Wednesday, July 06, 2011

DOJ 'Distorted Truth and Obstructed Our Investigation' in Guns-to-Mexico Probe, Lawmakers Say

Members of Congress investigating the ATF's botched gun-tracking operation say it now appears that the Justice Department "obstructed" their attempts to find out what happened. They also expressed deep concern about the possibility that the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Agency already knew about -- and may even have been working with -- the people who were smuggling weapons to Mexican drug cartels. The new information comes from Kenneth Melson, Acting Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, who voluntarily testified before congressional investigators on the July 4 holiday. Accompanied by his personal attorney -- not a Justice Department attorney -- Melson told investigators that he would have been more cooperative with them if it weren't for Justice Department officials trying to limit and control his agency's communications with Congress. Contrary to denials by the Justice Department, Melson acknowledged that ATF agents had in fact witnessed transfers of weapons from straw purchasers to third parties without following the guns any further. Melson also said the ATF agents carrying out Operation Fast and Furious had been placed under the direction of the Arizona U.S. Attorney's office...more

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