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Old June 28, 2011, 06:26 AM   #426
Tachi
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Oh, they're aware of the anti-retaliation laws, I'm sure. It's just a matter of total arrogance. They think they can get away with whatever they want, and how dare we, the people, question them. We're supposed to be completely bought with social programs and distracted by American Idol and Dancing with the Stars like good little slaves, not watching them try to pull another in a long line of fast ones.
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Old June 28, 2011, 08:39 AM   #427
Bartholomew Roberts
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The Washington Post again shows their willingness to be the Administration's Gunwalker character assassin in an unsigned editorial today. You know whose fault Gunwalker is? The NRA, that's who.

And of course, the only way the NRA can atone for its sins in Gunwalker is to completely cave in and agree to a whole host of gun control laws, many of which have not enjoyed any support in Congress or the state legislatures for over ten years now.

The funniest part of the whole editorial is the WaPo thinks one of the answers to straw purchasing problems is "stronger penalties for straw purchase." Apparently they didn't read the transcript from Rep. Darrel Issa's hearing where on Page 21 Agent Forcelli testified that dozens of firearms traffickers were given a pass by the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Arizona. He cites a case where the U. S. Attorney declined to prosecute Victor Varela, a known straw purchaser who trafficked .50 BMG rifles, one of which was used to kill a Mexican military commander. This is a crime that can carry a sentence of 10 years in federal prison under U.S. law. The case was declined for prisecution by AUSA Emory Hurley because of perceived legal issues - however the Arizona AG took up the case and successfully convicted Varela, though he was released from prison in July 2010 because of the lesser sentencing guidelines in state court.

In another case, Hurley declined to prosecute a corrupt FFL who admitted post-arrest that he had trafficked around 1,000 firearms to Mexico. Over a half dozen firearms from his shop were found around the body of the head of the Beltran Leyva cartel after he was killed in a gun battle with Mexican authorities.

Once again, the Post misses that the problem isn't a lack of laws; but an uneven enforcement of those laws and an unwillingness to apply them to the people who regularly violate them. The sentence for straw purchasing already goes up to 10 years in a federal prison; but few people are even charged and almost nobody gets the maximum sentence. Increasing the sentence even more is meaningless - much like most of the other steps the WaPo proposes.
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Old June 28, 2011, 10:37 AM   #428
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Someone asked what the Spanish newspapers were saying about this. Well, I'm not necessarily fluent, but I'm good enough for government work. Our local Spanish paper says that Calderon has been fairly anemic in his reaction to the whole incident. He is apparently under fire from his political opposition for it. Also, it appears that Mexican law enforcement officers were briefed on the operation here in the U.S. Mexico has not denied that.

The Catholic church in Mexico has capitalized on the incident to criticize the U.S. for it cynicism (assuming I translated that correctly). The Mexican Congress is calling it a violation of their national sovereignty and have requested full disclosure of operations information regarding the drug war. It would appear they are not currently privy to that information.

That's all the Spanish news my area has on the issue at the moment. I'll update it if the Mexican papers say anything else.
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Old June 28, 2011, 10:57 AM   #429
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MicaWeeks: Thanks. I really thought the Mexican President would try to use it as more political advantage, along the lines of "See! The U.S.A. is hamstringing us, that is why we can not gain ground on this."
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Old June 28, 2011, 11:23 AM   #430
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eghad
Melson's Boss would be AG Holder..

Looks like the committee is going for bigger fish.
If you look at the DOJ org chart, everyone reports to the Deputy Attorney General who then reports to Holder.

But you're right about the committee. I think Issa has Holder in the crosshairs and rightfully so. He's the captain of the sinking DOJ ship and should know what's going on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don H
I believe executive privilege can and has been invoked by administrations regarding testimony by supoena'd former Executive Branch employees. Perhaps we'll see this ploy used in this case. I do wonder, though, whether the supoena'd ex-official has the personal option to waive executive privilege if the administration invokes it?
I agree that invoking Exec. Privilege would be boneheaded since Obama claims he didn't know about it. If he didn't know, it's hard to claim the privilege.

An ex-official is a private individual and free to provide testimony on anything he has first hand knowledge about. The gov't might object with claims of national security or exec privileges, but it couldn't stop someone from voluntarily testifying in public or private.
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Old June 28, 2011, 12:24 PM   #431
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Quote:
You know whose fault Gunwalker is? The NRA, that's who.
Oh, I see. So, the Tiahrt amendment led to this because...well, I don't see that. It's beyond apprehension.

Quote:
We may never know whether the bureau would have launched the Fast and Furious operation had it had other, more effective tools at its disposal. Those who would clobber the bureau for possible mistakes should look in the mirror and accept some responsibility for its failings.
What's interesting is that the author doesn't even try to deny the ATF's antics here. He's just trying to shift blame.
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Old June 28, 2011, 12:36 PM   #432
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WaPo's writer is running on the "failure means a bigger budget" idea of evaluating government agencies (the other notable example of this mantra are failing public schools).

And what would this savant figure to be "more effective measures" for ATF to have used instead of "walking" guns? These apologists are as criminal as the smugglers, intellectually, and in their complete dismissal of facts in preference for dreams.
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Old June 28, 2011, 01:37 PM   #433
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Good news - apparently not all of the Gunwalker firearms ended up in Mexico. Several have turned up in Phoenix-area crimes as well:
http://www.abc15.com/dpp/news/local_...-neighborhoods
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Old June 28, 2011, 05:35 PM   #434
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so the Deputy AG and the AG Never talk or exchange e-mail.

Carney, Obams's press secretary, was very quiet about meton when asked.

Which makes me even more convinced there is a smoking e-mail out there.
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Old June 29, 2011, 01:32 AM   #435
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I had to send a comment on this to the Washington Post.

Quote:
The NRA was not the organization which allowed these firearms to walk into Mexico. The BATFE was that organization.

The NRA was not the organization which ignored the law and allowed straw purchasers to commit their crimes. The BATFE was that organization.

The NRA was not the organization which chose to not prosecute known straw purchasers -- many of which were known to them prior to the inception of Fast and Furious -- and allow their purchases to be completed. The BATFE was that organization.

The NRA was not the organization which chose selective enforcement of the existing laws. The BATFE was that organization.

Increasing the penalties for laws which are not being enforced is ludicrous. A law which has a one hundred year penalty is just as ineffective as a law which has a one day penalty if neither law is being enforced. It is not the law which lacks teeth, it is the organization which fails to enforce that law which makes it so.

If the First Amendment were treated as shabbily by Second Amendment supporters as the Second Amendment is treated by the press, they would be howling as if their rear ends were on fire. The Constitution and Bill of Rights are not a smorgasbord menu from which you choose the parts you agree with to the rejection of all others; but that is exactly how the press treats them both.

The Washington Post needs to learn that there is a WHOLE Constitution and a WHOLE Bill of Rights out there and start supporting them both in their entirety.
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Old June 29, 2011, 02:56 AM   #436
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On a note that was brought up earlier...

Lone Wolf Trading had their reputation dragged through the mud by the government and the press. As Tom Servo noted, it probably won't have had good results for their business.

I usually buy new guns from my LGS, but I think I'm going to make a Fast&Furious exception, and order an M&P40 from Lone Wolf (for FFL transfer via my LGS).

Edit: Decided on a 45 instead of a 40; called Lone Wolf earlier today, and they are trying to find a gun with the options I want. My LGS indicated they are happy to handle the FFL transfer.

Last edited by MLeake; June 30, 2011 at 11:31 PM.
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Old June 29, 2011, 08:12 AM   #437
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More Fast and Furious Hearings on Thursday

MainJustice.com is reporting that Rep. Elijah Cummings is going to hold separate hearings on Fast and Furious this Thursday. They also report that the witness list includes Sen. Charles Schument, an ATF agent, and several of the usual gun control suspects.

I'm really surprised at the level of firepower being expended to defend a position that is basically not defensible. Looks like the Administration has made the bad strategic decision to have a fight on their opponent's terms. Media Matters is pushing hard with the meme that "Fast and Furious was a policy to promote gun control = birtherism", though naturally they don't attempt to tackle the mass of evidence supporting that claim on a point by point basis.

I suspect that tomorrow's hearing will basically be a replay of the WaPo editorial - the ATF wouldn't have had to do such a stupid thing if the NRA hadn't made them do it. As arguments go, I look forward to ripping in to that one.
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Old June 29, 2011, 12:28 PM   #438
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Really, Elijah? We need to explore the WaPo's NRA derangement syndrome?

The parade of sitting ducks is starting to make me suspicious, BR.
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Old June 29, 2011, 11:17 PM   #439
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jimpeel , re your post # 435:

Well said Jim.

Your comment is unlikely to see the light of day at the Post, but well said anyhow.
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Old June 29, 2011, 11:34 PM   #440
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Bartholomew Roberts:

It’s a shame you seem unable or unwilling to recognize the obvious, re the failings of the big bad NRA, of which I've been a life member since late in 1973.

Given that the NRA has, now and then raised question as to the virtues of the theory and practice of Gun Control, how could it be otherwise.

Given that the NRA has failed to properly worship the graven image of Sarah Brady, add whichever other names you feel appropriate, how could it be otherwise?

Tornados and flooding in various parts of the country are likely the fault of the NRA too. How could you miss the obvious.

Finally, as to the Obama Administration Conning The Washington Post, given the paper's history re matters concerning firearms, I suspect that conning them didn't take al that much effort, but I could be wrong.
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Old June 30, 2011, 08:55 AM   #441
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jimpeel, that is an excellent piece of commentary. Thanks for taking the time to make it, regardless of whether it ever sees the light of day in the Washington Post. It looks like it is going down pretty much like we expected. Paul Helmke has written an article that gives a preview of his testimony today and the Washington Post is running an article that purports to be news; but is actually the same content as their earlier editorial. The typical lefty blogs are running with this as well. Pointing out that the existing gun laws were both violated by ATF and then not prosecuted by AUSA Emory Hurley is going to be an important part of challenging this attempt to change the narrative from "ATF breaking the law" to "We need more laws for ATF to break."

The really ironic thing is that the Cummings hearing are apparently relying heavily on Agent Forcelli's testimony without noting the part about AUSA Hurley declining to prosecute cases that were later successfully prosecuted by the Arizona AG. Forcelli called the straw purchasing laws "toothless"; but they aren't at all toothless at the federal level - it is only at the state level where they are weak - and Forcelli was forced to go to the state level because Hurley, who was neck deep in Fast and Furious, refused to prosecute many of the straw purchasers implicated under the stricter federal laws.

Suprisingly, not a lot of traditional news outlets biting on the Cummings hearing so far, it seems more are reporting on President Obama's most recent denial that he knew or authorized such an operation. Once again, a subtle but telling shift from the White House in the denials:

"My attorney general has made clear that he certainly would not have ordered gun running to be able to pass through into Mexico."

Apparently the President is no longer comfortable making blanket claims about what AG Holder knew or didn't know and is now taking the more cautious approach of reporting on what AG Holder has told them. Which given that AG Holder responded to a letter inquiring about Gunwalker from Rep. Issa in February and then in May testified that he had only known about the operation for a few weeks maybe, is probably a smart move for the White House to take.
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Old June 30, 2011, 09:41 AM   #442
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more info on the "project gunrunner.

http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/house-d...alker-hearing/
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Old June 30, 2011, 09:49 AM   #443
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There was a bigger shift in the Obama statement, BR.

In March he said this:

Quote:
In response, the president said neither he nor Attorney General Eric Holder approved the operation.

"There may be a situation here which a serious mistake was made and if that's the case then we'll find out and well hold somebody accountable," he added.
Yesterday he said this:

Quote:
Mr. Obama answered, "My attorney general has made clear that he certainly would not have ordered gun running to be able to pass through into Mexico. ... I'm not going to comment on -- a on a current investigation. I've made very clear my views that that would not be an appropriate step by the ATF, and we've got to find out how that happened."
Unless I missed it, Obama has not admitted that the gunwalking happened until yesterday, only that it "may" have happened.
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Old June 30, 2011, 10:01 PM   #444
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It's no longer a question of did they -- because there is evidence and testimony that they did! We know that guns were let "walk" and that the ATF essentially aided and abetted straw-man purchases, export law violations, gun possession laws, ad nauseum.

I think it's notable that Obama has stopped saying he didn't authorize it or know about it. His statement is carefully worded "Holder would not order.." Yes, but might he pass along "by order of the President..."?

The question now is who authorized the ATF to let them walk. And it's been six months since that question has been asked (4 months if you're charitable). And still, ATF/DOJ cannot or will not provide a name. One has to ask why.

Imagine if you were a senior director in a business with 8-10 direct reports and up to 200 subordinates. If your boss or CEO demanded to know who authorized some bone-headed program, would he give you six months to find out? You might get 3 days.

Issa should assign a staffer to review equipment purchases and service documents for DOJ. I'll bet at least one shredder has needed to be replaced or serviced in the last few months.
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Old June 30, 2011, 11:21 PM   #445
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bartholomew Roberts View Post
jimpeel, that is an excellent piece of commentary. Thanks for taking the time to make it, regardless of whether it ever sees the light of day in the Washington Post.
I checked and they did not post any letters to the Editor on that editorial. I'm sure they must have gotten more than just a few comments.
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Old July 1, 2011, 12:11 AM   #446
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FoxNews had this today:

http://video.foxnews.com/v/103298169...ylist_id=87485

ATF whistleblower Cefalo who was recently fired from the ATF.
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Gun Control: The premise that a woman found in an alley, raped and strangled with her own pantyhose, is morally superior to allowing that same woman to defend her life with a firearm.

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"Three thousand people died on Sept. 11 because eight pilots were killed"
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Old July 1, 2011, 12:31 AM   #447
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillCA
I think it's notable that Obama has stopped saying he didn't authorize it or know about it. His statement is carefully worded "Holder would not order.." Yes, but might he pass along "by order of the President..."?
These are words coming from a politician's office. You can be assured that the words used were carefully chosen to be as truthful as they thought they could get away with, consistent with providing the maximum amount of misdirection and disinformation they thought they could get away with.

"Holder would not order.." is back peddling from previous "Holder did not know about" and "Holder did not authorize" statements. The official line has now devolved to "Holder would not order." Which, if you read between the lines, does NOT say that Holder did not know about, and it does NOT say that Holder did not authorize some underling's brilliant scheme. Granting authorization to carry out a suggestion is not the same thing as giving an order.
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Old July 1, 2011, 02:02 AM   #448
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Well first of all - I don't think the BATFE has a clear mission statement or clear idea of what the main purpose, duties and responsibilities of the agency are.

But, whatever ill defined mission they have, they definitely strayed from it when they took a foray into politics and crafted an operation that was designed to give official credibility to gun control claims and bolster arguments for stricter gun control.

Obama was behind it and it is a gross abuse of executive power to use a U.S. agency to craft and carry out a covert operation with the main purpose of creating the impetus to restrict and constrain American's constitutions rights.
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Old July 1, 2011, 11:10 AM   #449
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As much as I dislike and distrust Obama, I don't know that this was his idea. We tend to be insulated from knowing just how many "players" there are in the shadows of our government, and how those players may actively influence and affect our lives. The Prez has a lot on his plate (irrespective of how well or how poorly we think he's handling it). I am prepared to accept that this was not Barry's brainchild. But I don't think it's at all unreasonable to suppose that some unelected, unappointed, liberal Democratic apparatchik might easily have dreamed up this operation as a way of promoting the administration's agenda to discredit gun ownership and to eviscerate the 2nd Amendment. So this genius talks to some other equally unelected, unappointed, unaccountable apparatchiks, one of them takes it down the street to some upper-mid-level honcho in BATFE, and from there things start snowballing rapidly downhill.

I don't think Barry ordered it. I don't think Holder ordered it. I do think Holder authorized it, and I do think both he (and probably Obama) knew about it pretty much from the outset. I think the important thing for us to learn/remember from this is that there are a great many hidden layers within our government, and they generally do not function to our benefit. Many of them, in fact, are there largely for no reason other than to provide plausible deniability.
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Old July 1, 2011, 12:30 PM   #450
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I don't think President Obama hatched the plan - not the way like for instance Nixon would actually think things up himself.

But Obama did have a conversation with Sarah Brady where he assured her that things were being done to re-intorduce stricter gun laws again, I'm paraphrasing but he insuniated that things had to be done quietly, to try accomplish things under the radar, or covertly.

I don't think that ties him strongly and directly with Gun Runner, but my gut feeling is, he knew about it, he was waiting for Gun Runner to put a huge volume of U.S. Guns into the hands of Mexican criminals, he was also waiting for some official study from BATFE to come out documenting the sheer numer and percentage of U.S. guns, and that would be the launchin point for stricter legislation. He was basically telling Sarah Brady to be patient IMO...
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