Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Saturday, March 12, 2011

DHS Chief Napolitano says she was not aware of agency's link to ATF "gun running"

by Sharyl Attkisson/ CBS News

Homeland Security Chief Janet Napolitano today said she knew nothing of her agency's possible involvement in a controversial ATF operation called "Fast and Furious."

In that operation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives allegedly intentionally allowed vast numbers of assault weapons to fall into the hands of Mexico's drug cartels. Insiders call it letting guns "walk."

Sources say the idea was apparently to see where the guns ended up in hopes of somehow taking down a major cartel. But numerous law enforcement officials say the practice of letting guns walk is normally strictly forbidden, because while investigators are waiting to see where they end up, they can be used in violent crimes.

Sources tell CBS News and documents indicate that an agent from U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was working in the ATF group tasked to Fast and Furious. The Department of Homeland Security oversees ICE. Today, Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) asked Napolitano about that at a hearing before the Judiciary Committee.

"I'm not aware of that particular agent," answered Napolitano. She also said that she's become aware of ATF's Fast and Furious operation "in the wake of the murders of Terry and Zapato."

"Did you sign off on this operation, and if so, when?" Grassley asked.

"No," said Napolitano, "this is within the Justice Department."

Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and Immigration Agent Jaime Zapata were gunned down in separate incidents involving suspected Mexican drug cartel members. Two AK-47 assault-type variant rifles that ATF had recorded as having let "walk" nearly a year before were found at the murder scene of Terry. The details of the origin of the weapon used in Zapata's murder are not clear.

When asked, Napolitano told Grassley that nobody has expressed concerns with her about ATF purposely allowing gun traffickers to purchase weapons to transport to Mexican drug cartels. She also told Grassley she's never discussed such a strategy in general with anyone.

"I was not so informed," Napolitano said.

On a related topic, Grassley asked Napolitano if it was true that two members of the border tactical team that Brian Terry was on were carrying only beanbag guns and no regular weapons.

"I don't know if that's true," answered Napolitano, noting the matter is under investigation.

Grassley also wanted to know if Terry's team was under standing orders to use non-lethal force even against bandits clearly armed with assault rifles.

"I have asked that question, and my information is absolutely not," Napolitano said. She described a policy that allows agents to choose lethal or non-lethal force depending on the threat. "Our lethal force policy is the same as every other law enforcement agency in the country. If you are in serious threat of death or injury you are authorized to use lethal force."

According to press reports, legislators from all three major parties in Mexico in congress there are calling for a U.S.-Mexico working group "to examine accusations that U.S. federal agents allowed hundreds of guns to flow into Mexico." The reports quote Congressman Humberto Trevino as estimating that 150 shooting injuries or deaths have been linked to walked guns.

Gunrunning scandal uncovered at the ATF


  1. This whole story just make you heart-sick. Do we need to maintain the right to use force against criminals? Of course. Allowing tactics such as this "project" stinks. I hope everyone involved (like Dodson), who knows the people in charge of allowing this mission to happen, rats them out and they are prosecuted. Miscarrage of justice if I've ever heard of one.

  2. I couldnt finish watching the video... Watching how out of touch these elderly geriatric patients that make up the American congress just turns my stomach! There really should be an age cap on the position of congressmen! These fools have made politics a career and to them it is all just a game when really all they care about is themselves and their families... In reality they do not have a fucking clue as to what is really going on, I would bet that there is not a single congressman that knows how to use a computer! Even Obama called Twitter "Twitter"S"... Seriously with everything thats going on and by taking a close look at everything happening around the world these have got to be "the end times"... Things are so messed up and make no sense at all, there seems to be more and more idiots in places of making very serious decisions and from where I am sitting and seeing its a dark, dark time... How could so many allow so few to fuck up so much?

    Napolitano is pathetic, just look at her and listen to her, I mean what is it? A him a her? A it? And it says some of the most idiotic things that just seem like they are being said by a mental patient... Its a sad, sad day watching these various idiots that are in positions of power within the ATF and U.S. government, I mean how could these idiots ever get past the laughing test let alone someone actually really thinking they were right for the various positions? From what I have seen I dont think any of the could manage a McDonalds let alone a serious position within government... Pathetic...

    And as per usual no one will be held accountable and if anything they will be promoted just as every other fucking fiasco that we have seen unfold these last few years!

  3. Ill Bet Janet Brewer was in on it

  4. @7:00 PM

    I couldn't have said it better myself. You just put my thoughts into words. I cannot believe this lady is the chief of the DHS. And notice those fake politician responses

    "I have asked that question, and my information is absolutely not."

    "I don't know if that's true."

    These old fucks are beyond help. They have been fucking up our country for decades and now their ineptitude is affecting people in other countries. Logic, critical thinking and standing up for one's convictions have all been thrown out the window in our political system.

  5. you knew about it you dirty dirty ..girl

    they yelled it to you at one of your last visits to your "ppl"

  6. what a pathetic old bag (carpetbagger) ole nappy is ... she lookes very medicated there.
    After super patriot ollie and the contras showed us yet another side of narco-trade, this providing arms to the cartels should not surprise us any more than the DEA dealing drugs.
    The whole party is corrupt folks, and the users & taxpayers are funding the fun.
    The little people; campesinos and street officers are the pawns as usual.

  7. Keep voting for Obama! He appointed these idiots in the first place.

  8. You had all the knowledge about that and more you old hag!!!

  9. " I had my head up my ass at the moment. I only became aware that 35,000 people have been killed when they murdered two of our agents, that shit is personal. Deny, deny, deny...This fuking bitch needs to be fired and then delivered to one of the cartels, maybe she'll become more aware that way!

  10. This is so typical. I didn't know. Yes u did! So did every boss between the Agents and DC. After having worked southbound traffic to Mexico for years getting into fights, assaulted, shit on by management from my particular agency. You all should be so ashamed of placing my life and every other officer of the law in harms way. You should be prosecuted like everyone of those dirty agents or officers who allow illegal aliens and drugs into the country. I am sick of u people in DC who have never spent one day of your life on the Southern Border creating policy on subjects u have no knowledge of....Your words!!!! Meanwhile those of us who have sacrificed our families, marriages, childrens educations to defend our country are rewarded by our management to ROT on the border. While more unqualified idiots from the interior states are promoted. You are pathetic!

  11. This is just a long list of bs that has spewed from her lips since she took this high level position and I agree with the other posters....Old bags not in touch with reality.....If you think this is bad...The folks in charge of taxing and employment are even worse doing everything to keep a small business from doing well including allowing Indians and Chinese to benefit from Diversity Supplier Programs at all major companies and especially the government. I've literally seen signs that say if your not a MWBE minority or woman owned business entity, we are not able to entertain working with you at this time. Can you imagine that?? These same people creating these programs are the same people in charge of defending our country.

  12. I'm no fan of Clinton or Napolitano, but likely for different reasons than most posting here. I'm not a right-wing fanatic.

    The border situation is not much different now than it was during the Bush administration. In fact, illegal immigration is down due to the recession.

    If Justice designed the gun running operation, Holder's head should roll. If Napolitano did, her head should roll. But what if this also occurred during the Bush administration? I suspect most of you would let them 'walk' because of your political bias.

    Which brings me to these posts - most of which just spew partisan venom.

    And some obviously are written by uniformed personnel - or wannabes. Is this indicative of the character type 'defending' the border?

  13. Napolitano was born is 1957. Didn't know that 53 years made someone an "old hag". How old is Janet Brewer?

    And what do you call a male that's 53y/o?

  14. Don't blame me...I voted for the old guy and the hot chick!

  15. In answer to Anonymoos at 6:11pm.... Yes, these Right Wing scuzz are rather typical of many soldiers, many cops, and the many other forms of policing types inside the US (ICE agents, prison guards, etc.), as well as the militarized Minutemen and KKK type partisans, too.

    'Which brings me to these posts - most of which just spew partisan venom. And some obviously are written by uniformed personnel - or wannabes. Is this indicative of the character type 'defending' the border?'

    It's like Heil Hitler time once again, isn't it? This time with Americans and not Germans tipping Hard Right. Oppose them now and perhaps we won't have to fight worse dog fights with them later on.

  16. Napolitano in Texas: Tough Talk, Little Coherence
    by Laura Carlsen

    On Monday, Jan. 31, I crossed the border to hear Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano speak at the University of Texas/El Paso. I wanted to see what she had to say after spending the weekend in a two-day fast commemorating a year since the massacre of 18 mostly young people in Villas de Salvarcar, Ciudad Juárez.

    I expected a clash of realities. The Obama administration has unconditionally adopted the Calderon government position that together they are winning the drug war and all that´s needed is to stay the course. Both governments avidly support militarization, of the border and of Mexico, as the means to confront organized crime. Both governments write off human rights concerns and the bloodshed that the war on drugs has caused as a necessary cost....

    full commentary at


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