Monday, March 14, 2011

Transcripts of Univision interviews with Agents Dodson and Jaquez. "I can tell you that all of them knew about this and allowed it to continue."

A deep genuflection and tip of the boonie hat to Irregular YF for this valuable translation.

Ramos: Can you explain what "Fast & Furious" consisted of?

Dodson: Yes, sir. Essentially the intention behind all this was, as a national strategy, not only to locate what we call "straw purchasers" -- people who buy firearms for someone else -- but also to go after those organized criminal groups who used these individuals to make these firearm purchases. The final goal was to track these purchases up to when they get to the criminal organization, and detect the methods that are used to get them there.

Ramos: How many weapons are we talking about here?...that were allowed to pass from the US into Mexico?

Dodson: I can say that only in this specific case, up until the ATF admitted the policy existed, and I think this number is a little low, but if you accept the official numbers, it is around 1,974 firearms.

Ramos: Did you complain to your bosses about this operation?

Dodson: Yes, regularly.

Ramos: What did you tell them?

Dodson: That this strategy would not work, but they continued despite my objections.

Ramos: Once the weapons get into Mexico, how are they tracked? Can they be followed by satellite?

Dodson: Sir, that is just the issue. Once the firearm is transferred there is no way to track or find them until they resurface in a crime, be that in Mexico or in the US. When they resurface in a crime, the authorities begin tracing their origin and that's when we know that the firearm changed hands at some point.

Ramos: Who else knew about this? The Secretary of Homeland Security?

Dodson: I cannot speak for them specifically, I have no knowledge of that. All I know is that our investigation had ATF Agents and Federal prosecutors.

Ramos: Why wasn't the Mexican government informed? What is behind the strategy of not informing the "neighbors"?

Dodson: I cannot speak to that either. Those decisions were not mine and I don't know why they were taken.

Ramos: Who gave the order to put "Operation Fast & Furious" into action? Who is the responsible party?

Dodson: There are a series of individuals from whom the idea came from, or where this operation came from. I cannot say who because it was already in place when I arrived. 1,000 supervisors in Washington knew about this case, I informed them regularly. I can tell you that all of them knew about this and allowed it to continue.

Ramos: The death of the American agents and Mexicans on the border, can they be attributed to these weapons?

Dodson: I can tell you this, I know that two of the weapons recovered from the scene of Agent Kerry's murder were part of this operation. I have no knowledge of any from Agent Zapata's murder. Those two weapons that were recovered, I believe the Central Office issued a communication saying that they were not directly used in Agent Kerry's death, but I don't think that ballistic tests have excluded them yet.

Ramos: Why did you come forward with this?

Dodson: My motivation simply is because I did not sign up for this. This is not what we do as an agency. My mission is to stop this kind of activity and prevent the traffic of firearms. Then I realize that my agency may be actually contributing to this.

Ramos: Do you believe this operation is responsible for the death of hundreds of Mexicans?

Dodson: I can tell you that I don't have all the information regarding where each weapon has been recovered, but we knew these weapons were going to be used in criminal activity. That was the theory behind the case. There are 1800 weapons that they let go. If there only one bullet for each weapon, we're talking about 1800 deaths.

Ramos: These allegations are very serious, are you worried that you will be fired?

Dodson: Very worried. I think many people are missing this. This activity was denied by the Justice Department and it wasn't until I appeared on CBS that they are now admitting with their own numbers that maybe 1700 or more weapons are involved. The Department of Justice has requested an investigation into this practice. The director issued a statement saying he was going to institute a investigative panel, the subdirector said that the policy would be modified, I think that's the word he used. I don't believe anyone has even noticed that none of these people said the activity would stop. No one has ordered a cease to this activity. If you consider all the regional offices along the border, if you take into account all the firearms in this single case, in how many other cases is this happening? How many weapons have ended up in the hands of the drug cartels and criminal organizations because of this practice? Even after all this, the practice has not been suspended by anyone. The director is going to institute a panel to evaluate this practice, there were people who believed that this practice was a good one, so muchs so, that the practice continues.

Ramos: Thank you for speaking with us.

Jorge Ramos

"No one has ordered a cease to this activity."

Ramos: Continuing with this exclusive story, we are now joined by agent Ren� Jaquez, who has also denounced this Operation Fast & Furious. Agent, thanks for joining us.

Jaquez: My pleasure

Ramos: Let me clear some things up. You also work for the ATF agency, and when the Fast & Furious Operation was put in practice, you were in Mexico, correct?

Jaquez: Correct. I was in Mexico.

Ramos: What part of Mexico?

Jaquez: In Mexico City and later in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua.

Ramos: When this Operation Fast & Furious was put into place, were you told that it was being done?

Jaquez: No way, as a manager in the ATF office in Mexico City and supervisor in the Phoenix office, the intelligence group never told me that this operation was going forward.

Ramos: But how is that possible? If the US wanted these weapons to get to Mexico to be traced, why did they not advise you about it?

Jaquez: That is my concern. If this operation was as legitimate as ATF says, I find it strange that no one in Mexico City or some other office in Mexico was informed of the operation.

Ramos: So, you, as an ATF agent --in Mexico-- were not informed of this?

Jaquez: No.

Ramos: Is it possible that these weapons, approximately 1800 of them, might be responsible for the death of various Mexicans?

Jaquez: Of course. It's my opinion that if you allow these weapons to cross over and be delivered to a team of drug traffickers who are fighting daily with these firearms, it's a very big possiblity that one of these weapons will be involved in a crime that results in the death of a Mexican citizen, police or soldier.

Ramos: Agent Jaquez, based on the information you currently have, this Sunday [today], does Operation Fast & Furious continue in Mexico?

Jaquez: The truth is, since I was never informed of when the operation began, I do not know if it has been concluded or not.

Ramos: Why are you speaking out? Why did you decide to speak with us? You had not previously spoken with the press, and now you decided to speak with us. Why are you doing it?

Jaquez: The truth is, it's my understanding that the person in charge of the Phoenix office, who in my opinion has the authority to reject an operation like this, allowed it to continue following the authorization from his superiors in Washington. And if that was done from the Phoenix office, my worry is what else would be done throughout the ATF offices in Mexico.

Ramos: Agent Jaquez, do you fear that you will be fired for doing this interview? For publicly denouncing what is happening?

Jaquez: I fear that ATF will do something to retaliate against me. I don't know how far they are willing to go, but I can tell you that I've already been transferred to the Washington DC office from my position at Ciudad Juarez.

Ramos: Do you believe they transferred you in reprisal for denouncing this operation?

Jaquez: Of course.

Ramos: Thank you for speaking with us.

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