Earlier this week the Arizona Republic editorial board published an opinion piece titled, “Dennis Burke should've been celebrated, not sanctioned.” The board portrays the former U.S. Attorney and Operation Fast and Furious ring-leader as a whistleblower and victim rather than holding him accountable for his extensive and reckless actions during his time in office. Consider the following a direct response.
Between 2009 and 2011 when Operation Fast and Furious was active, Dennis Burke and his Assistant U.S. Attorney Emory Hurley refused to prosecute nearly every straw purchaser case handed to them citing “no probable cause.” One of those straw purchasers was Jaime Avila, a man who purchased hundreds of AK-47s on behalf of Mexican drug cartels under ATF surveillance for an entire year. Burke never bothered to stop him.
On December 15, 2010, Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was murdered in Peck Canyon just outside of Rio Rico, Arizona. The guns left at the scene were traced back to Operation Fast and Furious and were purchased by Avila just a few months prior at Lone Wolf Trading Company in Glendale, Arizona. Less than 24 hours after Terry was killed, at 5:19 p.m., Burke learned of this connection.
Burke wrote to his staff mentioning two of the guns seized at the murder scene were connected to an ongoing investigation out of the ATF Phoenix Field Office, an investigation he had helped green-light from Phoenix with the approval of Justice Department officials in Washington.
Katie Pavlich is the Editor at Townhall.com. Follow her on Twitter @katiepavlich. She is a New York Times Best Selling author. Her latest book Assault and Flattery: The Truth About the Left and Their War on Women, was published on July 8, 2014.