Archive for the ‘Operation Gunwalker’ Category

The ATF started smuggling guns into Mexico in 2009, then got found out in 2011.  This goes back a long, long ways, and was one of the reasons this blog was started – initially we wanted to cover all kinds of political stuff, but the ATF’s Fast & Furious and sister smuggling operations dominated things for a long time.  Under Obama, nothing was done.  He exerted executive privelege and made all the relevant documents that he and Eric Holder knew about disappear from the public eye, all while claiming nothing happened, all while blood continued (and still continues) to flow in Mexico and in the US.  Holder was held in contempt by Congress for stonewalling their investigation into Fast & Furious, and it showed us how transparently biased much of the media was, especially on Fast & Furious.  Sharyl Atkisson, the CBS reporter who brought the story to the mainstream, was later personally targeted by the Obama administration and eventually left CBS.  David Codrea, one of the bloggers who first broke the story when it was still just “gunwalker”, is still around; sadly the other who helped break it, Mike Vanderbough of Sipsey Street Irregulars, is no longer with us – he was one of those guys with a very long memory and the kind of person who because they were tuned in for decades provided valuable perspective on the players involved at higher levels.  Katie Pavlich, who wrote a book on Fast & Furious, was on the story for years and years, and has moved up a bit in the blogging/reporting world, and still brings some light to the issue when there’s a chance, especially as Fast & Furious within the various gunwalking operations took place in her backyard of Arizona.

So now, years later, with a new president, new administration, new attorney general, it’s being revisited.  We’ll just have to see if anyone’s willing to actually prosecute the ATF and their DOJ counterparts.  Sadly the rule of the swamp is “only banana republics go after the previous administrations, so no current administration will ever go after a prior one for criminal actions”.

Another hearing was held on 6/7/17, which covers mostly old ground.

And the full hearing:

It starts at around 15 minutes or so.

I haven’t watched the whole thing yet, but I’m sure there are things that are forgotten.  In particular one thing that isn’t heard as much anymore is how this was a push by the ATF/DOJ/Obama admin for more gun control, as evidenced by the multiple-gun reporting for southwestern border states being mandated by the ATF, as well as political cries for further restrictions.

A few highlights from the last 6 years or so::

https://thepatriotperspective.wordpress.com/2013/05/03/obama-blames-us-for-gun-violence-in-mexico/

https://thepatriotperspective.wordpress.com/2011/12/05/gunwalker-update-gun-control-celebration-at-atf/

https://thepatriotperspective.wordpress.com/2011/11/03/gunwalker-update-feinstein-uses-fast-and-furious-to-push-gun-control-gunwalker-being-used-to-push-gun-control-issa-introduces-whistleblower-protection-law-issa-grassley-digging-into-ff/

https://thepatriotperspective.wordpress.com/2011/06/20/gunwalker-update-public-relations-operation/

Something else to give this further perspective over time is that the last link there includes Stratfor’s debunking of the “90% of guns in Mexico come from the US” lie, which they pointed out is deliberately lying about the facts.  The numbers at the time were something closer to 12-17%, but the 90% number that’s run with by anti-gun politicians and actors comes from the percentage of guns from the US that Mexico sends to the US for tracing.  IIRC the numbers were something like 22,000 guns seized by Mexican authorities back in 2010, with 18,000 being from Mexico or other nations; with some 2-3000 being sent to the US because maybe they’re from the US, and then 90% of that smaller portion being traced to the US.  I go over this here, because as another note to how time has passed, Stratfor was hacked back in 2012 and parts of their website now only exist on the webarchive/wayback machine.

Also in that same last link there is reference to Bob Owens of PJ Media, who went on to start Bearing Arms, and who tragically committed suicide a few months ago.

He also wrote one of the best articles that delineates the clear differences between Bush’s Wide Receiver and Obama’s Fast & Furious/Castaway/unnamed TX operation Gunwalking programs.  Wide Receiver was a Bush ATF program from 2007 that sent tried to track guns south and have the Mexican authorities and ATF in Mexico catch the bad guys; versus Fast and Furious and the various parallel gunwalking programs like Operation Castaway in Florida – all of Obama’s DOJ’s programs that sent guns south and had no notification to any authorities in Mexico, not =Mexican nor US ATF in Mexico; nor other nations guns were sent to by the ATF.  During testimony in 2011, ATF Mexico attache Darren Gil explained how he was utterly blindsided by Fast & Furious and didn’t hear of it until through some backchannels someone asked him “how’s that gunwalking program going?” which neither he nor any other ATF in Mexico nor Mexican authorities had ever heard of.

Wide Receiver was what leftist useful idiots would refer to and try to use to obfuscate Fast & Furious and make it seem like it was a “botched sting”.  Fast & Furious was not a “botched sting”.

It deliberately sent guns to Mexico to recover them at crime scenes after people had been murdered.  That was what was intended.  Once people accept those facts – as laid about by the ATF agents either whistleblowing or being grilled in front of Oversight & Reform in 2011 and ever since, it leads to the question of “why?” of which there are only two answers – either deliberately undermining the US constitution through a manufactured murder crisis in Mexico and/or influencing Mexico cartel politics by arming cartels.  The question then simply becomes “who is responsible for this and will they be held accountable?”  Six years in and we know the ATF bottom to top was responsible, the DOJ from Lanny Breuer to Eric Holder was responsible, and we know the executive branch to Obama knew about it (he talked about it in an interview even before Eric Holder finally fessed up to knowing about it).

So far, no one’s been held accountable.  The ATF has retaliated against their whistleblowers and rewarded their gunsmuggling criminal agents, but little else.

From NYPost:

The deadly-but-forgotten government gun-running scandal known as “Fast and Furious” has lain dormant for years, thanks to White House stonewalling and media compliance. But newly uncovered e-mails have reopened the case, exposing the anatomy of a coverup by an administration that promised to be the most transparent in history.

Not forgotten at all.  Just depends where you live and depends if you have to deal with the armed cartels.  Also, those “newly uncovered emails” basically tell us things we already know.

A federal judge has forced the release of more than 20,000 pages of emails and memos previously locked up under President Obama’s phony executive-privilege claim. A preliminary review shows top Obama officials deliberately obstructing congressional probes into the border gun-running operation.

…internal documents later revealed the real goal was to gin up a crisis requiring a crackdown on guns in America. Fast and Furious was merely a pretext for imposing stricter gun laws.

Yup.

Only, the scheme backfired when Justice agents lost track of the nearly 2,000 guns sold through the program and they started turning up at murder scenes on both sides of the border — including one that claimed the life of US Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.

The scheme didn’t backfire.  The operation failed, but the scheme still worked.  Southern border states now have mandatory reporting to the ATF on any purchases of more than one firearm.  Democrats got more gun control, and they got it even though Fast and Furious came to light.  They even got it by citing Fast and Furious as something that meant ATF needed more funding, more resources, and more gun laws – Democrats were saying these things during the hearings with whistleblowers.

Then Team Obama conspired to derail investigations into who was responsible by first withholding documents under subpoena — for which Holder earned a contempt-of-Congress citation — and later claiming executive privilege to keep evidence sealed.

Fascinating how that works.  Start a criminal conspiracy using government force against citizens of the US and citizens of Mexico, get caught, then claim that you’re doing an investigation and the investigation is ongoing so you can’t reveal anything about it, then claim executive privilege and you can magically never be held accountable for a conspiracy that has so far resulted in hundreds of murders.

Somewhere Warren G. Harding is upset he couldn’t think of this scam during Teapot Dome (which killed no one).

The degree of obstruction was “more than previously understood,” House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz said in a recent memo to other members of his panel.

“The documents reveal how senior Justice Department officials — including Attorney General Holder — intensely followed and managed an effort to carefully limit and obstruct the information produced to Congress,” he asserted.

They also indict Holder deputy Lanny Breuer, an old Clinton hand, who had to step down in 2013 after falsely denying authorizing Fast and Furious.

Their efforts to impede investigations included:

-Devising strategies to redact or otherwise withhold relevant information;
-Manipulating media coverage to control fallout;
-Scapegoating the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) for the scandal.

The last one is a bit interesting.  The ATF definitely deserves plenty of blame as they conducted the operation, but ultimately the story from the White House was that it was “a rogue operation conducted by a handful of agents at a field office”.

We know that’s BS based off the level the White House went to protect itself, we also know it’s BS based on the resources used – namely the FBI passing felons on background checks (there are later stories about that as well – I may go back and add more links).

Talking points drafted for Holder and other brass for congressional hearings made clear that Justice intended to make ousted ATF officials the fall guys for the scandal.

“These (personnel) changes will help us move past the controversy that has surrounded Fast and Furious,” Assistant Attorney General Ron Weich wrote in August 2011.

In an October 2011 e-mail to his chief of staff, moreover, Holder stated that he agreed with a strategy to first release documents to friendly media “with an explanation that takes the air out” of them, instead “of just handing them over” to Congress.

Thomas Sowell refers to this as “telling the truth slowly“.

Obama insists Fast and Furious is just another “phony” scandal whipped up by Republicans to dog his presidency.

“Phony”.

fast and furious 2010 massacre teens

From Politico:

Four years after asserting executive privilege to block Congress from obtaining documents relating to a controversial federal gun trafficking investigation, President Barack Obama relented Friday, turning over to lawmakers thousands of pages of records that led to unusual House votes holding Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt in 2012.

In January, a federal district court judge rejected Obama’s executive privilege claim over records detailing the Justice Department and White House’s response to Operation Fast and Furious, a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigation that may have allowed as many as 2,000 firearms to pass into the hands of Mexican drug cartels.

In her ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson did not turn down Obama’s privilege assertion on the merits. Instead, she said authorized public disclosures about the operation in a Justice Department inspector general report essentially mooted the administration’s drive to keep the records secret.

Telling the truth slowly.

All the things he needed to hide stayed hidden, and when they were slowly uncovered elsewhere, he can now say that he’s all about “transparency” after 4 years of hiding things.

“In light of the passage of time and other considerations, such as the Department’s interest in moving past this litigation and building upon our cooperative working relationship with the Committee and other Congressional committees, the Department has decided that it is not in the Executive Branch’s interest to continue litigating this issue at this time,” Justice Deparment legislative liaison Peter Kadzik wrote in a letter Friday to House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah).

That’s a lie, but I’m not sure if the translation is “we think we’ve stalled long enough to cool out the mark” or “we’ve managed to cover everything up so you’ll find nothing” or “we’ve broken the opposition and they won’t ask any more questions”.

“As we’ve long asserted, the Committee requires and is entitled to these documents,” Chaffetz said in a statement. “They are critical to the Committee’s efforts to complete meaningful oversight. The Committee has a duty to understand and shine light on what was happening inside DOJ during the time of this irresponsible operation. Yet DOJ has obstructed our investigative work for years.”

After getting word that the Justice Department was turning over records, Chaffetz updated his statement, indicating that the House plans to press its appeal to get records beyond the ones the administration is providing.

“Today, under court order, DOJ turned over some of the subpoenaed documents. The Committee, however, is entitled to the full range of documents for which it brought this lawsuit. Accordingly, we have appealed the District Court’s ruling in order to secure those additional documents,” Chaffetz said.

Well go find the rest then, Chaffetz.

The June 2012 claim in the Fast and Furious case was the only formal assertion of executive privilege by Obama to try to defeat a congressional demand for records or testimony, though the administration has raised executive privilege concerns when declining to comply with other congressional inquiries. Most of those were resolved through negotiations. The administration has also asserted executive privilege in response to a variety of Freedom of Information Act lawsuits.

Much of the claim was that “it was part of an ongoing investigation” which is a wonderful way to make things go away forever.  Never close the case, and never answer.  Investigate yourself, never find wrongdoing, silence whistleblowers, and keep the investigation ongoing so you never have to reveal anything.

Just put “top men” to work on it.

top men raiders

From the ATF’s facebook page (click comments on the link to open it up):

atf facebook & furious 160106

Screenshots and assorted shenanigans here, including an ATF agent telling people to “get off this page”:

atf facebook & furious 160106 get off this page

In for a penny, in for a pound:

atf facebook & furious 160106 cartels

Nice.

From Katie Pavlich:

Five years ago today, Marine and Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed in a firefight by Mexican bandits. The firearms used by the criminals who killed him were part of the Obama Justice Department’s Operation Fast and Furious. As a reminder, ATF agents allowed more than 2500 AK-47s and other firearms to be purchased and trafficked by known Mexican cartel members through Fast and Furious. Hundreds of people have been killed as a result of the program, which was secret until ATF whistleblower John Dodson exposed it after Terry’s death in 2010.

“Five years later. We have celebrated Brian so many times that it warms my heart. This is a little something of past friends and ones we met along the way at events held to honor Brian. I thank all of you with every ounce of my being! We will keep fighting. 11:08pm tonight is when a deadly gunfight happened and took Brian. Please also pray for his team that was there when he took his last breathe and The Border Patrol family,” Terry’s sister, Kelly Terry-Willis, posted to her Facebook page late yesterday.

Today, not a single ATF agent has been fired as a result of the operation.  Terry’s killers have been sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty on a variety of different charges, including first degree murder.

Holder nor Obama are in prison.  There’s a Border Patrol station named after Brian Terry.  Sharyl Atkisson left CBS.  Hundreds to thousands of Mexicans and Americans are now dead because of Obama/Holder’s ATF’s actions.  But aside from a lot of people who won’t forget the wrongs done by Obama/Holder’s DOJ and ATF, to most of the US, it’s almost like nothing ever happened.  The media succeeded in carrying the water for Obama to the point he can still make claims for the need for gun control after a terrorist attack and not get laughed out of office – despite having been responsible for arming narcoterrorist cartels.

Hell, assholes from the ATF are still called on by the media for gun control pieces as though they aren’t an agency composed of criminals and thugs that doesn’t care about either the rights or lives of Americans or our Mexican neighbors.

It’s a sad indicator of the times we’re living in.

From a little while back, something I’m reminded of due to Paris, via HotAir:

The gun used during the attempted terror attack on the “Draw Muhammad” event in Texas may have been bought from the Arizona store linked to Fast and Furious. Los Angeles Timesbroke the news yesterday which also included the nugget that Nadir Soofi’s purchase was known by the federal government (emphasis mine).

Soofi’s attempt to buy a gun caught the attention of authorities, who slapped a seven-day hold on the transaction, according to his Feb. 24, 2010, firearms transaction record, which was reviewed by the Los Angeles Times. Then, for reasons that remain unclear, the hold was lifted after 24 hours, and Soofi got the 9-millimeter.

The terrorist bought his gun from Lone Wolf Trading Co. in Arizona.  Lone Wolf was one of the gun dealers the ATF instructed to sell guns to the cartels.

The tapes Issa and Grassley refer to were recorded by Andre Howard, owner of the Lone Wolf Trading Co., after he suspected the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was lying to him about the guns they recruited him to sell to buyers of the Sinaloa Cartel.

Papers reporting this story still refuse to get Fast and Furious right.  The ATF told gun store owners to sell guns to people they knew were illegal buyers – illegal buyers they knew would send guns to Mexico.  The ATF did not have anyone in Mexico to intercept the guns (they did during Operation Wide Receiver in 2007), they simply sent guns south.

But at least the papers are getting the same answers that greeted actual reporters before:

The FBI so far has refused to release any details, including serial numbers, about the weapons used in Garland by Soofi and Simpson. Senate investigators are now pressing law enforcement agencies for answers, raising the chilling possibility that a gun sold during the botched Fast and Furious operation ended up being used in a terrorist attack against Americans.

Among other things, Johnson is demanding to know whether federal authorities have recovered the gun Soofi bought in 2010, where it was recovered and whether it had been discharged, according to the letter. He also demanded an explanation about why the initial seven-day hold was placed on the 2010 pistol purchase and why it was lifted after 24 hours.

Asked recently for an update on the Garland shooting, FBI Director James B. Comey earlier this month declined to comment. “We’re still sorting that out,” he said.

“We’re still sorting that out” is the same answer as “it’s still under investigation so we can’t talk about it and the investigation will remain open forever so we will never talk about it”, which was the standard claim the DOJ used to avoid answering any questions about Fast and Furious, except for the ones covered up by the use of Obama’s executive privilege.

Wonder why he got to purchase guns that he shouldn’t have?  Look no further than the FBI’s involvement assisting the ATF in Fast and Furious, where people who would’ve been denied under NICS (National Instant Check System) and now allowed to buy a firearm were allowed:

In the latest chapter of the gunrunning scandal known as Operation Fast and Furious, federal officials won’t say how two suspects obtained more than 360 weapons despite criminal records that should have prevented them from buying even one gun. …

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.

The ATF was greenlighting criminals to buy guns.  Not something new, but with the terrorist Soofi, it’s a new twist.

Of course it’s a new twist that will result with “no comment” and “ongoing investigation” stonewalling.

It seems I have to do this every time a gunwalker story comes up, but Fast and Furious wasn’t botched.  It did exactly what it set out to do.  It sent guns to the cartels, it “proved” the “Iron River” lie, and it implicated US gun culture as something that needed to be targeted (mind you there are additional reporting requirements now for gun purchases in CA, AZ, NM and TX).

Again:

Operation Wide Receiver used the common law enforcement tactic of “controlled delivery” in which the illegal sales of weapons were allowed to take place, the movements of the weapons were closely monitored and the end purchasers were then apprehended. It involved gun-tracing, not gun-walking.

Under the “controlled delivery” of Wide Receiver, agents didn’t just write down the serial numbers and let the guns disappear as in Fast and Furious. They closely and physically followed the guns from American dealers to straw purchasers to Mexican buyers.

Most importantly, Wide Receiver was run in close cooperation with Mexican authorities, who were kept in the dark on Fast and Furious.

In contrast ATF agents involved in Fast and Furious have testified that they were ordered not to track the weapons and in cases where interdiction was possible they were ordered to stand down and actually watch the weapons walk.

ATF Special Agent John Dodson has testified how in one instance guns were sold to known illegal buyers who took them to a stash house. Against orders from his superiors, Dodson kept the stash house under surveillance and when a vehicle showed up to transfer the weapons to their ultimate destination, he called for an interdiction team to move in, seize the weapons and arrest the traffickers. His superiors refused, and the guns disappeared without surveillance.

Fast and Furious, the gift from Obama and Holder’s ATF that keeps on giving.

Eric Holder’s calling it quits.

And congress is still proceeding with looking into Fast and Furious, now years later.

The contempt of Congress case against Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. — the first sitting Cabinet member ever to face such a congressional rebuke — will continue even after his resignation takes effect, but it’s unlikely he will ever face personal punishment, legal analysts said Thursday.

Mr. Holder, is expected to announce his resignation later Thursday, and Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, said the timing is not accidental: A federal judge earlier this week ruled that the Justice Department will have to begin submitting documents next month related to the botched Fast and Furious gun operation in a case brought by Judicial Watch.

“I don’t think it’s any coincidence he’s resigning as the courts are ruling the Fast and Furious information has to be released,” Mr. Fitton told The Washington Times.

It’s not a coincidence.  He’s quitting so he can dodge criminal charges that would stick.

Last month’s news:

A federal judge has ordered the Justice Department to provide Congress with a list of documents that are at the center of a long-running battle over a failed law enforcement program called Operation Fast and Furious.

In a court proceeding Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson set an Oct. 1 deadline for producing the list to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

He’s quitting so the Democrat-held senate can force a successor through, just in case the Democrats lose the senate in the mid-term elections.

He’s also quitting so that he won’t be in office and thus will be eligible for presidential pardons.

holder fucks

He stonewalled long enough to slither out of office, but no doubt his successor will be a miserable leftist as well and Holder will be back as a consultant or advisor or in some other role where he can continue his schemes.