So who knew about the BATF gun running? The quotes here indicate that DOJ, thus Holder, probably knew about it
Since our first report in which ATF agents told us they allowed thousands of weapons to cross into Mexico, one crucial question has been: Who knew -- how high up? This week for the first time, President Obama addressed the controversy. It was in an interview Tuesday evening with the Spanish language network Univision.
Watch: Obama on "gunwalking"
"Well first of all I did not authorize it. Eric Holder the Attorney General did not authorize it. He's been very clear that our policy is to catch gun runners and put 'em into jail," Mr. Obama said of the controversial ATF operation called "Fast and Furious."
"You were not even informed about it?" asked Univision reporter Jorge Ramos.
"Absolutely not," said Mr. Obama. "There may be a situation here which a serious mistake was made and if that's the case then we'll find out and well hold somebody accountable."
But who? In an exclusive interview with CBS News, the lead ATF official in Mexico at the time Darren Gil says somebody in the Justice Department did know about the case. Gil says his supervisor at ATF's Washington D.C. headquarters told him point-blank the operation was approved even higher than ATF Director Kenneth Melson.
"Is the director aware of this," Gil asked the supervisor. Gil says his supervisor answered "Yes, the director's aware of it. Not only is the director aware of it, D.O.J.'s aware of it... Department of Justice was aware of it."
Gil goes on to say senior Justice official Lanny Breuer and several of his deputies visited Mexico amid the controversy last summer, and spoke to ATF staff generally about a big trafficking case that they claimed was "getting good results." Gil says Melson, ATF's Acting Director, also visited Mexico City. Gil's Deputy Attache and his Analyst questioned Melson about the case that surrounding all the weapons showing up in Mexico. "His response was 'it's a good case, it's still going on,'" recalls Gil, "and we'll close it down as soon as we possibly can." . . .
Labels: BATF, Mexico