ATF Special Agent John Dodson, one year later, is still an outcast.
Before today's bombshell that President Barack Obama invoked executive privilege to withhold documents a House committee is seeking in regard to Operation Fast and Furious, Dodson sat with Fox news to share his perspective one year after he blew the whistle on the program.
Operation Fast and Furious: When did it begin?
Operation Fast and Furious was an "offshoot" of a broader government program, called Project Gunrunner, which started in 2005. Project Gunrunner was itself a part of an even larger government program, called the Southwest Border Initiative, which started in 1994. The government website states that this initiative is "a cooperative effort by federal law enforcement agencies to combat the substantial threat posed by Mexico-based trafficking groups operating along the Southwest Border."
Sadly, the "substantial threat" continues, and regardless of countless American Taxpayer dollars, the drug cartels in Mexico still terrorize Mexico and the US border states. Clearly, whatever this hefty government initiative has been doing may have made some arrests, but it is far from a success, as it is practically 20 years later, and the problem only seems to have gotten worse.
As reported by Forbes, "in 2009 the U.S. government began instructing gun store owners to break the law by selling firearms to suspected criminals." On page five of the heavily redacted 2010 briefing paper from the ATF Phoenix Field Division Group VII says, "This investigation has currently identified more than 20 individual connected straw purchasers... To date (September 2009-present) this group has purchased in excess of 650 firearms (mainly AK-47 variants) for which they have paid cash totalling more than $350,000."
According to the article, the timeline noted above is important, because:
"U.S. Justice Department hasn't made it clear to tell congressional investigators when the Fast and Furious operation began and who authorized it; as a result, this ATF briefing paper's mention of September 2009 is thus far the earliest we can trace the operation."
Representative Elijah E. Cummings stated, "Contrary to repeated claims by some, the committee has obtained no evidence that Operation Fast and Furious was a politically motivated operation conceived and directed by high-level Obama administration political appointees at the Department of Justice."
If this is true, there should be no reason Eric Holder and the Department of Justice cannot simply release this information to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, headed by Darrel Issa.
ATF Special Agent John Dodson
Dodson first told the American public that his own agency was helping to arm the Mexican drug cartels. Records show that the "Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives operation sent some 2,500 guns to the Sinaloa Cartel from September 2009 to January 2011." Dodson warned that the guns may be used to kill a border agent or other innocent citizen. After he blew the whistle, Dodson was ostracized and told to leave Phoenix, as reported by Fox News. The article states that "His former chain of command filed a complaint against Dodson for lying. Despite a mountain of evidence and testimony to the contrary, he remains on leave, rendered ineffective by the claims against him."
Of George Bush using "executive privilege," then-Senator Obama stated, "There's been a tendency of this administration to hide behind executive privilege anytime there is something a little shaky. The President would be best served in coming clean on this." That should go for Mr. Obama, as well, the man who once declared,
"Going forward, anytime the American people want to know something that I or a former president wants to withhold, we will have to consult with the Attorney General and the white house counsel, whose business it is to ensure compliance with the rule of law. Information will not be withheld just because I say so; it will be withheld because a separate authority believes my request is well-grounded in the Constitution. Let me say it as simply as I can: transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."
Watch President Obama discuss how George W. Bush "hides" behind Executive Privilege.