Does DOJ Inspector General report protect DOJ Officials?
The report and accompanying accounts cite a failure in leadership and a lack of accountability and oversight up and down the chain of command at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Justice Department itself and other offices. It says many senior executives knew the U.S. was helping traffic guns to Mexico that killed people but did nothing to stop it.
"We found no evidence in Operation Fast and Furious that the ATF or the (U.S. attorney's office) attempted at any point during the investigation to balance the risks to the public safety against the long-term benefits of identifying trafficking networks and participants," the draft report says. . . .
The documents obtained by Fox News, while incomplete, provide an early glimpse into the finger-pointing that will follow the expected release later this week or early next week of the complete IG report. Attorney General Eric Holder has said the report, which will be scrutinized on Capitol Hill, will provide him the basis to discipline or fire those found most culpable.
While the report blames Newell and Voth for poor judgment, attorneys for the two say higher-ups and the entire ATF chain of command were aware of everything they did. . . .The most important part of the news story might be this:
Attorneys for the three contend that the report's conclusion that the strategy for Fast and Furious was hatched in Phoenix is not true. MacAllister's attorney claims that it was "part of the overall ATF Southwest Border strategy to deal with an international criminal enterprise engaged in firearms trafficking." . . .UPDATE: Some are pointing to the fact that one of the Fast and Furious guns was used in an assassination plot. But I think that it is a mistake to make this argument because if the criminals wanted to assassinate someone that gun would have simply been replaced with another gun. From the Daily Caller:
Drug cartel operatives used weapons from Operation Fast and Furious in a failed attempt to assassinate a high-ranking Mexican law enforcement official, the El Paso Times reports in an article that follows up on an initial report from Breitbart News’ Mary Chastain.
The gun — which “was seized in Tijuana in connection with a drug cartel’s conspiracy to kill the police chief of Tijuana, Baja California, who later became the Juárez police chief” — is tied to Fast and Furious. . . .