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Old May 19, 2011, 10:48 PM   #201
hogdogs
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Quote:
Do I need to say what happens if the ATF gets their hands on those rifles?
What rifles?

Quote:
PET FISH

A redneck named Brent with a bucket full of live fish was approached recently by a game warden in the Florida panhandle as he started to drive his boat away from a lake.

The game warden asked Brent, "May I see your fishing license please?"

"Naw, sir," I replied. "I don't need none of them there papers. These here are my pet fish."

"Pet fish??"



"Yep. Once a week, I bring these here trained pet fish o'mine down to the lake and let 'em swim 'round for a while. Then when I whistle, they swim right back into my net and I take 'em home."

"What a line of horse crap....you're under arrest."

I told the sumbitch, "It's the truth, Mr. Goobermint Man. I'll show ya! We do this all the time!!"

"WE do, now, do WE?" smirked the warden. "PROVE it!"

So I go ahead and released my fish into the lake and stood and waited. After a few minutes, the warden said, "Well?"

"Well, WHUT?" I asked him.

The warden asked, "When are you going to call them back?"

"Call who back?"



"The FISH," replied the warden!

"Whut fish?" I asked.

MORAL OF THE STORY:
We may not be as smart as some city slickers, but we ain't as dumb as some government employees.
'cept the last line ain't so silly now...

Brent
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Old May 19, 2011, 11:24 PM   #202
Al Norris
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Yup, zactlicly.
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Old May 20, 2011, 03:16 PM   #203
Spats McGee
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I just finished reading "Project Gunrunner - A Cartel Focused Strategy." Interesting read, but not as damning as I thought it would be. Here are some of the quotes that I find most telling:

Quote:
Effective implementation (and documentation) of this [cartel-focused] strategy will enhance public safety and provide essential evidence of performance and accomplishments necessary to the continued growth and reputation of our agency.
p. 3

Reading between the lines: "We can use this to get more funding."

Quote:
The controlled movement of firearms, ammunition, explosives, explosive devides and/or components or non-functional "props" of such items across the U.S.-Mexico border from the United States shall be coordinated with and approved in advance by Bureau headquarters and the MCO.
p. 18

Again, reading between the lines: "We're going to let guns walk."

Also, someone may have posted this, and I may have missed it, but here's Senator Grassley's 16 May 2011 letter to Eric Holder: http://grassley.senate.gov/judiciary...ollow-Up-2.pdf

Edited to add: Darn it. I tried to upload Grassley's letter, but apparently it's too big.
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Old May 20, 2011, 04:07 PM   #204
Bartholomew Roberts
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Again, reading between the lines: "We're going to let guns walk."
Yes, it seemed like this was coordinated strategy and that both the BATF HQ and Mexico City Office (MCO) were aware of it since their advance approval was required before guns could cross the border.

According to this CBS News article, Darren Gill was the lead ATF official in Mexico and I am presuming the "MCO" whose approval would be necessary; but he says he not only said no weapons were to enter Mexico without his approval (email dated Jan 2010), he also claims his first knowledge of Fast and Furious was in early 2010 when he tried to trace firearms recovered by Mexican officials and found he did not have access.

Gill also stated he was told by his supervisor that "the operation was approved even higher than ATF Director Kenneth Melson." Gill also mentions that DoJ's Lanny Breuer visited Mexico and generally referenced a big trafficking case.

So it looks like the suspect in our game of clue is:
1) In a position of higher authority than Acting Director of the ATF, Kenneth Melson
2) Able to declare that MCO cannot have access to things that are supposed to be under the direct supervision of MCO based on this Cartel Strategy document (although it appears that this portion of the report directing Bureau and MCO advance approval was written long after Fast and Furious was already underway and MCO had already figured out something was up).

Here is another good quote from Page 19 of the Cartel Strategy PDF:

Quote:
ATF has assisted Mexico in identifying foreign military ordnance recovered from and used by DTOs and cartels in Mexico. Prior to such assistance, most of the recovered military ordnance were incorrectly identified by Mexico as coming directly from the U.S., when in fact, most have come from Central American countries and much is of non-U.S. manufacture.
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Old May 20, 2011, 04:23 PM   #205
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Bartholomew,
Yeah, I had actually started typing in a paragraph preceding the one you've quoted about "[mis]identifying military ordnance," but I think that it refers to explosives, at least in large part.

Also, note that:
Quote:
Analysis of source location trace data for specific market area, when adjusted for time-to-crime, may not only reveal actional investigative leads, but also that secondary sources (e.g., gun shows, thefts and private sales) are a greater source of trafficked crime guns than licensed dealers.
p. 11-12

This tells me that somebody already suspected that FFLs weren't the real problem. I'm also bothered by the "gun shows" reference. Gun shows are nothing more than a collection of FFLs and private individuals, buying and selling. It's not like the gun show itself has anything for sale.
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Old May 20, 2011, 08:27 PM   #206
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There are also practical considerations that may require bringing investigations to a conclusion or dictate a change in investigative tactics prior to the identification of persons directly affiliated with the DTOs. Examples include high volume trafficking investigations in which numerous diverted firearms identifiable with one or more purchasers are being used in violent crimes and recovered by law enforcement, and high volume trafficking investigations in which over an extended period ATF cannot reasonably determine where or to whom such firearms are being trafficked. SACs must closely monitor and approve such investigations, assessing the risks associated with prolonged investigation with limited or delayed interdiction. (Emphasis supplied, MBV.) In some instances, the best answer may be to provide actionable intelligence to other law enforcement agencies and/or the Government of Mexico.
So if they are losing track of a large volume of firearms, and/or those firearms seem to be turning up in criminal hands, that MAY require termination of the investigation, and possibly even the notification of the government of Mexico. I see.

Whose foreign policy is this again?
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Old May 20, 2011, 09:17 PM   #207
hogdogs
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Whose foreign policy is this again?
It is Bush's fault... errrr.... Foreign Policy...
Brent
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Old May 20, 2011, 10:25 PM   #208
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It is Bush's fault... errrr.... Foreign Policy...
Project Gunrunner was started under President Bush, but the difference is that under Bush guns were not allowed to cross the border to Mexico. All buyers were stopped at the border and arrested.

Guns were not allowed to walk into Mexico until after Obama took office.
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Old May 23, 2011, 01:34 PM   #209
Bartholomew Roberts
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As David Codrea has noted Fox News jumps in with a HUGE accusation... Source

Quote:
In a second, equally explosive disclosure, a law enforcement source tells Fox News, that ATF undercover agents were acting as the straw buyers and purchasing guns using government-issued false identifications and then providing those guns to cartel traffickers to gain credibility in their undercover roles. In that capacity, the ATF "provided 2, 50 cal. machine guns to traffickers that are loose in Mexico and unaccounted for," the source said.
If true, this latest accusation means that ATF went way beyond ordering FFLs to allow questionable sales while they just watched, they actually directly supplied cartels with military grade weaponry not available through FFLs - and then lost track of the weapons.

That seems huge!

On a smaller, unrelated note, the Wall Street Journal gave some cursory coverage to the Fast and Furious program in an article that is otherwise more favorable to the ATF - however, it did have this interesting tidbit:

Quote:
At the time, Mr. Rodriguez was already under the scrutiny of ATF agents for possible trafficking, prosecutors alleged in the Shipley case. They were excited by the lead, authorities say, because of the short "time-to-crime" period—less than seven months between the El Paso sale and the time the gun turned up in Chihuahua. Normally that period averages eight to 11 years, an ATF official said.
In other words, all of these guns that are "flowing" to the south, the average time period between these guns being sold by an FFL and recovered in a crime in Mexico is 8-11 years. In other words, practically none of the firearms found in Mexico (with the exception of ATF-sponsored ones apparently) are coming directly from an FFL.
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Old May 23, 2011, 01:45 PM   #210
Spats McGee
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Originally Posted by Bartholomew Roberts
As David Codrea has noted Fox News jumps in with a HUGE accusation... Source

Quote:
In a second, equally explosive disclosure, a law enforcement source tells Fox News, that ATF undercover agents were acting as the straw buyers and purchasing guns using government-issued false identifications and then providing those guns to cartel traffickers to gain credibility in their undercover roles. In that capacity, the ATF "provided 2, 50 cal. machine guns to traffickers that are loose in Mexico and unaccounted for," the source said.
If true, this latest accusation means that ATF went way beyond ordering FFLs to allow questionable sales while they just watched, they actually directly supplied cartels with military grade weaponry not available through FFLs - and then lost track of the weapons.

That seems huge!
It doesn't just "seem" huge, BR! Your assessment (straw purchasing, supplying cartels with military-grade weaponry, and then losing track of the weapons) seems dead on. Given that they (allegedly) were using government-issued IDs, it may turn out that some of the FFLs were not cooperative at all, but rather were duped.

And the hits just keep on coming!
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Old May 23, 2011, 03:22 PM   #211
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I am not the sharpest stick in the bunch but this gun trafficking plan has stupid written all over it.

How could you let weapons like that into Mexico knowing you can't stop them from being used and that you will lose track of them. It has beeen proven time and time again that the United States nor any of its law enfocment agencies have any powers south of the border.

I guess we should be thankful that there are plenty of good agents in federal law enforcment that stood against this and have even blown the whistle on it.
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Old May 26, 2011, 12:02 PM   #212
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Senator Grassley (who sits on the Judiciary committee) is now threatening to block all nominations from the current administration until they're more forthcoming with information.
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Old May 29, 2011, 05:10 AM   #213
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That might backfire on Grassley, but I found this part more interesting:

Quote:
A Republican aide on Issa’s committee this week said DOJ has since increased its level of assistance and has been more accommodating to the panel’s requests for documents and interviews with DOJ and ATF officials.

Rep. Elijah Cummings (Md.), the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said. “We want to be sure that whatever investigation there is, is thorough, but that it does not interfere with Justice’s investigations.

“I think Justice has made reasonable efforts to extend themselves to us and ask us to work with them so that we can still get the information we want and at the same time they can protect their witnesses. I think the problem here is, is the question … How deeply is Justice itself implicated?” he added.
Two things there - Issa's threat of contempt seems to have gotten at least some response, according to the unnamed aide, and the ranking Democrat on Issa's committee has a pretty darn important question (my emphasis added) that should really not be answered by the Justice Department. The conflict of interest is obvious.
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Old May 29, 2011, 10:20 PM   #214
Brandon.Glidden
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What is your definition of Military equivalent firearms? I dont see Wasser 10's as an equivalent to any US Weapon. Since weapons in the US arsenal are either full auto, or semi auto. I suppose you could say they have one trait in common, and that would be they the semi automatic configuration.
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Old May 29, 2011, 11:59 PM   #215
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There are many lessons here, the first one is that ATF / BATF / BATFE really is not and never has been on par with the FBI, which leads me to ask, "why create a separate law enforcement agency for 3 special categories of commodities?" The FBI is unable to investigate crimes involving tobacco? For some reason, as good as the FBI is at so many other things, they don't know how to handle crimes involving alcohol? We need a special bureau to handle crimes related to firearms? I would think that the BATFE's continued incompetence is the strongest argument for the dissolution of it and turning over those responsibilities to the FBI.

It would be the equivalent of going to your local police agency to report that your car got stolen and they tell you "Sorry - this is the police agency of kerosene, potatoes and power tools. If your crime doesn't involve those three specific categories - we can't help you." I'm saying the BATFE is not needed.

I know that any organization has “politics”. Any police officer will tell you about “politics” in his or her department. And I imagine the larger the law enforcement organization – the more prevalent politics are. But this is case where a law enforcement agency got so sidetracked by a political agenda, that they strayed from the very mission – their core mission. Individuals in BATFE sold out their agency – agreed to employ the agency in plan to support a political agenda to erode the second amendment rights of citizens of the United States.

From reading the quotes attributed to some of the agents, for those who objected, it really wasn’t about second amendment rights versus gun control – they were concerned that the BATFE had strayed from it’s mission and that the Gun Runner operation was putting lethal weapons in the hands of criminals, and their fear that those weapons would be used to kill federal agents.

This is what happens when a law enforcement agency fails to stay neutral and actively tries to be part of influencing legislation.

Really horrible. Besides proving yet again that BATFE is incompetent, they’ve proved that they are not worthy of the public’ trust.
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Old June 1, 2011, 05:19 PM   #216
Webleymkv
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Quote:
There are many lessons here, the first one is that ATF / BATF / BATFE really is not and never has been on par with the FBI, which leads me to ask, "why create a separate law enforcement agency for 3 special categories of commodities?" The FBI is unable to investigate crimes involving tobacco? For some reason, as good as the FBI is at so many other things, they don't know how to handle crimes involving alcohol? We need a special bureau to handle crimes related to firearms? I would think that the BATFE's continued incompetence is the strongest argument for the dissolution of it and turning over those responsibilities to the FBI.
While I don't disagree with your logic, I think that part of the reason for the current situation is that for most of its history, except a brief period in the 1930's, the ATF has been a division of the Treasury Department rather than the Justice Department. The original purpose of the ATF was to enforce the tax laws on alcohol and tobbacco and they only really became involved in firearms after the GCA of 1968. The ATF has only been a division of the Justice Department since 2002 when they were transferred from the Treasury Department through the Homeland Security Act which was signed by President George W. Bush.
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Old June 1, 2011, 05:58 PM   #217
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I just finished reading a column on this in the latest American Rifleman. The column brought up something that I hadn't even thought about: How is it that BATFE thinks that international gunrunnning is even within their jurisdiction? Isn't that the job of the Border Patrol?

Edited to add: Given that I'm an attorney, it's a little embarrassing that I didn't even think about jurisdiction.
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Old June 1, 2011, 06:15 PM   #218
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Many of you all have probably read about two Iraqui refugees being arrested on terrorism related charges in Bowling Green, Ky. Their activities included plans on shipping sniper rifles, grenade launchers, etc. to Iraq. Thei FBI was teh primary investigating authority. A small portion of that story, relevant to this thread, reads:
Quote:
The source who was helping the FBI had told Alwan he worked for a group trying to help insurgents in Iraq, led by a man called the Hajji who got money from Osama bin Laden, according to court documents.

His role was to pick up weapons at a storage unit the FBI had rented in Bowling Green and deliver them to Franklin, where they would be hidden in a tractor-trailer, according to court documents.

The FBI had made the weapons at the storage unit inoperable.

Last November, Alwan picked up three rocket-propelled grenade launchers and three machine guns from the storage unit and took them to Franklin, where the source helping the FBI met him and hid them in a car on the tractor-trailer, according to Glenn's statement.
Read more: http://www.kentucky.com/2011/06/01/1...#ixzz1O4KzqkwN

It appears this is the proper way to investigate and break an international gun running scheme. First, it's the FBI and not the ATF. Second, they made the weapons inoperable before turning them over to the bad guys. You have to wonder where the ATF was when they passed out the law enforcement smarts.
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Old June 2, 2011, 07:05 PM   #219
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Speculation is running deep at whether or not a .50 Barret rifle, captured recently in an operation in Jalisco State, was involved in Project Gunrunners operation Fast and Furious.

David Workman's article is here.

Mike Vanderboegh's blog on this is here.
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Old June 4, 2011, 10:15 AM   #220
Al Norris
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This was a pleasent thing to wake up with! From an NRA-ILA alert:

Quote:
House Democrats Urge President to End Stonewalling on "Gunrunner"

Friday, June 03, 2011


Today, 31 U.S. House members -- all Democrats -- wrote to President Barack Obama, urging him to end Administration stonewalling on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' "Project Gunrunner," and the "Fast and Furious" program under which border state dealers were encouraged to sell thousands of guns to suspicious buyers.

In the letter, spearheaded by Rep. Jason Altmire, D-Pa., the lawmakers called the investigative tactics "extremely troubling" and found the Justice Department's failure to provide information to congressional investigators "equally troubling." Saying that Americans deserve "prompt and complete answers," the letter concluded with a call for the administration to help "get to the bottom of this serious allegation of federal law enforcement misconduct."

To read the letter, click here [link to http://www.nraila.org/media/PDFs/Pro...S3June2011.pdf] —and if your representative signed it, please be sure to thank him for taking this stand for strong congressional oversight of this disastrous program.


Copyright 2011, National Rifle Association of America, Institute for Legislative Action.
This may be reproduced. It may not be reproduced for commercial purposes.
11250 Waples Mill Road, Fairfax, VA 22030 800-392-8683
If any of your congressmen signed this letter, send them a thank you note!
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Old June 4, 2011, 03:49 PM   #221
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Thanks Al, for keeping us posted on the relevant news. Hopefully some officials will be going to jail for their direction of this "operation", and that it happens this year and not after another election.
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Old June 5, 2011, 04:52 PM   #222
alan
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I could be wrong, but it looks like the ATF (BATFE), once again, has stepped on its' you know what. Of course, I could be wrong here, and perhaps the world is, after all, flat.

Seems as if a whole lot depends on how easily or not congressional inquiries are bought off by Obama et al, or stonewalled. Who knows.
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Old June 5, 2011, 05:47 PM   #223
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Issa said today on FOX news that subpoenas and hearings are on schedule for this summer.
Implying that some want to talk but politically need the subpoenas to not appear too anxious.

http://sipseystreetirregulars.blogsp...subpoenas.html
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Old June 5, 2011, 10:35 PM   #224
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Amazing thread.

Bookmarked all the links and now I have some reading to do.

Thanks to all of you for putting this info together.

--Wag--
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Old June 6, 2011, 02:26 PM   #225
alloy
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I suppose it was inevitable for a journalist to apply Occam's Razor and strip the whole affair down, but I hadn't read it yet.
Meaning that if you want crime stats in Mexico from your gunrunning, what you need is bodies to prove your point.
Article from last month:

http://www.examiner.com/conservative...teria-and-kill

Forgot to mention about the Issa interview yesterday, he was very quick to point out when questioned...that altho President Obama has clearly stated that "he and Holder didn't authorize the activities"....he has yet to say he and Holder didn't know about it.
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