Gunwalker Scandal AKA "Operation Fast and Furious"

thunderw21

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
I've been following this scandal for 6 months now and it is really getting deep.

Simply put, the BATFE (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) knowingly allowed at least 2,500 firearms (mostly AK-47 variants and some .50 caliber sniper rifles) to be bought in the U.S. by straw purchasers and 'walked' across the southern border to the Mexican drug cartels. Those cartels then used the weapons to commit crimes and murder countless numbers of Mexican civilians, politicians, police officers and military personnel.

It was not until U.S. Border Agent Brian Agent, armed with only a less lethal beanbag gun, was killed with one of those BATFE 'walked' AK variants on December 15, 2010 and several ATF agents spoke up as a result did this scandal become revealed to the outside world. Since then a total of 3 U.S. federal agents have been killed with BATFE 'walked' guns.

These guns were supposedly walked in order to track them to the cartels, however, the BATFE has no resources to track said guns in Mexico and the Mexican government admits that it had no knowledge of Operation Fast and Furious.

It is starting to look as if this operation had political reasons behind it rather than law enforcement in mind, especially considering the fact that no guns walked until after the current Administration came into office. Also incriminating is the current The question we need to ask is how high does this scandal go? Were these guns walked in order to push a political agenda in the U.S.?

We know BATFE acting director Melson knew about it (he even had a video system installed in his office so he could watch guns being walked) and Issa is very confident that Attorney General Eric Holder knew about and may even signed off on Operation Fast and Furious. Is it possible that Obama also knew about it? Agent Jay Robbins stated that this was known .

Congressmen Issa and Grassely are leading the way in getting to the root of the scandal and Issa is now heading a congressional hearing and investigation.

Quite frankly, this scandal is starting to look bigger than both Iran-Contra and Watergate. This scandal is turning out to be state-sanctioned terrorism that has claimed the lives of hunderds if not thousands of innocent people in both Mexico and the United States. And roughly half of the walked guns are still unaccounted for.

In short, the Administration was blaming the drug violence in Mexico on American guns and hinting at stricter gun control while a U.S. government agency sworn to enforce its laws was breaking said laws by allowing and perhaps even taking part in the movement of guns across the border. Unbelievable.




Resources:

Journalist's guide to Gunwalker:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Here is a timeline of Operation Fast and Furious along with a much more detailed timeline.








AZStar Phoenix paper
FOX - Senator alleges ATF allowing guns into Mexico
USATODAY - Senator alleges ATF allows guns into Mexico
Gunwalker allegations bolstered by gunrunner indictments
Feb 4 DOJ response to Grassley
Sample questions for ATF by insider
Feb 9 Grassley response to DOJ


Feb 14 - Washington Times joins in

Feb 16 - Grassley letter to Holder
Larry Pratt on FOXNews

CBS Story
Alan Gottlieb smacks ATF/DOJ
Some random indictments and comments from Congressman Raul Labrador
March 3 - Grassley Letter to Holder
CBS video w/ Dodson (whistleblower) + Story link





Mexico joins in questioning ATF




March 8 - Grassley letter to Perkins

April 4, 2011
Subpoena to ATF

April 18, 2011
More deaths confirmed

April 19, 2011
Michelle Malkin Project Gunrunner Update

May 3, 2011


ATF FOIA from David Codrea
https://www.scribd.com/doc/52414606/ATF-FOIA-Response
Letter by Senator Grassley:


April 4, 2011 response from DOJ to Lamar Smith
https://www.scribd.com/doc/52585674/DOJ-Response-to-ATF-Letter-3-9

Filed motion in Fed Court accusing FBI/ICE/DEA/Etc...
https://borderreporter.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Picture-2.png

April 8, 2011 Letter from Grassley to Melson
https://www.cbsnews.com/htdocs/pdf/gunwalker_letter.pdf?tag=contentMain;contentBody

April 13, 2011 New letter from Grassley with emails from "Cooperating FFL's"
https://www.cbsnews.com/htdocs/pdf/gunwalking_emails_041411.pdf?tag=contentMain;contentBody
Full video of Grassley:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mzf56e29zUw
Deaths confirmed by operation Fast & Furious
https://sipseystreetirregulars.blogspot.com/2011/04/transcript-of-univision-here-now.html

April 20, 2011 Project Gunrunner document drop: Issa blasts DOJ stonewalling, threatens contempt proceedings


May 4, 2011 Issa Leads Congressional Investigation of DOJ’s ATF "Operation Fast & Furious"
https://issa.house.gov/index.php?op...uriousq&catid=63:2011-press-releases&Itemid=4

May 16, 2011 Actual letter to Holder, from Lieberman saying the ATF should require long gun reporting
https://hsgac.senate.gov/public/ind...Store_id=911cda84-19d0-4421-8644-1648b14388a6
Another Grassley letter:


Jan 10, 2010 memo from ATF re: investigation/gunrunning/other agency involvment


June 3, 2011: 31 U.S. House members –– all Democrats –– wrote to President Barack Obama, urging him to end Administration stonewalling on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' "Project Gunrunner," and the "Fast and Furious
https://www.nramedia.org/t/91105/6879454/4580/0/


June 15, 2011: congressional hearings




June 23, 2011: BATFE retaliates against whistle-blower Agent Vince Cefalu even after Issa warns them not to:
https://www.examiner.com/gun-rights...-issa-s-no-retaliation-warning-by-retaliating

June 23, 2011: LA Times: Melson to step down, "reportedly eager to testify to Congress about the extent of his and other officials' involvement."
https://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-atf-guns-20110624,0,7283758.story
 
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Peak and Pine

Connoisseur
It's the interchange so I guess you can post anything you want, but all this gun stuff seems a real stretch and I'm not so sure the interchange is to be used solely for the sake of posting political grudges, including this "bigger than Watergate" claim you make. What do you know about Watergate, were you around for it?
 

thunderw21

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
It's the interchange so I guess you can post anything you want, but all this gun stuff seems a real stretch and I'm not so sure the interchange is to be used solely for the sake of posting political grudges, including this "bigger than Watergate" claim you make. What do you know about Watergate, were you around for it?

I've researched plenty about Watergate. Frankly, when did Watergate involve the murder of hundreds if not thousands of innocents being sanctioned by the U.S. government? Did you not look at any of the resources I provided? I am not the only one comparing it to Watergate.
 
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Peak and Pine

Connoisseur
Did you not look at any of the resources I provided? I am not the only one comparing it to Watergate.

What you call resources I call right wing websites; Foxnews.com, Redstate.com, the Examiner.com. I stopped after that. One site had a spot for comments and someone had posted:

"This is HUGE. Infinitely worse than Watergate. Worse than Clinton’s perjury. At least as bad as Iran/Contra."

So was that you? Or was it where you got that Watergate thing?
 
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thunderw21

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
What you call resources I call right wing websites; Foxnews.com, Redstate.com, the Examiner.com. I stopped after that. One site had a spot for comments and someone had posted:

"This is HUGE. Infinitely worse than Watergate. Worse than Clinton’s perjury. At least as bad as Iran/Contra."

So was that you? Or was it where you got that Watergate thing?


You conveniently missed the stories from CNN, CBS, the LA Times, C-SPAN, the Washington Times, USA Today, the Arizona Star, numerous official congressional websites, other .gov oversight websites, official Mexican government websites and videos of the congressional hearings, etc. I provided official investigation sites, MSM sites and lesser known (what you call "right wing" sites) that are dedicated to the scandal. Pick and choose what you will, but they're all saying pretty much the same thing.

Deny it all you want, people have and will continue to die as a result of this.

...can you possibly give the cliff notes version to this story?

In short, the Administration was blaming the drug cartel violence in Mexico on American guns and hinting at stricter gun control. At the same time a U.S. government agency sworn to enforce our laws was breaking said laws by allowing and perhaps even taking part in the movement of thounsands of guns across the border.
3 U.S. federal agents and hundreds of Mexican citizens have been killed with those thousands of guns , many of which are still in the hands of the cartels.

State sponsored terrorism.
 
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Kurt N

Super Member
Pretty alarming, gotta say, and it hadn't really been that big on my radar.

Which of those links document(s) the administration's hints about stricter gun control? (That hadn't been on my radar, either.)

In suggesting that there may have been political motivations behind the operation, are you also ready to admit that there may be political motivations behind some of the reporting about it? (Not a trick question and doesn't require a long answer. Really just hoping for a simple yes or no, or some reasonable approximation thereof.)
 

Regillus

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
I think it's a stretch to say it's state-sanctioned terrorism. It's not clear at present just who tacitly approved or even knew about the operation at the White House level. On the other hand; it's clearly a stupid idea thought up and implemented by people at ATF. Letting straw purchasers buy guns and give them to people who took them to Mexico where gangs used them to kill people with. It's another example of gov't employees not doing their jobs and the public being harmed because of it. It's similar to the recent Whitey Bulger arrest and fiasco. FBI agent John Connolly fed Bulger information that Bulger then used to commit crimes and murders with. It was a huge scandal here in Boston because the BPD was sharing info with the FBI who then passed it on to Bulger who used the info to avoid being connected to crimes. Connolly was sentenced to 40 years in prison.
I just don't understand how people can possess such a profound degree of indifference to human life as seen in this gun-runner operation. If the guns were used to kill people with; do they shut it down or let it continue? They chose to let it continue, and more people were murdered, and the guys at ATF just don't care. I hope to see some long prison sentences come out of this.
 

Apatheticviews

Super Member
If you knowingly let a straw purchase continue, you are just as culpable as the one who committed it. The ATF members should be tried and held accountable for those deaths.

I have zero tolerance for straw purchases, as a former arms dealer. They give the profession a bad name. If the ATF was intentionally doing this for politically reasons (like to get backing for additional regulation to bypass the 2nd amendment), they should be tried for Treason. They have broken the fundamental oath of protecting the constitution of the USA.

I understand and agree with "prosecution desecration," but not "enforcement discretion." If you as a sworn LE officer know something is against the law, you enforce it. The courts determine whether or not to bring it to trial. That said, if this was part of a larger sting operation gone bad... maybe their is some leeway in their actions. Maybe.
 

hardline_42

Honors Member
...I have zero tolerance for straw purchases, as a former arms dealer. They give the profession a bad name. If the ATF was intentionally doing this for politically reasons (like to get backing for additional regulation to bypass the 2nd amendment), they should be tried for Treason. They have broken the fundamental oath of protecting the constitution of the USA.
AV, it might interest you to know that many FFL holders warned the ATF about people they suspected were straw purchasing and were specifically instructed by the ATF to let them leave since they were already "under surveillance." When those guns started turning up at crime scenes, the very dealers that tried to do the right thing and were instructed to do otherwise by the ATF were thrown under the bus and blamed for the flow of guns into Mexico.
 

Apatheticviews

Super Member
AV, it might interest you to know that many FFL holders warned the ATF about people they suspected were straw purchasing and were specifically instructed by the ATF to let them leave since they were already "under surveillance." When those guns started turning up at crime scenes, the very dealers that tried to do the right thing and were instructed to do otherwise by the ATF were thrown under the bus and blamed for the flow of guns into Mexico.

It doesn't surprise me in the least. Having dealt with the administrative arm of the ATF in the past, this seems very likely.
 

mommatook1

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
Illegally flood Mexico with weapons so that they can be tracked to Mexican criminal elements, but don't inform or cooperate with any of the Mexican agencies or organizations that would enable the tracking of the weapons... and then predictably loose track of the weapons. Definitely sounds like a federal employee's brainchild. I wonder if there were actually any positive results of this operation. I'm sure it briefed well.

Regardless of whether or not this is a grand scheme by the liberals to increase gun control, it should be embarrassing for the president in the least, since he made a point of claiming that the drug war in Mexico is being fueled by guns from America. I am amazed this hasn't gotten more mainstream coverage, but then again, I guess it's not that surprising.
 

eagle2250

Connoisseur/Curmudgeon Emeritus - Moderator
^^
Generally it is the Schedule C, political appointees, appointed to senior executive/management positions within the agencies and who are seeking to suck up to their elected political sponsors, who are the 'genesis' for such flagrantly foolish , hair-brained initiatives. The career employees charged with executing the schemes of such professionally incompetent appointees are simply additional victims in the process. As to whether the President knew(?), keep in mind the realities of relationships between this president (or any former presidents, for that matter) and their direct appointees...these fellows suck up to the President more intimately than a slew of piglets attaching themselves to the teats of the maternal sow!
 

Apatheticviews

Super Member
^^
Generally it is the Schedule C, political appointees, appointed to senior executive/management positions within the agencies and who are seeking to suck up to their elected political sponsors, who are the 'genesis' for such flagrantly foolish , hair-brained initiatives. The career employees charged with executing the schemes of such professionally incompetent appointees are simply additional victims in the process. As to whether the President knew(?), keep in mind the realities of relationships between this president (or any former presidents, for that matter) and their direct appointees...these fellows suck up to the President more intimately than a slew of piglets attaching themselves to the teats of the maternal sow!

As a military man, you know that "A senior is responsible for his subordinates actions, regardless of whether he was aware of those actions or not, by virtue of placing those subordinates in positions of trust."

Did he give the order? Who knows. Is he responsible for the actions of his cabinet members? Hell yes. He nominated them. He chose them as his "right hand men" to handle his affairs in those specific departments. He delegated his authority, but not his responsibility.

Think back to when you had a young troop who did something foolish. You had him AND his sergeant standing tall in your your office regarding the infraction. This is no different.

I'm not saying the President is responsible for every man all the way down the chain of command, but he should be responsible for political appointee level members. An operation like this would have to approval at that level, and if it didn't then the appointee needs to be standing tall before President (like the sergeant in my above example). Meaning the President is to blame (directly) because his direct appointee is making bad decisions, or the President is not blame because his direct appointee cannot control his men (he did however choose the wrong person to run this agency or cabinet).
 

mommatook1

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
I have as much contempt for political appointees as the next guy, but this could have easily been the brainchild of a -15 with his eyes set on making SES. There are plenty of career federal employees who rely on the good idea fairy to come around once in a while and sprinkle their performance evaluations with magic dust so they can continue to climb the ladder, regardless of whether or not there were ever any tangible positive results from said good ideas. Hopefully the investigation will get to the bottom of this operation, from genesis to failure (failure which will likely continue for years, if not longer, because they seem to have no idea where some of these thousands of weapons have ended up).

Either way, you are both definitely right that those higher in the chain of command, particularly with oversight or approval authority for this operation should be held accountable. As I've heard it in the context of the "Law of the Sea": with authority comes responsibility, and with them both comes accountability.
 

thunderw21

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
Right on cue, Congressman Cummings and other democrats are using the 'Fast and Furious' scandal to push for tighter gun control. How? By wanting to give more power to the ATF, the same agency that walked the guns.
 

Apatheticviews

Super Member
Right on cue, Congressman Cummings and other democrats are using the 'Fast and Furious' scandal to push for tighter gun control. How? By wanting to give more power to the ATF, the same agency that walked the guns.

Based on my "cursory" reading of the article, and my relative expertise (several years actually selling firearms) in the field, the ATF agent in question is a knucklehead. Ye olde congressman, selected his chosen "spokeman" to get the right sound bites, and because well, the ATF tends to want more gun control because they want to keep themselves in a job.

The ATF agent is asking to violate federal statutes.

1: The United States Government (specifically the ATF) may not collect data on US citizens which is not part of criminal investigation. The multiple Handgun Transaction form referenced was a major bone of contention. A multiple Long-gun form is pushing this to an extreme.

2: Toothless Legislation is a misnomer. $10,000 fine, 10years in prison is the STANDARD for lying on a federal form. PER INSTANCE. The US attorneys office not prosecuting is another issue entirely.

3: There are numerous tools already in place to enforce everything they have suggested. i could go over countless legislation, various laws, etc, and how they can put bad guys away if they want to. Just because they don't use the tools they have available, doesn't mean the tools aren't good.

4: The "Assault Weapons Ban" was "Cosmetic" is nature, and it did nothing to stem violent gun based crime. "Assault Weapons" aren't cheap, (a good AR starts in the $800 range), whereas a good shotgun is $200. Do the math...

That said.. if someone actually came up with legitimate "regulatory" legislation, I would be all for it. i.e. You commit a straw purchase, and that gun is used in a murder, you get an EXTRA 10 years (in addition to the $10k, 10 years from lying on the form), rock on. But don't ban a tool because an idiot doesn't know how to keep his hands out from under the blades.
 

WouldaShoulda

Suspended
Alluding to "state-sanctioned terrorism" does not help your cause in which I have empathy.

This is simply another example of big government "good intentions" go awry!!
 
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