Gunwalker: more “walked” firearms found at US crimes

August 17, 2011

This isn’t the first time “walked” guns from Operation Fast and Furious (“Gunwalker”) have shown up at US crime scenes, but it is an illustration of the old adage that there’s never just one roach:

Firearms from ATF sting linked to 11 more violent crimes

Firearms from the ATF’s Operation Fast and Furious weapons trafficking investigation turned up at the scenes of at least 11 violent crimes in the U.S., as well as at a Border Patrol agent’s slaying in southern Arizona last year, the Justice Department has acknowledged to Congress.

The department did not provide details about the crimes. But The Times has learned that they occurred in several Arizona cities, including Phoenix, where Fast and Furious was managed, as well as in El Paso, where a total of 42 weapons from the operation were seized at two crime scenes.

The new numbers, which expand the scope of the danger the program posed to U.S. citizens over a 14-month period, are contained in a letter that Justice Department officials turned over to the Senate Judiciary Committee last month.

In the letter, obtained by The Times on Tuesday, Justice Department officials also reported that Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives officials advised them that the agency’s acting director, Kenneth E. Melson, “likely became aware” of the operation as early as December 2009, a month after it began.

Melson has said he did not learn about how the operation was run until January of this year, when it was canceled.

To recap, Gunwalker was an operation to permit firearms to be purchased in the US and “walked” over the border to Mexico, where theoretically they could be traced to the cartel kingpins, who would then be arrested and charged. The guns were bought by “straw buyers,” people who would buy the guns not for themselves, but for cartel criminals who normally would be prevented from buying them. Even though the straw-buyers were known, or when there was a suspicious firearms order, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms would tell the gun dealer to let the purchase go through.

One problem: they lost track of the guns.

Now those guns have been involved in one, perhaps two deaths of US federal agents. They have been “in action” in the deaths of over 150 Mexican soldiers, federal agents, and civilians. US federal agents working in Mexico and the Mexican authorities were lied to about the extent of the operation. The guns are showing up more and more at American crime scenes.

And the US Justice Department is throwing roadblock after roadblock in the way of what may well be the biggest federal scandal in decades.

Right now, Gunwalker is overshadowed by the US debt crisis and the politics of the upcoming election. But it won’t stay that way. Some time in the next year, whether through dogged investigation by Rep. Issa’s House Oversight Committee or, God forbid, some major crime the media can’t ignore, the guns of Operation Fast and Furious are going to come back to haunt the Obama administration.

RELATED: Earlier posts on Gunwalker. Bob Owens’ on Obama’s “un-plausible deniability.”

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

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Violence? Look for the union label. UPDATED: video link added

August 17, 2011

Ever notice how the Right is regularly accused of violent rhetoric, fascist sympathies, and plain-old knuckle-dragging thuggishness, but it’s from the Left that we usually see garbage like this:

Ohio Business Owner Shot For Being Non-Union, Police Investigating

With around 25 employees, John King owns one of the largest non-union electrical contracting businesses in the Toledo, Ohio area. As a non-union contractor, his business happens to be doing well at a time when unions in the construction industry are suffering. This, it seems, has made the usual animosity unions have for him even greater, making him a prime target of union thugs. So much so, that one of them tried to kill him last week at his home.

(…)

Last Wednesday, however, the attacks on Mr. John King became much more serious when he was awakened late in the evening at his home in Monroe County, Michigan and saw that the motion lights in his driveway had come on.  When he looked out his front window, he saw a figure near his SUV and went outside.

As soon as he got outside his front door, King yelled at the individual who was crouched down by King’s vehicle. As soon as King yelled, the suspect stood and, without hesitation, fired a shot at Mr. King.

Luckily for King, as he yelled, he also stumbled. If it weren’t for that, however, John King’s injuries might have been much, much worse. In fact, he might have been killed.

Upon scrambling back into his house, King got to his cell phone and called 911. However, due to the pain in his knees and shoulder from falling, King was unaware that he had been shot in the arm.

At first, King thought that his assailant was merely trying to break into his vehicle. Little did he know, however, that the perpetrator was targeting him–because of his non-union company.

The night of the shooting, police recovered a shell casing from a small caliber handgun. In addition to the shell casing, police also found a Swiss Army knife that police say was likely going to be used to slice the tires on King’s SUV.

While neither the police, nor Mr. King can say which union was behind the attack, it is very clear by the word ’scab’ scrawled on his SUV that it the attack was union-related.

Emphasis added.

What upsets the unionistas isn’t that King is exploiting defenseless workers like some caricature of an 1890s robber baron. No, they’re angry because he is providing jobs they can’t, because his union-free status allows him to charges prices in-line with a bad economy, while the labor union’s cartel’s contracts have priced them out of the market. In other words, they would rather their workers have no work at all, if it can’t be under the union’s terms.

And those who defy them get their property and even their lives threatened.

Tell me again who the fascists and the thugs are?

RELATED: I suppose Kenneth Gladney should be glad he was only beaten into a wheelchair by union thugs, and not shot. “Labor Union Report,” the author of the quoted article, maintains a very informative site that tracks union intimidation, corruption, and violence. He (or she) can also be followed on Twitter.

FOR THE RECORD: I am not opposed to private-industry* labor unions per se; the right to form one is part of our right to freely associate under the First and Fourteenth amendments. However, I am unalterably opposed to laws that force one to join a union just to have a job; not only does that deny the freedom of the individual negotiate his own contract (yes, I’m a fan of Lochner), it creates a labor cartel that enables price-fixing just as harmful to the consumer as any corporate monopoly. And when labor unions engage in intimidation and violence, they become little better than rackets and should be treated as such.

*(As for public-employee unions, I agree with that noted conservative, Franklin Delano Roosevelt.)

UPDATE: Breitbart.TV has video of an interview with John King, the victim in the shooting.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)