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article imageOp-Ed: ATF as gun smugglers: What and when did Obama and Holder know?

By Thomas Amshay     Mar 25, 2011 in Politics
Earth shaking news, facts, and accusations keep surfacing about U.S. government trafficking guns to Mexican drug cartels
Reports filed by Talking Points Memo and many others point to a sanctioned gun-running operation of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) known as Project Gunrunner.
Project Gunrunner reads like a textbook case of bad ideas and bureaucratic power run amok. And that is to say nothing of its possible role in the shooting death of border agent Brian Terry, which almost immediately began raising eyebrows and accusations of cover-up. Unfortunately, agent Terry is not the only agent to die in the line of duty on the Southern border.
Project Gunrunner will be an insult to American citizens if allowed to be swept under the White House rug, but thus far it has been mostly off the news grid except for a few talk shows, websites, and journalists like Sharyl Attkisson from CBS interviewed here on the Laura Ingahram radio show.
Yesterday, March 24, in an interview (conducted by Univision) aired by TPM, President Barack Obama conceded that "a serious mistake" may have been made, but added he was "absolutely not" informed about the ATF program known as both Project Gunrunner and Fast and Furious.
When further pressed by Univision, Obama added, "I did not authorize it; Eric Holder, the attorney general, did not authorize it. He's been very clear that our policy is to catch gun-runners and put them into jail." Obama said Holder has asked the Justice Department to investigate.
A few of the many scattered details of Project Gunrunner include:
An ATF whistle-blower alleged the agency intentionally allowed more than 1700 weapons to cross from the U.S. into Mexico for delivery to drug cartels.
In another CBS News video Sharyl Attkisson interviewed ATF Special Agent Rene Jaquez who has been stationed in Mexico trying to stop guns being trafficked into the country from the U.S. Jaquez is not the first agent to come forward with revelations like those you can watch here.
Meanwhile reported that ATF agents from the Phoenix, Arizona office anonomously alerted news agencies, U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), and website forum Cleanup ATF.
As more details unfold and begin to coalesce they point to ATF not working alone on the project but having had conference calls with Homeland Security, U.S. Marshal Service, and U.S. Drug Enforcement agency ( DEA).
Can you say write your representatives in Washington.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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