Thursday, July 7, 2011

Project Gunwalker Part XVII

Breaking News: Source claims ATF's Tampa SAC walked guns to Honduras

Gun Rights Examiner

Part of 'Operation Castaway'?
Exclusive Special Report by Mike Vanderboegh and David Codrea
Virginia O’Brien, Special Agent in Charge at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives  Tampa Field Division, ran a gun-running investigation that was walking guns to Honduras using the techniques and tactics identical to Fast and Furious, it was reported to these correspondents this evening via private correspondence from a proven credible source.
On 21 September, 2010, A. Brian Albritton, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Florida issued a press release on Operation Castaway:
United States Attorney A. Brian Albritton, Virginia O’Brien, Special Agent in Charge of central and northern Florida Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) operations, and Susan McCormick, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations, Tampa Field Office announce the initial results of Operation Castaway, an intensive and wideranging Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) firearms trafficking investigation conducted by ATF, ICE, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office, the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, and the Miami-Dade Police Department. ATF describes Operation Castaway as the most significant firearms trafficking investigation in Central Florida history.
According to court documents, a group of defendants connected to Hugh Crumpler, III, were involved in a major international gun trafficking operation. . . . Firearms like those involved in this investigation are often smuggled through Honduras and other Central and South American countries before being used in violent crimes in Mexico and other countries in the region. A number of the firearms trafficked by the defendants in Operation Castaway have been linked to violent crimes around the world.
The press release concluded, "This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys J. Bishop Ravenel and E. Jackson Boggs. Operation Castaway remains an ongoing investigation."
SAC O’Brien was previously the Special Agent in Charge of the Phoenix Field Division, was later promoted to the Deputy Assistant Director of ATF, but then stepped down to the position in Tampa.  Whether the allegations of our source refer to the ongoing Operation Castaway remains at this hour unclear, but our source is certain that O'Brien has allowed the "walking" of straw-purchased firearms to Honduras using the same failed strategy as the Phoenix Field Division's Operation Fast and Furious.  That Operation Castaway involved arms smuggling to Honduras is also certain.

"This is confirmed as accurate," the correspondence continued. "There are emails in existence where O’Brien has advised those involved that Tampa does not have to report their walked guns because Tampa FD is not a part of Southwest Border or Project Gunrunner."
"From a first person source she is sh*tting herself trying to cover it up," the report stated. 
No one from ATF is available at this late hour to approach for comment.  This information has also reportedly been disclosed to Chairman Darrell Issa of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and Ranking Senate Judiciary Committee Member Charles Grassley for follow-up and investigation.
UPDATE (7/7): Vanderboegh asks and answers "Why would ATF walk guns to Honduras?"
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.

Continue reading on Breaking News: Source claims ATF's Tampa SAC walked guns to Honduras - National gun rights |


Which Was Worse: Watergate or Operation ‘Fast and Furious’?

by AWR Hawkins

After The Washington Post broke the news of the Watergate break-ins in 1972, the Nixon administration circled the wagons. And in 1997 – a full 25 years after the fact – Katherine Graham, who was with The Post in 1972, vividly recalled how “Nixon began making threats of economic retaliation against the paper.”

According to Graham, Nixon bullied the paper, sought to silence it, and launched a “campaign to undermine public confidence in [it].”
Judging from what Graham said, it appears that Nixon wanted to be sure people understood that if they continued to pry into Watergate or talk about Watergate or break news about Watergate as it unfolded, there would be harsh ramifications. (Keep in mind – Nixon had nothing to do with planning Watergate. Only with covering it up once he learned of it after the fact.)
Honestly folks, Watergate provided the Left with such a singularly sweet opportunity to bring down a Republican president that they’ve never gotten over it. As recently as 2004, MSNBC sent reporters to the streets to be sure up and coming generations had not forgotten what Nixon had done. (I don’t want to belabor the point, but Nixon had nothing to do with planning Watergate. Only with covering it up once he learned of it after the fact.)
So for covering up something up, Nixon was crucified by Left: to the point that by the summer of 1974 it became evident the House of Representatives was going to bring up impeachment charges against him. But he nipped those plans in the bud by resigning office on August 9, 1974, and flipping the “V” for victory to the hippies and the war protestors as he boarded the chopper that carried him away from the White House.
No one died during the Watergate break-ins or as a result of Nixon’s cover-up.
Switch gears and jump to 2009, and the ATF’s special operation “Fast and Furious.” An operation with which you’re all familiar by now, where upwards of 2500 guns in Arizona were sold to “straw purchasers” under the assumption that those guns were going to end up in the hands of Mexican cartel members who could then be arrested.
Talk about an embarrassingly ignorant plan.
Jump now to 2011 – of the approximately 2500 guns sold only a few hundred have been recovered and at least one federal agent, Brian Terry, lost his life due to this ludicrous operation.
Talk about a cover-up: this operation was somehow planned and conducted without the full knowledge of the Acting ATF Director, the Justice Department, or President Obama having any knowledge of it. (By “full knowledge” I mean that Acting ATF Director Kenneth Melson says knew about it, but was kept “in the dark” regarding the extent of the operation, and the involvement of other agencies like the FBI and DEA.)
In other news, on July 5th Jack Tapper (ABC News) peppered Obama’s White House Press Secretary with questions about “Fast and Furious” in front of the rest of the press reporters, but the most substantive answer that Jay Carney gave was: “The president takes this very seriously.” (In all fairness to Carney, he’s clueless because Obama keeps him clueless.)
Look folks, this is ridiculous. Where is Chris Matthews? Where is that Keith guy who used to work for MSNBC? Where are all the freaks who wanted to hang George W. Bush in effigy for supposedly-lying about Iraq?
Why are they silent in the face of so great a cover-up?
Senator Charles Grassley and Representative Darrell Issa are pressing for answers on “Fast and Furious,” yet the Justice Department is doing its best to keep people from talking. (Grassley and Issa actually had to send a letter to the Justice Department to ask them to avoid pressuring people into not talking and to provide protections for those who do.)
Remember: No one died during Watergate, yet Nixon had to resign. Federal Agent Brian Terry is gone due to “Fast and Furious” – it’s time for someone to lose their job, if not go to jail or face impeachment charges in the House of Representatives.

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