U.S. has yet to explain Fast and Furious to Mexico
posted at 9:13 pm on September 23, 2011 by Tina Korbe
Last night’s debate was disappointing in several respects, but in none more so than that the moderators asked no questions and the candidates spoke no words about the dangerous idiocy and likely corruption of this administration revealed by recent controversies.
But, then, when it comes to Fast and Furious, mum has been the word from the very beginning. Not only has the Justice Department refused to cooperate with congressional investigators and not only has the DOJ IG potentially compromised Congress’ investigation into the affair, but the federal government also failed to apprise the Mexican government of the fatuous and ultimately lethal operation:
The United States government has yet to brief Mexican authorities on the failed Fast and Furious gun-running operation that led to scores of American weapons being smuggled purposefully into a raging drug war, Mexico’s top law enforcement official told The Times.
“At no time did we know or were we made aware that there might have been arms trafficking permitted,” said Atty. Gen. Marisela Morales in comments from a recent interview with Times reporters published Tuesday. “In no way would we have allowed it, because it is an attack on the safety of Mexicans.”
Morales said she first learned about the program — which U.S. officials contend was meant to trace weapons up cartel ranks to top capos — through news reports.
Mexico’s attorney general also said the U.S. has not apologized for the violence inflicted by guns smuggled into Mexico under the watch of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in the secret program based out of the ATF’s field office in Arizona. Morales characterized the operation’s main tactic, letting guns “walk” into Mexico, if, she said, that is what actually happened, as a potential “betrayal.”
On a conference call with reporters earlier this week, Rep. Darrell Issa expressed concern that the damage F&F has caused to U.S.-Mexico relations will be all but irreparable. It looks like his concern is well placed. Issa said it’s especially frustrating to be unable to share information with the Mexican government because the Department of Justice will not share the information with Congress in the first place.
The stonewalling has to stop — but it appears the Department of Justice would rather abolish the ATF than answer questions. Not that the evaporation of a government agency in general seems all that problematic to me — but it’s imperative that Issa and Grassley arrive at answers before everyone who knew anything — and who can confirm Eric Holder knew about the program, too — is out of office.