It would appear that the DEA does not want to be the fall guy in Operation Fast & Furious*, either: DEA head Michele M. Leonhart admitted in a letter to Senator Grassley (Judiciary) and Rep. Issa (Oversight) that her organization was in fact involved in the investigation, and provided support for it. This is a significant admission by Ms. Leonhart, given that (as Bob Owens** of Pajamas Media reminds us) there is an existing allegation by the former head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, & Explosives (BATFE) Phoenix office that the DEA was a full partner in the proceedings.
The DEA is, of course, under the jurisdiction of the Justice Department; with this admission and as-yet-partial corroboration (and no doubt a similar one from the FBI, which has also been formally requested to provide Grassley & Issa with information on its involvement in Fast & Furious) it becomes harder for Holder and his immediate staff to credibly claim that higher-ups were unaware of the program. The next step for Congress will be to get more details from the DEA. Which officials in the DEA were fully aware of the program? Which officials indicated their concerns with the numerous ethical and practical irregularities found in the program? What was the result of those concerns being aired? Was there an internal investigation into said irregularities? If there was one, was it squashed until after the death of Border Agent Terry? If it was, who ordered the squashing? – and so forth.
It’s getting harder and harder for the White House and Attorney General Holder to deny they had a part in this operation, and yet the more that comes out and the more deeply they’re implicated, the less we hear about this story.
This is a total outrage.