August 30, 2011
Seeing Red AZ
Within days of testifying before a Congressional committee about his office’s role in the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms gun-smuggling operation known as “Fast and Furious,” U.S. Attorney for Arizona Dennis Burke has submitted his letter of resignation — effective immediately. His resignation comes amid fallout of his knowledge of the ill-conceived and reckless operation that that left Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry dead in a gun battle near Rio Rico,Arizona. Terry’s murder effectively ended the scheme.
Burke an attentive student of and longtime aide to Janet Napolitano, previously served as her Chief of Staff and was appointed to the Arizona U.S. Attorney post by Napolitano’s boss, Barack Obama. His career is now in shambles, though his name was previously mentioned as a possible Democrat contender for several higher offices.
Burke’s terse email informing his staff of his abrupt leave-taking can be read here.
Attorney General Eric Holder announced Burke’s resignation in this press release.
Springing to the career Napolitano clone’s defense are other liberals — former Arizona Sen. Dennis DeConcini and Grant Woods, the ubiquitous political clown who rears his head whenever a camera or microphone are within spitting distance.
Last month, in an appearance before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, William McMahon, the head of ATF’s Western region, testified that the agency had “good intentions” when it launched Operation Fast and Furious in 2009. But looking back, there are things ATF would have done differently, he said. McMahon said he was committed to dismantling criminal networks on both sides of the border and that “in our zeal to do so, and in the heat of battle, mistakes were made. And for that I apologize.”
McMahon should win an award as a master of undertatement.