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September 27, 2012VIA EMAILRe: The truth about the Fast and Furious scandalDear Mr. Serwer:I represent John Dodson, a Special Agent at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearmsand Explosives (“ATF”), and one the subjects of Katherine Eban’s June 27, 2012 articleheadlined “The truth about the Fast and Furious scandal” that
published and continues topublish on CNN’s business website, CNNMoney. As you are likely aware, the JusticeDepartment Inspector General has now issued his exhaustive report about Operation Fast andFurious (the “IG Report”). Given its findings, it is clear that Ms. Eban’s purported finding of “the truth” was far from it, and in fact is demonstrably false in many respects. A retraction is inorder to correct the record.The main thrust of Ms. Eban’s article is set forth in its sub-headline: “A
investigation reveals that the ATF never intentionally allowed guns to fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartels.” At a minimum,
was on notice that this conclusion was dubious atthe time the article was published, as this conclusion had already been publicly contradicted notonly by the whistleblowers who had first-hand knowledge of Fast and Furious, but also by theWhite House, Attorney General Eric Holder, ATF Director Kenneth Melson, and the majorityand minority staff reports of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.However, for reasons known only to
and Ms. Eban, Ms. Eban’s article simplyparroted the very position the Justice Department took at the outset of the Fast and Furiousscandal – that ATF had attempted to interdict weapons when it had legal authority to do so andhad not intentionally allowed the purchase and transfer of guns to Mexico by suspected strawpurchasers. Of course, the Justice Department, after almost a year but well before this articlewas published, retracted its own statement to that effect after acknowledging it was false.The irony of the next sentence of Ms. Eban’s sub-headline in support of her conclusionthat guns were never walked was apparently lost on her: “How the world came to believe just theopposite is a tale of rivalry, murder, and political bloodlust.” By the time of publication, thosewho had come “to believe just the opposite” included the White House, Justice Department, ATFand both houses of Congress. Regardless, Ms. Eban pressed on with her “tale” based largely onone source. The IG report, though, was highly critical of this source and was “not persuaded” by