10/02/2011

New documents reveal frequent direct contact between Obama WH and BATF agent in charge of "Gunwalker" case

This sure seems as if the Obama WH was in frequent direct contact with the BATF about the "Gunwalker" case. Reading all this I have the suspicion that this is just a way for the Obama people to bolster their claims about guns going to Mexico. From CBS:

Late Friday, the White House turned over new documents in the Congressional investigation into the ATF "Fast and Furious" gunwalking scandal.

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 over Mexico.

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 interests." . . . .

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1 Comments:

Blogger Anti-pol said...

Very interesting to note that O'Reilly asked, "Did last year's TX effort develop a similar graphic?"

Since we know there was a Texas operation that allowed guns to flow to Honduras, can we tie the timing of that to show it was the same one he inquired about?

10/03/2011 11:08 AM  

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