Fast and Furious: the targeted cartel heads were our informants

February 10, 2012

Great. Just great. As they say on Twitter, #EpicFail :

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has acknowledged that guns were allowed into the hands of Mexican criminals for more than a year in the hope of catching “big fish.”

The memorandum from staffers with the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform says the FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration were investigating a drug-trafficking organization and had identified cartel associates a year before the ATF even learned who they were. At some point before the ATF’s Fast and Furious investigation progressed — congressional investigators don’t know when — the cartel members became FBI informants.

“These were the ‘big fish,'” says the memo, written on behalf of Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa. “DEA and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had jointly opened a separate investigation targeting these two cartel associates….Yet, ATF spent the next year engaging in the reckless tactics of Fast and Furious in attempting to identify them.”

According to Issa and Grassley, the cartel suspects, whose names were not released, were regarded by FBI as “national-security assets.” One pleaded guilty to a minor offense. The other was not charged. “Both became FBI informants and are now considered unindictable,” the memo says. “This means that the entire goal of Fast and Furious — to target these two individuals and bring them to justice — was a failure.”

Representatives with the Justice Department and its subagencies declined to comment.

In other words, not only did the right hand not know what the left hand was doing, but all the fingers on the same hand were blithering idiots. In sum, one sub-agency of the US Department of Justice was supplying untraceable guns to murderous cartels to catch drug lords working as informants for another sub-agency of the US Department of Justice.

And all it cost was the life of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, possibly that of ICE Agent Jaime Zapata, and over 300 Mexican nationals.

I can understand why DoJ representatives declined to make a statement. They probably wanted to consult with their defense attorneys, first.

Read the rest at Bob Owens’ personal blog.

RELATED: Earlier Gunwalker posts.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Gunwalker: three more murders linked to Obama admin. scandal

September 15, 2011

CBS reporter Cheryl Attkisson has done the best work among MSM journalists on the growing scandal surrounding Operation Fast & Furious, having been on it since it broke early this year. Now she’s filed a report about three more murders tied to guns the US government knowingly let fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartels:

Weapons linked to ATF’s controversial “Fast and Furious” operation have been tied to at least eight violent crimes in Mexico including three murders, four kidnappings and an attempted homicide.

According to a letter from U.S. Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich to Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), the disclosed incidents may be only a partial list of violent crimes linked to Fast and Furious weapons because “ATF has not conducted a comprehensive independent investigation.”

When added to the guns found at the murder scene of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in the U.S., the newly-revealed murders in Mexico bring the total number of deaths linked to Fast and Furious to four.

According to the Justice Department letter:

One AK-47 type assault rifle purchased by a Fast and Furious suspect was recovered Nov. 14, 2009 in Atoyac de Alvarez, Mexico after the Mexican military rescued a kidnap victim.

On July 1, 2010, two AK-47 type assault rifles purchased by Fast and Furious suspects were recovered in Sonora, Mexico after a shootout between cartels. Two murders were reported in the incident using the weapons.

On July 26, 2010, a giant .50 caliber Barrett rifle purchased by a Fast and Furious suspect was recovered in Durango, Mexico after apparently having been fired. No further details of the incident were given.

Click through for the rest.

So, which scandal do you think will bring about the first cabinet-level resignations and/or a special prosecutor? Gunwalker, in which people have died, or Solyndra, into which the White House sank one-half billion of our dollars into a company it knew was failing? I think it’s almost a dead heat.

So many scandals, so little time.

via Moe Lane

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Oh my. FBI raids bankrupt Obama-favorite Solyndra

September 8, 2011

That’s the California solar-power manufacturer that somehow managed to secure a $535 million, federally-guaranteed (1) loan through the Department of Energy at a sweetheart interest rate, even though their financial condition and business plan never warranted it. But, and I’m sure it’s a coincidence, the major shareholder is a top Obama donor and donations bundler.

And now they’re bankrupt, the investor gets reimbursed with taxpayer money, and the FBI is kicking-in the door:

Just days after the company filed for bankruptcy protection, federal agents swarmed around the Solyndra facilities in Fremont to execute a search warrant.

FBI agents were joined by officials from the Department of Energy’s Office of the Inspector General in the early morning operation.

Officials would say little about the search, which seemed to center on the Solyndra buildings on Page Avenue off Interstate 880.

“Everything is under seal,” said Julianne Sohn, a spokeswoman for the FBI.

Agents began executing their search about 7:30 a.m., Sohn said. More agents arrived in SUVs at 8:40 a.m.

The action by federal agents comes a week after the solar manufacturer abruptly closed, laying off about 1,000 workers, and two days after the company filed for bankruptcy protection.

Solyndra spokesman Dave Miller said the search came as a surprise, but he emphasized the company is “fully cooperating” with federal officials. He said he did not know the purpose of the search, but he speculated it could have something to do with the $535 million in loan guarantees the Department of Energy awarded to Solyndra.

Gee, ya think??

Read the report from ABC yesterday on the loan guarantees and unusually low interest rates for background, but here’s an excerpt that I’m sure you’ll find entertaining:

Solyndra’s most prolific financial backer is George Kaiser, an Oklahoma oil billionaire who was a bundler of campaign donations for Obama’s 2008 race. Kaiser’s Argonaut Ventures and its affiliates have been the single largest shareholder of Solyndra, according to SEC filings and other records. The company holds 39 percent of Solyndra’s parent company, bankruptcy records filed Tuesday show.

Under terms of the bankruptcy filing, investors including Argonaut — which led a $75 million round of financing for Solyndra earlier this year — will stand in line before the federal government and other creditors.

You know, I do believe I hear the House Energy Committee warming up in the wings.

Kaiser, not surprisingly, was a frequent White House visitor.

Without a doubt, this deal stinks to the heavens. Not only is it a perfect  illustration of why “green jobs” –or any uneconomic, government-subsidized industry– is a doomed-from-the-start waste of public money, but it also reeks of political favoritism, backroom deals, and downright corruption.

What was it Sarah Palin said the other day? Oh, yeah

They use [public money] to bail out their friends on Wall Street and their corporate cronies, and to reward campaign contributors, and to buy votes via earmarks. There is so much waste. And there is a name for this: It’s called corporate crony capitalism. This is not the capitalism of free men and free markets, of innovation and hard work and ethics, of sacrifice and of risk. No, this is the capitalism of connections and government bailouts and handouts, of waste and influence peddling and corporate welfare. This is the crony capitalism that destroyed Europe’s economies. It’s the collusion of big government and big business and big finance to the detriment of all the rest – to the little guys. It’s a slap in the face to our small business owners – the true entrepreneurs, the job creators accounting for 70% of the jobs in America, it’s you who own these small businesses, you’re the economic engine, but you don’t grease the wheels of government power.

And I’ll bet you my last dollar that Solyndra is a $535,000,000 example of just what she was denouncing.

Between this and Gunwalker, Obama is going to have an… “interesting” 2012.

via Zombie

RELATED: Also check out Power Line and Hot Air.

UPDATE: At Power Line, historian Steven Hayward raises an interesting possibility — What if the raid is an attempt by Holder to cover-up what happened at Solyndra and block any congressional inquiry by hiding behind the privilege of a claim of an “ongoing investigation?”

Footnote:
(1) As in, guaranteed with our money.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Oregon scandal, another special election in the offing?

July 23, 2011

What is it with congressmen and their evident inability to keep their pants zipped? Now it’s Democrat David Wu of Oregon, who stands accused of making unwanted sexual advances to a teenaged girl:

According to the Beaver State-based outlet, the daughter of a longtime friend and campaign donor accused the Democratic congressman of pursuing an unwanted sexual encounter said to have occurred last year. The young woman reportedly raised the matter in a voicemail left at Wu’s Portland office this past spring. An unnamed source tells the Oregonian that she sounded “distraught” in her message.

This is not the first time that Wu has come under scrutiny over matters unrelated to his work in the political domain. Earlier this year, the congressman found himself combating calls to resign in the wake of demonstrating questionable behavior. In February, Wu cited a reaction to mental health drugs in resisting calls to step down.

Apparently Wu’s behavior has been so erratic that his staff staged an intervention:

Three days before the Nov. 2 election, U.S. Rep. David Wu’s most loyal and senior staffers were so alarmed by his erratic behavior that they demanded he enter a hospital for psychiatric treatment.

Their concern had been spiking for weeks in tandem with the Oregon Democrat’s increasingly unpredictable performance on the campaign trail and in private. He was loud and sometimes angry, some of them told The Oregonian. He said kooky things to staff and — more worrisome with a tough election fast approaching — around potential voters and donors.

Most of all, they were worried for Wu, a 55-year-old single father of two children.

Earlier and gentler efforts had failed, so the tight-knit group of high-level staff took other steps, including quiet inquiries about the availability of beds in hospitals in Portland and Washington, D.C., multiple sources familiar with the effort told The Oregonian.

Several staff members confronted Wu for the final time on Oct. 30. Wu’s psychiatrist was brought into that meeting as well, joining the group at the Portland campaign headquarters by speaker phone. The meeting was held after four consecutive days of troubling behavior that led the staff to agree that Wu needed a higher level of medical care, according to people intimately familiar with the events of that period.

“This is way beyond acceptable levels and the charade needs to end NOW,” wrote Lisa Grove, a senior and long-serving campaign pollster, in an e-mail to colleagues that day. “No enabling by any potential enablers, he needs help and you need to be protected. Nothing else matters right now. Nothing else.”

Wu, however, remained defiant, sources said. He left the meeting and said he was going to a movie.

Oregon Live details further bizarre behavior by Congressman Wu. It seems as if he has serious mental health problems and is in need of treatment; his staff surely thought so. Perhaps the best thing for all concerned would be for him to resign so he can get the help he needs, and so the people of his district can choose a better representative.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


#Gunwalker becomes a real threat to the Obama administration

July 21, 2011

When even a Democratic Party house-organ such as the Los Angeles Times begins to take notice, you know the wall of obstruction and denial is crumbling fast.

via Melissa Clouthier and others

RELATED: Earlier posts on Gunwalker.

 

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Genius: Gunwalker targets were paid FBI informants

July 18, 2011

Remember, this is a product of the Smartest Administration Ever(tm). Key summary quote from Bob Owens:

To simplify: the Department of Justice was paying ATF agents to ignore federal laws in order to provide weapons to criminal informants paid by the FBI, who then distributed those weapons to other cartel members who killed federal agents from Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement plus an estimated 150 soldiers and police in Mexico.

The development draws FBI Director Robert Mueller further into the scandal, and suggests that acting ATF Director Ken Melson was being truthful when he claimed he was unaware of key elements of Operation Fast and Furious. Congressional investigators now need to interview the FBI director and determine if Mueller was also being provided with only partial details about the operation.

Read the whole piece. There is no way the Attorney General was unaware of what was happening. Not only does he need to be fired or impeached, but criminal charges for several people are probably in order. This whole operation reeks of incompetence and criminality.

Or, as Congressman Issa called it, “felony stupid.”

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Gunwalker: ATF head to tell all?

June 28, 2011

Well, this could get very interesting. Instead of resigning in disgrace and going away quietly so that everything could be swept under the carpet, Acting ATF Director Ken Melson has agreed to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee in a deal between Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Charles Grassley (R-IA):

The head of the embattled federal agency that combats gun trafficking has agreed to talk with Senate investigators, a potentially important breakthrough as Congress tries to determine whether higher-ups in the Obama administration knew about a controversial sting that let assault weapons flow across the border into Mexico’s drug wars.

The testimony — expected next month from Kenneth Melson, the acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives — was brokered as part of a deal between Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and the committee’s top Republican, Iowa’s Charles Grassley. Grassley and his fellow Republicans were given full access to ATF documents, Melson, and other key witnesses; and in return, Grassley agreed to release three Obama administration nominees he had been blocking, according to correspondence obtained by Newsweek and The Daily Beast.

So, is Melson the new John Dean, or is this a prelude to being the fall-guy? At Pajamas Media, Bob Owens considers five possibilities:

  1. Melson falls on his sword.
  2. Melson implicates the head of the DoJ Criminal Division, who signed off on a Gunwalker wiretap.
  3. Melson implicates Attorney General Holder, himself.
  4. Melson also names Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano.
  5. Melson does the “full Dean” and implicates Obama.

For various reasons, Bob considers numbers two and three the most likely, leading to the resignation or even impeachment of the officials involved. Be sure to read the piece to find out why. Going a step further, Howard Nemerov makes a plausible argument that Holder and other officials could be charged as accessories before and after the fact to federal crimes.

Regardless, Melson’s forthcoming testimony promises some summer fireworks.

RELATED: Background on Gunwalker.

UPDATE: Welcome Hot Air readers!.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


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