With the release of Part I of the final report of the House Oversight Committee investigation of Fast and Furious, more leads have emerged that the White House may have been involved in Operation Fast and Furious from its inception in March 2009. This is something the White House has denied, but at the same time the White House has refused to allow the Committee to interview a key witness, Kevin O'Reilly who was the person on the National Security Council in the White House responsible for Latin America.
O'Reilly was in e-mail and telephone contact with the agent in charge of Operation Fast and Furious in Phoenix, Arizona, William Newell, whom he had known for 10 years. The Oversight Committee tried to interview O'Reilly, but he was reassigned to Iraq. Then when O'Reilly agreed to be interviewed by phone, the White House refused to permit the interview.
Mike Vanderboegh, the blogger who first exposed Fast and Furious, points out that Part I of the House Oversight Committee report on page 198 refers to an email from the special agent in charge of Fast and Furious, William Newell to ATF Deputy Director William Hoover on Oct. 4, 2007.
It should be recalled that Newell had run Operation Wide Receiver under the Bush administration, a program which also involved guns being walked to Mexican drug cartels, but which was shut down under the Bush administration, only to be revived by the Obama administration in a bigger more reckless way under Newell.
Under Operation Wide Receiver, Newell wrote a series of emails to his supervisor in the ATF, William Hoover. In one of the emails published in the House Oversight committee report, Newell argues that he had conducted similar operations "all the time in Colombia." Newell also ends one of his e-mails by saying: "Trust me, I'm with Gov't."
Vanderboegh points out that Newell met Kevin O'Reilly in Colombia when O'Reilly worked there for State and Newell worked for Immigration and Naturalizaiton Service in Bogota.
Although it is not in the report, Vanderboegh also reports that in March 2009 there was a meeting between Newell, O'Reilly and other White House personnel. This was at the time that Obama, according to Deputy Attorney General David Ogden, had directed Eric Holder and Janet Napolitano to launch Operation Gunrunner.
If the report of this meeting is accurate, it means that the the Obama White House was directly involved in initiating Operation Fast and Furious from its inception.