Gunwalker: the scandal that breaks the Obama administration?

I’ve said for a long time that I think Eric Holder is the worst Attorney General since the wretched A. Mitchell Palmer (1) and should be forced to resign or be impeached. From his failure to protect voting rights on a color-blind basis to his vindictive persecution of CIA interrogators questioning al Qaeda terrorists and his incompetence in handling the trials of terrorists, he’s not just incompetent — he’s doing genuine harm.

But it appears the scandal that may finally bring Holder down (and his boss?) is one that’s been simmering on the backburner for months and is only now coming to a boil: Operation “Fast and Furious,” aka “Gunwalker,” a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms plan to trace the flow of firearms to Mexican drug cartels by letting US gun-dealers sell them the weapons.

What could go wrong?

At Pajamas Media, Bob Owens (aka “Confederate Yankee“) looks at the forthcoming hearings, reviews the fatal results of Gunwalker, and concludes Obama and Holder have plenty of reason to stonewall Congress:

Rumors began to fly over a week ago that a .50 BMG weapon supplied to Mexican drug cartels by the U.S. Justice Department’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) was used to bring down a Mexican military helicopter in May. According to CBS News, the use of that weapon can be confirmed, and it turns out the helicopter was one of two  fired upon by suspected cartel members.

The raid on the cartel that the helicopters were supporting was successful, netting more than 70 weapons, including the helicopter-down .50 BMG rifle and other weapons traced back to the botched ATF Operation Fast and Furious, also know as “Gunwalker.”

To date, the ATF operation, which encouraged gun shops in the American southwest to sell weapons to suspected criminals and let them carry the weapons across the border, has resulted in an estimated 150 Mexican law enforcement officers and soldiers shot  with ATF-supplied weapons. While the theory behind the plot was different, the end result is no more deplorable than Iran’s arming of Iraqi terrorists.

At least two American law enforcement officers have been murdered with ATF weapons as well. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry  was killed with “Gunwalker” firearms in Arizona, while ICE Special Agent Jaime Zapata  was killed in an ambush in Mexico with a gun the ATF allowed to be sold to a cartel gun smuggler in Dallas.

The damning evidence that the U.S. Department of Justice agency is a major supplier of cartel weapons will go in front of a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee this week, in what could be a damning indictment of the ATF’s senior leadership and Eric Holder’s leadership of the Department of Justice.

Attorney General Holder has apparently ordered the DOJ to fight Congressional oversight, with the DOJ and ATF ignoring seven letters and a subpoena  from the committee. Neither Holder nor ATF Director Ken Melson will answer questions — which may lead to them being held in contempt of Congress.

Be sure to read the rest.

One can see why Holder would want to keep information from the House committee: if true, it reveals a mind-boggling level of stupidity and possibly criminal recklessness at ATF and Justice that has lead to the deaths of people on both sides of the border.

Owens hints at a hidden agenda behind the program, and one wonders if he isn’t on to something. Obama, as well as the Left in general, have long been advocates of strict gun-control, regardless of the plain meaning of the Second Amendment. Encountering resistance from the gun-rights lobby and conservatives in Congress, the administration has even worked to circumvent the Second Amendment via international treaty. The President has regularly lied about the role of US firearms in Mexico’s violence, far exaggerating their numbers. Could it be that one of the “side benefits” of Gunwalker was to provide more “ammunition” for the administration’s gun-control agenda?

I’d hate to think that was the case, but it can’t be completely discounted, either.

And that leads to the other reason Holder might rather risk a contempt citation at this week’s hearings than tell the truth: if Obama knew of this plan in advance and approved of it or at least didn’t stop it, or if he found out about it afterwards and didn’t do anything about it, then he bears responsibility for an operation that has cost the lives of US and Mexican federal agents and armed dangerous gangs allied with our declared enemies. It could easily be a fatal blow to his reelection chances.

Which means it’s time to ask The Question: What did the President know, and when did he know it?

BACKGROUND: CBS, in particular reporter Sharyl Attkisson, has been doing yeoman work on this story from its earliest days, reminding us of what the MSM used to be. Here’s one of her first reports. The whole series of articles is here.

RELATED: The Diplomad draws a connection from the ATF to… Thor Heyerdahl?

Footnotes:

(1) Hmm… Also appointed by a progressive Democrat president. I detect a pattern.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

7 Responses to Gunwalker: the scandal that breaks the Obama administration?

  1. Do, I think it will bring the administration down, no. It will be trivialized my the left as every major scandal has been. Do I think it should be enough to take this administration down? YES! There is no excuse for this, one of our own was killed as a result. Plus don’t forget all of the other innocent people killed by the cartels, how many of them were killed by the “Gunwalker” firearms? We cannot let this issue die. More attention needed on this!

    Excellent work Phineas!

  2. Steve Larson says:

    Will this affect the President or his chances of re-election? I doubt it. I doubt if it will affect Holder, even. What is most likely to happen, is some brave peon soul will be thrown under the bus and accept full responsibility. “Yes, Mr. Congressman. I, Joe Schmo came up with this hairbrained idea and implemented it without any of my superior’s knowledge. No, Mr. Congressman, my bosses knew absolutely nothing about my unauthorized decision to impliment this scheme. If they would have known, they never would have approved. I assume all responsibility.” TA-DA! The culprit has been discovered! Private Schmo is guilty! The DOJ, ATF, and all the whitehouse brass is exonerated! Those low level managers should never be trusted will such authority. Why, we should give more power to the bosses so that some oversight can be maintained over these irresponsible peons like Private Schmo!

  3. […] RELATED: Background and links […]

  4. […] following “Operation Fast and Furious” almost since the story first broke.Phineas also added background and links in case you need to get caught up to speed on the reckless policy of allowing firearms to illegally […]

  5. […] RELATED: Background on Gunwalker. […]

  6. BARRY says:

    This is a good break down of what happened in the gun running game.
    GUN RUNNERS? OR TRATORS? 7/6/2011

    1. Dan az says:
    July 6, 2011 at 1:56 pm
    OK look I waited all day for you to moderate and now I’m just going to post it.Maybe in the future we could get a little acceptance of sites that we need to share with out going to these such extremes.
    Shortly after President Obama took office in January 2009, Attorney General Eric Holder and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton launched a coordinated effort to pass more gun control laws here in the U.S.. The justification? 90% of military style semi-automatic rifles used in the cartel wars in Mexico were bought in U.S. gun stores and smuggled across the boarder.
    There was only one problem: It was all a big lie. We now know that not only did the Justice Department know that the 90% figure was inaccurate, the State Department knew where the bulk of the rifles were actually coming from: Central America and U.S. sales to the Mexican Military.
    The current timeline of the scandal provides the strongest support yet for the theory that administration officials first lied about the source of Mexican crime guns and then set about trying to support that lie by increasing the number of guns “going south”.
    Early 2009: High ranking members of the administration launch a major campaign to pass a new “Assault Weapons Ban” in the U.S.. Over and over they state that 90% of weapons recovered in Mexico come from U.S. gun shops.
    It should be noted that the original 90% figure was developed BY BATFE under the Bush administration, as noted in a Feb 2008 press release. However, it was the Obama administration that used this figure in a ‘full court press” aimed at passing a new “assault weapons” ban.
    Almost immediately, the 90% figure is called into question. Eventually it becomes apparent that:
    1) 90% of guns reported to the U.S. BATFE for tracing are found to have come from the U.S.. HOWEVER: ONLY ABOUT ONE IN FIVE GUNS RECOVERED IN MEXICO IS SUBMITTED FOR TRACING. Even the left leaning factcheck.org recognizes that the real figure is no more than 18%, not 90%.
    2) The administration was also including any firearm come from the U.S. in its’ figures – including firearms sold to the Mexican military and diverted to the cartels. Information revealed by Wikileaks confirms that the State Department was well aware that large numbers of these weapons were ending up in the hands of the cartels – and BATFE would discover this when they ran the trace. Counting these guns as coming from U.S. gun shops was flat out dishonest.
    3) Wikileaks now also confirms that at the time the “90% lie” was being sold to the U.S. public, Hillary Clinton’s own State Department knew that the majority of weapons (other than handguns) were actually coming from Central America, not the U.S. This would include the so-called “assault weapons” the administration was seeking to ban.
    In short, there is now ample proof that one of the first things the new Obama administration did upon taking office was to use information they absolutely knew was false to attempt to pass new gun control laws.
    Sadly, the story does not end there. It appears that the administration may have reacted to the exposure of their lie by trying to make it come true.
    Early 2009: At virtually the same time: The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) began ordering gun dealers to sell guns to suspected smugglers.
    Early 2009 to late 2010: Instead of arresting the smugglers, ATF agents are ordered to watch as the guns are smuggled into Mexico. Over and over they beg for permission to stop the guns from going into Mexico – every time the order is the same; Stand down.
    Late 2010: Reports of the policy begin to appear on the insider web forum cleanupatf.org.
    December 14th 2010, just after 11:00pm: US Boarder Patrol Agent Brain Terry is killed with an AK-47 smuggled into Mexico with the help of ATF.
    December 28th 2010: The first whistle-blowing agent makes contact with gun rights media reporters David Codrea and Mike Vanderboegh. This first agent states that the program’s purpose was to increase the number of US guns recovered in Mexico in order to justify further gun control laws in the US and increase ATF’s budget.
    January 22, 2011: World Net Daily becomes the first news outlet outside the “gun rights” media to report the story.
    Late January 2011: ATF supervisors begin threatening whistle-blowers in an effort to stop the story.
    January 30, 2011: Mexican press begins reporting on the scandal. Over the next two months it becomes and remains front page news throughout the country.. Mexican lawmakers are furious and demand that the US Agents be extradited for trial in Mexico. The US Ambassador is forced to resign. In late March the Mexican Attorney General states that an investigation is under way and that he is willing to bring charges against US Officials.
    January 30, 2011: Sen. Charles Grassly offers his protection to whistle-blowers. His staffers begin investigating.
    February 2, 2011: Fox News Online carries a story on the scandal.
    February 2011: ATF officials try to stonewall Sen Grassly – in doesn’t work. He continues to demand answers. Approximately 12 ATF agents come forward to aid his investigation.
    February 15, 2011: The Washington Times begins reporting on the story.
    February 23, 2011: Sharyl Attkisson of CBS news becomes the first mainstream broadcast news reporter to report the story. She continues to dig and report for the next 6 weeks, joined belatedly by Fox News. Two brave agents go on camera to confirm the story.
    March 4, 2011: Rush Limbaugh discovers the story and shares it with his 20 million listeners.
    March 16, 2011: Rep. Darrel Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, calls on the ATF to answer questions and produce documents about “gunwalking” operations where guns were allegedly allowed into Mexico in order to track drug cartels. Issa already has copies of many documents supplied by BATFE whistleblowers. Congressional hearings are now certain.
    March 23, 2011: In an interview with the Mexican TV network Univision, Pres. Obama goes on the record stating that neither he, nor Attorney General Eric Holder had knowledge of guns being smuggled into Mexico with the knowledge and aid of ATF.
    March 27, 2011: The highest ranking agent yet goes on camera. The now retired agent was head of ATF operations in Mexico during the entire time the guns were going south. He described how he protested the policy over and over. The response was that this operation had been approved at the highest levels of both ATF and the Justice Department.
    April 1, 2011 – BATFE refuses to provide requested information to Rep. Issa’s oversight committee. Issa’s committee issues subpoenas.
    April 9, 2011 – It is revealed that the Phoenix office Special Assistant Agent in Charge, George Gillett, is cooperating with Senator Charles Grassley’s and Rep. Issa’s investigation into the scandal. The majority of the guns smuggled south with the help of BATFE came from the Phoenix office. CBS Report here.
    April 20, 2011 – Rep. Issa warns the acting head of BATFE the if he does not provide the requested information, he will be charged with contempt of congress.
    April 26, 2001 – The left wing website Huffington Post reports the story, calling it, “Obama’s Mexicogate”.
    May 3-4, 2011 – Eric Holder finally testifies before Congress. He denies that he, or Asst. AG Lanny Breuer had any knowledge of the operation. Fox News reports that his testimony was FALSE.
    The new Charges:
    1) ATF agents actually BOUGHT THE GUNS that went to cartels
    2) U.S. Attorney AZ Dennis Burke knew and approved of the operation
    3) As did Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer- Holder is his immediate supervisor
    May 4, 2011 – CBS confirms HOLDER”S IMMEDIATE SUBORDINATE KNEW ABOUT THE ROUGE OPERATION. They have copies of documents that directly contradict AG Holder’s congressional testimony.
    May 5, 2011 – NPR finally breaks the story – focusing upon ATF letting guns across the border, while repeating the dis-proven 90% lie the operation may have been created to support.
    May 16, 2011 – Congressional investigators are back on the ground in Arizona, according to CBS news. They are not only interviewing ATF agents, they are interviewing gun shop owners and employees.
    May 17, 2011 – CBS news reports ATF management has appointed a new special agent in charge (SAC) of the Phoenix office, part of a major shake up in that office.
    May 17, 2011 – According to an interview the Daily Caller, Rep. Issa, reports that investigators have proof that “Operation Gunwalker” was planned “in Washington”, and key decisions were made administration officials there. Remember that his many sources within ATF have provided hundreds, if not thousands of internal agency documents – and he has the testimony of the former head of the Phoenix office. Rep. Issa is quoted as saying that this scandal is looking more and more like Iran-Contra.
    May 19, 2011 – CBS News reports that DEA agents recovered 50-60 AK-47s in a drug raid in Phoenix on April 13th. At least some of these firearms were part of “Operation Fast and Furious”. The local CBS affiliate reports that DEA has refused to turn any of these rifles over to BATFE.
    May 22, 2011 – Fox News /William La Jeunesse has interviewed a Federal confidential informant. He states the Following: Drug flow into the US is increasing. Cartels have corrupted federal agents from several agencies. In his opinion, corruption on the US side is worse then on the Mexican side – he cited “operation gunrunner” as an example. He believes that this corruption goes ‘all the way to the top”. He obtained the name and location of Boarder Patrol Agent Brian Terry’s killer, he was told to “ignore that, other agencies are working on that, that information isn’t necessary.” He confirms the Wikileaks information that the cartels are receiving large amounts of weapons from Central America. Weapons are flowing in both directions. Not only are guns going into Mexico, but also military weapons that cannot be purchased legally in the US are flowing north. The informant ultimately decided to quit working for US law enforcement.
    May 24, 2011 – World Net Daily, which was the first source outside the “gun media” to report the Gunwalker story, publishes an article entitled: “White House ‘strategy’ on Project Gunrunner documented – Is report the ‘smoking gun’ in controversy over guns-to-Mexico?” In an unclassified September 2010 report obtained and posted on the net by MSNBC the ATF stated, “The analysis of trends based on seizures and human intelligence have provided some meaningful insights into the methods of acquisition and transportation utilized by the Mexican cartels. Furthermore, over the past few months enforcement strategies (and other guidance) that address firearms trafficking to Mexican cartels have been developed and released by the White House and the Department of Justice. It is essential that ATF efforts support strategies promoted by the White House and Department of Justice. An examination of these and other strategies reveals similarities among the strategies, but also suggests that some revisions to ATF’s current strategy are necessary.” The WND article further reported accusations that the motivation for this “stratigy” was to justify gun control in the US.
    May 25, 2011 – Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is vows to block President Obama’s nominations until he gets detailed answers on the Gunwalker scandal. Additional coverage HERE.
    May 31, 2011 – Fox News reporter William La Jeunesse, citing Wikileaks data, reports that the vast majority of guns used in the cartel wars in Mexico are diverted from sales to the Mexican and other governments. Guns sold through US retail channels are a small fraction of the total – not 90% as claimed by the Obama Administration.
    June 2, 2011 – A report published today at Examiner.com indicated that a .50 Cal rifle ‘walked” into Mexico under the “Fast and Furious” operation may have been used to shoot down a Mexican government helicopter. In addition to the .50 Cal, it is suspected by the ATF that many other guns from the ill fated program were recovered at the shoot out, in which 11 people were killed. Although Examiner.com is not part of the mainstream press, it should be noted that they were among the first to break the Gunwalker story.
    June 5, 2011 – Rep. Issa, Chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, announces in a Fox News interview that he will hold public hearings on the ATF scandal this summer. He also stated that he has evidence that the program was approved at “the highest level”. He made it clear that he believes it is possible that both Eric Holder and President Obama knew of the program. According to Issa, they have had excellent cooperation in the field and zero cooperation in Washington.
    June 6, 2011 – CBS News Reports that Issa will hold public hearing beginning June 13th. CBS also reports that 31 House Democrats have joined Republicans in demanding that the administration “promptly provide complete answers to all Congressional inquiries on this issue.” This is the first time any Democrats have brought their pressure to bear.
    June 6, 2011 – CBS News confirms that “Gunwalker” guns – illegally bought in the US with the help of the BATFE, and then smuggled into Mexico under their watchful eyes – were used to shoot down a Mexican military helicopter.
    ‎Jun 6, 2011 – The Hill reports that Issa’s committee will issue a large number of subpoenas to Washington based administration officials. The Hill also reports that interviews of cooperating witnesses in the BATFE and Justice Department have revealed who authorized the operation.
    ‎Jun 7, 2011 – The Daily Caller reports that the first hearings will focus upon possible obstruction of justice by the Obama administration.
    ‎Jun 7, 2011 – World Net Daily interviews David Codrea of the Gun Rights Examiner, one of the first reporters to Linkbreak the story. The interview focuses upon Rep. Issa’s strategy for the first congressional hearings.
    June 9, 2011 – The Daily Caller Reports that Rep. Issa will hold additional hearings on Wednesday, June 15th. Witnesses will include Sen. Chuck Grassley, Iowa Republican, ATF agents, Justice Department officials and family members of dead Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.
    June 9, 2011 – UPI finally carries a story on the scandal, predictably downplaying the whole issue.
    June 9, 2011 – The Wall Street Journal carries a report that Mexican authorities have recovered a large cache of weapons tied to Gunwalker.
    June 10, 2011 – Fox News reports that DOJ is in “full panic mode” over next week’s hearings. They report that the hearings will reveal that BATFE “knowingly and deliberately flooded Mexico with assault rifles” over the repeated objections of field agents.
    June 10, 2011 – National Review Online Reports that Rep. Darrell Issa is set to issue a number of subpoenas to federal officials who have ties to “Fast and Furious”. The article also notes that the mainstream media is basically ignoring the story. Fox also has an audio recording of an ATF agent instructing a gun dealer to make a sale to a known trafficker, over the objection of the dealer.
    June 10, 2011 – The Herald and News reports that the DOJ is “stonewalling” the congressional investigation.
    June 10, 2011 – The Pittsburgh Tribute calls for “sunshine” to be applied to the ATF scandal.
    June 13, 2011 – Fox news reports that hearings held today will focus on the Obama Administration’s refusal to respond to subpoenas and other requests for documents, as the first step in a process that will eventually compel compliance. Rep. Issa is quoted as saying, “Now the question is will DOJ give us the documents or will law enforcement officials, little by little, as whistleblowers give us what we want to show this problem goes to the highest levels.”
    June 13, 2011 – In an opinion piece, World Net Daily – the first non-gun media to carry the story – becomes the first outlet to raise the issue of IMPEACHMENT. Roger Hedgecock, reports that, behind the scenes, Republican Congress members consider the actions of the justice department an act of war against Mexico.
    June 13, 2011 – In a Fox news interview, Rep. Issa accuses the Administration of a systematic cover up. He also links Gunwalker to a coordinated effort between DOJ and gun control groups.
    June 13, 2011 – Rep. Issa’s opening statement from today’s hearing, detailing the Administration’s cover up.
    June 13, 2011 – Sharyl Attkisson reports on today’s hearings.
    June 13, 2011 – Video and transcripts from today’s hearings.
    Link
    June 14, 2011 – The Tucson Citizen refers to the next day’s hearing as “Custer’s last stand” for the ATF. They publish a witness list which includes Sen. Grassley, Brian Terry’s family, three ATF agents and Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich.
    June 14, 2011 – The Hill reports the the Dems are trying to blunt the impact of the hearings by asserting that it will impede ongoing criminal investigations.
    June 14, 2011 18:00 ET – Just ahead of Wednesday’s hearing, the House oversight committee releases it’s first report. It confirms the worst of the Gunwalker accusations – including that ATF managers were “giddy” when they heard that both violence in Mexico and “gunwalker” gun recoveries were rising. They showed no concern for the innocent Mexicans who were dying. In an earlier video report, Fox News reported that at least one goal of the program was to blame US gun dealers and provide justification for tighter US gun laws.
    June 15, 2011 – C-Span video of today’s hearings. Highlights: ATF has disclosed nothing that was not available on the net or had not be completely blacked out. Agent: There is not one rookie cop in this country who could not have told you this program was not going to work. Agent: The gun dealers are our friends. They were ready to help us. They don’t like being accused of operating in a “grey market”. Question from Rep. Isaa: Is it possible that the real goal of this operation was political?
    June 14, 2011 – Fox News Interviews Larry Pratt – Was Motive Behind ‘Operation Gunrunner’ to Help Gun Control Agenda?
    June 15, 2011 – Greta Van Susteren interviews Peter Forcelli, ATF Supervisory Agent after his testimony.
    June 15, 2011 – NY Times: Top Agency Officials Knew of Disputed Gun Program
    June 15, 2011 – SF Chronicle: Federal agents testify on guns smuggled to Mexico
    June 15, 2011 – Washington Post: Wayward policy blamed for agent’s slaying
    June 15, 2011 – Two LA Times Reports HERE AND HERE
    June 15, 2011 -Wall Street Journal – Top Brass Cited in Gun Sting
    June 15, 2011 – USA Today: ATF agent calls gun-tracking program a ‘disaster’
    June 15, 2011 – CBS News: Congress irate over ATF guns-to-Mexico program
    June 15, 2011 – NPR: ATF Agents: Higher-Ups Let Guns Go To Cartels
    June 15, 2011 – Newsmax: Issa: ATF Mexican Gun Scandal a Lot Like Iran-Contra
    June 16, 2011 – 24hrs later, NBC, ABC and PBS continue IGNORE THE STORY. How many dead does it take?
    June 17, 2011 – Approximately 21;00pt – According to Fox News, in a classic “avoid the news cycle move” the Obama administration has leaked word that the current acting head of ATF will be fired. They are also floating the idea that Obama’s choice to head ATF, Andrew Traver, could be named the new acting director. Traver, who is from – you guessed it – Chicago, has a long history of pushing for the very same gun control measures that the Gunwalker operation may have been designed to justify – often by providing misleading information and “demonstrations” to the media. His confirmation has been held up for years by gun rights groups. The Wall Street Journal has a longer report.
    June 17, 2011 – Dallas Morning News Editorial: ‘We don’t know’ isn’t good enough from Justice Dept.
    June 17, 2011 Fox News story: Two AK-47s Used to Murder Mexican Lawyer Were ‘Fast and Furious’ Guns
    June 17, 2011 – CNS News interviews Rep. Issa: Holder ‘Absolutely’ Knew About Fast & Furious Earlier Than He Testified —– Four Minute Report – Ten minute Report
    June 18, 2011 World Net Daily Editorial: Did White House approve Project Gunrunner? What the goal to justify more gun control?
    June 19, 2011 – The Nevada Appeal publishes an editorial by Jim Bagwell, graduate of the FBI National Academy with 31 years law enforcement experience. In it he states that one objective of Gunwalker was the passage of new federal gun control laws.
    June 19, 2011 – Washington Examiner: Don’t make Melson a Fast and Furious scapegoat
    June 20, 2011 – The Wall Street Journal publishes another article, entitled A Drug-War Plan Goes Awry.
    June 20, 2011 – LA Times reports acting ATF direct to resign. They also report that rank and file agents to not have faith in Traver.
    June 20, 2011 – The Huffington Post reports that Melson will resign in one to two days.
    June 20, 2011 – CNN reports that Melson will resign, says political damage is major.
    June 20, 2011 – ABC News Online finally reports the story SIX MONTHS AFTER AGENT TERRY DIED. Surrounding the text story is a six month old video report on Terry’s death and, you guessed it, links to stories pushing gun control.
    June 20, 2011 – USA today reports that acting ATF director Melson is likely to resign. Very little about guns walking other than Terry’s death.
    June 20, 2011 – Newsmax reports: Acting ATF Director to Resign Over Gun-Buying Sting
    June 20, 2011 – Greta Van Susteren interviews ATF Agent Jay Robbins. He states “fast and furious” was planned in the Attorney General’s Office and was known “at the highest levels of government”.
    June 21, 2011 – Rep. Issa is interviewed on Fox News. He states that Eric Holder “should have known” about the program. Fox Video Newsmax Print Story
    June 21, 2011 – The Daily Caller, citing an Issa staffer, reports that responsibility for “fast and Furious” goes “much higher” than acting head of ATF Melson.
    June 21, 2011 – Main Justice reports Rep. Issa’s call for Melson to resign, also quotes Sen. Grassley as saying that last week’s 70% figure for US gun recoveries in Mexico was intentionally inaccurate and was intended to distract attention from the June 15th hearings.
    June 21, 2011 – The Washington Post citing unnamed sources within ATF, reports that Rep. Isaa was fully briefed on “everything he is objecting to now” in April 2010.
    June 22, 2011 – Investors Business Daily publishes an editorial demanding accountability for Gunwalker “as high as it goes”. They are critical of Traver as well, questioning why the administration should benefit from a crisis they created. Finally, they strongly imply that Obama himself was behind the program and the motive was the create support for a new assusalt weapons ban.
    June 22, 2011 – Main Justice reports the accusation against Issa. However they also report that House Oversight Committee spokesperson Fredrick Hill has denied the accusation – pointing out that the ATF cannot have it both ways. They cannot say that they did not know about guns going to Mexico, but Issa did know because they briefed him on it.
    June 22, 2011 – The Huffington Post dutifully echoes the Washington post accusation.
    June 22, 2011 – In a report posted to the internet this morning, Anderson Cooper casts profound doubt on Eric Holder’s denial of prior knowledge of “Fast and Furious”.
    June 22, 2011 – CBS news reports Rep. Issa’s denial of the Washington Post allegations. He blames “opponents of the investigation” within DOJ for the false reports. Similar reports are carried on June 23rd by The Daily Caller, Main Justice, and The Hill.
    June 23, 2011 – Newsmax reports that aides to Rep. Issa state that the Washington Post story alleging that the Congressman was fully briefed on Gunwalker is “an outright lie”. The spokesman further stated that the Justice Department “shopped the story around” the Washington media, and that several outlets refused to print it because they did not find it credible.
    June 23, 2011 – The LA Times reports that Kenneth Melson is resisting pressure to step down. He reportedly does not want to be the “fall guy” for the Gunwalker scandal. The article notes that he has an open invitation to appear before Issa’s committee, but has not been give permission to do so by the Justice Department.
    June 24, 2011 – Main Justice reports that Rep. Issa has departed for Mexico, where he will meet with government officials in an effort to gather more evidence.
    June 24, 2011 – Human Events publishes an article in which they make the case that the Washington Post has inadvertently provided convincing circumstantial evidence that the real adgenda behind “fast and furious”Link was the promotion of gun control in the US.
    June 24, 2011 – NPR covers the story again, ending with, “One thing’s for sure: Issa and Grassley say they’re planning more hearings this summer.”
    June 26, 2011 – The Washington Post publishes an editorial blaming Gunwalker on the NRA. According to the Post, weak gun laws and the gun rights movement have tied ATF’s hands.
    June 27, 2011 – The Weekly Standard responds to the Washington Post editorial. They question the wisdom of giving more power to an agency that is out of control.
    June 27, 2011 – The LA times publishes an editorial on Gunwalker, blaming the problem on the “impossible task of enforcing weak gun laws”. No mention of the fact that dealers reported the straw purchases to ATF and never would have sold the guns if they had not been ordered to do so. 2006 congressional investigation into ATF excesses in Virginia is cited as an example of how hard it is to enforce gun laws. No mention of the fact that ATF targeted women and mixed race couples, made felony car stops and seized guns with zero probable cause, or that local PD refused to assist when they saw the tactics.
    June 27, 2011 – Fox News reports that BATFE has served one of the “Gunwalker” whistleblowers with a termination notice.
    June 27, 2011 – The Daily Beast reports that Senators Charles Grassley and Patrick Leahy have reached an agreement that will give Grassley and fellow Republicans access to ATF acting head Kenneth Melson, as well full access to ATF documents and other key witnesses. In return, Sen. Grassley will release holds on three Obama nominees awaiting confirmation. As a result Melson, who has reportedly stated that he will not “take the fall” for the scandal, will definitely testify before the House, the Senate or both.
    June 28, 2011 – The Beaufort Observer calls for the abolition of the ATF and the dismissal of Attorney General Holder.
    June 28, 2011 – The Sacramento Bee reprints the LA Times editorial blaming ‘lax guns laws” for the ATF scandal.
    June 28, 2011 – CNN confirms the deal that will give Senate investigators access to ATF acting director Kenneth Melson.
    June 29, 2011 – President Obama is asked about the ATF scandal at his news conference. He once again denied that Eric Holder, his Attorney General, had authorized the operation. In their report CBS notes that Kenneth Melson, acting head of BATFE, will be interviewed by Senate investigators in mid-July.
    June 29, 2011 – Town Hall reports on President Obama’s remarks. Their report includes the following response from Rep. Issa: “”President Obama’s remarks today on Operation Fast and Furious were disappointing. There was no sign of urgency to provide answers or explain why no one at the Justice Department has accepted responsibility for authorizing an illegal gunwalking operation six months after Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry’s murder. The American people expect more from the President than unsubstantiated assertions that the Attorney General didn’t know about this reckless program and no explanation about who authorized it.”
    June 29, 2011 – The Daily Caller reports that lawyers for the defendants in “Gunwalker” are using their discovery rights to conduct their own investigation of BATFE’s actions.
    June 30, 2011 – Democrats in Congress, lead by Rep. Elijah Cummings, conduct a “full court press” aimed at changing the subject from BATFE misconduct to “weak gun laws”. In other words, they are trying to use Gunwalker to pass more gun control laws. Wasn’t that the very accusation made by gun rights groups? Articles: Politico – Chron – Washington Post – Wall Street Journal – Baltimore Sun – Newsmax – Main Justice – The Hill
    June 30, 2011 – ATF Whistleblower Vince Cefalu appears on the Fox News program the O’Reilly Factor, hosted by Laura Ingraham. We learn that prior to exposing the Gunwalker scandal, Cefalu served in many posts within BATFE and had glowing reviews – yet he was terminated after “blowing the whistle”. Cefalu states that many people high in DOJ were fully aware of Gunwalker. Speaking of why he went public, he said, “I had been exposing what I saw as a deterioration in the senior leadership in ATF to the point where it started crossing pretty huge ethical and legal boundaries. Other agents were coming to me from across the country just because I’m as senior as I am, and I became vocal and open and public about it. The straw that broke the back for me was when one of our own was killed with a gun that we allowed to walk.”
    June 30, 2011 – ABC News 15 – a local Phoenix outlet reports that Gunwalker firearms are turning up at crime scenes in the Phoenix area.
    June 30, 2011 – John Hayward, writing in Human Events, authors an article entitled: The Gun Walker Pushback – The scandal which can no longer be ignored.
    July 1, 2011 – The Blue Ridge Now, the online version of the Hendersonville NC Times becomes the latest news outlet to suggest that the whole point of Gunwalker was to pump guns into Mexico from US retail sources, calling it a “False Flag Operation”.
    July 2, 2011 – Newsmax quotes Sen. Charles Grassley as saying, “Many very high up in the Department of Justice” had full knowledge of Gunwalker. Given that the acting ATF director has stated that, “I am not going to take the fall for this” and that he is scheduled to testify later this month, there are not too many people above him in DOJ. Lanny A. Breuer, assistant AG for the criminal division is already linked to the scandal via warrant requests he signed. Above him is the AG, Eric Holder and above Holder is President Obama. Either Lanny Breuar was behind this whole thing, or he is willing to take the fall for someone else, or he will roll over on someone else higher up – and that means Holder and/or Obama. Things are about to get very interesting.
    July 5, 2011 – Human Events publishes a background piece calling for reform of the ATF.
    July 5, 2011 – The New York Times publishes another article blaming the ATF’s problems on “lax gun laws”.
    July 5, 2011 – Fox News reports that calls are growing in Mexico for the extradition of those responsible for smuggling guns into Mexico. Mexican officials want those responsible to be tried in both countries.
    Other than the great work done by CBS News and Fox News, the mainstream broadcast media is trying their best to ignore this scandal because it doesn’t fit their agenda. They can only do this for so long before they will have to report on it. Congressional hearings or a contempt charge may very well force their hand. (Note: The dam may have broken after the 6/15/2011 hearings)
    Of course, there is another possibility: President Obama could assert executive privilege to avoid handing over documents to the House investigation. The problem with do this is that it screams “cover up” and the many, many witness have provided copies of many documents. Even executive privilege will not stop this investigation.
    Given time, we will learn if the Obama administration not only lied in order to promote gun control, but effectively smuggled guns in order to turn their lies into truth – at the cost dozens of Mexican lives and at least one American life. All we have to do is wait.
    Posted by Vince Warde at 6:49 PM

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