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Wednesday, February 20 , 2019, 3:44 am | Fair 41º

 
 
 
 

Letter to the Editor: Corruption At Its Worst

On March 24, 2009, two months after President Barack Obama took office, Deputy Attorney General David Ogden reported, “The president has directed us to take action to fight these cartels, and Attorney General Eric Holder and I are taking several new and aggressive steps as part of the administration’s comprehensive plan.”

Ogden announced the expansion of an ATF initiative known as Project Gunrunner, which aimed at arresting illegal “straw purchasers” (individuals who buy weapons on behalf of others) to help stem the flow of guns going to drug cartels. The project was complex and included many bureaus and departments, such as the ATF, DHS, FBI, ICE, DOJ and DEA. Holder, Hilary Clinton, President Obama, Janet Napolitano and White House officials approved of the project.

Unfortunately, Project Gunrunner took a radical turn under the Obama administration, as a secretive, illegal plan called Fast and Furious was developed and launched in Phoenix, Ariz. Incredibly, the Phoenix ATF office was well-known for its unethical behavior and misconduct. So, why was it chosen?

What was Fast and Furious?

Simply put, it was an operation that allowed large numbers of guns to be bought by straw purchasers and then allowed to be “walked” across the border into the hands of drug cartels in Mexico. Under testimony, ATF whistleblower Special Agent John Dodson revealed, the federal government and high-up ATF officials forced gun shop owners to sell large numbers of guns to straw purchasers who bought the guns for the cartels.

Furthermore, low-level ATF agents were ordered to watch, video-tap and wire-tap the sales. Surprisingly, they were not allowed to arrest the straw purchasers or stop the flow of guns into Mexico. Once the guns were in Mexico, the agents were told it was a non-issue. All of this was done without the knowledge of the Mexican government.

Fast and Furious lead to the death of hundreds of people, mostly Mexican citizens, and Border Patrol agent Brian Terry and ICE agent Jamie Zapata. Sadly, it took the death of two agents to expose this questionable and deadly plan.

Under testimony, ATF whistleblowers, White House officials and gun shop owners have validated the existence of Fast and Furious. In July 2011, in secret testimony, Acting ATF Director Kenneth Melson confirmed the DOJ’s involvement in Fast and Furious. He also confirmed suspicions that informants with the DEA and FBI had been involved and said there was a “smoking gun” report detailing who in the DOJ approved wiretaps and tactics for Fast and Furious (source: Katie Pavlich in her book Fast and Furious).

The White House has been trying to make the Fast and Furious scandal go away. At first they denied it, then they covered it up, and today it delays by not answering subpoenas. And what was the purpose of Fast and Furious? Was the plan used to set up gun shop owners in an effort to advance the anti-Second Amendment agenda of the Obama administration?

We must get to the bottom of this large, corrupt scandal. Speak up, America, and demand answers.

Diana Thorn
Carpinteria

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