“An operation called Fast and Furious allowed weapons to be sold to gun smugglers in the U.S. so they could be traced to drug cartels in Mexico. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, which ran the operation, lost track of the weapons ..one of which was used in the fatal shooting of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry near Tucson in December 2010.” LA Times
In his deposition to congress, Kenneth Melson, former head of ATF, says he was “..never advised” by his staff that they were involved in a program of selling illegal arms along the U.S./Mexican border. “My chief of staff never came in and told me either, and he’s on the same damn floor as I am.” Which leads me to suspect a cover-up. The phrase “I was never told” does not automatically register as “I didn’t know” in my suspicious brain. What I do detect is his use of pragmatic implication to deceive me into thinking that he didn’t know. Furthermore, not once in his deposition did he ever come out and actually say: “I did not know what my department was doing” ..which would have sounded incredibly stupid. So, instead .. he uses phrases like “I was never advised ..” or “no one ever told me ..” not only to avoid sounding stupid but to help him dodge any future accusations of perjury and obstruction of justice [link]. Members of the Justice Department coached him well. Now they too are saying that they were never told about the Fast and Furious program ..and cite his testimony as evidence. Which leads me to believe that they too were fully aware of what was going on. Lack of oversight ..I don’t think so. What I do think is that Fast and Furious was directed by the U.S. State Department and carried out, with full cooperation, by the ATF. When it resulted in the unfortunate shooting of a border patrol agent ..the operation became public; and the cover-up began. In order to conceal involvement by the U.S. government, Justice officials immediately began advising ATF against full disclosure ..telling them “it is a long-standing policy of the Department of Justice that we don’t talk about ongoing cases.” Which leads me to believe that the Department of Justice is also in the business of obstruction of justice.