Risky Strategy

U.S. Weapons Fall Into Hands of Mexican Gunrunners

In yet another controversy to hit the state of Arizona, federal prosecutors and the ATF allowed hundreds of weapons like AK-47s to “walk” into the hands of suspected drug lords and gunrunners, according to interviews and internal agency memos obtained by the Center for Public Integrity. Part of a Phoenix-based operation code named “Fast and Furious,” the agency allowed—and even expected—the guns would be used in criminal activity while they were building a case against the buyers. One of the ATF agents who objected to the sales, John Dodson, is now serving as a whistleblower, taking his complaints to the Senate Judiciary Committee after supervisors and the Justice Department ignored him. These guns “are going to be turning up in crimes on both sides of the border for decades,” Dodson told the Center for Public Integrity, adding, “We’ll never know how many people were killed, raped, robbed.” Attorney General Eric Holder, meanwhile, has asked the Justice Department’s inspector general to examine ATF’s investigative tactics.