#FastAndFurious : Murdered Border Patrol Agent armed with *beanbags*

July 9, 2012

Oh, for Pete’s sake!

The Justice Department on Monday unsealed an indictment charging five individuals allegedly involved in Border Patrol agent Brian Terry’s death, and announced a reward of up to $1 million for information leading to the arrest of those suspects still at large. 

For the first time, federal officials also revealed that Terry and an elite squad of federal agents initially fired bean bags — not bullets — at a heavily armed drug cartel crew in the mountains south of Tucson in December 2011 (sic). During the exchange, Terry was shot and killed. 

(The original article contains a typo. Brian Terry was murdered in 2010, not 2011.)

It’s not clear from the article why Terry and his colleagues were using bean bags instead of firearms. Were they required to by department policy? Were they allowed to escalate to bullets only after being shot at? Was it their choice, and they just made a disastrously wrong decision?

Regardless, that bean bags were even an option is ludicrous. Arizona is prime territory for cartel smuggling; these gangs are armed with heavy weapons and are quite willing to use them. Border Patrol agents should be armed and ready to use deadly force from the moment of first contact.

The cartels sure are.

PS: And let’s not forget that the weapons used against Agent Terry and his team were supplied by the United States government. The cartels get assault rifles, while our guys get beans.

via Gateway Pundit

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

#FastAndFurious : Motion to disbar Eric Holder in DC, ATF ordered to stand down during weapons transfer

July 9, 2012

Apparently lying to Congress and being found in contempt violates the District of Columbia Bar Association’s code of professional conduct.

Attorney General Eric Holder could lose his license to practice law in the District of Columbia, or face some other penalty from the D.C. Bar, now that he has been found in criminal and civil contempt of Congress.

Last week, the bloggers who first exposed Operation Fast and Furious, Mike Vanderboegh and David Codrea, filed a formal complaint with the Washington, D.C. Office of Bar Counsel alleging that Holder committed “professional misconduct” during the congressional investigation into the scandal.

Because Holder was found in contempt of Congress for his “refusal to comply with a subpoena duly issued by the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform,” Vanderboegh and Codrea contend, “[i]t would appear that several, if not all of these rules [the D.C. Bar’s rules of professional conduct], have been violated.”

Codrea and Vanderboegh deserve a lot of respect and our thanks for their work in shoving Operation Fast and Furious into the spotlight. I doubt anything will come of this move, however, though I’d dearly love to see Holder disbarred — followed by a perp walk and criminal trials in the US and Mexico.

Not that I’m vindictive or anything; I just get a little… “bothered” when two US federal agents and hundreds of Mexicans are killed with weapons supplied to criminal cartels by an agency of the US government, an agency headed by Attorney General Eric Holder, who then lies through his teeth about it.

I’m touchy that way.

Besides… DC lawyers? Ethics? I’m surprised they could find the code to check.

ALSO: On a more serious note, and lest anyone think I’m just a frothing right-winger wallowing in crazed conspiracy theories about federal gunrunning, check this:

Concerned that Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents were “too close and would burn the operation,” the lead investigator in a Fast and Furious surveillance operation ordered an ATF team monitoring the pending transfer of weapons to Mexican drug smugglers to “leave the immediate area.”

While the agents were repositioning themselves, the transaction took place and the smugglers took possession of weapons purchased by “straw buyers” at a Phoenix area gun shop — leaving the area without any agents in a position to follow.

The guns were among more than 2,000 weapons purchased that ended up in the hands of drug smugglers during the Fast and Furious investigation, which began in September 2009 and was halted only after the December 2010 killing of U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian A. Terry. Two Fast and Furious-purchased weapons — both AK-47 semi-automatic assault rifles — were found at the site of the Terry killing.

The surveillance snafu is outlined in a Feb. 3, 2011, memo by ATF agent Gary M. Styers recounting for agency supervisors what he told two investigators for Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, about his experience with Fast and Furious. He said the weapons transfer was to occur at a gas station, and an ATF surveillance team was in place when it was ordered to back off by lead investigator Hope McAllister.

(via Gabriel Malor)

This wasn’t the first time a surveillance team was ordered to back off. Nor is it the first appearance of Hope McAllister, who ordered away the ATF group: In a CBS report dated 9/19/11, reporter Sharyl Attkisson describes tapes on which McAllister discusses a third gun present at the scene of Brian Terry’s murder, a weapon that has since gone missing. (More here.) I get the feeling House and Senate investigators need to have a long chat with Agent McAllister.

RELATED: Prior posts on Operation Fast and Furious

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)