Fortune claims they know the truth about Operation Fast & Furious! They did their own six-month investigation, reviewed more than 2,000 ATF documents, and interviewed 39 people. Somehow they know more than Congress, which has been investigating this for 18 months. Sharyl Attkisson at CBS News, Katie Pavlich at Townhall, and Matthew Boyle at The Daily Caller have been reporting on Fast & Furious for 18 months as well.
Chairman Darrell Issa’s press secretary Becca Glover emailed me this statement:
Fortune’s story is a fantasy made up almost entirely from the accounts of individuals involved in the reckless tactics that took place in Operation Fast and Furious. It contains factual errors – including the false statement that Chairman Issa has called for Attorney General Holder’s resignation – and multiple distortions. It also hides critical information from readers – including a report in the Wall Street Journal – indicating that its primary sources may be facing criminal charges. Congressional staff gave Fortune Magazine numerous examples of false statements made by the story’s primary source and the magazine did not dispute this information. It did not, however, explain this material to its readers. The one point of agreement the Committee has with this story is its emphasis on the role Justice Department prosecutors, not just ATF agents, played in guns being transferred to drug cartels in Mexico. The allegations made in the story have been examined and rejected by congressional Republicans, Democrats, and the Justice Department.
Somehow Fortune turns David Voth, the ATF supervisor of Fast & Furious into a victim and uses it as a way to push gun control. This investigation has to do with one thing: Justice for Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and three-hundred-plus Mexicans. Here’s the evidence and facts.
Katherine Eban does a stellar job smearing the whistleblowers, especially John Dodson. Agent Dodson risked his job going public with the information, especially giving an interview with Sharyl Attkisson at CBS News. Ms. Eban acts as if it was just a few disgruntled ATF employees when actually it was many. A lot just prefer to remain anonymous.
Surveillance video in the interview shows straw purchasers leaving gun shops with boxes of weapons. Documents showed these guns were showing up at crime scenes in Mexico and ATF supervisors actually keeping track of this information. Agent Dodson and other senior agents confronted their supervisors over and over about this horrible operation.
Their answer? “If you’re going to make an omlette, you’ve got to break some eggs.”
Ms. Eban tries to downplay an email, now known as the “schism” email, sent by Mr. Voth to the team. While many say the email was about gunwalking Ms. Eban insists it was about everything but that. I’d like Mr. Voth to explain these parts (emphasis mine):
“Whether you care or not people of rank and authority at HQ are paying close attention to this case and they also believe we [Phoenix Group VII] are doing what they envisioned the Southwest Border Groups doing.”
“We need to resolve our issues at this meeting. I will be damned if this case is going to suffer due to petty arguing, rumors, or other adolescent behavior.”
“I don’t know what all the issues are but we are all adults, we are all professionals, and we have a (sp) exciting opportunity to use the biggest tool in our law enforcement tool box. If you don’t think this is fun you’re in the wrong line of work – period!”
Mr. Voth also needs to explain why they let go of their top suspect when they had him in custody. This is the man who purchased the guns found at Agent Terry’s death scene. The guns that have been recovered have been ones found at crime scenes. 1,400 guns are still missing. Mr. Voth and the ATF never made an effort to interdict the weapons. None. The testimony of whistleblowers at a hearing on June 14, 2011 stated there was never intention to interdict these weapons.
There’s a reason why Chairman Issa and others think Fast & Furious was used to enforce stricter gun laws. Ms. Attkisson released emails on December 7, 2011. At some point, whether it was at the beginning or middle, the operation was used to make a case for more gun control laws.
Throughout the article Ms. Eban tries to make the case for those gun control laws. It’s simply too easy for anyone to buy guns in Arizona. Ms. Eban fails to tell her readers that the ATF forced the gun shops to sell these guns to the straw purchasers. In the article above Ms. Attkisson shows emails between the owners and the ATF. Who is included in these emails? David Voth. The gun shop owners did not want to sell these weapons, but Mr. Voth reassured them the ATF was tracking the weapons. They weren’t doing that, though. It’s hard to use the supposed loose gun laws when the ATF forced them to break the laws and sell the weapons.
This is the worst case of journalism malpractice I’ve encountered while covering Fast & Furious and just further proves the desperation of the liberal media to protect this administration.