Promotions for Supervisors of Gunrunning Sting Gone Wrong
Three supervisors who oversaw the ATF’s Operation Fast and Furious debacle — a botched attempt to trace the flow of guns from the U.S. to Mexican drug cartels — were recently promoted by the agency, according to a new report by the Los Angeles Times. Run out of the ATF’s Phoenix office, Fast and Furious let guns “walk” with straw buyers and traffickers with the hope of gleaning intelligence and making a big bust. Instead, the ATF lost track of a whole host of weapons. Two of these guns were found at the scene of U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry’s death last year, leading to a scathing congressional report calling the death “a preventable tragedy.”
About 2,000 weapons are thought to have walked as a part of Fast and Furious; according to a Phoenix ABC affiliate, some were of the Romanian variety — AK knockoffs like the WASR-10 and Draco — that we reported on during our recent Gunrunners investigation. In addition, Fast and Furious guns have also been traced to violent U.S. crime scenes.
Update (Aug. 18, 2011): The ATF issued a response to these allegations last night, stating that “media reports inaccurately characterized personnel changes … as promotions,” when in fact they were transferred laterally. They did not receive salary or grade increases, nor did they assume positions with greater responsibility.”