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ATF Promotes 3 Managers Who Oversaw 'Operation Fast and Furious'


Two have "acknowledged making serious mistakes. "

Three ATF officials who held direct supervisory roles involved in the controversial "Operation Fast and Furious" gun trafficking program have been promoted and moved to ATF headquarters in Washington DC, according to the LA Times.

Two of the three ATF agents in question have admitted to mistakes they made in their managerial roles in the botched border gun trafficking operation that let approximately 2,000 weapons be sold to straw buyers. Those weapons were then allegedly allowed to cross the border despite initial law enforcement surveillance, and many of them ended up in the hands of ultra-violent Mexican drug cartels.

The LA Times reports that the three ATF agents in question are:

"William G. McMahon, who was the ATF's deputy director of operations in the West, where the illegal trafficking program was focused, and William D. Newell and David Voth, both field supervisors who oversaw the program out of the agency's Phoenix office. McMahon and Newell have acknowledged making serious mistakes in the program, which was dubbed Operation Fast and Furious."

Despite reports that ATF supervisors may have violated policy and allowed guns to "walk -- meaning law enforcement lost or dropped surveillance on them- no major cartel figures have been prosecuted as a result of the case.

The most well-known outcome of the "Fast and Furious" operation was the tragic murder of Border Agent Brian Terry. A weapon tied to the operation fast and furious program was found at the scene of the crime.

The Obama White House has denied any knowledge of the gunrunning operation until it had become a scandal in the media. Attorney General Eric Holder has also denied prior knowledge of the operation before it broke in the press.

It is not clear if the White House played any role in the promotions of the three "Fast and Furious" ATF managers. But given the timing of the promotions, it appears possible that the transfers to D.C. could be intended to to draw media attention away from the case and move the public discussion past "Fast and Furious" without holding any senior members of government accountable.

But some Congressmen are not letting it go away that easily. Rep. Darrell Issa of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, has demanded answers from the White House regarding the botched operation for months, and last week Senator John Cornyn sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder questioning the judgment behind the "Fast and Furious" gun trafficking operation and demanding a full brief on any past or present gunwalker programs in his home state of Texas.

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