Issues of concern to people who live in the west: property rights, water rights, endangered species, livestock grazing, energy production, wilderness and western agriculture. Plus a few items on western history, western literature and the sport of rodeo... Frank DuBois served as the NM Secretary of Agriculture from 1988 to 2003. DuBois is a former legislative assistant to a U.S. Senator, a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Interior, and is the founder of the DuBois Rodeo Scholarship.
Thursday, June 16, 2011
U.S. agents slam gun sting effort on Mexico border
U.S. firearms agents told lawmakers on Wednesday they were instructed to only watch as hundreds of guns were bought, illegally resold and sent to Mexico where drug-related violence has raged for years. Agents for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in Arizona told the House of Representatives Oversight Committee they were told not to arrest the so-called straw buyers and instead see where the guns went. Republicans and Democrats on the panel expressed outrage about the ATF program -- "Operation Fast and Furious" -- and demanded answers from the Obama administration about why arrests were secondary to tracking the firearms. "We monitored as they purchased handguns, AK-47 variants and .50 caliber rifles, almost daily at times," John Dodson, an ATF special agent in Phoenix, told the committee. "Rather than conduct any enforcement actions, we took notes, we recorded observations, we tracked movements of these individuals, we wrote reports but nothing more." Dodson said agents were never given reasonable answers why their activities were limited. An ATF supervisor in Phoenix, Peter Forcelli, said some tried to raise concerns with supervisors but were rebuffed. "My concerns were dismissed," he told the committee. "I believe that these firearms will continue to turn up at crime scenes, on both sides of the border, for years to come."...more