Two updates have developed in the continually-breaking story of scandal and corruption at the Department of Justice and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives revolving around the U.S. guns-to-Mexico scheme that deliberately placed American firearms in the hands of drug cartels.
The Department of Justice has refused, yet again, to provide Senator Charles Grassley with the documents he has demanded concerning the illegal plot. Grassley took to the Senate floor last week to blast the Obama Administration and Eric Holder for their stonewalling on the issue and their continued failure to provide to Congress the materials necessary for an investigation.
Regarding that refusal, National Gun Rights Examiner David Codrea has filed a legal appeal challenging the DOJ-ATF.
A slideshow of the appeal can be found here.
Meanwhile, a second development indicates the origins of the Project Gunwalker scandal (also known as Operation Fast and Furious, and Project Gunrunner). Mike Vanderboegh has discovered documentation that gives the reader a look at the mindset, the motives, and the foundation of what led to the illegal operation.
The Government Accountability Office produced a report in 2009 that highlighted the problem with gun trafficking to Mexico and the lack of a coherent policy to address it. From there, things got out of control when addressing the problem became a central focus of The Department of Homeland Security, the ATF, and its umbrella bureau, the Department of Justice.
Let me tell you what this was, and where it came from, based on a conversation I had with a long-time, well-informed veteran of American government intelligence operations the other day.
“Do you think,” he asked me, “that this happened accidentally in a vacuum?” Meaning that one day “Gunwalker Bill” Newell, Phoenix SAC, just got a wild hair and decided to invent his own foreign policy. “Things like this happen because of meetings. People sit in meetings and they decide what they want to happen. And then they take decisions, make policy and implement that policy to achieve those ends.” He added, “That’s why State is so nervous. They signed off on this. In a meeting.”
Gunrunner, I pointed out to him, predated the Obama administration. “Yes, but ‘walking guns’ didn’t.” I told him it seemed to me that given the dates on the documents that the meetings crafting this policy must have taken place sometime in mid-2009. “And who took power in January, 2009?” he replied.
He continued, summing up this way. The gun issue was known to be radioactive. Every time the Democrats embraced it they got killed at the polls the next election cycle. What was needed, in Rahm Emanuel’s parlance, was a good crisis to exploit, something to change the paradigm. The gun confiscationists had always danced in the blood (my term, not his) of every mass shooting and gotten nowhere, to their chagrin and frustration. What was needed was a game changer. Something that fit the meme of “we’ve got to tighten up on American gunowners, gun stores and gun shows because they are feeding the slaughter.” Mexico was perfect. The ATF controlled the reporting of the statistics, the headlines were lurid and if the rest of us gunnies knew that you don’t get automatic weapons, hand grenades and RPGs from gun shows and gun stores, most of the American people were too ignorant of the issue to care about the distinction. But the fact was, as the IG report and other sources concluded, the amount of weapons from those legitimate American sources did not meet the allegation. More importantly the statistics didn’t meet the policy need. So, how to “fix” that? Project Gunwalker. If there weren’t enough semi-auto “assault rifles” in Mexico, the ATF could fix that. And the murders would follow, justifying the policy change of cracking down on “assault rifles,” gun shows and the like.
“So,” I said, “you’re saying that this was a deliberate attempt by policymakers at the highest levels of the Obama administration to subvert the Second Amendment and further diminish the free exercise of firearm rights of honest citizens?”
“You got it. Sucks, huh?” He laughed bitterly.
In short, DOJ, ATF, and DHS needed an issue that would allow them to make a strong case to the American public that U.S. guns laws must be tightened significantly in order to address the problem of gun trafficking to Mexico. And they found that issue in Project Gunwalker. If the agencies mentioned above could somehow prove statistically that drug cartel firearms were coming primarily from the U.S., then they could insist on more gun control.
Things only went downhill from there.
In the process of updating and expanding a previous timeline of the Gunwalker scandal, the question hit me once more, where did this come from? Something changed when the Obama administration took over, something that involved a lot of inter-agency coordination. And then it hit me, one other thing my spook friend told me that I hadn‘t reported, that up until now I‘d totally forgot. “Don’t worry about ‘following the money’ on this one,” he said, “follow the power — follow the paper, because paper is how power is transmitted in the federal government.” So I went and I looked and I found this, the real Rosetta Stone of this scandal, hiding in plain sight. Read it and I think you‘ll agree that whatever happened at ground level in the Gunwalker Scandal, it had its roots in this Obama change of policy.
One more thing. I think you, like me, will find confirmation of what I said earlier this month about EPIC — El Paso Intelligence Center: What did EPIC know about Project Gunwalker and when did they know it? Likely answer: Everything and early. The strong and extensive inter-agency coordination described in the document below makes it certain that EPIC, ICE, CBP, DHS and other agencies HAD to be cognizant at some command level of what was happening with the Gunwalker fiasco.
Within the latter report, issued by the federal government, we find tale-tell statements such as these:
Enhance programs at EPIC targeting illegal weapons smuggling/trafficking. ATF’s Project Gunrunner utilizes the EPIC Gun Desk as the focal point for the collection, analysis, and dissemination of investigative leads derived from Federal, State, local, and international law enforcement agencies.
Rapidly share weapons seizure information among U.S. law enforcement agencies. Law enforcement organizations have a variety of intelligence collection capabilities and programs which are either directly or indirectly related to information on illicit weapons smuggling/trafficking. Such resources must be utilized in a coordinated and cohesive manner. The ICE Border Violence Intelligence Cell and ATF Gun Desk located at EPIC each utilize separate systems to collect and maintain information relating
to weapons seizures, such as TECS, ATF’s OnLine Lead, the National Tracing Center, Violent Crime Analysis Branch, and the U.S. Bomb Data Center. The Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice will address options for establishing methods to rapidly share information derived from Federal, State, and local and Government of Mexico illicit weapons seizures.
By putting 2 and 2 together it is not difficult to see the game plan. Implement Operation Gunrunner, i.e., send U.S. guns to Mexico, and then rabidly share weapons seizure information among U.S. law enforcement agencies, information that would, of course, show that U.S. guns are arming the Mexican drug cartels.
Much more about this is provided at Vanderboegh’s site. Read it all.