A new trove of documents reluctantly released by the White House reveals that Fast & Furious was not the only operation running guns into Mexico for use by drug gangs.
The documents, turned over to Congress late Friday to minimize news coverage, also show contact between the Justice Department and the White House on the matter. But the White House continues to deny it had knowledge that guns were flowing across the border.
According to a report by CBS News, the separate operation, dubbed “Wide Receiver,” sent guns from Tucson into Mexico. In both operations, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms hoped to track the guns to learn more about the drug gangs, but the weapons ended up being used to kill people, including American officials.
How surprising that drug gangs would use guns we provide them to kill people.
A White House National Security staffer was briefed on the operation, according to the CBS report.
The documents show extensive communications between then-ATF Special Agent in Charge of the Phoenix office Bill Newell – who led Fast and Furious – and then-White House National Security Staffer Kevin O’Reilly. Emails indicate the two also spoke on the phone. Such detailed, direct communications between a local ATF manager in Phoenix and a White House national security staffer has raised interest among Congressional investigators looking into Fast and Furious. Newell has said he and O’Reilly are long time friends.
Among the documents produced: an email in which ATF’s Newell sent the White House’s O’Reilly an “arrow chart reflecting the ultimate destination of firearms we intercepted and/or where the guns ended up.” The chart shows arrows leading from Arizona to destinations all over Mexico.
Here’s a copy of the chart. I don’t understand how one can at this point still deny White House knowledge.
But of course, this was the only contact with the White House, and the National Security staffer told no one.
The scandal continued to grow.