Posts Tagged ‘guns’
Talking about Gun Control Battle Moves to the States with Rick and Howard Nemerov.
Due to a prior commitment, I couldn’t watch Univision’s broadcast of their Fast and Furious investigation last night. Univision has the videos here, where you can watch the entire series without English subtitles. Among their findings,
- Some of the Mexican authorities knew about F&F, which contradicts statements from Mexican functionaries saying they had no knowledge of the program.
- An ATF source asserts that Operation Castaway, launched in Florida, allowed weapons to end up in the hands of drug cartels in Honduras, Colombia and Puerto Rico.
- Lawyers of ICE agent Jaime Zapata, who was murdered in a Mexican highway, state that the weapons were used by a gang being investigated by the ATF on a separate investigation.
Sooper Mexican has video with subtitles of part of the show:
The hour-long Univision report revealed the existence of another 57 guns recovered by Mexican authorities, including some of those used in the mass-murder at a party just one year after Obama’s inauguration...
These 57 recovered weapons discovered are in addition to the 122 weapons referenced in a congressional report. It is chilling to learn that each weapon recovered was dumped at the scene of a crime by cartel members who had attempted, and in most cases completed, the crime of first-degree murder. It is even more disturbing to know that American Department of Justice officials knew that most of the weapons walked over the border would only be discarded by the police and recovered by Mexican authorities after they were used in a crime, and that they were indifferent to the body count being racked up, callously noting that to make an omelet, eggs had to be broken.
While the Univision report focused on guns the DOJ ran to Mexican cartels, there is enough evidence to suggest other Obama administration-sanctioned gun-walking plots arming domestic criminal gangs, such as the so-called Gangwalker plot in Indiana, which supplied Chicago street gangs, and similar rumored operations in California, North Carolina, northern Florida, and elsewhere, which provided weapons to gangs in U.S. cities. Nor has the Univision report focused on weapons that have found their way to cartels via the State Department or the Department of Defense.
More captioned video at ABC:
Plus the Daily Caller:
Up until now, Holder has insisted that the White House had absolutely nothing to do with Fast & Furious. Now Obama asserts executive privilege on some Fast and Furious documents
The White House move means the Department of Justice can withhold some of the documents from the House Oversight Committee, which was scheduled to consider a contempt measure Wednesday against Holder.
“The assertion of executive privilege raises monumental questions,” Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley said in a statement released Wednesday shortly after the president’s move. “How can the President assert executive privilege if there was no White House involvement? How can the President exert executive privilege over documents he’s supposedly never seen? Is something very big being hidden to go to this extreme? The contempt citation is an important procedural mechanism in our system of checks and balances. The questions from Congress go to determining what happened in a disastrous government program for accountability and so that it’s never repeated again.”
The White House may claim that anyone in the executive branch can claim executive privilege. That’s not going to work,
In the landmark case that spells out presidential executive privilege, United States vs Nixon (1974), the Supreme Court found that executive privilege pertains to communications directly with the president, and otherwise limited the scope of executive privilege. Today’s move by the White House implies either that Fast and Furious reaches directly into the Oval Office, or that the White House is challenging the Nixon ruling. Either way, today’s assertion is a major escalation of the scandal.
Now that the White House has jumped in, will the media pay attention?
Phineas has more on the topic.
Memories… from 2007;
The weapons will even be handed out to militias affiliated with Chavez to help them expropriate property from the one percenters of Venzuela. But there’s a dark side to it.
The Foreign Policy Research Institute thinks the weapons are also destined for drug cartels, terror groups and assorted bad guys in Latin America.
In a global triangulation that would excite any conspiracy buff, the globalization of terrorism now links Colombian FARC with Hezbollah, Iran with Russia, elected governments with violent insurgencies, uranium with AK-103s, and cocaine with oil. At the center of it all, is Latin America—especially the countries under the influence of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez.
At this rate the drug cartels in Latin America will have connections not just to local politicians but to foreign powers.
Oh, but they do.
Maybe Congressman Darrell Issa has got the wrong idea about Operation Fast and Furious, in which the Justice Department allegedly armed Mexican cartels. Suppose F&F wasn’t about a gun sale program gone wrong but one gone according to plan?
The authorities certainly need a new one. Decapitating cartel leadership isn’t working, and the drug war isn’t going anywhere. So perhaps the only thing left is to to take over the cartels or at least ‘engage’ with them and use them as proxy militias. The serious of the nexus between international politics and drug gangs arose in late 2011 when it was revealed that cartels were planning to attack US targets in Mexico with US supplied guns.
I’m not sure that the cartels want to buy Chavez’s inferior weapons when they can afford the best, but a large supply of Cheap and Nasty can certainly destabilize Hugo’s (or post-Hugo‘s) Venezuela and his client countries long enough that the weapons’ quality may not be an issue. Cuba, Bolivia, Nicaragua come to mind – and Hugo even mentioned Argentina.
All for his Bolivarian Revolution, that is.
However, Richard makes a strong case for the reasons behind F&F.
Go read his full post, and ponder his last statement,
Maybe every drug gang is now looking for a patron — Russia, Iran come to mind — so if not you’re not one, then why become another?
Cheap & Nasty, Fast & Furious; all deadly.
Linked by Babalu. Thanks!
The Mexican ambassador to the USA was speaking at a Democrat-sponsored event to promote tighter gun laws in the USA:
Mexican official: Fast and Furious ‘poisoned’ public opinion of US
“Fast and Furious has poisoned the well-spring of public opinion in Mexico as it relates to the cooperation and engagement with the United States,” Sarukhan said.
“It does put a lot of strain on the huge strides that we’ve achieved with two successive administrations in the United States,” he said.
The Mexican ambassador to the United States told a Capitol Hill forum that his government was “kept in the dark” about U.S. government-condoned and abetted “gunwalking” operations, and also questioned the intent behind Operation Fast and Furious, The Los Angeles Times is reporting today. Appearing before “the New Democrat Network…a center-left think tank and advocacy organization, and the New Policy Institute, one of its sister organizations,” Arturo Sarukhan’s claims raise questions as to why major news outlets like The Times are just now getting around to reporting on information raised in this column and on the Sipsey Street Irregulars blog back in January, 2011.
I’m not sure that they were firsts; Bob Owens has been on top of this story for well over a year.
UPDATE: I checked with Bob Owens, who confirmed that they were indeed breaking the story, but also stated, “If it wasn’t for these two guys, we wouldn’t know half of what we know.”
- Who conceived this radical departure from normal law enforcement practices? Who conceived an operation requiring the deaths of hundreds or thousands of Mexican nationals for its success?
- Which Department of Justice officials saw that Operation Fast and Furious needed hundreds or thousands of firearms to be given to the cartels and recovered at the scenes of crimes, knew that the crimes in question were likely to be murders of Mexican nationals or U.S. citizens along the Mexican border where the cartels operate, and approved the operation anyway?
- Knowing that Operation Fast and Furious could be the political and criminal albatross that drives away moderates and Latino voters and destroys his chances of winning a second term, why does President Obama refuse to appoint a special prosecutor or to call for Eric Holder and his direct reports to resign?
Unless and until those questions are unequivocally answered, Mexico-US relations will not improve. Unfortunately, Sarukhan is playing into the hands of the very people who flooded his country with assault weapons.
wasn’t “botched.” It was meant to do everything that it did — except get found out. The goal was to create a climate of opinion that favored gun control, and it’s ironic to see Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) still trying to put it to this use.
Oh, the Dems will continue to do so, for as long as they can get away with it.
Fast and Furious weapons were found in Mexico cartel enforcer’s home
Guns illegally purchased under the ATF operation were found in April hidden in violence-plagued Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, court records show. (emphasis added)
High-powered assault weapons illegally purchased under the ATF’s Fast and Furious program in Phoenix ended up in a home belonging to the purported top Sinaloa cartel enforcer in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, whose organization was terrorizing that city with the worst violence in the Mexican drug wars.
In all, 100 assault weapons acquired under Fast and Furious were transported 350 miles from Phoenix to El Paso, making that West Texas city a central hub for gun traffickers. Forty of the weapons made it across the border and into the arsenal of Jose Antonio Torres Marrufo, a feared cartel leader in Ciudad Juarez, according to federal court records and trace documents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Torres Marrufo is still out there, somewhere.
Apparently the weapons purchased in Phoenix, Arizona, made their way through Texas,
Three months into the program, El Paso began to emerge as a hub, perhaps the central location, for Fast and Furious weapons. On Jan. 13, 2010, El Paso police stumbled upon 40 firearms after following a suspicious dark blue Volkswagen Jetta that backed into a garage at a local residence, according to federal court records.
At about that time, the Justice Department’s No. 2 figure, directly under Attorney General Eric Holder, was being briefed on Fast and Furious,
Documents recently turned over by the Justice Department to Congressional investigators indicate that then-Deputy Attorney General Gary Grindler received a detailed briefing on Fast and Furious more than a year and a half ago.
“Deputy Attorney General” is the Justice Department’s No. 2 figure, directly under Attorney General Eric Holder.
Grindler moved from Deputy Attorney General to a spot as Holder’s chief of staff last January.
The briefing Grindler attended was on March 12, 2010, six months into ATF’s Operation Fast and Furious, which allowed thousands of weapons on the street in an attempt to track down Mexican drug cartels. Portions of the documents are redacted.
In handwritten notes about Fast and Furious that are not all legible, Grindler writes about “seizures in Mexico” and “links to cartel.” He also noted “seizures in Mexico” on a map of Phoenix, the home base for Fast and Furious, and Mexico locations where some guns ended up. And Grindler made notations on a photograph of several dozen rifles.
Holder continues to deny any involvement.
The bigger issue is, why is there no special prosecutor appointed yet?
To date, the ATF operation, which encouraged gun shops in the American southwest to sell weapons to suspected criminals and let them carry the weapons across the border, has resulted in an estimated 150 Mexican law enforcement officers and soldiers shot with ATF-supplied weapons. While the theory behind the plot was different, the end result is no more deplorable than Iran’s arming of Iraqi terrorists.
At least two American law enforcement officers have been murdered with ATF weapons as well. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed with “Gunwalker” firearms in Arizona, while ICE Special Agent Jaime Zapata was killed in an ambush in Mexico with a gun the ATF allowed to be sold to a cartel gun smuggler in Dallas.
The damning evidence that the U.S. Department of Justice agency is a major supplier of cartel weapons will go in front of a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee this week, in what could be a damning indictment of the ATF’s senior leadership and Eric Holder’s leadership of the Department of Justice.
Attorney General Holder has apparently ordered the DOJ to fight Congressional oversight, with the DOJ and ATF ignoring seven letters and a subpoena from the committee. Neither Holder nor ATF Director Ken Melson will answer questions — which may lead to them being held in contempt of Congress.
Owens also touches on the 90% fallacy.
Go read every word.
Arthur Chrenkoff sets Bono straight,
Dear Bono: Get Your Facts Straight
At a concert in Mexico City, Bono repeats the “90% lie” about U.S. gun shops selling to cartels
The drug-fueled violence and lawlessness in Mexico are truly horrible. But that old canard that drugs don’t kill Mexicans, American guns kill Mexicans, was a bit too much for me. Particularly when you say it to tens of thousands of Mexican fans who are likely to treat everything that comes out of your mouth as gospel truth. I made that point in a comment underneath your Facebook post. As of the next day, your post was “liked” by almost 12,000 people, and more than 550 fans commented. To my surprise, I found that even amidst this huge love-fest, six strangers agreed with my sentiment. Doesn’t seem like much, but it’s not about numbers; it’s about the truth.
And unfortunately your numbers, Bono, are wrong.
– The Black Market. Mexico is a virtual arms bazaar, with fragmentation grenades from South Korea, AK-47s from China, and shoulder-fired rocket launchers from Spain, Israel and former Soviet bloc manufacturers.
– Russian crime organizations. Interpol says Russian Mafia groups such as Poldolskaya and Moscow-based Solntsevskaya are actively trafficking drugs and arms in Mexico.
- South America. During the late 1990s, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) established a clandestine arms smuggling and drug trafficking partnership with the Tijuana cartel, according to the Federal Research Division report from the Library of Congress.
– Asia. According to a 2006 Amnesty International Report, China has provided arms to countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Chinese assault weapons and Korean explosives have been recovered in Mexico.
– The Mexican Army. More than 150,000 soldiers deserted in the last six years, according to Mexican Congressman Robert Badillo. Many took their weapons with them, including the standard issue M-16 assault rifle made in Belgium.
– Guatemala. U.S. intelligence agencies say traffickers move immigrants, stolen cars, guns and drugs, including most of America’s cocaine, along the porous Mexican-Guatemalan border. On March 27, La Hora, a Guatemalan newspaper, reported that police seized 500 grenades and a load of AK-47s on the border. Police say the cache was transported by a Mexican drug cartel operating out of Ixcan, a border town.
Prior posts here, including this,
Robert Farago asks,
Mystery surrounds the ATF Gunwalker scandal. Who authorized the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ stingless sting operation that allowed, indeed enabled thousands of U.S. guns to flow to Mexican drug cartels? Why is the Obama administration stonewalling the Congressional investigation of Project Gunrunner and Operation Fast and Furious? What else are they hiding? And here’s another one: why has Mexican President Felipe Calderon remained on the sidelines of this story, continuing to cozy-up to President Obama when it’s clear that Uncle Sam supplied weapons to the narco-terrorists plaguing his country?
Here’s an explanation,
Anabel Hernández has made quite the charge: the Sinaloa cartel has bought the Mexican government lock, stock and Calderon. What’s more, the DEA knows about the corruption and plays ball with Calderon to catch other cartels, giving the Sinaloas a pass. Which would account for Calderon’s lack of indignation on the whole Gunwalker deal.
No matter whose, it all boils down to corruption.