In the latest development in the controversy over a government investigation of President Barack Obama on arms trafficking, the director of the anti-crime division of the Justice Department said Monday he regrets not having alerted the department head on the problems presented in a similar investigation during the presidency of George W. Bush.
The Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer said in April 2010, agents learned that research participants, 2006 (in the Bush era) allowed weapons to be transferred hundreds of suspected contraband, the same tactic by the Republicans criticize the government Obama after use in the operation Fast and Furious.
When allegations arose Fast and Furious earlier this year, the Justice Department told Congress that the agency made “every effort” to confiscate any weapons that have been purchased illegally, a statement undermined by the existence of an investigation previous Bush administration.
Breuer said he made a mistake by not mentioning the attorney general, Eric Holder, and Secretary James Cole the previous investigation called Operation receiver, in which he used the tactic known as “let the weapons walk.”
Breuer’s admission comes as the Department of Justice sent to the Capitol documents detailing their knowledge of previous research.
The Audit Committee and Government Reform House of Representatives, headed by Republican Congressman Darrell Issa, and the inspector general of the Justice Department are reviewing the tactics used in Fast and Furious.
“Knowing what I know now … I wish I had gone upstairs” and have told Holder and Cole, the two senior officials of the department, Breuer said in an interview with what I’ve seen AP.Con wide receiver, “It appears that the ATF (Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms and Explosives Snuff) allowed Mexico to smuggle weapons despite having the legal power and authority” to intercept, he said.
“Earlier this year have a board of the blunt and ATF says expressly that the weapons were not walking,” Breuer said in explaining why no senior commanders warned the department’s preliminary investigation.
“Simple and literally I did not see the connection” between the two operations, Breuer said, given the denial of transit and weapons because “I have no knowledge of Fast and Furious and frankly I’m dealing with all the things one does in everyday anti-crime division ”
- DOJ official knew of “gunwalking” in 2010 (cbsnews.com)
- Official has regrets in gun-smuggling controversy (seattletimes.nwsource.com)