Monday, October 17, 2011

Operation Fast and Furious LXXIII

NRA's LaPierre: 'Fast and Furious' Was Plot Against Second Amendment
by Martin Gould and Ashley Martella

The government-sanctioned gunrunning operation Fast and Furious was a plot to undermine Second Amendment rights in the United States, National Rifle Association officerWayne LaPierre charged on Friday in an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV.

“It’s the only thing that makes any sense,” LaPierre said. “Over a period of two or three years they were running thousands and thousands of guns to the most evil people on earth. At the same time they were yelling ’90 per cent… of the guns the Mexican drug cartels are using come from the United States.’

“That was a phony figure from the very start. Even the Wikileaks cables from our own State Department prove they are coming from Central America, they are not coming from the U.S. Every police officer will tell you that they’re coming from Russia, they’re coming from China, most of them are coming from Central America and a lot of them are coming from defections from the Mexican Army,” said LaPierre, the NRA's executive vice president and CEO.

But LaPierre said that President Barack Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were determined to make it appear that most weapons used by the Mexicans came from north of the border, “so they could stick more gun legislation on honest American gun owners of the United States.”

LaPierre insisted that the whole Fast and Furious scandal, in which he said “thousands and thousands” of weapons were allowed to cross into Mexico, would never have come to light at all if it hadn’t been for the murder of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in Arizona in December.

“We wouldn’t know about this at all if [Terry] had not been killed and some of the good, honest, decent federal agents down the line had enough of the stench coming out of Washington and started to use the Whistleblower Act to go public and call the Justice Department out on this whole rotten, stinking scheme.

“Otherwise thousands of guns would still be going over the border into the Mexican drug cartels and the president and the attorney general and the secretary of state would all be running around going ’90 percent of the guns come from America’ in an attempt to seek political advantage and in an attempt to enact more gun control laws on honest American citizens and use this whole issue politically against the Second Amendment of the United States.”

Fast and Furious is the biggest cover-up since the Watergate scandal that brought down Richard Nixon in the early-1970s, LaPierre said.

“Look at what has happened,” he said. “We had our Department of Justice under the Obama administration running thousands and thousands of guns over the border and watching them go directly into the hands of some of the most evil people on earth, the Mexican drug cartels.

“At the same time they were letting the reputation of good, honest, decent Americans, law-abiding American gun dealers, be ruined.

“They ordered these sales to be made, they even overrode the InstaCheck system and ordered the dealers to make the sales. Then, when it all starts coming out, there’s a massive cover-up.”

He joined the chorus of Republican members of Congress calling for Holder to quit and for a special prosecutor to be appointed to investigate the entire scandal which has resulted in dozens of crimes committed both in the U.S. and in Mexico being committed with the smuggled weapons.

“My gosh, Valerie Plame gets a special prosecutor,” he said, referring to the CIA agent whose name was leaked during the George W. Bush presidency. “And all we get on Fast and Furious, where people are dead, a federal agent is dead, hundreds of crimes are being committed, is an Eric Holder cover-up.

“They crossed the line. They need to be held responsible. We need to get to the bottom of this and the only way we are going to get to the bottom of it is a special prosecutor.”

He rebutted Democratic claims that subpoenas issued this week by House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa were nothing more than a politically motivated “fishing expedition.”

LaPierre said, “Do we really want our Department of Justice … running thousands of guns into the hands of the Mexican drug cartels? Running a massive campaign to manipulate public opinion? Ruining the lives of good, honest American citizens when they knew the truth, and then participating in a massive cover-up?

“Doesn’t that sound like something that would happen more from a South American dictatorship than what we expect in the Good Ol’ USA?

“This can’t be allowed to stand. What has happened in Fast and Furious is the equivalent of our Justice Department becoming willing co-conspirators with the Mexican drug cartels in their crimes. If any citizen in this country had sold a gun to the Mexican drug cartels and then those cartels had used those guns to kill good, honest, decent people, any U.S. Attorney worth his salt would indict that citizen for accessory to murder. That’s what’s happened here.”

LaPierre said that re-electing Obama to a second term would destroy Second Amendment rights, claiming that his Supreme Court appointees would “erase the Second Amendment from the Bill of Rights and exorcise it from the Constitution of the U.S.”

But he said the NRA had not and will not endorse any individual GOP candidate. “All those candidates have positive records on the Second Amendment issues. We are not going to get into the Republican primaries,” he said.

“Our job is to protect the Second Amendment and that means that every gun owner, every Second Amendment supporter needs to do everything they can to make sure that President Obama does not get a second term so that he can destroy the Second Amendment.

“This is the most dangerous election in our lifetime for the Second Amendment freedom that American citizens have. A second term by President Obama will break the back of that freedom in this country.”


"Grenade-walking" part of "Gunwalker" scandal

(CBS News) There's a new twist in the government's "gunwalking" scandal involving an even more dangerous weapon: grenades.
"Gunwalking" subpoena for AG Holder imminent

CBS News investigative correspondent Sharyl Attkisson, who has reported on this story from the beginning, said on "The Early Show" that the investigation into the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF)'s so-called "Fast and Furious" operation branches out to a case involving grenades. Sources tell her a suspect was left to traffic and manufacture them for Mexican drug cartels.

Police say Jean Baptiste Kingery, a U.S. citizen, was a veritable grenade machine. He's accused of smuggling parts for as many as 2,000 grenades into Mexico for killer drug cartels -- sometimes under the direct watch of U.S. law enforcement.

For more on this investigation, visit CBS Investigates.

Law enforcement sources say Kingery could have been prosecuted in the U.S. twice for violating export control laws, but that, each time, prosecutors in Arizona refused to make a case.

Grenades are weapons-of-choice for the cartels. An attack on Aug. 25 in a Monterrey, Mexico casino killed 53 people.

Sources tell CBS News that, in January 2010, ATF had Kingery under surveillance after he bought about 50 grenade bodies and headed to Mexico. But they say prosecutors wouldn't agree to make a case. So, as ATF agents looked on, Kingery and the grenade parts crossed the border -- and simply disappeared.

Six months later, Kingery allegedly got caught leaving the U.S. for Mexico with 114 disassembled grenades in a tire. One ATF agent told investigators he literally begged prosecutors to keep Kingery in custody this time, fearing he was supplying narco-terrorists, but was again ordered to let Kingery go.

The prosecutors -- already the target of controversy for overseeing "Fast and Furious," wouldn't comment on the grenades case. U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke recently resigned and his assistant, Emory Hurley, has been transferred. Sources say Hurley is the one who let Kingery go, saying grenade parts are "novelty items" and the case "lacked jury appeal."

Attkisson added on "The Early Show" that, in August, Mexican authorities raided Kingery's stash house and factory, finding materials for 1,000 grenades. He was charged with trafficking and allegedly admitted not only to making grenades, but also to teaching cartels how to make them, as well as helping cartel members convert semi-automatic rifles to fully-automatic. As one source put it: There's no telling how much damage Kingery did in the year-and-a-half since he was first let go. The Justice Department inspector general is now investigating this, along with "Fast and Furious."

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