by Doug Book
Documents released last week by the Department of Justice provide evidence that in April 2010, key DOJ officials discussed covering up details of Operation Wide Receiver in order to prevent further erosion of confidence in the ATF. Operation Wide Receiver, which was launched by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms in 2007, has some surface similarities to Operation Fast and Furious.
E-mails exchanged between Deputy Assistant Attorney General Jason Weinstein and Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer make it clear that at the time both DOJ officials were more concerned with preserving the reputation of the ATF than smearing the Bush administration.
This finding puts in obvious question Breuer’s November 1 testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, in which he stated he wished he had “alerted the deputy or the attorney general at the time” about Wide Receiver’s loss of some 350 weapons across the Mexican border.
Over the last month, the Obama administration has used the embarrassment of Wide Receiver to link the very notion of “gun walking” with the Bush-era ATF and thereby relieve some of the pressure House and Senate committee hearings have brought to bear on the Obama DOJ and entities such as the ATF, FBI, and DHS over Fast and Furious.
Yet in early 2010 the Obama Justice Department was willing to forgo its oft-employed tactic of “blame Bush” in order to provide cover for the ATF, a bureau which was even then known to be illegally facilitating the transport of large numbers of weapons into Mexico yet again.
On April 28, 2010, Weinstein e-mailed Breuer: “[W]e all think the best move is to indict both Wide Receiver I and Wide Receiver II under seal and then unseal as part of Project Deliverance, where focus will be on aggregate seizures and not on particulars of any one indictment.”
That is, sealed evidence of guns lost across the border during the 2006-2007 Wide Receiver operations would be wound into the much larger and ultimately successful and “newsworthy” drug and firearm interdiction operation “Project Deliverance.” In this way, the loss of weapons would literally disappear within the large revelation of arrests and seizures.
Breuer responded to Weinstein, “Anything I should know about this?” (In other words, is there anyway I can get hurt?)
And Weinstein’s e-mail response: “As you recall…ATF let a bunch of guns walk…Some were recovered in MX after being used in crimes. Billy, Jim, Laura, Alisa and I all think the best way to announce the case without highlighting the negative part of the story and risking embarrassing ATF is as part of Deliverance.”
Before the story of Fast and Furious had broken (thanks to the courage of a handful of ATF whistleblowers) and had the chance to pose a true threat to the Obama regime, DOJ officials were more than willing to lie about the walking of guns into Mexico and ignore a Bush-bashing opportunity in order to protect the fragile reputation of the ATF.
Breuer’s professed “regret” at not mentioning the Wide Receiver case to Eric Holder in order to make the AG wary of future “gun walking” schemes is exposed for the outright lie it was, and is.
When Fast and Furious began to threaten the regime, suddenly the ATF became a scapegoat, Wide Receiver became an opportunity to Bush-bash, and Lanny Breuer shed crocodile tears over the terrible issue of losing weapons across the Mexican border.
All part of that “tangled web” weaved when lying Obama regime apparatchiks first began to dissemble about the true intent and scope of Fast and Furious. Opportunity becomes necessity; heroes turn into scapegoats; liars and opportunists are exposed; and thankfully, those in charge of the cover-up continue to accidentally release some very damning information.
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This article originally appeared on CoachIsRight.com and is reprinted with permission.
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