclast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-04-11 05:22 PM
Response to Reply #29
31. Like the case against Carter's Country, which fell apart like a '82 Yugo.
ATF and the DoJ made a great noise about how awful they were, and in the end all criminal charges were dropped.
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DissedByBush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 09:05 PM
Response to Reply #1
19. Short answer before the lawyers got ahold of it
"We were lying our asses off to stay out of jail."
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ileus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 08:08 AM
Response to Original message
2. people died, the justice department lied.
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burf Donating Member (745 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 08:41 AM
Response to Original message
3. How they got it wrong?
They lied their asses off.
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SteveM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 03:05 PM
Response to Original message
8. And when you get down to motives for these operations, how 'bout this:


"In another email, Burke wrote, 'By the way, what is so offensive about this whole project' of response 'is that Grassley's staff, acting as willing stooges for the Gun Lobby, have attempted to distract from the incredible success in dismantling' Southwest Border 'gun trafficking operations' and 'not uttering one word of rightful praise and thanks to ATF but, instead, lobbing this reckless despicable accusation that ATF is complicit in the murder of a fellow federal law enforcement officer.'"

Ah, yes. The ol' "gun lobby." They prevented the BATF from "dismantling" what the BATF was bloating up with its arms smuggling. And how would they have dismantled anyway? By restricting gun-dealer operations in thousands of gun shops? That was certainly a goal in the executive decision-making process (by-passing Congress), and is betrayed by the language "gun lobby."

We know have a crippled attorney general, failed gun-running operations with no clear reasons/rationales, no evidence of "success," an attempt to restrict sales by fiat, and continued stone-walling. Not only are BATF and the A.G.'s offices discredited, but politically tone-deaf.
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discntnt_irny_srcsm Donating Member (916 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 10:28 PM
Response to Original message
25. It is said that...
...character is measured by how an individual acts in the worst circumstances when things have gone wrong to a distressing degree. While the truth of the matter including mitigating information needs to made known, there is no stronger indicator of character than to accept responsibility for a failure in the face of odious accusers. Even more so when those accusers little better than opportunistic vultures.

It's probably a good time to watch for character in the Justice Department.
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gejohnston Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-04-11 12:06 AM
Response to Reply #25
28. We have seen Holder's character on other areas
and don't like what I see. Like Mike Papantonio pointed out some time ago, Holder was hired from one of the most conservative law firms that defend corporate criminals.
Did nothing about Massey mine cave in
Did very little about BP disaster in the Gulf
Did not do shit about the banksters' fraud that fucked the economy. At least Ed Meese did that much right during the S&L.
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discntnt_irny_srcsm Donating Member (916 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-04-11 12:51 AM
Response to Reply #28
30. I was just thinking...
...that by watching carefully, you may notice someone who has a good character. I wasn't saying it was the AG. :nopity:
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Tuesday Afternoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 10:40 PM
Response to Original message
26. let the flames begin
I wish Obama would call for Holder's resignation.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is in some hot water over operation "Fast and Furious," the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives botched gun trafficking sting.

Last week, U.S. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith wrote a letter to President Barack Obama asking that he appoint a special counsel to investigate whether Holder lied when he testified before Congress about"Fast and Furious," and now California Congressman Darrell Issa is placing responsibility for the fed's faux-pas directly on Holder's shoulders.

In a letter Issa wrote to Holder, released yesterday, the congressman tells the AG "Whether you realize yet or not, you own Fast and Furious. It is your responsibility."

See Issa's letter in its entirety here.


Issa already has said he wants Holder to return to Congress to give sworn testimony because he is frustrated with what he calls "a roving set of ever-changing explanations to justify involvement in this reckless and deadly program."

more at link:
http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/valleyfever/2011/10/sh...
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burf Donating Member (745 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 11:41 PM
Response to Reply #26
27. Holder is scheduled to appear
before Congress on Dec 8th.

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