Sharyl Attkisson at CBS News:
Federal agent John Dodson says what he was asked to do was beyond belief.
He was intentionally letting guns go to Mexico?
“Yes ma’am,” Dodson told CBS News. “The agency was.”
An Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms senior agent assigned to the Phoenix office in 2010, Dodson’s job is to stop gun trafficking across the border. Instead, he says he was ordered to sit by and watch it happen.
Investigators call the tactic letting guns “walk.” In this case, walking into the hands of criminals who would use them in Mexico and the United States.
Dodson’s bosses say that never happened. Now, he’s risking his job to go public.
“I’m boots on the ground in Phoenix, telling you we’ve been doing it every day since I’ve been here,” he said. “Here I am. Tell me I didn’t do the things that I did. Tell me you didn’t order me to do the things I did. Tell me it didn’t happen. Now you have a name on it. You have a face to put with it. Here I am. Someone now, tell me it didn’t happen.”
Agent Dodson and other sources say the gun walking strategy was approved all the way up to the Justice Department. The idea was to see where the guns ended up, build a big case and take down a cartel. And it was all kept secret from Mexico.
ATF named the case “Fast and Furious.”
On Dec. 14, 2010, Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was gunned down. Dodson got the bad news from a colleague.
According to Dodson, “They said, ‘Did you hear about the border patrol agent?’ And I said, ‘Yeah.’ And they said ‘Well it was one of the Fast and Furious guns.’ There’s not really much you can say after that.”
Two assault rifles ATF had let go nearly a year before were found at Terry’s murder.
Dodson said, “I felt guilty. I mean it’s crushing. I don’t know how to explain it.”
Sen. Grassley began investigating after his office spoke to Dodson and a dozen other ATF sources — all telling the same story.
Mark Krikorian at The Corner:
When Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was murdered by drug smugglers in Arizona last December, Tom Tancredo revealed that Terry’s BORTAC unit (the Border Patrol’s equivalent of a SWAT team) were armed with bean-bag rounds in their weapons:
Here’s the part Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Border Patrol management are trying to hide: Border Patrol Agent Terry and the BORTAC team were under standing orders to always use (“non-lethal”) bean-bag rounds first before using live ammunition. When the smugglers heard the first rounds, they returned fire with real bullets, and Agent Terry was killed in that exchange. Real bullets outperform bean bags every time.
At the time, the government denied such “bizarre Internet-fueled rumors”:
“There was no order given to CBP law enforcement personnel – now or in the past – that dictates the use of less-than-lethal devices before using deadly force,” stated CBP’s Southwest Border Field Branch Office of Public Affairs.
Records show agents fired beanbags in fatal border gunfight
Brady McCombs Arizona Daily Star | Posted: Thursday, March 3, 2011 12:00 am
Border Patrol agents shot beanbags at a group of suspected bandits before the men returned fire during a confrontation in a remote canyon, killing agent Brian Terry with a single gunshot, records show.
And an illegal immigrant wounded in the gunbattle who is now the only person in custody linked to the slaying contends he never fired a shot, according to FBI search warrant requests filed in the U.S. District Court in Tucson.
The documents provide the most detailed version yet of what happened in the deadly gunbattle Dec. 14 in Peck Canyon, northwest of Nogales.
The documents say the group of illegal border entrants refused commands to drop their weapons after agents confronted them at about 11:15 p.m. Two agents fired beanbags at the migrants, who responded with gunfire. Two agents returned fire, one with a long gun and one with a pistol, but Terry was mortally wounded in the gunfight.
Border Patrol officials declined to answer questions about protocol for use of force, citing the ongoing investigation.
Bryan Preston at PJ Tatler:
It seems highly unlikely that officers would choose to load beanbags instead of live rounds. That’s not the kind of thing field agents come up with. It’s a policy that’s so stupid it had to come from Washington.
And even worse than Washington’s policy stupidity: No one will be held to account for the killing of BP agent Brian Terry
Brian Doherty at Reason:
Presented as an interesting case study in the way law enforcement actually thinks–not to say that it is an essential task of U.S. law enforcement to “keep guns out of Mexico.” Our real culpability in Mexican gun violence lies, of course, in our drug prohibition, as see Jacob Sullum from earlier today.
Patterico at Patterico’s Pontifications:
How were they tracing the guns across the border? Was this murder also the result of guns that the Obama administration deliberately allowed into Mexico?
Keep a close eye on this one.
Regardless of whether that is the case, it is clear that this was a stupid idea in any event. Who knows how much violence has increased due to the new availability of thousands of assault rifles and other powerful weapons?
Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit:
But, don’t worry.
Barack Obama says the border is as safe today as it’s ever been.