Book: Were Fast and Furious Guns Used on U.S. Soil?
Ex-Secret Service agent Dan Bongino, who left the agency to run for U.S. Senate in Maryland, argues in a new book that Operation Fast and Furious weapons may have been used inside the United States on more occasions than just the December 2010 murder of U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.
In his upcoming book, Life Inside the Bubble: Why a Top-Ranked Secret Service Agent Walked Away From It All, an advance copy of which was provided to Breitbart News, Bongino asks: “Were Fast and Furious guns used on US soil, and why did the Department of Justice fail to take preventative measures?”
Bongino was a U.S. Secret Service agent beginning in the Clinton administration and continued through part of the Obama administration. He joined the president’s protective detail for his last five years, three of which were for former President George W. Bush and two of which were for President Barack Obama. The cover of the book is a photograph of Bongino escorting President Obama while he is traveling.
Bongino laid out how the DOJ, specifically its Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), directed its agents in Phoenix to allow “straw purchasers”—people buying guns on behalf of known drug cartel-affiliated weapons smugglers from U.S. gun stores—to buy guns and then to allow them to be trafficked into Mexico, where the cartels used them. ATF agents, including Special Agent John Dodson, reluctantly complied with the orders from above, until December 2010 when Brian Terry was shot and killed by a drug cartel rip crew using two different AK-47 rifles that were previously walked into Mexico. Dodson, who is currently working on a tell-all book of his own despite DOJ efforts to hold up its publication, then blew the whistle on the operation and worked with congressional officials in the Senate Judiciary Committee and House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
The congressional investigation led to subpoenas being served on ATF and Attorney General Eric Holder’s DOJ -- subpoenas with which Holder failed to comply. This non-compliance prompted calls for Holder’s resignation, and eventually two different contempt of Congress votes: a criminal contempt resolution and a civil contempt resolution. President Obama asserted executive privilege over the documents that Holder refused to provide to Congress pursuant to the subpoenas from Issa, prompting House Republicans to use the civil contempt resolution to pursue a lawsuit that remains ongoing against the DOJ. Just a few weeks ago, a federal judge threw out Holder’s efforts to have the lawsuit dismissed.
In Bongino’s book, he wonders why the media never questioned whether Fast and Furious weapons were used on US soil.
“A media frenzy ensued when it was uncovered that Fast and Furious weapons were used in the slayings of Mexican citizens,” Bongino wrote. “However few in the media bothered to ask if Fast and Furious guns were used on US soil. It continues to baffle me why this question has eluded so many investigative journalists. With over a hundred high-powered weapons recovered from crime scenes in Mexico, based on my analysis of the data in this case, that must be the tip of the iceberg.”
Bongino then compiles a series of facts that allude to the likelihood Fast and Furious guns were used in crimes inside the United States.
First, he points to how on Jan. 13, 2010, ATF agents in Dallas, Texas, “seized forty weapons in El Paso, Texas, that were traced back to a straw purchaser who was the subject of Group VII’s Fast and Furious investigation.”
“ATF agents suspect that these weapons were being used by Mexican cartel operatives to help gain control of a prolific drug trafficking corridor,” Bongino writes.
Bongino then cites an “analysis of publicly available trace data from the ATF” which he says “points to a suspicious pattern of weapon recoveries at crimes scenes.”
“Prior to the initiation of the Fast and Furious investigation in 2009, it was relatively uncommon to recover a weapon from a crime scene in New York that had originally been purchased in Arizona,” Bongino writes. “Yet in 2010, after the case began, Arizona rose into the top fifteen sources for weapons recovered at New York crime scenes and remained so through 2011.”
Similarly, Bongino points to weapons recovered at Texas crime scenes. “The number of firearms recovered from crime scenes in Texas, and sourced to Arizona, numbered 56 in 2009, making it the eleventh largest source of recoveries by state,” Bongino writes. “Yet in 2010, Arizona-sourced recoveries more than doubled to 128, moving Arizona up to the third largest source state for recoveries.”
California saw a similar increase from Arizona-sourced weapons. “Firearms recovered from crime scenes in California, and sourced to Arizona, numbered between 832 and 846 from 2008 to 2010, yet jumped to 955 in 2011,” he writes.
Bongino cites a congressional report as even more evidence of the likelihood of Fast and Furious weapons having been used in crimes inside the U.S. “According to a Joint Staff Report produced for Congress and released on July 26, 2011, ATF Group VII supervisor David Voth sent an e-mail to William Newell, who was then special agent in charge of the Phoenix office, at 7:22 p.m., on Thursday, December 16, 2010, incredibly stating that 350 weapons were recovered within the United States that could be sources to the Fast and Furious investigation,” Bongino writes.
Bongino argues that the above data makes it such that it is “not difficult to conclude that these weapons were not only found but used on American soil, despite the lack of media coverage on the topic.”
“Federal restrictions prevent trace-data specifics, such as the federal firearm licensee who sold the firearm, from being publicly released, but it is my unfortunate conclusion that the connection will eventually be made,” Bongino wrote. “One of these weapons is going to be tied to a crime on United States soil. It is only a matter of time. This dangerous consequence of the Department of Justice’s failure to vigorously and promptly act on the illegal trafficking of high-powered firearms has shocked some, but sadly it does not surprise me.”