Yesterday I reported on the House Oversight Committee investigation into the Obama Justice Department's Operation Fast and Furious.
Now, as more details come to light, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has released a statement, saying ATF put Arizona residents at risk. Operation Fast and Furious was conducted through the ATF Phoenix Field Office.
“I am outraged by findings in a new Congressional report that alleges federal agents were instructed to stand aside and do nothing as up to 2,000 weapons were illegally purchased in Arizona and resold. In many cases, the end result appears to have been the arming of violent drug cartels south of the border.
“During Operation Fast and Furious in 2010, according to this report, agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms were ordered to simply track these „straw buyer? weapons sales but not intervene. Longtime federal agents have now testified before Congress that allowing these weapons to leave the premises, a practice generally known as „gun walking,? was a marked departure from accepted law enforcement practices.
ATF agents lost track of many of these weapons, including assault weapons and .50 caliber sniper rifles. A significant number undoubtedly found their way to Mexican drug cartels. Tragically, two AK-47s traced back to Operation Fast and Furious later turned up at the crime scene near Rio Rico, Arizona, where Arizona Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was murdered by bandits. Authorities are still looking for the murder weapon.
“If the allegations contained in this Congressional report are accurate, then Operation Fast and Furious endangered the lives of innocent people on both sides of the border. The people of Arizona deserve answers from the Department of Justice and ATF as to how this could have been sanctioned, let alone encouraged. We may never know how many weapons illegally sold as part of this operation later turned up at a crime scene. But the connection between this failed federal operation and the death of Border Patrol Agent Terry is clear. The Congressional report puts it best: „The death of Border Agent Brian Terry was likely a preventable tragedy."
|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