Homeland Security is blaming top immigration agency supervisors for failing to shut down the Fast and Furious gun smuggling operation, even though they knew it violated government policy.
In a new report cited by Fox News, Homeland Security’s inspector general found that senior Immigration and Customs Enforcement supervisors in Phoenix, Ariz., never even read the reports submitted by the agent assigned to the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive’s task force conducting Operation Fast and Furious.
“That agent conducted surveillance, wrote and received reports, and was aware ‘gun-walking’ — or allowing the guns to go into Mexico – ‘was against policy,’” Fox News reported. “But senior leaders did not read [his] reports nor instruct him to change his methodology or activities.”
The report also found that supervisors in the Arizona field office never informed ICE Director John Morton or Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano of the agency’s role in the operation, even though they knew allowing guns into Mexico was dangerous, wrong and a policy violation.
According to Fox News:
Early in the case — after learning the ATF let more than 200 guns get smuggled to Mexico despite a warning the buyers were dirty from Lone Wolf gun store owner Andre Howard — a senior ICE agent said in an email, “I’m speechless. Even the owner knows this ain’t right, and ATF apparently doesn’t get it.”
Following the death of Agent Brian Terry, another supervisor wrote, “and this is exactly what I said would happen when you let that many guns walk.”
Terry family spokesman Robert Heyer expressed disappointment over the “quality and depth” of the foul-ups uncovered by the investigation. Heyer told Fox News:
The report says that Homeland Security personnel in Arizona all knew on Dec. 15 that the weapons found at the murder scene were from [Fast and Furious]. That information was passed to [headquarters], yet was never passed on to Secretary Napolitano. [Special agent in charge Matt Allen] had the opportunity to shut down the operation because of public safety concerns, but he chose not to. How about holding DHS executives accountable for that decision?