Friday, July 1, 2011

More Guns From ATF's 'Fast and Furious' Used in Crimes !

Weapons linked to the federal government’s controversial “Fast and Furious” gun-running sting have turned up at four crime scenes in Arizona in the communities of Glendale and Phoenix. The four guns are connected to drug cases in Phoenix and Glendale, Phoenix television station ABC 15 reported.

“Fast and Furious” backfired with deadly results, prompting calls for shake-ups at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and in the Justice Department. Under the program, ATF agents allowed weapons to flow across the border in a scheme targeting Mexican drug cartels.

However, weapons involved in the sting have turned up at crime scenes — they have been involved in at least 150 shootings, including the murder of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry. The ATF now admits it lost track of two-thirds of the guns, and even President Barack Obama has described the program as flawed.

In the new cases in Arizona, documents show that guns from the program are connected to two Glendale criminal cases and another two in Phoenix, ABC15 investigators found. All the cases are drug related. Four weapons appear in official ATF Suspect Gun Summary documents, which the station described as a “sort-of watch list for suspicious gun sales.”

“ATF representatives denied ABC15’s open records request for documents showing other weapons connected to the Fast and Furious case that may have been involved in other crimes in the United States,” the station reported.

The recent implosion of the program prompted talk that acting ATF Director Kenneth Melson will be forced to resign.

But many in Congress, including Rep. Darrell Issa, say higher-ups should be held accountable, too. Attorney General Eric Holder, top dogs at the Justice Department, and even a judge exercised “bad judgment” exercised in the “Fast and Furious” sting, the California Republican said recently.

Holder “should have known,” Issa said. “I believe it was his obligation to know.”

The attorney general isn’t doing his job right if he doesn’t know what transpires at ATF, said Issa, who chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and has convened hearings on the controversial programs and their deadly consequences.

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