Wednesday, July 13, 2011

More in Congress want answers

The ATF Gunwalker probe gets bigger. Disclosures last week that guns may have been walked through Tampa's ATF office to offshore locations like Honduras brings additional members of Congress seeking answers.

Congressman Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) and two others have fired off letters to Attorney General Eric Holder, Acting ATF Director Ken Melson, and ICE Director John Morton. 

Bilirakis issued a news release with links to the letters: 

Washington, DC (July 13, 2011) – Rep. Gus Bilirakis (FL-09), a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, is demanding answers from Attorney General Eric Holder about reports that the Department of Justice and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) have purposely allowed firearms to pass into the possession of criminals and other dangerous third party organizations.
"I find it very troubling that the United States government would willfully allow weapons to be acquired by dangerous criminal and drug trafficking organizations, thus compromising our strategic and national interests," Bilirakis said. "This appears to be an extremely misguided effort by the ATF and DOJ and I hope that we do not allow such flawed programs to continue to threaten the safety of the United States."   
On Tuesday, Bilirakis sent a letter to Holder and ATF Acting Director Kenneth E. Melson seeking further explanation about "Operation Fast and Furious" and "Operation Castaway."
On Wednesday, he sent a letter to Immigrations and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton demanding answers regarding ICE's involvement in the operations. The letter was co-signed by Reps. Michael McCaul (TX), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations, and Management, and Candice Miller (MI), Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security. 
Two weapons found at the scene of the murder of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry were traced back to the ATF's "Operation Fast and Furious," and reports now indicate that ATF's Tampa Field Division trafficked as many as 1,000 firearms to the dangerous MS-13 gang in Honduras through a similar program known as "Operation Castaway."
Read the letter to Attorney General Holder and Acting Director Melson by clicking here.
Read the letter to Director Morton by clicking here.

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