An agent of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives testified this morning that he was “infuriated” by the prospect that more people could be killed as a result of Operation Fast and Furious, a bungled attempt by the Obama administration to infiltrate Mexican drug cartels by allowing weapons to fall into the hands of violent drug cartels.
“I can say with authority that ‘walking guns’ is not a recognize investigative technique,” Carlos Canino, the ATF’s acting attaché in Mexico, testified before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. “These guns went to ruthless criminals. U.S. law enforcement and our Mexican partners will be recovering these guns for a long time to come as they continue to turn up at crime scenes in Mexico and the United States. It infuriates me, that people – including my law enforcement, diplomatic and military colleagues – may be killed or injured with these weapons.”
Canino, a 22-year veteran of the ATF, said, “In my professional opinion, this investigative strategy was flawed.”
He noted, “It’s alleged that over 2,000 guns were trafficked in this investigation. To put that in context, upon information and belief, the US Army’s 75th Ranger Regiment has approximately 2,500 rangers. That means that a result of this investigation, the Sinaloa cartel may have received almost as many guns that are needed to arm the entire regiment.”
His predecessor in Mexico, Darrell Gil, who served for 23 years in the ATF, said “Throughout my career at ATF, not once, never, did firearms ‘walk’ from any investigations I directed or which fell under my command. This includes my service as ATF attaché in Mexico. Put bluntly, it is inconceivable in my mind, or the mind of any competent ATF special agent, to allow firearms to disappear at all. Furthermore, it is even more inconceivable that a competent ATF special agent would allow firearms to cross an international border, knowing that they are ultimately destined for the hands of the ‘worst of the worst’ criminals in the Western Hemisphere.”