Obama Asserts Executive Privilege Claim Over Holder’s Wife Emails Pertaining To Fast and Furious — Cover up Of Crimes — Article 1 of Impeachment Bill — What are They Hiding? — Aiding and Abetting Homicides –Videos

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Story 1: Obama Asserts Executive Privilege Claim Over Holder’s Wife Emails Pertaining To Fast and Furious — Cover up Of Crimes — Article 1 of Impeachment Bill — What are They Hiding? — Aiding and Abetting Homicides –Videos

Fast-and-furious-holder-obamafast-furious-eric-holder

eric-holder-fast-and-furious-gunwalking-documents-political-cartooncartoon_eric_holder_fast_n_furious_n_gun_confiscationJune 21, 2011 John de Rosier editorial cartoonEric Holder guns what guns Obama Fall Guyexecutive privillege gunexecutive_privilege_holder_fulleric holdersobama_holdersfast and furious

President Obama Evokes Executive Privilege for Eric Holder – 2007 v. 2012

Obama announces Eric Holder’s resignation

Is Obama involved in Fast and Furious, obstructing a congressional investigation or both?

Congress Votes to Hold Eric Holder in Contempt Perjury Lied to House Congress Vote Passes

Jon Stewart Slams Obama Executive Privilege, Fast & Furious, and Eric Holder

Remember Brian Terry, the murdered Border Patrol Agent

Judge Napolitano: Executive Privilege Only Applies If Obama Involved

Mark Levin Explains How GOP Should Handle Holder Contempt Charge & Executive Privilege Claim

Issa on Fast and Furious, Holder Contempt, Obama Executive Privilege on Fox News Sunday

Obama Perpetuates The ’90 Percent Of Mexico’s Weapons Come From The U.S.’ Lie — In Mexico!

Eric Holder – We Must “Brainwash” People Against Guns! – (1995)

Holder on 2nd Amendment

Eric Holder Attacking The Second Amendment To Help Mexico?

“Operation Fast & Furious: The Other Side of the Border” Part 1

“Operation Fast & Furious: The Other Side of the Border” Part 2

“Operation Fast & Furious: The Other Side of the Border” Part 3

Fast and Furious: Management Failures at the Department of Justice – Part 1

Eric Holder Choking on his Testimony

Michael Savage offers concise summary of “Fast and Furious”, describes his own love of guns

Congress: Eric Holder Should Be In Jail!

 

Obama Asserts Fast and Furious Executive Privilege Claim for Holder’s Wife

OCTOBER 23, 2014

Judicial Watch announced today that it received from the Obama Department of Justice (DOJ) a “Vaughn index” detailing records about the Operation Fast and Furious scandal. The index was forced out of the Obama administration thanks to JW’s June 2012 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request and subsequent September 2012 FOIA lawsuit (Judicial Watch v. Department of Justice (No. 1:12-cv-01510)). A federal court had ordered the production over the objections of the Obama Justice Department.

The document details the Attorney General Holder’s personal involvement in managing the Justice Department’s strategy on media and Congressional investigations into the Fast and Furious scandal. Notably, the document discloses that emails between Attorney General Holder and his wife Sharon Malone – as well as his mother – are being withheld under an extraordinary claim of executive privilege as well as a dubious claim of deliberative process privilege under the Freedom of Information Act. The “First Lady of the Justice Department” is a physician and not a government employee.

This is the first time that the Obama administration has provided a detailed listing of all records being withheld from Congress and the American people about the deadly Fast and Furious gun running scandal. The 1307-page “draft” Vaughn index was emailed to Judicial Watch at 8:34 p.m. last night, a few hours before a federal court-ordered deadline. In its cover letter, the Department of Justice asserts that all of the responsive records described in the index are “subject to the assertion of executive privilege.”

The Vaughn index explains 15,662 documents. Typically, a Vaughn index must: (1) identify each record withheld; (2) state the statutory exemption claimed; and (3) explain how disclosure would damage the interests protected by the claimed exemption. The Vaughn index arguably fails to provide all of this required information but does provide plenty of interesting information for a public kept in the dark for years about the Fast and Furious scandal.

Based on a preliminary review of the massive document, Judicial Watch can disclose that the Vaughn index reveals:

Numerous emails that detail Attorney General Holder’s direct involvement in crafting talking points, the timing of public disclosures, and handling Congressional inquiries in the Fast and Furious matter.
President Obama has asserted executive privilege over nearly 20 email communications between Holder and his spouse Sharon Malone. The administration also claims that the records are also subject to withholding under the “deliberative process” exemption. This exemption ordinarily exempts from public disclosure records that could chill internal government deliberations.
Numerous entries detail DOJ’s communications (including those of Eric Holder) concerning the White House about Fast and Furious.
The scandal required the attention of virtually every top official of the DOJ and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF). Communications to and from the United States Ambassador to Mexico about the Fast and Furious matter are also described.
Many of the records are already publicly available such as letters from Congress, press clips, and typical agency communications. Ordinarily, these records would, in whole or part, be subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act. Few of the records seem to even implicate presidential decision-making and advice that might be subject to President Obama’s broad and unprecedented executive privilege claim.
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton criticized President Obama and his disgraced Attorney General in a statement today:

This document provides key information about the cover-up of Fast and Furious by Attorney General Eric Holder and other high-level officials of the Obama administration. Obama’s executive privilege claims over these records are a fraud and an abuse of his office. There is no precedent for President Obama’s Nixonian assertion of executive privilege over these ordinary government agency records. Americans will be astonished that Obama asserted executive privilege over Eric Holder’s emails to his wife about Fast and Furious.

Once again, Judicial Watch has proven itself more effective than Congress and the establishment media in providing basic oversight of this out-of-control Administration. This Fast and Furious document provides dozens of leads for further congressional, media, and even criminal investigations.

On June 28, 2012, Attorney General Eric Holder was held in contempt by the House of Representatives over his refusal to turn over records explaining why the Obama administration may have lied to Congress and refused for months to disclose the truth about the gun running operation. It marked the first time in U.S. history that a sitting Attorney General was held in contempt of Congress.

A week before the contempt finding, to protect Holder from criminal prosecution and stave off the contempt vote, President Obama asserted executive privilege over the Fast and Furious records the House Oversight Committee had subpoenaed eight months earlier. Judicial Watch filed its FOIA request two days later. Holder’s Justice Department wouldn’t budge (or follow the law), so JW filed a FOIA lawsuit on September 12, 2012.

But then the Justice Department convinced U.S. District Court Judge John D. Bates to stay our lawsuit, in part to allow ongoing settlement discussions between the Holder’s government lawyers and the House Committee to continue. Unsurprisingly, the “negotiations” between politicians running the House and the Justice Department went nowhere.

Fed up with the interminable delay caused Holder’s gamesmanship and stonewalling, JW renewed its request to the Court to allow our transparency lawsuit to continue. Thankfully, this past July, Judge John D. Bates ended the 16-month delay and ordered the Obama administration to produce a Vaughn index of the alleged “executive privilege” records by October 1. Judge Bates noted that no court has ever “expressly recognized” President Obama’s unprecedented executive privilege claims in the Fast and Furious matter.

Unhappy with having to produce the records prior to the elections, Justice lawyers asked the judge to give them one extra month, until November 3 (the day before Election Day!) to produce the info. Judge Bates rejected this gambit, suggested that the Holder’s agency did not take court order seriously. Rather than a month, Judge Bates gave Justice until yesterday to cough up the Vaughn index. Judge Bates issued his smack down on September 23.

Attorney General Eric Holder announced his resignation two days later.

Many share our opinion it was “no coincidence” that Holder’s resignation came “on the heels of another court ruling that the Justice Department must finally cough up information about how Holder’s Justice Department lied to Congress and the American people about the Operation Fast and Furious scandal, for which Eric Holder was held in contempt by the House of Representatives.”

The House had been separately litigating to obtain the records but had gotten nowhere until after Judge Bates ruled that the DOJ finally had to disclose information to Judicial Watch.

On September 9, U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson, citing Judicial Watch’s success, ordered the Justice Department to produce information to Congress by November 3.

Fast and Furious was a DOJ/Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) “gun running” operation in which the Obama administration reportedly allowed guns to go to Mexican drug cartels hoping they would end up at crime scenes, advancing gun-control policies. Fast and Furious weapons have been implicated in the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and hundreds of other innocents in Mexico. Guns from the Fast and Furious scandal are expected to be used in criminal activity on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border for years to come.

Guns from the Fast and Furious scandal continue to be used in crimes. Just last week, Judicial Watch disclosed that a Fast and Furious gun was used in gang -style assault on a Phoenix apartment building that left two people wounded. We figured this out from information we uncovered through another public records lawsuit against the City of Phoenix.

Congress officially confirmed the AK-47 was used in the assault that terrorized residents in Phoenix. In an October 16 letter sent from Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Rep. Darryl Issa (R-CA) to Deputy Attorney General James Cole discloses that “we have learned of another crime gun connected to Fast and Furious. The [Justice] Department did not provide any notice to the Congress or the public about this gun….This lack of transparency about the consequences of Fast and Furious undermines public confidence in law enforcement and gives the impression that the Department is seeking to suppress information and limit its exposure to public scrutiny.”

We have many other active lawsuits over the Fast and Furious scandal:

On October 11, 2011, Judicial Watch sued the DOJ and the ATF to obtain all Fast and Furious records submitted to the House Committee on Oversight.

On June 6, 2012, Judicial Watch sued the ATF seeking access to records detailing communications between ATF officials and Kevin O’Reilly, former Obama White House Director of North American Affairs at the U.S. National Security Council.

On September 5, 2013, Judicial Watch sued the DOJ seeking access to all records of communications between DOJ and the Oversight Committee relating to settlement discussions in the Committee’s 2012 contempt of Congress lawsuit against Holder. The contempt citation stemmed from Holder’s refusal to turn over documents to Congress related to the Fast and Furious gunrunning scandal.

On May 28, 2014, Judicial Watch sued the DOJ on behalf of ATF Special Agent John Dodson, who blew the whistle on Operation Fast and Furious and was then subjected to an alleged smear campaign designed to destroy his reputation.

 

Obama used executive privilege to shield Holder emails

BY SUSAN FERRECHIO

President Obama used executive privilege to withhold the contents of more than 20 emails sent between Attorney General Eric Holder, his wife and his mother that a conservative watchdog group sought in connection with the federal government’s botched “Fast and Furious” gun-running operation.

The document, according to the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch, “details the Attorney General Holder’s personal involvement in managing the Justice Department’s strategy on media and Congressional investigations into the Fast and Furious scandal.”

Judicial Watch said the White House is withholding the contents of the Holder emails between his wife and mother citing not only the executive privilege, but the “deliberative process” exemption, which is normally used to exclude from public disclosure any information “that could chill internal government deliberations.”

Holder’s wife, Sharon Malone, is a Washington, D.C., gynecologist.

The Republican-led House has been dueling with Holder for years in an effort to get documents and emails related to Fast and Furious.

In 2012, the House voted to find Holder in contempt of Congress for refusing to turn over documents related to the operation and has sued to obtain them. Democrats have accused the GOP of a politically motivated witch hunt against Holder, who recently announced plans to step down.

The Fast and Furious program ran from 2006 to 2011 out of an Arizona division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It involved U.S. agents selling guns to Mexican drug traffickers in an effort to trace the weapons to the drug cartels. But agents lost track of the weapons and some of them were used to kill people, including U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.

“Obama’s executive privilege claims over these records are a fraud and an abuse of his office,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement. “There is no precedent for President Obama’s Nixonian assertion of executive privilege over these ordinary government agency records. Americans will be astonished that Obama asserted executive privilege over Eric Holder’s emails to his wife about Fast and Furious.”

“This list of documents was provided in order to fulfill a procedural step in this case,” Justice Department spokesman Brian Fallon told theExaminer. “We will make a further submission, related to these same materials, on Nov. 3 in connection to the case brought by the House Oversight Committee.”

Editor’s note: Judicial Watch is representing the Washington Examiner in the newspaper’s federal lawsuit seeking access to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau records under FOIA.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/obama-used-executive-privilege-to-shield-holder-emails/article/2555188

 

Operation Fast and Furious Fast Facts

Here’s some background information about Operation Fast and Furious. From 2009 – 2011, under Operation Fast and Furious, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Phoenix Field Division, along with other partners, allowed illegal gun sales believed to be destined for Mexican drug cartels in order to track the sellers and purchasers.

Facts:
An estimated 1,400 weapons were lost by the ATF in Mexico. Two of the missing weapons linked to the operation turned up at the Arizona murder scene of United States Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.

Whistle-blowing leads to a Congressional investigation by the Senate Judiciary Committee and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and Attorney General Eric Holder is cited for contempt.

Operation Fast and Furious was one of the operations under Project Gunrunner, part of the Department of Justice’s broader Southwest Border Initiative, an “inter-agency effort to combat Mexico-based trafficking groups.” (DOJ)

“Straw purchasers (also called straw buyers) buy firearms on behalf of others without disclosing that fact on the forms required by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.” (DOJ)

The operation lasted approximately 15 months, resulting in grand jury indictments of 34 suspects in drug and firearms trafficking organizations.

Operation Fast and Furious was not the first “gun walking” investigation by ATF; it was preceded by Operation Wide Receiver, which began in 2006.

Timeline:
April 2006 – Official launch of Project Gunrunner.

October 2009 – Operation Fast and Furious begins, based on a review of Project Gunrunner by the ATF Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF).

January 2010 – Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms agents tell the staff of Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, that the ATF allowed straw buyer Jaime Avila to make repeated purchases of guns after his name had been entered into a “suspect person database” on January 13, 2009.

December 14, 2011 – Border patrol agent Brian Terry is killed in the Arizona desert, and two weapons the ATF allowed to be purchased earlier in 2010 by purported “straw buyer” Jaime Avila are found near the shooting scene. It is unknown whether any of the guns were used as the murder weapon.

January 25, 2011 – The Department of Justice announces the end of Operation Fast and Furious, with the indictments of 34 drug and firearm trafficking suspects.

March 3, 2011 – ATF Acting Director Kenneth Melson announces the formation of a panel to “review the bureau’s current firearms trafficking strategies employed by field division managers and special agents.”

April 1, 2011 – Acting Director Melson is issued a subpoena from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

May 3, 2011 – Attorney General Eric Holder testifies for the first time before the House Judiciary Committee that he had first heard of Operation Fast and Furious only over the past few weeks.

June 2011 – Whistleblowers testify before the House Oversight committee. ATF agent John Dodson tells lawmakers, “I cannot begin to think how the risk of letting guns fall into the hands of known criminals could possibly advance any legitimate law enforcement interest.”

July 26, 2011 – The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee holds a second hearing.

August 30, 2011 – Melson is reassigned to the Justice Department, and is replaced by B. Todd Jones.

October 12, 2011 – Congressional investigators issue a subpoena for communications from Attorney General Holder relating to the federal gunrunning operation.

October 2011 – Investigators uncover memos indicating Attorney General Holder had known about Operation Fast and Furious for close to a year, not a few weeks as he had stated in May 2011.

November 7, 2011 – A federal grand jury in the District of Arizona hands up an 11-count indictment. It alleges that on December 14, 2010, five of the defendants (Manuel Osorio-Arellanes, Jesus Rosario Favela-Astorga, Ivan Soto-Barraza, Heraclio Osorio-Arellanes and Lionel Portillo-Meza) were involved in a firefight with Border Patrol agents during which Terry was fatally shot. The men are charged with first-degree murder, second-degree murder, conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery, attempted interference with commerce by robbery, carrying and using a firearm during a crime of violence, assault on a federal officer and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. The indictment is unsealed on July 9th, 2012.

November 8, 2011 – Attorney General Holder testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee that, “this operation was flawed in concept, as well as in execution.”

February 1, 2012 – The family of ATF agent Brian Terry files a $25 million wrongful death claim against the United States.

February 2, 2012 – Attorney General Holder testifies before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that firings and charges against Justice Department officials who oversaw Fast and Furious are likely to come in the next six months. He also denies any cover-up.

June 12, 2012 – Attorney General Holder testifies before the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary, and rejects calls for his resignation.

June 20, 2012 – The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee recommends that Attorney General Holder be cited for contempt of Congress for failing to turn over documents relating to the Fast and Furious operation.

June 20, 2012 – President Barack Obama asserts executive privilege over the documents sought by the investigating committee. This prevents future prosecution of Holder.

June 28, 2012 – The House of Representatives votes 255-67 to hold Holder in criminal contempt. This is the first time in American history that the head of the Justice Department has been held in contempt by Congress.

July 31, 2012 – The first of a three-part joint staff Congressional report is released, Fast and Furious: Anatomy of a Failed Operation, which lays blame for the failed gun-running probe on Acting ATF Director Kenneth Melson and Deputy Director William Hoover.

July 31, 2012 – ATF Deputy Director William Hoover resigns.

August 13, 2012 – The House Oversight Committee files a civil lawsuit against Holder over Operation Fast and Furious documents.

September 6, 2012 – Mexican authorities arrest Leonel Sanchez Jesus Meza, wanted in the killing of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.

September 19, 2012 – Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz releases a report on the operation. The report finds 14 employees of the ATF and the Justice Department responsible for management failures. After the release, former acting ATF head Kenneth Melson retires and former Deputy Assistant Attorney General Jason Weinstein resigns.

December 13, 2012 – Jaime Avila is sentenced to 57 months in prison for his role in buying weapons that were found at the site of the killing of patrol agent Brian A. Terry.

June 17, 2014 – Lionel Portillo Meza, a suspect in the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, is extradited from Mexico to the U.S.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/08/27/world/americas/operation-fast-and-furious-fast-facts/

ATF gunwalking scandal

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Weapons recovered by Mexican military in Naco, Sonora, Mexico on November 20, 2009. They include weapons bought two weeks earlier by Operation Fast and Furious suspect Uriel Patino, who bought 723 guns during the operation.[1]

Gunwalking“, or “letting guns walk“, was a tactic of the Arizona Field Office of the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), which ran a series of sting operations[2][3] between 2006[4]and 2011[2][5] in the Tucson and Phoenix area where the ATF “purposely allowed licensed firearms dealers to sell weapons to illegal straw buyers, hoping to track the guns to Mexican drug cartel leaders and arrest them.”[6] These operations were done under the umbrella of Project Gunrunner, a project intended to stem the flow of firearms into Mexico by interdicting straw purchasers and gun traffickers within the United States.[7] The Chambers case[who?] began in October 2009, and eventually became known in February 2010 as “Operation Fast and Furious” after agents discovered some of the suspects under investigation belonged to a car club.[1]

The stated goal of allowing these purchases was to continue to track the firearms as they were transferred to higher-level traffickers and key figures in Mexican cartels, with the expectation that this would lead to their arrests and the dismantling of the cartels.[6][8][9] The tactic was questioned during the operations by a number of people, including ATF field agents and cooperating licensed gun dealers.[10][11][12][13][14] During Operation Fast and Furious, the largest “gunwalking” probe, the ATF monitored the sale of about 2,000[1]:203[15] firearms, of which only 710 were recovered as of February 2012.[1]:203 A number of straw purchasers have been arrested and indicted; however, as of October 2011, none of the targeted high-level cartel figures had been arrested.[6]

Guns tracked by the ATF have been found at crime scenes on both sides of the Mexico–United States border, and the scene where United States Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed December 2010. The “gunwalking” operations became public in the aftermath of Terry’s murder.[2] Dissenting ATF agents came forward to Congress in response.[16][17] According to Humberto Benítez Treviño, former Mexican Attorney General and chair of the justice committee in the Chamber of Deputies, related firearms have been found at numerous crime scenes in Mexico where at least 150 Mexican civilians were maimed or killed.[18] Revelations of “gunwalking” led to controversy in both countries, and diplomatic relations were damaged.[2]

As a result of a dispute over the release of Justice Department documents related to the scandal, Attorney General Eric Holder became the first sitting member of theCabinet of the United States to be held in contempt of Congress on June 28, 2012.[19][20] Earlier that month, President Barack Obama had invoked executive privilegefor the first time in his presidency over the same documents.[21][22]

Background

Further information: Project Gunrunner and Mexican Drug War

One 20-year veteran of ATF’s Tucson office told us that before Operation Wide Receiver, all of ATF’s trafficking cases were very similar in their simplicity: ATF would get a tip from an FFL[Federal Firearms Licensee][14] about a buyer who wanted a large number of firearms and information about when the transaction was scheduled to take place, and would set up surveillance and arrest the buyer when he headed southbound or at the border. Sometimes the initial buyer would cooperate with ATF, and agents would arrest the actual buyer when he showed up to take possession of the guns. If the guns went to a stash house, agents would speak with subjects at the stash house or conduct a search of the stash house. This agent told us that ATF interdicted guns as a matter of course and had been “content to make the little cases,” but that Wide Receiver represented a “different direction” from ATF’s typical practice.

—Report by the Office of the Inspector General on the Review of ATF’s Operation Fast and Furious and Related Matters, September 2012[1]

ATF “gunwalking” operations were, in part, a response to longstanding criticism of the bureau for focusing on relatively minor gun violations while failing to target high-level gun smuggling figures.[23] U.S. firearms laws currently govern the possession and transfer of firearms and provide penalties for the violation of such laws. “Gun trafficking”, although not defined by statute, essentially includes the movement or diversion of firearms from legal to illegal markets.[24]:Summary A 2009 GAO report on efforts to combat arms trafficking to Mexico notes that straw purchasing is not in itself illegal, although it is illegal to provide false information in connection with a purchase.[25]

Four federal statutes govern U.S. commerce of firearms domestically and internationally. Many states supplement these federal statutes and have firearms laws of their own that are stricter. For example, some states require permits to obtain firearms and impose a waiting period for firearm transfers. Domestic commerce and importations into the United States are generally regulated under the National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA) and the Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA). The exportation of firearms from the United States is regulated by the Arms Export Control Act of 1976 and, to a lesser extent, the Export Administration Regulations (EAR).[24]:3

Defendants are often prosecuted and convicted under provisions of statutes such as the GCA that make it unlawful for certain persons to be in possession of firearms, govern the transaction process of obtaining firearms (e.g., straw purchases), and contain penalties for the use of a firearm in a crime of violence or a drug trafficking crime, or penalties for knowingly or fraudulently smuggling goods that would be contrary to U.S. law and regulation.[24]:18

In a 2012 case in San Juan, Texas, under existing 1968 Gun Control Act provisions on straw purchasing (Title 18 United States Code, Section 924(a)(1)(A)), straw purchaser Taisa Garcia received 33 months and buyer Marco Villalobos received 46 months, plus two years supervision after release.[26] In another Texas gun trafficking case, Oscar Bravo Hernandez received a sentence of 84 months for buying and sending to Mexico at least 55 firearms from a ring of nine straw purchasers who received sentences from 51 months for the most involved down to three years probation for the least involved.[27]

According to twenty-year ATF veteran Jay Wachtel, letting guns “walk” has been a practice done in a controlled manner that involved surveillance and eventual seizure of the weapons. “The idea was that you would follow it long enough until you were sure you had enough probable cause” to initiate an arrest, Wachtel said.[28]According to ATF field agents involved in Operation Fast and Furious, a part of Project Gunrunner, “ATF agents were trained to interdict guns and prevent criminals from obtaining them” and not to allow guns to walk and then disappear.[11] ATF agents assigned to Phoenix from other districts to work on Fast and Furious were critical of the operation.[29]

Operations

There have been allegations of “gunwalking” in at least 10 cities in five states.[30] The most widely known and controversial operations took place in Arizona under the ATF’s Phoenix, Arizona field division.

2006–2008: Operation Wide Receiver and other probes[edit]

Operation Wide Receiver[edit]

The suspicious sale of AR-15s led to Operation Wide Receiver.[31]

The first known ATF “gunwalking” operation to Mexican drug cartels, named Operation Wide Receiver, began in early 2006 and ran into late 2007. Licensed dealer Mike Detty of Mad Dawg Global informed the ATF of a suspicious gun purchase that took place in February 2006 in Tucson, Arizona. In March he was hired as a confidential informant working with the ATF’s Tucson office, part of their Phoenix, Arizona field division.[31]

With the use of surveillance equipment, ATF agents monitored additional sales by Detty to straw purchasers. With assurance from ATF “that Mexican officials would be conducting surveillance or interdictions when guns got to the other side of the border”,[12] Detty would sell a total of about 450 guns during the operation.[30] These included AR-15s, semi-automatic AK-pattern rifles, and Colt .38s. The majority of the guns were eventually lost as they moved into Mexico.[6][31][32][33]

As the later DOJ OIG Report documented, under Wide Receiver coordination of ATF Tucson with the ATF Mexico City Office (MCO) and with Mexican law enforcement had been haphazard. Discussions of getting tracking devices from Raytheon were not followed up. ATF field agents and the cooperating gun dealer had been told by ATF supervisors that the guns were being interdicted before they could reach Mexico, but only 64 of the 474 guns had actually been seized. The kingpin sought by walking the guns, Israel Egurrola-Leon, turned out to be the target of a larger drug case Operation Iron River run by OCDETF. After Operation Wide Receiver was ended, several attorneys at the Phoenix USAO who reviewed the Wide Receiver cases for prosecution found the cases had been so poorly managed that they were reluctant to bring any of them to trial.[1]

At the time, under the Bush administration Department of Justice (DOJ), no arrests or indictments were made. After President Barack Obama took office in 2009, the DOJ reviewed Wide Receiver and found that guns had been allowed into the hands of suspected gun traffickers. Indictments began in 2010, over three years after Wide Receiver concluded. As of October 4, 2011, nine people had been charged with making false statements in acquisition of firearms and illicit transfer, shipment or delivery of firearms.[23] As of November, charges against one defendant had been dropped; five of them had pled guilty, and one had been sentenced to one year and one day in prison. Two of them remained fugitives.[31]

The Hernandez case

Another, smaller probe occurred in 2007 under the same ATF Phoenix field division. The Fidel Hernandez case began when the ATF identified Mexican suspects who bought weapons from a Phoenix gun shop over a span of several months. The probe ultimately involved over 200 guns, a dozen of which were lost in Mexico. On September 27, 2007, ATF agents saw the original suspects buying weapons at the same store and followed them toward the Mexican border. The ATF informed the Mexican government when the suspects successfully crossed the border, but Mexican law enforcement were unable to track them.[4][10]

Less than two weeks later, on October 6, William Newell, then ATF’s Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the Phoenix field division, shut down the operation at the behest of William Hoover, ATF’s assistant director for the office of field operations.[34] No charges were filed. Newell, who was Phoenix ATF SAC from June 2006 to May 2011, would later play a major role in Operation Fast and Furious.[4][12]

The Hernandez case was referenced in a briefing paper prepared for Attorney General Michael Mukasey prior to his meeting with the Mexican Attorney General Medina Mora on November 16, 2007. The paper stated, “ATF has recently worked jointly with Mexico on the first-ever attempt to have a controlled delivery of weapons being smuggled into Mexico by a major arms trafficker” and that “the first attempts at this controlled delivery have not been successful.” The paper also stated, “ATF would like to expand the possibility of such joint investigations and controlled deliveries — since only then will it be possible to investigate an entire smuggling network, rather than arresting simply a single smuggler.”[35]

Investigators regarded the Hernandez Case as an example of “controlled delivery” with surveillance and involvement of Mexican authorities rather than “gunwalking” or failure to attempt interdiction.[1][36][37]

The Medrano case[

The 2008 Alejandro Medrano case involved both ATF SAC William Newell and cooperating Tucson gun dealer Mike Detty of Operation Wide Receiver. ATF Phoenix allowed about 100 guns to be taken into Mexico over the objections of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) personnel who became aware of the case. Phoenix ATF SAC Newell acknowledged to ICE “that letting guns cross the border was part of ATF’s plan”. In August 2010, Medrano was sentenced to 46 months, his associate Hernan Ramos received 50 months and their fellow conspirators received prison terms from 14 to 30 months, but the target, a Sinaloa Cartel kingpin, Javier Elenes Ruiz, nicknamed “Rambo,” remained untouched inside Mexico.[36]

2009–2011: Operation Fast and Furious

On October 26, 2009, a teleconference was held at the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. to discuss U.S. strategy for combating Mexican drug cartels. Participating in the meeting were Deputy Attorney General David W. Ogden, Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer, acting ATF Director Kenneth E. Melson, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Administrator Michele Leonhart, Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Robert Mueller and the top federal prosecutors in theSouthwestern border states. They decided on a strategy to identify and eliminate entire arms trafficking networks rather than low-level buyers.[3][38][39] Those at the meeting apparently did not suggest using the “gunwalking” tactic, but Phoenix ATF supervisors would soon use it in an attempt to achieve the desired goals.[40]

The strategy of targeting high-level individuals, which was already ATF policy, would be implemented by Bill Newell, special agent in charge of ATF’s Phoenix field division. In order to accomplish it, the office decided to monitor suspicious firearms purchases which federal prosecutors had determined lacked sufficient evidence for prosecution, as laid out in a January 2010 briefing paper. This was said to be allowed under ATF regulations and given legal backing by U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona Dennis K. Burke. It was additionally approved and funded by a Justice Department task force.[3] However, long-standing DOJ and ATF policy has required suspected illegal arms shipments to be intercepted.[4][5]

FN Five-sevens were among the weapons allowed to walk.[41]

The operation began on October 31, 2009, when a local gun store reported to the Phoenix ATF that four individuals had purchased multiple AK47 style rifles.[42] In November 2009, the Phoenix office’s Group VII, which would be the lead investigative group in Fast and Furious, began to follow a prolific gun trafficker. He had bought 34 firearms in 24 days, and he and his associates bought 212 more in the next month. The case soon grew to over two dozen straw purchasers, the most prolific of which would ultimately buy more than 600 weapons.[3][5][43] The effort would come to be called Operation Fast and Furious for the successful film franchise, because some of the suspects under investigation operated out of an auto repair store and street raced.[3]

Under the previous Operation Wide Receiver, there had been a formal ATF contract with the cooperating gun dealer and efforts were made to involve the ATF Mexico City Office (MCO) and Mexican law enforcement. Under Operation Fast and Furious, at Newell’s insistence the cooperating gun dealers did not have contracts with ATF, and MCO and Mexican police were left in the dark.[1]

According to internal ATF documents, the operation was initially run in conjunction with the Phoenix DEA Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force(OCDETF).[44] On January 26, 2010, ATF formally applied to the Justice Department in Washington for funding through the OCDETF program. When it won approval and received additional funding, Operation Fast and Furious was reorganized as a Strike Force that included agents from ATF, FBI, DEA, and the ICE component of the Department of Homeland Security, which would be run through the U.S. Attorney’s office rather than the ATF. This new Strike Force designation allowed the operation to take advantage of sophisticated surveillance techniques such as federal wiretaps, which would require court orders and interaction from Justice Department officials in Washington, D.C. since federal law requires certain individuals to review evidence and certify the necessity of such techniques.[45]

The dealers involved became concerned as months went by and the same individuals they reported to ATF as suspected straw purchasers returned and repeatedly bought identical weapons. As they later told the DOJ OIG, their previous experience was that after they reported a suspected straw to ATF, they did not see the straw again unless subpoenaed to testify against the straw at trial.[1] One cooperating dealer expressed his concerns in a series of emails in April and June 2010 to GS David Voth, who assured the dealer that ATF was monitoring the suspects using a variety of techniques that he could not discuss in detail.[14]

The tactic of letting guns walk, rather than interdicting them and arresting the buyers, led to controversy within the ATF.[5][46] As the case continued, several members of Group VII, including John Dodson and Olindo Casa, became increasingly upset at the tactic of allowing guns to walk. Their standard Project Gunrunner training was to follow the straw purchasers to the hand-off to the cartel buyers, then arrest both parties and seize the guns. But according to Dodson, they watched guns being bought illegally and stashed on a daily basis, while their supervisors, including David Voth and Hope MacAllister, prevented the agents from intervening.[3]

However, other accounts of the operation insist that ATF agents were prevented from intervening not by ATF officials, but rather by federal prosecutors with the Attorney General’s office, who were unsure of whether the agents had sufficient evidence to arrest suspected straw-buyers.[47] According to some reports, many agents insisted they were prevented from making arrests because prosecutors were unwilling to engage in what could become a potentially contentious political battle over Second Amendment rights during an election year, particularly given the difficult nature of prosecuting straw buyers, and the weak penalties associated with it, even if successful.[47] Instead, prosecutors instructed ATF agents not to make arrests, but rather continue collecting evidence in order to build a stronger case. One tactic proposed for doing so was a wiretap of suspected straw-buyers, in an attempt to link the suspects to criminal activities taking place on the Mexican side of the border.[47] Between March 20 and July 30, 2010, nine wiretaps were sought and approved by Justice Department officials, resulting in a significant delay in concluding the case.[1]:247,274

One of the central targeted individuals was Manuel Fabian Celis-Acosta.[45] By December 2009, Celis-Acosta was being investigated by the ATF, which had placed a secret pole camera outside his Phoenix home to track his movements. Around this time, apparently by chance, ATF agents discovered Celis-Acosta was also a potential criminal target of the DEA, which was operating a wire room to monitor live wiretaps in order to track him. On April 2, 2010, Celis-Acosta was arrested on possession of cocaine and found in possession of a weapon purchased by Uriel Patino, who had already purchased at least 434 guns from cooperating gun dealers in the Phoenix area. By this time about a dozen ATF agents regularly surveilled Celis-Acosta as he recruited 20 friends and family to buy guns for him and regularly traveled to Texas to obtain funds from cartel associates to purchase firearms. On May 29, 2010, Celis-Acosta was detained in Lukeville, Arizona with 74 rounds of ammunition and 9 cell phones. He was then released by the chief ATF investigator on Fast and Furious, Hope MacAllister, after he promised to cooperate with her to find two specific Sinaloa cartel associates. After the redetention and arrest of Celis-Acosta in February 2011, the ATF learned that the associates they were after were FBI/DEA paid informants, and one of them was Celis-Acosta’s financier. Since they were informants, they were unindictable under Operation Fast and Furious.[45][48][49][50][51]

Later, the DOJ inspector General concluded: “We did not find persuasive evidence that agents sought to seize firearms or make arrests during the investigative stage of the case and were rebuffed by the prosecutor. … We found that the lack of seizures and arrests was primarily attributable to the pursuit of a strategic goal shared by both the [Phoenix] ATF and the U.S. Attorney’s Office—to eliminate a trafficking organization—and the belief that confronting subjects and seizing firearms could compromise that goal.”[1]

Weapons bought by Fast and Furious suspect Uriel Patino, seized by Border Patrol and Tucson ATF agents on the Tohono O’odham Reservation from a vehicle headed toward the Mexican border, February 20, 2010.[1]

By June 2010, suspects had purchased 1,608 firearms at a cost of over US$1 million at Phoenix-area gun shops. At that time, the ATF was also aware of 179 of those weapons being found at crime scenes in Mexico, and 130 in the United States.[8] As guns traced to Fast and Furious began turning up at violent crime scenes in Mexico, ATF agents stationed there also voiced opposition.[3]

On the evening of December 14, 2010, U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry and others were patrolling Peck Canyon,Santa Cruz County, Arizona, 11 miles from the Mexican border. The group came across five suspected illegal immigrants. When they fired non-lethal beanbag guns, the suspects responded with their own weapons, leading to a firefight. Terry was shot and killed; four of the suspects were arrested and two AK-pattern rifles were found nearby.[3] The Attorney General’s office was immediately notified of the shooting incident by email.[52] The rifles were traced within hours of the shooting to a Phoenix store involved in the Fast and Furious operation, but the bullet that killed Terry was too badly damaged to be conclusively linked to either gun.[3] Acting Deputy Attorney General Gary Grindler and Deputy Chief of Staff Monty Wilkinson were informed about the guns, but they didn’t believe the information was sufficiently important to alert the Attorney General about it or to make any further inquiry regarding the development.[1]:297

After hearing of the incident, Dodson contacted ATF headquarters, ATF’s chief counsel, the ATF ethics section and the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General, none of whom immediately responded. He and other agents then contacted Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa (R–IA), ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, who would become a major figure in the investigation of “gunwalking.” At the same time, information began leaking to various bloggers and Web sites.[3]

On January 25, 2011, Burke announced the first details of the case to become officially public, marking the end of Operation Fast and Furious. At a news conference in Phoenix, he reported a 53-count indictment of 20 suspects for buying hundreds of guns intended for illegal export between September 2009 and December 2010. Newell, who was at the conference, called Fast and Furious a “phenomenal case,” while denying that guns had been deliberately allowed to walk into Mexico.[3][12]

Altogether, about 2,000 firearms were bought by straw purchasers during Fast and Furious.[1]:203[3] These included AK-47 variants, Barrett .50 caliber sniper rifles, .38 caliber revolvers, and FN Five-sevens.[41] As of October 20, 2011, 389 had been recovered in the US and 276 had been recovered in Mexico. The rest remained on the streets, unaccounted for.[15] As of February 2012, the total number of recovered firearms was 710.[1]:203 Most of the guns went to the Sinaloa Cartel, while others made their way to El Teo and La Familia.[2][32]

Although most weapons were purchased by suspects under investigation by the program, there have been reports of at least one instance of ATF agents being directly involved in the transfer of weapons. On April 13, 2010, ATF Agent John Dodson, with assistance from Agents Casa and Alt, directed a cooperating straw purchaser to give three guns to Isaiah Fernandez, a suspected gun trafficker, and had taped the conversations without prosecutor approval.[47]

After being instructed by his superiors to obtain approval from prosecutors (albeit retroactively), Dodson’s proposal was later rejected by his immediate superior David Voth, although he later received permission from Voth’s supervisor after submitting a written proposal for the program. On June 1, 2010, Dodson used $2,500 of ATF funds to purchase six AK Draco pistols from local gun dealers, which he then gave to Mr. Fernandez, who reimbursed him for the expense of the guns, plus $700 for his assistance.[47] Two days later, Agent Dodson went on a scheduled vacation without interdicting the weapons. As a result, the weapons were never recovered, no arrests were ever made, and the case was closed without charges being filed.[47]

According to the DOJ OIG report, Agent Dodson, as the undercover posing as a straw buyer, was not expected to surveil the weapons after hand-off to Fernandez. Other ATF agents followed the weapons to a storage facility; then surveillance was terminated without interdiction.[1] The Fernandez case was dropped from Fast and Furious after it was determined that Fernandez was not connected to Mexican cartels and had ceased buying guns for resale.[1][53]

Aftermath and reaction

Fate of walked guns

Since the end of Operation Fast and Furious, related firearms have continued to be discovered in criminal hands. As reported in September 2011, the Mexican government stated that an undisclosed number of guns found at about 170 crime scenes were linked to Fast and Furious.[54] U.S. Representative Darrell Issa (R–Calif.–49) estimated that more than 200 Mexicans were killed by guns linked to the operation.[55] Reflecting on the operation, Attorney General Eric Holder said that theUnited States government is “…losing the battle to stop the flow of illegal guns to Mexico,”[56] and that the effects of Operation Fast and Furious will most likely continue to be felt for years, as more walked guns appear at Mexican crime scenes.[57]

In April 2011, a large cache of weapons, 40 traced to Fast and Furious but also including military-grade weapons difficult to obtain legally in the US such as an anti-aircraft machine gun and grenade launcher, was found in the home of Jose Antonio Torres Marrufo, a prominent Sinaloa Cartel member, in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. Torres Marrufo was indicted, but evaded law enforcement for a brief time.[58][59] Finally, on February 4, 2012, Marrufo was arrested by the Mexican Police.[60]

On May 29, 2011, four Mexican Federal Police helicopters attacked a cartel compound, where they were met with heavy fire, including from a .50 caliber rifle. According to a report from the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, this rifle is likely linked to Fast and Furious.[2]

There have been questions raised over a possible connection between Fast and Furious and the death of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent Jaime Zapata on February 15, 2011.[61][62] The gun used to kill Zapata was purchased by Otilio Osorio in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, Texas[63] (outside the area of responsibility for the ATF Phoenix field division[64] which conducted Fast and Furious), and then smuggled into Mexico. Congressional investigators have stated that Osorio was known by the ATF to be a straw purchaser months before he purchased the gun used to kill Zapata, leading them to question ATF surveillance tactics[63]and to suspect a Texas-based operation similar to Fast and Furious.[65]

In addition to Otilio Osorio, a Texas-based drug and gun trafficker, Manuel Barba, was involved trafficking another of the guns recovered in the Zapata shooting. The timeline of this case, called “Baytown Crew”, shows guns were allowed to walk during surveillance that began June 7, 2010. On August 20, 2010, Barba received a rifle later recovered in the Zapata ambush and sent it with nine others to Mexico. The warrant for Barba’s arrest was issued February 14, 2011, the day before Zapata was shot.[66] On January 30, 2012, Barba, who claimed to be working with Los Zetas in illegally exporting at least 44 weapons purchased through straw buyers, was sentenced to 100 months in prison.[67]

On November 23, 2012, two firearms linked to the ATF were found at the scene of a shootout between Sinaloa cartel members and the Mexican military. One of the weapons was an AK-47 type rifle trafficked by Fast and Furious suspect Uriel Patino, and the other was an FN Herstal pistol originally purchased by an ATF agent. Mexican beauty queen Maria Susana Flores Gamez and four others were killed.[68][69]

Investigations and fallout

In the U.S. Congress, Representative Darrell Issa (R–CA–49), chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and Senator Chuck Grassley(R–IA), ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, have been leading investigations of “gunwalking” operations.[70] There have also been investigations by the United States Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General and others.

2011

On January 27, 2011, Grassley wrote a letter to ATF Acting Director Kenneth E. Melson requesting information about the ATF-sanctioned sale of hundreds of firearms to straw purchasers. The letter mentioned a number of allegations that walked guns were used in the fight that killed Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.[71] A second letter from Grassley on January 31 accused the ATF of targeting whistleblowers.[72]

On February 4, after review and comment from dozens of officials in the Justice Department Criminal Division, the Office of the Deputy Attorney General, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Phoenix, and ATF Headquarters,[1]:332 Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich sent a response to Grassley regarding his two letters. Weich said claims “…that (the) ATF ‘sanctioned’ or otherwise knowingly allowed the sale of assault weapons to a straw purchaser who then transported them to Mexico [are] false. ATF makes every effort to interdict weapons that have been purchased illegally and prevent their transportation to Mexico.”[73][74] On February 28, Attorney GeneralEric Holder requested that the Department of Justice‘s Inspector General begin an investigation of Fast and Furious.[75]

On March 23, President Barack Obama appeared on Univision and spoke about the “gunwalking” controversy. He said that neither he nor Attorney General Holder authorized Fast and Furious. He also stated, “There may be a situation here in which a serious mistake was made, and if that’s the case then we’ll find out and we’ll hold somebody accountable.”[76]

On May 3, Attorney General Holder testified to the House Judiciary Committee that he did not know who approved Fast and Furious, but that it was being investigated. He also stated that he “probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks,”[77] a claim which would later be questioned[78][79][80] as explained below.

In June, ATF Agent Vince Cefalu, who helped to publicize Fast and Furious, was served with termination papers, in a move by the agency he described as politically motivated retaliation. He had been at odds with ATF management since he filed a complaint over tactics in an unrelated case in 2005. The ATF denied that the firing was retaliation, and Cefalu’s termination letter noted that he leaked documents to the Internet and showed a “lack of candor” in other operations.[81]

On June 14, 2011, a preliminary joint staff report was released by Representative Issa and Senator Grassley.[11] Among the findings: agents were told to stand down rather than interdict weapons, they complained about the strategy and were ignored, and Fast and Furious led to increased violence and death in Mexico.[82] Agents were panicked, certain that “someone was going to die.”[83]

Representative Issa continued to hold hearings in June and July where ATF officials based in Phoenix and Mexico, and at headquarters in Washington, testified before the committee.[84] ATF agent John Dodson stated that he and other agents were ordered to observe the activities of gun smugglers but not to intervene. He testified:[85][86]

Over the course of the next 10 months that I was involved in this operation, we monitored as they purchased hand guns, AK-47 variants, and .50 caliberrifles almost daily. Rather than conduct any enforcement actions, we took notes, we recorded observations, we tracked movements of these individuals for a short time after their purchases, but nothing more. Knowing all the while, just days after these purchases, the guns that we saw these individuals buy would begin turning up at crime scenes in the United States and Mexico, we still did nothing. …
I cannot begin to think of how the risk of letting guns fall into the hands of known criminals could possibly advance any legitimate law enforcement interest.

A second joint staff report was released by the Republicans on July 26.[41]

In August, three important Fast and Furious supervisors were transferred to new management positions at ATF headquarters in Washington: William Newell and David Voth, field supervisors who oversaw the program from Phoenix, and William McMahon, an ATF deputy director of operations. The transfers were initially reported as promotions by the Los Angeles Times, but the ATF stated that they did not receive raises or take on greater responsibilities.[70][87] In late August, it was announced that Acting ATF Director Melson had been reassigned to the Justice Department, and U.S. Attorney Burke announced his resignation after being questioned by Congressional investigators earlier that month.[88]

In October, documents showing that Attorney General Holder’s office had been sent briefings on Fast and Furious as early as July 2010, prompted questions about his May statement that he wasn’t sure of the exact date, but had known about it for only a few weeks. The briefings were from the National Drug Intelligence Center andAssistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer. The Justice Department said that those briefings were about a different case started before Holder became Attorney General, and that while he had known about Fast and Furious, he didn’t know the details of the tactics being used.[80]

On October 31, 2011, after the release of subpoenaed documents, Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer stated he found out about gunwalking in Operation Wide Receiver in April 2010, and that he wished he had alerted the deputy or the attorney general at the time.[89][90] The following day, in testimony before the Senate Judicial Committee in a hearing on International Organized Crime, when asked if he had reviewed the letter before it was sent to Senator Charles Grassley on February 4, 2011 denying gunwalking, Breuer replied, “I cannot say for sure whether I saw a draft of the letter that was sent to you. What I can tell you, Senator, is that at that time I was in Mexico dealing with the very real issues that we’re all so committed to.”[91]

On November 8, Holder stated for the first time in Congressional testimony that “gunwalking” was used in Fast and Furious. He remarked that the tactic is unacceptable, and that the operation was “flawed in its concept and flawed in its execution.” He further stated that his office had inaccurately described the program in previous letters sent to Congress, but that this was unintentional. Reiterating previous testimony, he said that he and other top officials had been unaware that the “gunwalking” tactic was being used. Holder stated that his staff had not showed him memos about the program, noting, “There is nothing in any of those memos that indicates any of those inappropriate tactics that are of concern. Those things were not brought to my attention, and my staff, I think, made the correct decision in that regard.”[78][92][93]

That same month, ex-US Attorney Burke admitted to leaking sensitive documents about ATF agent and whistleblower Dodson. Senator Grassley expressed concern that the Justice Department was using Burke as a scapegoat to protect higher officials and vowed to continue his probe.[94]

On December 2, 2011, the Justice Department formally withdrew its statement from February 4, 2011 denying gunwalking due to inaccuracies.[95]

Later that month, documents showed that some ATF agents discussed using Fast and Furious to provide anecdotal cases to support controversial new rules about gun sales. The regulation, called Demand Letter 3, would require 8,500 firearms dealers in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas that “have a significant number of crime guns traced back to them from Mexico” to report multiple rifle sales.[96]

2012

Investigations by Congress and the DOJ Inspector General continued into 2012. In January, Patrick Cunningham, who was the criminal division chief at the Phoenix office of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona and has since resigned, asserted his innocence and his constitutional right against self-incrimination to avoid testifying.[97] Cunningham worked directly under Burke during Fast and Furious. He was subpoenaed because of the role he might have played in the operation, and in the letter sent from the DOJ to Senator Grassley in February 2011 that claimed the ATF did not allow weapons to be trafficked to Mexico.[98]

On January 31, 2012, Democrats on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee released a report titled, “Fatally Flawed: Five Years of Gunwalking in Arizona”.[36] The report concluded that there was no evidence of involvement by high-ranking appointees at the Justice Department in “gunwalking.” Rather, Operation Fast and Furious was just one of four such operations conducted over five years during the Bush and Obama administrations, and was only “the latest in a series of fatally flawed operations run by ATF agents in Phoenix and the Arizona U.S. Attorney’s Office.”[99]

In May, it was reported that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General had begun to investigate Fast and Furious, with a report expected in October. The DHS had Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents assigned to the operation after becoming involved in late 2009.[100]

On May 3, 2012, Congressman Issa released a letter to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform that included a draft of a resolution to hold Attorney General Holder in contempt.[101] In the letter, Issa described the connection between Operation Fast and Furious and the OCDETF program since at least January 2009, which would involve multiple executive agencies including the ATF, DOJ, DEA, FBI, ICE, and DHS. He questioned how, why, or if oversight by high level Justice Department did not occur in such an important case. He further described the tragic death of Brian Terry, the whistleblowers and their mistreatment, and the damage the operation had to US-Mexico relations.

On June 7, 2012, under the threat of being held in contempt of Congress for not turning over additional requested documents, Attorney General Holder appeared at his seventh Congressional hearing, where he continued to deny knowledge of “gunwalking” by high-level officials. By then, the Justice Department had turned over more than 7,000 pages of documents.[102]

During the June 12, 2012, Senate hearing, Eric Holder stated, “If you want to talk about Fast and Furious, I’m the Attorney General that put an end to the misguided tactics that were used in Fast and Furious. An Attorney General who I suppose you would hold in higher regard was briefed on these kinds of tactics in an operation called Wide Receiver and did nothing to stop them—nothing. Three hundred guns, at least, walked in that instance.” Holder cited a briefing paper on “Wide Receiver”; the DOJ Office of Legislative Affairs later clarified that the briefing paper was about the Fidel Hernandez case, prepared for Holder’s predecessor, U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey before his meeting with Mexican Attorney General Mora on November 16, 2007.[35] The Hernandez Case had ended October 6, 2007,[103]before Mukasey entered office November 9, 2007.[104] The office further explained, “As Attorney General Holder also noted in his testimony, and as we have set forth in prior correspondence and testimony, he took measures and instituted a series of important reforms designed to ensure that the inappropriate tactics used in Fast and Furious, Wide Receiver, Hernandez, and other matters about which the Department has informed Congress are not repeated.”[35] The later DOJ OIG investigation concluded “Attorney General Mukasey was not briefed about Operation Wide Receiver or gun “walking,” but on a different and traditional law enforcement tactic that was employed in a different case.”[1]

On June 20, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee voted along party lines to recommend that Holder be held in contempt. At issue were 1,300 pages of documents that had not been turned over to Congress by the DOJ. Earlier that day, President Obama had invoked executive privilege over those documents, marking the first time the privilege has been asserted during his presidency.[21][22] Issa contends that the Obama executive privilege claim is a cover-up or an obstruction to the congressional probe. Issa said the department has identified “140,000 pages of documents and communications responsive to the committee’s subpoena.”[105]

On Thursday, June 28, 2012, Holder became the first sitting member of the Cabinet of the United States to be held in criminal contempt of Congress by the House of Representatives for refusing to disclose internal Justice Department documents in response to a subpoena. The vote was 255–67 in favor, with 17 Democrats voting yes and a large number of Democrats walking off the floor in protest and refusing to vote. A civil contempt measure was also voted on and passed, 258–95. The civil contempt vote allows the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to go to court with a civil lawsuit to look into the US Justice Department’s refusal to turn over some of the subpoenaed documents and to test Obama’s assertion of executive privilege. Holder dismissed the votes as “the regrettable culmination of what became a misguided—and politically motivated—investigation during an election year,” and the White House called it “political theater rather than legitimate congressional oversight.”[19][20] The National Rifle Association controversially lobbied for Holder to be held in contempt.[106][107][108][109][110][111]

In June 2012, a six-month long investigation by Fortune magazine stated that the ATF never intentionally allowed guns to fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartels, in contrast to most other reports. Agents interviewed during the investigation repeatedly asserted that only one isolated incident of “gunwalking” ever occurred, and was performed independently by ATF Agent John Dodson (who later appeared on CBS News as a whistleblower to denounce the gunwalking scandal) as part of an unauthorized solo action outside the larger Fast and Furious operation.[47]

On July 31, the first part of a new three-part report, Fast and Furious: The Anatomy of a Failed Operation,[37] was released by Republican lawmakers. The report singled out five ATF supervisors for responsibility in Fast and Furious, all of whom had been previously reassigned. The report also said that Fast and Furious resulted from a change in strategy by the Obama Administration. The Justice Department was dismissive of the report, saying that it contained “distortions” and “debunked conspiracy theories,” and that “gunwalking” tactics dated back to 2006.[112] DOJ spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler, while critical of the report, did credit it for acknowledging that the idea for “gun walking”—allowing illegal sales of weapons on the border—originated under the Republican administration before Eric Holder took office in 2009. Schmaler noted that Holder moved swiftly to replace the ATF’s management and instill reforms.[113] On the same day, ATF Deputy Director William Hoover, who was one of the five blamed in the Congressional report, officially retired.[114] The report included an appendix disputing claims in the Fortune article.[53]Following its publication, Dodson’s lawyer wrote the managing editor of Fortune stating the article was “demonstrably false” and that a retraction was in order.[115] AfterFortune did not retract the article, Dodson sued for libel on October 12, 2012.[116][117]

On September 19,[118] the Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz publicly released a 471-page report[1] detailing the results of the Justice Department’s own internal investigations. The Inspector General’s report, which had access to evidence and interviews with witnesses not permitted in previous Congressional reports, recommended 14 federal officials for disciplinary action, ranging from ATF agents to federal prosecutors involved in the Fast and Furious operation.[118] It found “no evidence” that Attorney General Holder knew about Fast and Furious before early 2011.[119] It found no evidence that previous Attorneys General had been advised about gunwalking in Operation Wide Receiver.[1]

While the OIG report found no evidence that higher officials at the Justice Department in Washington had authorized or approved of the tactics used in the Fast and Furious investigations, it did fault 14 lower officials for related failures, including failures to take note of “red flags” uncovered by the investigation, as well as failures to follow up on information produced through Operation Fast and Furious and its predecessor, Operation Wide Receiver.[118][120] The report also noted ATF agents’ apparent frustrations over legal obstacles from the Phoenix Attorney’s Office to prosecuting suspected “straw-buyers,” while also criticizing the agents’ failure to quickly intervene and interdict weapons obtained by low-level suspects in the case.[118] The 14 Justice Department employees were referred for possible internal discipline. The Justice Department’s Criminal Division head Lanny Breuer, an Obama administration presidential appointee, was cited for not alerting his bosses in 2010 to the flaws of Operation Wide Receiver.[121] Deputy Assistant Attorney General Jason Weinstein, who was responsible for authorizing a portion of the wiretap applications in Operation Fast and Furious and faulted in the report for not identifying the gunwalking tactics, resigned on the day of the report.[122]

On December 4, 2012, the ATF Professional Review Board delivered its recommendations to high-level ATF managers, who will decide whether to accept them. The recommendations included firing William McMahon, ATF Deputy Assistant Director; Mark Chait, ATF Assistant Director for Field Operations; William Newell, Phoenix ATF Special Agent in Charge; and George Gillett, Newell’s second in command. Two additional ATF employees, Phoenix supervisor David Voth and lead agent Hope McAllister, received recommendations for demotion and disciplinary transfer to another ATF post, respectively.[123][124] It was reported the next day that McMahon had been fired. It was also announced that Gary Grindler, Eric Holder’s chief of staff who was faulted in the OIG report, would be leaving the Justice Department.[120] Later that month, the family of Brian Terry sued seven government officials and a gun shop involved in Operation Fast and Furious for negligence and wrongful death.[125]

2013

Agent John Dodson’s book on his experiences in Operation Fast and Furious was released by Simon and Schuster on December 3, 2013.[126]

Related criminal prosecutions

On July 9, 2012, an indictment charging five men in the death of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was unsealed. The FBI offered a reward of $250,000 per fugitive for information leading to their arrests. The indictment, originally handed up on November 7, 2011, charges Manuel Osorio-Arellanes, Jesus Rosario Favela-Astorga, Ivan Soto-Barraza, Heraclio Osorio-Arellanes and Lionel Portillo-Meza with first-degree murder, second-degree murder, and other crimes.[127][128] Manuel Osorio-Arellanes pled guilty to avoid the death penalty and is expected to be sentenced in March 2013. As of December 12, 2012, another of the suspects is in custody, and three remain fugitives.[129]

On October 15, 2012, Danny Cruz Morones, one of the twenty individuals indicted as a result of Fast and Furious, was sentenced to 57 months in prison. He was the first of the twenty to be sentenced. He pled guilty to straw purchasing and recruiting others to buy guns. According to prosecutors, he bought 27 AK-47s, and his recruits bought dozens more.[130]

On December 12, Jaime Avila, Jr. received the maximum penalty of 57 months in prison for gun dealing and conspiracy. He pled guilty after two AK-47 type rifles purchased by him were found at the scene of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry’s death. Federal prosecutors stated that, in addition to gun trafficking, he had recruited others to do the same. He was under ATF surveillance at the time.[129]

Mexican reactions

As more information on Operations Fast and Furious and Wide Receiver was revealed in 2011, Mexican officials, political commentators and media reacted with anger.[131] Mexican officials stated in September that the U.S. government still had not briefed them on what went wrong nor had they apologized.[132]

Due to several failed attempts at coordinating with Mexican law enforcement in the apprehension of suspected arms traffickers in the Wide Receiver and Hernandez cases,[36] and concerns about widespread corruption, details of Operation Fast and Furious were not shared with Mexican government officials, and they were deliberately kept out of the loop after related firearms began turning up at crime scenes and in criminal arsenals in 2010. The U.S. Embassy in Mexico and the ATF Mexico City Office (MCO) were also kept in the dark. According to Attorney General of Mexico Marisela Morales, the Mexican government was told about the undercover program in January 2011, but they were not provided details at the time.[132]

Morales stated, “At no time did we know or were we made aware that there might have been arms trafficking permitted. In no way would we have allowed it, because it is an attack on the safety of Mexicans.” In addition, she expressed that allowing weapons to “walk” would represent a “betrayal” of Mexico.[132] Morales said that her office would search “to the end” in order to clarify what happened in Fast and Furious.[133] In November 2011, it was reported that the Mexican Attorney General’s office was seeking the extradition of six citizens of the United States implicated with smuggling weapons.[134]

Mexican Senator Arturo Escobar stated after hearing about Operation Wide Receiver, “We can no longer tolerate what is occurring. There must be condemnation from the state,” and that the Mexican Senate condemned the actions of the ATF.[131][135][136]

Jorge Carlos Ramírez Marín, president of the Chamber of Deputies of Mexico from the Institutional Revolutionary Party, said “This is a serious violation of international law. What happens if next time they need to introduce trained assassins or nuclear weapons?”[137]

Chihuahua state prosecutor Patricia Gonzalez, who had worked closely with the US for years, said, “The basic ineptitude of these officials [who ordered the Fast and Furious operation] caused the death of my brother and surely thousands more victims.” Her brother, Mario, had been kidnapped, tortured and killed by cartel hit men in fall 2010. Later, two AK-47 rifles found among the several weapons recovered after a gunfight between police and cartel members were traced to the Fast and Furious program.[2][132]

Mexican Congressman Humberto Benítez Treviño, a former attorney general, called Fast and Furious “a bad business that got out of hand.”[132] He had also characterized it as “an undercover program that wasn’t properly controlled.”[137]

Like many politicians, Mexican pundits across the political spectrum expressed anger at news of both operations. La Jornada, a left-leaning newspaper, asked “US: ally or enemy?”[138] The paper also argued that after news about Wide Receiver, the Mérida Initiative should be immediately suspended. A right-leaning paper accused the US of violating Mexican sovereignty. Manuel J. Jauregui of the Reforma newspaper wrote, “In sum, the gringo (American) government has been sending weapons to Mexico in a premeditated and systematic manner, knowing that their destinations were Mexican criminal organizations.”[131]

See also

References

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ATF_gunwalking_scandal

 

Executive privilege

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In the United States government, executive privilege is the power claimed by the President of the United States and other members of the executive branch to resist certain subpoenas and other interventions by the legislative and judicial branches of government to access information and personnel relating to the executive branch. The concept of executive privilege is not mentioned explicitly in the United States Constitution, but the Supreme Court of the United States ruled it to be an element of the separation of powers doctrine, and/or derived from the supremacy of executive branch in its own area of Constitutional activity.[1]The Supreme Court confirmed the legitimacy of this doctrine in United States v. Nixon, but only to the extent of confirming that there is a qualified privilege. Once invoked, a presumption of privilege is established, requiring the Prosecutor to make a “sufficient showing” that the “Presidential material” is “essential to the justice of the case” (418 U.S. at 713-14).Chief Justice Burger further stated that executive privilege would most effectively apply when the oversight of the executive would impair that branch’s national security concerns.

Historically, the uses of executive privilege underscore the untested nature of the doctrine, since Presidents have generally sidestepped open confrontations with the United States Congress and the courts over the issue by first asserting the privilege, then producing some of the documents requested on an assertedly voluntary basis.

Early precedents

Executive privilege is a specific instance of the more general common-law principle of deliberative process privilege and is believed to trace its roots to the English Crown Privilege.[2]

In the context of privilege assertions by US Presidents, “In 1796, President George Washington refused to comply with a request by the House of Representatives for documents related to the negotiation of the then-recently adopted Jay Treaty with the Kingdom of Great Britain. The Senate alone plays a role in the ratification of treaties, Washington reasoned, and therefore the House had no legitimate claim to the material. Therefore, Washington provided the documents to the Senate but not the House.”[3]

President Thomas Jefferson continued the precedent for this in the trial of Aaron Burr for treason in 1807. Burr asked the court to issue a subpoena duces tecum to compel Jefferson to provide his private letters concerning Burr. Chief Justice John Marshall, a strong proponent of the powers of the federal government but also a political opponent of Jefferson, ruled that the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution, which allows for these sorts of court orders for criminal defendants, did not provide any exception for the president. As for Jefferson’s claim that disclosure of the document would imperil public safety, Marshall held that the court, not the president, would be the judge of that. Jefferson complied with Marshall’s order.

In 1833, President Andrew Jackson cited executive privilege when Senator Henry Clay demanded he produce documents concerning statements the president made to his cabinet about the removal of federal deposits from the Second Bank of the United States during the Bank War.[4]

Modern exercises

During the period of 1947-49, several major security cases became known to Congress. There followed a series of investigations, culminating in the famous HissChambers case of 1948. At that point, the Truman Administration issued a sweeping secrecy order blocking congressional efforts from FBI and other executive data on security problems.[5] Security files were moved to the White House and Administration officials were banned from testifying before Congress on security related matters. Investigation of the State Department and other cases was stymied and the matter left unresolved.

During the Army–McCarthy hearings in 1954, Eisenhower used the claim of executive privilege to forbid the “provision of any data about internal conversations, meetings, or written communication among staffers, with no exception to topics or people.” Department of Defense employees were also instructed not to testify on any such conversations or produce any such documents or reproductions.[6] This was done to refuse the McCarthy Committee subpoenas of transcripts of monitored telephone calls from Army officials, as well as information on meetings between Eisenhower officials relating to the hearings. This was done in the form of a letter from Eisenhower to the Department of Defense and an accompanying memo from Eisenhower Justice. The reasoning behind the order was that there was a need for “candid” exchanges among executive employees in giving “advice” to one another. In the end, Eisenhower would invoke the claim 44 times between 1955 and 1960.

U.S. v. Nixon

The Supreme Court addressed ‘executive privilege’ in United States v. Nixon, the 1974 case involving the demand by Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox that President Richard Nixon produce the audiotapes of conversations he and his colleagues had in the Oval Office of the White House in connection with criminal charges being brought against members of the Nixon Administration. Nixon invoked the privilege and refused to produce any records.

The Supreme Court did not reject the claim of privilege out of hand; it noted, in fact, “the valid need for protection of communications between high Government officials and those who advise and assist them in the performance of their manifold duties” and that “[h]uman experience teaches that those who expect public dissemination of their remarks may well temper candor with a concern for appearances and for their own interests to the detriment of the decisionmaking process.” This is very similar to the logic that the Court had used in establishing an “executive immunity” defense for high office-holders charged with violating citizens’ constitutional rights in the course of performing their duties. The Supreme Court stated: “To read the Article II powers of the President as providing an absolute privilege as against a subpoena essential to enforcement of criminal statutes on no more than a generalized claim of the public interest in confidentiality of nonmilitary and nondiplomatic discussions would upset the constitutional balance of ‘a workable government’ and gravely impair the role of the courts under Article III.” Because Nixon had asserted only a generalized need for confidentiality, the Court held that the larger public interest in obtaining the truth in the context of a criminal prosecution took precedence.

“Once executive privilege is asserted, coequal branches of the Government are set on a collision course. The Judiciary is forced into the difficult task of balancing the need for information in a judicial proceeding and the Executive’s Article II prerogatives. This inquiry places courts in the awkward position of evaluating the Executive’s claims of confidentiality and autonomy, and pushes to the fore difficult questions of separation of powers and checks and balances. These ‘occasion[s] for constitutional confrontation between the two branches’ are likely to be avoided whenever possible. United States v. Nixon, supra, at 692.”[7]

Post-Nixon

Clinton administration

The Clinton administration invoked executive privilege on fourteen occasions.

In 1998, President Bill Clinton became the first President since Nixon to assert executive privilege and lose in court, when a Federal judge ruled that Clinton aides could be called to testify in the Lewinsky scandal.[8]

Later, Clinton exercised a form of negotiated executive privilege when he agreed to testify before the grand jury called by Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr only after negotiating the terms under which he would appear. Declaring that “absolutely no one is above the law”, Starr said such a privilege “must give way” and evidence “must be turned over” to prosecutors if it is relevant to an investigation.

George W. Bush administration

The Bush administration invoked executive privilege on six occasions.

President George W. Bush first asserted executive privilege to deny disclosure of sought details regarding former Attorney General Janet Reno,[2] the scandal involving Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) misuse of organized-crime informants James J. Bulger and Stephen Flemmi in Boston, and Justice Department deliberations about President Bill Clinton’s fundraising tactics, in December 2001.[9]

Bush invoked executive privilege “in substance” in refusing to disclose the details of Vice President Dick Cheney‘s meetings with energy executives, which was not appealed by the GAO. In a separate Supreme Court decision in 2004, however, Justice Anthony Kennedy noted “Executive privilege is an extraordinary assertion of power ‘not to be lightly invoked.’ United States v. Reynolds, 345 U.S. 1, 7 (1953).

Further, on June 28, 2007, Bush invoked executive privilege in response to congressional subpoenas requesting documents from former presidential counsel Harriet Miers and former political director Sara Taylor,[10] citing that:

The reason for these distinctions rests upon a bedrock presidential prerogative: for the President to perform his constitutional duties, it is imperative that he receive candid and unfettered advice and that free and open discussions and deliberations occur among his advisors and between those advisors and others within and outside the Executive Branch.

On July 9, 2007, Bush again invoked executive privilege to block a congressional subpoena requiring the testimonies of Taylor and Miers. Furthermore, White House Counsel Fred F. Fielding refused to comply with a deadline set by the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee to explain its privilege claim, prove that the president personally invoked it, and provide logs of which documents were being withheld. On July 25, 2007, the House Judiciary Committee voted to cite Miers andWhite House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten for contempt of Congress.[11][12]

On July 13, less than a week after claiming executive privilege for Miers and Taylor, Counsel Fielding effectively claimed the privilege once again, this time in relation to documents related to the 2004 death of Army Ranger Pat Tillman. In a letter to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Fielding claimed certain papers relating to discussion of the friendly-fire shooting “implicate Executive Branch confidentiality interests” and would therefore not be turned over to the committee.[13]

On August 1, 2007, Bush invoked the privilege for the fourth time in little over a month, this time rejecting a subpoena for Karl Rove. The subpoena would have required the President’s Senior Advisor to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee in a probe over fired federal prosecutors. In a letter to Senate Judiciary ChairmanPatrick Leahy, Fielding claimed that “Mr. Rove, as an immediate presidential advisor, is immune from compelled congressional testimony about matters that arose during his tenure and that relate to his official duties in that capacity….”[14]

Leahy claimed that President Bush was not involved with the employment terminations of U.S. attorneys. Furthermore, he asserted that the president’s executive privilege claims protecting Josh Bolten, and Karl Rove are illegal. The Senator demanded that Bolten, Rove, Sara Taylor, and J. Scott Jennings comply “immediately” with their subpoenas, presumably to await a further review of these matters. This development paved the way for a Senate panel vote on whether to advance the citations to the full Senate. “It is obvious that the reasons given for these firings were contrived as part of a cover up and that the stonewalling by the White House is part and parcel of that same effort”, Leahy concluded about these incidents.[15][16][17][18]

As of July 17, 2008, Rove still claimed executive privilege to avoid a congressional subpoena. Rove’s lawyer wrote that his client is “constitutionally immune from compelled congressional testimony.”[19]

House Investigation of the SEC

Leaders of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission testified on February 4, 2009 before the United States House Committee on Financial Servicessubcommittee including Linda Chatman Thomsen S.E.C. enforcement director, acting General Counsel Andy Vollmer, Andrew Donohue, Erik Sirri, and Lori Richards and Stephen Luparello of FINRA. The subject of the hearings were on why the SEC had failed to act when Harry Markopolos, a private fraud investigator from Boston alerted the Securities and Exchange Commission detailing his persistent and unsuccessful efforts to get the SEC to investigate Bernard Madoff, beginning in 1999.[20]Vollmer claimed executive privilege in declining to answer some questions.[21][22] Subcommittee chairman Paul E. Kanjorski asked Mr. Vollmer if he had obtained executive privilege from the U.S. attorney general.[21] “No … this is the position of the agency,” said Vollmer.[21] “Did the SEC instruct him not to respond to questions?” Mr. Kanjorski asked.[21] Vollmer replied that it was the position of the Commission and that “the answer is no.”[21] The SEC announced Vollmer would “leave the Commission and return to the private sector,” just 14 days after making the claim.[23]

Obama administration

On June 20, 2012, President Barack Obama asserted executive privilege, his first, to withhold certain Department of Justice documents related to the ongoingOperation Fast and Furious controversy ahead of a United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform vote to hold Attorney General Eric Holder inContempt of Congress for refusing to produce the documents.[24] Later the same day, the United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform voted 23-17 along party lines to hold Attorney General Holder in contempt of Congress over not releasing documents regarding Fast and Furious.[25]

References

  1. Jump up^ Chief Justice Burger, writing for the majority in US v. Nixon noted: “Whatever the nature of the privilege of confidentiality of Presidential communications in the exercise of Art. II powers, the privilege can be said to derive from the supremacy of each branch within its own assigned area of constitutional duties. Certain powers and privileges flow from the nature of enumerated powers; the protection of the confidentiality of Presidential communications has similar constitutional underpinnings.United States v. Nixon, 418 U.S. 683 (1974) (Supreme Court opinion at FindLaw)
  2. Jump up^ Proper Assertion of the Deliberative Process Principle, S Narayan, p 6
  3. Jump up^ FindLaw’s Writ – Dorf: A Brief History Of Executive Privilege, From George Washington Through Dick Cheney
  4. Jump up^ David and Jeanne Heidler, Henry Clay: The Essential American (2010) p.264
  5. Jump up^ Blacklisted by History, p. 23
  6. Jump up^ Blacklisted by History p.575
  7. Jump up^ Holding, Reynolds. Time, March 21, 2007. Holding, Reynolds (March 21, 2007). “The Executive Privilege Showdown”. Time. Retrieved 2007-03-27.
  8. Jump up^ Baker, Peter; and Schmidt, Susan. “President is Denied Executive Privilege”. The Washington Post. July 22, 1998. Retrieved 2007-03-27. Washington Post, May 6, 1998.
  9. Jump up^ Lewis, Neil A. (2001-12-14). “Bush Claims Executive Privilege in Response to House Inquiry”. New York Times. Retrieved 2007-07-17.
  10. Jump up^ [1]
  11. Jump up^ “House inches toward constitutional showdown with contempt vote”. Politics (CNN). July 25, 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-25.
  12. Jump up^ “House Judiciary Reports Contempt Citations to the House of Representatives” (Press release). U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary. July 25, 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-26.
  13. Jump up^ “White House Rebuffs Congress on Tillman Papers”. Politics (The Seattle Times). August 1, 2007. Retrieved 2008-08-01.
  14. Jump up^ “Bush won’t let aide Rove testify to Congress”. Politics (Reuters). August 1, 2007. Retrieved 2008-08-01.
  15. Jump up^ “Leahy: Bush not involved in firings”. Yahoo! News. Retrieved 2008-11-30.[dead link]
  16. Jump up^ “Leahy: Rove, others must comply with subpoenas”. CNN. Retrieved 2008-11-30.[dead link]
  17. Jump up^ “Leahy again orders Karl Rove to appear”. Bennington Banner. Retrieved 2008-11-30.
  18. Jump up^ “Leahy again demands U.S. attorney info”. Earth Times. Retrieved 2008-11-30.
  19. Jump up^ “Rove ignores committee’s subpoena, refuses to testify”. CNN. July 10, 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-10.
  20. Jump up^ Henriques, Diana (February 4, 2009). “Anger and Drama at a House Hearing on Madoff”. The New York Times.
  21. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e Jamieson, Dan (February 4, 2009). “SEC officials dodge questions; one claims privilege”. InvestmentNews.
  22. Jump up^ Ahrens, Frank (February 5, 2009). “Lawmakers Sink Teeth Into the SEC: Agency Mocked for Not Catching Madoff”. The Washington Post. pp. D01.
  23. Jump up^ “Acting General Counsel Andrew Vollmer to Leave SEC”. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Feb 18, 2009. Retrieved 6 March 2009.
  24. Jump up^ Jackson, David (June 20, 2012). “Obama team: ‘Fast and Furious’ documents are privileged”. USA Today. Retrieved 20 June 2012.
  25. Jump up^ Madhani and Davis, Aamer and Susan (June 20, 2012). “House panel votes to cite Holder for contempt of Congress”. USA Today. Retrieved 20 June 2012.

President Asserts Executive Privilege in Bid to Forestall Contempt Vote By JOHN H. CUSHMAN Jr. Published: June 20, 2012 NY Times

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Executive_privilege

 

 

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Obama’s Gungate:What did you know and When Did You Know About Operation Fast and Furious And Project Gunrunner– Attorney General Holder and President Obama?

Posted on October 4, 2011. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Business, Communications, Crime, Culture, Diasters, Drug Cartels, Economics, Education, Employment, Federal Government, Foreign Policy, government, government spending, history, Immigration, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, People, Philosophy, Pistols, Politics, Public Sector, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Rifles, Strategy, Talk Radio, Unemployment, Unions, Video, War, Wealth, Weapons, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , |

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In an exclusive interview with CBS News, the lead ATF official in Mexico at the time Darren Gil says somebody in the Justice Department did know about the case. Gil says his supervisor at ATF’s Washington D.C. headquarters told him point-blank the operation was approved even higher than ATF Director Kenneth Melson.

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Gun-Running Timeline: How DOJ’s ‘Operation Fast and Furious’ Unfolded

By Fred Lucas
July 7, 2011

“…In this operation, which began in the fall of 2009 and continued into early 2011, the federal government purposefully allowed known or suspected gun smugglers to purchase guns at federally licensed firearms dealers in Arizona. The government did not seek to abort these gun purchases, intercept the smugglers after the purchases, or recover the guns they had purchased.

In some cases, as the government expected they would, the smugglers delivered the guns to Mexican drug trafficking organizations.

The reported purpose of the operation was to track and uncover the entirety of the smuggling operations so they could be completely shutdown. However, two rifles sold to a smuggler in the course of Operation Fast and Furious in January 2010 ended up at the scene of the murder of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in December 2010.

The House Government Reform and Oversight Committee, chaired by Rep. Darrell Issa (R.-Calif.), and Sen. Charles Grassley (R.-Iowa), the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, are currently investigating the operation.

Here is a timeline based on information the congressional investigation has so far uncovered.

Operation Fast and Furious Timeline:

September 2009 – Jan. 8, 2010: A Jan. 8, 2010 briefing paper from the ATF Phoenix Field Division Group VII says: “This investigation has currently identified more than 20 individual connected straw purchasers.” It further says: “To date (September 2009 – present) this group has purchased in excess of 650 firearms (mainly AK-47 variants) for which they have paid cash totaling more than $350,000.”

October 2009: The ATF’s Phoenix Field Division establishes a gun trafficking group called Group VII. Group VII initially began using the strategy of “gunwalking,” or allowing suspects to walk away with illegally purchased guns, according to a report by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and the staff of Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“The purpose was to wait and watch, in hope that law enforcement could identify other members of a trafficking network and build a large, complex conspiracy case,” the report says. It goes on to say: “Group VII initially began using the new gunwalking tactics in one of its investigations to further the Department’s strategy. The case was soon renamed ‘Operation Fast and Furious.’”

Nov. 25, 2009: The ATF began conducting surveillance of Jaime Avila as early as this date, according to the congressional report.

Early December 2009: “It should be noted that since early December, efforts to ‘slow down’ the pace of these firearms purchases have succeeded and will continue but not to the detriment of the larger goal of the investigation,” the ATF briefing paper from Jan. 8, 2010 says. “It should also be noted that the pace of firearms procurement by this straw purchasing group from late September to early December 2009 defied the ‘normal’ pace of procurement by other firearms trafficking groups investigated by this and other field divisions. The ‘blitz’ was extremely out of the ordinary and created a situation where measures had to be enacted in order to slow this pace down in order to perfect a criminal case.”

Jan. 4-Jan. 8, 2010: There were three recorded phone calls during this period “between the most prolific suspected straw-purchaser and the Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL),” according to the ATF briefing paper. “These conversations have been to schedule future purchases of AK-47 variant riffles. The anticipated purchase is about forty (40) rifles.”

Jan. 5, 2010: ATF agents met with Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona Emory Hurley, the lead prosecutor in the matter, according to the briefing paper. The briefing paper says: “a determination was made that there was minimal evidence at this time to support any type of prosecution; therefore, additional firearms purchases should be monitored and additional evidence continued to be gathered.”

Further, US Attorney for the District of Arizona Dennis Burke was briefed on this day. Burke “concurs with the assessment of his line prosecutors and fully supports the continuation of the investigation,” the briefing paper says. The paper goes on to say that then head of the ATF Phoenix Field Division, Special Agent in Charge William Newell, “has repeatedly met with the USA Burke regarding the on-going status of this investigation and both are in full agreement with the current investigative strategy.”

Jan. 8, 2010: The aforementioned briefing paper from the ATF Phoenix Field Division sheds further light on the operation:

–The paper makes clear: “Currently our strategy is to allow the transfer of firearms to continue to take place, albeit at a much slower pace, in order to further the investigation and allow for the identification of additional co-conspirators who would continue to operate and illegally traffic firearms to Mexican DTOs [Drug Trafficking Organizations].”

–The ATF worked with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in Phoenix Ariz. “Surveillance operations are now being coordinated with information being obtained from the REDACTED. This is being coordinated out the of the Phoenix OCDETF Strike Force, of which Phoenix Group VII is a full-time member.”

–“There have been five notable seizure events connected with this group, and approximately 53 firearms originally purchased by this group have been recovered. Three of these seizures have been in the Country of Mexico, one recovery in Douglas, AZ, and one recovery in Nogales, AZ. The U.S. recoveries were both believed to be destined for Mexico. It should be noted however that there has been one seizure in the Phoenix areas related to the ongoing DEA narcotics trafficking investigation.”

–“The seizures referenced above were not from any member of the targeted group of straw purchasers identified in this investigation. Rather they were from Hispanic individuals (both male and female) whose association with our target group is currently unknown.”

–“The ultimate goal is to secure [REDACTED] to identify and prosecute all co-conspirators of the DTO to include the 20 individual straw purchasers, the facilitators of the distribution cell centered here in Phoenix, the transportation cells taking firearms South, and ultimately to develop and provide prosecutable information to our Mexican law enforcement counterparts for actions.”

Jan. 15, 2010: A joint strategy meeting was planned for this day, according to the Jan. 8, 2010 ATF document, with the representatives from the ATF, the DEA and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Jan. 16, 2010: Jaime Avila purchased three Romarm 7.62 rifles from Lone Wolfe Trading Company near Glendale, Ariz. According to the report, he also bought guns illegally in April and June of 2010.

Jan. 26, 2010: Operation Fast and Furious receives funding from the Justice Department’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF)

March 10, 2010: A memo from Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division Lanny A. Breuer authorizes a wire tap application as part of Operation Fast and Furious. The memo on the authorization was sent to Paul M. O’Brien, director of the Office of Enforcement Operation for the Criminal Division and to Emory Hurley, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona and the lead prosecutor in the operation.

March 10, 2010: An internal e-mail from George T. Gillett Jr., assistant special agent in charge to supervisor Voth and others said that ATF Acting Director Melson and ATF Deputy Director Billy Hoover “are being briefed weekly on this investigation and the recent success with REDACTED so they are both keenly interested in case updates.”

March 11, 2010: An e-mail from Voth to Gillett, with the subject line “Director’s questions” said, “Here are anwers to what I understand the director’s questions to be. More detail can be provided upon request. I thought it best to start brief. 1.) IP Addresses for Pole Cameras: REDACTED User ID: REDACTED password: REDACTED This must be monitored from a stand-alone computer as ATF Network bandwidth does not permit continuous monitoring.” In a news release in June, Rep. Issa said, “With this information, Acting Director Melson was able to sit at his desk in Washington and himself watch a live feed of straw buyers entering the gun stores and purchasing dozens of AK-47 variants.”

March 12, 2010: David Voth, the Phoenix Group VII supervisor, sent an e-mail addressing the divide between field agents who wanted to halt the operation and the chain of command who supported the operation.

“Whether you care or not people of rank and authority at HQ are paying close attention to this case and they also believe we (Phoenix Group VII) are doing what they envisioned the Southwest Border Groups doing,” Voth’s e-mail said. “It may sound cheesy, but we are ‘The Tip of the ATF spear’ when it comes to Southwest Border Firearms Trafficking. We need to resolve our issues at this meeting. I will be damned if this case is going to suffer due to petty arguing, rumors or other adolescent behavior. If you don’t think this is fun you’re in the wrong line of work–period.”

The Voth e-mail continued: “This is the pinnacle of U.S. law enforcement techniques. After this, the tool box is empty. Maybe the Maricopa County Jail is hiring detention officers and you can get paid $30,000 (instead of $100,000) to serve lunch to inmates all day.”

April 2, 2010: David Voth, the Phoenix Group VII supervisor, sent an e-mail to a redacted recipient that says: “Our subjects purchased 359 firearms during the month of March alone, to include numerous Barrett .50 caliber riffles. I believe we are righteous in our plan to dismantle this entire organization and to rush in to arrest any one person without taking in to account the entire scope of the conspiracy would be ill advised to the overall good of the mission.”

April 12, 2010: An e-mail from Voth to Gillett says that the next day, the ATF Deputy Assistant Director for Field Operations William McMahon will get a briefing on the operation.

Dec. 14, 2010: U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, 40, was murdered in Rio Rico, Ariz., by suspected operatives of a Mexican drug-smuggling organization. Police arrested four suspects in the murder.

Dec. 15, 2010: An e-mail exchange among ATF agents at 7:45 p.m. confirmed that the two of the weapons that Jaime Avila had purchased in January 2010 as part of Operation Fast and Furious were found at Terry’s murder scene. The names on the e-mail were redacted.

“The two firearms recovered by ATF this afternoon near Rio Rico, Arizona, in conjunction with the shooting death of U.S. Border Patrol agent Terry were identified as ‘Suspect Guns’ in the Fast and Furious investigation [REDACTED],” the e-mail says. The e-mail stated the guns and serial numbers, and said: “I initiated an urgent firearms trace request on both of the firearms and then contacted the NTC to ensure the traces were conducted today.”

December-January 2010: “According to Acting Director Melson, he became aware of this startling possibility [that guns were being smuggled into Mexico with the awareness of the ATF] only after the [December] murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and the[ January] indictments of the straw purchasers, which we now know were substantially delayed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and Main Justice,” says a July 5, 2011 letter from Sen. Grassley and Rep. Issa to Attorney General Holder.

Jan. 8, 2011: U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is shot while meeting with constituents in Tucson. ATF agents were initially worried she might have been shot by a gun sold through Operation Fast and Furious. This turned out not to be the case. However, Pete Forcelli, a group supervisor with the ATF Phoenix Field Division who had warned about potential dangers of the program, told congressional investigators that after Terry was murdered many agents were on edge. “And then there was a sense like every other time, even with Ms. Giffords’ shooting, there was a state of panic, like, oh, God, let’s hope this is not a weapon from that case.”

Jan. 19, 2011: Operation Fast and Furious results in the indictment of 20 straw purchasers, including Jaime Avila. That is the same number of straw purchasers that the ATF had identified as long as a year before this indictment. The Jan. 8, 2010 ATF briefing paper on the operation had said its goal was to prosecute “the 20 individual straw purchasers, the facilitators of the distribution cell centered here in Phoenix, the transportation cells taking firearms South.” The indictment focused on the straw purchasers failing to provide accurate information on ATF Form 4473, which a purchaser must complete truthfully when buying a gun. According to the congressional report, the ATF had known that most of the indicted straw purchasers were in fact straw purchasers before Operation Fast and Furious began.

Jan. 25, 2011: Phoenix Special Agent in Charge William Newell held a press conference announcing the indictment of the 20 people as a result of Operation Fast and Furious. When asked if agents purposefully allowed weapons to enter Mexico, Newell says, “Hell, no.”

Jan. 27, 2011: Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, wrote a letter to ATF Acting Director Kenneth Melson that said: “Members of the Judiciary Committee have received numerous allegations that the ATF sanctioned the sale of hundreds of assault weapons to suspected straw purchasers, who then allegedly transported these weapons throughout the southwestern border area and into Mexico. According to these allegations, one of these individuals purchased three assault rifles with cash in Glendale, Arizona on January 16, 2010. Two of the weapons were then allegedly used in a firefight on December 14, 2010 against Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents, killing CBP Agent Brian Terry.”

Grassley requested that the ATF brief his staff on the matter.

Jan. 31, 2011: Grassley wrote a second letter to Melson that says whistleblowers were being targeted in the agency. “This is exactly the wrong sort of reaction for the ATF. Rather than focusing on retaliating against whistleblowers, the ATF’s sole focus should be on findding and disclosing the truth as soon as possible.”

The Grassley letter continued, “As you may be aware, obstructing a Congressional investigation is a crime. Additionally, denying or interfering with employees’ rights to furnish information to Congress is also against the law. Federal officials who deny or interfere with employees’ rights to furnish information to Congress are not entitled to have their salaries paid by taxpayers’ dollars. Finally, ATF personnel have Constitutional rights to express their concerns to Congress under the First Amendment.”

Feb. 1, 2011: In a story headlined, “Claims tie ATF sting to guns in shootout,” The Arizona Republic reported on Grassley’s pending investigation and on the whistleblower’s allegations. Other media, such as The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times reported on this in the following days.

Feb. 4, 2011: Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich wrote Grassley denying that the Justice Department knowingly “sanctioned” the sale of guns to people they believed were going to deliver them to Mexican drug cartels.

“At the outset, the allegation described in your January 27 letter–that ATF ‘sanctioned’ or otherwise knowingly allowed the sale of assault weapons to a straw purchaser who then transported them to Mexico–is false,” Weich wrote. “ATF makes every effort to interdict weapons that have been purchased illegally and prevent their transportation to Mexico.”

Feb. 15, 2011: Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agent Jaime Zapata is murdered in Mexico. The Associated Press later reported (on Feb. 28), based on an unnamed source, that the weapon used to kill Zapata “was shipped through Laredo with the possible knowledge of the ATF.” The story continued that “the feds were already investigating the suspects when the gun was sent to Mexico.” The matter was separate from Operation Fast and Furious, but was under the same umbrella as part of the larger Project Gunrunner.

Feb. 23, 2011: CBS Evening News airs its first piece on Operation Fast and Furious that includes interviews with ATF whistleblowers who say they warned supervisors of potential problems.

March 8, 2011: The Justice Department informed Sen. Grassley that the matter would be reviewed by the DOJ’s Office of Inspector General. In a letter to Grassley, Assistant Attorney General Weich wrote, “We appreciated your continuing concern about this matter. We have referred your letters to and the attached documents to the Department’s Office of Inspector General.”

March 10, 2011: At a hearing of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-Texas) asked Holder about the matter.

“What is your view now on that particular program? And I know that you’ve asked for an IG study of it, but tell me if you think that that program should be continued. Is it the correct use of the Project Gunrunner subprogram, I guess? Because it–of course, it’s a great concern.”

Holder responded, “Well, first, I’d say that, you know, the mission of ATF and the mission to which they are dedicated is to stop the flow of guns into Mexico and to people who shouldn’t have guns here in the United States. And that is the focus of ATF, and it is why ATF agents serve bravely in Mexico and in this country, and I think do a great job. It is true that there have been concerns expressed by ATF agents about the way in which this operation was conducted and I took those allegations, those concerns, very seriously, and asked the inspector general to try to get to the bottom of it. An investigation, an inquiry, is now under way.

“I’ve also made clear to people in the department that letting guns walk–I guess that’s the term that the people use–that letting guns walk is not something that is acceptable. Guns are different than drug cases or cases where we’re trying to follow where money goes. We cannot have a situation where guns are allowed to walk, and I’ve made that clear to the United States attorneys as well as the agents in charge in the various ATF offices.”

March 11, 2011: The Contra Costa Times and other news organizations reported that the Mexican attorney general’s office, known as the PGR, issued a statement that Mexican authorities were aware of the U.S. anti-gun operation that allowed smugglers to buy weapons under watch of U.S. agents, but that the Mexican government “had no knowledge of the existence of an operation that might include the transgression or controlled trafficking of arms to Mexican territory.” The statement continued, “The government of Mexico has not given nor will it give its authorization, tacit or express, under any circumstance, for that to occur.”

March 22, 2011: President Barack Obama was asked about Operation Fast and Furious on Univision, a Spanish language network.

“Well, first of all, I did not authorize it,” Obama told Univision. “Eric Holder, the attorney general, did not authorize it. There may be a situation here in which a serious mistake was made. If that’s the case, then we’ll find– find out and we’ll hold somebody accountable.”

March 2011: ATF Acting Director Kenneth Melson says “he told the Office of Deputy Attorney General at the end of March that the Department needed to reexamine how it was responding to the request for information from Congress,” according to a July 5 letter from Rep. Issa and Sen. Grassley to Attorney General Holder.

May 3, 2011: Holder testified to the House Judiciary Committee. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Holder had an exchange about Operation Fast and Furious.  Under questioning from Issa, Holder said he was not sure of the exact date he first heard of the operation, but said it was “probably … over the last few weeks.” Holder also could not say who authorized the operation.

Issa asked: “When did you first know about the program officially, I believe, called Fast and Furious? To the best of your knowledge, what date?”

Holder answered: “I’m not sure of the exact date, but I probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks.”

Issa followed: “Now that you’ve been briefed on it, the president has said on March 22 that you didn’t authorize it. Did your deputy attorney general, James Cole, authorize it?”

Holder answered: “I’m sorry. That would be?”

Issa repeated: “The deputy attorney general, James Cole.”

Holder again acted puzzled: “Did he — I didn’t hear. Did he?”

Issa completed the question: “Did the deputy attorney general authorize it?”

Holder finally gave a less than clear answer: “My guess would be no. Mr. Cole, I don’t think, was in the—I–I think–I don’t think he was in the department at the time that operation started.”

Issa went on to ask: “How about the head of the Criminal Division, Lanny Breuer?”

Holder answered, “I’m not sure.”

Issa followed; “Did he authorize it?”

Holder responded: “I’m not sure whether Mr. Breuer authorized it. I mean, you have to understand the way in which the department operates. Although there are–there are operations, this one has become–has gotten a great deal of publicity.”

Issa later asked: “Do you stand by this program? In other words–and it’s not a hypothetical, really–if you knew this program, knew about this program 90 days ago, 180 days ago, would you have allowed it to continue? And if not, then what are you going to do about the people who did know and allowed it to continue?”

Holder answered: “Well, what I have told people at the Department of Justice is that under no circumstances in any case that any investigation that we bring should guns be allowed to be distributed in an uncontrolled manner.”

Issa followed: “So that would be cognizant with the March 9th letter from Deputy Attorney General James Cole in which he says that we should not design or conduct undercover operations which include guns crossing the border. If we have knowledge that guns are about to cross the border, we must take immediate action to stop the firearms from crossing the border, and so on. That’s–that’s your policy today.”

Holder says: “That has–that is our policy. That has totally been the policy that I tried to impose.”

Issa then asked: “And isn’t Fast and Furious inconsistent with that policy?”

Holder answered: “Well, that’s one of the questions that we’ll have to see whether or not Fast and Furious was conducted in a way that’s consistent with what Jim wrote there, what I have said today. And that’s what the inspector general is, in fact, looking at.”

June 16, 2011: Issa told CNSNews.com he believes Holder knew about the operation earlier than he testified.

“We believe he [Holder] was aware of it much earlier than he says in his testimony and questioning before the Judiciary Committee,” Issa said. Issa later added: “Are we confident that Eric Holder knew it much earlier? No. Did he know it earlier than he testified? Absolutely.”

June 15, 2011: The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, in conjunction with the staff of Sen. Grassley, released a report on Operation Fast and Furious. On that day, the House oversight committee held a hearing on the matter. Four ATF agents testified about their opposition to the operation.

At the hearing, Chairman Issa questioned Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich about the letter he sent to Sen. Grassley on Feb. 4 in which Weich said it was “false” that the Justice Department had “knowingly allowed the sale of assault weapons to a straw purchaser who then transported them to Mexico.”

“You made a statement in that letter that you signed on the 4th that said: ‘ATF makes every effort to interdict weapons that have been purchased illegally and prevent their transportation to Mexico,” said Issa. “Who prepared that line in your letter? You signed it, who prepared it? Was it you?”

“These letters are the product of the Justice Department,” Weich responded.

“So your signature on that letter doesn’t mean that you know it to be true, is that correct?” asked Issa.

“I take ultimate responsibility,” said Weich.

“Okay,” said Issa. “Isn’t that statement false now with what you know?”

“Obviously, there have been allegations that call into serious question that particular sentence,” said Weich.

“Weren’t there documents that now have been provided and made public that let you know that that statement was false?” asked Issa.

“And that’s why you’re investigating and that’s why we’re investigating,” said Weich.

Replied Issa: “I just take your agreement that those documents indicate that that statement that you signed that someone prepared for your signature were false?

“Congressman, I am not prepared to say that at this time,” said Weich. “Everything that we say is true to the best of our knowledge at the time we say it. As more facts come out, obviously our understanding of the situation is enhanced.”

June 27, 2011: White House Press Secretary Jay Carney could not provide the answer when CNSNews.com asked him for the exact date when President Obama first learned about Operation Fast and Furious. Carney responded, “I’ll have to get back to you. I don’t have an exact date for you.” Carney also did not comment on whether the president believed Acting ATF Director Melson should resign from his position.

June 29, 2011: A reporter asked President Obama about the matter at a White House news conference. Obama responded, “As you know, my attorney general has made clear he certainly would not have ordered gun running to pass through into Mexico. The investigation is still pending. I’m not going to comment on the current investigation. I’ve made very clear my views that that would not be an appropriate step by the ATF, and we’ve got to find out how that happened. As soon as the investigation is complete, appropriate action will be taken.”

July 4, 2011: Acting ATF Director Kenneth Melson and speaks to congressional investigators from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee. Melson met with investigators with his personal attorney present—not Justice Department attorneys.

July 5, 2011: Chairman Issa and Sen. Grassley wrote a letter to Attorney General Holder about Melson’s testimony. The letter says Melson “claimed that ATF’s senior leadership would have preferred to be more cooperative with our inquiry much earlier in the process. However, he said that Justice Department officials directed them not to respond and took full control of replying to briefing and document requests from Congress. The result is that Congress only got the parts of the story that the (Justice) Department wanted us to hear. If his account is accurate, then ATF leadership appears to have been effectively muzzled while the DOJ sent over false denials and buried its head in the sand. That approach distorted the truth and obstructed our investigation. The Department’s inability or unwillingness to be more forthcoming served to conceal critical information that we are now learning about the involvement of other agencies, including the DEA and the FBI.”

The Issa-Grassley letter to Holder further says that contrary to earlier denials by the Justice Department, Melson acknowledged that ATF agents had in fact witnessed transfers of weapons from straw purchasers to third parties without following the guns any further. Melson also said that ATF agents carrying out Operation Fast and Furious had been placed under the direction of the Arizona U.S. Attorney’s office. …”

http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/gun-running-timeline-how-doj-s-operation-fast-and-furious-unfolded

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Posted on October 2, 2011. Filed under: Blogroll, Business, Communications, Economics, Employment, Federal Government, Foreign Policy, government, government spending, history, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, People, Philosophy, Pistols, Politics, Public Sector, Raves, Regulations, Rifles, Security, Strategy, Talk Radio, Taxes, Technology, Unemployment, Unions, Video, War, Wealth, Weapons, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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The Laura Ingraham Show – Investigative reporter says WH official cussed at her over ATF scandal

What’s more, CBS News investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson — who’s been covering the scandal from the beginning — says in an interview on the Laura Ingraham Show today that the White House and Justice Department have taken to screaming at her for reporting on the story. You can listen to the full interview below,

Bombshell: DOJ Considering Elimination of ATF

Katie Pavlich

News Editor, Townhall

Sep 30, 2011

Multiple sources, including sources from ATF, DOJ  and Congressional offices have said there is a white paper circulating within the Department of Justice, outlining the essential elimination of ATF. According to sources, the paper outlines the firing of at least 450 ATF agents in an effort to conduct damage control as Operation Fast and Furious gets uglier and as election day 2012 gets closer.  ATF agents wouldn’t be reassigned to other positions, just simply let go. Current duties of ATF, including the enforcement of explosives and gun laws, would be transferred to other agencies, possibly the FBI and the DEA.

According to a congressional source, there have been rumblings about the  elimination of ATF for quite sometime, but the move would require major  political capital to actually happen.

“It’s a serious white paper being circulated, how far they’d get with it I don’t know,” a confidential source said.

After a town hall meeting about Operation Fast and Furious in Tucson, Ariz. on Monday, ATF Whistleblower Vince Cefalu, who has been key in exposing details about Operation Fast and Furious, confirmed the elimination of ATF has been circulating as a serious idea for sometime now and that a white paper outlining the plan does exist.

Sounds great right? Eliminating ATF? But there is more to this story. Remember, low level ATF field agents, like ATF histleblower John Dodson, were uncomfortable conducting Operation Fast and Furious from  the beginning, but were told by high level officials within ATF that if they had a problem with the operation, they could find a job elsewhere.

“Allowing loads of weapons that we knew to be destined for criminals, this was the plan. It was so mandated,” ATF Whistleblower John Dodson said in testimony on Capitol Hill on June 15, 2011.

In fact, not only were the ATF agents forced to carry out the operation,  they were told to go against what they had been taught in training.

“This operation, which in my opinion endangered the American public, was orchestrated in conjunction with Assistant U.S. Attorney Emory Hurley. [Emory Hurley is the same Assistant U.S. Attorney who previously  prevented agents from using some of the common and accepted law enforcement techniques that are employed elsewhere in the United States to investigate and prosecute gun crimes.] I have read documents that indicate that his boss, U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke, also agreed with the
direction of the case,” Special Agent Peter Forcelli said in testimony on Capitol hill on June 15, 2011.

“I recall my first days at the ATF academy, where it was drilled into us  as new agents that under no circumstances would any firearms, in any investigation, leave the control of ATF. Instructors stressed that even if a weapon was lost “by accident,” the agent was still subject to termination,” former ATF Attaché to Mexico Darren D. Gil said in testimony on June 15, 2011.

ATF field agents weren’t the problem with Operation Fast and Furious, high ranking officials within ATF and the Department of Justice were and  still are. DOJ would eliminate ATF only to take the heat off of the  Obama Administration. By eliminating the bureau, it makes it seem like DOJ is taking Operation Fast and Furious so seriously, they decided to “clear out the corruption, clean house,” however, it would only be a distraction away from the people at the top of the investigation. In fact, evidence shows the DOJ has been stonewalling the Oversight Committee investigation into the operation to protect Obama political appointees.

“It was very frustrating to all of us, and it appears thoroughly to us that the Department is really trying to figure out a way to push the information away from their political appointees at the Department,” former ATF Acting Director Kenneth Melson, who has since been moved to a  position within DOJ, said of his frustration with the Justice Department’s response to the investigation in transcribed closed door testimony with the Oversight Committee in July 2011.

When I called the Department of Justice last week (five times) to request the white paper and receive a comment surrounding the idea of eliminating ATF, I received the following response: “Everyone is away from their desk right now.”

Up to this point, the Department of Justice has denied all allegations  or involvement in Operation Fast and Furious, yet journalists and the House Oversight Committee have proved allegation after allegation to be true. For example, during a Congressional  hearing in July, former ATF Special Agent in Charge William Newell, who has since been promoted to a
position within the Justice Department, denied that his agency was trafficking guns to Mexico, despite overwhelming evidence and testimony from other ATF agents proving otherwise.

“At no time in our strategy was it to allow guns to be taken to Mexico,”  Newell said on July 26, 2011, adding that at no time did his agency allow guns to walk.

We’ve heard this was a low level, “rogue” operation, turns out high  level officials in the Justice Department, DEA, FBI, DHS, and even members of the White House national security team knew about Operation Fast and Furious.

Last week, ATF offered 400 agents buy outs to avoid budget cuts and is expecting 250-275 agents to take the offer through Voluntary Early Retirement. These buyouts come at a convenient time for the Justice Department, which can eliminate ATF, then say it’s because of budget cuts, when really, it’s to cover their tracks. …”

http://cleanupatf.org/forums/index.php?/topic/272-doj-white-paper-circulating-eliminating-atf/

Time for a special prosecutor to be named.

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A brief timeline for Operation Gunwalker
Posted by David Hardy · 29 September 2011 04:41 PM

February 2009: AG Holder calls for reinstating the “assault weapon” ban, saying “I think that will have a positive impact in Mexico, at a minimum.”

March 2009: Hillary Clinton visits Mexico, delivers a speech. “These criminals are outgunning law enforcement officials,” Clinton said of the street warfare in towns near the border that have claimed more than 6,000 lives in the past year. And since we know that the vast majority, 90% of that [weaponry] comes from our country, we’re going to try to stop it from getting there in the first place,” Clinton said.”

April 2009: President Obama visits Mexico. “Meeting face-to-face with Mexican President Felipe Calderon, President Obama on Thursday said the U.S. is to blame for much of Mexico’s drug violence, and he set up a major congressional gun-control battle by calling on the Senate to ratify a treaty designed to track and cut the flow of guns to other countries. Mr. Obama said he wants to renew a ban on some semiautomatic weapons but that it is not likely to pass Congress.” He adds, “more than 90 percent of the guns recovered in Mexico come from the United States, many from gun shops that lay in our shared border.”

September 2009: Operation Fast and Furious appears to begin at about this point.

October 2009: Field Field Division establishes “Group VII.” Its plans include allowing guns to “walk” to Mexico.

March 2010: An email to Group VII supervisors informs them that the acting head of ATF and the Deputy Director of FBI are very interested in the operation and receiving weekly briefings.
Some agents are objecting, since Agent Voth sends an email telling agents that if “you don’t think this is fun,” you should find another job.

April 2010: Group VII reports the straw men purchased 359 firearms, including some .50 rifles, last month alone.

May 2010: President Calderon visits Washington, calls for renewal of the “assault weapon” ban.

December 2010: The Administration proposes to require reporting of multiple long-gun sales by dealers in border States. Dennis Henigan of Brady Campaign rejoices that it may be the end of appeasement, and calls for more: “The new ATF initiative to fight Mexican gun trafficking has crossed a line — and the administration knows it. ”

December 10, 2010: Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry is murdered, and Fast and Furious guns are found at the site.

December 22, 2010, ATF agents Bloggers pick up the story.

January 2011: Fast and Furious is suddenly shut down. ATF arrests the straw men. Agent Newell vigorously denies the agency allowed guns to “walk.”

Feburary 2011: story goes mainstream when CBS Evening News covers it.

So in Spring 2009 the Administration was pushing its agenda with references to American guns going to Mexico — with spokesmen including the President, the AG, and the Secretary of State. In the following months, Operation Fast and Furious took form. The gunwalking involved offices in Arizona and Texas, and perhaps Florida, and involved FBI as well as ATF. FBI even bankrolled one of the smugglers. Occam’s Razor … gunwalking was meant to serve a political agenda that (at the outset) was seen as setting the stage for some major pushes, and that required lots of Mexican crime guns to trace to US dealers. And if a few hundred people got killed, that was just the price.

http://cleanupatf.org/forums/index.php?/topic/263-holder-denies-prior-knowledge-of-fast-and-furious/

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Obama’s Gungate: Operation Fast and Furious–Arming Mexican Drug Cartels and Criminals–Killing American and Mexican Citizens–A Pretext For The Ultimate Aim of Disarming The American People and Repealing the Second Amendment–Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security, FBI, BATFE, ICE and DEA Coverup and Stonewalling–Call For Special Prosecutor–President Obama and Attorney General Holder Should Be Impeached For Obstruction of Justice–Videos–Updated

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Obama’s Gungate: Operation Fast and Furious–The Murders Continue–Time For Special Prosecutor!–Videos

Posted on September 30, 2011. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Business, Communications, Computers, Crime, Culture, Diasters, Drug Cartels, Economics, Education, Employment, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, government, government spending, history, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, People, Philosophy, Pistols, Politics, Public Sector, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Rifles, Talk Radio, Taxes, Technology, Transportation, Unemployment, Unions, Video, War, Wealth, Weapons, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Sheriff Babeu Says ATF Accomplice To Murder

“Fast And Furious” Just Might Be President Obama’s Watergate

ATF agent blows the whistle on the U.S. government running GUNS into Mexico !

Fast & Furious Round 2: Nightly News Report 09/27/11

Issa & Gosar: Fast & Furious Investigation Continues

Fast and Furious Whistleblower Interview Operation Gun Walker – Video http://www.RightFace.us

Operation Fast and Furious 1- 13

Operation Fast and Furious 2- 13

Operation Fast and Furious 3- 13

Operation Fast and Furious 4- 13

Operation Fast and Furious 5- 13

Operation Fast and Furious 6- 13

Operation Fast and Furious 7- 13

Operation Fast and Furious 8- 13

Operation Fast and Furious 9- 13

Operation Fast and Furious 10- 13

Operation Fast and Furious 11- 13

Operation Fast and Furious 12- 13

Operation Fast and Furious 13- 13

Issa on CNN: Obama Administration Stonewalling Public Accountability for Fast & Furious

Issa on Fox News: Americans Deserve Accountability for Deaths by Operation Fast & Furious

Issa on Fox Biz Gives the Latest on Investigations of Fast & Furious, Obama Admin Green Energy Deals

Background Articles and Videos

ATF Enabling Illegal US Gun Traffic to Mexico!!!

Whistleblower ATF Agent John Dodson Exposes Deadly “Operation Gunrunner”

ATF Director Tells Congressmen Dept Of Justice Is Obstructing “Fast & Furious” Gun Running Probe

ATF Fires ‘Fast and Furious’ Whistleblower

Rep. Issa: Holder ‘Absolutely’ Knew About Fast & Furious Earlier Than He Testified

Obama Orders Launched Fast and Furious

Obama Snubs Subpoena for ATF ‘Project Gunrunner’ Documents

Fast and Furious Agents Promoted by Obama Administration; Project Gunrunner Promotions

“Fast And Furious” Just Might Be President Obama’s Watergate

Frank Miniter

“…Why a gunrunning scandal codenamed “Fast and Furious,” a program run secretly by the U.S. government that sent thousands of firearms over an international border and directly into the hands of criminals, hasn’t been pursued by an army of reporters all trying to be the next Bob Woodward or Carl Bernstein is a story in itself.

But the state of modern journalism aside, this scandal is so inflammatory few realize that official records show the current director  of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), B. Todd Jones — yes the individual the Obama administration brought in to replace ATF Director Kenneth Melson Aug. 30 in an effort to deflect congressional criticism — also has questions to answer about his involvement in this gunrunning scandal.

Fast and Furious was an operation so cloak-and-dagger Mexican authorities weren’t even notified that thousands of semi-automatic firearms were being sold to people in Arizona thought to have links to Mexican drug cartels. According to ATF whistleblowers, in 2009 the U.S. government began instructing gun storeowners to break the law by selling  firearms to suspected criminals. ATF agents then, again according to testimony by ATF agents turned whistleblowers, were ordered not to intercept the smugglers but rather to let the guns “walk” across the U.S.-Mexican border and into the hands of Mexican drug-trafficking organizations. …”

“…Given all the politics and the cover up that even the former ATF director says has occurred, could operation Fast and Furious have been about anything other than pushing for new gun-control laws? And given all of this obfuscation from the Obama dministration, isn’t this scandal comparable to the cover up that surrounded Watergate? After all,  both administrations forgot that America is a country that reveres its freedom of the press and that in America officers speak out when misguided policies get cops killed. Here mothers testify before Congress  when they find out a secret government program, and a stupid one at that, got their son killed.

Not that morality ends at the American border. To stress this point, Rep. Issa held a conference call with journalists on September 21 in which he said Marisela Morales, Mexico’s attorney general, is reporting that at least 200 Mexican deaths can now be traced to weapons from the Fast and Furious program.

And so the investigation and the bloody aftermath continue….

http://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2011/09/28/fast-and-furious-just-might-be-president-obamas-watergate/

New Fast and Furious docs released by White House

By Sharyl Attkisson

“…Late Friday, the White House turned over new documents in the Congressional investigation into the ATF “Fast and Furious” gunwalking scandal.

The documents show extensive communications between then-ATF Special Agent in Charge of the Phoenix office Bill Newell – who led Fast and Furious – and then-White House National Security Staffer Kevin O’Reilly. Emails indicate the two also spoke on the phone. Such detailed, direct communications between a local ATF manager in Phoenix and a White House national security staffer has raised interest among Congressional investigators looking into Fast and Furious. Newell has said he and O’Reilly are long time friends.

Newly-released White House documents (pdf)

ATF agents say that in Fast and Furious, their agency allowed thousands of assault rifles and other weapons to be sold to suspected traffickers for Mexican drug cartels. At least two of the guns turned up at the murder scene of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry last December.

ATF Manager says he shared Fast and Furious with the White House

The email exchanges span a little over a month last summer. They discuss ATF’s gun trafficking efforts along the border including the controversial Fast and Furious case, though not by name. The emails to and from O’Reilly indicate more than just a passing interest in the Phoenix office’s gun trafficking cases. They do not mention specific tactics such as “letting guns walk.” …”

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-31727_162-20114184-10391695.html

September 30, 2011

Operation Fast and Furious: The Scandal that Can No Longer be Denied

Roger Aronoff

“…Cooper’s reporter on this story, Drew Griffin, tried to explain a possible motive for Fast and Furious. He said that “the operation makes no sense.” So in attempting to explain it, he invoked the usual bogeymen. “So what’s the real purpose?,” asked Griffin. “The lack of sense, the apparent cover-up has opened the door now for these conspiracy theorists. And you got to follow this. They believe this was part of a convoluted plan for the Obama administration and the attorney general to actually increase the level of violence on the Mexican border with assault weapons purchased in the U.S. in an apparent attempt to rekindle interest in an assault weapons ban. As wacky as that may sound, I must tell you that theory is gaining traction, not just among the second amendment crowd, because this operation makes no other sense.”

Griffin is correct that such theories are out there. But until some independent entity can get to the bottom of this, hopefully with the cooperation of the Obama administration rather than the stonewalling and obstruction that has characterized their response up to now, the reasons for the operation might remain theoretical. Let’s see if the cover-up proves worse than the crimes. …”

http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/publications/id.10477/pub_detail.asp

Secret recordings raise new questions in ATF ‘Gunwalker’ operation

By

Sharyl Attkisson

“…Law enforcement sources and others close to the Congressional investigation say the Justice Department’s Inspector General obtained the audio tapes several months ago as part of its investigation into Fast and Furious.

Then, the sources say for some reason the Inspector General passed the tapes along to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Arizona: a subject in the investigation. It’s unclear why the Inspector General, who is supposed to investigate independently, would turn over evidence to an entity that is itself under investigation.

A spokesman from the Office of the Inspector General today said, “The OIG officially provided the United States Attorney’s Office with a copy of the recordings in question so that the USAO could consider them in connection with the government’s disclosure obligations in the pending criminal prosecutions of the gun traffickers. Prior to receiving the tapes, the OIG made clear that we would have to provide a copy of the recordings to the United States Attorney’s Office because they would need to review them to satisfy any legal disclosure obligations.” …”

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-31727_162-20108240-10391695.html

Firearms from ATF sting linked to 11 more violent crimes

“…By Richard A. Serrano, Washington Bureau August 17, 2011

Reporting from Washington—

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. …”

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-atf-guns-20110817,0,7742514.story

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Obama The Tyrant Gun Grabber Uses ATF To Secretly Order Retailers To Spy On Their Customers!–Law Was Not Passed–Videos

Obama’s Gungate: Update On Operation Fast and Furious–Videos

Obama’s Gungate: Operation Fast and Furious–Arming Mexican Drug Cartels and Criminals–Killing American and Mexican Citizens–A Pretext For The Ultimate Aim of Disarming The American People and Repealing the Second Amendment–Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security, FBI, BATFE, ICE and DEA Coverup and Stonewalling–Call For Special Prosecutor–President Obama and Attorney General Holder Should Be Impeached For Obstruction of Justice–Videos–Updated

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Obama The Tyrant Gun Grabber Uses ATF To Secretly Order Retailers To Spy On Their Customers!–Law Was Not Passed–Videos

Posted on August 1, 2011. Filed under: Blogroll, Business, Communications, Economics, Federal Government, government, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, People, Philosophy, Pistols, Politics, Raves, Regulations, Rifles, Taxes, Technology, Unemployment, Union, Video, War, Weapons, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

 

Obama Launches Gun Grab

 

ATF Attempts to Make Firearms Retailers Spy on Their Customers

 

 

ATF Requiring Multiple Sales Reporting of Long Guns; Firearms Industry to File Suit

“…The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) – the trade association for America’s firearms industry – announced today that it will file a lawsuit challenging the legal authority of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) under the Gun Control Act to compel 8,500 federally licensed firearms retailers in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas to report the sale of two or more semi-automatic rifles larger than .22 caliber and capable of accepting a detachable magazine that are purchased following an FBI background check by the same individual within five consecutive business days.

At the time Congress authorized the reporting of multiple sales of handguns it could have required it for the sale of long guns, but it did not. ATF is clearly exceeding its lawful authority under the Gun Control Act. Current ATF Acting Director Ken Melson himself has previously questioned ATF’s legal authority to impose this new requirement.

“While we encourage all retailers, not just those along the southwest border, to continue to cooperate with ATF and report any suspicious activity, this is the proverbial ’slippery slope,’ “ said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel. “If ATF can require this record keeping and reporting requirement of law-abiding retailers in these four states simply by sending a letter demanding the information, than there is no record or report ATF can not require of any licensee, anywhere in the country for as long as ATF wants. They simply need to send a letter demanding it,” said Keane.

Operation Fast and Furious confirms what ATF has always maintained, that retailers are a vital source of information for law enforcement in combating illegal firearm trafficking. These retailers routinely report questionable transactions to authorities, including ATF. Throughout the Fast and Furious congressional investigation, it was suggested that federally licensed retailers were the original source of information that gave rise to the operation and retailers allowed ATF special agents to stand behind the counter of their shops so that they were better able to observe the transactions.

Even if ATF had the legal authority to require sales reporting for long guns, it is an ill-considered policy that will actually make it more difficult for retailers to cooperate with ATF. Illegal firearms traffickers will simply alter their schemes to avoid and evade the reporting requirement. For example, traffickers could simply recruit more “straw purchasers” and have them illegally purchase firearms from multiple licensees, or simply move their illegal trafficking activities to other states where the reporting requirement does not exist. …”

http://www.gunreports.com/news/news/nssf-to-file-suit-atf-southwest-gun-dealers-multiple-rifles_3184-1.html?CMP=OTC-RSS

 

Exclusive: ATF Intimidates Gun Owners With Home Visits

 

Federal agency attempts to make firearms retailers spy on their customers under new illegal directive

Paul Joseph Watson & Aaron Dykes
Infowars.com
Friday, July 29, 2011

“…As the Justice Department announced earlier this month, “All gun shops in four Southwest border states (Texas, California, Arizona and New Mexico) will be required to alert the federal government to frequent buyers of high-powered rifles.”

The ATF letter also orders gun dealers to report to the feds sales of “two or more pistols or revolvers, or any combination of pistols or revolvers totaling two or more.”

The letter, which was subsequently sent out to gun dealers and has since entered the public domain, orders firearms retailers to “Submit to ATF reports of multiple sales or other dispositions whenever, at one time or during any five consecutive business days, you sell to an unlicensed person or otherwise dispose of two or more semi-automatic rifles capable of accepting a detachable magazine and with a caliber greater than .22 (including .223/5.56 caliber).” The directive takes effect from August 14, 2011.

However, what the federal agency isn’t keen to make public is how its agents are using these reports to make threatening home visits to firearms owners, while ordering gun store owners to become de facto informants by telling them to spy on their customers.

According to several gun dealers in Austin as well as one of our own staff members, the ATF is visiting people’s homes, demanding to be allowed inside without a warrant, and implying that gun owners could be terrorists for purchasing two or more firearms at a time.

Illustrating how lawless this is, a central Texas gun dealer who provided Alex Jones with the ATF letter, contacted Daniel Jones, the head of the ATF in Austin two weeks before receiving the letter to ask about news reports that President Obama was going to order the investigation of citizens that bought two or more rifles. Agent Jones told him “no that law is not going to pass, and we can’t enforce something that isn’t law so don’t worry about it.” Of course, the law didn’t pass but the ATF later enforced it anyway.

This is all based on a directive from the federal government that is completely outside of the law and unconstitutional. The law that would have required gun dealers in border states to report sales of two or more semi-automatic rifles to the ATF was “stripped entirely from the text of the regulation” when it came up for a vote in Congress on April 15, but as part of the Obama administration’s dictatorial zeal to accomplish its agenda outside of the law, the program is going ahead anyway.

The federal government is enforcing a law that was never passed. …”

http://www.infowars.com/exclusive-atf-intimidates-gun-owners-with-home-visits/

obama launches gun grab

“…The ATF’s intimidation campaign directed against firearms dealers and gun owners is all unfolding while the organization simultaneously comes under scrutiny for the infamous Operation Fast and Furious, a BATF program that. “Sanctioned the purchase of weapons in U.S. gun shops and tracked the smuggling route to the Mexican border. Reportedly, more than 2,500 firearms were sold to straw buyers who then handed off the weapons to gunrunners under the nose of ATF.” Some of the weapons were later used to kill US Border Patrol agents like Brian Terry.

After being caught sending weapons to Mexican criminals that were used to kill U.S. Border Patrol agents, police and citizens, the ATF is now treating American citizens like criminals simply for exercising their second amendment rights, all under the guise of a regulation that was rejected by Congress and never became law.

The Obama administration and the ATF claim that the Fast and Furious program was part of a sting operation to catch leading Mexican drug runners, and yet it’s admitted that the government stopped tracking the firearms as soon as they reached the border, defeating the entire object of the mission, unless the mission was about pushing through gun control in the US and had nothing to do with the drug war.

As the evidence clearly indicates, Operation Fast and Furious was likely a plot on behalf of the administration to discredit the second amendment. While the feds were selling guns to Mexican drug gangs, Obama was simultaneously blaming drug violence on the flow of guns from border states to Mexico.

The ATF’s efforts to intimidate both gun sellers and purchasers also arrives months after President Obama told gun control advocate Sarah Brady that his administration was working “under the radar” to sneak attack the second amendment.

During a March 30 meeting between Jim and Sarah Brady and White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, at which Obama “dropped in,” the president reportedly told Brady, “I just want you to know that we are working on it (gun control)….We have to go through a few processes, but under the radar.”

The quote appeared in an April 11 Washington Post story about Obama’s gun control czar Steve Croley. …”

http://www.wral.com/golo/blogpost/9935321/

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Obama’s Gungate: Operation Fast and Furious–Arming Mexican Drug Cartels and Criminals–Killing American and Mexican Citizens–A Pretext For The Ultimate Aim of Disarming The American People and Repealing the Second Amendment–Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security, FBI, BATFE, ICE and DEA Coverup and Stonewalling–Call For Special Prosecutor–President Obama and Attorney General Holder Should Be Impeached For Obstruction of Justice–Videos–Updated

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Fn Five-Seven Pistol–Videos

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Obama’s Gungate: Operation Fast and Furious–Arming Mexican Drug Cartels and Criminals–Killing American and Mexican Citizens–A Pretext For The Ultimate Aim of Disarming The American People and Repealing the Second Amendment–Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security, FBI, BATFE, ICE and DEA Coverup and Stonewalling–Call For Special Prosecutor–President Obama and Attorney General Holder Should Be Impeached For Obstruction of Justice–Videos–Updated

Posted on July 7, 2011. Filed under: Blogroll, Business, Communications, Crime, Culture, Diasters, Drug Cartels, Economics, Federal Government, government, government spending, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Money, People, Philosophy, Politics, Raves, Video, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

UPDATED 

 

President Obama and Attorney General Holder 

 

BUSTED: Obama and Holder can’t run from “Fast and Furious”!

 

Obama expresses belief in Second Amendment

 

Funeral for border agent.

 

Guns Sold in Secret U.S. Operation Used in Cartel Murder

 

Whistleblower ATF Agent John Dodson Exposes Deadly “Operation Gunrunner”

“…ATF Senior Special Agent John Dodson says what he was asked to do was beyond belief. An Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms senior agent assigned to the Phoenix office in 2010, Dodson’s job is to stop gun trafficking across the border. Instead, he says he was ordered to sit by and watch it happen. Investigators call the tactic letting guns “walk.” In this case, walking into the hands of criminals who would use them in Mexico and the United States. Dodson’s bosses say that never happened. Now, he’s risking his job to go public. Agent Dodson and other sources say the gun walking strategy was approved all the way up to the Justice Department. The idea was to see where the guns ended up, build a big case and take down a cartel. And it was all kept secret from Mexico. …”

Operation Fast and Furious heats up – Holder, obama caught selling weapons to Mexican Drug Cartels

 

 

 

Sen. Grassley: ‘Fast and Furious’ Scandal Goes ‘Very High Up’ in DOJ

“…Despite warnings from the grass roots of ATF that Operation Fast and Furious was bad policy, higher-ups at the Department of Justice knew about the policy contends Sen. Charles Grassley. The Iowa Republican says way too many people were involved for him to be happy with just one resignation and that a major violation of public trust was committed. …”

 

Assault Weapons Linked To ATF ‘Fast And Furious’ Gun Smuggling Found In Arizona Crimes 

 

Sen. Chuck Grassley: ATF Director Testifies on Operation Targeting Gun Smugglers

 

Oversight Reveals New Details on Deady Gunrunner Investigation

 

Rep. Allen West Calls for Eric Holder’s Removal Over ‘Fast and Furious’

 

Obstruction Of Justice: Does The Justice Dept Have To Respond To A Congressional Subpoena?

 

Obama Orders Launched Fast and Furious With Stimulus Funds–A Shovel Ready Project!

“…Project Gun Runner (Fast and Furious) was launched under the orders of President Barack Obama with the knowledge of Attorney General Eric Holder. Deputy Attorney General David Ogden announced the Obama Administration’s new and aggressive ‘comprehensive plan’ on March, 24, 2009. The plan was aimed at disrupting gun trafficking between the United States and Mexico. …”

Note: “Stimulus money” was apparently used to fund Project Gunrunner which includes  Operation Fast and Furious! Apparently some of the $10 million was used to fund gun purchases by straw buyers that were purchasing guns for the Mexican drug cartels that lead to the murder of over 140 Mexican citizens including soldiers, government officials and ordinary citizens.  This gives new meaning to the term “shovel ready projects”!

Fox News: Involvement of More Obama Administration Agencies in Failed Operation Fast & Furious

Gun Owners of America: AG Nominee Eric Holder is an anti-Second Amendment Activist

 

 

CNN- Obama To BAN Guns SPREAD THIS FOLKS, PLZ!

 

Stephen Halbrook with CNN’s Lou Dobbs on Gun Control

 

 

Eric Holder Attacking The Second Amendment To Help Mexico?

 

Holder on 2nd Amendment

 

 

Another murder linked to ATF’s “Fast and Furious” op

 

Holder Lied about ATF Gun Sales Operation, “Fast & Furious” – Alex Jones Tv

 

 

Top Mexican Drug Dealer says U.S. GOV gave Them Guns!

 

 FALSE FLAG – Gulf of Tonkin

 

 

GULF OF TONKIN – 1964 CIA PRETEXT FOR VIETNAM WAR

 

U.S Government staged False Flag – “OPERATION FAST AND FURIOUS” PART 1

“…One of the kingpins of the infamous Los Zetas drug running gang has told Mexican federal police that the group purchased its weapons directly from U.S. government officials inside America, a revelation that will only serve to heighten suspicions that the Obama administration’s Operation Fast and Furious program was a deliberate attempt to undermine the Second Amendment by stealth.

Under Operation Fast and Furious, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives “Sanctioned the purchase of weapons in U.S. gun shops and tracked the smuggling route to the Mexican border. Reportedly, more than 2,500 firearms were sold to straw buyers who then handed off the weapons to gunrunners under the nose of ATF.” Some of the weapons were later used to kill US Border Patrol agents like Brian Terry.

However, according to the testimony of Rejón Aguilar, one of the original seven members of Los Zetas who was recently captured by police, in some cases Mexican drug gangs did not have to wait until the firearms reached the border — they purchased guns directly from the US government itself inside America.

In an interview with Mexican federal police that was later uploaded to You Tube and translated, Aguilar sensationally blows the whistle on how the Zetas’ weapons were obtained straight from U.S. federal authorities.

“They are bought in the U.S. The buyers (on the U.S. side of the border) have said in the past that sometimes they would acquire them from the U.S. Government itself,” Aguilar told police.

“There were buyers for a time — because they weren’t our people, they were buyers on the other side — telling us that even the American government itself were selling them,” added Aguilar. …”

 

 

Fast and Furious Sparks Anger in Mexico. MORE BLOOD ON OBAMA’S HANDS!! IS OBAMA STILL SNORTING COKE?

 

The Big Lie–90% of The Guns Come From The United States

 

Sec of State Clinton in Mexico

 

America, the UN will take your guns away

 

Obama Pushes Anti-Gun Treaty

 

ABC’s Jake Tapper Presses White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on Operation Fast & Furious

 

‘Fast and Furious’ Infuriates Mexico [FOX 7-06-2011]

 

Gunwalker scandal: CBS investigates ATF gun case

 

43 Weapons in Phoenix Traffic Stop Linked to ATF’s ‘Fast and Furious’

 

 

FALSE FLAG Dobyns The ATF Is Reckless-Corrupt, Lies & Cover-up, ATF & DOJ Attack Truth Tellers

 

Fox News (Martha McCallum): ATF Attempts to Fire Whistleblower Agent Vince Cefalu

 

ATF EFFECTIVENESS COMPROMISED FROM BLUE CODE OF SILENCE

 

Fired ATF Whistle-Blower Vince Cefalu

 

Washington Post Blames the NRA for ATF Gun Running Scandal?

 

ATF Operation Allowed Sale of Weapons to Traffickers, Guns Ended Up in Hands of Mexican Cartels

 

“Operation Fast and Furious: Reckless Decisions, Tragic Outcomes” Panel 1

 

“Operation Fast and Furious: Reckless Decisions, Tragic Outcomes.” Panel 2

 

Operation Fast and Furious: Reckless Decisions, Tragic Outcomes.” Panel 3

 

U.S. Encouraged Gun Sales to Drug Cartels – Democracy NOW!

 

 

2011 NRA Annual Meetings – Ambassador John Bolton – Celebration of American Values Leadership Forum

 

“Project Gunrunner” drug cartel scandal

 

 

Carney: No comment on CBS News investigation into ATF

 

Obama on “gunwalking” – “Serious mistakes” may have been made

 

Holder on 2nd Amendment

 

Eric Holder Attacking The Second Amendment To Help Mexico?

Gun Owners of America: AG Nominee Eric Holder is an anti-Second Amendment Activist

 

CNN- Obama To BAN Guns SPREAD THIS FOLKS, PLZ!  

 

Rush -Eric Holder – Operation Fast And Furious – Allowing Illegal Weapons Into Mexico

  

ATF Caught Selling Hand Guns to Mexican Drug Cartels – Project Gun Runner a ‘false flag’

 

Napolitano responds to ATF “gun running” probe

 

Issa demands info on ATF “gunwalking” scandal from State Dept.

 

Issa on “gunwalking”: ATF “refusing” to give documents

“…Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee told CBS News’ Christopher Scholl why he has subpoenaed documents from the ATF regarding “gunwalking” as a result of their refusal to release information. …”

 

Issa Grills Attorney General Holder on Operation Fast & Furious and Project Gunrunner

Issa: We Are Investigating What Went Wrong With Project Gunrunner and Operation Fast & Furious

  

 

The 2nd Amendment vs. Obama

 

Obama Pushes Anti-Gun Treaty

 

 

Michael Savage – Cass Sunstein is More Dangerous Than Van Jones!!!! – (Aired on September 11, 2009)

Suzanna Gratia Hupp explains meaning of 2nd Amendment!

 

 

Penn & Teller on the 2nd Amendment

 

2A Today for the USA – Defend Your 2nd Amendment Right to Bear Arms

 

Border War Turns Violent

 

Mexican Pirates Chasing American Pro Bass Fisherman In American Waters

 

Border Murder: Pirates Attack American Jet Skiers

 

Myth: Gun Control Reduces Crime

 

John Lott: More Guns, Less Crime book interview on CSPAN

 

Stossel Show – More Guns Less Crime! (Part 1/7)

  

Stossel Show – More Guns Less Crime! (Part 2/7)  

 

Stossel Show – More Guns Less Crime! (Part 3/7)

  

 

Stossel Show – More Guns Less Crime! (Part 4/7)

   

 

Stossel Show – More Guns Less Crime! (Part 5/7) 

  

 

Stossel Show – More Guns Less Crime! (Part 6/7)   

 

Stossel Show – More Guns Less Crime! (Part 7/7) 

   

 

Ron Paul 2nd amendment

 

 

Ron Paul militia guns Switzerland

 

 

Why Switzerland Has The Lowest Crime Rate In The World

Sexy Girl Against Gun Control

 

 

Background Articles and Videos

Cass Sunstein On The Right To Bear Arms

 

Larry Grathwohl on Ayers’ plan for American re-education camps and the need to kill millions

 

False Flag

 

Gulf of Tonkin: McNamara admits It didn’t happen

 

What Really Happened at Tonkin Gulf? 60 Minutes opening

 

Gulf of Tonkin – “War Made Easy”

 

History Of AK-47

AK-47 Rifle History

 

The M16 Assault Rifle (Part 1)

 

The M16 Assault Rifle (Part 2)

 

The M16 Assault Rifle (Part 3)

 

The M16 Assault Rifle (Part 4)

 

The M16 Assault Rifle (Part 5)

 

Barrett .50 cal M82 Sniper Kill Shot (A MUST WATCH)

 

SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY CLINTON – MEXICO – DRUG CARTELS & GUNS

 

Which Was Worse: Watergate or Operation ‘Fast and Furious’?

by AWR Hawkins

“…So for covering up something up, Nixon was crucified by Left: to the point that by the summer of 1974 it became evident the House of Representatives was going to bring up impeachment charges against him. But he nipped those plans in the bud by resigning office on August 9, 1974, and flipping the “V” for victory to the hippies and the war protestors as he boarded the chopper that carried him away from the White House.

No one died during the Watergate break-ins or as a result of Nixon’s cover-up.

Switch gears and jump to 2009, and the ATF’s special operation “Fast and Furious.” An operation with which you’re all familiar by now, where upwards of 2500 guns in Arizona were sold to “straw purchasers” under the assumption that those guns were going to end up in the hands of Mexican cartel members who could then be arrested.

Talk about an embarrassingly ignorant plan. 

Jump now to 2011 – of the approximately 2500 guns sold only a few hundred have been recovered and at least one federal agent, Brian Terry, lost his life due to this ludicrous operation.

Talk about a cover-up: this operation was somehow planned and conducted without the full knowledge of the Acting ATF Director, the Justice Department, or President Obama having any knowledge of it. (By “full knowledge” I mean that Acting ATF Director Kenneth Melson says knew about it, but was kept “in the dark” regarding the extent of the operation, and the involvement of other agencies like the FBI and DEA.)

In other news, on July 5th Jack Tapper (ABC News) peppered Obama’s White House Press Secretary with questions about “Fast and Furious” in front of the rest of the press reporters, but the most substantive answer that Jay Carney gave was: “The president takes this very seriously.” (In all fairness to Carney, he’s clueless because Obama keeps him clueless.)

Look folks, this is ridiculous. Where is Chris Matthews? Where is that Keith guy who used to work for MSNBC? Where are all the freaks who wanted to hang George W. Bush in effigy for supposedly-lying about Iraq?

Why are they silent in the face of so great a cover-up? …”

http://biggovernment.com/awrhawkins/2011/07/07/which-was-worse-watergate-or-operation-fast-and-furious/

 

Congress looks into Operation Fast and Furious

“…The only ones seriously looking into Operation Fast and Furious are the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and the Republican delegation of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary. Three days ago Darrell Issa at House Oversight, and Charles Grassley, Ranking Member at Senate Judiciary, published this open letter to Attorney General Eric Holder. David Codrea, Mike Vanderboegh, Kurt Hofmann, William Lajeunesse (Fox News), and others have all mentioned the most sensational thing that the letter reveals. Namely, that US taxpayers bought many of the guns that the government effectively “threw down” in Mexico. Some of the buyers and “end users” of these weapons were paid DEA and FBI informants. Stimulus money went to buy other weapons. 

Kenneth Melson, acting ATF director and intended sacrificial lamb for Operation Fast and Furious, and now a confirmed whistleblower. Photo: BATFE. 

But the letter also speaks of cover-up. First, no one told ATF Acting Director Kenneth Melson that he could talk directly to Members of Congress with his own private lawyer present, on his own time. No one, that is, until some House Oversight employees told him that he had that right. Melson accepted the obvious offer at once. He even came on July 4, a legal holiday. A furious Issa reminded Holder of the law that protects Executive Branch employees who want to talk to Congress.

Second, Melson told Issa and Grassley that he reassigned every ATF manager that had any part of Operation Fast and Furious. But the Justice Department forbade him to tell Congress why he had to reassign those people. Here Issa went beyond a mere suggestion and accused Holder flatly of obstruction of Congress.

If his account is accurate, then ATF leadership appears to have been effectively muzzled while the DOJ sent over false denials and buried its head in the sand.

Third, Melson confirmed to Issa and Grassley that the DEA and the FBI also had roles in Operation Fast and Furious. Melson also said that he told two senior DOJ officials about this in April, and then in the middle of June. Why didn’t the DOJ stop this? …”

http://www.conservativenewsandviews.com/2011/07/08/news/fast-and-furious-cover-up/

 

Editorial: Was Fast And Furious A Gun-Control Plot?

 “…Scandal: Rather than a botched attempt to catch criminals, was the ATF program actually an attempt to advance gun-control efforts by an administration that has blamed Mexican violence on easy access to U.S. weapons?

If “Operation Fast and Furious” was merely a botched attempt at law enforcement, why was a supervisor of the operation, David Voth, “jovial, if not, not giddy but just delighted about” marked guns showing up at crime scenes in Mexico, as career Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent John Dodson told Rep. Darrell Issa’s House Oversight Committee?

Perhaps because all was going as planned until it was learned that two of the AK-47s recovered at the scene of the fatal shooting of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry in December were bought in ATF’s Operation Fast and Furious. That wasn’t supposed to happen.

“Allowing loads of weapons that we knew to be destined for criminals — this was the plan,” Dodson testified to the panel. “It was so mandated.”

ATF agent Olindo James Casa said that “on several occasions I personally requested to interdict or seize firearms, but I was always ordered to stand down and not to seize the firearms.”

Yet, as we’ve noted, gun-tracking operations stopped at the border. That seems odd if the purpose was to catch gun traffickers and their drug-lord bosses. It makes sense, however, if the real purpose was to perpetuate, in the interests of pursuing the administration’s gun-control agenda, what Bob Owens of Pajamas Media calls the “90% lie.”

Unwilling to guarantee a secure southern border, and as part of a campaign to reinstate an expired assault weapons ban, the administration has charged that much of Mexico’s gun violence is our fault. Both governments have pushed the myth that 90% of weapons confiscated by Mexican authorities originate in the U.S. …”

“…Weapons that originated in foreign countries are not sent to the U.S. for tracing. Neither are weapons of Mexican army deserters or those stolen from armories.

Bill McMahon, ATF deputy assistant director, testified that of 100,000 weapons recovered by Mexican authorities, only 18,000 were made, sold or imported from the U.S. And of those 18,000, just 7,900 came from sales by licensed gun dealers. That’s 8%, not 90%. …”

http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article/576172/201106221847/Fast-And-Furious-Gun-Control-Plot-.aspx

Operation Fast and Furious should end Holder tenure

“…Watergate cliches though they are, two questions beg to be asked about the exploding Fast and Furious scandal at the U.S. Department of Justice: What did Attorney General Eric Holder know and when did he know it concerning the underlying concept, operational protocols and legal status of the Operation Fast and Furious program in the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms bureau?

Those questions gained special relevance Wednesday when four ATF agents testified before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and squarely contradicted a Feb. 4, 2011, claim by a department spokesman that DOJ did not approve of the program that sanctioned the illegal sale here in America by legitimate gun dealers of assault weapons to representatives of Mexican drug cartels. The idea behind the program was that the hundreds of firearms thus sold would then be traced from specific crimes, thus enabling prosecutions of the individuals involved.

The agents testified that Assistant U.S. Attorney Emory Hurley, a Phoenix-based appointee of President Obama, “orchestrated” Operation Fast and Furious. ATF Phoenix field office supervisor Peter Forcelli, for example, told the committee: “I have read documents that indicate that his boss, U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke, also agreed with the direction of the case.” That direction was established sometime after Obama was inaugurated in 2009 when Phoenix ATF agents, breaking with long-established agency practice, were ordered to monitor, but not stop, gun sales to suspected gun traffickers. The agents testified that Phoenix ATF supervisor David Voth “was jovial, if not, not giddy, but just delighted” when Fast and Furious guns were subsequently recovered at multiple Mexican drug busts. And emails released Thursday by Rep. Darrell Issa,R-Calif., revealed that acting director Kenneth Melson even arranged to watch live feeds from ATF cameras in gun stores being used by the program while sitting at his desk.

But delight turned to devastation on Dec. 14, 2010 when two Fast and Furious rifles were found at the scene of Border Agent Brian Terry’s murder approximately 18 miles inside the U.S. border with Mexico in the Arizona desert. The program ended the next day. Special Agent Larry Alt told the committee that Terry’s death was the entirely foreseeable result of Operation Fast and Furious: “You can’t allow thousands of guns to go south of the border without an expectation that they are going to be recovered eventually in crimes and people are going to die.” …”

Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/2011/06/operation-fast-and-furious-should-end-holder-tenure#ixzz1RXnLHb70

 

 

Obama Takes ATF Gun-Running Operation ‘Very Seriously,’ Spokesman Says

Wednesday, July 06, 2011
By Fred Lucas

“…As part of “Operation Fast and Furious,” the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives knowingly allowed some 2,000 guns purchased in the U.S. to flow to Mexican criminals – to see where they would end up. But ATF lost track of many of the weapons. Two of the “straw-purchased” guns were later found in Arizona, at the scene of a U.S. Border Patrol agent’s murder in December.

On Tuesday, Carney declined to answer whether ATF Acting Director Kenneth Melson would testify about Operation Fast and Furious to Congress. A congressional oversight report indicated that people at the “highest levels” of the Justice Department knew about it.

Jake Tapper of ABC News asked Carney about the Fast and Furious program: “I know that there’s this investigation going on internally — weapons from the Fast and Furious program are now showing up in the United States attached to criminal transactions. The ABC station in Phoenix last week reported on several of these weapons from Fast and Furious turning up. How come we know so little — the public knows so little about this program? And what is the administration doing to get to the bottom of these weapons, which are now showing up in crimes in the United States?” …”

http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/obama-takes-atf-gun-running-operation-ve

Scandal Grows: FBI, DEA Involved With Operation Fast and Furious

“…Yesterday, Acting ATF Director Kenneth Melson answered questions from Rep. Darrell Issa and Senator Charles Grassley surrounding Operation Fast and Furious. Melson voluntarily participated in the interview and appeared with personal counsel, meaning although the Justice Department has prohibited Melson to testify before Congress on behalf of the DOJ about the scandal, he can in fact come forward with information as an individual informant outside of the DOJ and separate from DOJ interests.

In a letter sent to Attorney General Eric Holder, Issa and Grassley expressed disappointment in the DOJ limiting and controlling Melson’s communication and interaction with Congress surrounding the scandal but called the information Melson presented yesterday “extremely helpful,” to the investigation.

Melson revealed the scope of Operation Fast and Furious reaches far beyond ATF and the Justice Department. He said the FBI, DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) and other agencies were heavily involved.

We have very real indications from several sources that some of the gun trafficking “higher-ups” that the ATF sought to identify were already known to other agencies and may even have been paid as informants. The Acting Director said that ATF was kept in the dark about certain activities of other agencies, including DEA and FBI. Mr.Melson said that he learned from ATF agents in the field that information obtained by these agencies could have had a material impact on the Fast and Furious investigation as far back as late 2009 or early 2010. After learning about the possible role of DEA and FBI, he testified that he reported this information in April 2011 to the Acting Inspector General and directly to then-Acting Deputy Attorney General James Cole on June 16, 2011.

According to the letter, the Justice Department continues to obstruct the independent House Oversight Committee Investigation:
The evidence we have gathered raises the disturbing possibility that the Justice Department not only allowed criminals to smuggle weapons but that taxpayer dollars from other agencies may have financed those engaging in such activities. While this is preliminary information, we must find out if there is any truth to it. According to Acting Director Melson, he became aware of this startling possibility only after the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and the indictments of the straw purchasers, which we now know were substantially delayed by the u.s. Attorney’s Office and Main Justice.

It is one thing to argue that the ends justify the means in an attempt to defend a policy that puts building a big case ahead of stopping known criminals from getting guns. Yet it is a much more serious matter to conceal from Congress the possible involvement of other agencies in identifying and maybe even working with the same criminals that Operation Fast and Furious was trying to identify. If this information is accurate, then the whole misguided operation might have been cut short if not for catastrophic failures to share key information. If agencies within the same Department, co-located at the same facilities, had simply communicated with one another, then ATF might have known that gun trafficking “higher-ups” had been already identified. This raises new and serious questions about the role of DEA, FBI, the United States Attorney’s Office in Arizona, and Main Justice in coordinating this effort.

We hope that the Department will take a much more candid and forthcoming approach in addressing these very serious matters with the Committees.    If other important fact witnesses like Mr. Melson have a desire to communicate directly with the Committees they should be informed that they are free to do so. They should also be notified that if they are represented by personal counsel, they may appear with personal counsel rather than with Department lawyers …”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9cYeIswLQms&feature=related

 

Federal ATF chief said to resist pressure to step down

Kenneth Melson of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms faces controversy over the agency’s surveillance program that allowed U.S. guns into Mexico. He is said to be eager to testify to Congress.

 By Richard A. Serrano

“…Kenneth E. Melson, who has run the bureau for two years, is reportedly eager to testify to Congress about the extent of his and other officials’ involvement in the operation, code-named Fast and Furious. 

Melson does not want to be “the fall guy” for the program, under which ATF agents allowed straw purchasers to acquire more than 1,700 AK-47s and other high-powered rifles from Arizona gun dealers, the sources said. The idea was to track the guns to drug cartel leaders. But that goal proved elusive, and the guns turned up at shootings in Mexico, as well as at the slaying in Arizona of a U.S. Border Patrol agent in December.

“He is saying he won’t go,” said one source close to the situation, who asked for anonymity because high-level discussions with Melson remained fluid. “He has told them, ‘I’m not going to be the fall guy on this.’ ”

Added a second source, who also requested anonymity: “He’s resisting. He does not want to go.”

Melson has an open invitation to appear on Capitol Hill. So far, he has not been given Justice Department approval to appear before Congress.

This week, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista), chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, said he hoped that Melson would give a full accounting of how the gun operation was conceived and carried out. He also said Melson should resign, and that other senior leaders at ATF and the Justice Department should be held accountable as well.

Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, also is awaiting answers from Melson, and cautioned this week that even if the acting director stepped down, it “would be, by no means, the end of our inquiry.” …”

 

 

GOA’s Larry Pratt: ATF Allows Flow of Guns Into Mexico! – Alex Jones Tv 1/2

GOA’s Larry Pratt: ATF Allows Flow of Guns Into Mexico! – Alex Jones Tv 2/2

“…– Arizona Firearms found at murder scene of American Border Patrol agent
March 2, 2011

Scandal along the U.S. — Mexico border continues to plague the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and is raising eyebrows on Capitol Hill.

When Border Patrol agent Brian Terry was shot and mortally wounded in a gun battle about 10 miles from the Mexico border in Arizona in December, 2010, it appeared to be yet another example of Mexico drug gang violence spilling over the border. But as more and more information from the crime scene leaked out, disturbing evidence also pointed to serious wrongdoing at the ATF.

Since 2005, the ATF has been involved in an initiative called “Project Gunrunner.”

Under this plan, ATF was to trace the flow of guns supposedly trafficked by straw purchasers in the U.S. to across the border into Mexico. When concerned firearms dealers, fearing the guns were being sent into Mexico, contacted ATF, they were instructed to proceed with the questionable and illegal sales to suspected straw buyers.

The mismanagement and botched oversight of “Gunrunner” has led to what has become known as the “Gunwalker” scandal.

According to current and former agents, perhaps as many as 3,000 firearms were allowed by ATF to “walk” across the border into Mexico. But the firearms—along with any hope of tracking them to higher level criminals—disappeared once the guns crossed the border. The ATF literally lost track of the weapons.

Two of these guns, however, turned up at the scene of Brian Terry’s murder. They were traced to an American gun store that had been cooperating with the Phoenix ATF office as part of Project Gunrunner.

The information about Agent Terry’s murder and the potential role played by Gunrunner came to the attention of Iowa Senator Charles Grassley, who sent a letter of inquiry to Acting ATF Director Ken Melson. In the letter, Sen. Grassley wrote that the Judiciary Committee, of which he is the ranking member, “received numerous allegations” that the ATF authorized the sale of hundreds of firearms to suspected illegal buyers, “who then allegedly transported these weapons throughout the southwestern border area and into Mexico….Two of the weapons were then allegedly used in a firefight…killing CPB Agent Brian Terry.”

Senator Grassley went on to quote from a scathing Department of Justice review of Project Gunrunner, which found that ATF focused on low level, individual straw buyers “instead of targeting higher-level traffickers and smugglers.”

Sen. Grassley clearly ruffled some feathers in the agency. When an agent in the ATF’s Phoenix office spoke to someone on Grassley’s staff, that agent was accused by a superior of “misconduct related to his contacts with the Senate Judiciary Committee.” The Senator had to remind the agency of federal whistleblower protections and that agents “have the rights to be free from fear of retaliation or reprisal” for speaking with members of Congress. “Rather than focusing on retaliating against whistleblowers, the ATF’s sole focus should be on finding and disclosing the truth as soon as possible.” …”

http://gunowners.org/a03022011.htm

 Project Gunrunner

“…Project Gunrunner is an operation of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) intended to stem the flow of firearms into Mexico, in an attempt to deprive the Mexican drug cartels of weapons.[1] However, multiple agents within the ATF have publicly stated that they were ordered to allow weapons to flow south of the border in order to “get evidence to take down a drug cartel”.

History

ATF began Project Gunrunner as a pilot project in Laredo, Texas, in 2005 and expanded it as a national initiative in 2006. Project Gunrunner is also part of the Department’s broader Southwest Border Initiative, which seeks to reduce cross-border drug and firearms trafficking and the high level of violence associated with these activities on both sides of the border.[2]

ATF has determined that the Mexican cartels have become the leading gun trafficking organizations operating in the southwest U.S. and is working in collaboration with other agencies and the Government of Mexico to expand the eTrace firearm tracing software system.[3] eTrace provides web based access to ATF’s Firearms Tracing System to allow law enforcement both domestically and internationally the ability to trace firearms encountered in connection with a criminal investigation to the first recorded purchaser – who may have innocently sold the gun years ago. eTrace allows law enforcement to access their trace results directly (name and address of first purchaser) and offers the ability to generate statistical reports to analyze their trace data to estimate firearms trafficking trends or patterns.

ATF announced a goal to deploy eTrace software to all thirty-one states within the Republic of Mexico. As part of eTrace expansion, ATF continues to provide training to Mexican and Central American countries to ensure that the technology is utilized to a greater extent.[3] Colombia and Mexico were provided with their own in-country tracing centers with full access to ATF firearm registration records. In Colombia, a joint ATF-CNP Center for Anti-Explosives Information and Firearms Tracing (CIARA) opened on December 6, 2006.[4] In Mexico, The National Center for Information, Analysis and Planning in order to Fight Crime (CENAPI) was established in 2003. ATF states these are models for planned future tracing centers throughout Central and South America and the Caribbean Basin.[5] In December, 2009, ATF announced deployment of a Spanish version of eTrace to Mexico, Guatemala and Costa Rica. A planned second phase will release the software to all Spanish-speaking countries with agreements with ATF. In June 2011 congress opened an investigation into project gunrunner against the ATF, as some ATF agents have come forward stating that top heads in ATFE and the Department of Justice instructed the agents to encourage gun stores in the U.S. to sell assault-style weapons to Mexican firearm traffickers. …”

“…Operations

By early 2009, Project Gunrunner had resulted in approximately 650 cases by ATF, in which more than 1,400 defendants were referred for prosecution in federal and state courts and more than 12,000 firearms were involved.[10]

According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), during FY 2007 and 2008, ATF conducted twelve eTrace training sessions for Mexican police (over 961 Mexican police officers) in several Mexican cities, including the same cities where corrupt police were disarmed and arrested: Mexico City, Tijuana, Nuevo Laredo, and Matamoros.[11] Despite the GAO report, ATF now claims (October 2010) only about 20 people have been trained to use eTrace in Mexico.[12] This discrepancy has not been explained. With the assistance of ATF’s Mexico City office and the Narcotics Affairs Section of the U.S. Department of State, ATF anticipates conducting numerous additional courses in these subject areas in 2009.[10] According to Mexican government officials, corruption pervades all levels of Mexican law enforcement—federal, state, and local.[13]

ATF reported they analyzed firearms seizures in Mexico from FY 2005-07 and identified the following weapons most commonly used by drug traffickers. [14] However this conclusion is seriously flawed and not supported by ATF statistics, which only includes guns successfully traced and these are not necessarily connected to drug traffickers. The number of trace requests from Mexico has increased since FY 2006, but most seized guns in Mexico have not been traced.[15]

  • 9mm pistols
  • .38 Super pistols
  • 5.7mm pistols
  • .45-caliber pistols
  • AR-15 type rifles
  • AK-47 type rifles

 Controversy

ATF Project Gunrunner has a stated official objective to stop the sale and export of guns from the United States into Mexico in order to deny Mexican drug cartels the firearms considered “tools of the trade”.[16] However, since February 2008 under Project Gunrunner, Operations “Fast and Furious”, “Too Hot to Handle”, “Wide Receiver” and others (all together satirically dubbed “Project Gunwalker”), have done the opposite by ATF permitting, encouraging and facilitating ‘straw purchase’ firearm sales to traffickers, and allowing the guns to ‘walk’ and be transported to Mexico. This has resulted in considerable controversy.[17][18][19]

Senator Charles E. Grassley (R-IA) initiated an investigation with a letter to ATF on 27 January 2011,[20] and again on 31 January 2011. ATF responded through the Department of Justice by denying all allegations.[21] Senator Grassley responded with specific documentation supporting the allegations in letters to U.S. Attorney General Holder on 9 Feb 2011[22] and 16 Feb 2011.[23] ATF refused to answer specific questions in a formal briefing to Senator Grassley on 10 Feb 2011.

Indictments filed in federal court, documentation obtained by Senator Grassley, and statements of ATF agents obtained by Senator Grassley and CBS News, show that the ATF Phoenix Field Division allowed and facilitated the sale of over 2,500 firearms (AK-47 rifles, FN 5.7mm pistols, AK-47 pistols, and .50 caliber rifles) in ‘straw man purchases’ destined for Mexico. [17][24][25][26][27][28]According to ATF agents, Mexican officials were not notified, and ATF agents operating in Mexico were instructed not to alert Mexican authorities about the operation.[29] Some ATF agents and supervisors strongly objected, and gun dealers (who were cooperating with ATF) protested the sales, but were asked by ATF to complete the transactions to elucidate the supply chain and gather intelligence.[17][30] However, there are accusations that the ATF was attempting to boost statistics to ‘prove’ that American guns are arming the Mexican drug cartels and to further budget and political objectives.[31]

Many of these same guns are being recovered from crime scenes in Arizona[32] and throughout Mexico,[33] which is artificially inflating ATF’s eTrace statistics of U.S. origin guns seized in Mexico. One specific gun, recovered at the scene, is alleged to be the weapon used to murder Customs and Border Protection Agent Brian Terry on December 14, 2010.[34] …”

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Gunrunner

Operation Fast & Furious 

“…Operation Fast & Furious is the name of an illegal gun trafficking sting run by the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). It started in 2009 and ended in late 2010 shortly after the death of Brian Terry, a US Border Patrol Agent and has since become the subject of controversy and a U.S. congressional investigation. During the operation, at least 2,000 guns were released and tracked by ATF agents into Mexico, many of which have been linked to at least 150 shootings. Of the 2,000 guns knowingly released by ATF agents, only 600 have been recovered by officials. The remaining 1,400 guns have not been recovered and possibly remain in the hands of drug gangs.

Background

On December 14, 2010, while trying to apprehend a group of armed suspects, United States Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was gunned down in Rio Rico, Arizona. Upon investigation, it was discovered that many ATF agents monitoring the U.S.-Mexico border had apprehended gun smugglers attempting to cross over into Mexico with untold numbers of guns, but would be told by their superiors to stand down and let the smugglers pass.[1]

Representative Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, held hearings on this in June 2011.[2] One ATF agent testified that “I cannot begin to think of how the risk of letting guns fall into the hands of known criminals could possibly advance any legitimate law enforcement interest.”[3]

A gun used by drug cartel criminals to shoot at a Mexican military helicopter, forcing it to land, was found to have been one allowed into Mexico by the ATF.[4]

Two AK-47s sold as part of Operation Fast and Furious and recovered by Mexican police were determined to have been used by members of the Sinaloa cartel in the high-profile kidnapping of attorney Mario González Rodríguez.[5]

ATF whistleblower Agent Vince Cefalu has been served with termination papers, in a move by the agency he described as politically motivated.[6]

 Congressional Investigation

This program is being investigated jointly by the Senate Judiciary Committee and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. So far they have found that:[7]

  • BATFE knowingly allowed as many as 2,500 firearms to be sold illegally to known or suspected straw purchasers. One of those purchasers accounted for over 700 illegal guns.
  • BATFE ordered its agents working the program not to arrest illegal gun buyers or to interdict thousands of guns that were allowed to “walk” into criminal hands.
  • Senior BATFE officials in Washington were regularly briefed on the operation and approved of the tactics employed.
  • BATFE agents who opposed the operation and who raised objections were told to “get with the program” and threatened with job retaliation if they continued their opposition.

The initial findings have been detailed in a joint staff report prepared by the staffs of Chairman Darrell Issa of the House Committee and Ranking Member Charles Grassley of the Senate Committee. The report details the testimony of whistleblower agents who provided information about the operation to the Committees.

The day after the report was released, the House Committee held a hearing at which Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Grassley testified, along with a second panel of witnesses, including the family of murdered Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and three of the whistleblowers from BATFE. Senator Grassley’s written testimony included a set of supporting documents and a slide presentation outlining what is known about the operation so far. The hearing also included a third session with the head of the Justice Department’s Office of Legislative Affairs about its failure to provide complete and truthful answers to Congressional inquires about the operation. …”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Fast_and_Furious

GunBaNobama

On the Second Amendment, Don’t Believe Obama

“…The presidential primary season is finally over, and it is now time for gun owners to take a careful look at just where nominee Barack Obama stands on issues related to the Second Amendment. During the primaries, Obama tried to hide behind vague statements of support for “sportsmen” or unfounded claims of general support for the right to keep and bear arms.

But his real record, based on votes taken, political associations, and long standing positions, shows that Barack Obama is a serious threat to Second Amendment liberties.Don’t listen to his campaign rhetoric!Look instead to what he has said and done during his entire political career.

Obama

FACT:Barack Obama opposes four of the five Supreme Court justices who affirmed an individual right to keep and bear arms. He voted against the confirmation of Alito and Roberts and he has stated he would not have appointed Thomas or Scalia.17

FACT: Barack Obama voted for an Illinois State Senate bill to ban and confiscate “assault weapons,” but the bill was so poorly crafted, it would have also banned most semi-auto and single and double barrel shotguns commonly used by sportsmen.18

FACT:Barack Obama voted to allow reckless lawsuits designed to bankrupt the firearms industry.1

FACT:Barack Obama wants to re-impose the failed and discredited Clinton Gun Ban.15

FACT:Barack Obama voted to ban almost all rifle ammunition commonly used for hunting and sport shooting.3

FACT:Barack Obama has endorsed a 500% increase in the federal excise tax on firearms and ammunition.9

FACT:Barack Obama has endorsed a complete ban on handgun ownership.2

FACT:Barack Obama supports local gun bans in Chicago, Washington, D.C., and other cities.4

FACT:Barack Obama voted to uphold local gun bans and the criminal prosecution of people who use firearms in self-defense.5

FACT:Barack Obama supports gun owner licensing and gun registration.6

FACT:Barack Obama refused to sign a friend-of-the-court Brief in support of individual Second Amendment rights in the Heller case.

FACT:Barack Obama opposes Right to Carry laws.7

FACT:Barack Obama was a member of the Board of Directors of the Joyce Foundation, the leading source of funds for anti-gun organizations and “research.”8

FACT:Barack Obama supported a proposal to ban gun stores within 5 miles of a school or park, which would eliminate almost every gun store in America.9

FACT:Barack Obama voted not to notify gun owners when the state of Illinois did records searches on them.10 …”

http://www.gunbanobama.com/Default.aspx?NavGuid=530ecfa4-ae4e-4819-97e6-892463d99f08

Related Posts On Pronk Palisades

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The History of Gun Control –Videos

Second Amendment To The U.S. Constitution–The Individual’s Right To Keep and Bear Arms–Gun Registration, Bans and Gun Confiscation–Videos

War On Drugs–War On American People and Their Right To Own Guns–Videos

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A Real Hate Group–The Progressive Radical Socialist Democratic Party In Power–Bill Clinton–The Liar–Lies Again–Mount Carmel, Waco, Texas–April 19, 1993–Democide–Government Murder!

Posted on April 19, 2010. Filed under: Blogroll, Communications, Culture, Demographics, Economics, Education, Employment, Federal Government, government, government spending, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, People, Philosophy, Politics, Psychology, Rants, Raves, Security, Talk Radio, Taxes, Video, War, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Democides

“”the murder of any person or people by a government, including genocide, politicide, and mass murder.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democide

“Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.”

~George Washington

UPDATED: CLINTON A REAL KILLER

Dick Morris Reveals Bombshell on Waco and Janet Reno

The American people will remember Bill Clinton’s attempt to demonize, marginalize and threaten  American citizens that exercise their constitutional rights at tea parties.

The American people remember that to save the children from alleged child abuse at Mount Carmel in Waco,  the Federal Government killed their parents and their children–democide–government murder of 76 people including 20 children under the age of six.

Tim McVeigh was at Waco and saw what happened.

Tim  McVeigh as a direct consequence of Waco went after the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF), whose actions lead to the Waco massacre,  by bombing a Federal building in Oklahoma resulting in the deaths of 168 people including 19 children under the age of six and injured 680 people.

Any attempt by either Presidents Bill Clinton or Barack Obama  to blame  the American people, the tea parties or talk radio for what happened at Waco and Oklahoma City or any future act of terrorism in America is irresponsible and should be challenged for being untrue–another big lie.

The Federal Government’s failure to act prudently and responsibly was one of the causes that led to the deaths of 254 people including 39 children under the age of six.

When you attack Americans they will defend themselves.

The actions of David Koresh and Tim McVeigh should be condemned.

So too should the entire handling of the execution of a search warrant at Mount Carmel in Waco, Texas.

Bill Clinton was President at the time and Hillary Clinton wanted a woman Attorney General and as a result Janet Reno was the Attorney General.

President Clinton and Attorney General Reno bear some responsibility for the tragedies of Waco and Oklahoma City.

Dick Morris revelations cries  out for a reopening of Waco investigation for someone is lying about who really directed the actions taken at Waco.

What did Attorney General know about either Bill Clinton’s or Hillary Clinton’s actions regarding the Waco Massacre that put her in a position to demand her reappoint as Attorney General of the United States?

Most Presidents would not have reappointed her given that she took the blame or responsibility for the Waco massacre and  its tragic ending.

What was Attorney General Reno  hiding or covering up about President Clinton’s or Hillary Clinton’s role?

What is being hidden and were  crimes committed?

What is the truth about the Waco massacre?

Do not expect President Obama to reopen this case.

Bill Clinton and Barack Obama are both notorious liars and progressive radical socialists that attack the American people  when they disagree and oppose their progressive radical socialist political agenda of the Democratic Party.

The American people are waking up and looking forward to throwing these corrupt lying politicians out of office in next three elections.

The fear and trembling of the progressive radical socialists is palpable and justified.

Both Barack Obama and Bill Clinton are committing political suicide by attacking, demonizing and threatening  the American people–let them.

The American people will do the right thing and vote most if not all the progressive radical socialist Democrats and Republicans out of office in future elections.

THE OBAMA DECEPTION AGAINST TEA PARTY MOVEMENT

James T. Harris on FOX & friends

Clinton lectures you..Bill forgets/ WE HAVE NOT!

Rush Limbaugh Vs Bill Clinton,Who Do You Think Will Win?

Bill Clinton Says Rush Limbaugh Response “Does Not Make Any Sense”

False Flag Prelude? Clinton Warns It May Take Terrorism To Stop Tea Parties

http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/mcveigh/mcveighwaco.html

Timothy McVeigh interview (60 Minutes) 2000

Was Timothy McVeigh Working for Bin Laden & Al Qaeda?

The Forerunner to 9/11: The Oklahoma City Bombing (Pt. 4 of 6)

Tony Blankley Responds To Bill Clinton on Oklahoma City

4409 — Timothy McVeigh Tapes: MSNBC Documentary Confessions of an American Terrorist.

Bill Clinton Murderous President

“…On February 28, 1993, the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) attempted to execute a search warrant at the Branch Davidian ranch at Mount Carmel, a property located nine miles (14 km) east-northeast of Waco, Texas. An exchange of gunfire resulted in the deaths of four agents and six Davidians. A subsequent 51-day siege by the Federal Bureau of Investigation ended on April 19 when either the government forces or the Davidians set the complex ablaze. 79 people, including 21 children and Davidian leader David Koresh, died in the incident. This has come to be known as the Waco Siege. (Source)

Linda Thompson is with the American Justice Federation. This is one of the most disturbing videos that exists. If you want to know what went on in Waco, then this is the ONE video you need to see. Many things are caught on film and are presented in this video, that did not make it to mainstream T.V. news. …”

Waco The Big Lie Continues Part 1

Waco The Big Lie Continues Part 2

Waco The Big Lie Continues Part 3

Waco The Big Lie Continues Part 4

Waco The Big Lie Continues Part 5

Waco The Big Lie Continues Part 6

Waco The Big Lie Continues Part 7

Waco The Big Lie Continues Part 8

Waco The Big Lie Continues Part 9

“…This controversial documentary about the stand-off between an unorthodox Christian group – the Branch Davidians, under the leadership of the young, charismatic David Koresh – and the FBI and ATF in Waco, Texas, from February to April 1993 presents a different spin on the events from that of the United States government, which held that the Branch Davidians set the fire that destroyed their compound, and killed the vast majority of them, on April 19, 1993. Using footage from the 51 day siege, from the congressional hearings afterwards, from people involved in all aspects of the siege, and from experts technical, psychological, and religious, the movie suggests that the Branch Davidians were not a cult, but a valid religious group practicing under First Amendment freedoms who fell victim to first the ineptitude of an ATF raid designed to garner the agency positive attention and later the cruel, methodical work of the FBI, who over-saw the murder of the Davidians and then quickly covered it up. …”

Waco: The Rules of Engagement Part 1 of 2

Waco: The Rules of Engagement Part 2 of 2 

Waco:Rules of Engagement Part 1

Waco:Rules of Engagement Part 2

Waco:Rules of Engagement Part 3

Waco:Rules of Engagement Part 4

Waco:Rules of Engagement Part 5

Waco:Rules of Engagement Part 6

Waco:Rules of Engagement Part 7

Waco:Rules of Engagement Part 8

Waco:Rules of Engagement Part 9

Waco:Rules of Engagement Part 10

Waco:Rules of Engagement Part 11

Waco:Rules of Engagement Part 12

Waco:Rules of Engagement Part 13

Waco:Rules of Engagement Part 14

Hillary Clinton /Waco:New Revelation(Part 1 of 12)MUST SEE

Hillary Clinton /Waco:New Revelation(Part 2 of 12)MUST SEE

Hillary Clinton /Waco:New Revelation(Part 3 of 12)MUST SEE

Hillary Clinton /Waco:New Revelation(Part 4 of 12)MUST SEE

Hillary Clinton /Waco:New Revelation(Part 5 of 12)MUST SEE

Hillary Clinton /Waco:New Revelation(Part 6 of 12)MUST SEE

Hillary Clinton /Waco:New Revelation(Part 7 of 12)MUST SEE

Hillary Clinton /Waco:New Revelation(Part 8 of 12)MUST SEE

Hillary Clinton /Waco:New Revelation(Part 9 of 12)MUST SEE

Hillary Clinton /Waco:New Revelation(Part 10 of 12)MUST SEE

Hillary Clinton /Waco:New Revelation(Part 11 of 12)MUST SEE

Hillary Clinton /Waco:New Revelation(Part 12 of 12)MUST SEE

Obama: Tea Party Divided Between Fringe And Those With ‘Legitimate Concerns’

Krauthammer: “Snooty” Obama Sees Tea Party “Proletariat” as “Stupid” & “Paranoid”

Michael Savage- Violence Is What The Government Wants, They Have a Plan Come October!

American Tea Party Obama Lied, The Economy Died

“When we assumed the Soldier, we did not lay aside the Citizen.”

~George Washington

“Americans have the right and advantage of being armed – unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.”

~James Madison

Background Articles and Videos

THE CLINTONS EXPOSED!!! BILL AND HILLARY ARE MURDERS: PART 1

THE CLINTONS EXPOSED!!! BILL AND HILLARY ARE MURDERS: PART 2

How Clinton exploited Oklahoma City for political gain

By: Byron York

Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/politics/How-Clinton-exploited-Oklahoma-City-for-political-gain-91267829.html#ixzz0lftZ5Bh8

“…Morris recommended what he called the “ricochet theory.” Clinton would “stimulate national concern over extremism and terror,” and then, “when issue is at top of national agenda, suspicion naturally gravitates to Republicans.”  As that happened, Morris recommended, Clinton would use his executive authority to impose “intrusive” measures against so-called extremist groups.  Clinton would explain that such intrusive measures were necessary to prevent future violence, knowing that his actions would, Morris wrote, “provoke outrage by extremist groups who will write their local Republican congressmen.”  Then, if members of Congress complained, that would “link right-wing of the party to extremist groups.”  The net effect, Morris concluded, would be “self-inflicted linkage between [GOP] and extremists.”

Clinton’s proposals — for example, new limits on firearms and some explosives that were opposed by the National Rifle Association — had “an underlying political purpose,” Morris wrote in 2004 in another book about Clinton, Because He Could.  That purpose was “to lead voters to identify the Oklahoma City bombing with the right wing.  By making proposals we knew the Republicans would reject…we could label them as soft on terror an imply a connection with the extremism of the fanatics who bombed the Murrah Federal Building.”

It was a political strategy crafted while rescue and recovery efforts were still underway in Oklahoma City.  And it worked better than Clinton or Morris could have predicted.  In the months after the bombing, Clinton regained the upper hand over Republicans, eventually winning battles over issues far removed from the attack.  The next year, 1996, he went on to re-election.  None of that might have happened had Clinton, along with Morris, not found a way to wring as much political advantage as possible out of the deaths in Oklahoma City.  And that is the story you’re not hearing in all the anniversary discussions.”

Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/politics/How-Clinton-exploited-Oklahoma-City-for-political-gain-91267829.html#ixzz0lft5f5s6

Bill Clinton Links Talk Radio, Tea Parties to Non-Existent Terrorism

“…CLINTON 2010:  There was this rising movement in the early nineties that was basically not just a carefully orchestrated plot by people of extreme right-wing views but one that fell into fertile soil because there were so many people for whom the world no longer made sense.  They wanted a simple, clear explanation of what was an inherently complex, mixed picture full of challenges that required not only changes in public policy, but personnel conduct and imagination about the world we were living in.  So demonizing the government and the people that work for it sort of fit that — and there were a lot of people who were in the business back then of saying that the biggest threat to our liberty and the cause of our economic problems was the federal government itself.

RUSH:  So there you have it: Bill Clinton once again trying to rebirth his empty threat from 1995. He starts out tracing the plot that started in the eighties to “demonize government.”  I have a question.  We have two more sound bites of the president here specifying right-wing talk radio, but I have a question: How come we’re supposed to draw (on the basis of no evidence), a connection between conservatism and terrorism, conservative ideology and terrorism?  Where is that connection?  Yet we are told we must reject, despite tons of evidence, the connection between Islamist ideology and terrorism.  So we can’t call Islamist fundamentalists “terrorists.” We can’t even use the word. But we can have ex-presidents and current presidents running around trying to associate conservatives with nonexistent terrorism at peaceful tea parties.  Somebody needs to explain this to me. …”

http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/daily/site_041610/content/01125108.guest.html

Clinton Compares Tea Party To McVeigh

“…With the 15th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing approaching, former President Bill Clinton on Thursday drew parallels between the antigovernment tone that preceded that devastating attack and the political tumult of today, saying government critics must be mindful that angry words can stir violent actions.

In advance of a symposium on Friday about the attack on the Oklahoma City federal building and its current relevance, Mr. Clinton, who was in his first term at the time of the bombing, warned that attempts to incite opposition by demonizing the government can provoke responses beyond what political figures intend.

“There can be real consequences when what you say animates people who do things you would never do,” Mr. Clinton said in an interview, saying that Timothy McVeigh, who carried out the Oklahoma City bombing, and those who assisted him, “were profoundly alienated, disconnected people who bought into this militant antigovernment line.”

The former president said the potential for stirring a violent response might be even greater now with the reach of the Internet and other common ways of communication that did not exist on April 19, 1995, when the building was struck.

“Because of the Internet, there is this vast echo chamber and our advocacy reaches into corners that never would have been possible before,” said Mr. Clinton, who said political messages are now able to reach those who are both “serious and seriously disturbed.” He will be delivering the keynote address Friday at an event about the Oklahoma City attack being sponsored by the Center for American Progress Action Fund and the Democratic Leadership Council. …”

http://sweetness-light.com/archive/clinton-compares-tea-party-to-mcveigh

Waco Siege

“…The Waco Siege[3] began on February 28, 1993, when the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) attempted to execute a search warrant at the Branch Davidian ranch at Mount Carmel, a property located nine miles (14 km) east-northeast of Waco, Texas. An exchange of gunfire resulted in the deaths of four agents and six followers of David Koresh. A subsequent 51-day siege by the Federal Bureau of Investigation ended on April 19 when fire destroyed the compound. Seventy-six people (24 of them British nationals)[4] died in the fire, including more than 20 children, two pregnant women, and Koresh himself. …”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waco_Siege

Oklahoma City Bombing

“…The Oklahoma City bombing was a bomb attack on the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995. Timothy McVeigh, an American militia movement sympathizer, detonated an explosive-filled truck parked in front of the building. McVeigh’s co-conspirator, Terry Nichols, had assisted in the bomb preparation. It was the most destructive act of terrorism on American soil until the September 11, 2001 attacks. The Oklahoma blast claimed 168 lives, including 19 children under the age of 6,[1] and injured more than 680 people.[2] The blast destroyed or damaged 324 buildings within a sixteen-block radius, destroyed or burned 86 cars, and shattered glass in 258 nearby buildings.[3][4] The bomb was estimated to have caused at least $652 million worth of damage.[5]

Motivated by his hatred of the federal government and angered by what he perceived as its mishandling of the Waco Siege (1993) and the Ruby Ridge incident (1992), McVeigh timed his attack to coincide with the second anniversary of the deaths at Waco.[6][7] Within 90 minutes of the explosion, McVeigh was stopped by Oklahoma State Trooper Charlie Hanger for driving without a license plate and arrested for unlawfully carrying a weapon.[8][9] Forensic evidence quickly linked McVeigh and Nichols to the attack; Nichols was arrested,[10] and within days both were charged. Michael and Lori Fortier were later identified as accomplices. Extensive rescue efforts were undertaken by local, state, federal, and worldwide agencies in the wake of the bombing, and substantial donations were received from across the country. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) activated eleven of its Urban Search and Rescue Task Forces, consisting of 665 rescue workers who assisted in rescue and recovery operations.[11][12]

The official investigation, known as “OKBOMB”, was the largest criminal investigation case in American history; FBI agents conducted 28,000 interviews, amassing 3.5 short tons (3.2 t) of evidence, and collected nearly one billion pieces of information.[13][14][15] The bombers were tried and convicted in 1997. McVeigh was executed by lethal injection on June 11, 2001, and Nichols was sentenced to life in prison. Michael and Lori Fortier testified against McVeigh and Nichols; Michael was sentenced to twelve years in prison for failing to warn the U.S. government, and Lori received immunity from prosecution in exchange for her testimony. As with other large-scale terrorist attacks, conspiracy theories dispute the official claims and allege the involvement of additional perpetrators.

As a result of the bombing, the U.S. government passed legislation designed to increase the protection around federal buildings to deter future terrorist attacks. From 1995 to 2005, over 60 domestic terrorism plots were foiled due to preventive measures taken in response to the bombing.[16][17] On April 19, 2000, the Oklahoma City National Memorial was dedicated on the site of the Murrah Federal Building, commemorating the victims of the bombing. Annual remembrance services are held at the same time of day as the original explosion occurred. …”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oklahoma_City_bombing

The Forerunner to 9/11: The Oklahoma City Bombing (Pt. 1 of 6)

The Forerunner to 9/11: The Oklahoma City Bombing (Pt. 2 of 6)

The Waco Massacre

http://www.serendipity.li/waco.html

The History Channel: Oklahoma City Bombing Part 1

History Channel Conspiracy Oklahoma City Bombing  Part 2 

History Channel Conspiracy Oklahoma City Bombing  Part 3 

History Channel Conspiracy Oklahoma City Bombing  Part 4 

History Channel Conspiracy Oklahoma City Bombing  Part 5 

The Forerunner to 9/11: The Oklahoma City Bombing (Pt. 3 of 6)

The Forerunner to 9/11: The Oklahoma City Bombing (Pt. 4 of 6)

The Forerunner to 9/11: The Oklahoma City Bombing (Pt. 5 of 6)

The Forerunner to 9/11: The Oklahoma City Bombing (Pt. 6 of 6)

America Wake Up or Waco documentary Part 1 of 11

America Wake Up or Waco documentary Part 2 of 11

America Wake Up or Waco documentary Part 3 of 11

America Wake Up or Waco documentary Part 4 of 11

America Wake Up or Waco documentary Part 5 of 11

America Wake Up or Waco documentary Part 6 of 11

America Wake Up or Waco documentary Part 7 of 11

America Wake Up or Waco documentary Part 8 of 11

America Wake Up or Waco documentary Part 9 of 11

America Wake Up or Waco documentary Part 10 of 11

America Wake Up or Waco documentary Part 11 of 11

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