Border shootout: Dept. of Justice denies gun claim.
Feb. 8, 2011 01:11 PM
The U.S. Justice Department denies a claim that two guns sold in purchases sanctioned by federal firearms agents were later used in a shootout that left a Border Patrol agent dead near the Arizona-Mexico border.
Assistant U.S. Attorney General Ronald Weich says in a letter obtained Tuesday by the Associated Press that the claim is false. The letter was written to U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa.
Grassley has said he received information that appeared to partially corroborate the claim received by members of the Senate Judiciary Committee about the guns.
Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was waiting with other agents on Dec. 14 near the Arizona border city of Nogales when a shootout with bandits erupted. Terry died in the attack.
Within minutes of receiving this story, I got a copy of the letter from a source and David Codrea has posted it on Scribd, here.
The ATF is "lawyering up." We will have some agent reaction to this stonewall attempt shortly. Here's David's take.
LATER: Received this quick analysis from someone well experienced in the ways of DC:
I'm on my way to (REDACTED), but quickly:
1. Denial of the allegation in absolute terms is intended to stop this from going anywhere.
2. Being pleased to Dog & Pony show "what's working well with our program" while obviating all the negative possibilities is the usual plan for ANY kind of Congressional testimony. In other words, controlling the agenda.
3. In case #2 isn't clear, DOJ is clear about saying any OTHER questions about Project Gunrunner are not on the table is out and out stonewalling. It also means that if any such questions are asked, DOJ will refuse to answer them.
. . . But this is standard coverup material that even a boy of 8 would laugh at. Entirely predictable, however; DOJ wants to stop this in its tracks before it fucks up Foreign Relations.
The Mexicans may get bought off or promised to be bought off; and may be exercising "leverage" about this to get political power or concessions or both from Uncle Sam. Gonna be vicious politics, but we already knew that.