Fox News correspondent William La Jeunesse falsely suggested that the ATF's Operation Wide Receiver occurred at "about the same time" as Operation Fast and Furious, in which ATF agents allowed guns to "walk" to Mexico in an attempt to build a case against a Mexican cartel. In so doing, La Jeunesse left out the fact that Wide Receiver, which used similar tactics, occurred during the Bush administration.
La Jeunesse Falsely Suggested Bush And Obama-Era Investigations Occurred At "About The Same Time"
Fox's La Jeunesse: "Similar Case Is Very Important Because It Was Happening About The Same Time" As Fast And Furious. From the November 1 edition of Fox News' Happening Now:
JON SCOTT: There is new information about a government gun-trafficking operation that put weapons in the hands of the drug cartels in Mexico. A top Justice Department official on the hot seat on Capitol Hill today, taking questions about Fast and Furious and another similar operation. William La Jeunesse live in Los Angeles with a look at that. William?
LA JEUNESSE: Hey, Jon. That similar case is very important because it was happening about the same time. [Fox News, Happening Now, 11/1/11]
Wide Receiver Was A Bush-Era Operation That Was Undertaken Nearly Two Years Before Fast And Furious. From The Washington Post:
Republican lawmakers for eight months have been leading the probe into "Fast and Furious," the controversial ATF gun operation, and trying to determine who in President Obama's Justice Department knew what, and when they knew it.
But it turns out there was another gun operation run by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives years before, using the same tactics of allowing guns to flow illegally onto U.S. streets and into Mexico. This operation was conducted under the Bush administration's Justice Department.
Dubbed "Operation Wide Receiver," the case was run out of Tucson between 2006 and 2007 and involved hundreds of guns that were purchased by small-time buyers who transferred them to middle men who then passed them up the chain and into Mexico. [Washington Post, 10/6/11]
Fast And Furious Began In Fall 2009. From a joint staff report prepared for House Oversight Committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA):
In the fall of 2009, the Department of Justice (DOJ) developed a risky new strategy to combat gun trafficking along the Southwest Border. The new strategy directed federal law enforcement to shift its focus away from seizing firearms from criminals as soon as possible--and to focus instead on identifying members of trafficking networks. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) implemented that strategy using a reckless investigative technique that street agents call "gunwalking." ATF's Phoenix Field Division began allowing suspects to walk away with illegally purchased guns. The purpose was to wait and watch, in the hope that law enforcement could identify other members of a trafficking network and build a large, complex conspiracy case. [Joint Staff Report on The Department Of Justice's Operation Fast And Furious: Accounts Of ATF Agents, 6/14/11]