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President arms drug cartels

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    Posted: 15 June 2011 at 4:17pm
Not really . . . I just felt like using a hyperbolic title that misrepresented the referenced article like other people do occasionally.

I do however, think that some serious questions need to be asked and answered (honestly) by the DOJ.

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Gun-Running Sting Blows Up: House Hearings on ATF's Fast and Furious



John Solomon Wed Jun 15, 2:16 am ET

NEW YORK – Gun-Running Sting Blows Up: House Hearings on ATFs Fast and FuriousThe ATF's Operation Fast and Furious sparked outrage by allowing hundreds of weapons from U.S. gun shops to be trafficked to Mexican drug gangs—and left one border agent dead. With House hearings today, John Solomon exclusively traces the origin of the sting to the Justice Department, which originally denied involvement.

For months, a mystery has engulfed the U.S. southern border and Mexico—what suddenly caused federal agents to abandon years of practice and knowingly let suspected straw buyers for Mexican drug gangs walk off with semiautomatic weapons from American gun shops?

The answer leads to previously undisclosed instructions given by higher-ups inside the Obama Justice Department, which originally denied any role in the burgeoning controversy, The Daily Beast has learned.

The U.S. government's Fast and Furious operation—which was designed to build criminal cases against Mexican gun traffickers but went awry—has stirred debate in two countries after revelations that frontline agents vehemently objected to their supervisors' order to knowingly let guns be trafficked by suspected straw buyers and that hundreds of the guns they were ordered to "let walk" ended up being used in subsequent crimes, including murders.

The issue prompted two investigations in Congress, outrage among Mexican legislators, anger among residents in crime-beleaguered communities on the border—and even forced President Obama to suggest "serious mistakes" may have been made.

Before the gun-running sting began in Phoenix in late 2009, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives agents were trained to build cases quickly against people who were acting as straw buyers, purchasing cheap legal guns at U.S. gun shops and then transferring them to others who would traffic them to Mexican gangs. Agents have told Congress they wanted to interdict weapons quickly when they fell into the hands of suspected straw buyers and despised the idea of "letting guns walk" outside their control.

“The department’s leadership allowed the ATF to implement this flawed strategy, fully aware of what was taking place on the ground,” Grassley and Issa's report concludes.

But ATF supervisors and local federal prosecutors in the Fast and Furious operation approved a different approach in late 2009, specifically instructing agents along the Arizona border not to interdict the weapons and instead to let the straw buyers move the guns into the system in hopes they would show up in crimes on both sides of the border and help federal prosecutors build bigger cases against the Mexican drug gangs.

The operation went on for 15 months, and ATF officials now concede they let more than 1,700 weapons fall into the hands of the straw buyers, with nearly 800 showing up in criminal activity on both sides of the border. Two of those guns were found at the scene where a U.S. border agent was murdered and more than 190 turned up in Mexican crimes as well.

To date, blame has rested mostly with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives supervisors who approved the strategy in Arizona and Washington. The Justice Department also has directed that the tactic of "letting guns walk"—meaning allowing straw buyers to move guns with the government's knowledge—should no longer be used.

But on Wednesday, The Daily Beast has learned, congressional investigators will disclose that just weeks before ATF supervisors approved the Fast and Furious operation and its controversial tactics, senior Justice Department officials sent a memo to prosecutors and agents on the front lines of the border wars urging that they go beyond their traditional tactics of interdicting guns being purchased by straw buyers and try to make cases against the drug gangs themselves.

"Given the national scope of this issue, merely seizing firearms through interdiction will not stop firearms trafficking to Mexico. We must identify, investigate, and eliminate the sources of illegally trafficked firearms and the networks that transport them," the office of then Deputy Attorney General David Ogden wrote in an October 2009 memo marked law-enforcement sensitive.

The memo was prepared in connection with a previously unknown high-level Justice Department meeting in which representatives of key law-enforcement agencies on the front lines of the border wars were summoned to discuss a new approach to combating border violence, according to government officials familiar with the document.

Within days, the memo from Ogden's office was being distributed inside the ATF office in Phoenix, where supervisors quickly launched Operation Fast and Furious.

Government officials confirmed the memo's contents and the discussions about broadening the border strategy beyond interdiction but insisted the memo provided no specific guidance authorizing the specific tactics of letting the guns "walk." Attorney General Eric Holder has said he did not know about those tactics at the time and has asked the department's internal watchdog, the inspector general, to investigate what happened.

The memo, however, provides important new information and context to the events that have led to a growing controversy in Congress, where Republicans led by Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa and House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa have collected extensive evidence that ATF agents vehemently objected to letting the guns walk but were overruled by supervisors, who let hundreds of a weapons a month flow to straw buyers even as violence escalated inside Mexico in 2010.

On Wednesday, Grassley and Issa will release a joint report concluding that Justice officials in Washington were ultimately responsible for letting a well-intentioned gun-trafficking strategy go awry.

"The department's leadership allowed the ATF to implement this flawed strategy, fully aware of what was taking place on the ground," their report concludes, according to an early copy obtained by The Daily Beast.

"This hapless plan allowed the guns in question to disappear out of the agency's view. As a result, this chain of events inevitably placed the guns in the hands of violent criminals. ATF would only see these guns again after they turned up at a crime scene. Tragically, many of these recoveries involved loss of life," the report concludes.

Democrats on Issa's committee and defenders of the Justice Department are expected to mount a technical defense, arguing that pressing law-enforcement officials on the border to try new strategies did not specifically address letting guns walks, a decision that to date appears to have been made by the U.S. Attorneys Office and ATF supervisors in Phoenix, along with ATF officials in Washington.

John Solomon is executive editor of the Center for Public Integrity.


So the Democrats would consider putting guns in the hands of Mexican drug cartels to be okay but want further restrictions upon the rights of U.S citizens to keep and bear arms.  (More hyperbole--I just couldn't resist.)  On a serious note, this does throw some doubt onto all the claims that U.S. gun owners are arming (indirectly) the cartels through our insistence on exercising our rights.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote agentwhale007 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 June 2011 at 4:26pm
The tactic seemed reasonable enough - Allow the sales to take place, track the buyers, see where the guns go, and make arrests when the further transactions take place in order to nab the higher-ups in the cartel system. 

Except for a tactic like that to work, you really ought, you know, follow through and actually make those arrests and busts at some point and not let the operation grow out of control. Because now people are killing people with the guns they were supposed to be tracking. 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FreeEnterprise Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 June 2011 at 4:33pm
uhm, he did allow them to buy guns illegally, which were then used to kill boarder agents and civilians... So your title was actually true.
 
 
How Holder hasn't been charged with crimes yet is astounding... This justice department is a travesty of justice.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rofl_Mao Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 June 2011 at 7:54pm
I have to point out what a horribly constructed article that is. They were too lazy to find a right place for the picture, so they just paste it right in the first sentence? Thats painful to look at.

Edited by Rofl_Mao - 15 June 2011 at 7:55pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote impulse418 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 June 2011 at 9:02pm
What do you expect from an agency that used cattle trailers, to transport agents.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FreeEnterprise Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 July 2011 at 7:33am
So this weekend the head of the ATF testified (without his corrupt DOJ lawyer present...) under oath, and destroyed the justice department.
 
This whole thing lays at the feet of the democrats.
 
Even on page 16 of the stimulus bill, $10,000,000 was used for the gunrunner program! So now watch as the cockroches scramble and try to pin the blame on some little guy...
 
 
 
This goes right to the white house.
 
Why was watergate so big of a deal, when people actually died in this travesty?
 
Oh yeah... Democrats...
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FreeEnterprise Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 July 2011 at 9:13am
Well, at least Holder didn't know anything about this...
 
Oh wait.
 
 
Maybe if he says he just read a teleprompter, and he actually didn't realize he was saying what he said. Then we can discuss the definition of "is" again.
 
"The topic that has been addressed over the past two days could not be more important – the development of an arms trafficking prosecution and enforcement strategy on both sides of the border.  

 I would like to thank the Mexican and U.S. experts who have worked so hard on this issue.  On our side, Secretary Napolitano and I are committed to putting the resources in place to increase our attack on arms trafficking into Mexico

 Last week, our administration launched a major new effort to break the backs of the cartels.  My department is committing 100 new ATF personnel to the Southwest border in the next 100 days to supplement our ongoing Project Gunrunner, DEA is adding 16 new positions on the border, as well as mobile enforcement teams, and the FBI is creating a new intelligence group focusing on kidnapping and extortion.  DHS is making similar commitments, as Secretary Napolitano will detail.

 But as today’s conference has emphasized, the problem of arms trafficking will not be stopped at the border alone.  Rather, as our experts emphasized, this is a problem that must be met as part of a comprehensive attack against the cartels – an attack in depth, on both sides of the border, that focuses on the leadership and assets of the cartel.  This is the type of full-bore, prosecution-driven approach that the U.S. Department of Justice took to dismantle La Cosa Nostra – once the most powerful organized crime group operating in the United States.  
 With partners like those we have here today, I am confident that together, we will defeat these narcotics cartels in exactly the same way.  I am proud to stand with you, and to join you in this fight.  Thank you again for inviting me here."

 
Interesting how he "didn't know" and yet trumpets his involvement in a public speech in Mexico...
 
What a liar.
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Donald Blake Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 July 2011 at 2:31pm
Originally posted by FreeEnterprise FreeEnterprise wrote:

 
This whole thing lays at the feet of the democrats.

 


Honest question, FE:  Can you name anything that the Democratic party stands for, or has done, that you agree with or support?

Anything at all?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote impulse418 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 July 2011 at 5:28pm
Clinton getting a BJ in the oval office was pretty cool.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stratoaxe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 July 2011 at 5:33pm
If I remember correctly (to busy to search ATM), wasn't part of the controversy here that the government was using these weapons sales to fluff statistics about American weapons sales to Mexico and push a gun control agenda?

Not saying that gun control was the specific purpose, but a side effect.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GroupB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 July 2011 at 5:41pm
Anyone else thinks it's funny that FE compares this to Watergate rather than to Iran-Contra?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote choopie911 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 July 2011 at 5:49pm
Sorry I know this is totally unrelated but reading some of it made me think of this:

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GroupB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 July 2011 at 5:54pm
Speaking of, I was listening to the radio this morning and heard "Hi, I'm Oliver North and when I'm at Fort Leonard Wood, I listen to 98.9 The Fort."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote High Voltage Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 July 2011 at 5:58pm
Originally posted by GroupB GroupB wrote:

Anyone else thinks it's funny that FE compares this to Watergate rather than to Iran-Contra?

They like to pretend that did not happen.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FreeEnterprise Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 July 2011 at 9:13am
Iran-contra, is very different, especially when you have muslims who have taken hostage our people.
 
That wasn't a "new" thing at all...
 
 
 
The entire goal of project gunrunner was to catch the mexicans who were buying our weapons before they left the gun shows... Fast and furious was the plan to let them take them into mexico so they could "get to the high ups and take them down".
 
gunrunner had been going on since bush was in office.
 
Holder said this in April of 2009
 
Last week, our administration launched a major new effort to break the backs of the cartels.  My department is committing 100 new ATF personnel to the Southwest border in the next 100 days to supplement our ongoing Project Gunrunner, DEA is adding 16 new positions on the border, as well as mobile enforcement teams, and the FBI is creating a new intelligence group focusing on kidnapping and extortion.
 
 
Clearly he isn't talking about gunrunner, as that didn't need "mobile" enforcment teams as they just arrested the guys when they left the gun dealers with the weapons... And that wasn't "new". Fast and furious started at that time... Connect the dots.
 
Except they didn't take them down, instead they let them take the weapons to mexico and wreak havoc  so it would make a news splash that "American" weapons were fueling the drug war, so that Obama could crack down on gun laws (with cause).
 
 
He knew, Holder knew, and they planned it. (they are brilliant if you didn't know that...). Now Holder is lying about his involvement... (they even used stimulus money to pay for the program).
 
Oh and lookie
 
 


Edited by FreeEnterprise - 12 July 2011 at 9:15am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote High Voltage Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 July 2011 at 9:55am
Methinks FE is misinformed about the Iran-Contra scandal or he chooses once again to remain blissfully unaware.

Also, how Oliver North is not rotting away in a jail cell is beyond me. I understand the circumstances but the fact they played out that way is just criminal.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote agentwhale007 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 July 2011 at 11:02am
This does have a bit of an Iran-Contra air about it. I don't think it's quite on that scale yet because this Fast/Furious thing has managed to stay contained to one continent, at the very least. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote High Voltage Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 July 2011 at 11:56am
That and the CIA isn't knowingly allowing massive shipments of cocaine into the country. Definitely closer to Iran-Contra than Watergate though. That was just a poor attempt to make his political party appear less guilty than his opponents'.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Benjichang Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 July 2011 at 7:13pm
What was the drug documentary that focused a lot on Iran-Contra? I watched it once, but can't remember its name. Don't think it was The Union...

The War on Drugs: The Great White American Fear or something like that? I think that was it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote High Voltage Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 July 2011 at 7:17pm
I think your google-fu is weak.

American Drug War: The Last White Hope
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