While Justice Department and ATF officials (reportedly including key players from the Phoenix Field Division at the time Operation Fast and Furious was being implemented) pore over the Office of Inspector General draft report during the required review and comment period, Arizona attorney, author, civil rights activist and blogger David T. Hardy, reminded his readers yesterday of an earlier report that, in his words, “spells out ‘gunwalking.’”
Writing on his Of Arms and the Law blog, Hardy linked to the Justice Department’s September, 2010 “PROJECT GUNRUNNER, A Cartel Focused Strategy” publication and called attention to several key passages. Including, and importantly, “p. 11: ‘There are also practical considerations that may require bringing investigations to a conclusion or dictate a change in investigative tactics prior to the identification of persons directly affiliated with the DTOs. Examples include high volume trafficking investigations in which numerous diverted firearms identifiable with one or more purchasers are being used in violent crimes and recovered by law enforcement, and high volume trafficking investigations in which over an extended period ATF cannot reasonably determine where or to whom such firearms are being trafficked. SACs must closely monitor and approve such investigations, assessing the risks associated with prolonged investigation with limited or delayed interdiction. In some instances, the best answer may be to provide actionable intelligence to other law enforcement agencies and/or the Government of Mexico.”
This “Essentially admits that guns, perhaps in large volume, will be allowed to go to the cartels (DTOs),” Hardy observed, also noting how Mexico was then left out of the loop.
This is a succinct summation of many points citizen journalist Mike Vanderboegh shared with readers of his Sipsey Street Irregulars blog in comprehensive analyses in May and August of last year, but Hardy’s reminder is timely and serves to help get this information not just out there for cognizance of Congressional investigators and the general public, but also, through an appeal he wrote at the end, to another important group of people.
“If anyone knows the attorney representing Brian Terry’s family in their suit against the US, I’d appreciate their bringing this to their attention,” he concluded. “One problem in a Federal Tort Claims Act suit is getting around the discretionary function exception, and the key to getting around that is proof that someone disobeyed orders (i.e., had no discretion to do what he did).”
Who people disobeying orders were, and if they really did, remains to be seen, and it’s one reason why the OIG Report is of such interest. Perhaps best categorized as “Breaking Hearsay,” the following message came to this correspondent while this report was being written, from a past-proven reliable insider source citing someone he/she considers reliable:
“Hot off press. Source who has seen the draft “’10 times worse than he expected.’”