Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), who just last week asked for some answers from Eric Holder about Project Gunwalker, blasted the ATF and Justice Department today for promoting three of the ATF officials responsible for Operation Fast and Furious.
Cornyn: ‘Inconceivable’ to Reward Architects of ‘Fast and Furious’
Aug 16 2011
WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and former state Attorney General, today responded to reports that key officials who oversaw the “Fast and Furious” gun-walking operation have been promoted to new positions within the Justice Department in Washington:
“Until Attorney General Holder and Justice Department officials come clean on all alleged gun-walking operations, including a detailed response to allegations of a Texas-based scheme, it is inconceivable to reward those who spearheaded this disastrous operation with cushy desks in Washington.”
Last week Sen. Cornyn sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder demanding answers following recent press reports of alleged Texas-based “gun-walking” programs similar to the “Fast and Furious” operation currently being investigated by Congressional lawmakers.
What irritated Sen. Cornyn is this report from the L.A. Times by Richard Serrano reporting that William McMahon, William Newell, and David Voth had all received promotions by ATF despite their admitted shortcomings in Operation Fast and Furious.
Howard Nemerov puts it all into perspective in a post at Pajamas Media.
McMahon, who has just been promoted to head the ATF’Office of Professional Responsibility and Security Operations, said this in his testimony July 26th:
Let me be clear from the outset, as the ATF senior executive in charge of the West region, I share responsibility for mistakes that were made in the Fast and Furious investigation.
Newell, who is now the special assistant to the assistant director of the agency’s Office of Management (and who won’t be going to Mexico City as attache for fear the Mexican government would arrest him), said in his July 26th testimony:
I acknowledge now that we did make some mistakes in this…initiative, in this program.
Voth, who is now slated to become branch chief for the ATF’s tobacco division, reacting to internal criticism by ATF agents under his command about letting guns walk had this to say,
If you don’t think this is fun you’re in the wrong line of work – period! This is the pinnacle of domestic U.S. law enforcement techniques… Maybe the Maricopa County Jail is hiring detention officers and you can get paid $30,000 (instead of $100,000) to serve lunch to inmates all day.
To top all of this off, Richard Serrano of the L.A. Times is reporting this afternoon that firearms that were walked in Operation Fast and Furious have now turned up at least 11 “violent crime” scenes in the U.S. These are in addition to the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, the downing of a Mexican Army helicopter, the murder of ICE Agent Jaime Zapata in Mexico, and an estimated 150 (or more) Mexican soldiers, policemen, and civilians.
Justice officials were asked how many “violent crime” scenes turned up more Fast and Furious weapons besides the two semiautomatics found after Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry’s slaying last December.
They responded that while the “ATF does not have complete information” on the whereabouts of all the lost guns, “it is our understanding that ATF is aware of 11 instances” where a Fast and Furious firearm “was recovered in connection with a crime of violence in the United States.”
ATF Senior Agent John Dodson was all too correct when he said to CBS News reporter Sharyl Attkisson that these guns will keep showing up for years to come.