Gunwalker, the ATF, Factcheck.org, and the 90% Myth Revisited

Posted: January 30, 2012 by ShortTimer in Barack Obama, Guns, lies, Media, Operation Gunwalker, Second Amendment, terrorism

The myth that 90% of the guns in Mexico come from the US has been addressed here before at The Patriot Perspective in the context of Gunwalker/Fast and Furious being a public relations move to prove the myth.  Stratfor disproved it quite a while back (a copy of that story can be found here, the original was deleted when somebody hacked Stratfor – I guess they didn’t know the second tenet).

From the LA Times in 2009:

On his recently concluded first visit to Mexico as president, a week after telling Europeans that his country had been at times arrogant, President Barack Obama blamed his own country for providing 90% of Mexico’s recovered crime guns.

According to a report by the independent FactCheck.org this afternoon, that’s incorrect. By a, uh, long shot.

In the first draft, FactCheck cited other pieces saying that Obama was flat-out wrong.  Then they retracted it, as the LA Times notes:

(UPDATE: On April 22 FactCheck.org withdrew its flat statement that the president was wrong, saying it could not prove that. An updated item appeared here.)

FactCheck.org isn’t exactly trustworthy to begin with.  FactCheck has a very authoritative name, as though they’re The Last Word in what’s correct, what’s fact, and what’s opinion.  The NRA disproved them during the campaign.

Factcheck And Brady Campaign Share Same Sugar Daddy

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Impartial? Independent? NO!
FactCheck and Brady Campaign in Bed with Annenberg Foundation
FactCheck supposedly exists to look beyond a politician’s claims. Ironically, in its analysis of NRA materials on Barack Obama, these so-called “FactCheckers” use the election year campaign rhetoric of a presidential candidate and a verbal claim by one of the most zealous gun control supporters in Congress to refute facts compiled by NRA’s research of vote records and review of legislative language.

There’s another possible explanation behind FactCheck’s positions. Just last year, FactCheck’s primary funding source, the Annenberg Foundation, also gave $50,000 to the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence for “efforts to reduce gun violence by educating the public and by enacting and enforcing regulations governing the gun industry.” Annenberg made a similar grant for $100,000 in 2005. (source)

Regardless of the cause, it’s clear that while FactCheck swoons over a politician’s rhetoric, NRA prefers to look at the more mundane details – like how that politician voted on a bill and what kind of impact that legislation had or may have had on law-abiding gun owners.

FactCheck claims that NRA advertisements “distort” Barack Obama’s anti-gun positions, but FactCheck’s own sources prove otherwise. In fact, even Obama’s campaign has refused to deny his most extreme positions.

FactCheck also dismisses NRA’s statements as “contrary to what [Obama] has said throughout his campaign.” But as FactCheck says, “believing something doesn’t make it so.” And unless FactCheck is an arm of the Obama campaign, isn’t it their job to find out if Obama is telling the truth?

It’s important to note what Factcheck.org says at the top of their page.  It states “Annenberg Political Factcheck”.    Just as the NRA notes, they’re part of the Annenberg Foundation.  Note what’s right next to each other here:

Annenberg Challenge In 1993, the largest gift to public education was made by Ambassador Walter Annenberg, a $500 million grant named the Annenberg Challenge. The grant was designed to unite the resources throughout the United States and ideas of those committed to increasing the effectiveness of public schooling. Recognizing that no single gift could improve all schools, the Challenge served as a catalyst to energize and support educational reform efforts across the country.

The Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania The Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania developed FactCheck.org. Factcheck.org monitors the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews and news releases.

What’s that Annenberg Challenge thing?  Oh, yeah, this thing.

The three co-authors of Chicago’s winning Annenberg Challenge $49.2 million grant proposal were:[17][18]

William Ayers, associate professor of education at the University of Illinois at Chicago; co-director of the Small Schools Workshop; co-director of the Chicago Forum for School Change—an affiliate of the Coalition of Essential Schools;[19] chairman of the Alliance for Better Chicago Schools (ABCs) coalition;[20][21] former Chicago assistant deputy mayor for education (1989–1990);[21] brother of John Ayers, executive director (1994–2004) of Leadership for Quality Education (an affiliate of the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago) and former associate director (1987–1994) of the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago; son of Thomas Ayers, former president (1964–1980), chairman and CEO (1973–1980) of Commonwealth Edison and former vice president (1980) of the Chicago School Board

Yeah, this Bill Ayers:

“I don’t regret setting bombs” …”I feel we didn’t do enough”  – Bill Ayers, quoted on 9/11/2001 in the NYT

And who else was there?

The founding Board of Directors of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge as announced in 1995 were:[38][39]

Barack Obama, civil rights attorney at Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland; lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School; member of the board of directors of the Joyce Foundation and the Woods Fund of Chicago; winner, Crain’s Chicago Business 40 Under 40 award, 1993; former president of the Harvard Law Review (1990–1991); former executive director of the Developing Communities Project (June 1985–May 1988); current President of the United States[24][40][41][42]

Now, isn’t it interesting that a political “fact-checking” organization is able to kind of ignore the facts when it comes to the things they need to be true to support their guy?

And even more interesting:

There’s no dispute that thousands of handguns, military-style rifles and other firearms are purchased in the U.S. and end up in the hands of Mexican criminals each year. It’s relatively easy to buy such guns legally in Texas and other border states and to smuggle them across.

But is it true, as President Obama said, that “[m]ore than 90 percent of the guns recovered in Mexico come from the United States?” Government statistics don’t actually support that claim.

Except then:

Correction, April 22: We originally concluded that Obama’s 90 percent figure was “not true” and based on a “badly biased” sample of recovered guns. We are retracting both those characterizations, and we apologize to our readers for this error. We have rewritten the article throughout to correct this.

Our error was to think we had confirmed that Mexican officials submit for tracing only those guns they believe likely to have come from the U.S. Law enforcement officials say they don’t know if that’s the case.

So who did they ask for data that finally corrected them and showed them that what Obama said was really pretty much true, and that the numbers FOX and Stratfor were using were really the real fake numbers, even though they were hard data a few minutes ago?  Oh, Factcheck went to info from this guy (interesting that FOX got different numbers from the same guy):

However that may be, the Fox figure of 17 percent is based on a misreading of some confusing House subcommittee testimony by ATF official William Newell . The Fox reporters come up with a figure of 5,114 guns traced to U.S. sources in fiscal 2007 and 2008. That figures to 17.6 percent of the 29,000 figure for guns seized in Mexico, as given by the country’s attorney general.

The 5,114 figure is simply wrong. What Newell said quite clearly is that the number of guns submitted to ATF in those two years was 11,055: “3,312 in FY 2007 [and] 7,743 in FY 2008.” Newell also testified, as other ATF officials have done, that 90 percent of the guns traced were determined to have come from the U.S. So based on Newell’s testimony, the Fox reporters should have used a figure of 9,950 guns from U.S. sources. That figures out to just over 34 percent of guns recovered, assuming that the 29,000 figure supplied by Mexico’s attorney general is correct.

Y’know, Bill Newell:

Y’know, ATF Special Agent in Charge of Phoenix and Fast and Furious Bill Newell:

Interesting how all these people and groups are linked in together, isn’t it?

Comments
  1. [...] Gunwalker, the ATF, Factcheck.org, and the 90% Myth Revisited (thepatriotperspective.wordpress.com) [...]

  2. [...] Gunwalker, the ATF, Factcheck.org, and the 90% Myth Revisited (thepatriotperspective.wordpress.com) [...]

  3. [...] Gunwalker, the ATF, Factcheck.org, and the 90% Myth Revisited (thepatriotperspective.wordpress.com) [...]

  4. [...] a crisis, the “iron river”, when they called Bill Newell up from Phoenix to repeat the 90% lie.  They decided to use Sandy Hook instead, because they got caught in Fast and Furious.  Sandy [...]

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