Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Agenda Behind The Gun Scandal

Project Gunrunner, Operation Fast and Furious, “Gunwalker.” Take your pick for the name of the federal project which has become a major Obama administration scandal. We previously discussed the scandal itself here and here. The operation was almost Kafkaesque in its planning, implementation, and results.

But now we are beginning to see hints that it may have been equally Machiavellian. Purported to be a sting operation to trace guns to the Mexican cartel bosses, it may have been a stealth gun-control initiative flowing from the White House and its allies in Congress.

The operation was so insane and so deadly that many people began to question why the federal government would involve itself in law-breaking and gun-trafficking at all. We may have gotten the answer yesterday. On Friday, July 15, a group of Congressmen and a Fish and Game official held a press conference to announce a new initiative: “Stop Gun Trafficking and Strengthen Law Enforcement Act.” So far, we know that Operation Fast and Furious involved agents from ATF, DOJ, FBI, DEA and even the IRS putting serious weaponry into the hands of cartel-members. If the proposed act were to pass, those are the same agencies which would be charged with enforcing the act.

At least one wag has suggested that the proposed act be retitled “the Eddie Espinoza Act” in honor of the Democratic mayor of Columbus, New Mexico, who has been convicted of trafficking guns to the Mexican drug cartels. The act is sponsored by Rep Carolyn B. Mahoney (D-New York), Elijah E. Cummings (D-Maryland) and Carolyn McCarthy (D-New York). The mission statement reads: “This act establishes a dedicated firearms trafficking statute to empower law enforcement to keep high-powered firearms out of the hands of dangerous criminals, including Mexican drug cartels.” I’ll leave the irony of that statement to our readers.

The act has very little chance of passing. So why bring it up in the first place? The most obvious reason is to draw attention away from the ever-growing scandal. How can a party that is so obviously concerned with protecting the public and empowering law enforcement possibly be charged with gun-running of its own? It’s a ploy, and a rather weak one at that. But that may not be the only reason.

Another reason, more subtle and more dangerous to the Second Amendment and recent Supreme Court decisions confirming the right of individuals to own firearms is to deflect attention away from President Obama’s recent executive order requiring that multiple gun sales be reported to federal agencies (particularly ATF). The President seems untroubled by the fact that he has no constitutional authority to issue such an order, which is nothing more than another end-run around Congress.

The idea that this administration and its allies in Congress would push a program that endangers the stability of the Mexican government and puts American lives in danger has been routinely pooh-poohed by the left and the mainstream media. But there is emerging evidence that in its zeal to revivify the dying gun-control movement this administration has done exactly that. On top of the big Fast and Furious operation, it now appears that the Tampa office of the ATF allowed nearly 1,000 firearms to be smuggled to the murderous MS-13 gang headquartered in Honduras. Other similar operations are being investigated in Texas and Oklahoma.

Most recently, an e-mail from Mark R. Chait, assistant director for ATF field operations to William Newell has been made public. Newell is the special agent in charge of the Phoenix Field Division of the ATF. The e-mail reads: “Bill—can you see if these guns were all purchased from the same source and at one time. We are looking at anecdotal cases to support a letter on long gun [rifles] multiple sales (emphasis added).” Additional e-mails seem to confirm that ATF and DOJ officials were using Fast and Furious to set the stage for the President’s executive order.

If the Issa/Grassley hearings on Operation Fast and Furious produce more hard proof of this collusion, there should be multiple criminal prosecutions. Barack Obama seems to want desperately to establish government by Presidential decree to speed up his leftist agenda and anti-gun initiatives. It is conceivable that in this case, government by fiat has already cost the lives of too many Americans. It’s time to return legislative power to Congress and true power to the people whom Obama is failing to protect. An unarmed citizenry is a vulnerable citizenry. Selling guns to murderous criminals in order to disarm American citizens is a travesty of unimaginable proportions.

20 comments:

Tennessee Jed said...

O.k. Hawk, I'll admit I have fantasies of a disgraced, impeached Obama with one arm oround Moochelle and the other in a Nixonian wave. Maybe, I'd even settle for a perp-walk involving Eric Holder cuffed with a smelly t-shirt across his face for "privacy."

What really irks me though is that Republicans are almost always the ones forced out. Were it not for guys like Breitbart any you, the Issa hearings would not be reported at all. Or differently put, in the Bush II admin. hearings would be on non-stop on every cable network all day, every day.

LawHawkRFD said...

Tennessee: You are so right about the media bias. If this were the Bush administration, we wouldn't know that anything other than this scandal was going on. Remember the 24/7 coverage of the Scooter Libby case, and all he was accused of was making incorrect statements about a matter that had already been resolved in the Bush administration's favor.

So let's start a new mantra: Obama and Holder lied. People died. And unlike the older anti-Bush mantra, this one would be absolutely true.

AndrewPrice said...

So the evidence is building that Obama ATF was running the biggest gunrunning ring in the Western Hemisphere. Hmmm. Who says liberals hate guns.

In all seriousness, this will blow up on Obama. The evidence is starting to pile up. People have been killed with these guns. There was no legitimate law enforcement reason for it. And Obama himself was running around talking about the need for effective gun control at the time.

Joel Farnham said...

LawHawk,

This is so schizoid. What were they thinking? I can understand a certain sting like operation to get gunrunners via legit gun shops and not so legit gun shops. What I don't understand is allowing them to keep the guns.

I think I understand why Obama wants to know if someone buys multiple guns if only to see if some group is stockpiling guns.

If this is to get stronger laws to control guns, well, it isn't going to work. They would have to confiscate all the guns already sold. And the people won't give up their guns willingly.

This isn't even a stupid thing that might work. I do believe that the liberals in charge only think the internet works one way. Almost like a cat trying to cover up on a linoleum floor.

LawHawkRFD said...

Andrew: I am absolutely sure that we will have to wait for the 2012 election for anything of significance to happen in this case. We've already seen how well Holder investigates himself and his department, and Obama is so out-of-touch with reality that he simply pretends the issue doesn't exist. As you say, this is not just a scandal, it's a deadly scandal and must not be swept under the rug.

LawHawkRFD said...

As for media bias, every time I turn on the TV, there's some report, told in breathless shock, about Rupert Murdoch and the possible criminal charges against him and/or his corporation in Great Britain. They usually allow that Murdoch may not have known personally about the activities, but that as head of the corporation, "the buck stops here."

But nobody died from this scandal, if it even turns out to be true and even criminal. But when it comes to federal agents encouraging and participating in illicit guns sales that have resulted in multiple deaths, including Border Agents, on orders from the DOJ, ATF, FBI, et al, we hear practically nothing. The buck apparently doesn't stop anywhere in this Machiavellian plot, and even when the MSM mentions it, Holder's and Obama's names are never mentioned in connection with it.

LawHawkRFD said...

Joel: This operation was out-of-control from the very beginning. The authorities didn't allow them to keep the guns--they lost track of them almost the minute they left the sellers' hands. This was an uncontrolled and uncontrollable fiasco that almost inevitably led to the deaths of Mexican and American citizens and American law enforcement officers who weren't let in on the plan.

As for tracking multiple-gun sales, particularly long rifles and semi-automatics, I have mixed emotions about it, but tend to come down on the side of reasonable followup. But that's not the issue. If such an act is going to take place, it must be by act of Congress and approval of the courts. Neither has taken place here. It is another unconstitutional power-grab from the White House using unlawful executive orders. And this is being touted as a "safety measure" by the same administration which put the deadly weapons in the hands of murderous criminals in the first place.

LawHawkRFD said...

NOTE: I must now hitch up the horses and join the supply train headed to market. Please feel free to continue commenting, and I'll rejoin you as soon as I return from filling up on vittles and animal feed.

JG said...

I don't have much (no, anything) to add except to say thank you for saying what I have been saying since this came out. I was convinced this was just a backdoor approach to create cause for harsher gun legislation. So, I'm just glad I'm not the only one who saw that as a legitimate possibility.

Joel Farnham said...

LawHawk,

You are right, this operation was out of control. What I am thinking is that the intent was either to prove something or create a plausible scenario of a great need to control all guns. More likely to create a need to control. That is in keeping with what this administration believes. It is a stupid way of doing things. In the days of newsprint, they could have gotten away with it. They can't now.

The liberals say they are on the cutting edge of computers, technology and civilization, yet they still think in terms of newspapers, hoodwinking the general public and resort to activities that are uncivilized at best.

The only silver lining I see in this is the exposure of the left's tactics.

BevfromNYC said...

So did ya'll hear the one about the Dem Congressman from Iow-way whose grandson stopped an armed intruder with a shotgun while said 77 year old Congressman fought the armed intruder?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/17/leonard-boswell-iowa-armed-intruder_n_900919.html

If they hadn't had the shotgun, I guess they could have asked him nicely to go away. Maybe they could have played one of Obama's speeches. You know, the one that he gave in Egypt that caused peace in the Middle East or the one where the oceans receded...

Tehachapi Tom said...

Hawk
I heard or read, not sure, that when these purchases were being made the gun dealers went to the ATF and were told sell them don't question us.
This is worse than Nixon,s Watergate.
In Nixon's defense no one died.
In this incident, people have died and yet no one seems to be very concerned.
Do you think the family of the Border Patrol agent that was murdered could sue the government and each of the agencies involved.
If that could be done the investigation and sworn testimony could be very enlightening and damaging et alia.

LawHawkRFD said...

JG: I think a whole lot of us had deep suspicions, but these e-mails and emerging whistle-blower testimony are becoming the noose around the Obama administration's neck. But as I've mentioned before, we'll undoubtedly have to wait until after the DC housecleaning in 2012.

LawHawkRFD said...

Joel: When I first heard the early news about the operation, my thought was "even the Democrats can't be stupid enough to risk lives and national security just to be able to argue gun control. I'm not naive, but generally I'm practical, and even expect that of doctrinaire leftists. How wrong I appear to have been amazes me.

LawHawkRFD said...

Bev: No--the proper procedure is to confront the criminal, tell him how upset you are, call 9-1-1, and ask the intruder if he will kindly wait two or three hours until the police can get there.

We have a slightly different attitude here in Caliente from the one I'm used to in Sodom-by-the-Bay. Here we announce: "Stop--bang--or I'll shoot."

LawHawkRFD said...

Tehachapi Tom: Andrew and I actually did discuss the way the guns were moved in the links I provided in the first paragraph of the article. The seller did indeed follow their usual procedures, including reporting suspicious activity. They were told to "sell and keep your mouth shut" by the various federal agencies.

Nixon's Watergate scandal was not much more than a botched dirty trick. But it did involve burglary, so the Plumbers had to serve some time. Nixon's problem was the same as Obama's, except as you said, nobody got killed over Watergate. It's the perpetual lies and scoffing at the law in order to advance their own private agenda that will do these clowns in--eventually. If we win the White House and Senate in 2012, I hope we have a President and an Attorney General willing to say "This is not banana republic show-trial litigation, as Obama and Holder would have it as they face their prosecutors. This is about lying, perjury, negligent homicide, perhaps even felony murder (selling those guns to known criminals and cartel members is an inherently dangerous felony), and a direct violation of their oaths of office.

T-Rav said...

Interestingly, 60 Minutes just had a piece on gun violence in Mexico and about the fourteen mayors kidnapped and/or killed last year. Strangely, F & F was not mentioned. Oh well, I'm sure it wouldn't have been mentioned if a Republican was President either...

Also, for what it's worth, I've read that Gunrunner and Fast & Furious are not the same thing; the latter is an operation under the aegis of the former. So it's possible that Obama and Holder knew about the one but not the other, given how some of these operations work. I don't believe that's the case, but theoretically, it's possible.

LawHawkRFD said...

T-Rav: You may now remove your tongue from your cheek! LOL

In our earlier articles, Andrew and I sorted out the various names of the operations, but correctly Operation Gunrunner was the umbrella plan, with the others as spokes. I mentioned three in the opening of this article largely so that people who see one or the other recognize that they all refer to "selling dangerous high-powered weapons to criminals and cartel member." But you are correct. The terms cannot properly be interchanged.

Operation Gunrunner (started in 2005) was designed to analyze sales and trace guns. It wasn't until Fast and Furious began under the Obama administration in 2009 that the activity switched from monitor and trace to do 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. And thus, "Gunwalker."

The gummint hasn't been exactly forthcoming on the whole mess, and I originally had Fast and Furious and Gunrunner reversed (in name only, not in ultimate effect). Operation Fast and Furious is the one that turned deadly.

rlaWTX said...

idiocy.

LawHawkRFD said...

rlaWTX: That does a pretty good job of summing it up.

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