Book: Fast and Furious whistleblower calls scandal 'normal occurrence'

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Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,Fast and Furious,Eric Holder,Justice Department

The highly-anticipated book from the whistleblower in the Fast and Furious gun-running scandal said the affair is “an all-too-normal occurrence” in the bloated federal bureaucracy and revealed that he warned top officials about the potential for disaster seven months before a U.S. Border Patrol agent was killed.

“The media has missed the bigger story,” laments John Dodson in “The Unarmed Truth.” He said that “Fast and Furious is not a grand conspiracy or cover-up -- or at least it didn't start that way. Quite the contrary, it started as an all-too-normal occurrence in federal government.”

What started as a Justice Department bid to grab headlines instead turned into a disaster and cover-up. “It was the result of good people, patriotic people, smart people even, trying to get credit for the big takedown in a press conference with bright lights and cameras, but not recognizing that the only reason they would get the accolades and attaboys for solving a problem was that they had exacerbated it to begin with.”

Dodson, who was involved in the scandal that let assault guns slip into the hands of Mexican drug cartels, revealed in the book that he warned the Fast and Furious boss, Hope MacAllister, in May 2010 about his concerns somebody would eventually die from one of the guns allowed to slip across the border.

They met on an elevator when she asked him, “John, what do you really think about this case?”

Dodson, who had been pushing for the straw purchasers of the guns to be arrested, told her their agency, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, hadn’t learned from the case and should shut it down.

“What did I really think about this case? I’d complained about Fast and Furious any number of times in Hope’s presence. Was she really that clueless?” he recalled thinking. Out of the elevator in the ATF office in Phoenix, he then let her have it:

“What you need to ask yourself is this: Are you prepared to go to a border patrol agent’s funeral or a Cochise County deputy’s funeral over this? Are you prepared to watch that widow accept that folded flat?” he said in the book provided to Secrets. “I knew what I was doing. I was telling the truth. We were going to get people killed,” he added.

Seven months later, on Dec. 14, 2010, agent Brian Terry died from bullets in one of those guns.

“We did at least stop the gun walking,” he concluded in the book. “The senselessness of Fast and Furious has been recognized by almost everyone and hopefully such a thing will never be allowed to happen again. If we hadn’t spoken up, I have no doubt the Phoenix operation would be replicated elsewhere.”

Paul Bedard, The Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at