Archive for the ‘Operation Gunwalker’ Category

Theirs are cruel and tragic.  In addition to being offensive, stupid, destructive to communities, exploitative of the mentally handicapped, and entrapment when they hire felons to work in their phony gun stores.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that in addition to Fearlessly Distributing guns to criminals, the ATF has plenty more violently stupid operations going on:

Agents pressed suspects for specific firearms that could fetch tougher penalties in court. They allowed felons to walk out of the stores armed with guns. In Wichita, agents suggested a felon take a shotgun, saw it off and bring it back — and provided instructions on how to do it. The sawed-off gun allowed them to charge the man with a more serious crime.

In Pensacola, the ATF hired a felon to run its pawnshop. The move widened the pool of potential targets, boosting arrest numbers.Even those trying to sell guns legally could be charged if they knowingly sold to a felon. The ATF’s pawnshop partner was later convicted of pointing a loaded gun at someone outside a bar. Instead of a stiff sentence typically handed down to repeat offenders in federal court, he got six months in jail — and a pat on the back from the prosecutor.

There are all kinds of these storefront operations set up around the country, where the ATF goes in, rents a storefront, sells goods for below cost, then offers to buy stolen items and guns.  It ends up creating crime.

An undercover operation in Atlanta, a smoke shop called ATL Blaze, experienced similar problems. Some defendants came to the store as many as 20 times after stealing weapons and other goods.

Some guns were stolen from police squad cars. ATF agents said in court documents they tried to deter such thefts by paying less for police guns.

The burglaries associated with ATL Blaze caused other problems for local law enforcement. Sheriff’s deputies and local police — unaware the weapons had already been recovered by federal agents — scrambled around to solve the burglaries, spending untold resources interviewing witnesses.

At times, they never solved the case. And the weapons never made it back to the owners.

A Hi-Point pistol stolen from a car just after Christmas in 2010, for example, was still listed as stolen by the Fulton County Police Department when the Journal Sentinel contacted the department last month. ATF agents bought the gun at their secret storefront a week after it was taken.

“If the ATF recovered this weapon, it should be in our system.” said Lt. G.T. Johnson, of the department. “We have not received any notification that it was recovered.”

The lack of communication not only affects the clearance rate for the police department but also is a problem for whoever has the gun now, Johnson said.

Molchan, the state prosecutor in Pensacola, said there were worries at the outset that the sting might encourage more burglaries, but agents in charge concluded the risk was worth it.

“That is one of the concerns that you have going into something like this,” he said. “That is certainly worrisome.”

And it’s not just residents that got hit by the thieves. Anything for a Buck itself was ripped off, just like the agency’s Fearless storefront in Milwaukee. The Pensacola sting was burglarized at least twice, records show.

“I remember hearing that and kind of laughing about it, ‘We got burglarized,’” Molchan said.

Despite those problems, Molchan said he thinks the operation was successful.

“We did accomplish getting the bad guys off the street and incarcerated them,” he said. “Certainly no operation is perfect, but overall we view it as a major success.”

They accomplished creating crime where there was less before they arrived.  They don’t live in those neighborhoods, and yet they worked to destroy local communities, hurt residents with crime, generate more crime, burden local authorities with having to fight the crime they create, and then leave victims of theft still violated by the loss of their property.

One of the larger thefts linked to the operation was that of engagement and wedding rings, worth $15,000, that were stolen four months after the store opened.

“It requires no great thinking to know if you accept stolen goods in a pawnshop … people are going to sell you stolen goods,” said Harris, the professor from Pittsburgh. “You’re asking people who frequent that place to rob and burglarize their neighbors.”

It’s unclear how many of the stolen items were returned to their rightful owners. The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office put thousands of items on display at an open house after the bust and invited the public to come in to claim their belongings. Laptops, GPS devices, tools and jewelry filled the room.

According to local news accounts at the time, just 23 items — not including guns — were returned to 10 people. The sheriff’s office refused to answer Journal Sentinel questions.

But wait, there’s more – ATF agents encouraged local kids who hung out at the Squid’s pawn shop next to a school (for added school zone crime penalties) to play video games to get tattoos:

Glover and Key, both 19 at the time, were regulars at Squid’s. Glover lived right around the corner and spent hours at a time playing video games with Squid and people he thought were store workers.

One day the idea of getting a tattoo came up, Glover told the Journal Sentinel.  Glover said he was reluctant, but that he was persuaded by the guys at Squid’s, who he thought were his friends.

“It was like, ‘Now you guys are honorary members of the club,’” Glover said. “We was young at the time … I was so naive.”

After they got the tattoos, he said agents took pictures and posted them on the phony storefront’s Facebook page and website.

“They humiliated us,” he said. “They were making a mockery of us.”

Glover was ultimately charged with trading an ounce of marijuana for clothing at the store. The charge included selling drugs within 1,000 feet of a school.

Little, who spent eight years as a federal prosecutor in California and a year as associate deputy attorney general in Washington, D.C., said he had never heard of such out-of-bounds behavior by federal agents.

“That’s about as far over the line as you can imagine,” Little said. “The government shouldn’t be encouraging people to permanently disfigure their bodies.”

Little was apparently unaware of Fast and Furious, where the ATF ran guns to the Mexican narcoterrorist cartels with the intent of finding them at crime scenes.

Charles Cooke at NRO did a piece on the Journal-Sentinel story and even got Fast and Furious wrong:

The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) is probably best known these days for the failure of its disastrous Fast and Furious scheme — a botched initiative that aimed to give American guns to Mexican cartels first and to ask questions later. Under pressure, the administration was quick to imply that the mistake was an aberration.

There was nothing “botched” about it.  The ATF set out to send guns to the cartels and did so.  They intended to send guns to the cartels, and they did so.  The administration made up their own story, but proceeded to hide behind executive privilege when pressed for details and information about who was responsible.

If something is an “aberration” or a “botched sting”, then there’s nothing to hide.  There’s only accepting responsibility for mistakes.  Fast and Furious was no mistake.

Fearless Distributing and Squids and Anything for a Buck were not mistakes – they were all deliberate strategies by the ATF.  The ATF agents above even said they believe they’re doing the right thing by creating crime because then they take “bad guys off the street” – bad guys they enabled, supported, and helped to facilitate.

They hired felons in their stores to entrap people.  They contributed and encouraged thefts and crime.  They kept local law enforcement in the dark while spurring criminal enterprises in their communities.  They took advantage of the mentally handicapped.  They gave guns to felons walking out of their own stores – people they knew were criminals – and did nothing.

The JPFO is right – it’s time to boot the ATF.

From Breitbart:

Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) told local supporters at a town hall in his northern Florida district Tuesday night that he and other Republicans are currently drafting a resolution seeking impeachment for Attorney General Eric Holder.

“It’s to get him out of office—impeachment,” Yoho said of the forthcoming resolution, according to the Ocala Star-Banner newspaper, adding, “it will probably be when we get back in (Washington). It will be before the end of the year. This will go to the speaker and the speaker will decide if it comes up or not.”

The local newspaper noted that Yoho and other House Republicans are planning to approach House Speaker John Boehner with the plan shortly.

I’ll believe it when I see it.  That said, like Mulder, I want to believe.

holder hope he goes to prison w crAs usual, though, there’s a fundamental error with so many Republicans:

“Obviously there is a lot frustration with our attorney general. You can name the botched programs,” Cammack (ST: Cat Cammack, Yoho’s chief-of-staff) said. “Fast and Furious has been one of the No. 1 complaints we get in our office and why no one has been held accountable.”

Fast and Furious was not botched.  It did exactly what it set out to do.  The ATF sent guns to the cartels, knowingly.  They had the FBI violate the law so felons could pass NICS background checks, they told their own agents to stand off, and their supervisors were “giddy” when they found weapons at murder scenes in Mexico.  They were all about sending guns to the cartels.  It was used to push for more gun control, it was used to further the 90% lie, it was used to create an anti-gun narrative about an “iron river” of guns going south that just wasn’t so.

It was not botched, it was exposed.

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And as of last month in Arizona, whistleblower John Dodson has been kicked off his CBP liason job:

The federal agent who blew the whistle on the Fast and Furious scandal is suddenly unwelcome at the very Border Patrol agency he sought to protect.

For months, John Dodson, a special agent at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, has been his agency’s liaison to U.S. Customs and Border Protection in a local office in Arizona.

He also had been widely saluted by border agents and their families for first revealing that weapons that ATF knowingly allowed to cross into Mexico were showing up at murder scenes on both sides of the border.

One of those scenes was the December 2010 fatal shooting of U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry, whose family has publicly thanked Mr. Dodson for coming forward.

But Mr. Dodson was abruptly moved aside Tuesday from his CBP liaison role just hours after it was disclosed in The Washington Times that he had sought the help of the American Civil Liberties Union in his fight to publish a book on the Fast and Furious case.

I’d guess there’s more to this.  Also, CBP management and CBP employees are often of two very different minds.

The ACLU is a frequent legal nemesis of law enforcement, intervening in lawsuits over the privacy and rights of people under investigation. The ACLU has raised concerns about the militarization of police units funded by the Homeland Security Department, the parent agent for the Border Patrol.

“Going to the ACLU was seen as a real poke in the eye of law enforcement, along with wanting to do a tell-all book while still on the job. This was viewed by CBP as crossing the thin blue line,” one law enforcement official told The Times.

Again, this is a management decision, not a line agent decision.  I suspect there’s a lot more to this than meets the eye.

That said, the American Communist Lawyers Union is an organization that loathes the Second Amendment, supports the ATF’s mission of citizen disarmament, loves illegal aliens, and generally hates the Border Patrol more than the cartels do.

From Sharyl Attkisson at CBS News:

(CBS News) CBS News has learned of a shocking link between a deadly drug cartel shootout with Mexican police last week and a controversial case in the U.S. The link is one of the grenades used in the violent fight, which killed three policemen and four cartel members and was captured on video by residents in the area.

According to a Justice Department “Significant Incident Report” filed Tuesday and obtained by CBS News, evidence connects one of the grenades to Jean Baptiste Kingery, an alleged firearms trafficker U.S. officials allowed to operate for years without arresting despite significant evidence that he was moving massive amounts of grenade parts and ammunition to Mexico’s ruthless drug cartels.

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The Kingery case was overseen by the same Arizona U.S. Attorney and ATF office that let suspects traffic thousands of weapons to Mexican drug cartels in the operation dubbed Fast and Furious. The strategy was to try to get to the cartel kingpins, but it was halted after CBS News reported that Fast and Furious weapons were used by cartel thugs in the murder of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry on December 15, 2010. Weapons trafficked by other ATF suspects under surveillance were used two months later in the cartel murder of Immigration and Customs Agent Jaime Zapata in Mexico on February 15, 2011.

The ATF watched him ship grenades and components to Mexico, but did nothing but watch with glee at another chance to prop up the idea that they need more funding and power and you need your rights curtailed… because they’re breaking the law and facilitating weapons smuggling.

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And meanwhile, the ATF is squelching whistleblower John Dodson’s desire to write a book about Fast and Furious, based on the idea that it would be damaging to morale.  Their most recent decision is that they can’t actually not let him publish it, but they can censor the work.

A U.S. law enforcement official familiar with the matter says the Justice Department, ATF and the Federal Bureau of Investigation will review Dodson’s manuscript and, after making redactions to protect sensitive law enforcement information, will clear it for publication. However, federal employee guidelines prohibit Dodson and other active agents from making a profit from their work in law enforcement, the official said.

Pretty sure Darrell Issa already got an advance copy of what the DOJ-approved manuscript will look like:

That's not a print of Malevich's "Black Square".

Not content with undermining and destroying the Second Amendment, the ATF is now targeting the first by trying to hush up whistleblower Jon Dodson’s book on Fast and Furious:

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is blocking the main whistleblower in the Fast and Furious case from publishing a book for pay, claiming his retelling of the Mexico “gun-walking” scandal will hurt morale inside the embattled law enforcement agency, according to documents obtained by The Washington Times.

ATF’s dispute with Special Agent John Dodson is setting up a First Amendment showdown that is poised to bring together liberal groups like the American Civil Liberties Union and conservatives in Congress who have championed Mr. Dodson’s protection as a whistleblower.

The way the ATF is trying to do this is by claiming it’s employment outside the agency, and simply rejecting it.

Documents show that one of Mr. Dodson’s supervisors in Arizona, Assistant Special Agent in Charge Carlos Canino, rejected his request July 19 and was backed in the decision by the agent in charge of the office, Thomas G. Atteberry, four days later.

Supervisors ultimately don’t make those decisions in the fedgov.  Requests for outside employment will go up at least to the level of an “agent in charge” of an office, station, or area of operations.

Their rejection made no claims that the book would release sensitive or classified information or compromise ongoing law enforcement proceedings.

Rather, the supervisors offered a different reason for their decision. “This would have a negative impact on morale in the Phoenix [Field Division] and would have a detrimental effect on our relationships with DEA and FBI.”

Given that Canino also testified in front of congress, I’m not sure what his personal opinion on the book would be, but he’s probably also being pressured from above.

The ATF general counsel’s office subsequently sanctioned the decision, all but killing the book project.

“An employee’s supervisory chain may disapprove any outside employment request for any reason, at any supervisory level,” ATF attorney Greg Serres wrote Mr. Dodson on Aug. 29, underlining the word “any” for emphasis. “The Office of Chief Counsel cannot approve outside employment requests in lieu of the supervisory chain’s disapproval.

“Therefore, your request to engage in outside employment is denied,” he said.

Again, to write a book, which will net a paycheck when published, is something that can be denied.  The idea behind this (for other agencies) is that it limits corruption and allows for a CYA by employees as they can show that other income isn’t from being crooked, and it allows managers to determine if an outside job will take too much time and interest away from the employee’s duties.

This, however, is just saying “don’t tell the truth because it’ll hurt our feelings” at best, but more “don’t tell the truth because the ATF is a destructive, corrupt, tyrannical agency”.

And here the story begins to get the basics of Fast and Furious wrong:

In all, ATF officials permitted more than 1,700 semi-automatic weapons to flow through the hands of straw buyers for the Mexican cartels, with many crossing the border.

Senior ATF officials hoped to trace the guns to crimes, then make a bigger case against the Mexican drug lords. The strategy, however, backfired when hundreds of the weapons began showing up at crime scenes on both sides of the border, including at the December 2010 murder of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.

The strategy didn’t backfire.  In testimony to congress, the operation was described to send guns south so they would be found at crime scenes.  That was the whole plan.

The Mexican authorities didn’t know, and Darren Gil, ATF attache in Mexico, didn’t know.  No one in Mexico, whether US or Mexican authorities, knew about the plan to send guns south.  There was no way to interdict the guns, and there was no way to make a case against the cartels.  This is one of the things that left the investigators on Oversight and Reform shocked (even a Democrat or two, before their party line programming kicks in).

The story goes on with a couple more huge lies from the ATF.

The ATF, under new director B. Todd Jones, says it has imposed sweeping procedures to ensure gun-walking doesn’t occur in future cases.

That’s a joke.  Todd Jones was one of the architects of Fast and Furious.

The book dispute with Mr. Dodson, however, is not the first First Amendment controversy to erupt in the aftermath of the scandal.

Last year, Mr. Jones raised alarm in Congress and inside his own agency when he released a videotaped message that warned agencies that there would be “consequences” if agents blew the whistle on wrongdoing outside their chain of command.

The message led to claims that whistleblowing would be chilled, and ATF subsequently clarified Mr. Jones‘ remarks to emphasize that the agency would not interfere with legitimate whistleblowing activities.

Note the key word there “legitimate”.  They’ll decide what’s “legitimate” and what’s not.  And what’s “legitimate” and what’s not is defined as what helps the Obama administration versus hurts it.

The ATF will retaliate.  They already have against most of the whistleblowers, and they will continue to do so.

scorpion and frog

Via Sipsey Street Irregulars, from Sharyl Attkisson at CBS:

Three more weapons from Fast and Furious have turned up at crime scenes in Mexico, CBS News has learned, as the toll from the controversial federal operation grows.

According to Justice Department tracing documents obtained by CBS News, all three guns are WASR-10 762-caliber Romanian rifles. Two were purchased by Fast and Furious suspect Uriel Patino in May and July of 2010. Sean Steward, who was convicted on gun charges in July 2012, purchased a third. The rifles were traced yesterday to the Lone Wolf gun shop in Glendale, Ariz.

During Fast and Furious and similar operations, federal agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) encouraged the Lone Wolf and other gun stores to sell massive amounts of weapons to questionable purchasers who allegedly trafficked them Mexican drug cartels.

Patino is said to have purchased 700 guns while under ATF’s watch. Ever since, a steady stream of the guns have been recovered at crime scenes in Mexico and the U.S. But the Justice Department has refused repeated requests from Congress and CBS News to provide a full accounting. An estimated 1,400 guns are still on the street or unaccounted for.

This will be going on for years.  The body count from weapons sent to the cartels by Obama and Eric Holder’s DOJ and ATF will continue to go up.

Operation Facetious and Spurious

From HotAir:

James Taranto, Noah Rothman, Ace, and, as you’ll see, Steve Hayes: Lots of righties are asking this question after O tossed it into his snooze of a speech. And it’s not just O. Remember, Carney sneered about pretend scandals yesterday too in his skirmish with Scarborough on “Morning Joe.” This is, it seems, an official White House talking point, adopted by The One himself. Somehow, after five years and several thousand “pivots” to stupid and/or dangerous left-wing agenda wishlist items, the White House has decided that all it really wants to talk about is the economy and it’s damned tired of being distracted from doing so, don’tcha know.

So, which scandals — plural — are phony? Benghazi is, certainly. The left’s been insisting since before Chris Stevens was laid to rest that there’s zero sign of government malfeasance here, despite the fact that State ignored numerous warnings that the consulate was operating in one of the most dangerous places on earth with only a skeleton security crew to protect it. The IRS scandal’s also phony…

And so’s Fast and Furious.  The left has decided all scandals and all criminal actions by Obama are phony.

The left has been yelling Shut Up! since Brian Terry was murdered.

sally kohn tweet f&f

Send thousands of guns to Mexico under an official ATF program approved all the way to the White House, stonewall congressional investigation attempts, hush it up with the lie of “ongoing investigation” and then use executive privilege (which can only be legitimately used if it did go to the Pres), and suddenly it all goes away.

Lenin was right.  A lie repeated often enough become truth.

Last night on Texas Overnight, Charlie Jones had a caller on who asked about filing a FOIA request against the NSA for info on Benghazi.  It’s an interesting idea.

Consider that whistleblower Snowden said he could’ve tapped anyone’s electronic communications – even the President’s:

The most confounding thing in writing about the NSA/PRISM/Snowden clusterfark is that, if you don’t work in national security, there’s no yardstick to measure which claims are plausible and which are insane. That in itself is a brutal indictment of the surveillance state, of course: The government’s powers are so vast and so secret that even a citizen who follows the news really can’t debate them intelligently. Is it insane to think that a 29-year-old NSA/Booz IT guy could be reading Barack Obama’s private e-mails if he wanted to?

So, yeah. Snowden suggests he could have accessed the president’s personal e-mails. Is that crazy? I hope so. I don’t know.

He says he was granted broad “wiretapping” authorities. In a video interview with The Guardian, Snowden claims to have had incredibly broad authority to wiretap Americans, saying “I, sitting at my desk, certainly had the authorities to wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant, to a federal judge or even the president, if I had a personal e-mail.”

These records exist.  The NSA has been saving emails and has been saving metadata and actual data for quite a while now.

So how about a FOIA request on ATF Gunwalker/Fast and Furious conspirators like Bill Newell, Lanny Breuer, Kevin O’Reilly, and even AG Eric “Held In Contempt” Holder?  Or how about congress requesting the documents from the NSA?

The NSA can’t claim there’s an “ongoing investigation”, since they aren’t the DOJ.

Just a thought.

CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson won the Edward R. Murrow award for Video Investigative Journalism in June 2012 for her reporting on Operation Fast and Furious.

Now, today from Politico, count the references to Fast and Furious.

The Obama administration won’t answer the CBS News correspondent’s questions because her investigations — into Benghazi, Fast and Furious, Solyndra — often reflect negatively on it. Some colleagues at CBS News, where she has worked for two decades and earned multiple Emmy awards, dismiss her work because they perceive a political agenda. And now, she says, someone may have hacked into her computers.

That was the reference.

The bulk of Attkisson’s work over the past five years has focused on the failures or perceived failures of the Obama administration, which has led to an icy relationship with the White House and the Justice Department.

“Perceived” failures.  Because to leftists, Fast and Furious was a success, Benghazi was a success, Solyndra was a success.  All wondrous successes of our glorious leader.

“You ask what makes Sharyl tick: It’s that she’s highly skeptical of people in power, and right now the people in power are Democrats,” one source said. “I don’t see her as an agenda-driven reporter.”

“[Attkisson believes] that public officials and federal officials work for us, and that it’s gotten to the point where they don’t believe that they should be held accountable,” another source said. “That’s not partisan.”

Somehow the reporter has become the story to the media, because she does have integrity, and she does examine the story.  When she wrote about Fast and Furious and the pushback she got from her bosses, she noted that “there’s a story here”, and was perplexed by why her bosses would want to hush up the murders of some 200 Mexican citizens and 2 US federal agents.  Of course, she knows the answer – that the media is horribly biased to the left.  But it is something else to see that’s the case, and another thing to live in that world.

She’s had to watch stories get spiked or ignored just because the Obama administration and the left absolutely loathes the truth – because the truth about them is in direct opposition to their shining rhetoric and the outright lies they’ve pushed for years.  She’s surrounded by leftist true believers who now view her as an obstacle or even outright enemy to the continuation of their glorious revolution of fundamental change.

Good on her for being who she is – an old-school journalist.

I’m going to use the same title that Real Clear Politics did.

This is the same Obama who had Eric Holder’s DOJ and ATF sending guns to Mexican narcoterrorist cartels.  This is the same Obama who hushed Fast and Furious up by exerting executive privilegeHe sent guns to Mexico.

This is not a question of American citizens’ rights, this is a question of the US government purposely arming narcoterrorists in order to have this talking point, claiming the 90% lie over and over.

I can’t think of many things more insulting or downright foul to hear from our President other than his own crimes being blamed on our rights – as was intended.   He is now going international with the demand that our rights go away because he committed crimes… to deny us those rights.

This is like a rapist saying “not only did she deserve it when I did it to her, but that proves my point, we have to keep the world safe from women like her who cause rape”.

First update on the civil suit against the Justice Department, from UT San Diego:

WASHINGTON — A federal judge seemed skeptical Wednesday of the Justice Department’s bid to dismiss a congressional lawsuit seeking records related to Operation Fast and Furious, a bungled federal gun-tracking operation in Arizona.

It was not a gun-tracking operation.  It was not bungled.  It did exactly what it was set out to do, it sent guns to Mexican narcoterrorist cartels, and it forced US gun stores to sell to people who should never have gotten guns.  There was no tracking involved, as whistleblower John Dodson stated – they were not allowed to track guns sent south, and they were intended to be recovered at crime scenes.  People buying guns included felons who could not have passed NICS background checks, except that the government gave them permission to buy guns by letting them pass background checks.

When asked about the breakdown, Stephen Fischer, a spokesman for the NICS System, said the FBI had no comment. However, an ATF agent who worked on the Fast and Furious investigation, told Fox News that NICS officials called the ATF in Phoenix whenever their suspects tried to buy a gun. That conversation typically led to a green light for the buyers, when it should have stopped them.

From the UD SD story again, the judge is at least doing her job:

Judge Amy Berman Jackson sharply challenged the department’s claim that federal courts have no jurisdiction in the dispute. Department lawyer Ian Gershengorn said the battle over the documents should be resolved by the checks and balances between the legislative and executive branches.

“I’m a check and balance,” countered Jackson, an appointee of President Barack Obama. “The third branch exists.”

Well, she seems better than other Obama appointments.  And she seems to understand that there has been no “check and balance” when the Department of Justice and the president have simply claimed executive privilege and hushed everything up – which is the reason for the lawsuit.  She is seeing things up close, so she probably has to acknowledge what’s going on.  She’s being presented with information directly, and can’t just ignore things like the media does.

To some degree, this is also a story of how the media not only gets it wrong, but how the media is carrying water for Obama.

The department has turned over thousands of pages of material on the operation itself. The continuing dispute is over documents describing how the department responded once Congress started investigating.

That's not a print of Malevich's "Black Square".

That’s what the Justice Department sent as “documents”.  Page after page after page.

Gershengorn said that if the suit were dismissed, Congress had other powers at its disposal, such as the power of the purse. He said that negotiations and accommodation between the House and the executive branch are messy and contentious, but that the system allows for accountability with voters.

That is absurd, insulting, and the kind of thing that would get Sam Adams heating up the tar and sending somebody to get feathers.  The DOJ is hushing up a the murder of two federal agents and hundreds of mexican citizens, hushing up their program that is the kind of violent criminal conspiracy that would make headlines for years if it were done by organized crime, but instead, is hushed up because the media simply refuses to report it, and refuses to report the truth because they love their great leader.

Saying that Congress can simply use “the power of the purse” to reduce budgets for departments is absurd.  No one is held accountable for this:

fast and furious 2010 massacre teens

People need to go to prison, not have their department funding meddled with.  The DOJ lawyer Gershengorn should be with them as an accomplice after the fact to murders.

House lawyer Kerry Kircher called the notion that there haven’t been meaningful negotiations and accommodations “preposterous.”

“We’ve been negotiating for four months,” Kircher said.

He also said the House was at a disadvantage.

“This is an asymmetrical relationship here,” Kircher said. “They have the documents. We don’t have the documents.”

As to Congress’ powers, such as reducing spending for the executive branch, he said, “All that means is they get less money” – not that the committee gets the documents.

Presented with this kind of thing, I’d like to say the judge won’t just rule in favor of who appointed her, but there’s little telling.

David Codrea at Examiner.com has some info on “Guns Across the Border“, a book that tells the story of Operation Wide Receiver.

Operation Wide Receiver,” a precursor to “Operation Fast and Furious” wherein U.S. guns were bought by straw purchasers and “walked” under the noses of ATF investigators into Mexico, has been the subject of numerous Gun Rights Examiner reports. The central figure in those reports was Mike Detty, a gun writer, a firearms dealer, and the confidential informant who literally risked his life over the course of years to do what he believed was right, only to find the obvious criminals weren’t the only ones he couldn’t trust.

Operation Wide receiver really was a botched sting.  The ATF in Mexico knew that guns were coming, the Mexican authorities knew guns were coming.  The smugglers turned out to be good at smuggling and got a lot of guns past both US and Mexican authorities through a variety of tactics.  Smugglers are good at smuggling?  Who’da thunk it?

Fast and Furious, by contrast, was not a botched sting.  The ATF in Mexico (ATF attache Darren Gil) and the Mexican authorities had no idea guns were coming, and the purpose was to find guns at murder scenes in Mexico, about which ATF supervisors were “almost giddy”.

Wide Receiver and Fast and Furious were two different thingsBob Owens at PJ Media did a solid bit on this explaining it further:

Wide Receiver sought to track and interdict guns being smuggled south using a combination of RFID-tracking devices embedded in the shipments and overheard surveillance aircraft. Wide Receiver failed because of the limitations of the technology used, compounded by the ineptness of its installation and the unexpected resourcefulness of the cartel’s gun smugglers.

As a result of the mistakes made in Wide Receiver, guns were lost: approximately 450 made it into Mexico. As a result, the botched operation launched in 2006 — and in this instance, actually botched — was shut down in 2007.

Compare the mistakes of Wide Receiver to the operations launched under Eric Holder’s Department of Justice, which had the advantages of learning from the postmortem failures of Wide Receiver two years before.

Fast and Furious used neither tracking devices nor aircraft, ran interference for smugglers with local law enforcement on multiple occasions, and federal agents were not allowed to interdict weapons.

Wide Receiver shut down within a year after 450 weapons went missing in a botched law enforcement operation. Fast and Furious purposefully ran at least 2,020 weapons to the Sinaloa cartel without any intention of arresting the straw purchasers and smugglers. Other operations in other states — CBS News’ Attkisson cites allegations of “at least 10 cities in five states” — allow the possibility that (if the other operations were as prolific as Fast and Furious) Holder’s Department of Justice may have intentionally sent more than 12,000 guns into criminal hands in the U.S and Mexico, enough to arm three U.S. Army brigades.

Law enforcement operations sometimes go horribly wrong, and every indication is that Operation Wide Receiver executed by the ATF during the Bush administration while Alberto Gonzales was the attorney general was a “keystone cops” operation of the first magnitude. It was a horrible failure.

But Fast and Furious was no accident.