Legal Issues

IG Draft Report Blames Phoenix ATF Officials for ‘Fast and Furious’

The Inspector General (IG) draft report on “Operation Fast and Furious” places most of the blame for the failed program on the Phoenix-based Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), sources familiar with the document told CBS News. However, Phoenix ATF staffers also argue they had approval from high-level officials.

To read the rest of the IG exclusive at CBS News, click here

The IG report is the result of a year and half internal investigation into the failed federal gunrunning operation. The report looks at Fast and Furious, initiated under the Obama administration, and the George W. Bush-era gun-tracing operation known as “Wide Receiver.” While the aim of both operations was to allegedly track the guns and dismantle large Mexican drug cartels, both ended up losing track of the weapons and allowed them to “walk” into the hands of the ruthless cartels.

The IG’s report is expected to be released to the public in a matter of weeks.

Sources familiar with the contents told CBS News that ATF officials in Phoenix deserve most of the blame, including then-Special Agent in charge Bill Newell, the lead case agent for Fast and Furious agent Hope MacAllister and group supervisor David Voth.

ATF officials in Phoenix are claiming that their superiors at ATF headquarters and the U.S. Department of Justice approved of the operation, something that Attorney General Eric Holder and his department have denied.

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (9)

  1. I notice how the Obama/Holder Justice Department ranged all the way back to “Wide Receiver” when that was not part of the Fast and Furious debacle. Anything to drag George Bush into the stew. These were two completely independent operations, with WR being coordinated with the Government of Mexico and having been closed down when it was learned that guns were “lost”. F&F started during the Obama/Holder watch. We will never learn how far up the BATFE/DOJ chain this operations was authorized and mismanaged. As with Watergate, the problem is not really the screw-ups in F&F but rather with the subsequent cover-up.

    Thank you

  2. @Gray Hair, I’m dubious that authorization of this operation ever went to the president. That is a LOT of micromanagement!
    I’m QUITE certain that the authorization went the way it was reported originally, from the director down, only due to the size and potential risk of the operation. Due to the cross border bit of the operation, it could have gone either way, presidential authorization of simply the director.
    Exactly how the weapons were lost track of, I have no clear idea. But, after over 27 years in the military, I know all too well, no plan escapes contact with the enemy intact. :/
    One thing I DO know for certain, one can only screw up when one is trying to accomplish something. Those who do nothing never screw up, but they also never achieve anything whatsoever.

  3. I believe the Phoenix office people. I worked with most of the Fed agencies for years. An operation of this type would NEVER be undertaken by a rogue office, the idea and approval would come from “on high”. Of course the locals are convenient scapegoats. All this has been reinforced by the actions of the O Admin including the Big O.

  4. it seems to me we have two loose ends flapping in the breeze, atf in Arizona claiming authorization from dc that no one wants to take credit for and a guy in custody who was a higher up in one of the cartels, claims they received the guns to wipe out their competitors, and had been given a pass by our government to transport drugs across the border,contrary to what you may believe that would not be a first, the CIA has used it as a fund raiser before. Somewhere in between the two is the truth, good luck finding it.

  5. david robinson, let’s be REALLY exacting and say WHOEVER is incumbent’s IG. Oh, wait, they’re independent by ACT OF CONGRESS. Learn about your own damned country before you fart out your mouth. I’ll agree with your opinion of their opinion of the average voter. Indeed, I’d call it a law of nature!

    When one considers that BOTH candidates campaigns are paid for by the SAME INTERESTS, it is not very unusual that they follow the overall same guidelines of their masters. To be REALLY honest, I’ve noticed that the far right ends up reigned in when firearms sales go up and they’re on an upswing. That is an observation over a few decades, so feel free to do the full research for yourself. I also noticed the same for the far left doing THEIR thing.

    Interestingly enough, when the tea party made some claims (well, some “leaders” did) of “second amendment remedial action”, firearms sales remained neutral overall. Interesting for a group proclaiming the voice of the masses, but the masses failed to arm.

    I only note that because of one thing I’ll NEVER forgive. I and my men were deployed and eagerly awaiting redeployment home and the tea party leadership started that lunacy. No, it’s not lunacy, it WAS sedition and they all SHOULD HAVE BEEN CHARGED, TRIED AND CONVICTED of sedition, for THEY declared that if their will wasn’t followed, they’d draw arms against their nation.

    I had to calm my men down, as they LITERALLY FEARED they’d arrive home to a nation in flames. THAT, I’ll NEVER, EVER, EVER forgive.

    For those who threatened our nation, I’d HAPPILY shove their “second amendment option” up their butts, sideways.

    For they gave our defenders fear of not having a home to return to.

    Well, I’m retired from that business now. And I even had fun comparing notes with one “second amendment option” type, said person resigned, as my collection beat his. But, on the tail of your rant, as I tail on the end of my rant, I’ll consider your suggestions. So, one or both fails in their “personal responsibility” and creates a child that is unwanted, yet retained for any of a thousand reasons, including being disowned by family. So, thanks to your suggestion, the PEOPLE get stuck with the unwanted child OR we kill it. It goes down to that, at the end of the day. Pay for it or kill it.

    Tar and feathers was a literal death sentence, look it up, genius. I’ll go for riding them out of town on a rail, THEN, if the insist on returning, consider tar and feathers. Some third degree burn thing going on and all.

    Now, as one nearing 51 years of age and one that put in over 27 years of military service to this nation, I suggest that you seek mental health care assistance. You’re CLOSE, but you go beyond the range of sanity in some areas and range.

    I’ll only do that in suggesting the absurd to prove a point. You do so AS a point. There is a VERY big difference. To be brutally honest, I’d not trust you with ANY weapon until you were examined and treated. I have no problem with disagreement, I have problems with spectrum disagreement that doesn’t match overall. I only suggest that because, you make a few good points, then go overboard in bizarre ways and I largely agree with you.

  6. Let’s be exacting and say OBAMA’S IG. And all this time I thought it was one of the janitors at the White House, go figure. There’s two things that all politicians have in common. First, their believe in the extremely low level of intelligence of the average American voter, and two, their ability to continue to lie to them and have them believe those lies. I’m not going to come right out and say that they are right. But what do you say about the voters who elect a Democrat and four years later, out of shear disgust, toss him out and replace him with a Republican. Then after four years toss him out and replace him with the same political party they tossed out last time for the same reason they tossed out the last one. And to confirm how incredibly stupid this is. They continue doing this for decades. Ya know, the politicians may just have a case. I’ve always said that the politicians know more about the American people than the American people know about themselves. How many voters vote for candidates based on the major issues, and unimportant things like truth, and how they handle those major issues? And how many voters vote is determined by one personal issue like birth control? The problems this nation is now faced with, like the end of our way of life and even our existance is much more important than free pregnancy protection, or free money which isn’t, and is not from Obama’s stash, but the vaults of Chinese banks. One thing is for sure. At 65 years of age I can safely and I’d like to add, sadly say this is not the America I grew up in. You young folks better enjoy what little privacy and freedom you have now because it and this nation is rapidly self-destructing. What would the American people during the period right after the founding of our nation have done when faced with the unbelievable political corruption we are seeing today? I do believe that the politicians running for re-election today would have been running for their lives back then. Tar and feathers does come to mind. And that would have been a light sentence. One last thing. Instead of free birth control, why not try something new like personal responsibility and buying your own protection. This issue requires the responsibility of both girls and guys. With freedom comes responsibility.

  7. “However, Phoenix ATF staffers also argue they had approval from high-level officials.”
    In other words, they got a rubber stamp.
    From a “draft report” that isn’t available to mortal humans, only one news station.

    Now, from someone who has served for over 27 years, did too much combat time and really trusts nobody, not even himself…
    I trust the government to screw up a mid sized operation like this. As they’ve done SO many times in military or civil operations. In short, want it FUBAR? Let a politician get his or her mitts on it.
    Add in the Peter principle, one is set for disaster.
    Just a pity a couple couldn’t have went my way, for my collection. :/

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your discussions, feedback and comments are welcome here as long as they are relevant and insightful. Please be respectful of others. We reserve the right to edit as appropriate, delete profane, harassing, abusive and spam comments or posts, and block repeat offenders. All comments are held for moderation and will appear after approval.