Monday, October 03, 2011

Next Operational Name is Hudson Hawk

At this point, the ATF's Fast and Furious scandal may actually make the news...
In a classic Friday document dump -- a sure sign of an administration with something to hide -- the feds released to congressional investigators a month’s worth of e-mail correspondence in the summer of 2010 between Bill Newell, then head ATF agent in Phoenix, and his friend Kevin O’Reilly, a former White House national-security staffer for North American affairs.
What do you know? Among the e-mails was a photograph of a powerful Barrett .50-caliber rifle that had been illegally purchased in Tucson and recovered in Sonora, Mexico, raising the possibility of a second “gunwalking” program, this one called “Wide Receiver.”

Like Fast and Furious, the ATF-supervised scheme that saw thousands of weapons “walk” across the Mexican border for reasons no one in the Justice Department has yet satisfactorily explained, Wide Receiver was apparently a joint operation that also included the Drug Enforcement Administration, the FBI, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the IRS and the US Attorney’s office.
It’s likely there have been others, in such states as Florida and Indiana.

While the back-channel e-mails don’t explicitly discuss Fast and Furious, they do show the White House’s intense interest in the ATF’s and other federal agencies’ activities in Arizona. In one message, O’Reilly asks Newell whether he can share some information with other officials. “Sure, just don’t want ATF HQ to find out, especially since this is what they should be doing (briefing you)!” comes the reply.
"Wide Receiver?"  Seriously?  Who came up with these dumb operational names?

Just remember, it was very important to have a special prosecutor deal with the alleged leak of allegedly classified information during the Bush Administration, and it was a huge scandal when the Bush Administration fired several U.S. Attorneys... but it's not important to have an independant prosecutor or much focus on the illicit sales of guns to international drug cartels (and potentially domestic criminals) as ordered by a component of DOJ, potentially for the political benefit of being able to advocate for gun control.  And before you think I'm pushing the envelope on the last point, I'm not the one who allegedly told gun control advocates the administration was working on gun control "under the radar."  That was... the President.

But hey, nothing to see here.

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