Suddenly, as “#ObamaGate” trends on Twitter, and former president Barack Obama’s fake veneer of “scandal-free” integrity collapses, the president of Mexico is demanding an apology and an explanation for the deadly Obama-era gunwalking scheme known as Operation Fast and Furious.
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador reportedly brought up the gun-running scandal last week while discussing the drug trafficking arrest of Genaro Garcia Luna, Mexico’s security minister between 2006 and 2012. Luna was arrested in the United States in December and charged with drug-trafficking offenses.
The Mexican president said Obama administration officials with the CIA, the FBI and the DEA should be investigated for potential cooperation with the corrupt former security minister.
“What seems serious to me is that a violation of our sovereignty was carried out, a secret operation, and that Mexicans were killed with these weapons,” Lopez Obrador said during a press conference in Mexico City on Friday. “There is still time for the U.S. to apologize.”
Foreign Affairs Minister Marcelo Ebrard said he would send a letter to the U.S. asking for detailed information on the gun-running scandal.
Starting in the fall of 2009 and through December 2010, the Obama administration allowed criminal suspects to “walk” off with guns purchased from gun shops near the Southern border, without law enforcement interdicting or tracking them.
Republicans suspected that Obama’s ATF was attempting to “bump up its case numbers” by allowing mass quantities of high powered weapons to “walk” into the hands of Mexican drug cartels.
About two thousand guns ended up being trafficked to Mexico and used in drug cartel violence, resulting in hundreds of Mexican deaths. After Border Patrol agent Brian Terry was murdered with a Fast and Furious gun in December of 2010, several whistleblowers from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms (ATF) came forward to express their concerns about the operation.
The whistleblowers first contacted Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), who began investigating the controversy in Jan. 2011. Then, on Feb. 22, 2011, investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson filed her first report on the burgeoning scandal at CBS News. Then-Attorney General Eric Holder was eventually held in contempt of Congress for withholding documents from Republican congressional investigators.
Documents and testimony revealed that a National Security staffer at the Obama White House named Kevin O’Reilly was in constant communication with Bill Newell, the ATF Special Agent in charge of Fast and Furious, about the case while it was under way.
O’Reilly indicated in one email that he wanted to share information about the case with other National Security staffers, but stated that it would go no further than that. White House officials have said there is no evidence that Newell and O’Reilly ever discussed the controversial tactic of gunwalking and, on those grounds, have blocked the attempts of Congressional Republicans to interview O’Reilly, who has since been sent on assignment to Iraq for the State Department.
The left-wing president urged his predecessor, Felipe Calderón, to explain Mexico’s involvement in “Fast and Furious” but Calderón replied on Twitter that his government had nothing to do with it.
López Obrador argued that even if Mexico had been informed, the operation was an illegal intrusion violating the nation’s sovereignty.
“How could this be? A government that invades in this way, that flagrantly violates sovereignty, international laws,” Lopez Obrador said on Friday. “We have to shine light on this so that an action of this type will never be carried out again.”