"We do not walk guns. We do, however, commit perjury whenever we can get away with it."
From Allan Lendel at Tickle the Wire: Fast and Furious Official No Longer Going to Mexico as Attache; Mexican Govt. Asks for Transcripts of His Testimony
William Newell, who headed ATF’s Phoenix Division during the controversial operation dubbed Fast and Furious, won’t be going to Mexico as ATF’s attache after all.
The agency has decided to to nix that assignment before he even heads south. Instead, he’s been named special assistant to the ATF Assistant Director for the Office of Management in Washington.
The reassignment comes at a time the Mexican Justice Department known as the PGR is reportedly conducting a criminal probe into the Fast and Furious Operation. It has also requested transcripts of Newell’s recent testimony before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, according to two people familiar with the situation.
Concern had surfaced recently within ATF that the Mexican government might arrest Newell if he came down there as the attache.
Lydia Antonio, a press officer for the Mexican Embassy in Washington, declined to comment for this story. An ATF official familiar with the matter confirmed the reassignment, but declined to speculate on why Newell’s Mexico City assignment was changed.
The move to keep Newell in Washington is direct turn about for the agency, which up until recently, had insisted that Newell was still going to Mexico City as the ATF attache even as the Mexican government fumed over Fast and Furious, which encouraged Arizona gun dealers to sell to straw purchasers or middlemen, with the hopes of tracing the weapons to the Mexican cartels. Some of the guns have surfaced at crime scenes.
Great comment here at Arms and the Law by Dann in Ohio:
"Concern had surfaced recently within ATF that the Mexican government might arrest Newell if he came down there as the attache."
Well, at least one of the two governments affected by Fast and Furious recognize a criminal act when they see one...