Gunwalker -- the media dam breaks
So yesterday the WaPo carried a story on Gunwalker, and the world did not end. That must mean it is now a safe topic.... so today
The New York Times gives it space.
So does the LA Times.
USA Today weighs in.
The Toledo Blade's ombudsman outlines the story and concedes the paper should have carried it sooner. "Frankly, while there has been nothing unethical about The Blade's not having covered it, Operation Fast and Furious probably deserves more scrutiny."
If there is a theme to the above (it may be coincidence), damage control seems to have shifted from "nothing was done wrong" to "don't mention the Attorney General or his deputies."
And in the meantime, the House Committee on Oversight releases releases another report, and holds more hearings -- live video here. Just listened to a guy doing damage control, claiming that straw purchasers by definition have a clean record -- which, as posted below, isn't true when the ATF and FBI "fix" the background checks -- and usually get probation -- Federal sentencing guidelines call for 1-2 years in prison for that offense, if first offense.
Mr. Meehan is now questioning former SAC Bill Newell. He's asking who originated the plan. Newell refuses to name a single person, finally says four people in his office did. Did the other agent who testified participate in it? He was aware of it. Mr. Mahon, the "plaza boss." regional head for a cartel, you said he gives orders to buy. Plaza boss is in Mexico, right? Yes. Now, you claim the strategy wasn't to allow guns to go to Mexico. How does that work? Other agencies involved? Yes, ICE, IRS, DEA. Did they know about this program? Yes. Were they aware guns were being walked to Mexico. Witness evades, they were aware of the strategy.
Ms. Burke: was this gunwalking a breach of ATF usual ops? Agent Canino: First time I've heard of it happening in 22 yrs of service with ATF. I initially heard of Agent Dodson's allegations, didn't believe them. Then I saw documents that convinced me he was telling the truth. Other agents say same thing. First time anyone has seen this.
UPDATE: The Christian Science Monitor (which never saw a gun law it didn't like) weighs in with a hard-hitting piece.