WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Trent Franks (AZ-02) today called on the Obama Administration to release any and all information concerning their level of involvement in Operation Fast and Furious, an operation in which the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) knowingly allowed as many as 2,500 weapons to be acquired by purchasers with known connections to criminal organizations operating near the U.S.-Mexico border. The guns, once in the hands of criminals, were then allowed to be walked across the southern border, with no means of tracking the weapons, until they turned up at a crime scene.
According to Franks, "To consciously allow these guns to be bought and transferred illegally displayed an utter lack of regard for human safety, protocol, or common sense.
"Those ATF agents who were asked to carry out the operation frequently expressed concerns that the weapons would be let out of law enforcement officials' sight, unlike other stings in which an illegal purchase is allowed to occur, but is then interdicted before the illegal goods are beyond the jurisdiction of those conducting the sting. In the words of ATF Special Agent John Dodson, setting up a sting in a controlled environment is standard practice, but 'you don't get to go home,' to pull all surveillance, and to allow the guns to walk, as the ATF agents were ordered to do.
"Those agents, like Special Agent Dodson, who did complain about the reckless approach were threatened with job retaliation if they didn't 'get with the program,' and were told, 'if you are going make an omelet, you need to scramble some eggs,' in reference to the potential loss of innocent human lives.
"Since the tragic death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry at the end of one of the guns that was allowed to walk, at least eleven more violent crimes have been committed, all involving weapons carelessly gifted to dangerous criminals by ATF.
"This President has given a lot of lip-service to 'transparency,' particularly when he was campaigning. Where is his transparency now? I commend my colleague, Rep. Darrell Issa (CA-48) for the hearing he held on this matter, and call on the President, at least for the sake of the innocent who have lost their lives, if not for the sake of simple integrity, to release all information regarding the involvement of the White House and the Department of Justice in this operation."