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Old April 1, 2011, 01:36 PM   #101
Al Norris
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John Richardson (No Lawyers ... Only Guns And Money), was the first to report earlier this morning that Congressman Issa has issued subpoenas for the documents.

Quote:
Chairman Issa Subpoenas ATF for ‘Project Gunrunner’ Documents
Subpoena comes after ATF fails to meet earlier deadline

WASHINGTON. D.C. – Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), the Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform today announced the issuance of a subpoena to the Department of Justices' Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) for documents related to the highly controversial "Project Gunrunner."

"The unwillingness of this Administration – most specifically the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms – to answer questions about this deadly serious matter is deeply troubling," said Chairman Issa. "Allegations surrounding this program are serious and the ability of the Justice Department to conduct an impartial investigation is in question. Congressional oversight is necessary to get the truth about what is really happening."

On March 16, 2011, Chairman Issa wrote a letter to Acting Director Kenneth Melson of the ATF requesting specific documents related to Project Gunrunner, its "Fast and Furious" component, and records related to the death of Border Agent Brian Terry. ATF failed to meet the March 30th deadline for producing these documents and furthermore refused to voluntarily commit to any date for producing them.

Media reports have raised questions about the handling of operations involving gun trafficking into Mexico – specifically the allegation that ATF has had a policy of permitting – and even encouraging – the movement of guns into Mexico by straw purchasers. This practice may have contributed to the deaths of hundreds on both sides of the border, including federal law enforcement agents. Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), who has also been pursuing the matter, recently stated, "I'm still asking questions and we're still getting the runaround from the Justice Department, [t]hey're stonewalling."

President Obama recently stated that neither he nor Attorney General Holder authorized this operation. His statement did not specify whether Attorney General Holder was aware of this policy or who did authorize it. The Committee's investigation seeks answers to these questions and the true nature of Project Gunrunner.

Documents subpoenaed and due to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform by April 13, 2011, include:

1.Documents and communications relating to the genesis of Project Gunrunner and Operation Fast and Furious, and any memoranda or reports involving any changes to either program at or near the time of the release of the Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of the Inspector General report about Project Gunrunner in November 2010.

2.Documents and communications relating to individuals responsible for authorizing the decision to "walk" guns to Mexico in order to follow them and capture a "bigger fish."

3.Documents and communications relating to any investigations conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) or any other DOJ component following the fatal shooting of Agent Brian Terry, including information pertaining to two guns found at the crime scene that may have been connected to Project Gunrunner.

4.Documents and communications relating to any weapons recovered at the crime scene or during the investigation into the death of Agent Brian Terry.

5.Documents and communications between ATF and the Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) who sold weapons to Jaime Avila, including any Report of Investigation (ROI) or other records relating to a December 17, 2009 meeting "to discuss his role as an FFL during this investigation."

6.A copy of the presentation, approximately 200 pages long, that the Group 7 Supervisor made to officials at ATF headquarters in the spring of 2010.

7.Documents and communications relating to Operation Fast and Furious between and among ATF headquarters and Special Agent in Charge William D. Newell, Assistant Special Agents in Charge Jim Needles and George Gillette, Group Supervisor David Voth, or any Case Agent from November 1, 2009 to the present. The response to this component of the subpoena shall include a memorandum, approximately 30 pages long, from SAC Newell to ATF headquarters following the arrest of Jaime Avila and the death of Agent Brian Terry.

8.Documents and communications relating to complaints or objections by ATF agents about: (1) encouraging, sanctioning, or otherwise allowing FFLs to sell firearms to known or suspected straw buyers, (2) failure to maintain surveillance on known or suspected straw buyers, (3) failure to maintain operational control over weapons purchased by known or suspected straw buyers, or (4) letting known or suspected straw buyers with American guns enter Mexico.
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Old April 1, 2011, 03:20 PM   #102
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This just keeps getting better and better......
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Old April 1, 2011, 06:04 PM   #103
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It's long past time for a special prosecutor. Does anyone trust anyone at DOJ to investigate BATFE or itself? I sure don't.
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Old April 1, 2011, 09:22 PM   #104
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But who appoints the special prosecutor? DOJ?
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Old April 1, 2011, 10:32 PM   #105
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Quote:
But who appoints the special prosecutor? DOJ?
Interesting you asked. Because, you see, we've not had a special prosecutor at this level since Watergate. There have been several independent counsels since then (remember Kenneth Starr?), but the law authorizing the appointment of independent counsels expired in 1999. It was replaced by a separate division in the DOJ called the Office of Special Counsel.

Problem is that the guy who heads this office has, arguably, a conflict of interest. You see, he's from Illinois and is the lead prosecutor against Rod Blagojevich (case pending retrial after a hung jury on most charges in his first trial). It's hard to argue that Fitzgerald, the current office holder is truly independent.

So, you see, the waters are extraordinarily murky - legally and politically.
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Old April 2, 2011, 04:46 AM   #106
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Who would be prosecuted, and for what crime?

Maybe that's not a great road, and Congressional investigations will suffice.
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Old April 2, 2011, 07:25 AM   #107
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Quote:
Who would be prosecuted, and for what crime?
Oh, I dunno. Seems to me that obstruction of justice is a likely place to start.
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Old April 3, 2011, 08:57 PM   #108
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Quote:
Who would be prosecuted, and for what crime?
They ran all kinds of ways afoul of § 922(a)...
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Old April 4, 2011, 01:37 PM   #109
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According to Michelle Malkin:

Quote:
Under the Obama administration, ATF reaped another $21.9 million to expand Project Gunrunner (nearly half from the stimulus boondoggle), and the White House has requested almost $12 million more in fiscal year 2011 appropriations for the program.
I researched that figure, and I came across an old post from 2009 in which a poster found this bit on page 45 of the stimulus bill:

Quote:
For an additional amount for "State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance", $100,000,000, to remain available until September 30, 2010, for competitive grants to provide assistance and equipment to local law enforcement along the Southern border and in High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas to combat criminal narcotics activity stemming from the Southern border, of which $10,000,000 shall be transferred to "Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Salaries and Expenses" for the ATF Project Gunrunner.
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Old April 5, 2011, 08:54 AM   #110
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OK, came across this story this morning. It is a little out there; but if you had told me that the ATF allowing FFLs to sell guns to Mexican drug lords, I'd have probably thought the same thing, so I decided to share it.

Short version is that Anabel Hernandez, a Mexican reporter who has been covering the drug war there for several years and is currently in Italy has charged that Mexican President Felipe Calderon is essentially a figurehead for the Sinaloa Cartel (en espanol) led by Joaquin Guzman. She goes even further and alleges that the Sinaloa Cartel operates with the concurrence of the U.S. DEA and goes on to suggest that the United States may be deliberately turning a blind eye to Sinaloa Cartel operations and even helps target their enemies.

Robert Farago does a Google translation of the original article here and goes on to speculate that the charges above may explain why Calderon has not been more aggressive in asking questions about Operation Fast and Furious.

As I said, no hard evidence supporting these allegations yet and they seem pretty far out there; but given how crazy the initial Gunwalker charges sounded, I thought it was worth sharing in this thread.
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Old April 5, 2011, 12:09 PM   #111
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Bart,
The Zetas have long claimed they defected from the government b/c they were being used by corrupt government officials owned b other cartels as enforcers against the Gulf cartel. Getting paid a fraction of what the other cartels paid their soldiers and doing the same exact work. IDK about working with the DEA and such, but the idea that who ever is in power in Mexico is actually a figurehead for one cartel or the other(at all levels in government) is nothing surprising to anyone living here. "Plata or plumba" is a question they all get asked and the cartels aren't bluffing.
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Old April 5, 2011, 12:53 PM   #112
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This just keeps getting better and better......
No, it gets worse and worse: This is, as Paul Harvey used to say, "US, as in U.S." ....... the agents blowing the whistle is the only bright spot.......
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Old April 6, 2011, 09:36 AM   #113
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Rep. Issa has now extended his request to the Department of State and has also stated "It will be up to the Attorney General to say whether he knew or not,” Issa said. “Right now, the president’s word about what somebody else knew would not be acceptable."

Source: http://dailycaller.com/2011/04/05/bo...#ixzz1IkmxgUH9

Looks like they are serious about following up on this. The above article also has some speculation from former EPIC (El Paso Intelligence Center) director Phil Jordan saying that Holder almost certainly knew and likely received briefings on Fast and Furious.
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Old April 8, 2011, 08:05 AM   #114
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This is not directly related; but has some obvious implications for Gunrunner. It is an MSNBC story describing how in the past 5 years, 80 U.S. Customs officials have been arrested for corruption and hundreds more are under investigation. It also goes on to detail corruption in law enforcement in many poor counties along the border. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42061290..._news-americas

None of that is particularly shocking I guess; but it makes an interesting bacdrop for the allegations here.
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Old April 10, 2011, 01:35 AM   #115
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Looks like an ATF agent who was in charge of most of the day-to-day details of Project Gunrunner is cooperating with Congressional authorities.

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationwo...,4144980.story

Quote:
A key leader in the federal law enforcement operation suspected of allowing high-powered assault weapons to fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartels is now cooperating with congressional investigators, providing a crucial new window into the controversial operation known as Project Gunrunner.

George Gillett Jr., assistant special agent in charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' field office in Phoenix, has met with congressional investigators and is expected to provide crucial information about how dozens of U.S. guns may have been transported with the ATF's knowledge into Mexico. Agents say Gillett provided much of the day-to-day oversight of the Gunrunner operation.
Maybe the investigation is getting somewhere now.
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Old April 10, 2011, 02:05 AM   #116
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The real interesting part is Gillett was one of the people who was allegedly obstructing the investigation at first. Looks like Gillett has seen enough criminals that he understands the "first one to roll over gets the best deal" strategy well enough. Considering he got immunity, I'm interested in seeing who he starts pointing fingers at.

Just noticed that Gillet has received death threats according to the article and according to the latest by Sheryl Atkinson is now complaining about being retaliated against himself.

Wonder if Issa and Grassley will continue to let ATF hang themselves by denying/equivocating on questions that they already have the answers to?

Last edited by Bartholomew Roberts; April 10, 2011 at 03:22 AM.
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Old April 10, 2011, 12:15 PM   #117
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Way back when I lived in CA I knew Issa. He was a pretty straight shooter then. I will note that was when he was first running for office. He might have developed the beltway disorder by now. I think he genuinely upset over this matter.
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Old April 11, 2011, 05:58 AM   #118
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Quote:
Originally Posted by publius42
Who would be prosecuted, and for what crime?
Quote:
Originally Posted by csmsss
Oh, I dunno. Seems to me that obstruction of justice is a likely place to start.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Servo
They ran all kinds of ways afoul of § 922(a)...
Neither answers my first question. Who?
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Old April 11, 2011, 09:18 AM   #119
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To answer the question of "Who?," investigators of some sort will have to start at the bottom and backtrack up the chain of command and figure out: (1) Who knew?; (2) Who authorized?; and (3) Who participated?

Somebody's going to have to take the fall on this one, and it will be interesting to see who does.
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Old April 14, 2011, 04:27 PM   #120
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New report from Sharyl Attkisson at CBS News:
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-31727_16...-10391695.html

It appears that Senator Grassley just revealed on the Senate floor emails from one of the FFLs involved in the "Fast and Furious" scandal. The emails reveal two major points:

1. The FFL asked ATF for a letter of understanding to insure they would not later be hung out to dry for cooperating with ATF. ATF declined to provide this.

2. ATF Supervisor David Voth set up a meeting between the FFL, ATF and the U.S. Attorney's office where the FFL once again voiced concerns. The AUSA apparently told the FFL that safeguards were in place to prevent further distribution of the guns he was selling at the ATF's behest.

The second point is particularly important as AG Holder has stated that the Justice Department has never knowingly sanctioned or allowed the sale of assault weapons to straw purchasers.

The fact that an AUSA was involved in this and directly heard these concerns means that AG Holder's claims on this are seriously undermined.

And in yet another example of waving a flag in front of the bull, the Department of Justice apparently released limited materials from those requested to Rep. Issa; but when Sen. Grassley's staff sought access to the same materials they were not allowed entry. I don't know what Keystone Kop thought that this was a good approach to take with a U.S. Senator; but I sure hope he keeps doing it.

That level of recalcitrance also makes me think that whover is responsible for this is high enough up in DOJ to provide good cover for employees engaged in petty vindictiveness.
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Old April 19, 2011, 04:52 AM   #121
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Sharing materials with the House and not the Senate is every bit as stupid as sending the guns down to Mexico without informing anyone down there that they were coming, and without any apparent plan to track them.
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Old April 19, 2011, 01:13 PM   #122
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Sorry for the all-caps, but Univision is making some interesting claims:

Quote:
UNIVISION OBTAINED AN EXCLUSIVE LIST THAT SHOWS ALL THE WEAPONS THAT WERE ALLOWED TO GO FROM THE UNITED STATES TO MEXICO. IT IS A COMPLETE INVENTORY, JUST FROM THE PHOENIX, ARIZONA OFFICE OF THE ATF, AND IT SPECIFIES THE MODEL AND SERIAL NUMBER OF 1,882 FIREARMS, INCLUDING RIFLES, GUNS AND SEMIAUTOMATIC WEAPONS.

BUT THE LIST CONTAINS MORE INFORMATION. IT ALSO INCLUDES INFORMATION ON BUYERS AND SELLERS, DATE OF PURCHASE AND THE DAY THE WEAPON WAS ENTERED INTO THE SO-CALLED “SUSPICIOUS GUNS DATABASE” OR “SGD.”

(...)

BUT MOST WEAPONS HAVE NOT BEEN LOCATED. OF THE 1,882 WEAPONS THAT WERE ALLOWED THROUGH, 1,315 ARE STILL MISSING.
The whole article is on the Tuscon Citizen.

I'd very much like to see that list.
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Old April 19, 2011, 01:21 PM   #123
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Servo
. . . .
Quote:
. . .. OF THE 1,882 WEAPONS THAT WERE ALLOWED THROUGH, 1,315 ARE STILL MISSING.
Ruh-ro.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Servo
The whole article is on the Tuscon Citizen.

I'd very much like to see that list.
You and me, both.
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Old April 20, 2011, 12:52 PM   #124
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Well, if you haven't heard yet, ATF blew off Rep. Issa's subpoena and declined to provide the requested documents. The 4 documents they did provide (and denied to Sen. Grassley) apparently had nothing to do with Fast and Furious.

Rep. Issa has asserted his authority under law to Acting Director Melson and informed him that the next act would be citations of contempt of Congress if they do not comply with the subpoena.

I'm really puzzled at ATF/DoJ's approach here. Either there is a big run on clownshoes at DoJ, or this is really, really, bad and the current horrible behavior is happening because as bad as it is, it is still better than complying.
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Old April 20, 2011, 01:55 PM   #125
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Bart, I think they have to get a truly believable story put together. Something that sounds credible, on the surface, and something that the MSN can run with (despite the CBS reporting, most major media are still ignoring this story), to protect their interests in the administration.

Remember, the Watergate cover-up did not involve the murder of civilians and US agents.

This is a concerted effort to stall until the cover story is completed.
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