Texas Congressman Michael McCaul grills Janet Napolitano, 15 February 2012.
Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Tex.): “Madam secretary, there’s been some speculation that the weapons used to kill Agent Zapata may have been possibly linked to Fast and Furious. Do you have any information to indicate there is a connection there?”Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano: “I have no information to that effect, no. I don’t know one way or the other.” -- Hearing before the House Homeland Security Committee, 15 February 2012.
Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent Jaime Zapata and the scene of his ambush murder.
Congressional investigators permitted to view Department of Homeland Security documents related to the Fast and Furious operation have located and seen an Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) Report of Investigation (ROI) from August 2010 describing 80 weapons seized in an arms smuggling interdiction between Phoenix, Arizona and San Antonio, Texas. Of these weapons, the majority (approximately 50) were noted to have come from Operation Fast & Furious in Arizona, purchased by Uriel Patino and Jacob Chambers. The ROI was written and signed by Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent Jaime Zapata, who was shot dead in an ambush at a fake roadblock in San Luis Potosí, Mexico on 15 February 2011. At the time of the report, Agent Zapata was assigned to the Laredo office.
Two of the weapons found at the murder scene were later traced back to Texas -- One was purchased in August 2010 near Houston on behalf of accused drug dealer Manuel Gomez Barba, and the other in October 2010 by a Dallas trafficking ring that included Otilio Osorio and his brother Ranferi. Much like Fast and Furious, both groups had been under ATF surveillance for many months, although ATF officials in Texas later denied that any gunwalking happened in their state. United State Senator John Cornyn has pressed Eric Holder and DOJ for details on any gunwalking in Texas. So far, he has been met with denials or silence.
The Department of Homeland Security, ICE and the Department of Justice have long denied that the case of Jaime Zapata had anything to do with Fast and Furious. The discovery of this ROI by Zapata, "puts the lie to that (expletives deleted) by Napolitano and Holder," according on source who spoke with this reporter on conditions of absolute anonymity.
Multiple sources including current and former employees of the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security have confirmed this explosive new revelation in the Fast & Furious investigation. Said one source, "I think (DHS) is covering up something big." He added, "I feel betrayed."
At the time of Agent Zapata's death, President Obama declared "The United States will work with Mexico to bring the assailants to justice." For her part, Janet Napolitano avowed: "Let me be clear: Any act of violence against our ICE personnel — or any DHS personnel — is an attack against all those who serve our nation and put their lives at risk for our safety."
One source indicated his frustration that neither DHS nor the FBI have come under scrutiny for what they know about gunwalking operations and the murders of Agent Zapata and Border Patrol BORTAC Team member Brian Terry.
Said another, "DHS walked away and pretended that this was Holder's problem," adding "If they didn't know, they should have known."
The revelation of the existence of Agent Zapata's August 2010 ROI should serve to bring more scrutiny to Janet Napolitano and her knowledge of gunwalking and the murders of Zapata and Terry, despite her previous denials under oath.
According to sources, both DHS and DOJ are "in a deep panic" that "their carefully contrived cover-up is breaking down," in the words of one.
Early morning inquiries to the offices of Congressman McCaul and Senator Cornyn for comment have not, as yet, been answered. This is not their fault, as I have had to push up the post time for this article out of concern for being scooped by other news organizations which I know are cognizant of this story. Their comments will form the basis of a follow-up story.
(Reporter's note: This may be the most important story I've written this year, and once again I ask my readers to help me get the truth out around the roadblock of the dinosaur media. If you believe that this story is as important as I do, please forward it to your Senators and Congressmen, demanding that they widen the investigations of Obama administration gunwalking to Janet Napolitano and the Department of Homeland Security.)
LATER: David Codrea's take.
“We are at a critical juncture here,” (Vanderboegh) tells Gun Rights Examiner. “You need to let your readers know that, and ask them to once again call their congressmen, especially if they’re on the [House Oversight and Government Reform] Committee, to beat them up and make them aware there will be a political price for not voting for contempt.”“The next few days are where we’ve got to pull out all the stops,” he adds. “Hit everybody up, including the press. I don’t care how many times--if they’re in a position to influence things, just keep beating on the subject until they’re sick of hearing about it.”