Interview: Robert Heyer, Chairman of the Brian Terry Foundation

Interview: Robert Heyer, Chairman of the Brian Terry Foundation

Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was shot on December 14, 2010 and passed away the following day. Guns found at the scene of his death were linked to Operation Fast & Furious, an ATF program that allowed guns to walk into the hands of Mexican drug cartels. The DOJ has not been held accountable for their actions and thus far, has refused to give the Terry family information about the circumstances of Brian’s death.

This morning I interviewed Brian’s cousin Robert Heyer, Chairman of the Brian Terry Foundation. The foundation will build on Brian’s love for the border patrol and money raised will provide the following:

  • Emotional & financial support to border patrol agents and their families who have been injured or killed.
  • Scholarships for those who are like Agent Terry and seek a degree in criminal justice.
  • Bring attention to Operation Fast and Furious.
  • Bring attention to the issues border patrol agents and others in border security face every day.
  • Help fund and maintain public monuments honoring border patrol agents.
  • Host events that honor Agent Terry.
  • Recognize the top performing graduate of the US Border Patrol BORTAC agent training class with the Brian A. Terry Award.
  • Recognize great agents for their performance and acts.

Mr. Heyer and I discussed Operation Fast & Furious and the affect it has had on Brian’s family. The family is extremely upset by the DOJ’s cover-up, wondering if the DOJ is arrogant, incompetent, or both. While Fast and Furious was under the control of the US attorney’s office, Special Agent William Newell of the Phoenix ATF could have abandoned Fast and Furious at any time.

Heyer went on to say that no one in the ATF leadership has reached out to the Terry family in the last 18 months. Thus far, the family has heard from DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, President Obama, and eventually Attorney General Eric Holder.

Brian’s family was hoping to avoid a contempt vote against Holder. The walkout by the Congressional Black Caucus and others during the vote was very painful for the family. To add insult to injury, some in Congress like Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, invoked Brian’s name and paid lip service to his death, but decided to walk out anyway.

There has been one exceptional Democrat in these 18 months. Congresswoman Gabby Giffords was shot in January 2011, just weeks after Brian died. Her district director Ron Barber was also wounded in the shooting. He was advised to stay in the hospital but left to attend the memorial service for Brian. Not one ATF leader attended. Barber also called the family before the contempt vote to tell them personally he would vote no on criminal contempt, but vote yes on civil contempt because he felt they deserved answers.

Mr. Barber was able to put politics aside and do the right thing. Mr. Heyer said actions speak louder than words and Barber’s actions meant a lot to the family. While the Democrats tried to show sympathy to Brian, their action of walking out spoke louder to the family.

Mr. Heyer mentioned Congressman John Dingell, Brian’s lifelong congressman from Michigan. Brian’s family still feels abandoned by Mr. Dingell. Dingell never returned a phone call from Brian’s sister Michelle a phone call that Rep Dingell denied ever happened. Needless to say Mr. Heyer was not happy to hear about Dingell’s denial and will be contacting Dingell’s office soon.

The Terry family is upset about Brian, but they’re also upset that these guns have the potential to be used against more border patrol agents in the future. Mr. Heyer reported that usually the drug smugglers have old beat up guns that don’t work well and when confronted will usually drop them and run. The smugglers who killed Brian were using state of the art guns and Mr. Heyer thinks the weapons emboldened the smugglers to stand and shoot back at Brian and his team.

We know through emails that within 24 hours of Brian’s death the ATF and US attorney’s office knew the guns at the scene were linked to Fast & Furious. No one bothered to tell the Terry family this information; they had to find out through the media and Congressional hearings. If whistleblowers didn’t come forward and expose the operation, the family (and the American people) wouldn’t know about Fast & Furious.

The Terry family lost a son, brother, nephew, cousin, uncle, and friend. America lost a hero. The way the media and government are treating Brian is cruel and unethical. It is up to the American people to keep Brian’s memory alive and make sure those responsible are held accountable.

Please visit the website. Learn all you can about Brian and spread the word.