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Fast and Furious update: More guns, more stonewall

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By Michelle Malkin  •  September 12, 2011 09:38 AM

In case you missed it — and believe me, the Department of Injustice is hoping you missed it on this 9/11 memorial weekend — yet another violent crime (perpetrated by a suspected illegal alien )has been linked to Obama Fast and Furious guns.

Remember: GOP investigators have been demanding full disclosure from the DOJ on crimes linked to F&F for months and months. There should be no doubt corruptocrat Eric Holder, master of the Friday document dump, is still in total stonewall mode.

Via the LA Times:

In the second violent crime in this country connected with the ATF’s failed Fast and Furious program, two Arizona undercover police officers were allegedly assaulted last year when they attempted to stop two men in a stolen vehicle with two of the program’s weapons in a confrontation south of Phoenix.

The officers, members of an elite Arizona Department of Public Safety law enforcement unit, said the driver rammed their cars and threatened them with the firearms, and then fled into the Arizona desert. The driver was caught and arrested, and two firearms –- a Beretta pistol and AK-47 semiautomatic assault rifle — were found in the stolen Ford truck, the police said.

…The encounter came five months after the Fast and Furious program began, in which ATF agents allowed the illegal purchase of weapons to try to track the firearms to Mexican drug cartels. And it occurred nine months before the fatal slaying in December of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, killed in a separate assault in which two Fast and Furious firearms were discovered at the scene south of Tucson.

Sources said this is the first case so far of Fast and Furious weapons found at the scene of another violent crime other than Terry’s. Officials at ATF headquarters and the Justice Department are sifting through records to see whether there are more. About 2,000 weapons were allowed to be illegally purchased in the Phoenix area, and the vast majority were lost track of by ATF agents.

There is bound to be a lot of them,” said one source close to case.

Are there enough Fridays in the year to help bury them all?

CBS News reporter Sharyl Atkisson reminds us of the obstruction games at DOJ:

News of this case set off a wave of confusion among Congressional investigators who have tried unsuccessfully to identify additional violent crimes in the U.S. linked to which Fast and Furious. They say the Justice Department still hasn’t told them about the 2010 Phoenix case, despite their ongoing written requests for such information.

In July, the Justice Department acknowledged Terry’s death wasn’t the only U.S. violent crime involving Fast and Furious weapons – it originally said there were 11 more — but refused to provide Congress any details. Then, more than a month later on September 1, the Justice Department revised the number of cases downward from 11 to just two. Congressional investigators have doggedly pursued the Justice Department for information on the second mysterious case, but never received the information. Today, it’s still unknown whether the new case is indeed the second case the Justice Department had referred to.

One Congressional investigator told CBS News: “We’re no closer to finding out what the Justice Department knows about all the crimes committed” with Fast and Furious guns.

Meanwhile, Fox News reporter William Lajeunesse has a scoop on a third F&F weapon — previously undisclosed — that was found at the scene of Border Patrol hero Brian Terry’s murder:

A third gun linked to “Operation Fast and Furious” was found at the murder scene of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, new documents obtained exclusively by Fox News suggest, contradicting earlier assertions by federal agencies that police found only two weapons tied to the federal government’s now infamous gun interdiction scandal.

Sources say emails support their contention that the FBI concealed evidence to protect a confidential informant. Sources close to the Terry case say the FBI informant works inside a major Mexican cartel and provided the money to obtain the weapons used to kill Terry.

Unlike the two AK-style assault weapons found at the scene, the third weapon could more easily be linked to the informant. To prevent that from happening, sources say, the third gun “disappeared.”

In addition to the emails obtained by Fox News, an audio recording from a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent investigating the Terry case seems to confirm the existence of a third weapon. In that conversation, the agent refers to an “SKS assault rifle out of Texas” found at the Terry murder scene south of Tucson.

The FBI refused to answer a detailed set of questions submitted to officials by Fox News. Instead, agency spokesman Paul Bresson said, “The Brian Terry investigation is still ongoing so I cannot comment.” Bresson referred Fox News to court records that only identify the two possible murder weapons.

Your tax dollars at work:

The two AK-type assault rifles were purchased by Jaime Avila from the Lone Wolf Trading Co. outside of Phoenix on Jan. 16, 2010. Avila was recruited by his roommate Uriel Patino. Patino, according to sources, received $70,000 in “seed money” from the FBI informant late in 2009 to buy guns for the cartel.

The Lone Wolf gun shop owner who expressed prescient concerns about F&F speaks for the first time to the LA Times:

[Andre] Howard said he does not own a gun, does not hunt, and does not belong to the National Rifle Assn. His love is helicopters — a former Army pilot, he gives flying lessons. He said he fell into the gun-dealing business 21 years ago only to help support his career as a flight instructor. Howard spoke to a reporter for the first time in depth about why he cooperated with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

He said he supported law enforcement, and never imagined a thousand weapons, or half of the entire Fast and Furious inventory, would “walk” out of his store. And when arrests were not forthcoming, “every passing week I was more stunned,” he said.

According to a confidential memo written by assistant federal prosecutor Emory Hurley, “Mr. Howard had expressed concerns about the cooperation he was providing and whether he was endangering himself or implicating himself in a criminal investigation.”

Other firearms dealers shared his concerns. At the nearby Scottsdale Gun Club, the proprietor sent an email to Agent David Voth. “I want to help ATF,” he said, “but not at the risk of agents’ safety because I have some very close friends that are U.S. Border Patrol agents in southern AZ.”

Bob Owens sums things up:

The SKS “disappeared” by the FBI from the scene of Agent Terry’s murder most likely came from Dallas, but could have come from what appears to be a second Texas-based gunwalking operation, suggested by considerable circumstantial evidence to be centered in the Houston Field Operations area.

The fact that every U.S. agent gunned down in the line of duty was fired upon with weapons recovered from apparent gunwalking operations in the Dallas and/or Houston Field Operations areas — not to mention the revelation of an domestic gunwalking operation in Indiana dubbed “Gangwalker,” and now “Grenadewalker” — suggests a widespread program to arm violent felons.

If this supposition is correct — and new evidence emerging every few days suggests that is the case — then we are plagued by an executive branch gone mad, and there is every reason to believe that such madness either originated from the White House or was done with the full knowledge of the White House, as Mike Vanderboegh suggests:

“This information confirms what our sources were saying all along — that the FBI was covering up the true circumstances of the murder of Brian Terry,” added Mike Vanderboegh, an authority on the Fast and Furious investigation who runs a whistleblower website called Sipsey Street.

“It also confirms that the FBI was at least as culpable, and perhaps more culpable, than the ATF in the (Fast and Furious) scandal, and that there was some guiding hand above both these agencies (and the other agencies involved) coordinating the larger operation,” Vanderboegh said.

Robert Mueller of the FBI and Ken Melson of the ATF obviously knew of these gunwalking operations. Michele Leonhart of the DEA likely knew. Eric Holder had to know.

Janet Napolitano, whose former Chief of Staff Dennis Burke ran Operation Fast and Furious and who was the governor of Arizona and its attorney general before then, had to know.

Rep. Darrell Issa and Senator Charles Grassley smell corruption, and have expanded the Gunwalker investigation to request the records of Greg Gatjanis, Kevin O’Reilly, and Dan Restrepo, all from the president’s National Security Council.

Three White House officials know something about the operation, and yet we are expected to believe Eric Holder and Barack Obama when they deny knowledge of it?

Screw up, move up, cover up.

When you promote it, you get more of it.

***

David Codrea has posted Part Six of his journalist’s guide to Project Gunwalker here.

Bridget at Hillbuzz:

Suddenly the ATF is admitting that this last episode in Arizona did involve F&F weapons. Why would they suddenly be open about that piece of information? Perhaps Rep. Issa and Sen. Grassley are getting perilously close to opening Pandora’s box and the ATF wants to be on the right side of the fence when the whole story breaks? Maybe an official in the ATF will be offered immunity if they fork over info implicating high ranking officials within the Justice Department? Would the ATF do that if they are a branch of the DOJ?

Can someone answer these questions for me……

Isn’t it obstruction of justice to withhold information about a crime?

Wouldn’t you or I go to jail if we withheld information from investigators?

Why isn’t Eric Holder in jail?

Mike Vanderboegh: The Gunwalker Man’s run, run, running as fast as he can.

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