Sunday, July 10, 2011

Operation Fast and Furious XXII

This will most likely be my last post for the next week. I will return on the 18th.

Obama Sold, Tracked, Same Guns To Cartels He Hoped To Ban Because They Were Tracked From Cartels

Posted by Matthew Knee

In the Spring of 2009, the Obama administration called for the banning of “assault rifles” and .50 BMG “sniper rifles” due to their use in crimes by Mexican drug cartels.  Obama dubiously alleged that 90% of these weapons  were tracked back to the United States, implying that Americans have an obligation to surrender some of our freedoms to keep these weapons from being smuggled illegally over the border and used in Mexican-on-Mexican violence in Mexico.  In this vintage clip, NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre discusses Obama’s proposals with Glen Beck.
In Fall of 2009, the Obama Administration conceived Operation Fast and Furious, in which the ATF sold thousands of advanced weapons to Mexican drug cartels in order to track them once they were used in crimes.  This policy perfectly dovetailed with Obama’s gun control arguments.  First of all, by selling guns to the cartels that the ATF could definitely trace back to the US (because they were bought from the ATF), the percentage of guns used in Mexican crimes traceable to American guns would increase.  ATF supervisors rejoiced at their success when they found that these guns were being used for violence in Mexico.
Surveillance video obtained by CBS News shows suspected drug cartel suppliers carrying boxes of weapons to their cars at a Phoenix gun shop. The long boxes shown in the video being loaded in were AK-47-type assault rifles…
…Documents show the inevitable result: The guns that ATF let go began showing up at crime scenes in Mexico. And as ATF stood by watching thousands of weapons hit the streets… the Fast and Furious group supervisor noted the escalating Mexican violence.
One e-mail noted, “958 killed in March 2010 … most violent month since 2005.” The same e-mail notes: “Our subjects purchased 359 firearms during March alone,” including “numerous Barrett .50 caliber rifles.”
Dodson feels that ATF was partly to blame for the escalating violence in Mexico and on the border. “I even asked them if they could see the correlation between the two,” he said. “The more our guys buy, the more violence we’re having down there.”
Senior agents including Dodson told CBS News they confronted their supervisors over and over.
Their answer, according to Dodson, was, “If you’re going to make an omelette, you’ve got to break some eggs.”
There was so much opposition to the gun walking, that an ATF supervisor issued an e-mail noting a “schism” among the agents. “Whether you care or not people of rank and authority at HQ are paying close attention to this case…we are doing what they envisioned…. If you don’t think this is fun you’re in the wrong line of work… Maybe the Maricopa County jail is hiring detention officers and you can get $30,000 … to serve lunch to inmates…”
And which guns did the ATF sell to the cartels?  AK-47-type assault rifles and Barrett .50 BMG sniper rifles. Exactly the types of guns that Obama hoped to ban due to their use by the cartels.
I’m not saying that the Obama Administration intentionally magnified the precise circumstances that they were using to justify their gun control proposals.  However, their reckless policy not only had this effect, but provided guns to criminal gangs that were used to murder U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian TerryICE Special Agent Jaime Zapata and about 150 Mexican law enforcement personnel.  Those involved in this tragic irony must be punished accordingly.  It is vital that the public comes to know who in the administration knew what and when they knew it.  Kudos to Congressman Issa for bringing this deadly scandal into the light.  Shame on the MSM for not making this a top story.

Rediscovered information on Project Gunrunner leading to misconceptions

by David Codrea

"Mike," I wrote to colleague Mike Vanderboegh, people are going ape with the Ogden video and the $10M for Gunrunner--they don't understand that Gunrunner was not kept secret and was actually publicized, is not synonymous with F&F, and that authorizing Gunrunner is not the same as authorizing GunWALKER--as a result, a lot of hysterical and unfounded conclusions are being jumped to that will muddy the waters and discredit people making those arguments--and by default, the real arguments--I don't know if this started because well-meaning people who don't understand the details think they've found something and are trying to be helpful, but the way this is going viral it almost seems like somebody knew which buttons to push to get the gun crowd screaming after something that will be used to ridicule the entire effort as tinfoil ignorance. I think you and I need to address this in some sort of statement.
"I made a stab at it, I continued, "but held off on posting to see what you had to say."
Here's what I sent him as a suggested draft:
A lot of them are out there concerning Gunrunner, like finding the Ogden video and the $10M funding are proof Obama ordered guns walked. No--those are only proof that a known project was authorized by the government--not in secret, but with press releases and everything.
GUNRUNNER has been well known.  For a long time. See those "Journalist Guide" icons in the left margin of my WarOnGuns blogGuess where I got the cover art to modify from? And Gunrunner is NOT synonymous with Fast and Furious--that was a component strategy presented as a sting op. that turned out to be something else.
Mike and I are concerned with gunWALKING--where the stated mission was deviated from with the criminal conspiracy we now see unfolding.
Suddenly I am being hit with a wave of tips about the old known stuff like it's being discovered for the first time--for many, I'm sure it is. I don't know if the genesis of that originates from people not knowing the history of this and jumping in to be helpful and spread the word, or if there is intent to sow confusion and misdirection.
Either way, it does not help, and can actually hurt. A lot.
Vanderboegh's reply:
Do it.  I'm doing something similar this morning.
And here it is: "[T]he importance of not 'jumping to illusions'"...I like it.
Along related lines, WorldNetDaily quotes me again in a front-page story today. You can hear my interview in the sidebar media player for this column.
And Mike appeared on Fox News' "Special Report with Bret Baier" yesterday evening--he's posted the segment on Sipsey Street Irregulars.
One final note--I'm also being approached for comment on this report from NaturalNews:

It is now a widely-reported fact that under the Obama administration, U.S. federal agents actively placed over 30,000 fully-functional weapons into the hands of Mexican drug gangs, then halted all surveillance and tracking activities of where those weapons were going.
No one I've spoken with has estimated the number at 30,000, and this is actually the first report I've seen claiming that.  It's not to say this is not right, it's just to say if it is, they have information that I do not. So I must beg off requests for comment and suggest those who wish to learn more go to the source.
UPDATE: Anthony Martin offers a timeline/clarification of terms.
Also see:
  • A Journalist’s Guide to ‘Project Gunwalker' Part OnePart TwoPart Three and Part Four for a complete list with links of independent investigative reporting and commentary done to date by Sipsey Street Irregulars and Gun Rights Examiner.
Note to newcomers to this story: “Project Gunrunner” is the name ATF assigned to its Southwest Border Initiative to interdict gun smuggling to Mexico. “Project Gunwalker” is the name I assigned to the scandal after allegations by agents that monitored guns were allowed to fall into criminal hands on both sides of the border through a surveillance process termed “walking” surfaced.

Obama Adminstration to Implement More Gun Control Without Congress

Another day, another power grab around Congress from the Obama administration.
Great news! The Obama administration plans to implementgun control measures  "gun safety measures," through the Justice Department without Congress.
Spokesman Jay Carney said that the new steps would be made public "in the near future." He didn't offer details, but people involved in talks at the Justice Department to craft the new measures said they expected to see something in the next several weeks. Whatever is proposed is not expected to involve legislation or take on major issues, like banning assault weapons, but could include executive action to strengthen the background check system or other steps.

"The president directed the attorney general to form working groups with key stakeholders to identify common-sense measures that would improve American safety and security while fully respecting Second Amendment rights," Carney said Thursday. "That process is well under way at the Department of Justice, with stakeholders on all sides working through these complex issues, and we expect to have some more specific announcements in the near future."
"Or other steps." According the Carney, new gun control measures are being pushed by the Obama administration to prevent "another Tucson." The problem is, Obama administration officials, along with anti-gun special interests groups, are focusing on the guns, rather than criminals. And let's not forget, Jared Loughner, the clinically insane man who shot 19 people on Jan. 8 in Tucson, Ariz. killing 6 and wounding 13 others, had multiple encounters with Loughner for issuing death threats to a radio host among other things before the shooting, meaning Dupnik allowed him to slip through the cracks of law enforcement more than once. Dupnik chose to do nothing about prior complaints about Loughner, but once again, anti-gun zealots are refusing to focus on the real problems: incompetent law enforcement and criminals.
It is no surprise anti-gun advocates and the Obama administration aren't going to let the Jan. 8 crisis go to waste. We saw this coming.
Meanwhile, Congressman Issa updates us on the Obama Justice Department Operation Fast and Furious, an operation that allowed U.S. federal government officials to break and ignore gun laws already in place. 

(In the first video, Mr. Hannity refers to Project Gunrunner and Operation Fast and Furious as the same program, they are not. Project Gunrunner was implemented under the Bush Administration and involved allowing straw purchasers to buy weapons under surveillance but then those purchasers were immediately arrested in the United States. Operation Fast and Furious was started in 2009 and involved ATF agents allowing straw purchasers to buy guns under surveillance for drug cartels and then take them across the border into Mexico. Those guns are now lost until they are found at crime scenes. )
So there you have it, the totally incompetent and corrupt Obama Justice Department is in charge of coming up with ideas about how to make America safe from guns, because ideas from this DOJ have worked out so well in the past.

June 15, 2011-- “Allowing loads of weapons that we knew to be destined for criminals, this was the plan. It was so mandated.” –Special Agent John Dodson ATF Phoenix Field Division.

Damning new evidence from Capitol Hill shows that ATF Directors and Justice Department Officials knew about and encouraged the purposeful trafficking of thousands of weapons across the southern border, despite strong objections from ATF agents. Thousands of innocent lives were taken as the result, including those of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and ICE Agent Jamie Zapata.

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