WASHINGTON, DC – The Obama administration clearly hoped that the Department of Justice’s Inspector General report on Operation Fast and Furious would be the last word on the scandal. which has been tied to hundreds of deaths in Mexico and the murders of two American law-enforcement officials. However, a new report from Univision to be broadcast tomorrow, previewed here by ABC News, may put the issue back on the front pages. One source called Univision’s findings the “holy grail” that Congressional investigators have been seeking:
Often lost amid the rancor in Washington are the stories of dozens of people killed by guns that flowed south as part of the undercover operation, and later slipped out of view from U.S. officials. Univision’s Investigative Unit (Univision Investiga) has identified massacres committed using guns from the ATF operation, including the killing of 16 young people attending a party in a residential area of Ciudad Juárez in January of 2010.
The guns didn’t stop in Mexico, either:
Additional guns, previously unreported by congressional investigators, found their way into the hands of drug traffickers across Latin America in countries such as, Honduras and Colombia, as well as the U.S. Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. A person familiar with the recent congressional hearings called Univision’s findings “the holy grail” that Congress had been searching for.
The Daily Caller also reports on Univision’s findings and the impact they may have on the scandal:
“The consequences of the controversial ‘Fast and Furious’ undercover operation put in place by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in 2009 have been deadlier than what has been made public to date,” the network said. “The exclusive, in-depth investigation by Univision News’ award-winning Investigative Unit — Univision Investiga — has found that the guns that crossed the border as part of Operation Fast and Furious caused dozens of deaths inside Mexico.”
Among other groups of Fast and Furious victim stories Univision says it will tell in the special to air Sunday evening at 7 p.m., is one about how “16 young people attending a party in a residential area of Ciudad Juárez in January of 2010″ were gunned down with weapons the Obama administration gave to drug cartel criminals through Fast and Furious.
“Univision News’ Investigative Unit was also able to identify additional guns that escaped the control of ATF agents and were used in different types of crimes throughout Mexico,” the network added. “Furthermore, some of these guns — none of which were reported by congressional investigators — were put in the hands of drug traffickers in Honduras, Puerto Rico, and Colombia. A person familiar with the recent congressional hearings called Univision’s findings ‘the holy grail’ that Congress had been searching for.”
Sharyl Attkisson at CBS News reminds us that the Obama administration is still hiding Kevin O’Reilly, a key figure in Operation Fast and Furious:
O’Reilly, then a White House National Security staffer, had phone and email exchanges about Fast and Furious from July 2010 to Feb. 2011 with the lead ATF official on the case: ATF Special Agent in Charge Bill Newell. Just days after Newell testified to Congress on July 26, 2011 that he’d shared information with O’Reilly, whom he described as a long time friend, O’Reilly was transferred to Iraq and not available for questioning. Thereafter, he declined interviews with congressional investigators and the IG.
In a letter sent to O’Reilly’s attorney Thursday, Issa and Grassley state that O’Reilly’s “sudden transfer” to Iraq took him out of pocket in their investigation, and placed him in a position that had already been given to somebody else, raising “serious questions about O’Reilly’s assignment in Baghdad (and) the motivation for his transfer there.” …
“Given that O’Reilly was the link connecting the White House to the scandal, and that the President subsequently asserted executive privilege over the documents pertaining to Fast and Furious, it is imperative that the American people get to the bottom of O’Reilly’s involvement with Fast and Furious,” says the letter to O’Reilly’s attorney.
It goes on to say that if O’Reilly does not agree to an interview within 30 days, congressional Republicans will have no choice but to “use compulsory process” or subpoena power to require his testimony.