Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

New Fast and Furious Docs Released by White House

Sunday, October 2, 2011 |

By Sharyl Attkisson
CBS

Late Friday, the White House turned over new documents in the Congressional investigation into the ATF "Fast and Furious" gunwalking scandal.

The documents show extensive communications between then-ATF Special Agent in Charge of the Phoenix office Bill Newell - who led Fast and Furious - and then-White House National Security Staffer Kevin O'Reilly. Emails indicate the two also spoke on the phone. Such detailed, direct communications between a local ATF manager in Phoenix and a White House national security staffer has raised interest among Congressional investigators looking into Fast and Furious. Newell has said he and O'Reilly are long time friends.

Newly-released White House documents (pdf)

ATF agents say that in Fast and Furious, their agency allowed thousands of assault rifles and other weapons to be sold to suspected traffickers for Mexican drug cartels. At least two of the guns turned up at the murder scene of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry last December.

ATF Manager says he shared Fast and Furious with the White House
The email exchanges span a little over a month last summer. They discuss ATF's gun trafficking efforts along the border including the controversial Fast and Furious case, though not by name. The emails to and from O'Reilly indicate more than just a passing interest in the Phoenix office's gun trafficking cases. They do not mention specific tactics such as "letting guns walk."

A lawyer for the White House wrote Congressional investigators: "none of the communications between ATF and the White House revealed the investigative law enforcement tactics at issue in your inquiry, let alone any decision to allow guns to 'walk.'"

ATF Fast and Furious: Who at the White House knew?
Among the documents produced: an email in which ATF's Newell sent the White House's O'Reilly an "arrow chart reflecting the ultimate destination of firearms we intercepted and/or where the guns ended up." The chart shows arrows leading from Arizona to destinations all over Mexico.

Newell email (09.03.10) (pdf)
Arizona Gunrunner Impact Team chart (pdf)

In response, O'Reilly wrote on Sept. 3, 2010 "The arrow chart is really interesting - and - no surprise - implies at least that different (Drug Trafficking Organizations) in Mexico have very different and geographically distinct networks in the US for acquiring guns. Did last year's TX effort develop a similar graphic?"

O'Reilly email (09.03.10) (pdf)

The White House counsel who produced the documents stated that some records were not included because of "significant confidentiality interests."

Also included are email photographs including images of a .50 caliber rifle (above) that Newell tells O'Reilly "was purchased in Tucson, Arizona (part of another OCDTF case)." OCDTF is a joint task force that operates under the Department of Justice and includes the US Attorneys, ATF, DEA, FBI, ICE and IRS. Fast and Furious was an OCDTF case.

An administration source would not describe the Tucson OCDTF case. However, CBS News has learned that ATF's Phoenix office led an operation out of Tucson called "Wide Receiver." Sources claim ATF allowed guns to "walk" in that operation, much like Fast and Furious.

Congressional investigators for Republicans Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) have asked to interview O'Reilly by September 30. But the Administration informed them that O'Reilly is on assignment for the State Department in Iraq and unavailable.

One administration source says White House national security staffers were "briefed on the toplines of ongoing federal efforts, but nobody in White House knew about the investigative tactics being used in the operation, let alone any decision to let guns walk."

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12 Borderland Beat Comments:

Anonymous said...

Typical American they do something wrong and they blame some one else or they say I didn't know. The same thing happened when they were selling mustard gas to Saddam Hussein to kill people and then they said oh my God he is a murderer.

Anonymous said...

What part did Homeland Security play in this role? Are they not the leader?

Anonymous said...

Does this mean no one was following the money? How many U.S. banks would fail without cartel money to launder?

Anonymous said...

O'Riley is on assignment for the State Department in Iraq and unavailable. We apologize for the convenience.

Anonymous said...

What truth can be expected when the government investigates the government!!

Anonymous said...

so the atf arrest my best friend for selling unregistered guns off the street to a pawn shop but they turn around and sell guns to cartels? totally makes since right? Well it was my friends fault for being so dumb to think the pawn shop wasn't a set up but come on atf really? I honestly think the US fears the zetas so much that they will do anything to prevent them from winning in mexico even arming their rivals.they want to stop the zetas from becoming mexicos FARC

Bones said...

"Typical American they do something wrong and they blame some one else or they say I didn't know"

As opposed to what? The countries where they dont lie to their people? Like Mexico? Maybe the people are more honest in europe, well except maybe the phone hacking in england, the underage prostitutes in italy, the rape allegations in france. And we can all be happy we dont live in china.

Anonymous said...

@ Bones As opposed to what? The countries where they don't lie to their people? Like Mexico?

Bones I don't care about Mexico, I'm from Iraq.

Anonymous said...

as if mexico doesn't have enough problems with criminals! i would like to see all these federal idiots arrested and serving time.

Anonymous said...

@9:53PM,
Your from Iraq..but your living in the US? Is that right? I wouldn't go around talking shit about the US or Mexico especially since your from Iraq..because I don't see you over in Iraq (your country) making a difference..because your more than happy residing in the US running your convenience store bad mouthing Americans in general! Which is typical of people from the middle east..

Anonymous said...

Lets not forget mr Eric Holder who knew about it but yet claimed he had no idea what was going on when question by Issa.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-31727_162-20115038-10391695.html

And I don't doubt Obama had something to do with this scheme as well.

Anonymous said...

The smell can be followed all the way to the white house--the racist, venture socialist bastards!

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