**Posted by Phineas
Great. Just great. As they say on Twitter, #EpicFail :
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has acknowledged that guns were allowed into the hands of Mexican criminals for more than a year in the hope of catching “big fish.”
The memorandum from staffers with the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform says the FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration were investigating a drug-trafficking organization and had identified cartel associates a year before the ATF even learned who they were. At some point before the ATF’s Fast and Furious investigation progressed — congressional investigators don’t know when — the cartel members became FBI informants.
“These were the ‘big fish,'” says the memo, written on behalf of Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa. “DEA and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had jointly opened a separate investigation targeting these two cartel associates….Yet, ATF spent the next year engaging in the reckless tactics of Fast and Furious in attempting to identify them.”
According to Issa and Grassley, the cartel suspects, whose names were not released, were regarded by FBI as “national-security assets.” One pleaded guilty to a minor offense. The other was not charged. “Both became FBI informants and are now considered unindictable,” the memo says. “This means that the entire goal of Fast and Furious — to target these two individuals and bring them to justice — was a failure.”
Representatives with the Justice Department and its subagencies declined to comment.
In other words, not only did the right hand not know what the left hand was doing, but all the fingers on the same hand were blithering idiots. In sum, one sub-agency of the US Department of Justice was supplying untraceable guns to murderous cartels to catch drug lords working as informants for another sub-agency of the US Department of Justice.
And all it cost was the life of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, possibly that of ICE Agent Jaime Zapata, and over 300 Mexican nationals.
I can understand why DoJ representatives declined to make a statement. They probably wanted to consult with their defense attorneys, first.
Read the rest at Bob Owens’ personal blog.
RELATED: Earlier Gunwalker posts.
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)