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Monday, June 20, 2011

UPDATE: ATF DIRECTOR EXPECTED TO RESIGN UNDER PRESSURE

ATF DIRECTOR EXPECTED TO RESIGN UNDER PRESSURE... DEVELOPING!

GUNWALKER? What's going on! 


ATF acting director may resign over Fast and Furious program

From Terry Frieden, CNN
June 20, 2011 2:29 p.m. EDT

Washington (CNN) -- Kenneth Melson, acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, is expected to resign under pressure, perhaps in the next day or two, in the wake of the  ongoing controversy over Operation Fast and Furious, two senior federal law enforcement sources said   Monday.

In the operation, straw buyers were allowed to illegally purchase large numbers of weapons, some of which ended up in the hands of cartels in Mexico.Attorney General Eric Holder will meet Tuesday with Andrew Traver, head of the ATF field office in Chicago, about potentially serving as acting director of the agency, according to the sources.The Justice Department refused comment.The operation has come under intense criticism since the December killing of a U.S. Border Patrol officer.

The program focused on following people who legally bought weapons that were then transferred to criminals and destined for Mexico. But instead of intercepting the weapons when they switched hands, Operation Fast and Furious called for ATF agents to let the guns "walk" and wait for them to surface in Mexico, according to a report by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Operation Fast and Furious was "a colossal failure of leadership," Peter Forcelli, a supervisor at the bureau's Phoenix field office, recently said.

The idea was that once the weapons in Mexico were traced back to the straw purchasers, the entire arms smuggling network could be brought down. Instead, the report argues, letting the weapons slip into the wrong hands was a deadly miscalculation that resulted in preventable deaths, including that of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.Terry was killed last year just north of the Mexican border in Arizona after he confronted a group of bandits believed to be preying on illegal immigrants. Two weapons found near the scene of the killing were traced to Fast and Furious.

"We ask that if a government official made a wrong decision, that they admit their error and take responsibility for his or her actions," Robert Heyer, Terry's cousin and family spokesman, said in a hearing last week by the House panel.

"I was flabbergasted. I couldn't believe it at first," Terry's mother, Josephine, said when she learned that the ATF may have let some of the guns used in the attack slip through its fingers. Terry's family said they want all those involved in his killing and who helped put the weapons in their hands to be prosecuted.
The committee's chairman, California Republican Rep. Darrell Issa, called the operation "felony stupid." As many as 2,000 semi-automatic rifles reached the hands of the cartels as a result, and Issa said the top two ATF officials were briefed the program regularly..





The Gunwalker Scandal Made Simple
1. That the government instructed U.S. gun dealers to proceed with questionable and illegal sales of firearms to suspected gunrunners.
2. That the government allowed or even assisted in those guns crossing the U.S. border into Mexico to "boost the numbers" of American civilian market firearms seized in Mexico to thereby justify more firearm restrictions on American citizens and more power and money for ATF.
3. That the government intentionally kept Mexican authorities in the dark about the operation, even over objections of their own agents and in violation of the Brownsville Agreement.
4. That the weapons that the ATF let "walk" to Mexico were involved in the deaths of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and ICE agent Jaime Zapata, as well as at least 
hundreds of Mexican citizens.
5. That since the death of Brian Terry on 14 December, the Obama administration is engaged in a full-blown cover-up of the facts behind what has come to be known as the "Gunwalker Scandal."
The Timeline
The beginning:
——2005 - Project Gunrunner pilot program launched in Laredo Texas.5 At this point, the program was designed to catch weapons smugglers and "straw purchasers" along the southern border area.
——2006 - Project Gunrunner expanded as a national initiative in 2006. 6 An expansion of the Laredo pilot, the program expands along the southern border states to interdict arms heading to Mexico.
——June 2007 - ATF published a strategy document, Southwest Border Initiative: Project Gunrunner (Gunrunner strategy), outlining four key components to Project Gunrunner: the expansion of gun tracing in Mexico, international coordination, domestic activities, and intelligence. In implementing Project Gunrunner, ATF has focused resources in its four Southwest border field divisions. In addition, ATF has made firearms trafficking to Mexico a top ATF priority nationwide. 
——2008 - ATF identifies and prosecutes "straw purchasers" of firearms along the southern border area.
——January 2009 - U.S. Embassy cable (released by Wikileaks) reports a Mexican army officer assigned to guard President Felipe Calderon leaked military intelligence to drug cartels, trained hit men and supplied military weapons to Los Zetas.
——March 25, 2009 - Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton said that America's "insatiable" demand for illegal drugs and [America's] inability to stop weapons from being smuggled into Mexico are fueling an alarming spike in violence along the U.S.-Mexican border. So three months after the Embassy cable, Clinton knew at least one high ranking Mexican army officer was supplying one cartel with weapons and that cartels were not dependent upon smuggled U.S. firearms. 
——Aug-Sept 2009 - ATF internal inspector general report criticizes ATF for targeting only the straw buyers and not identifying or prosecuting those who deal large volumes of arms to Mexico.
——Nov. 2010 - ATF's Office of the Inspector General (OIG) publishes a review of Project Gunrunner.8 The report criticizes ATF's lack of intelligence sharing with Mexican authorities, poor coordination with border liaisons and the Mexico country office (of ATF) 
and criticizes the agency for focusing largely "on gun dealer inspections and straw purchaser investigations, rather than targeting higher-level traffickers and smugglers."  This will push the agency to allow guns to "walk" into Mexico. The report documents the 
existence of a MOU9 between ATF and ICE/DHS (which has jurisdiction over import/export law violations, like moving weapons out of the country).
Recent history:
Dec 13, 2010 - Carter's Country exposed by Washington Post as source of many weapons to Mexico. The dealer's lawyer tells Fox News that Carter's has been cooperating with BATF for "months and months", selling guns to likely straw buyers — who are 
paying cash for multiple guns — and dutifully reporting them to the BATF. Store employees even go so far to cooperate as to write down license numbers of buyer's vehicles. Carter's went through with the sales because the ATF told them to go through 
with the sales said attorney Dick Deguerin who represents Carter's Country owner, Bill Carter.
Dec 14, 2010 - Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry gunned down during a border interdiction mission near Rio Rico, Arizona. An AK-47 found at the scene would later be traced to a gun store cooperating with ATF and Project Gunrunner. 12 As of June 2011, despite ample time for forensics tests, the ATF has still not indicated if the weapon found was actually used to shoot Agent Terry.
Dec 29, 2010 - The first inkling of Project Gunrunner breaks out into the blogosphere in David Codrea's National Gun Rights Examiner column.
Dec 31, 2010 - Darren Gil, the ATF attaché to Mexico objects to Phoenix Office Special Agent in Charge (SAC) William D. Newell's plan to keep the Mexican authorities in the dark. He takes his objections to D.C. but is forced to retire at the end of the year.
Jan 3-7, 2011 - The first details of Project Gunrunner begin to emerge thanks to Mike  Vanderboegh of Sipsey Street Irregulars and Codrea.
Jan 7, 2011 - Sipsey Street Irregulars reports the White House is now fully briefed on the "Walking Gun-gate" scandal and is now calling the shots.
Jan 8, 2011 - Rep. Gabrielle Giffords shot and seriously wounded in a Tucson parking lot during an appearance. Six others were killed, including a federal judge and a 9-yearold girl.
Jan 13, 2011 - Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) begins inquiries to the DOJ and ATF about project gunrunner. Neither DOJ nor ATF will be forthcoming with information.
Jan 21, 2011 - Insiders (whistleblowers) begin talking to Senate staffers (presumably Senator Grassley's staff).
Jan 22, 2011 - Jeff Knox reports on Gunrunner in his Worldnetdaily.com column.
Jan 29, 2011 - El Diario de El Paso, a Spanish language newspaper picks up Project Gunrunner scandal as news.
Jan 27, 2011 - Senator Grassley writes acting BATF director Kenneth Melson. Grassley expresses serious concerns about the allegations by inside ATF agents and the relationship to the death of Agent Terry. He requests an ATF briefing of his staff by February 3.
Jan 31, 2011 - Senator Grassly writes another memo to ATF Acting Director Melson and copies DOJ's Eric Holder over the questioning of a Phoenix agent by Assistant Special Agent in Charge (ASAC) George Gillette regarding his contact with Grassley's staff.  Grassley reminds both agencies that federal law protects whistleblowers and that interfering with a congressional investigation is a crime.
Jan 31, 2011 - Silence from Anti-gun groups. You'd think they might object to a government agency facilitating gun trafficking.
Feb 01, 2011 - First mainstream media notice of Project Gunrunner. Politico, The Arizona Republic and the Associated Press make their first reports. The AP story is reprinted in numerous papers.
Feb 01, 2011 - Reports surface that William Newell, the Special Agent in Charge of ATF's Phoenix Field Division, “will be handed the job of Mexican Attaché for ATF.” Insiders say that it promotes him and puts him in position where he could easily do even more 
damage. Arizona's Fox News 10 reports on the investigation.
Feb 4, 2011 - Stonewalling begins - Assistant U.S. Attorney General Ronald Weich said in a letter obtained by The Associated Press that the claim that firearms agents sanctioned or knowingly allowed the sale of assault weapons to straw buyers who then brought them to Mexico is false.
Feb 9, 2011 - Grassley sends a letter to Attorney General Holder at DOJ, saying his requests for information are being met with delays and denials. Grassley tells Holder that Agent Terry's mother deserves some straight answers.
Feb 12, 2011 - Narconews.com publishes the article Pentagon Fingered as a Source of Narco-Firepower in Mexico shows that the government is aware that the cartels obtain their major firepower on the Central American black market, not from U.S. mom and pop gun shops.
February 15, 2011 - Two ICE agents shot, one killed while driving in Mexico from a meeting. 
February 15, 2011 - Robbie Sherwood, US Attorney's spokesman announces that two of three suspects involved in the shooting of Brian Terry are expected to plead guilty to illegal entry charges, and as a result, will be deported back to Mexico. Sherwood said 
there was no evidence tying these three individuals to the shooting of Border Patrol (BP) Agent Terry.  But wait. Illegal entry is a felony and in most cases, accomplices in a felony involving a murder are also charged, even if they didn't pull the trigger. Could it be that DOJ/ATF doesn't want them around as witnesses about the guns left behind?
February 16, 2011 - Senator Grassley sends a memo to AG Holder, complaining that the briefing by the ATF could not answer specific questions and only focused on the difficulties of making arrests (i.e. a dog & pony show). Grassley then directly requests 
Holder to provide specific detailed records and prioritizes the order in which he wants them searched for and produced.
February 23, 2011 - Allegations emerge on cleanupATF.org that (a) ATF paid one of the involved gun shops as a "confidential informant," (b) a second “gunrunner” operation was being conducted out of Tucson, where “’walking’ several hundred rifles to Mexico” was allowed. Finally (c) that the State Department signed off on Gunrunner stiffing the Mexicans. That clearly implicates senior people in the State Department as being aware of the program.
February 23, 2011 - CBS News "breaks" the story of Gunrunner on the evening news.
February 23, 2011 - Gun Owners of America (GOA) issues a press release calling for hearings into Project Gunrunner not only seeking to question supervisors and field agents, but senior administration officials. These include: Adam R. Price and Jeffrey B. Stirling, program managers for Gunrunner at ATF headquarters; Lanny Breuer, Assistant Attorney General of the DOJ Criminal Investigations Division; Eric Holder, Attorney General of the United States; Robert Mueller, Director of the FBI; Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State and Janet Napolitano, Department of Homeland Security.
February 23, 2011 - Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) issues a press release demanding a full-scale investigation by Attorney General Eric Holder, or Holder’s resignation as the nation’s 
chief law enforcement officer.
March 1, 2011 - Still no comment from anti-gun groups.
March 3, 2011 - CBS News airs a second investigative report on Project Gunrunner.                                                                           March 3, 2011 - Senator Grassley fires a letter off to AG Holder telling him his requests for documentation have not been complied with and also saying that DOJ's denials "don't hold water". 
March 3, 2011 - ATF in the Spin-Cycle: ATF sends a memo out to field offices declaring the need for "positive" news stories. "ATF needs to proactively push positive stories this week, in an effort to preempt some negative reporting, or at minimum, lessen the coverage of such stories in the news cycle by replacing them with good stories about ATF."  In other words, push the positive and hope it doesn't leave room for the negative articles.
March 4, 2011 - Rush Limbaugh picks up the story and broadcasts to 20M listeners.
March 5, 2011 - The key players are summoned to D.C. according to an ATF insider who says, "All key players have been summoned to DC. Wheels up Sunday to be in HQ [Monday] am."
March 6, 2011 - Mexico officially requests information on Project Gunrunner and its offshoot Operation Fast and Furious, the code name for the "trailing" of weapons to major suppliers.
March 8, 2011 - Senator Grassley asks for an independent investigator to review ATF's project Gunrunner. Citing a conflict of interest with DOJ using its own internal Inspector General, the Senator said the IG failed to act on earlier complaints and the post has been officially vacant since the last IG retired.
March 8, 2011 - LA Times article quotes Rene Jaquez, a former ATF attaché in Mexico City and deputy attaché in Ciudad Juarez as saying ATF wasn't serious about working with Mexico. The end result was there was no increase in prosecutions after spending large sums to open the offices in Mexico. The major quote from Jaquez: "Well, this whole scandal shows we've probably allowed more guns into the country than guns we've stopped."
March 8, 2011 - CBS airs a report that includes agents speaking up about Operation Wide Receiver, a project similar to Operation Fast and Furious which took place in the Tucson area allegedly in 2008. A smaller operation of about 450 guns, the SAC of the Tucson office at the time was William Newell who would later head the Phoenix office.
March 9, 2011 - Mexico asks for a US/Mexican working group to review Project Gunrunner and its effects. All three Mexican political parties are represented in the letter to the U.S.
March 9, 2011 - Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and 13 Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee today sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder requesting information on Operation Fast and Furious, part of the Project Gunrunner scandal.20 
March 9, 2011 - Homeland Security Chief Janet Napolitano appears before Senator Grassley and the Senate Judiciary Committee to answer questions about Project Gunrunner. Napolitano denies knowing about the program until after the deaths of Agent Terry and ICE agent Zapata in Mexico. 
March 9, 2011 - The NRA shows up and demands hearings on the ATF programs.
March 10, 2011 - AG Eric Holder appears before the House Judiciary Committee and responds that allowing guns to fall into the hands of gunrunners or allowing them into Mexico is wrong, but offers no insight or information. 
March 10, 2011 - Mexican Newspapers run articles saying that the Mexican government may seek to extradite and prosecute "U.S. agents involved" in Project Fast and Furious for crimes against Mexico's sovereignty. The action casts doubt on the promotion of Phoenix SAC William Newell to take over the Mexico City liaison office.
March 13, 2011 - President Obama as an op-ed piece published in the Tucson newspaper, calling for states to report "mentally disturbed" patients to the NICS database to "strengthen" the system. In essence, he downplays the ability of any administration to 
re-classify what a "mental illness" may be as a prelude to confiscation.                                                                                      March 13, 2011 - ATF whistleblower agent John Dodson is interviewed by Mexico's Univision Television. Also interviewed is former Mexican attaché Rene Jaquez. In the interview, Jaquez supports Dodson's versions of events.
March 19, 2011 - Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA) chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee joins the fray. He demands documents and explanations from ATF.
March 20, 2011 - Carlos Pascual, U.S. ambassador to Mexico, resigns under pressure from Mexico. Mexico voices distrust of Pascual for, among other things, the Gunrunner scandal, criticism of Mexican authorities in leaked Wikileak cables and dating the daughter of a mistrusted and alleged cartel-linked opposition legislator.
March 21, 2011 - Agent Rene Jaquez speaks out on CBS news about Project Gunrunner.  CBS documents ATF collaborated with DEA, DHS, ICE, the U.S. Marshal's Service and the U.S. Attorney in Phoenix, dispelling the notion this was a "rouge operation." 
March 21, 2011 - NRA's Wayne LaPierre finally gets on the bandwagon.
March 22, 2011 - President Obama tells CBS's Sheryl Attkisson that he did not authorize Operation Fast and Furious. Two other questions - did he approve of the program and did he allow ATF to go ahead with the program without his official 
authorization?
March 23, 2011 - Univision's Jorge Ramos is told by President Obama that he did not authorize Fast and Furious and neither did Attorney General Eric Holder. 
March 25, 2011 - CRACK! CBS news interview with Darren Gil, former attaché to Mexico reveals 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. Gil first found out something was amiss in early 2010 when serial numbers from a flood of guns used in cartel crimes were all tracing back to the same case in Phoenix: "Fast and Furious." But when Gil's analyst checked ATF's computer files to find out more, he hit a brick wall. "Not only did 
he not have access, I as the attaché, the head agent in Mexico for ATF operations, did not have access," says Gil. He was locked out. That was a red flag because Gil says as the senior ATF official in Mexico, it was his job to approve any ATF operation involving Mexico; and he didn't approve this one.
March 28, 2011 - Mexico's Attorney General vows to extradite and prosecute anyone responsible for smuggling guns into Mexico as part of Operation Fast and Furious.
March 29, 2011 - ATF acting director Kenneth Melson suddenly declines to testify at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Since the committee has no jurisdiction over ATF, they cannot compel him to show up. 
March 29, 2011 - Darrell Issa (R-CA), chairman of the House Oversight Committee fires off a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton demanding to know why State has refused to provide requested documents to Senator Grassley.
March 30, 2011 - Deafening administration silence: ATF fails to provide documents to Grassley, Lamar Smith or Darrell Issa, three congressional committees.
March 31, 2011 - Congressman Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee issues subpoenas to the ATF and DOJ to produce documents relevant to Project Gunrunner.  One subpoena demands Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Acting Director Kenneth E. Melson to appear before the committee and produce scheduled documents by 5 PM on April 13th.
April 1, 2011 - Latin American newspapers report that "Head of ATF avoids testifying", "Barack Obama says he never authorized arms trafficking to Mexico" and "Fast and Furious was authorized in Washington, former ATF head reveals." 
April 1, 2011 - Fox News (Mexico City) reports that 90% of the illegal arms used by drug cartels are smuggled in from Central America.  The Mexican La Jornada newspaper quoted diplomatic cables from Wikileaks. The cables were written after three bilateral conferences on arms trafficking that took place between March 2009 and January 2010 in Cuernavaca, Mexico; Phoenix; and Tapachula, Mexico, respectively. Ironically, the cables' authors note that Mexican officials and politicians never hesitate to remind U.S. diplomats that Mexico's drug war - which has claimed 35,000 lives in the last four years - is fueled by Americans' demand for illegal drugs and by guns bought in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.                                                                          April 1, 2011 - The anti-gun lobby still has no comment.
April 2, 2011 - The Wall Street Journal and Washington Times finally pick up the story.
April 5, 2011 - Real Trouble! Walker—Texas Ranger weighs in. Chuck Norris addresses project gunrunner in his Worldnet Daily column.
April 6, 2011 - An article in IHS Global Insights/Jane's Defence quotes U.S. Southern Command head, U.S. Airforce General Douglas Fraser in testimony to the Senate. Fraser says that more than 50% of military grade weaponry flowing through the region 
originated from Central American arsenals, with the total quantity in circulation estimated at between 45 million and 80 million firearms.
April 8, 2011 - The Crack Widens! Assistant Special Agent in charge of ATF's Phoenix Division George Gillett, perhaps not wanting to become the "sacrificial lamb" begins cooperating with congressional inquiries. This information is revealed in a letter 
from Senator Grassley to ATF acting director Kenneth Melson, CBS news reports.  Neither the ATF nor DOJ would comment to CBS news. 
April 11, 2011 - The Washington Post prints an article about Steve Croley, President Obama's regulatory point-man. In the article, Sarah Brady recounts a March 30 meeting between Brady, her husband Jim and White House Press secretary Jay Carney, The Post reports: "During the meeting, President Obama dropped in and, according to Sarah Brady, brought up the issue of gun control, 'to fill us in that it was very much on his agenda,' she said. 'I just want you to know that we are working on it,' Brady recalled the president telling them. 'We have to go through a few processes, but under the radar.'"
April 13, 2011 - Senator Grassley letter to Holder, detailing with emails that at least one gun shop owner acknowledged that selling to suspected straw-buyers was what the agency wanted and asked for assurances against any later recourse against his business. The dealer expressed concerns the guns might be used against friends in the Border Patrol.  The emails were dated April 13, 2010 - a full year prior and more than six months before agent Terry's death. Grassley says DOJ denials of gun trafficking as simply not credible.
April 14, 2011 - Four months have lapsed and neither the FBI nor DOJ can or will say whether either of the weapons recovered after CBP agent Brian Terry was killed were the murder weapon. Have all the DOJ's forensic experts suddenly gone stupid? Or is there something else here they don't want us to know?                                                                                                                                              April 14, 2011 - (Floor of the Senate) Grassley delivers a summary of his investigation into Fast and Furious. "Ironically, I have provided more internal documents to the Justice Department in this investigation than the Justice Department has provided to me," 
Grassley says.
April 15, 2011 - Gunrunner picked up again by Associated Press, The Arizona Republic and USA Today.
April 17, 2011 - Global Research publishes an article saying that in the two years since Barack Obama took office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives ramped up its Project Gunrunner and Operation Fast and Furious gun trafficking sting operations, drug war homicides in Mexico nearly tripled.29 The same report shows that many arms shipped by the US Government (such as fully automatic M-16's) often end up in the hands of the cartels.
April 20, 2011 - House Oversight Committee chairman Issa sends a blistering letter30 to ATF Acting Director Kenneth E. Melson, threatening to initiate contempt of Congress proceedings for ATF's failure to turn over any documents pursuant to the committee's 
subpoena.
April 20, 2011 - Rep. Elijah Cummings issues a statement saying "despite my repeated requests, Chairman Issa has refused to meet with the Department of Justice to ensure that his actions do not compromise ongoing investigations and prosecutions, including a trial of 20 individuals that is scheduled to begin in June." Ironically, Cummings was on the oversight committee when Democrats controlled the house and did nothing despite early warnings about ATF misdeeds.
April 22, 2011 - Mexico retains law firm to sue U.S. gun manufacturers. Mexico is retaining the services of Reid Collins & Tsai, LLP to sue U.S. gun makers. Notably President Obama's 2009 nomination for the U.S. District Court judge for the Southern 
District of Texas is Marina Garcia Marmolejo, who is a partner with Reid Collins & Tsai LLP.31 Well, at least until she's appointed. However, allegiances can be very subtle things too.  Let's see… ATF increases gun smuggling of US guns, Mexico claims U.S. guns flooding it's country, then sues U.S. makers. Where?  The southern district of Texas would be likely. With a judge who knows the plaintiff's lawyers well. Oh, did I mention that Marmolejo was born in Mexico?
April 25, 2011 - Project Gunrunner revealed on the Huffington Post; several liberal readers sent into an apoplexy after reading about it.
April 26, 2011 - Boots on the ground! Congressional investigators are gathering interviews from witnesses, including ATF insiders and area gun shop owners. Sources tell CBS News the congressional investigators are frustrated by what they view as across-the-board stonewalling by government agencies. 
April 26, 2011 - This just in: Time, Newsweek and U.S. News and World Report lack a pulse. Absolutely zero information or articles about Project Gunrunner, ATF or even Grassley or Issa.
April 29, 2011 - Rep. Issa on Roger Hedgecock's radio program: "We’re not investigating the sale of guns across the border.  We’re investigating the lack of judgment at the highest levels." At the end, Issa reflected on that judgement. "This goes all the way to the top. … If you made a decision this felony stupid you shouldn’t be making decisions any longer on behalf of the American people."
April 30, 2011 - The NRA's Wayne LaPierre calls for Attorney General Eric Holder's resignation.
May 1, 2011 - Still no word from the anti-gun lobby.
May 3, 2011 - Darrell Issa spanks Holder!  Attorney General Holder appears before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, chaired by Darrel Issa. Holder claims he had only heard about Project Gunrunner or Fast and Furious "a few weeks ago".  Holder should have known about it as of late January or early February from Grassley's memos.34 After asking Holder if he took the subpoena seriously and getting "Of course" from the AG, Issa said: "After 14 days of waiting for a letter to be signed or acknowledged or responded to, we sent a subpoena signed by the Clerk of the House." 32 days later, last night, your people responded by giving us 92 pages representing 3 documents that were public records already.  In other words, it took DOJ 46 days to produce documents Issa could have gleaned off the Internet. DOJ is sure complying with that subpoena. Sure. Uh-huh. After Issa asks about the ATF being responsible for American and Mexican deaths, Holder takes a defensive posture:
Holder: The notion that somehow or other this Justice Department is responsible for those deaths that you mentioned, that assertion’s offensive. And I want to tell you that – 
Issa: But what if it’s accurate, Mr. Attorney General? 
Holder has no response other than to filibuster for a while about how offended he is.
May 4, 2011 - CBS news reports35 Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer authorized a wiretap in Operation Fast and Furious. Yesterday AG Holder said he was not sure if Breuer authorized Fast and Furious. Another newly-released document is an ATF Briefing Paper dated Jan. 8, 2010, just four months into Fast and Furious. It indicates that ATF knew early on that so-called "straw purchasers" who bought guns for personal use were illegally transferring them to third parties, and that some of the guns were already showing up in Mexico. The Briefing Paper says more gun purchases were to be allowed and "monitored." The ATF Briefing Paper also states that Arizona U.S. Attorney Burke and ATF Phoenix chief William Newell were in "full agreement with the current investigative strategy."
May 4, 2011 - Prepared remarks by Senator Grassly include this definition of the issue: "The evidence that I and Congressman Issa have gathered is clear—the ATF sanctioned the sale of guns to straw purchasers that were then used in crimes on both sides of the Southwest border. Officials at both the Department and ATF knew of and approved the  operation." One blog reader comments: Let's see, Seal Team Six goes in and takes out Osama bin Laden and in less than 24 hours has him positively identified, and then buried at sea. And Holder here, the Attorney General can't figure out who was the jackwagon that signed off on Fast and Furious, several weeks after finding out about it.
May 5, 2011 - Senator Grassley threatens to hold up DOJ nominations over lack of cooperation into the Project Gunrunner scandal.
May 6, 2011 - Pajamas Media notes the scandal and says, "The U.S. government has effectively allowed weaponry to reach cartels, and now uses the violence they helped cause as a gun control argument."   If this seems far-fetched, consider Obama's anti-2A actions when serving on the board of the anti-gun Joyce Foundation.
May 6, 2011 - Finally, Manuel Osorio-Arellanes and at least two others indicted on 14 counts for Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry's murder.  The unsealing of the indictment comes just days after lawmakers repeated calls for justice in the killing of Terry. U.S. 
Attorney Dennis K. Burke announced the indictments. Burke was the U.S. Attorney involved in Operation Fast and Furious and "coincidentally" was sworn in as the United States Attorney for the District of Arizona on 16 September 2009 (just in time to work on Operation Fast and Furious portion of the Gunrunner scandal). It may only be "coincidence" that Burke served as Chief of Staff to Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano from 2003 to 2008 and once said that an “iron river” of weapons flows from Phoenix to 
Mexico.
May 7, 2011 - Darrell Issa welcomes the indictment in the Terry case, but isn't fooled for a second. His press statement includes this statement: It angers me to think that this death might not have occurred had it not been for reckless decisions made by officials at the Department of Justice who authorized and supported an operation that knowingly put guns in the hands of criminals.
May 9, 2011 - Meet COMPASS, the most dangerous database to the ATF scandal. In May 2009, the Attorney General’s Organized Crime Council established the International Organized Crime Intelligence and Operations Center (IOC-2) coordinating multijurisdictional investigations. The DOJ has oversight of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) which operates the OCDETF Fusion Center (OFC) to coordinate drug and financial investigations with multiple agencies. To better coordinate investigations, the OCDETF and IOC-2 formed a partnership. Due to the partnership, OFC and IOC-2 have co-located, and will pool data input and share access to Compass.  What does Compass collect for analysis and review? Everything. The data collected in Compass can be almost anything. Included are all the standard identifiers like name, social security number (SSN), and address. It can also include scars, marks, tattoos, license plate numbers, bank account numbers, etc. Even the information in reports of investigations filed by special agents. These reports are often free flowing narratives of events, meetings, and surveillance. All of the text, every word, is indexed and searchable. Both the OCDETF Fusion Center and the IOC-2 are located in Merrifield, Virginia. This is another nail in the coffin about Gunrunner being a "rouge operation."
May 10, 2011 - Arturo Valenzuela, the State Department's Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs, announces to friends he will soon leave the administration and return to his teaching post at Georgetown University. Is this the first desertion from Hillary's sinking State Department? 
May 10, 2011 - Brady Campaign spins the Gunrunner scandal as " disputed and unconfirmed."41 It releases a "report" about "officers gunned down".42 They treat the Gunrunner scandal as if it barely exists (but screw it up anyhow). "it [sic] is alleged that 
federal prosecutors and ATF permitted 1,998 guns to be purchased and retained by suspected straw buyers in the hope that a major case could be built. While the truth of those allegations are disputed and unconfirmed. it [sic] is undisputed that if firearms laws were stronger by prohibiting multiple sales and requiring responsible sales practices…" (emphasis added) Hey, Sarah, perhaps if the ATF hadn't overruled the dealers and told them to let the sales proceed, they wouldn't have taken place either. 
The Brady report says over 2,000 Mexican police were killed in 2007-2008 and footnotes the stat, which references "John Solomon, et al., ATF let hundreds of U.S. weapons fall into hands of suspected Mexican gunrunners, The Center For Public Integrity". Yet, Brady doesn't call for restrictions on the ATF to prevent it dealing guns to the cartels! (Note: Review of the article shows the footnotes do not coincide with the sections marked, at least not in some intelligent fashion.)
May 13, 2011 - White House girds for hearings. Eric Schultz, the former communications director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, joins the White House staff. Schultz's portfolio of issues will focus mainly on DOJ and other oversight-related topics. He will be one of three associate communications directors, alongside Kate Bedingfield and Sandra Abrevaya." 
May 13, 2011 - Hunker in the WH bunker: White House to seek 2-year extension for Mueller at FBI. Perhaps Obama doesn't want too many simultaneous vacant seats at the DOJ. Keeping Mueller means Obama will have at least one experienced hand to rely on 
for cover-ups and plausible deniability.
May 16, 2011 - CBS News reports congressional investigators are back on the ground in Phoenix for more interviews in the ATF "gunwalking" investigation. This time, sources tell CBS News, the investigators will be speaking with gun shop owners the ATF allegedly recruited to play a part in Operation Fast and Furious. Democrats on the House Oversight Committee also have representation on site.
May 16, 2011 - Smoking Gun? Ben Barrack at Andrew Breitbart's Bigpeace.com finds a potential "smoking gun" that could implicate the DOJ and White House. In Sept.  2010, Michael Isikoff on MSNBC wrote an article and linked a leaked DOJ strategy document.44 In that document are refers to supporting the strategy of "the President and  the Department of Justice."45 Of course, MSNBC is home to Chris "tingle up my leg"  Matthews, so the irony here could choke a donkey.                                                                     May 16, 2011 - Senator Grassley fires off a 4-page memo to Eric Holder demanding more immediate responses from DOJ.46 He attaches 9 pages of questions, including an excerpt from an ATF briefing paper. The excerpt reads: Currently our strategy is to allow the transfer of firearms to continue to take place in order to further the investigation…It's not a matter of if the ATF allowed guns into the cartel's hands, but who in the hell authorized it and why?
May 17, 2011 - CBS News reports a shake-up at the Phoenix ATF office. Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Bill Newell and Assistant Special Agent in Charge (ASAC) George Gillett were reassigned to ATF headquarters in Washington D.C. Jim Needles, has been 
tasked to the Phoenix U.S. Attorney's office. Agent David Voth, who directly supervised the Phoenix ATF "Group VII," that executed Fast and Furious was re-assigned to the U.S. Attorney's office along with Agent Hope McAllister, the agent in charge of Fast and Furious.
May 18, 2011 - ATF headquarters issues a memo to produce electronically all documents related to Gunrunner and Fast & Furious. It directs employees to preserve and produce relevant documents and forward them to ATF HQ. We presume an ATF damage control team will vet these before being sent to the oversight committee.
May 19, 2011 - DEA Captures 50-60 "Fast and Furious Guns - Refuses to turn them over to ATF. 47 CBS News reports that DEA agents recovered 50-60 AK-47s in a drug raid in Phoenix on April 13th.48 At least some of these firearms were part of "Operation 
Fast and Furious." Ironically for ATF, the DEA is refusing to turn them over to ATF.
May 21, 2011 - Federal prosecutors announce new indictments in Project Gunrunner.  A total of 8 people indicted in Brownsville, Texas, however three of those were under previous indictment. Millions spent, two agents dead, thousands of guns into Mexico to 
capture "big fish" and the best ATF can do is indict eight people?
May 22, 2011 - Fox News /William La Jeunesse has interviewed a federal confidential informant.49 He states the following: Drug flow into the US is increasing. Cartels have corrupted federal agents from several agencies. In his opinion, corruption on the US side is worse than on the Mexican side - he cited "operation gunrunner" as an example.  He believes that this corruption goes 'all the way to the top". He obtained the name and location of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry's killer, he was told to "ignore that, other 
agencies are working on that, that information isn't necessary." He confirms the Wikileaks information that the cartels are receiving large amounts of weapons from Central America and that weapons are flowing in both directions. Not only are guns going into Mexico, but also military weapons that cannot be purchased legally in the US are flowing north.
May 24, 2011 - World Net Daily publishes an article entitled: "White House 'strategy' on Project Gunrunner documented - Is report the 'smoking gun' in controversy over guns-to-Mexico?"  This article reveals the same "cartel strategy" document reported by Ben 
Barrack at Andrew Breitbart's Bigpeace.com on May 16th. The WND article reported accusations that this "strategy" was to justify gun control in the US. 
May 24, 2011 - The White House hires Jesse Lee as Director of Progressive Media & Online Response.51 Lee's job is to coordinate rapid response to unfavorable stories and fostering and improving relations with the progressive online community, according to Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer. Lee is the second communications flack to be hired within 2 weeks to deal with "bad press." Eric Schultz has to deal with Congress; Pfeiffer has to deal with the disappointed left-wing zealots. Who'll be the first to quit?
May 25, 2011 - Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) vows to block President Obama’s nominations until he gets detailed answers on the Gunwalker scandal. 
May 25, 2011 - Fox News reporter William La Jeunesse, citing Wikileaks data54, reports that the vast majority of guns used in the cartel wars in Mexico are diverted from sales to the Mexican and other governments. Guns sold through US retail channels are a small fraction of the total - not 90% as claimed by the Obama Administration.
May 30, 2001 - "Weinergate" begins breaking with allegations against Congressman Anthony Weiner. Predictably, this sucks up the media's prurient interests and diverts public attention from the Gunrunner scandal. At least for now.
June 1, 2011 - Kathleen Millar, writes an excellent analysis at the Foreign Policy Association's Global Organized Crime blog, calls the Gunrunner Scandal "Obama's Weaponsgate."
June 2, 2011 - .50 Caliber rifle recovered in Mexico. A report published today at Examiner.com indicated that a .50 Cal rifle 'walked" into Mexico under the "Fast and Furious" operation may have been used to shoot down a Mexican government helicopter.  In addition to the .50 Cal, it is suspected by the ATF that many other guns from the illfated program were recovered at the shoot out, in which 11 people were killed.
June 3, 2011 - In a letter to the President, 31 House Democrats ask the President to stop the DOJ stonewalling and resolve the Project Gunrunner issue.
June 5, 2011 - Rep. Issa, Chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, announces in a Fox News interview that he will hold public hearings on the ATF scandal this summer.58 He also stated that he has evidence that the program was approved at "the highest level."  He made it clear that he believes it is possible that both Eric Holder and President Obama knew of the program.  According to Issa, they have had excellent cooperation in the field and zero cooperation in Washington.
June 6, 2011 - CBS News reports that Issa will hold public hearing beginning June 13th.  CBS also reports on the letter 31 House Democrats sent to President Obama. 
June 6, 2011 - CBS News confirms that "Gunwalker" guns - illegally bought in the US with the help of the BATFE, and then smuggled into Mexico under their watchful eyes - were used to shoot down a Mexican military helicopter.61 This confirms the June 2 report that the .50 caliber Barrett rifle seized was part of the ATF program.
June 7, 2011 - Witness List: Darrell Issa releases the witness list for the first hearing on project Gunrunner.62 Issa starts by asking experts to weigh in on the question "Obstruction of Justice: Does the Justice Department Have to Respond to a Lawfully Issued and Valid Congressional Subpoena?" This should set the tone for the rest of the hearings, charges of contempt of congress and sanctions for failing to cooperate.
June 8, 2011 - Rep. Elijah Cummings defends not signing the letter sent by 31 House Democrats to the President urging cooperation with the investigation.  Aides to Cummings sound like schoolboys who forgot to do their homework. The first claim is that "DOJ is cooperating" —absurd on it's face given the stonewalling Grassley and Issa have faced — and as a result, "I can’t imagine …that we would have signed a letter saying that DOJ was not cooperating,” the aide said. Then the aide goes on to say that none of the House Democrats told Cummings they were sending the letter and he wasn't asked to sign on to it. 
Republican and Democratic aides with the committee have said that DOJ has been hampered by "technical difficulties" in producing the documents.  Really? It's only been what, five or six months since Grassley first asked DOJ for documents? Those glitches 
must be doozies! (Maybe they need a Compass?)
June 9, 2011 - Second Hearing Witness List: Issa's Oversight committee releases the schedule for the second Project Gunrunner hearing. Titled “Operation Fast and Furious: Reckless Decisions, Tragic Outcomes,” the hearing will take place on Wednesday, June 15.  Scheduled to appear are Senator Grassley, Ms. Josephine Terry, Border Agent Brian Terry's mother; Ms. Michelle Terry Balogh, Sister of the Late Border Agent Brian Terry and Mr. Robert Heyer, Cousin of the Late Border Agent Brian Terry. From the Phoenix ATF office: Special Agent Olindo James Casa, Special Agent Peter Forcelli, and Special Agent John Dodson and Mr. Ronald Weich, Assistant Attorney General, United States Department of Justice. 
June 9, 2011 - The London Telegraph runs an article saying Hillary Clinton may be seeking to become the head of the World Bank.63 Is she planning her next move to avoid being caught up in the Gunrunner scandal?
June 10, 2011 - More Damning Information: CBS News reports on the start of the hearings and includes some new bits of information.64 "Acting ATF director Kenneth Melson and his deputy, William Hoover, are said to have been "briefed weekly" on the 
investigation," CBS says. Also, even insiders appeared awed by the scale. Six months into the investigation, in March of last year, a senior ATF attorney under the Justice Department commented, "Every time I read this case, I am amazed at the amount of 
firearms we are talking about."
June 10, 2011 - DOJ in Panic Mode: Fox News is reporting that the DOJ is in full blown "panic mode" at the approaching House Oversight Committee hearings.65 By now, we're not surprised. The stench at DOJ must be bad enough to gag a maggot.
I want to know is this just another attack on our second amendment rights that uses our neighbor Mexico as victim and fallguy?

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