Over the last week we’ve given you a couple of reports on the emerging scandal surrounding the ATF’s disastrously handled Operation Fast and Furious, also known as Operation Gunwalker. Over the weekend, Pajamas Media (where they have been doing a bang-up job breaking and covering this story) brought forth more damning details coming from Darrell Issa’s investigation. In particular, some of the comments from whistle-blowers inside the ATF have been beyond alarming.
Page 27: [Special Agent John Dodson, the original whistle blower]
“Well, every time we voiced concerns…But every day being out here watching a guy go into the same gun store buying another 15 or 20 AK-47s or variants or . . . five or ten Draco pistols or FN Five-seveNs . . . guys that don’t have a job, and he is walking in here spending $27,000 for three Barrett .50 calibers …and you are sitting there every day and you can’t do anything…”
Page 38: [Dodson, speaking about ATF supervisors in Phoenix and their disregard for lives lost due to Fast & Furious]
“[T]here was a prevailing attitude amongst the group and outside of the group in the ATF chain of command… I was having a conversation with Special Agent [L] about the case in which the conversation ended with me asking her are you prepared to go to a border agent’s funeral over this… because that’s going to happen. And the sentiment that was given back to me by both her, the group supervisor, was that…if you are going to make an omelette [sic], you need to scramble some eggs.”
There’s more at the link, so check out the entire thing. At this point it’s difficult to believe that this isn’t going to end very badly for a lot of the players involved. While the old school media was slow off the mark on this story, by this morning even the Morning Joe crew was covering it at MSNBC, so the lid seems to be well and truly off the pot.
The unresolved questions at this stage seem to be less about how this was screwed up so badly, but rather who authorized this debacle and how high up the food chain it goes. As Ed Morrissey already noted, it looks like the president will be tossing acting head of the ATF, Kenneth Melson under the bus. But given the scope of this scandal, the horrific damage which resulted (including the loss of American agents’ lives) and the sheer stupidity of the plan, well…
I think you’re going to need a bigger bus.
UPDATE: Also at PJM, Bob Owens has yet another update. Was this a move to boost up the gun control lobby?
The obvious answer is that Gunwalker’s objective was never intended to be a “legitimate law enforcement interest.” Instead, it appears that ATF Acting Director Ken Melson and Department of Justice senior executives specifically created an operation that was designed from the outset to arm Mexican narco-terrorists and increase violence substantially along both sides of the Southwest border.
Success was measured not by the number of criminals being incarcerated, but by the number of weapons transiting the border and the violence those weapons caused. An ATF manager was “delighted” when Gunwalker guns started showing up at drug busts. It would be entirely consistent with this theory if DOJ communications reflected the approval of the ATF senior officials they were colluding with — but as we know, Holder’s Department of Justice refuses to cooperate.
ALSO: While this may look like the “Gong” show, the word was “going” as noted in the comments. Corrected.