The fast and furious story gained momentum in Washington after it has emerged that Attorney General Eric Holder failed to turn over to Congressional investigators evidence that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco,and Firearms has released Manuel Acosta - a kingpin in the illegal weapons trade of the drug cartels - from custody in return for a vague promise of" cooperation" which he failed to keep.
His failure to comply with the Congressional subpoena - which covered the Acosta case - will ratchet up demands for his resignation or impeachment.
At the time of his apprehension - on May 29, 2010 -- Acosta was carrying a cargo into Mexico for delivery to the drug cartels that included what investigators for the ATF said was an "AK type, high capacity drum magazine loaded with 74 rounds of 7.62 ammunition underneath the spare tire." They also noted ledgers including a "list of firearms such as an AR15 short and a Bushmaster" and a "reference about money given to 'killer.'"
CBS News reports that the case was considered so serious that the ATF brought in the lead case agent Hope MacAllister to question Acosta.
ATF record showed "a large number of the weapons purchase[d] by the Acosta organization are AK type rifles or FN Herstal pistols" which Acosta referred to as "cop killers" and said were preferred by drug cartels.
But, incredibly, "instead of pursuing charges, Agent MacAllister asked Acosta if he'd be willing to cooperate with federal agents. He agreed and was released." Hope wrote her contact information on a ten dollar bill and let Acosta go free. He disappeared.
By the time Acosta was re-arrested on Feb. 2, 2011, the ATF had allowed 2,000 weapons to fall into the hands of the Mexican drug cartels -- including two of the rifles were found at the murder scene of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.
Congressional Republicans are outraged that the Obama Administration did not reveal the incident despite subpoenas that obliged them to do so. In a letter to Holder this week, Congressional Republicans investigating Fast and Furious asked the Justice Department why Acosta wasn't arrested in May of 2010. They also want to know why the Justice Department failed to turn over the documents on Acosta's detainment and release, which were covered under a longstanding subpoena.
The Acosta case did not come to public notice until it was reported by CBSNews on May 19, 2012.
Compare the Fast and Furious program with the Arms-Contra scandal in the late 80s. In Iran-Contra, we supplied weapons to patriots in Nicaragua fighting the communists and Reagan almost got impeached for it. Here we are supplying arms to drug dealers and Holder won't supply Congress with information about it. It's time Holder was forced to go.
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