"About this much." Robert Mueller, Director of the FBI, demonstrating how much we the public actually know about the FBI's culpability in the Gunwalker Scandal and the cover-up of the circumstances of the murder of Brian Terry.
Richard Serrano of the LA Times Washington Bureau reports: "Gun-smuggling cartel figures possibly were paid FBI informants."
Congressional investigators probing the controversial "Fast and Furious" anti-gun-trafficking operation on the border with Mexico believe at least six Mexican drug cartel figures involved in gun smuggling also were paid FBI informants, officials said Saturday.
The investigators have asked the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration for details about the alleged informants, as well as why agents at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which ran the Fast and Furious operation, were not told about them. . .
In a letter to FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III, the investigators asked why U.S. taxpayers' money apparently was paid to Mexican cartel members who have terrorized the border region for years in their efforts to smuggle drugs into this country, and to ship U.S. firearms into Mexico.
"We have learned of the possible involvement of paid FBI informants in Operation Fast and Furious," wrote Rep. Darrel Issa (R-Vista), chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and Sen. Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee. The two have been the leading congressional critics of the program.
"At least one individual who is allegedly an FBI informant might have been in communication with, and was perhaps even conspiring with, at least one suspect whom ATF was monitoring," they wrote.
The FBI and DEA did not tell the ATF about the alleged informants. The ATF and congressional investigators learned later that those agencies apparently were paying cartel members whom the ATF wanted to arrest.
"Operation Fast and Furious was conceived to get some of the bigger fish down there," said one official close to the congressional investigation, who asked not to be identified because the probe is ongoing. "Then it turned out that some of the ones they were zeroing in on actually, mostly likely were paid informants."
The official said at least half a dozen cartel figures were being paid by one U.S. law enforcement agency while they were being targeted by another.
"We are learning more about them, and there are six so far that we know about. It's multiples, for sure," the official said.
The official declined to identify the six, but said the individual cited in the letter to the FBI operated along the Texas border with Mexico.
"This guy could die if it got out who he is," the official said. "He'd be killed."
Yeah, the question is, by who? A cartel or a government assassin?
The FBI and DEA referred queries Saturday to the Department of Justice. Officials there said they cannot talk about paid informants, but are attempting to answer the questions from Issa and Grassley.
They noted that they already have provided thousands of pages of documents to Congress, and have answered questions in sworn depositions and open hearings.
"We have been cooperating, and we will continue to cooperate," said an Obama administration official. "We want to learn as much as we can about Fast and Furious, just as they do."
Oh, yeah. Certainly.
In the letter to Mueller, the senators asked if Zapata was armed when he was killed and "if not, why not?" They also asked if his vehicle was bulletproof, and if so, "how was he killed inside of the vehicle?"
Of course what little we DO know about Brian Terry's murder-- thanks to the moral cowardice of Terry's own team members, fellow BP agents and their union boss Bonner who, unlike John Dodson and other ATF whistleblowers have said nothing and risked nothing in revealing the real circumstances of his death -- is dependent upon the FBI. The same FBI that was operating the Mexican end of this conspiracy. The same FBI that allowed three of the border gang taken into custody that night to go back across to Mexico because, in their unchallenged opinion of course, they had "nothing to do with" the Terry murder.
Tell me again why you think the ATF should be abolished and the gun laws enforced by the FBI?
They also asked how many cartel members were paid, if any of the informants had been deported from the United States, and if FBI personnel in Arizona knew of the informants.
The Republican leaders asked to see all "emails, documents, memoranda, briefing papers, and handwritten notes" from and to FBI and DEA field supervisors and agents in Phoenix, Tucson, Nogales and Yuma in Arizona, and in El Paso, Texas.
They are seeking the same material from the FBI case agent investigating Terry's death.
Yeah, I can see why they might want that.
In the end, I think we will find that in terms of overall knowledge and culpability, the FBI had more responsibility for the Gunwalker Scandal than the ATF. And, don't forget, both agencies were dancing to a White House fiddled tune.