Fast and Furious Crime Scene Photos Released
Photos from a 2013 murder scene in Phoenix, Arizona, which involved a gun obtained through the Obama DOJ and ATF’s corrupt Operation Fast and Furious, have finally been released due to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by Judicial Watch.
Judicial Watch reports:
Three weeks following the July 29, 2013, assault, four suspects were apprehended in a raid conducted jointly by Phoenix police detectives and investigators from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). According to press reports at the time “numerous rifles and handguns” were found when, “Detectives from the Phoenix Police Department and Homeland Security Investigations served federal search warrants.”
The presence of DHS investigators immediately raised questions because Phoenix was the central location of the ATF’s deadly Fast and Furious gunrunning operation. Operation Fast and Furious was a Justice Department/ Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF)program in which the Obama administration allowed guns to go to Mexican drug cartels in the hopes that the guns would end up at crime scenes, thereby advancing gun-control policies. Fast and Furious weapons have been implicated in the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and hundreds of other innocents in Mexico.
The failure to provide Congress with reports about the Phoenix crime scene is not the first time the Obama Justice Department has been accused of withholding Fast and Furious information. On June 28, 2012, Attorney General Eric Holder was held in contempt by the House of Representatives over his refusal to turn over documents about why the Obama administration may have lied to Congress and refused for months to disclose the truth about the gunrunning operation. It marked the first time in U.S. history a sitting Attorney General was held in contempt of Congress.
Separate Judicial Watch litigation for these documents, which had been subjected to an extraordinary executive privilege reelection season claim by President Obama, forced their release. Attorney General Holder announced his surprise retirement two days after the federal court ruling that led to the disclosure of the documents and to President Obama’s abandoning all of his controversial executive privilege claims that had kept the documents secret for nearly three years.
The photos were not only being withheld by the United States government, but also by the Phoenix Police Department. One of the rifles used in the gang style attack, an AK-47, was determined to have been a rifle purchased by Fast and Furious suspect Sean Christopher Steward.
In an October letter written prior to the release of the photos from Republican Congressman Darrell Issa and Senator Charles E. Grassley to the Obama Justice Department, it was noted:
During a six-month period from December 2009 through June 2010, Steward, using funds provided by the leader of the firearms trafficking organization, paid over $176,000 in cash to purchase approximately 289 firearms, including 260 AK-47 style firearms, 20 nine millimeter pistols, a .so caliber rifle and other “weapons of choice” of the Mexican drug cartels.
Steward purchased this particular firearm on December 8, 2009, one of 40 that he purchased that day while under ATF surveillance.
Stewart pled guilty to firearms trafficking charges resulting from his involvement with Operation Fast and Furious … Stewart purchased this particular firearm on December 8, 2009, one of 40 that he purchased that day while under ATF surveillance.
Back in July, the two congressmen had sent another letter reminding Attorney General Eric Holder of his obligation to inform Congress when weapons from his Fast and Furious operation are found at crime scenes. The letter was in response to the revelation that a Mexican police chief was found murdered with a weapon that came from the DOJ’s Operation Fast and Furious.
Though the gun used in the Phoenix shooting was traced one day after the Phoenix Police Department recovered it and it was determined to be a part of Fast and Furious, the congressmen blasted the DOJ writing:
Despite our repeated requests, it has been over a year since we last heard from the Department on the issue. The Department hid from Congress this recent internal trace record showing a link between the murder of a police chief and Fast and Furious. Such actions do little to promote trust between the Department and Congress, and only provide further evidence that the Department is actively trying to conceal all information pertaining to Fast and Furious from Congress.
This lack of transparency about the consequences of Fast and Furious undermines public confidence in law enforcement and gives the impression that the Department is seeking to suppress information and limit its exposure to public scrutiny.
Holder was held in contempt of Congress for withholding documents related to Fast and Furious and continues to be pursued in court by Congress over the matter.
“Another Obama administration Fast and Furious cover-up has been undone by Judicial Watch. These crime scene photos graphically illustrate the legacy of President Obama and Eric Holder’s deadly Fast and Furious lies,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Even as the evidence and casualties mount, the Obama administration is still secreting information about its reckless program. These photos show the American people firsthand the bloody consequences when an out-of-control administration will not even admit – or correct – its own mistakes.”
Once again, just to remind you, while the Obama administration continues to push for more infringements on the rights of law-abiding citizens when it comes to guns, they have been involved in the illegal trafficking of weapons which have resulted in hundreds of deaths. Their crimes are not without victims, and though Obama claims Fast and Furious as a “phony scandal,” the victims’ families in this matter think otherwise and so do I.
For the complete batch of photos obtained by Judicial Watch, click here.