CullmanTimes.com - Cullman, Alabama

National News

May 20, 2013

IG: ex-US Attorney retaliated in Fast and Furious

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Attorney in Arizona violated Justice Department policy by providing Fox News with information apparently aimed at undercutting the credibility of a federal agent who helped reveal the botched arms-trafficking probe called Operation Fast and Furious, the Justice Department's inspector general said Monday.

There was substantial evidence in the 2011 incident that then-U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke's motive for disclosing a memo by federal agent John Dodson was retaliation, the inspector general's report said. In testimony to a House committee just two weeks earlier, Dodson had raised serious concerns about Operation Fast and Furious.

In Dodson's memo, which was eventually leaked, Dodson proposed a tactic similar to the one being used at the time in Operation Fast and Furious. Dodson proposed acting in an undercover capacity to deliver firearms to a suspected firearms trafficker, but taking no enforcement action upon delivering the firearms.

Dodson later told investigators that he and other ATF agents had proposed the transaction in hopes that it would shock their superiors into realizing what they were doing in Operation Fast and Furious. Instead, a superior approved Dodson's proposal and Dodson sold six firearms to the suspect. Dodson later told investigators that he regretted delivering the firearms.

The Fast and Furious operation used a tactic called gun-walking in an attempt to follow illicit gun buyers to major arms traffickers and dismantle the gun rings supplying weapons to drug cartels in Mexico. The tracking effort was largely unsuccessful and hundreds of weapons wound up at crime scenes in the U.S. and Mexico. Two of the weapons were found at the site of the slaying of U.S. border agent Brian Terry.

After Terry's death, Dodson and several other agents from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives described the gun-walking tactic to U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

As the controversy grew, Burke and Justice Department officials exchanged emails about Dodson's earlier memo, the report said.

"Unbelievable," Burke said in one message. "This guy called Grassley and CBS to unearth what he in fact was proposing to do by himself. When you thought the hypocrisy of this whole matter had hit the limit already..."

The report noted that in a separate incident, Burke had told the deputy attorney general that he himself had improperly disclosed information to The New York Times about a criminal suspect in Operation Fast and Furious.

According to the IG, Burke knew at the time of his disclosure of the Dodson memorandum that he was under investigation by the department's Office of Professional Responsibility for that earlier leak.

The inspector general's office is referring its report to OPR to determine whether Burke's conduct violated rules in the states where Burke is licensed to practice law.

Burke told congressional investigators that at the time he provided the document, he believed the Fox News producer who received it had already seen it or obtained it and that the document had already been produced to Congress. Burke's attorney, Chuck Rosenberg, has said it was not Burke's intent to retaliate against Dodson or anyone else for information they provided to Congress.

 

1
Text Only
National News
  • Fort Hood (UPDATED) Officials: 4 dead, including gunman, at Fort Hood

    A gunman opened fire Wednesday at Fort Hood in an attack that left four dead, including the shooter, law enforcement officials said.
    One of the officials, citing official internal U.S. Justice Department updates, said 14 others were hurt. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release information by name.

    April 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • Smartphone kill switches are coming

    Smartphones need kill switches. It's a relatively easy solution to the pricey (and irritating) problem of smartphone theft. But who would have thought that the big carriers would team up with Apple, Google, Microsoft, Nokia, Samsung and lots of other manufacturers to voluntarily begin adding the technology by July 2015? The cooperative spirit! It makes so much sense!

    April 18, 2014

  • Consumer spending on health care jumps as Affordable Care Act takes hold

    Nancy Beigel has known since September that she would need hernia surgery. She couldn't afford it on her $11,000 yearly income until she became eligible for Medicaid in January through President Barack Obama's signature health care law.

    April 17, 2014

  • mfp file Hoffner Fired coach unjustly accused of visiting porn sites

    The president of Minnesota State University-Mankato accused a football coach of looking at Internet porn on a work computer before firing him, an arbitrator has revealed. The official said the claim could not be supported, and the coach shouldn't have been fired.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • High School Stabbings 4 students seriously hurt in Pa. school stabbings

    A student armed with a knife went on a stabbing and slashing spree at a high school near Pittsburgh on Wednesday morning, leaving as many as 20 people injured, including four students who suffered serious wounds, authorities said.

    April 9, 2014 2 Photos

  • Obit Ultimate Warrior Former pro wrestler Ultimate Warrior dies at 54

    James Hellwig, better known as former pro wrestler The Ultimate Warrior, has died, the WWE said. He was 54.

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • news_amazonfiretv.jpg Amazon introduces Fire TV to challenge Apple in living rooms

    Amazon.com Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos is stepping up efforts to win over customers in their living rooms with a $99 TV box for watching digitally delivered shows and movies, challenging Apple's TV device.

    April 3, 2014 1 Photo

  • Washington Mudslide Death toll in Washington mudslide rises to 30

    As medical examiners painstakingly piece together the identities and lives of the 30 people known killed when a mudslide wiped out a small Washington community, one mystery troubles them.

    April 3, 2014 1 Photo

  • APTOPIX Fort Hood Fort Hood gunman sought mental health treatment

    An Iraq War veteran being treated for mental illness was the gunman who opened fire at Fort Hood, killing three people and wounding 16 others before committing suicide, in an attack on the same Texas military base where more than a dozen people were slain in 2009, authorities said.

    April 3, 2014 1 Photo

  • Supreme Court Campaign Big donors may give even more under court’s ruling

    The Supreme Court ruling Wednesday erasing a long-standing limit on campaign donations will allow a small number of very wealthy donors to give even more than is currently the case, according to students of the complex campaign finance system, and could strengthen the establishment in both parties.

    April 2, 2014 1 Photo