ATF Guns-to-Drug Cartels Scheme Mirrored Similar Bush Administration Program
Sunday, January 08, 2012
Republicans in Congress have been going after the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) ever since its “Fast and Furious” gun operation became exposed. The GOP critics have been beside themselves, asking how the ATF could have ever allowed thousands of hand guns and rifles to deliberately fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartels, a tactic known as “gunwalking.” “Fast and Furious” backfired because ATF lost track of a majority of the 2,000+ guns they were trying to follow.
Well, it turns out the agency got the idea during the George W. Bush administration.
New government documents tell how ATF, beginning in early 2006, carried out “Operation Wide Receiver” in which federal agents permitted “straw” buyers to illegally move firearms from the U.S. to Mexico so federal law enforcement could track the sales and gather intelligence on drug-running operations.
The description of “Wide Receiver” is nearly identical to “Fast and Furious” and, like the Obama-era program, it drew repeated criticisms from individual Justice Department officials. Both programs were run by ATF’s Phoenix division.
-Noel Brinkerhoff, David Wallechinsky
Justice Dept Documents Describe Another Gun Probe (by Pete Yost, Associated Press)
ATF Sanctioning 'Straw' Gun Sales since 2006, Houston Dealer Says (by Greg Googan, My Fox Houston)
Earlier ATF Gun Operation ‘Wide Receiver’ Used Same Tactics as ‘Fast and Furious’ (by Sari Horwitz, Washington Post)
Justice Dept. Transfers Border Patrol Murder Case Away from Phoenix (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
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