A key figure in the "Fast and Furious" scandal is now fighting to clear his name against a discredited media attack.
Special Agent John Dodson of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was one of the whistleblowers who came forward to tell the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee about the operation, which helped funnel thousands of guns to Mexican drug cartels. His testimony provided vital information that has helped shine a light on this scandal.
In spite of the mountain of evidence that firearms were allowed to be trafficked to criminals without any effort to track or interdict them, Fortune magazine published a story in June written by Katherine Eban that made the implausible claim that it never really happened.
The story--conveniently published the week of the House vote to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress over the scandal--attacked Dodson's character and argued that his account was a fiction created by infighting among agents.
However, the facts detailed in the Department of Justice Inspector General's report last week confirm that Dodson was right. Now, in light of the report, Dodson has called on Fortune to retract the story because it clearly is "demonstrably false in many respects."
Eban (a one-time campaign operative for former President Bill Clinton) continues to claim she got it right, claiming that the inspector general simply came to a different conclusion than she did. But her claims do not stand up against the facts uncovered by the Congressional investigation or the findings of the inspector general's report.
The House Oversight and Government Committee agrees with Dodson and has also called on Fortune to retract the story. "The DOJ report 'firmly rejects Eban's conclusions,' according to committee spokesman Frederick Hill.
Hill went on to characterize the Eban article. "If they gave out Pulitzer prizes for understatement, Eban's admission that her story's conclusions 'differ' from the reality other investigations found about Operation Fast and Furious would win. This kind of misleading and highly opinionated narrative masquerading as objective mainstream journalism is an example of why many Americans distrust what they're told by the media."
Without the courage of Dodson and the other whistleblowers who came forward, this scandal would have remained hidden from the American people. Eban's article is not supported by the facts. Fortune should retract the story and regain a small measure of its integrity as a financial publication.