NOTE: The original of this story ascribed the email below to Glenn Cook. Glenn Cook (Note two "n's") is the Deputy Chief of the Special Prosecutions unit of the Criminal Division, Department of Justice, Southern District of Texas in Houston.
The email was represented to me and other journalists as having been written by Glenn Cook. However, there is a Glen Cook (one "n") who is an ATF supervisor in El Paso. I am checking out which Cook wrote the below email, and will post a correction if necessary as soon as I find out.
If I have been skunked by disinformation on this one, I won't be the only one. And even if I am wrong, the central point remains true.
"They should probably hire a media expert anyway to assist them in explaining the 2000 firearms and the possible connection in the murder of the Border Patrol Agent." -- Glen Cook, 17 December 2010.This story is based on a William LaJuenesse piece on FOX this afternoon which mentioned, but did not completely put into context, an email written two days after the murder of Brian Terry by Glen Cook. Once I found out of the email's existence, I checked my sources until I located one. I will say that I did not get it from anyone at FOX.
Let me begin by introducing Glenn W. Cook.
From the DOJ website:
This section consists of a group of some of the most experienced, seasoned and talented AUSAs in the office, charged with developing and prosecuting some of the district’s most sophisticated and high-profile cases in the areas of terrorism and national security, public corruption, export control and environmental crimes. Additionally, the section is often tasked to handle special projects and cases as selected by the United States Attorney.
AUSAs who handle Anti-Terrorism matters are a group of specialized prosecutors who work closely with federal, state and local law enforcement officers assigned to Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTFs) located in Houston and McAllen. In an attempt to prevent the occurrence of terrorist activity in the SDTX and elsewhere, AUSAs assigned to this group investigate and prosecute individuals with known links to international and domestic terrorism. They also prosecute special interest aliens, alien smugglers and persons involved in the illegal and unlawful exportation of prohibited technology. Perpetrators of elaborate hoaxes who threaten innocent people with the use of weapons of mass destruction are also prosecuted by our AUSAs.
The Anti-Terrorism Advisory Council (ATAC) leverages the information it acquires from the Counter Terrorism Section at Main Justice, the JTTF and DHS to actively coordinate and disseminate information to ATAC partners made up of federal, state and local law enforcement, as well as representatives from private industry and critical infrastructure throughout the district. The ATAC holds regularly scheduled meetings that address the most current terroristic threats and concerns and members receive bi-weekly intelligence summaries and special bulletins. ATAC also provides training to its partners and sends prosecutors to universities and community organizations to make presentations on the USA PATRIOT Act and other Anti-Terrorism laws. This district’s ATAC has been recognized by Main Justice and other USAOs as a model to be used by ATACs around the country.
AUSAs assigned to handle Public Corruption cases are responsible for the investigation and prosecution of public officials, employees and others involved in activities constituting an abuse of public office or corrupt practices. The types of cases handled by these AUSAs include drug trafficking and alien smuggling by law enforcement officials, misuse of grant funds by the grantee, extortion and bribery.
Mr. Cook has handled all manner of sensitive cases in his area of operations, many of which are regularly reported up the chain of command to the Assistant Attorney General of the Criminal Division, Lanny Breuer.
Sources report that before the Terry murder in December 2010, ATF agents in El Paso -- in the Southern District of Texas, that is, in Glenn Cook's part of the world -- had made a seizure of weapons that turned out to have been from Operation Fast and Furious, then being run by David Voth and Hope MacAllister in Group VII in the Phoenix field division of ATF. This OCDETF task force was supervised by Assistant United States Attorney Emory Hurley.
Voth and MacAllister, backed by Hurley and the Special Agent in Charge of the Phoenix Field Division William Newell, repeatedly refused to cooperate with the Texas agents working the case, thereby crippling their the case. Not surprisingly, Texas refused to take no for an answer and kicked the problem upstairs, to Mr. Cook.
Two days after the murder of Brian Terry, Charlie Smith, the ASAC of the Dallas Field Division forwarded the email from AUSA Cook to the senior ATF supervisor at the Phoenix ATF Field Division, Jim Needles.
Needles, you may recall, was present at the 11 March 2011 meeting with Lone Wolf Trading Company owner Andre Howard and his attorney, Larry Gaydos. From my story about that meeting:
There were a number of things that Howard and Gaydos knew going into this meeting, according to the sources. Howard knew that the two Kalashnikovs that had been found at the Terry murder scene traced back to his shop. He also knew that a "third gun" had been found at the scene, and that it was an SKS that traced back to Texas. These facts he knew from ATF agents directly after the Terry killing.
Yet, to a man, the DOJ and ATF participants in the meeting sought to reassure Howard and his attorney that none of the weapons found at the murder scene had come from Lone Wolf and, more incredibly, they maintained that all of the weapons that had come from Howard's gun shop had been interdicted before they went across the Mexican border.
Howard, the sources say, had previously been told that by Hurley and at this meeting that falsehood was backed up by Morrissey.
"They were in a complete state of factional denial," said one source, adding, "They kept insisting that everything Dodson and the other whistleblowers were saying were lies," and that "the real truth would come out in the trials of the straw buyers."
According to a source familiar with the recollections of the meeting by its participants, "There were people in that room, and not just Gaydos and Howard, who knew that . . . it was bullshit and completely ridiculous."
Notes taken by Tonya English, at least those turned over to the Oversight Committee, do not reflect those statements, however. Although English was reported to have taken "copious notes," according to one source, the notes turned over to the committee are said to be a mere list of meeting participants. This column attempted to contact Ms. English and other meeting participants by email about the discrepancy, but as of this writing they have not responded.
Where did the notes go? "I guess you'll have to ask English that," said the federal source. "It isn't the first document that disappeared in this investigation and it won't be the last."
Ironically, according to all the sources, AUSA Hurley, while denying the obvious, admitted an even more dangerous fact.
"Howard told the meeting that he knew there was a third gun found at the scene and that it had been traced," said one source, adding, "Hurley admitted that there was but said that neither it nor the AKs came from Lone Wolf so Howard didn't have anything to worry about."
Neither Howard nor Gaydos was that stupid. It was also in early March that Howard began taping ATF Group VII supervisor Hope MacAllister, tapes where MacAllister also admits that there was a third gun.
"I think Gaydos knew that DOJ was taking a completely untenable position," said one federal source. "Factually, it just was not credible."
When Needles received the forwarded email, he must have run, not walked, it to his immediate superiors, including Newell and Hurley.
Here is the text of the email. I will post the pdf link here when it is up later this evening.
From: Smith, Charles E.
Sent: Friday, December 17,2010 7:01 PM
To: Needles, James R.
Dallas Field Division
(LARGE BLOCK REDACTED)From: Cook, Glen W.
Sent: Friday, December 17, 2010 2:14 PM
To: Smith, Charles E.
Cc: Cook, Glen W.
I advised AUSA Russ Leachman through SAs Steve Hall and Curtis Williams to provide me with a Grand Jury Subpoena for RAC David Roth and Holly in Phoenix to obtain the required evidence needed in our investigation here. AUSA Leachmnan has now advised the AUSA in Phoenix that the ATF agents here need access to the case in Phoenix since the ATF Phoenix office refuses to provide us with the evidence.
I wish that Leachman would have given those subpoenas to me but if the AUSA in Phoenix refuses to comply then maybe Phoenix should start preparing their explanations for the way that they conducted their straw purchase cases there. They should probably hire a media expert anyway to assist them in explaining the 2000 firearms and the possible connection in the murder of the Border Patrol Agent.
First of all, "David Roth and Holly in Phoenix" actually refer to David Voth and Hope MacAllister. Cook simply got it wrong. This is confirmed by a source of mine, who states:
"It is an email about Dave Voth and Hope MacAllister, after they had Newell call HQ and Dallas Field Division to have them stand down on following up on an El Paso seizure. The Dallas Field Division would have had the "cartel associates" that Phoenix claims as their success story over a year earlier."
Now, let's review. In order to compel the cooperation of Voth and MacAllister, Cook is threatening to have them subpoenaed by the grand jury! By forwarding this to Needles, Charlie Smith is giving Needles the heads up -- "Get off the track, the train's coming."
But it is this that is remarkable:
"(I)f the AUSA in Phoenix refuses to comply then maybe Phoenix should start preparing their explanations for the way that they conducted their straw purchase cases there. They should probably hire a media expert anyway to assist them in explaining the 2000 firearms and the possible connection in the murder of the Border Patrol Agent."
And Cook writes this off-handed threat to Phoenix only two days after the murder of Brian Terry! How does he know the number of weapons? How does he know that this stems from the way Phoenix "conducted their straw purchase cases"?
What, then, are we to conclude from this? Well, I'll tell you.
EVERYBODY in ATF and DOJ along the border knew, and they knew it before the murder of Brian Terry, for it obviously is no surprise to the highly-placed AUSA Cook, and he doesn't mind using this common knowledge to achieve the desired result from Phoenix.
One more thing.
Sources tell me that in any dispute between DOJ AUSAs, there is a "deconfliction process" that is "written in stone." "All such disputes automatically get kicked upstairs," said one source, and "certainly would be known immediately to the head of the Criminal Division." Meaning, of course, Lanny Breuer. "Also, Holder would have been briefed about it," said the source.
One more thing to ask Breuer and Eric Holder about in the 8 December hearing.
If they're smart (and I don't consider them dumb), the committee investigators will have a subpoena ready for Glenn W. Cook as well.