Barton York challenges me with his letter, "It's Wrong to compare Fast and Furious" (Jan. 28), writing, "Here are easily verifiable facts" juxtaposing Operation Wide Receiver with Operation Fast and Furious.
Most of the "facts" that Barton listed are not factual.
Operation Wide Receiver and Operation Fast and Furious were both "gunwalking" operations, 2006-2007 and 2009-2010, respectively. So to be precise, what actually started when George W. Bush was president was the practice of "gunwalking" by some Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents in Arizona. Both operations were run out of the same ATF Phoenix field division and both were directed by the same special-agent-in-charge. Both used visual and electronic surveillance and both lost track of guns that were allowed to "walk" into Mexico. Barton's claim that Fast & Furious "made no effort to track them whatsoever" is not factual.
Barton claimed that Wide Receiver involved less than 300 firearms, only 12 were never recovered, that 1,400 arrest were made and "most importantly" no casualties were ever reported. According to a Department of Justice report, Wide Receiver actually involved 474 guns, only 64 were recovered, 410 were lost, no arrests were made and one of those guns was found at the scene where 18 people were killed..."guns were sold and not accounted for and likely are in Mexico killing people."
The 1,400 gun smuggler arrests that Barton wants to credit to Wide Receiver had absolutely nothing to do with that operation - they actually involved 12,000 firearms and were the result of the much larger, multi-state ATF operation known as Project Gunrunner that did not allow guns to "walk" as Wide Receiver did.
Barton suggests that I may have been misled and possibly caught up in the "it's all Bush's fault" hysteria. I don't know where Barton got his "facts," but maybe he has been misled and possibly caught up in the hysteria of wanting to believe and repeat any and every unsubstantiated accusation against Barack Obama. How can Obama be responsible for something that started when Bush was president?