It must be real if it is in the Washington Post…ATF Gunrunner scandal finally gets coverage in DCby Hugh Holub on Mar. 09, 2011, under atf, border issues, border patrol, border patrol tucson sector, drug smuggling, grassley, mexican drug cartels, politics, project gunrunner
ATF Gunrunner scandal finally gets coverage in the Washington Post March 9, 2011:
By James V. Grimaldi Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, March 9, 2011; 10:57 AM
A controversy over tactics used to break up an extensive Mexican gunrunning ring has prompted federal officials to re-evaluate an aggressive law enforcement strategy to stop firearms trafficking.
The new scrutiny comes after two separate shootings in the past three months where federal agents were killed and guns recovered by investigators were later traced back to individuals already under investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
The top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee has charged that ATF agents allowed hundreds of firearms to flow from gun stores in the United States to criminals in Mexico and elsewhere in order to build cases against more prominent gun traffickers.
In one of those cases, ATF agents in Phoenix were deeply divided over when to conclude the investigation and arrest suspected traffickers. Some of those agents took their misgivings to Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) after two AK-47s traced back to a U.S. gun store were recovered near the scene where a Customs and Border Protection agent was killed.
Those of you who regularly read View from Baja Arizona will note that the ATF Gunrunner story…where ATF “walked” guns to the Mexican drug cartels…and 2 of these guns turned up at the murder site of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry….has been a prominent thread here for weeks.
I’ve had the good luck to tap into some great blog sites who shared the story around, trying to get some attention for it.
Interesting how a news story evolves.
The claim that ATF was looking the other way while AK 47s “walked” into the hands of the Mexican drug cartels (and into the hands of the bandits that shot Agent Terry) started immediately after Terry’s murder.
The Post spun the story this way:
The frustrations of agents began appearing anonymously on Web sites. Anti-ATF bloggers sympathetic to the militia movement picked up the allegations late last year, dubbing the scandal “Project Gunwalker” and alleging ATF agents let guns “walk” to boost the numbers of U.S. weapons recovered in Mexico. The bloggers theorized that the ATF wanted high numbers to gain support for an assault-weapons ban.
The bloggers hunted around Congress trying to find someone who would follow up…and ultimately Senator Charles Grassley took the lead in trying to ferret out what happened.
All along the feds denied the initial claims that “walked” guns were involved in Terry’s murder and tried to stonewall the news media and Senator Grassley.
February 11, 2011 Associated Press story:
Published Friday, February 11, 2011 5:14 PM CST
PHOENIX (AP) – The U.S. Justice Department denied a claim made to lawmakers that two guns sold in purchases sanctioned by federal firearms agents were later used in a shootout that left a Border Patrol agent dead near the Arizona-Mexico border.
Now the story was not limited to some allegedly crank gun nut sites.
One of the anonymous ATF agents came out in public and nailed his bosses to the wall.
One ATF agent, John W. Dodson, told Senate investigators that he warned that someone could get killed with the weapons they were letting “walk.” Dodson said he was told, “In order to make omelettes, you have to break a few eggs.”
He’ll be lucky to get a job in a New Jersey landfill now…but Dodson’s a hero.
Belatedly, the Washington Post finally picked up the story.
I remember once trying to get the folks in Wasington to pay attention to problems down at the border, and was told “until it makes the front page of the New York Times or the Washington Post, it isn’t real and no one will pay any attention.”
Guess the ATF Gunrunner scandal is real now.
Here are some of the View from Baja Arizona posts on the scandal: