Written by Doug Hagmann & Judi McLeod
April 2009 CLAIM: Barack Obama, Eric Holder & Hillary Clinton publicly claim 90% of guns in Mexico come from U.S. Obama orders Holder to assess U.S. gun sales. The objective of Operation Fast & Furious was to substantiate these false claims, to enact stronger GUN CONTROL and attack Second Amendment rights.
2005: To help combat firearms trafficking into Mexico, ATF began Project Gunrunner as a pilot project in Laredo, Texas, in 2005 (See OIG Report dated November 2010)i
2006: April: Project Gunrunner official launch date.ii
2007: June: ATF published a strategy document, Southwest Border Initiative: Project Gunrunner, outlining four key components to Project Gunrunner: the expansion of gun tracing in Mexico, international coordination, domestic activities, and intelligence. In implementing Project Gunrunner, ATF has focused resources in its four Southwest border field divisions.
January: Project Gunrunner expanded by adding 58 staff to the Southwest border field divisions, 3 additional staff to EPIC, and deploying eTrace to all U.S. consulates in Mexico.
June: Merida Initiative signed into law, allocated $2 million to expand Spanish eTrace throughout Mexico and Central America.
February: The Recovery Act signed into law, allocated $10 million to ATF for Project Gunrunner.
February 25: DHS Secretary Napolitano testified in the House Homeland Security Committee, stressing that stopping the flow of guns to Mexico was a top priority of the Obama administration and key focus of her work.
*March 24, 2009: A 30-minute press conferenceiii was held at the White House by Press Secretary Robert Gibbs that included Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, newly appointed Deputy Attorney General David Ogden, and Deputy Secretary of State Jim Steinberg. Ogden, who had been on the job for a mere 12 days, referred to Project Gunrunner and other ancillary ATF programs by name, and stated that he was working directly with the Attorney General on the implementation of these programs that included Project Gunrunner.
(See May 3, 2011)
June: Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2009 allocated an additional $6 million to ATF for Project Gunrunner.
December: Spanish eTrace piloted in Mexico; ATF Agent John DODSON, who later came forward about the tactics used by the ATF & DOJ, arrives in Phoenix.
January 16: Murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry (Jaime AVILA) purchases 52 firearms - one of which was used to kill Agent Terry. Pays cash for purchase.
June: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Commission closes 3,500 acres of the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge as the federal park was deemed too dangerous to the American public.
August: Emergency Border Security Supplemental Appropriations Bill of 2010 allocated $37.5 million to ATF for Project Gunrunner.(STIMULUS MONEY)
October: Agent John DODSON transferred from ATF to FBI
December 14: Agent Brian TERRY gunned down in Peck Canyon. The gun used is traced to Jaime AVILA, purchased from Lone Wolf Trading Company while under ATF surveillance. AVILA and purchase of 52 weapons
December 15: Washington Times publishes article blaming drug cartel gun violence on U.S. gun shops.
2010: 15,273 murders attributed to Mexican drug Cartel violence
January: Agent John Dodson meets with Senator Grassley to discuss Fast & Furious - investigation by Senate Judiciary Committee begins
January 20: ATF SAC Bill NEWELL holds press conference denies allowing guns to “walk”
January 27: Senator Grassley requests information about Operation Fast & Furious from Assistant AG Lanny Breuer
May 2: In advance of Holder’s testimony on 3 May 2011, Attorney General Eric Holder and DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano meet with Barack Obama in East Room at White House for an extended period.
May 3: In his capacity as U.S. Attorney General, Eric Holder testifies before the House Judiciary Committeeiv. During that hearing, Holder was questioned about Project Gunrunner and Operation Fast & Furious on two notable occasions. Holder was asked direct questions by Congressman Darrell Issa (49th District of California) about when he first learned of the operation, and who else knew about the project. This exchange begins about 90 minutes into the hearing, and Holder was elusive with his answers. He ultimately stated to the best of his recollection, he first became aware of the deadly operation within the last few weeks of that hearing. (See March 24, 2009)
February 4: Assistant AG Lanny Breuer denies Agent Dodson’s claims in letter to Grassley
February 15: ICE Agent Jamie ZAPATA killed in Mexico as he and his partner travel back to U.S. from embassy in Mexico City.
March 27: Obama appears on Spanish TV Univision, denies that he or Eric Holder knew anything about Fast & Furious
April: House Oversight Committee Chairman Daryl Issa issues subpoenas to Justice Department. Subpoenas are IGNORED.
June: Holder submits 800 pages of heavily redacted documents to House Oversight Committee Chairman Daryl Issa - Issa threatens contempt charges against Obama/Holder.
June 15: First House Oversight Committee hearing; Democrats call for gun control as a result of Operation Fast & Furious
June 30: House democrats submit legislation for gun control
July 11: New gun control reporting measures placed in force on border state gun shop owners.
July 14: E-mails found that confirm Operation Fast & Furious was implemented as a method to promote gun control.