by Doug Book, CoachIsRight.com
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Did a threat to “go public” by the man who made the recordings, Lone Wolf gun store owner Andre Howard, force the Justice Department to provide the previously “secret” Fast and Furious tapes to CBS News?
Andre Howard was in a tough spot. For two years he had provided valuable assistance on Operation Fast and Furious to the ATF, the FBI, and the Phoenix office of the U.S. Attorney, selling nearly 1,000 firearms at the insistence of these agencies to unsavory characters.
But Howard knew many of the buyers should not have been approved by the FBI for the purchase of guns.
On December 17, 2009, Howard met with Assistant U.S. Attorney Emory Hurley, ATF case agent Hope Macallister, and ATF Group Supervisor David Voth.
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According to an e-mail Hurley sent by his boss, U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke a year later in January 2011, Howard “expressed concern about the cooperation he was providing and whether he was endangering himself or implicating himself in a criminal investigation.”
According to his e-mail, Hurley told Howard to simply comply with the law when selling weapons. That is, “as long as the required forms are properly filled out and [Howard] did not know or have reason to know that the firearms were part of a straw purchase or intended to be used in a crime, that he could complete the transfer.”
There is no way of knowing whether this was really what Hurley related to Howard in that 2009 meeting. But it seems far more likely that Hurley simply told Howard what an important job he was doing and that he should continue providing assistance to the ATF, the FBI, and, of course the U.S. Attorney’s office.
It’s not unreasonable to assume that the “follow the law” diatribe was specially improvised in an e-mail to cover the posterior of Emory Hurley, given the death of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry one month before the e-mail was written and the very real possibility that these agencies were thinking of setting up Howard as the fall guy.
After all, Howard’s Lone Wolf store had sold two of the weapons found at the murder scene, the only two known of and attested to in court records at the time.
But Terry’s death in December 2010 changed a few things.
Now Emory Hurley was making it clear to Howard that he should keep quiet. “We’re all in the same boat,” he told Howard. And ATF Group Supervisor Voth agreed, saying, “we are all on the same sheet of music. And if we stay on the same sheet of music, we will be all right.”
But Howard had no intention of lying or covering up for the Obama regime. Indeed, shortly after Voth’s “sheet music” nonsense, “ATF officials were quoted in a Washington Post article and [in] the Spanish language daily La Opinion…blaming Lone Wolf for ‘selling guns to cartels’ with no mention that Howard was operating under the federal government’s direction, encouragement and approval.”
Clearly they intended to blame Howard for the Fast and Furious related deaths of Brian Terry and countless Mexicans.
Just days later, Howard began recording his conversations with ATF agent Hope Macallister, getting her to admit on tape that there had been three guns found at the Terry murder scene, not two, and that the Justice Department had been covering up and stonewalling the congressional investigation of Fast and Furious.
So, did Howard then send copies of these tapes to the Department of Justice, along with a threat of making this damaging information public if the ATF and FBI tried to hold him responsible for the numerous Fast and Furious crimes?
And did the Obama regime then follow the old political dictum of breaking bad news to the public first, before someone else could break it on you?
One thing is certain–the Fast and Furious scandal is far from over.
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This article originally appeared on CoachIsRight.com and is reprinted by request.