Thursday, March 21, 2013



Note: Hundreds of Hispanics still dead.

New 'Fast and Furious' report finds DHS warning signs ignored
By Richard A. Serrano
March 21, 2013, 2:10 p.m.

WASHINGTON — Even as they lost scores of illegal firearms in their
Fast and Furious operation, federal ATF agents asked their Border
Patrol counterparts not to pursue criminal leads or track gun
smuggling in southern Arizona so they could follow the firearms
themselves, and senior Homeland Security agents "complied and the
leads were not investigated," according to a new Department of
Homeland Security inspector general's report.

The report, obtained Thursday by The Times, also said that a Homeland
Security special agent on the border was collaborating with the ATF
in Fast and Furious, but his "senior leaders" in Arizona never read
his updates about fundamental flaws with the failed gun tracking
operation. Had they done so, Homeland Security officials could have
tried to close down the operation before one of their Border Patrol
agents, Brian Terry, was killed not far from Tucson.

Furthermore, the report determined that top Department of Homeland
Security officials in Washington did not learn about Fast and Furious
until Terry was shot to death in December 2010 and two of the 1,430
lost firearms were found at the scene of his murder.

Fast and Furious has led to a number of high-ranking demotions within
the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and a
contempt of Congress citation against Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr.
Now, the new Homeland Security inspector general's findings for the
first time document that the ATF also managed to mostly keep their
Border Patrol counterparts in the dark about Fast and Furious.

Officials at Department of Homeland Security headquarters in
Washington, responding to the report, agreed to enact a series of
recommendations to better coordinate law enforcement operations on
the border.

Radha C. Sekar, acting executive associate director for management
and administration for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, told the
inspector general that they would assess whether senior Phoenix
officials "fulfilled their duty to enforce the weapons smuggling
statutes," and also would review their own policies for collaborating
with other law enforcement agencies.

Charles K. Edwards, the deputy Homeland Security inspector general,
said in his report that shortly after ATF launched Fast and Furious
in Phoenix in October 2009, Homeland Security special agents learned
of the operation while conducting their own investigation into a
Mexican gun smuggling ring.

But ATF agents told the Homeland Security special agents that the
firearms were "related" to Fast and Furious and asked them to
"refrain from further efforts to identify the smuggling ring's
transportation cell." The top Homeland Security agent in Phoenix
"agreed to the request," largely because federal prosecutors
supported Fast and Furious.

Edwards added that Homeland Security officials tried to get the ATF
to change its tactics in allowing guns to be illegally smuggled, but
"ATF did not revise their strategy."


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