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Did Other Federal Agencies Know About “Fast And Furious?”

Friday, February 17, 2012

It has been said that if you tell a lie often enough, and convincingly enough, people will start to believe it is true.  Perhaps that’s the tack U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is taking regarding his, and the Department of Justice’s, role in the now-infamous “Fast and Furious” gunrunning operation that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives ran out of its Phoenix office.

While Holder steadfastly denies any culpability, evidence to the contrary continues to mount.  As recently as February 2, Holder testified before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee regarding his role in “Fast and Furious,” and once again claimed no foreknowledge of the disastrous operation (please read related story here).  But this week, a former, high ranking Drug Enforcement Administration agent claimed that other agencies knew as early as 2009 about the gunrunning operation and even tried to interdict the flow of firearms being “walked.”

According to a Fronteras website article, Tony Coulson, who was in charge of DEA’s Tucson office during “Fast and Furious,” said in a recent interview, "In 2009, 2010, I became aware that ATF was walking guns.  I also learned that Homeland Security Investigations, then ICE, actually interceded on more than one occasion where they seized weapons at the ports of entry when they were heading southbound contrary to ATF's plans."

Coulson’s statements confirm similar testimony given by BATFE agents.

The Fronteras article also points out that BATFE officials who supervised the gun “walking” operation out of Phoenix were claiming as early as 2008 that 90 percent of the guns seized in Mexico came from the U.S., noting that BATFE was waging a public battle against gun smuggling, while at the same time actually facilitating the illegal “walking” of guns into Mexico.

“Among federal law enforcement, that became somewhat of a joke,” Coulson said. “We all knew that was whatever weapons the Mexican government decided to follow or trace back to the U.S. and never took into account the weapons that come in from Central America, from other countries around the world.”

The article went on to note that the “90 percent” statistic was widely reported, but was obviously inflated, and that BATFE officials later refuted those numbers (please read related article here).

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