Bombshell: DOJ Considering Elimination of ATF
Note: will have to go to website to download docs
September 30, 2011 9:35 PM
New Fast and Furious docs released by White House
By Sharyl Attkisson Topics Law and Order
WASHINGTON - Late Friday, the White House turned over new documents
in the Congressional investigation into the ATF "Fast and Furious"
The documents show extensive communications between then-ATF Special
Agent in Charge of the Phoenix office Bill Newell - who led Fast and
Furious - and then-White House National Security Staffer Kevin
O'Reilly. Emails indicate the two also spoke on the phone. Such
detailed, direct communications between a local ATF manager in
Phoenix and a White House national security staffer has raised
interest among Congressional investigators looking into Fast and
Furious. Newell has said he and O'Reilly are long time friends.
Newly-released White House documents (pdf)
ATF agents say that in Fast and Furious, their agency allowed
thousands of assault rifles and other weapons to be sold to suspected
traffickers for Mexican drug cartels. At least two of the guns turned
up at the murder scene of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry last December.
ATF Manager says he shared Fast and Furious with the White House
The email exchanges span a little over a month last summer. They
discuss ATF's gun trafficking efforts along the border including the
controversial Fast and Furious case, though not by name. The emails
to and from O'Reilly indicate more than just a passing interest in
the Phoenix office's gun trafficking cases. They do not mention
specific tactics such as "letting guns walk."
A lawyer for the White House wrote Congressional investigators: "none
of the communications between ATF and the White House revealed the
investigative law enforcement tactics at issue in your inquiry, let
alone any decision to allow guns to 'walk.'"
ATF Fast and Furious: Who at the White House knew?
Among the documents produced: an email in which ATF's Newell sent the
White House's O'Reilly an "arrow chart reflecting the ultimate
destination of firearms we intercepted and/or where the guns ended
up." The chart shows arrows leading from Arizona to destinations all
Newell email (09.03.10) (pdf)
Arizona Gunrunner Impact Team chart (pdf)
In response, O'Reilly wrote on Sept. 3, 2010 "The arrow chart is
really interesting - and - no surprise - implies at least that
different (Drug Trafficking Organizations) in Mexico have very
different and geographically distinct networks in the US for
acquiring guns. Did last year's TX effort develop a similar graphic?"
O'Reilly email (09.03.10) (pdf)
The White House counsel who produced the documents stated that some
records were not included because of "significant confidentiality
(Credit: CBS) Also included are email photographs including images of
a .50 caliber rifle (left) that Newell tells O'Reilly "was purchased
in Tucson, Arizona (part of another OCDTF case)." OCDTF is a joint
task force that operates under the Department of Justice and includes
the US Attorneys, ATF, DEA, FBI, ICE and IRS. Fast and Furious was an
An administration source would not describe the Tucson OCDTF case.
However, CBS News has learned that ATF's Phoenix office led an
operation out of Tucson called "Wide Receiver." Sources claim ATF
allowed guns to "walk" in that operation, much like Fast and Furious.
Congressional investigators for Republicans Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA)
and Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) have asked to interview O'Reilly
by September 30. But the Administration informed them that O'Reilly
is on assignment for the State Department in Iraq and unavailable.
One administration source says White House national security staffers
were "briefed on the toplines of ongoing federal efforts, but nobody
in White House knew about the investigative tactics being used in the
operation, let alone any decision to let guns walk."