Fast and furious unraveling

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Operation Fast and Furious is unraveling, and the DOJ cannot block the investigation. And: ATF was running guns back in 2010—into Honduras.

Melson blows Fast and Furious

Kenneth Melson is acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. About two weeks ago, Melson said that he would not resign. He also said that he was ready to talk to Congress, as soon as they could hear him.

Reluctantly, the Department of Justice (DOJ) scheduled an interview between Melson and members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. They wanted this interview to take place on their terms, with DOJ and ATF lawyers present. But then Rep. Darrell Issa, Chairman of the Oversight Committee, told Melson that he could appear on his own, with his own lawyer. This he did, on July 4.

Issa and Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, chided Attorney General Eric Holder for not telling Melson his rights. They reminded him sharply that the law does not allow any Executive Branch employee to stop another employee from talking to Congress. In fact, they warned Holder that

obstructing or impeding a Congressional inquiry is also a criminal violation under 18 U.S.C. § 1505.

That Melson followed through on talking to Congress, and suggested that Holder and/or other DOJ officers tried to shut him up, was revealing enough. But what Melson actually told the Oversight Committee about Operation Fast and Furious was worse.

Sick to his stomach

Kenneth Melson, acting ATF director. He is blowing the whistle on Operation Fast and Furious.

Kenneth Melson, acting ATF director and intended sacrificial lamb for Operation Fast and Furious, and now a confirmed whistleblower. Photo: BATFE.

Melson started to look into Operation Fast and Furious when the public cried out for answers to the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. What he found sickened him. As other witnesses had already said, the guns that killed Agent Terry were among thousands that ATF let career criminals buy from US gun sellers and carry into Mexico. But Melson also confirmed something else that Issa and Grassley heard from others. US taxpayers’ money bought some of those guns.

How did that happen? Simple: some of the gun buyers and runners were paid informants of the FBI and other DOJ agencies. The letter from Issa and Grassley to Holder makes it all clear. See also William Lajeunesse’ account at Fox News Channel.

The Honduras connection

But even Lajeunesse does not have half the story. David Codrea at Examiner.com, and his colleague Mike Vanderboegh, broke the other half. The Special Agent-in-charge of ATF’s Tampa, FL office was running guns into Honduras using the same techniques as Operation Fast and Furious. The clues go back to September 21, 2010, nearly nine months ago. Kurt Hoffman, also at Examiner.com, reported two and a half months ago that Mexican drug cartels were getting their guns from south of Mexico, not north. Now we know that those guns were coming from the United States government.

What does it mean?

Codrea’s lengthy archive has now expanded to four parts. Mark Vanderboegh at Sipsey Street Irregulars reminds us that ATF ran guns into Honduras for two reasons, neither of which are flattering:

  1. ATF really was running a national operation to flood Mexico with guns.
  2. Drug cartels were operating in Honduras, and ATF knew it.

In short, ATF was moving “throw-down weapons” into Mexico. They did this to justify the United Nations Convention on Small Arms.

William Lajeunesse asked how high the Fast and Furious scandal might reach. Your editor has three ideas:

  1. Secretary of State Hillary R. Clinton,
  2. UN Ambassador Susan Rice, and
  3. President Barack H. Obama.

In case that sounds too fantastic to believe, remember Josef Goebbels. He once said that if you tell a lie loudly and often enough, people will believe it. They will not want to believe that you or anyone else could fool them for so long or on something so obvious.

More specifically, anyone who doubts this theory must ask himself this: White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, on June 27, promised to “get back” to a reporter with “the exact date” that Obama knew about Operation Fast and Furious. In other words, to paraphrase a memorable question about another President,

What did the President know, and when did he know it?

Today Carney refused to answer the question. Why? Why, indeed.

Featured image: the Constitution of the United States. Photo: National Archives