Friday, June 17, 2011

Gov't's Gun Scheme: ‘Loads of Weapons … for Criminals Was The Plan’

John Dodson, a special agent for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee yesterday that he was shocked when he discovered his agency was carrying out a plan specifically designed to deliver “loads of weapons” into the hands of criminals, including operatives purchasing guns for Mexican drug cartels. “This is not a matter of some weapons that had gotten away from us or allowing a few to walk so that we could follow them to a much larger, more significant target,” Dodson told the committee. “Allowing loads of weapons that we knew to be destined for criminals was the plan, this was the mandate.” Later under questioning from Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R.-Utah), Dodson reiterated that ATF agents were under orders to allow criminal they had under surveillance to purchase guns and to get away with them—something Dodson said the government knew would lead to their use in multiple crimes. "Yes. We were mandated, ‘Let these guns go,’" Dodson told the committee. In 2009, the Obama Administration began an operation—dubbed “Fast and Furious”--under the auspices of the ATF that allowed people known to be “straw purchasers” to buy guns at licensed firearms dealers in the United States. These purchasers were not stopped and the guns were never seized from them--unless and until they were actually caught in a crime. The reported purpose of the project was to track the guns back to leaders in the Mexican drug cartels. “This effort failed,” House Oversight Chairman Darrel Issa (R.-Calif.) said at Wednesday’s hearing. “Over strong objection of the ATF field agents, the program continued, and approximately 2,000 AK-47s and derivatives and some 50- caliber sniper rifles and others and 10,000 or more rounds of live ammunition went into the arsenals of the Mexican drug lord,” Issa said...more

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