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Old September 18, 2011, 09:58 PM   #1051
Aguila Blanca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gc70
Are we really to believe that the whole operation was to buttress some statistics supporting a political agenda that we dislike?
...
Or should we believe that ATF was really trying to catch gun smugglers further up the food chain?
Yes.

No.
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Old September 18, 2011, 10:28 PM   #1052
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All of the time and energy spent on F&F could have been spent trying to bust straw buyers elsewhere - supplying guns to gangs in LA, San Diego, Oakland, Chicago etc...

But those operations wouldn't have had any more impact than your typical "XYZ law enforcement agency confiscate n-tons of drug-xyz, with an esitmated street value of n-dollars. n-number of suspects in custody"

The F&F operation however had potential currency to change public opinion. The angle was that American gun shops where arming the hated Mexican drug cartels with American guns. - Ipso facto - American gun laws were flawed and required fixing.

The theory that F&F was primarily conceived to be a lever to move public opinion is not far-fetched.

BATFE's bungling aside, those resources could have been used more efficiently to greater effect in other areas of the country, but those operations had no potential political currency associated with them.
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Old September 19, 2011, 04:18 AM   #1053
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gc70, the motivation for gunwalking has been revealed, as if it were not already obvious from the design of the program.

Quote:
Another reason it appears the passage of more gun control was the goal all along is found in e-mails between Mark Chait, ATF’s assistant director of field operations, and William Newell, special agent in charge in Phoenix during Fast and Furious. In one such e-mail, sent during July 2010, Chait asked Newell to pay special attention to multiple long-gun sales at gun stores because the ATF was, at that time, already “looking at anecdotal cases to support a demand letter on long-gun multiple sales.”
If you're having trouble hunting down favorable anecdotes, go create them!

That's Fast and Furious in a nutshell.
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Old September 19, 2011, 05:33 AM   #1054
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ATF Whistleblower Vince Cefalu on Lou Dobbs
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Old September 19, 2011, 05:48 PM   #1055
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No new information but it's good to keep this in the public eye.
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Old September 19, 2011, 06:35 PM   #1056
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Quote:
Originally Posted by publius42
gc70, the motivation for gunwalking has been revealed, as if it were not already obvious from the design of the program.
Accepting "the obvious" is what bothers me. I was initially inclined to accept "the obvious" because I wanted to believe that the administration would stoop to any level to gin up statistics to support a gun control agenda. But, if so, it was a plan befitting a high school kid. What was obvious from the start was that executing the plan involved far too many unsympathetic people (both gun store owners and ATF agents) who would not remain silent if the end game was only to provide statistics for a gun control campaign.

publius42: I hesitate to go further in this thread lest I cross the line of advancing a conspiracy theory, but feel free to PM me for more thoughts.

Last edited by gc70; September 19, 2011 at 06:44 PM.
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Old September 19, 2011, 08:13 PM   #1057
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Quote:
...if so, it was a plan befitting a high school kid.
Yep. I'm still having two problems with all this:
  1. How can individuals with that much government power and authority be dumb enough to cook up such a lame-brained scheme?
  2. What are we overlooking?
The Watergate burglary was intelligible all along: steal information, then lie about it after being caught red-handed. Stupid? Yes, but none of it staggered the imagination.

The BATFE's and other agencies' scheme to let criminals buy lots of guns and send them to Mexico is both stupid and incredibly—in the literal sense of not being believable—illogical. Cook up fake statistics to agitate for more Marxist so-called "gun control?" That's approximately intelligible, although it obviously would have been considerably simpler to come up with fake numbers. How hard would it be to gin up a fake "analysis?"

So far, it's awfully dumb, but comprehensible. Now we come to involving FFLs, lots of BATFE people and apparently people from other agencies, probably including the State Department, and real guns being handed to real criminals and carted across the border into another country. That's not just stupid or even monumentally stupid, but waaaaay beyond monumentally stupid.

Is something missing?
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Old September 19, 2011, 08:19 PM   #1058
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Oh but there is a bit of news. CBS News: Secret recordings raise new questions in ATF 'Gunwalker' operation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gc70
publius42: I hesitate to go further in this thread lest I cross the line of advancing a conspiracy theory, but feel free to PM me for more thoughts.
Under most circumstances, conspiracy theories are just that. A theory that generally isn't true (at least, that has been most of our experience, here at TFL).

Even I waited until there was some evidence that Something was going on, before I broached the subject. I did that with as much real data as I could, and even then, I wasn't sure that this whole thing wasn't some cockamamie gambit.

I think we've gone beyond the "theory" aspect. We have a bonafide conspiracy. It also appears that we have a cover-up in progress (see the link above to substantiate at least part of that statement).

Speculation as to the "why" is a valid part of the topic. Nobody has a lock on that aspect, that I know of.

ETA: Dang! CBS News Releases more recordings: ATF Fast and Furious secret audio recordings.

Last edited by Al Norris; September 19, 2011 at 08:38 PM. Reason: Another link
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Old September 19, 2011, 09:29 PM   #1059
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Given the recent past with this administration I would watch for whoever is getting promoted in the ATF & DOJ, most likely they are in part guilty of some high crimes... along with some more people up there somewhere.. Im thinking Mr. Hope and change has some new worries besides re-election..
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Old September 19, 2011, 09:51 PM   #1060
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Paranoia has been described as the invalid thinking that "people are out to get you". When it turns out that the belief is valid, which is to say that there are "people who are out to get you", is it still paranoia? I wouldn't think so, but then I could be wrong.

By the way, we hear a whole lot about The Gun Lobby from media. From the same source, re The Anti-Gun Lobby, we hear nothing, which does not say that there is no such thing as the Anti Gun Lobby. Rather, it says that the Anti Gun Lobby, which exists in the federal government too, is simply something that media would rather not talk about..
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Old September 19, 2011, 11:31 PM   #1061
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Since we're speculating on possible reasons/motives for the conspiracy, let's revisit an article in the Washington Times which suggests the CIA was the moving force so that guns would end up in hands of the Sinaloa Cartel. The Sinaloa Cartel has ties to the Mexican military and would help counter-balance the Zeta Cartel which threatens the Mexican political structure.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/...t-and-furious/

Of course, there can be more than one "why" behind Fast and Furious. A secondary motive of providing statistics and numbers to strengthen gun laws would appeal to many within ATF and elements of the Obama administration.
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Old September 19, 2011, 11:44 PM   #1062
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In the tape recoding at CBS, Agent Hope MacAlister and the gun dealer talk about a possible investigation in the Senate. The gun dealer tells the agent to "stay off the screen." Then, MacAlister makes an interesting slip:

Quote:
Dealer: Hope, stay off the screen. You don' t need this sh--. Neither does your husband.

Agent: Believe me I have...

Dealer: You gotta have a f-----g life man.

Agent: I have a file and...

Dealer: shhh

Agent: It's all, it's all public stuff I dont' care.

Dealer: Well don't even convey it in that. I'm sure you do. Hopefully this thing will subside...
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-31727_16...-10391695.html

Listening to the recording, it sounds to me as if MacAlister might have realized she said something she shouldn't have about keeping a file and then added the comment about it being "all public stuff." Hard to say for sure but I would be looking for that file if I were investigating the matter.
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Old September 20, 2011, 03:58 AM   #1063
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That's not just stupid or even monumentally stupid, but waaaaay beyond monumentally stupid.

Is something missing?
No, this is the Chicago way. Obama and his handlers and lackies come from a political environment even more corrupt and one party dominated than DC. He is so use to the press covering for him and never being seriously questioned, that I believe they got arrogant on this and didn't try to cover it up too well.

Just like some criminals when they have gotten away with crimes long enough they begin to believe the police are stupid (when in fact they are just playing by civilized rules), and then in their arrogance begin to take greater chances and to taunt their opponents.

I think some of his associates discovered this early on and have returned to the safety of Chicago politics, right Rahm? Obama is pathologically arrogant (as the puppet begins to think he is actually in control and all the adulation is because of himself) and is now finding out that DC does not provide as sure and thick cover for his shenanigans as does Chicago.

The recent tapes are explosive, I believe. This is the type of information that will get middle level people willing to spill the beans beyond the initial whistleblowers. The biggies that ramrodded this are being promoted and bought off to keep quiet. But as more hard evidence comes to light there will eventually be several middle level people that are more than willing to jump onto the Congressional bandwagon and watch the ATF ship go under with the king rats.
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Old September 20, 2011, 05:02 AM   #1064
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Standing Wolf
The BATFE's and other agencies' scheme to let criminals buy lots of guns and send them to Mexico is both stupid and incredibly—in the literal sense of not being believable—illogical. Cook up fake statistics to agitate for more Marxist so-called "gun control?" That's approximately intelligible, although it obviously would have been considerably simpler to come up with fake numbers. How hard would it be to gin up a fake "analysis?"

So far, it's awfully dumb, but comprehensible. Now we come to involving FFLs, lots of BATFE people and apparently people from other agencies, probably including the State Department, and real guns being handed to real criminals and carted across the border into another country. That's not just stupid or even monumentally stupid, but waaaaay beyond monumentally stupid.

Is something missing?
Remember Occam's Razor: The correct answer is usually the most obvious.

Yes, in hindsight the operation seems stupid, dumb, naive, and impossibly ill-conceived. But remember that this administration is made up of people who are unaccustomed to doing anything the legitimate way, do not know how to tell the truth about anything, believe that what they want must be best for everyone because it's their idea (and they're smarter than everyone else) ... all the way to recognizing that an operation of such incomparable obviousness (if that's a word) is typical of Chicago machine politics.
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Old September 20, 2011, 07:27 AM   #1065
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Just give enough guns to enough killers and watch what happens, no big mystery there.
There's no expectation, except it'll be bad, and whatever happens can be used as opportunities arise.
Budgetary, logistically, systematically, internationally, legislatively, politically.
Short of getting caught, it's a no lose scenario. At every level it was justified or rationalized differently according to needs vs/ personalities.
Why, is cause that's who some people are and that's how people like that operate. While coming out the other side indignant, they would trade lives for the stats....this ensured the stats.

Anti-firearms agenda folks in a position to make change don't care what you think, that's why. They gave guns to killers cause they want people killed, that's why. People are stats. Figuring it out is easy, but the reluctance or reticence to accept, making it fit into your value system...not so easy.

They don't change how they operate, given the chance, it'll happen again. Probobly double down on it and eliminate the stupid low level middlemen by going at it wholesale.

Team players will get promotions and whistleblowers off to Podunk. A good cleansing for the ATF going forward.
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Old September 20, 2011, 09:34 AM   #1066
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I am not sure what Howard is doing, but he doesn't sound like the hapless victim gun store owner strong-armed into compliance with BATFE.

He sounds like a conspiritor. "Hopefully this thing will subside" Really? Howard just want the death of Agent Terry to go away?

What's his problem with Sen Grassley? A Senator who's trying to find out the truth behind the death of a Federal Agent and gross incompetence that has cost the tax payers millions of dollars and has endangered the lives of multiple law enforcement officers in the Southwest?

If he's lying about what he is saying and trying to get Hope McCallister to say something - I think he's a jerk for that too.

All he had to do was prove his compliance with BATFE requests and express his unwillingness to do so, and his doubts about the operation, but the tapes are way beyond that.

Either Howard is expressing what he really thinks - and I think he's an ass, or he's putting on some sort of show to trap Agent McCallister and I think he's an ass if he's doing that.

Either way - I think he's an ass.
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Old September 20, 2011, 10:47 AM   #1067
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Quote:
Remember Occam's Razor: The correct answer is usually the most obvious.
"Obvious" is subjective, what's obvious to one person may be totally oblivious to another. That is the fallacy in "Occam's Razor", IMHO of course.
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Old September 20, 2011, 11:29 AM   #1068
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I don't mean to get into a philosophical discussion, but the correct application of Occam's Razor, when choosing between two equally likely hypotheses (or conspiracy theories ) is to select the one that makes the fewest new assumptions.

It's not necessarily the simplest nor the most obvious although usually it works out that way. And it's not always right.

I really think that a few people in Justice came up with a way to kill two birds with one stone: hammer a Mexican cartel and pad statistics on illegal gun sales into Mexico. Unfortunately, the plan was completely unworkable. Doubly unfortunately, it was executed anyway.
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Old September 20, 2011, 11:57 AM   #1069
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I am not sure what Howard is doing, but he doesn't sound like the hapless victim gun store owner strong-armed into compliance with BATFE.
That's what I took from it as well. Howard did make a ton of money in a short time from his cooperation, but I want to believe that wasn't his motivation. That tape doesn't make it easy.
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Old September 20, 2011, 05:23 PM   #1070
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Thank you, Hardcase, for the description of the Razor. Always meant to look that up but never got there.

I guess it would be useless to ask about a pig, though...
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Old September 20, 2011, 06:02 PM   #1071
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Standing Wolf said:
"Yep. I'm still having two problems with all this:

#1 How can individuals with that much government power and authority be dumb enough to cook up such a lame-brained scheme?
#2 What are we overlooking?

The answer to the first question is one word; HUBRIS!
The answer to the second question is; Truth is stranger than fiction and we need only accept the theory of Occum's Razor.

Marxist operatives will stop at nothing to achieve their ends.
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Old September 20, 2011, 06:31 PM   #1072
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardcase
I really think that a few people in Justice came up with a way to kill two birds with one stone: hammer a Mexican cartel and pad statistics on illegal gun sales into Mexico. Unfortunately, the plan was completely unworkable. Doubly unfortunately, it was executed anyway.
The problem with this hypothesis is that (a) they had no assets with which to track the guns once they crossed the border, and (b) they didn't inform either the Mexican authorities (who would have tipped off the cartels, I'm sure) OR our own people in Mexico. So just how were they going to "hammer" the cartels with no assets?

Okay, I 'fess up to being a conspiracy theorist, but I see only one explanation for this cluster foxtrot, and it doesn't involve busting Mexican drug cartels.
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Old September 20, 2011, 08:50 PM   #1073
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Okay, I 'fess up to being a conspiracy theorist, but I see only one explanation for this cluster foxtrot, and it doesn't involve busting Mexican drug cartels.
No. Bart Sibrel is a conspiracy theorist.

Your conclusion fits obvious evidence. Big difference.
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Old September 20, 2011, 10:14 PM   #1074
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Quote:
So just how were they going to "hammer" the cartels with no assets?
Well, I did say that it was unworkable
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Old September 20, 2011, 10:26 PM   #1075
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aguila Blanca
The problem with this hypothesis is that (a) they had no assets with which to track the guns once they crossed the border, and (b) they didn't inform either the Mexican authorities (who would have tipped off the cartels, I'm sure) OR our own people in Mexico. So just how were they going to "hammer" the cartels with no assets?
There would be no need to track the guns if the FBI's cartel informant was arranging the smuggling.

Fast and Furious was launched late in 2009. The Gulf, La Familia, and Sinaloa cartels also formed an alliance against Los Zetas late in 2009. Why not arms the cartel alliance to offset the rapidly growing power of Los Zetas? At worst, all of the cartels would be weakened fighting each other.
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