On December 15, 2010, ATF Special Agent John Dodson’s life changed forever when Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed in the Arizona desert. At least two of the guns left at the scene were linked to Operation Fast and Furious. Before Terry was killed, hundreds had been killed in Mexico as a result of the program, leaving only blood stained concrete and horror behind.
For a year prior to Terry’s murder, Dodson worked as part of ATF Phoenix Gunrunning Group VII, the group assigned to carry out the bulk of Fast and Furious. He was told for months to allow thousands of AK-47 style guns to walk into Mexico. He was instructed to watch straw purchasers illegally buy weapons, but not to arrest them. Dodson asked his superiors on multiple occasions if they were prepared to deal with the consequences of their actions and the tactics used throughout the operation.
“I asked them if they were prepared to go to the funeral of a Border Patrol agent over this or Cochise County deputy – if they were prepared to watch that widow accept that folded flag because that’s exactly what was going to happen. So they can't claim that was an unforeseen consequence,” Dodson asserted on Fox News. He said the same thing during congressional testimony on June 15, 2011.
Dodson was vocal within ATF throughout 2010 about his concerns, and on March 3, 2011, he exposed Fast and Furious and its connection to Brian Terry’s murder on national television to CBS News reporter Sharyl Attkisson.
By this point, Dodson was used to retaliation within ATF, specifically for speaking out against Operation Fast and Furious and its tactics. He had been screamed at by supervisors, reassigned and even had his weapons taken away without valid cause. Raising questions about a program he knew would leave hundreds dead was unacceptable -- and outside of ATF’s chain of command protocol. After he made the lethal realities of Fast and Furious public, things got worse.
The same month Dodson put a face on the scandal, then ATF Acting Director Kenneth Melson told the Baltimore ATF Field Division in a town hall style meeting Dodson was merely a “disgruntled” employee and alluded to him being a nut case.
A month prior, Senator Charles Grassley received a letter from Justice Department officials flat out denying the existence of gunwalking and essentially called Dodson a liar.
|Katie Pavlich is the News Editor at Townhall.com. Follow her on Twitter @katiepavlich. She is also the author of Fast and Furious: Barack Obama's Bloodiest Scandal and the Shameless Cover-Up.
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Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography
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