Fortune magazine says there is “a fundamental misconception at the heart of the Fast and Furious scandal.” Nobody disputes that suspected straw purchasers under surveillance by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives repeatedly bought guns that eventually fell into criminal hands. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and others charge that ATF intentionally allowed guns to walk as an operational tactic. Five law-enforcement agents involved in Fast and Furious say ATF had no such tactic.
They insist they never purposefully allowed guns to be illegally trafficked. Just the opposite: They say they seized weapons whenever they could but were hamstrung by prosecutors and weak laws, which stymied them at every turn. Fortune concludes the public case alleging that ATF supervisor Dave Voth and his colleagues walked guns is replete with distortions, errors, partial truths, and even some outright lies. The magazine says it reviewed more than 2,000 pages of confidential ATF documents and interviewed 39 people, including seven law-enforcement agents with direct knowledge of the case. Several, including Voth, are speak out for the first time. How Fast and Furious reached the headlines, says Fortune, “is a strange and unsettling saga, one that reveals a lot about politics and media today.”