Monday, September 19, 2011

Operation Fast and Furious LIX

Cloward-Piven: The Ultimate Goal of Gunwalker?

by Bob Owens

PJMedia reader “eon” posted an insightful comment in response to my September 15 article on the Gunwalker scandal:
To the best of my knowledge, no previous U.S. administration has ever destabilized the government of a putatively friendly foreign power purely for domestic political gain.
The closest you can get would be the revolutionary movement in what is now Panama, that the U.S. nurtured to gain that area’s independence (from Nicaragua) — to facilitate building the Panama Canal. But that was a pre-existing revolutionary movement with pre-existing complaints against the Nicaraguan government that did not include stopping them from selling illegal drugs. (Editor’s note: Panama gained its independence from Colombia, not Nicaragua.)
The gains Obama & Co. seem to be seeking come in three flavors. Ranked in order of time-criticality from their POV, they are most likely:
1. Short-term: Increased illegal immigration from Mexico as people attempt to flee the increasing violence (allowing them to push the DREAM Act through, and “stacking the deck” in the next election via ACORN and SEIU);
2. Medium-term: Propaganda for tighter gun laws (possibly enacted by Executive Order, bypassing the Congress);
3. Long-term: Legalization of “recreational drugs,” helped by a “drug friendly” Mexican government, influenced by if not overtly controlled by the drug cartels.
I strongly suspect that (3) is the ultimate objective, with (1) and (2) being seen (at least by Obama & Co.) as “stepping-stones” to attaining it.
While I personally think (3) is a non-starter even as a long-term issue, investigators and pundits closely tracking Gunwalker have long suspected a larger game was afoot.
A high-risk plot involving major elements of the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, Treasury, and State, including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Border Patrol, and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CID), requiring approval from the State Department, isn’t something that comes from a mid-level bureaucrat. It is typically incited and decided by the very highest levels of appointed and elected officials.
As anyone with any experience in government will attest, there is massive institutional inertia against both change and risk. It is insurmountable without significant stakeholder support. In government, this means directors, secretaries, and elected officeholders.
An operation like Fast and Furious would have been jettisoned in the conceptual stages as inherently dangerous and assured of failure, as various veteran law enforcement officers have attested (including here at PJMedia in an article by LAPD veteran “Jack Dunphy”):
I can appreciate the desire to use novel law enforcement approaches in confronting the violence attendant to drug trafficking in Mexico. Someone, displaying a bit of that outside-the-box thinking, came up with the idea of allowing thousands of weapons to be bought on this side of the border with the idea that they could be tracked as they made their way through the network of cartel members and facilitators and into the hands of Mexican outlaws.
This was a pipe dream. To me, it is inconceivable that this operation ever made it out of the first meeting where it was discussed. It goes to show how detached police executives can be from the reality of police work as it is actually practiced. There is simply no effective way to track a gun once it leaves the store where it was purchased.
We’ve long suspected that what “eon” calls a “medium-term” goal — propaganda for tighter gun laws — was the ultimate goal of Gunwalker, but the plot makes significantly more sense if Gunwalker did have multiple goals, of which gun control was just one.
A logical speculation posted by “eon” is that the short-term goal of Gunwalker was to increase violence in Mexico. This would drive more Mexican citizens northward as illegal aliens, seeking respite from the violence in their home country. Their plight would provide the administration a way to pitch the DREAM Act as an act of kindness to political refugees and another step towards amnesty.
This would be a strategy straight from the Cloward-Piven playbook.
As James Simpson noted several months ago at American Thinker, the Cloward-Pieven strategy is alwaysapproached the same way:
  1. The offensive organizes previously unorganized groups eligible for government benefits but not currently receiving all they can.
  2. The offensive seeks to identify new beneficiaries and/or create new benefits.
  3. The overarching aim is always to impose new stresses on target systems, with the ultimate goal of forcing their collapse.
Gunwalker purposefully increases social unrest (increased gun violence/destabilizing Mexico), with the possible result of overloading the U.S. public welfare system (more illegal aliens fleeing the violence in Mexico and Central America). Gunwalker’s perpetrators could then use that influx to create an insurmountable constituency of poor seeking handouts from the Democratic Party. The hope of the strategy is to force a system-wide collapse of the current system, and then to rebuild the government in a variant of the strongest socialist model they think the public will accept.
It sounds too devious. It appears to fit.
Take Operation Fast and Furious in Arizona, the two suspected operations in Texas, Operation Castaway in Tampa, and the newer allegations of “Gangwalker” in the Midwest — they make sense only in the larger context of a Cloward-Piven framework.
These operations could not possibly succeed at interdicting straw purchasers, smugglers, and cartel bosses. No one actually involved in law enforcement could possibly believe that such idiotic operations could work. But these operations are logical when viewed through the context of their implementation as tactical applications designed to support a Cloward-Piven strategy.
Operation Castaway provided weapons to destabilize Central American countries and to help keep the cartel drug supply lines from Central and South America open. The unnamed gunwalking operations in Texas provided a steady flow of U.S. firearms to southern and central Mexico. Operation Fast and Furious provided the Sinaloa cartel more than 2,020 weapons in northern Mexico along the U.S. border. And to make sure the cartel wars didn’t get too one-sided, the State Department made sure the bloodthirsty Zetas were armed with American military equipment by selling them military hardware through a transparent front company.
The violence in Mexico triggered by the administration’s gunwalking efforts also seems logically designed toreverse a trend that had begun of Mexicans and others originating from south of the border leaving the United States because of our current economic situation.
If the net flow of illegal aliens is negative, the Democratic Party’s desires are inhibited: increasing numbers of illegal aliens can create the sort of economic crisis they need to force amnesty laws, to assure a long-term Democratic majority, and to establish lock-step control over Hispanic voters as they have established over blacks.
Operation Fast and Furious doesn’t make sense as a anti-cartel operation, but it makes perfect tactical sense as a way of implementing Cloward-Piven, something that President Obama, Attorney General Holder, Secretary Napolitano, and Secretary Clinton have long embraced as followers of those radicals and Saul Alinsky. Gunwalker is the start of a coup d’état against the republic by the very souls entrusted to guard it.
Of course, this is entirely speculation at this point. It’s just damn hard to think of a more logical reason for Gunwalker to exist.

Gun scandal skipping the big fish

by Doug MacEarchern

Anyone seen Attorney General Eric Holder?
No. Of course not. The attorney general is off discussing border security - with Canadians. His schedule is filled with photo-op chats with schoolchildren. He is loading up his calendar with anything that will render it just impossible for the AG to find time to answer more questions from congressional probers about the gun-running mess known as Operation Fast and Furious. No time at all.
But here's who will line up dutifully before the congressional inquisitors: everyone Eric Holder doesn't care about, which is beginning to look pretty much like all the little fish outside Washington, D.C.
Operation Fast and Furious is a classic Washington scandal in one important, bipartisan respect: The people truly responsible for what went wrong ultimately will write their self-exonerating biographies, usually after a slew of fundraisers have paid the lawyer bills.
Meanwhile, everyone downhill from them will spend the rest of their working lives writing checks to pay their lawyers and wondering what the hell happened to that once-promising career in service to their country.
As bungled operations go, the Fast and Furious sting cooked up at the Justice Department and in the offices of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives differs from others only in that it turned truly deadly. Like so many others, it is steeped in arrogance and vacuum-sealed ignorance.
Technically legal straw-man buyers were allowed to purchase thousands of weapons at Arizona guns shops, the theory being that ATF agents would track them to the end users, Mexican drug cartels.
It isn't exactly clear just yet whether the operation went awry, or whether, in fact, it worked out precisely as the geniuses 2,000 miles away planned for it to work. Either way, the agents quickly lost track of the weapons, including high-powered semiautomatic rifles and material for making hand grenades, most of which settled into the murderous hands of the cartels' gun boys.
Last December, two of the guns were left at the scene of the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. Other Fast and Furious weapons were used in an ambush that killed U.S. immigration Agent Jaime Zapata in northern Mexico in February. Several of the weapons have been tied to murders of Mexican officials.
You can imagine how fast the people who concocted this mess are running from it. But despite brazen stonewalling, the evidence suggesting that knowledge and approval went all the way to the White House is mounting.
At the start, Fast and Furious was just a part of an umbrella anti-cartel campaign known as Operation Gunrunner, which the administration proudly heralded as an action ordered by President Barack Obama "to fight these cartels."
At a March 24, 2009, press conference, then-Deputy Attorney General David Ogden said that, on orders from the president, "Attorney General Holder and I are taking several new and aggressive steps as part of the administration's comprehensive plan."
Ogden specifically identified an enormous buildup of ATF agents aimed at "disrupting arms trafficking between the United States and Mexico."
E-mails from March 2010 indicate the top officials of the ATF were briefed weekly about the progress of Fast and Furious. That same month, the deputy assistant director for ATF field operations received a special briefing on the plan's progress in Phoenix.
You think Fast and Furious was some rogue operation gone wrong? You think it was bungled somehow by local agents?
According to documents that have piled up on the investigating committee's desk, Kenneth Melson, then acting director of the ATF (and now safely parachuted out of harm's way), actually watched a live video feed as a straw buyer bought semiautomatic weapons at an Arizona gun store.
The evidence that knowledge and authority of Fast and Furious went all the way to the top may be unparalleled in the history of Washington, D.C., scandals. Barely more than a year ago, people at the top were crowing about how much they knew.
Now? All the focus is on the people at the bottom of the hill. The only person who has lost his job over Fast and Furious is Dennis Burke, who was U.S. attorney for Arizona.
Meanwhile, the committee's Republican chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa, is sending demand letters seeking documents, e-mails and interviews from people in Arizona who, at best, may have been remotely aware of the ingenious directives being issued from Washington.
While Eric Holder chats with Canadians, careers and lives are being wrecked in Arizona, the direct result of his grand plans. And that is just monstrous and wrong.

Watergate Times Three

by Robert J. Mack
You think Richard Nixon's presidency was the worst scandal ever?  Well, so far, anyway.
It all started with a tape holding a door open at the Watergate complex in Washington, D.C., discovered by a security guard 39 years ago on June 17, 1972.  That discovery started a sinister chapter in America's history, fueled by the fervent investigative work of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein of The Washington Post and ending with the president, Richard M. Nixon, exiting the White House in disgrace on August 9, 1974.
A similar Watergate scandal could erupt for Barack Obama.  The only difference is that there may be three of them.
The insane Solyndra loan, the LightSquared cronyism, and the Operation Fast and Furious gun-running debacle have all come into America's consciousness at the same time.  How could the government invest in a solar panel start-up that had no prospects for any kind of success, and to the tune of  $535 million dollars?  Why would a four-star Air Force general say that the White House tried to pressure him to change his testimony before the House Armed Services Strategic Forces Subcommittee to make it more favorable to a company tied to a large Democratic donor?  What were directors at the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, and the ATF thinking when they persuaded gun dealers to allow more than 2,000 firearms to get in the hands of drug lords in Mexico, resulting in over 200 deaths?  
These are questions that demand answers.  And the American people are not mesmerized enough by the star power of their president to avoid those answers and where they might lead.
Are the current body blows to the president's political stature of these humiliating events, not to mention the legal ramifications, enough to distract voters next year from returning him to the progressive throne?  If Obama had provided any explorer's gold or spices to lard the treasury from the first term, then maybe all might be forgiven, assuming no laws were broken.  But with Obama's poll numbers in the toilet over the economy (and the awkward question of competence in the air), Americans are ticked off.  And when the populace gets mad, watch out.  Royalty's crowns get removed unceremoniously when the people revolt.  And, so far, Obama, the king of the progressives, has taken a "let 'em eat cake" position about the three scandals.
"What did the president know and when did he know it?"  This was the famous question posed by then Senator Howard Baker during the Watergate hearings.  Will this question be raised about Obama?  MSNBC will continue, no matter what, to carry the president's water.  But the Washington Post and ABC News have broken stories based on emails leaked to them in the Solyndra scandal, and with more hearings coming, it will be difficult to maintain radio silence on the scandals mushrooming.
We can expect underlings who will be scapegoated and have to walk the plank, as Bob Haldeman and John Erlichman did in the Watergate saga.  As a matter fact, two federal officials have already been reassigned, and a third has resigned in the Operation Fast and Furious scandal.  The acting director of the ATF, Kenneth Melson, has been reassigned by Attorney General Eric Holder.  Dennis Burke, Arizona's U.S. Attorney who approved the operation, resigned immediately, and Emory Hurley, a Phoenix U.S. Attorney's Office prosecutor involved in the operation, has been reassigned to civil cases.  But will there be a John Dean who will not willingly go loyally and quietly?  Will, for instance, Eric Holder resign in shame over the Fast and Furious disaster but tell all?  Considering his ego, he just may be Obama's John Dean.
When hubris invades a leader's mindset, he can do no wrong.  And when he can do no wrong, then all those who question his actions are questioning his authority and must be eliminated.  This was the fatal flaw of Richard Nixon's presidency regarding Watergate.  His paranoia about those on the left who were out to get him finally did him in.  The fact that he used his power to try to destroy people's lives constituted the criminal element in the tragedy.  Fortunately, we did have the Watergate hearings, and Nixon quit before there was a constitutional crisis.
Obama is no Nixon, locking himself in the White House, getting inebriated, and praying with his secretary of state -- at least not yet anyway.  And right now that's a very good thing for him because he has enough to worry about with his ridiculous jobs initiative, his poll numbers, and the failed "Arab spring" turning out Islamic extremists.  The smoking guns, if any, are waiting to be discovered, perhaps in the vast data archives the White House must maintain.   
For a guy trying to quit smoking, Barack Obama is facing a lot of stress.  Pass the Nicorette.

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