In September 2009, John Dodson, an agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, was assigned to the ATF’s Phoenix office. What he found there shocked him. The bureau was encouraging gun dealers to sell weapons in bulk to known straw buyers, who would funnel those guns to Mexican drug cartels. Known as Operation Fast and Furious, it ended with the death of at least one American law enforcement officer. Dodson became a congressional whistleblower, and the investigation into the operation is ongoing. In this exclusive excerpt from his new book, “The Unarmed Truth,” Dodson explains how tragically inept Fast and Furious was.
‘It’s like the underwear gnomes,” my ATF colleague Lee Casa told me one time as we recounted the latest bizarre goings-on in Phoenix.
“What?” I asked.
“You ever watch ‘South Park’? There’s this episode where all the boys get their underwear stolen by these underwear gnomes. They track them down to get it back and one of them asks why they are stealing everyone’s underwear. The gnomes break out this PowerPoint and reveal their master plan: Phase One: Collect underpants … Phase Two: ? … Phase Three: Profit.”
“We’re doing the same thing,” he explained. “We know Phase One is ‘Walk guns’ and Phase Three is ‘Take down a big cartel!’ ”
Both of us were laughing now; a more fitting and appropriate allegory could never be found. Casa concluded, “Just nobody can figure out what the f–k Phase Two is!”