Shortly after Attorney General Eric Holder sent a combative letter to Congress yesterday denying he knew about Operation Fast and Furious prior to testimony in May 2011, (despite memos showing Holder was briefed at least five times in July and August 2010 about the program) ten Arizona sheriffs, including National Sheriff of the Year Paul Babeu, came together to demand accountability from Holder for the lethal program that deliberately put 2,000 high powered weapons into the hands of the most dangerous criminals in North America.
Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu and nine other elected Sheriffs from across Arizona held a Press Conference today regarding “Operation Fast and Furious.”
Sheriff Paul Babeu, President of the Arizona Sheriffs Association, announced that the gathering of Arizona’s elected Sheriffs is equally represented with five Democrats and five Republicans. “This is not a partisan issue, but a serious public safety issue that threatens the safety of our citizens and our deputies. Our own federal government has armed the very cartels that our law enforcement are fighting with on a daily basis.”
The Sheriffs are demanding the truth from U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and believe that those responsible should be held criminally accountable for allowing 2,000 guns, including assault weapons and 50 caliber rifles, to be purchased on U.S. soil and then turned over to the drug cartels of Mexico. As a result of their reckless facilitation and distribution of these weapons, our deputies and American citizens may now face the barrel of a gun that was placed in the hands of criminals by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Citizens of the United States and Mexico have already been murdered by cartel members who now posses these weapons. There is no doubt more bloodshed will occur on both sides of the border, since over 1,500 weapons still remain unaccounted for.
The Arizona Sheriffs are also calling for a special counsel to investigate Operation Fast and Furious in addition to what Eric Holder knew about the program and when he knew it.
The following Arizona Sheriffs have joined in calling for a Special Counsel to immediately be appointed to fairly investigate Attorney General Eric Holder and the Department of Justice for Operation Fast and Furious: Pinal Sheriff Paul Babeu, Cochise Sheriff Larry Dever, Greenlee Sheriff Steve Tucker, Graham Sheriff PJ Alred, LaPaz Sheriff Don Lowrey, Mohave Sheriff Tom Sheahan, Coconino Sheriff Bill Pribil, Yavapai Sheriff Scott Mascher, Navajo Sheriff KC Clark and Apache Sheriff Joe Dedman.
In addition, Babeu has launched a petition aimed at holding President Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano accountable for the program.
Navajo County Sheriff KC Clark said: “I’m outraged that our own federal government has betrayed local law enforcement by arming violent foreign criminals and it now appears evident that Attorney General Holder may have lied under oath.”
Yavapai County Sheriff Scott Mascher said: “The Attorney General can’t be trusted to fairly self investigate these possible criminal charges of gun running which has resulted in murders of both individuals from the U.S. and Mexico. A Special Counsel must be appointed.”
Kent Terry, the brother of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry who was viciously murdered with assault weapons supplied to the cartels by our own government said, “My family and I are very thankful for the Sheriffs of Arizona and the fact they are helping us demand justice for my brothers murder.”
|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