FOX breaks the story of Black Mass, Redux (with Spanish subtitles).
This is the story I told you was coming, folks. I'll have my own comments and those of a variety of expert observers of federal law enforcement below.
From FOX's William Lajeunesse -- "EXCLUSIVE: Third Gun Linked to 'Fast and Furious' Identified at Border Agent's Murder Scene."
A third gun linked to "Operation Fast and Furious" was found at the murder scene of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, new documents obtained exclusively by Fox News suggest, contradicting earlier assertions by federal agencies that police found only two weapons tied to the federal government's now infamous gun interdiction scandal.
Sources say e-mails support their contention that the FBI concealed evidence to protect a confidential informant. Sources close to the Terry case say the FBI informant works inside a major Mexican cartel and provided the money to obtain the weapons used to kill Terry.
Unlike the two AK-style assault weapons found at the scene, the "third" weapon could more easily be linked to the informant. To prevent that from happening, sources say, the third gun "disappeared." (Emphasis supplied, MBV.)
In addition to the emails obtained by Fox News, an audio recording from a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent investigating the Terry case seems to confirm the existence of a third weapon. In that conversation, the agent refers to an "SKS assault rifle out of Texas" found at the Terry murder scene south of Tucson. (Emphasis supplied, MBV.)
The FBI refused to answer a detailed set of questions submitted to officials by Fox News. Instead, agency spokesman Paul Bresson said, "The Brian Terry investigation is still ongoing so I cannot comment." Bresson referred Fox News to court records that only identify the two possible murder weapons.
However, in the hours after Terry was killed on Dec. 14, 2010, several emails written to top ATF officials suggest otherwise.
In one, an intelligence analyst writes that by 7:45 p.m. -- about 21 hours after the shooting -- she had successfully traced two weapons at the scene, and is now "researching the trace status of firearms recovered earlier today by the FBI."
In another email, deputy ATF-Phoenix director George Gillett asks: "Are those two (AK-47s) in addition to the gun already recovered this morning?"
The two AK-type assault rifles were purchased by Jaime Avila from the Lone Wolf Trading Co. outside of Phoenix on Jan. 16, 2010. Avila was recruited by his roommate Uriel Patino. Patino, according to sources, received $70,000 in "seed money" from the FBI informant late in 2009 to buy guns for the cartel.
According to a memo from Assistant U.S. Attorney Emory Hurley, who oversaw the operation, Avila began purchasing firearms in November 2009, shortly after Patino, who ultimately purchased more than 600 guns and became the largest buyer of guns in Operation Fast and Furious.
Months ago, congressional investigators developed information that both the FBI and DEA not only knew about the failed gun operation, but that they may be complicit in it. House Government Reform and Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, fired off letters in July requesting specific details from FBI director Robert Mueller and Drug Enforcement Administration chief Michele Leonhart.
"In recent weeks, we have learned of the possible involvement of paid FBI informants in Operation Fast and Furious," Issa and Grassley wrote to Mueller. "Specifically, 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."
Sources say the FBI is using the informants in a national security investigation. The men were allegedly debriefed by the FBI at a safe house in New Mexico last year.
Sources say the informants previously worked for the DEA and U.S. Marshall's Office but their contracts were terminated because the men were "stone-cold killers." The FBI however stopped their scheduled deportation because their high ranks within the cartel were useful. (Emphasis supplied, MBV.)
In their July letter, Issa and Grassley asked Mueller if any of those informants were ever deported by the DEA or any other law enforcement entity and how they were repatriated.
Asked about the content of the emails, a former federal prosecutor who viewed them expressed shock.
"I have never seen anything like this. I can see the FBI may have an informant involved but I can't see them tampering with evidence. If this is all accurate, I'm stunned," the former prosecutor said.
“This information confirms what our sources were saying all along -- that the FBI was covering up the true circumstances of the murder of Brian Terry," added Mike Vanderboegh, an authority on the Fast and Furious investigation who runs a whistleblower website called Sipsey Street.
"It also confirms that the FBI was at least as culpable, and perhaps more culpable, than the ATF in the (Fast and Furious) scandal, and that there was some guiding hand above both these agencies (and the other agencies involved) coordinating the larger operation," Vanderboegh said.
Asked about the new evidence, Terry family attorney Pat McGroder said, “The family wants answers. They’d like to put this to rest and put closure to exactly what happened to Brian.”
"Oh, Gaia, how did I get myself into this?"
This morning I called Bob Sanders, Chief of Criminal Investigations at ATF in the early '80s, and shared with him the substance of the FOX exclusive. Bob told me, "This is obstruction of a criminal investigation no matter which way you look at it."
As far as the FBI picking up informants dropped for cause by DEA and the Marshal's Service described in the story as "stone cold killers," Bob said:
"All major federal enforcement agencies have very structured, very rigid, formal informant procedures, including lie detectors, psych reports, etc. to vett them. The agency SAC keeps these records in his vault. . . These guys probably murdered somebody. Therefore they couldn't have made the threshold."
"The FBI was abusing their own system. Once thrown out by one agency these informants could never be approved by another. That involves real corruption of their own system."
Bob concluded, "They are clearly obstructing justice."
I also checked with a long-time observer of federal scandals in Northern Virginia. His reaction:
That the FBI would take patently illegal measures to protect senior FBI officials' poor judgment (under the guise of protecting a Confidential Informant) will surprise no one who paid even the slightest attention to these three relevant cases: (1) the Ruby Ridge debacle; (2) the Kenney Trentadue murder; or (3) the ongoing Whitely Bulger caper.
In the first, the Bureau fabricated evidence in a successful attempt to keep their assassin-sniper Lon Horiuchi from being tried for murder.
In the second, the Bureau at a minimum protected Bureau of Prison guards/goons who beat to death a suspected John Doe 2 four months after the bombing in Oklahoma City. The pervasive criminal acts that successfully buried the truth of this heinous crime were in fact orchestrated for a significant time by the then-Deputy Attorney General, Eric Holder. (This is not "supposition." DOJ emails confirm Holder's role.)
In the third, decades after the fact defense attorneys discovered a memo in which former Director, J. Edgar Hoover, explicitly ordered his minions to allow four innocent Bostonians to serve life sentences for a murder that had in fact been committed by an FBI snitch. He just happened to an important member of Whitely Bulger's gangster crew, and Whitey was too important to the Bureau to even chance exposing his criminal actions while serving as a Top Echelon informant.
Let's be clear: serious felonies have been committed if these allegations are confirmed. Obstruction of justice, tampering with evidence, and making false official statements are only the most prominent charges that would seem to apply. Given that this crime scene involved the murder of a federal law enforcement officer, even more serious charges might be brought if the right legal talent was applied to exacting some modicum of accountability, as opposed to aiding and abetting the continuing cover up which is where the smartest and most cunning attorneys in DOJ are normally assigned. (Yes, Mr. Margolis, this flattery applies to you, in spades.)
A parting thought: do wholesale numbers of bureaucratic hacks in DOJ need to go back to Stupid School? That certainly appears to be the case, because if there's one truism that Versailles on the Potomac has proven in the last 50 years, it's that the cover up is often more deadly to careers and reputations than the original crime.
Sad to reflect that the future of our grand Republic could well depend on the degree of arrogance and stupidity that can be attached to the arses of a number of highly-placed donkeys at Main Justice and the Hoover Building (not to mention 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue).
Oh, and add to that slim reed, the degree to which Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, might be willing to place the pursuit of justice for the Terry family ahead of partisan political interests. (BTW -- I'm not holding my breath.)
Nor am I when it comes to Leahy. But the fact is that this FOX exclusive blows the Terry murder cover-up to pieces, and the Gunwalker Plot cover-up with it.
FOX has just provided us the beachhead to The Second Front in the Gunwalker Scandal investigation.
If we fail to demand that our Congresscritters follow up on it, shame on us.