He IS in charge, right? Right?
With DOJ circling the wagons, Sen. Chuck Grassley is finding it hard to get answers on the scandal unfolding at ATF. In a letter dated 9 February to Eric Holder, Grassley writes of his frustration in getting any answers;
Unfortunately, the reaction to my request has, so far, beenÂ little more than delay and denial. Â I finally received aÂ letter at close of business on Friday, February 4, in response to my request. Â It came not from theÂ ATF, but from the Justice Department. Â In that letter, the Department categorically denied that theÂ ATF “knowingly allowed the sale of assault weapons to a straw purchaserâ€¦.” Â TheÂ Department said the ATF makes “every effort to interdict weapons that have been purchased illegally and prevent theirÂ transportation into Mexico.”
Asked by Fox News for a status update, Sen. Grassley replied;
“I’m still asking questions and we’re getting the runaround from the Justice Department,” Sen. Charles Grassley told Fox News.
“They’re stonewalling. Â And the longer the wait, the more they fight, the more egg that they’re going to have on their face.”
As I first posted here, the ATF was directing an operation called “Gunrunner” in which bulk firearms sales were allowed (as many as 30 at a time) between legal US gun dealers to suspected illegal firearms dealers who then smuggled them to drug lords in Mexico. The weapons were supposed to have been tracked by ATF in order to lead them to the “bigger fish”, but as is now being confirmed, that didn’t happen;
Here is how sources say it worked: Arizona gun stores sold weapons to suspected straw buyers — in some cases – 10 – 20 – 30 – AK-47s to the same person over just a few months.
ATF could have said no, or later seized the guns in an arrest. Instead, owners were urged to sell, even though agents often knew the buyer was a straw for the Mexican cartels.
Records show Gunrunner was aware of more than 1,000 weapons sold from 10 Arizona gun stores to roughly 50 straw buyers. More than two-thirds of those guns have already been recovered at crime scenes in the U.S. and Mexico.
“What people don’t understand is how long we will be dealing with this,” ATF agent and whistle-blower John Dodson said Tuesday.
“Those guns are gone — gone. You can’t just give the order and get them back. There is no telling how many previous crimes will be committed before we get to them.”
The NRA has now also gotten involved, writing to both ranking member Conyers and Chairman Lamar Smith of the House Judiciary Committee asking for expedited hearings on the tactics used by the BATFE.
Is there anyone in charge? Anyone willing to stand up and take responsibility in this administration?