‘Fast And Furious’ Report Finds DHS Missed Warning Signs, Napolitano In The Dark

Photo Credit: Center for American Progress

The second of two reports examining who’s to blame over the federal anti-gunrunning scheme known as Operation Fast and Furious exonerates top officials at the Department of Homeland Security, but paints a picture of ineptitude, ignorance and mismanagement at the DHS operations in Arizona.

A report by the Homeland Security inspector general, obtained Friday by Fox News, concluded many in the agency’s Arizona operation knew for a long time the U.S. helped criminals smuggle guns to Mexico in violation of policy, but did nothing to stop it.

Further, the report said word of the gun-smuggling operation within DHS never traveled beyond Arizona — and claimed Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano were never informed of the role ICE played.

According to the report, on numerous occasions ICE and Border Patrol agents stopped vehicles smuggling guns to Mexico, but were instructed by the ATF and U.S. attorney’s office to back off. Even after “suspects admitted to having transported weapons across the border five or six times,” they were not arrested, and ATF did not “try to flip the suspects to get them to cooperate, which was a mistake,” the report said.

The report was especially critical of senior management in Arizona, who oversaw the Fast and Furious case and assigned a full-time agent to the task force running the operation. That agent conducted surveillance, wrote and received reports, and was aware “gun-walking” — or allowing the guns to go into Mexico — “was against policy.” But “senior leaders did not read (his) reports nor instruct him to change his methodology or activities.”

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