‘Fast and Furious’ Report a Reminder of Deliberately Unresolved Accountability

It's important to keep the story alive. (One America News screenshot)

U.S.A. – -(Ammoland.com)- “Fast and Furious victims speak out for first time in decade, demand justice,” One America News Network reported Monday. “A lingering scandal from the Obama-era has resurfaced regarding the sale of guns to Mexican cartels.”

Getting the word out and keeping this story alive is essential. With few exceptions, the major media didn’t want to touch it when it was breaking, with most either ignoring it or spinning it in such a way to minimize its significance, protect favored politicians and use it to further advance the narrative that it was ultimately the fault of “lax American gun laws.”

That said, as one of the investigative writers uncovering evidence and reporting on “gunwalking” before that media had written a word, I do have some critiques in the interest of accuracy and perspective. Those of us who believe there are still many facts yet to be uncovered and people to hold accountable have a special obligation to get it right. That’s because getting it wrong allows those who want the story to go away to dismiss it as partisan politics, or worse, as “conspiracy theory,” with all that implies.

My first bone to pick is the claim that this is the first time the subjects have spoken out in more than a decade. AmmoLand Shooting Sports News readers have been presented with dozens of stories featuring Kent Terry, brother of slain Border Patrol agent Brian Terry. This is the site that reported on then-candidate Donald Trump promising he would get to the bottom of things, and readers here have received numerous updates on the Freedom of Information Act request and lawsuit necessitated by continued government stonewalling and evasiveness in which Terry and I are plaintiffs.

Likewise, Wesley Felix is no stranger to readers of this column. Back in May 2016, we presented documentation of ATF improprieties and evidence supporting bank fraud allegations along with as-yet unfulfilled pleas to House Oversight and Senate Judiciary to investigate and question officials under oath.

Another bone to pick is with OANN reporter Chanel Rion’s continued use of the word “botched.” ATF managers knew exactly what they were doing, “‘walking across’ ARs and AKs to pad their statistics.” No “sting” is possible if the guns aren’t followed. The only thing “botched” was they got caught. Words have meaning and anyone using that terminology needs to ask whose interests are served by parroting the “botched” deception that intentionally dominates the media.

My final concern is to caution careful use of the term “Fast and Furious” – it does not apply to all “gunwalking.” It was specifically a Phoenix Field Division operation, although Ian Garland, the former gun dealer appearing in the report, operated out of El Paso, Texas, which is under jurisdiction of the Dallas Field Division (El Paso factors into the Inspector General report on Fast and Furious as the site of a stash house on the way from Phoenix to Mexico).

As a side note, Garland’s story is both interesting and revealing, especially the information that he was “overcharged” by prosecutors  and “he was given a longer sentence because the court was misinformed that some of the weapons he sold were fully automatic machine guns, rather than rifles and pistols.” (As another side note, a Las Cruces tie-in brings to mind a series of reports on more victims of government injustice, the Reese family of New Deal Shooting Sports, which is a story for another time).

Allegations of “walking” guns done out of Nevada should have been under the jurisdiction of the San Francisco Field Division.  If Phoenix were involved, evidence and documentation would need to show coordination between the two divisions.

That’s not to say the Special Agents in Charge across divisions weren’t incentivized to make their DOJ bosses happy. The heavily publicized Project Gunrunner interdiction strategies were aimed at the cartels but operational guidelines did not (“officially”) instruct that guns should be “walked.” Through the course of investigating, there were reports of similar allegations in Minneapolis during the Clinton era, in Florida (“Operation Castaway”), and in the Pacific Northwest (sorry, no link: the informant got cold feet and clammed up).

All that said, it is important to keep “gunwalking” and its murderous results in the public eye in case the time ever comes when it is once more seen as politically advantageous to champion. In our lawsuit, Terry and I, represented by attorney Stephen Stamboulieh, are trying to establish what the State Department under Hillary Clinton knew and when they knew it. We’re questioning why no one has been prosecuted for arms export control violations. We’re also trying to determine why an official has been exempted by Obama’s Chief Counsel from explaining his role in requesting information from the Phoenix ATF Special Agent in Charge, who provided it with the admonishment “You didn’t get this from me.”

In terms of wider investigations and Congress once more picking up the mantle, no one should hold any illusions. After Darell Issa turned over the chairmanship of House Oversight, Jason Chaffetz was treated to more of the same arrogant disregard, and now that Democrats control the House, don’t look for Chair Elijah Cummings to do anything but kill any attempts to bring the subject up.  Had a Democrat-controlled Oversight done its job in 2009 when colleague Mike Vanderboegh and I were pleading with it to heed the complaints of veteran ATF agents about agency waste, abuse, corruption and fraud, “gunwalking” could have been nipped in the bud and Brian Terry and untold hundreds of Mexican victims might still be alive.

What that ultimately means is the 2020 elections are probably the last best hope any of us have, but only if Republicans take back the House, and then, only if they see a political advantage in exposing criminal cover-ups of years gone by. Barring that, it will be a job for future historians.

In the meantime, despite my pointing out some areas where I have a background and they don’t, good on OANN for covering this, and on Terry, Felix and others for continuing to press for the truth.

As another side note, whenever writing about this, some invariably chime in and say it started during the Bush administration. Direct from Mike Detty, the confidential informant at the heart of Operation Wide Receiver:

“It had nothing to do with Bush or even DOJ.”

About David Codrea:David Codrea

David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating/defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. He blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” is a regularly featured contributor to Firearms News, and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.

  • 18 thoughts on “‘Fast and Furious’ Report a Reminder of Deliberately Unresolved Accountability

    1. If the USA did not have DEMOCRATS running many of our GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATIONS during the pass 3 or 4 decades can you imagine how many people would still be alive. It seems more people died connected to the Clinton presidency than in Chicago. I bet more American guns went to Mexico during the obama/biden administration aided by holder than during the past century. Well over 95% of mass or political shootings have been committed by DEMOCRATS. Our problems are NOT guns but DEMOCRATS. Do away with DEMOCRATS.

    2. I had good friends in Deming, NM who refused to cooperate with BATFE on Fast and Furious because they didn’t trust them. Who could blame them. They had a gun store and were quite successful, were good Christians with 2 sons. BATFE wanted them to sell guns to Mexican nationals that they would send to their shop so they could track them (the guns), and Rick and Terry flat out refused. When their FFL was up for renewal several months later, they were called into the Las Cruces, NM BATFE office to “clear up some paperwork” and were arrested along with their 2 sons. Their home, business and property were “raided” and pretty much destroyed by BATFE and other LEOs, making a big show with armored cars and helicopters. For over a year all for of the Reese family members languished in jails across New Mexico, each on in a different location, kept apart, to force Rick and Terry to confess to a blatant set-up with a paid Mexican informant/witness (a former drug cartel smuggler). The charges were eventually dismissed except for a B.S. “bookkeeping” charge which resulted in them finally being released, but only after they lost everything, had their lives destroyed and suffered irreparable damage to their reputations and mental and physical health. All because they refused to “Play Ball” with BATFE on Fast and Furious. It wasn’t just the Border Patrol Agent who lost his life and his family who suffered from this travesty, but many more citizens you never heard about were also victims of Obama, Holder and the BATFE.

      1. That is the Reese family mentioned in passing by David, I am SO GLAD this is being mentioned to refresh our memory”. That one was pretty well swept under the rug back then, and I’m certain BATF would still like it to disappear. As I recall, the family were under extreme gag orders with heavy penalties hanging over them if they said a word. That is one more story that needs to get busted out from under the rug, and some gummit uffishuls given their turn at the tumbrels.

    3. Our wonderful House of CLOWNS, are too busy trying to redo the Trump investigation again (#5 or #6) they are only a little more corrupt that paulyboy ryanrino, they also couldn’t be bothered about the illegal atf gun running crap that was meant to show all the guns the cartel’s buy are from the U.S.!! Explain one thing to me when a big criminal syndicate like the different cartels, can fly one of their many drug planes to let’s say the middle east camel jockey land and buy an AK-47 fully auto (for the socialist and liberals that means a machine gun or an actual assault rifle) for $15 which by many people who have been their is the going price in country. Why O Why would the cartels who are criminal companies like non criminal companies are trying to make a buck by saving on overhead, Why would they spend $600 on a semi auto AK-47?! They can load up their drug transport planes with thousands of $15 AKs and all kind of other war weapons and save their cartels millions upon millions of dollars! ATF in their wisdom says they don’t do that, then tell me WHY when I was delivering oil field equipment we found a flat bottom boat in a irrigation canal off the Rio Grande and in that boat was two AK-47s and a duffle bag? We called Border Patrol and when they came both AKs were fully automatic and the duffle bag had $12,580 in it, THEY DID NOT GET THOSE FULLY AUTO AKs FROM THE U.S.!!!! AND FOR THOSE WHO WOULD ASK WHY DIDN’T YOU GRAB THAT BOOTY FOR YOURSELF, WE DID NOT KNOW WHO WAS IN THE BRUSH RIGHT ACCROSS THE CANAL FROM THE BOAT BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN LOOK LIKE A BLOCK OF SWISS CHEESE!!

    4. @ USA As much as I hate to admit it, I think you might have this one pegged. Our employees have taken over and are running over us like a steam roller. All the while, we have been working to pay taxes and have a comfortable living. This is what we get in return.

    5. Many mistakenly believe Fast & Furious was designed to track weapons. NOT TRUE! Fast & Furious was an Obama/Holder scheme to bolster their claim that 90%+ of the guns used by Mexican cartels were obtained in the US, thereby requiring more gun control regulations. They should both be prosecuted for violating firearms laws in effect at the time Fast & Furious was operated.

      1. don’t be deceived. As you climb the ladder of this breach of justice plot to take OUR guns (for that’s all it ever was from the git go) the riungs get thinner, but as you get toward the top, there is one kinyun sitting atop that highest rung. No question HE is at the top of it.
        Remember his comment about “after the election I’ll have more flexibility”? Yeah he was talkin to Putin, (who was likely smiling like the proverbial Cheshire cat internally) I am convinced that, amongst other little schemes that lying turncoat had up his sleeve, was an increase in volume on F&F.

        Good thing that election had some sigificant backlash that scuttled some of his pland. I’m ceretain he is still trying to complete the job he started back then. He’s been far too quiet of late.

    6. What would you expect from the Demo-Rats, it is simple, and they do it all of the time, bury it, sweep it under the rug, people will forget about it, and once again, no responsibility, no one arrested and charged, and once again NO JAIL time for any of the Demo-Rats just like everything else that they get caught with, you wouldn’t want it any other way would you??????????

    7. I think the original intent was to give the feds a reason to regulate gun sales, they never intended to track the weapons. I worked down the street from one of the gun shops used for this sham. It is still boarded up and the owner is gone. Thanks Holder & co for ruining another life and just walking away.

    8. I thought congress was going to investigate the weaponizing of government agencies and Trump was the best friend of the 2 nd. amendment,unless I’ve missed it all I hear is crickets from congress or the president on the subject.

    9. Operation “Wide Receiver” under the Bush Administration had tracking devices in the weapons bought and smuggled to the Mexican Cartels. When the tracking devices were discovered the operation was shut down. When the obama/holder gunrunning “Fast and Furious” was running, there were NO TRACKING DEVICES in the weapons and it was a deliberate attempt to blame American gun owners for smuggling guns to the Mexican Cartels, resulting in the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and many innocent Mexicans.

    10. I hope justice is done in this. If attorney stamboulieh is working it perhaps at the minimum holder will get a fed onesey!
      In my book steven stamboulieh is the unsung alan gura!

    11. You mean to tell me the gun grabbers are also the unlawful gun runners?
      Imagine my surprise!
      I’m shocked! 🙂
      What else are they smuggling? Heroin, Cocaine, Weed, Humans…Etc……………………………….?
      Those million dollar homes and bank accounts on gov salary are beginning to make sense.

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