- The Washington Times - Friday, October 23, 2015

It has been a complex journey. Almost five years ago, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agent John Dodson heard the news. Brian Terry, a U.S. Border patrol agent, had been killed by bandits wielding guns that could be traced back to an Obama administration initiative meant to track Mexican drug cartels through illegal firearms sales. The practice was known as “gunwalking” and the covert program was named “Operation Fast and Furious.”

After much soul searching, and with the encouragement of then-CBS investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson and a 2011 report by the Center for Public Integrity, Mr. Dodson decided to go public with what he knew. In 2013, he wrote a book titled “The Unarmed Truth: My Fight to Blow the Whistle and Expose Fast and Furious,” which also bore the message, “The story the ATF doesn’t want you to know.” The federal agency initially attempted to censor the book; there were legal maneuvers and the American Civil Liberties Union became involved.

The book was published by Threshold Editions, a division of Simon & Schuster, ultimately prompting congressional and Justice Department investigations. And now it’s is headed for the big screen.

Lionsgate - the major studio behind such blockbusters as “The Hunger Games” and “The Hurt Locker” - has picked up the film rights for Mr. Dodson’s book according to an exclusive account by Borys Kit in The Hollywood Reporter. The memoir will be adapted as a script by Matthew Carnahan, the writer behind ‘World War Z’, the new film will be titled “The River of Iron.” The producer is Lorenzo di Bonaventura, known for “The Transformers” franchise and other action movies.

The drama is almost built in, however.

“Because special agent Dodson spoke out, law enforcement officials might think twice next time before crossing the line between investigating criminal activity and encouraging it,” wrote Sen. Chuck Grassley and Rep. Darrell Issa in their foreword to Mr. Dodson’s book.

“When something has gone horribly wrong, the easy way out is to just keep your head down and keep your mouth shut. John Dodson didn’t take the easy way out,” the lawmakers said, calling the author “a man who decided to tell the truth, no matter the costs.”

• Jennifer Harper can be reached at jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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