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Tag: fred hiatt

Some Federal Agents “Anguished” Over ATF Operation That Let Guns into Mexico

atf photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A variety of federal agent voiced “anguished objections” over an ATF operation that allowed guns to be smuggled in Mexico so they could be traced to the top levels of the drug cartels, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The paper reported that the operation known as “Operation Fast and Furious” lost track of hundreds of firearms, many which have been linked to crimes including the murder of a Border Patrol agent last December.

“With the number of guns we let walk, we’ll never know how many people were killed, raped, robbed,” ATF agent John Dodson said in an interview with the Center for Public Integrity, according to the LA Times. “There is nothing we can do to round up those guns. They are gone.”

Dodson said in that interview that he was still haunted by his participation in the operation, the Times reported.

The paper reported that “ATF said agents took every possible precaution to assure that guns were recovered before crossing into Mexico.”

ATF spokesman Scot L. Thomasson said the operation is under evaluation, according to the Los Angeles Times.

“It’s always a good business practice to review any new strategy six or eight months after you’ve initiated it, to make sure it’s working, that it’s having the desired effect, and then make adjustments as you see fit to ensure it’s successful,” he said.

Meanwhile, Washington Post editorial page editor Fred Hiatt wrote in a column on Friday after meeting with Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon, that the president said the flow into Mexico  of assault weapons like AK-47s rose “exponentially” after Congress let a ban on the sale of assault weapons expire in 2004.