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article imageOp-Ed: Project Gunrunner — U.S. government train wreck

By Thomas Amshay     Mar 26, 2011 in Politics
If anyone in the Administration can disprove the allegations emerging about this case they better come forward in a hurry.
As a citizen of the U.S. and a member of planet earth, I am offended by the thought that the U.S. government is this far off the rails. I sincerely hope there is a logical explanation soon to come from Washington, and not the traditional blame-shifting or party zealots falling on their swords to save their bosses.
The saga begins in late 2009 when U.S. gun shop owners began alerting Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms (ATF) to suspicious purchases of weapons known to be the preferred guns used by Mexican drug cartels. That started an ATF investigation that became what appears to be a sting operation gone totally wrong.
The tipping point for the sting gone bad was December 14, 2010 when U.S. border agent Brian Terry was killed near the Arizona - Mexico border. Terry was part of a special tactical squad that was fired upon.
Assault rifles found at the scene of the gunfight that killed Terry were traced back to a U.S. gun shop. How those weapons wound up being used to fire upon U.S. agents is completely detailed by CBS investigative correspondent Sharyl Attkisson's February 23 story "Gunrunning scandal uncovered at the ATF" that includes background, dates, interviews, videos, and more.
More recently in an exclusive interview with CBS News (25 March), ATF official Darren Gil said that somebody in the Justice Department knew about the case when CBS News began investigating after having been tipped by whistle-blowers in February. Gil, said that his supervisor at ATF in Washington told him approval for the operation had come from a higher level than ATF Director Kenneth Melson.
Gil asked the supervisor if Melson knew, and the reply was "Yes, the director's aware of it. Not only is the director aware of it, D.O.J.'s aware of it." Attkisson uncovered that ATF's own agents on the ground in Mexico did not know about the operation. It is Agent Gil's interview that appears in the video at the top of this page.
You can also see President Barack Obama being interviewed by Univision television (provided by CBS NEWS) during which he says he did not authorize the operation. Obama also states that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder did not authorize the operation.
I am hoping that the corporate media — after having lost my trust because of agenda-based reporting — will notice that CBS News is demonstrating the good breeding of real journalists that follow a story like Project Gunrunner (aka Fast and Furious) to its conclusion no matter who is involved and who authorized the operation.
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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