- Speaker Boehner protects Eric Holder from Contempt of Congress citation…again (gunnyg.wordpress.com)
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.
Well, just when you think you have heard just about everything, Fox News reports that “A coalition of Mexican mayors has asked the United States to stop deporting illegal immigrants who have been convicted of serious crimes in the U.S. to Mexican border cities, saying the deportations are contributing to Mexican border violence.”
Apparently, the mayor of Juarez — the world’s most murder-plagued city, across the border from low-crime El Paso where Americans are able to buy and carry guns for protection — said “that of the 80,000 people deported to Juarez in the past three years, 28,000 had U.S. criminal records — including 7,000 convicted rapists and 2,000 convicted murderers.”
This, on the heels of a CNN story noting that Mexico’s foreign minister, Patricia Espinosa, has claimed that violence in the United States is not related to illegal Mexican immigrants, but that Mexico’s violence is caused by guns smuggled into Mexico from the United States.
Predisposed to spinning the news in favor of gun control, CNN attempted to bolster Espinosa’s claim by quoting a former Carter Administration staffer to the effect that, as CNN put it, “more than 90 percent of weapons in Mexico come from the United States.”
The Straw Purchase felon just can’t seem to get anything right, and on the anniversary of the terrorist attack on NYC at that!
No one in this country knows better than New Yorkers what “devastation” looks like. On September 11, 2001, the World Trade Center buildings and their surrounding area were reduced to rubble, burying nearly 3,000 Americans. To this day, the images are difficult to comprehend; they show a concentration of man-made destruction unprecedented in the United States and perhaps anywhere on Earth.
New York’s current murder rate pales in comparison to that of 2001, of course. But it also pales in comparison to what it was in other years gone by. Due in part to crime-fighting programs adopted under former mayor Rudolph Giuliani, New York City’s murder rate is only a fifth of what it was 20 years ago.
Presumably, New Yorkers are well aware of the relative safety in which they live today. However, the current mayor, Michael Bloomberg, has a skewed perspective even though the September 11 anniversary is front and center in every news outlet today due to other controversies.
With New York City’s and the nation’s murder rates lower than anytime since the 1960s, Bloomberg sounded the alarm, saying “Illegal guns and their accompanying violence devastate communities across our country.”
Bloomberg revisited his perennial cause célèbre —gun control—because his anti-gun group, Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG), has issued an Issue Brief urging Congress to “close the gun show loophole”—gun control supporters’ Orwellian “doublespeak” for “prohibit private sales of firearms at gun shows and everywhere else.”
Since U.S. crime rates are so low, MAIG invoked Mexico’s war with its drug cartels, repeating the soundbite first heard in 2009, when Attorney General Eric Holder tried to use Mexico’s problem as the excuse for reinstating the federal “assault weapons” ban. “In fact, 90% of guns recovered and traced from Mexican crime scenes originated from gun dealers in the United States,” MAIG says.
Discovering that geography is more than a subject taught in elementary and middle schools, MAIG adds its revelation that “four in ten of the U.S. guns recovered in Mexico between 2006 and 2009 were originally sold by gun dealers in Texas. The three other states that share a border with Mexico – Arizona, California, and New Mexico – were the source for another one-third of the U.S. guns.”
Of course, the operative words in the “90 percent” soundbite are “and traced.” The GAO has already reported that most guns seized in Mexico, from cartels or anyone else, have not originated in the United States. For example, GAO noted, “In 2008, of the almost 30,000 firearms that the Mexican Attorney General’s office said were seized, only around 7,200, or approximately a quarter, were submitted to ATF for tracing.” The others were not submitted for tracing, presumably in many cases because their markings indicated that they were not traceable to the U.S.
For all their effort, Bloomberg and MAIG got scant coverage by the news media. But the debate will likely continue over how many guns are smuggled from the U.S. to Mexico, what percentage of the cartels’ guns originate in the U.S., and from which countries the cartels obtain their machine guns, grenades and other weapons that are unavailable in the United States.
One thing is sure, however: Americans have greater access to U.S. guns than does anyone in Mexico, and our murder rates pale in comparison to those of our southern neighbor. For example, the murder rate of Juarez is nearly 100 times higher than that of El Paso, just across the border. If anything, that’s a criticism of Mexican laws, which prohibit honest people from getting guns with which to protect themselves.
Folks, this is straight out of the “stupid is as stupid does” folder. From The Communist News Network, as may well be expected…
Political Correctness at the expense of profit? No, simply political correctness. Arizona will see a tremendous drop in personal, as well as property crimes if the new law is properly enforced. That draws customers. That means money, and lot’s of it. Think about it folks. Las Vegas, Nevada was founded by big time crooks. They knew how to make money. Serious money. They also had, and to an extent still do, some of the toughest street crime fighters around. Why? MONEY!
When people feel safe they will bring their families, and, spend money! Right now? Arizona is the nations capital for kidnapping, home invasions, and God only knows what else! Most of said activities can be directly related to Illegal Aliens. As in drug runners, gang members, and white slavery… Then there is auto theft, and the list just goes on….
Read about it at;
Then book a tour of duty with the Minute Men.
Today’s green light specials are hand grenades, and Fully Automatic Rifles. We also have a limited supply of RPG launchers, and a six pack of high explosive rockets in a money saving package that will certainly make you the talk of the block!
Well, we all know that what is above is nothing but satire, and that would be fine if certain people didn’t insist on continually telling lies. Read on…
|Heavily-Armed Cartel Attacks Mexican Army;
Weapons Used Show U.S. Gun Laws Not To Blame
|Friday, April 02, 2010|
|At the end of March, troops of a major drug cartel launched a series of attacks on military personnel and installations in a half dozen cities in the northern Mexican states of Nueva Leon and Tamaulipas. Fortunately, things did not work out as the narco-thugs had hoped. At least 18 of them are now taking the kind of siesta from which there is no awakening and, at last count, only one Mexican soldier was injured.
Contrary to the notion that the cartels depend on semi-automatic rifles bought illegally in the United States, the cartel conducted its attacks with a variety of weapons that cannot be legally bought anywhere in our country. As the Los Angeles Times reported, “In coordinated attacks, gunmen in armored cars and equipped with grenade launchers fought army troops this week. . . . The army said it confiscated armored cars, grenade launchers, about 100 military-grade grenades, [and] explosive devices” in addition to a large quantity of ammunition.
Contrast that reality with the fiction perpetuated by politicians on both sides of the border. NRA members certainly recall that soon after President Obama took office last year, Attorney General Eric Holder stated his support for an “assault weapon” ban as the solution to Mexico’s drug violence. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Cal.), the sponsor of the federal “assault weapon” ban in 1993, soon called upon President Obama to support the Inter-American Convention Against Illegal Arms Trafficking, claiming, “According to the Mexican government, about 90 percent of the weapons they seize from Mexican drug cartels came into the country illegally from the United States.” Newspapers around the country fell for the ruse hook, line and sinker, parroting the 90 percent claim, as well as the utterly absurd, mathematically impossible claim that 2,000 guns cross from the U.S. into Mexico each day.
Apoplectic anti-gun members of Congress held dozens of hearings on the Mexico situation, including field hearings along the border. At one dog and pony show in El Paso, former Democrat Party presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry (Mass.) obligatorily called for a ban on the importation of “assault weapons,” a ban already imposed in 1989 by the BATF (as it was then known), apparently without Sen. Kerry’s knowledge. In fact, at a hearing on Capitol Hill, Sen. Feinstein nearly burst a blood vessel when a witness refused to support her belief that 2,000 guns crossed the border every day.
U.S. politicians have since maintained a low profile on the issue, fearful of the potential for a backlash at the polls in November. Last month, however, Mexico’s president, Felipe Calderon, complained that “there are more than 10,000 gun stores along the American border with Mexico. . . . So, the United States must stop the flow of assault weapons to Mexico.”
The claim is no more true today than when it was first floated a year ago. As we have noted, most of the guns that Mexico has seized from the cartels and asked the BATFE to trace (because markings on those particular firearms indicated that they came from the U.S.) represent only a small percentage of guns that Mexico has seized.
This was stated, though not clearly, in a Government Accountability Office report last summer (see document pages 14-15). However, lest anyone be misled by GAO’s lack of thoroughness on this point, the Department of Homeland Security, in an appendix to the GAO’s report (see page 69), set the record straight.
“DHS officials separately question the statistic involving the origination of weapons as currently presented by GAO,” DHS said. “GAO asserts that, ‘Available evidence suggests most firearms recovered in Mexico come from U.S. gun dealers, and many support Drug Trafficking Organizations.’ and fuel Mexican drug violence. Using the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) eTrace data, GAO determined that about 87 percent of firearms seized by Mexican authorities and traced from fiscal years 2004 to 2008 originated in the United States. DHS officials believe that the 87 percent statistic is misleading as the reference should include the number of weapons that could not be traced (i.e., out of approximately 30,000 weapons seized in Mexico, approximately 4,000 could be traced and 87 percent of those—3,480—originated in the United States.) Numerous problems with the data collection and sample population render this assertion as unreliable.”
In the early part of the 20th century, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis said “Sunlight is the best disinfectant.” That is certainly the case in this story. As the vast scope of the Mexican drug cartels’ multi-million dollar arsenals is incrementally uncovered, the attempt by opponents of the right to arms to use Mexico’s problem as the excuse for restricting Second Amendment rights has fallen flat.
And to Mexico’s soldiers who obliterated the cartels’ punks and thugs last week, we say “buen tiro” (translation: “Good shooting”).
Last Sunday, the Mexican government fired 1,100 customs officials in a move to wipe out rampant corruption in the agency charged with securing the transport of goods and people across the U.S.-Mexican border. Army troops temporarily took control of the ports of entry (POE’s) along the 2,000-mile border.
Using more than 36,00 Mexican Army troops, President Felipe Calderon continues his war on the barbaric drug cartels that control and ravage much of Mexico. Last year, 5,600 people died at the hands of the cartels. The focus on the POE’s is not just the interdiction of human and drug smuggling but also of the flow of firearms into Mexico where they are tightly controlled. Calderon has complained frequently that guns from the United States provide the cartels with most of their firepower, though we have noted the dubious nature of this claim on more than one occasion.
During his visit to Mexico last week, Barack Obama praised Calderon’s efforts, but the Apologizer in Chief also readily blamed his own country for the violence. He pledged to dry up the flow of weapons into Mexico as well as to cut American demand for drugs. His strategy to stop the movement of guns includes reinstating (and, no doubt, enhancing) the 1994 ban on so-called “assault weapons” that expired in 2004. In addition, he promised an additional $1.6 billion for the Merida Initiative, a joint effort to fight against drug trafficking, money laundering and other crimes in Mexico and Central America.
But according to recent reports by the National Drug Intelligence Center, the Mexican cartels have been regulating “traffic” into and out of Mexico for some time, both at the POE’s and the virtually uncontrolled borderlands from San Ysidro, California to Brownsville, Texas. The problem always comes back to our wide-open border that four successive administrations have made little attempt to control. Calderon’s willingness to wage war on the cartels is truly admirable, but all things considered, it could end up as tilting at windmills.
Where Are All Those Guns Coming From?
by Larry Pratt
The government of Colombia has been fighting the Marxist-oriented drug traffickers known by their Spanish acronym FARC for decades. They have been trying to trace guns and other weapons coming from some twenty-seven different countries.
The guns turned up in various FARC encampments that have been busted by an increasingly successful counterattack by the Colombian military.
In an August 2 article in the Panamanian newspaper, Panamá América, it was reported that Columbia has made numerous inquiries to Interpol to find out where all the weapons are coming from.
In view of the Obama administration’s claims that privately owned guns in our country are migrating into Mexico and fueling violence down there, one might think that American gun owners are the cause of all foreign violence. However, the truth is quite the opposite, it turns out.
The article summarizes the Colombian queries to Interpol as follows: rifles from Russia, Bulgaria, Communist China and Korea; pistols and revolvers from Central Europe and Brazil; explosives from Ecuador; munitions (a term that includes machine guns and other weapons such as grenades, mortars, cannons, rockets, etc.) from Brazil, Russia and Venezuela and anti-tank rockets from Russia, Rumania, Communist China, Sweden and the U.S.
Did you just hear the dog that did not bark? In the above list, did you see any weapons that could be obtained at a U.S. gun store or show? The only mention of the U.S. in the list is as a supplier of anti-tank rockets. If anybody can tell me where us average citizens can buy rockets at a store or show, please let me know right away.
Where would anti-tank rockets enter the world market? How about theft from domestic or foreign military arsenals? By the way, the article reports that some of the weaponry mentioned above has been traced to Colombia’s own military industry.
The article also pointed out that the FARC are known to fly guns into Colombia on return flights that take drugs out.
You don’t suppose those same planes could sneak into Mexico, too, do you?