I began this blog in May 2009 following the death of Marcia Powell at Perryville State Prison in Goodyear, Arizona. It is not intended to prescribe the path that leads to freedom from the prison industrial complex.

Rather, these are just my observations in arguably the most racist, fascist, militaristic state in the nation at a critical time in history for a number of intersecting liberation movements. From Indigenous resistance to genocidal practices, to the fight over laws like SB1070 and the ban on Ethnic Studies, Arizona is at the center of many battles for human rights, and thus the struggle for prison abolition as well - for none are free until all are. I retired the blog in APRIL 2013.

Visit me now at Arizona Prison Watch or Survivors of Prison Violence-AZ

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

"Operation Fast and Furious" catching up...

So, who's responsible for all the Mexican drug war casualties and border violence?


ATF chief, Arizona prosecutor resign amid gun inquiries

USA Today
August 30, 2011

WASHINGTON – The acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Arizona's top federal prosecutor resigned Tuesday in the midst of congressional and Justice Department inquiries into a controversial gun trafficking investigation that allowed hundreds of firearms to fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartel enforcers and criminals in the USA.

Attorney General Eric Holder said B. Todd Jones, the chief federal prosecutor in Minnesota, would replace Kenneth Melson as acting director of the ATF. Holder said Melson will become senior adviser on forensic science in the Justice Department's Office of Legal Policy.

Arizona U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke, whose office is overseeing pending prosecutions in the gun investigation known as "Operation Fast and Furious," also resigned, and Emory Hurley, an assistant federal prosecutor directly assigned to the gun prosecutions, was reassigned within the Phoenix office.

The shake-up represents the Obama administration's first major response to allegations that the flawed gun investigation, aimed at tracking guns to drug cartel leaders, may have been responsible for arming drug organization enforcers in deadly encounters with Mexican and U.S. officials.

The operation was shut down last December after the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in Arizona. Two weapons recovered at the scene of Terry's murder were purchased as part of the federal sting operation.

It has not been determined whether either of the weapons were used to kill Terry.

Holder, who offered no criticism of the departing leaders, said Jones would bring a "wealth of experience" to the top job at ATF.

"I have great confidence that he will be a strong and steady influence guiding ATF in fulfilling its mission of combating violent crime by enforcing federal criminal laws and regulations in the firearms and explosives industries," Holder said.

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., who leads the congressional investigation into the matter, said, "The reckless disregard for safety that took place in Operation Fast and Furious certainly merits changes." He said the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform inquiry would continue "to ensure that blame isn't offloaded on just a few individuals."

"There are still many questions to be answered about what happened in Operation Fast and Furious and who else bears responsibility," Issa said, "but these changes are warranted and offer an opportunity for the Justice Department to explain the role other officials and offices played in the infamous efforts to allow weapons to flow to Mexican drug cartels."

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