Thursday, February 10, 2011

Senator's letter: Stepmother alleges cover-up in border agent's death

The stepmother of slain U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry says the family's pleas for information on the case have been met with silence from federal agencies. The stepmother, Carolyn Terry, has e-mailed Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) asking for help in prying loose information:

"We have not had any contact from the Border Patrol or any other agents since returning home on the 22nd of [January]. Our calls are not returned. I truly feel that our son's death is a cover-up and they hope we will go away. That will not happen. We want to know who allowed the sale of that gun that murdered our son. Any help will [be] appreciated. We are the victims in this case and we want some answers."

Terry's comments are disclosed in a February 9th letter from Grassley addressed to Attorney General Eric Holder. David Codrea has posted the letter, and other related documents, along with his column at Codrea does not disclose how he obtained the letter or documents.

Grassley's office confirms the letter's authenticity.

The Grassley letter is apparently the latest in a series of exchanges between the senator and federal officials as Grassley, acting as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, probes whistleblower allegations of wrongdoing and/or negligence in connection with gun interdiction efforts along the U.S.-Mexican border by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The Justice Department has denounced whistleblowers' claims as false. Grassley contends the allegations are supported by documentation.

Grassley's letter states the Terry family deserves answers, and calls on the Justice Department to move toward more disclosure in the case.

A Senate committee hearing, with answers compelled under oath, would be a solid step toward honest and accurate disclosure. Not only for the sake of Agent Terry's family, but also because allegations raised by Grassley's whistleblowers seem directly tied to the debate of how our nation should respond to fight illicit gun trafficking along the U.S.-Mexican border.

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