Issa pledges probe into ATF “gun walking” operation

posted at 12:15 pm on March 17, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Well, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) can scratch Janet Napolitano off of his witness list right off the bat, can’t he? The chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee told San Diego talk-radio host Roger Hedgecock that he already has four investigators working full time on “Operation Fast and Furious” to determine what happened and how two American law-enforcement agents got killed with weapons that the US government allowed to move across the border to Mexico. Budget cuts won’t be any excuse, Issa promised, but they will be an inevitable consequence:

Matt Lewis also picks up on this for his new blog at the Daily Caller:

Issa revealed his plans during an interview Wednesday evening on the Roger Hedgecock Show, saying it would be one of his “primary investigations.”

According to Issa, the official announcement will “come out in the next day or two.” He said that although he normally investigates “waste, fraud, and abuse in government that leads to loss of money,” in this case, two individuals — a Border Patrol Agent and an Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agent – “lost their lives needlessly because AK-47’s got over the border — not by accident — they got their as part of a plot by the very people that should be protecting them…”

“We’re going to get to the bottom of it … we’re going to hold those who lied to us early on accountable,” Issa promised Hedgecock.

Issa has a lot on his plate at the moment, what with tracking the Porkulus spending and the activities of the “czars” in the Obama administration. He could probably use some help from the House Judiciary and Homeland Security committees, which would have jurisdiction over the DoJ and DHS, respectively. They may already be coordinating efforts. We’ll know more after the official announcement, but clearly Congress needs to probe this apparently rogue operation and find out how such a dumb idea was allowed to be implemented in the first place, let alone take place supposedly without coordination at the top levels of both bureaucracies.


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let alone take place supposedly without coordination at the top levels of both bureaucracies.

I don’t believe this for a nanosecond…

ladyingray on March 17, 2011 at 12:19 PM

Janet is right on top of things. I was a little worried about our loose border till she told us how well border enforcment was working.

a capella on March 17, 2011 at 12:20 PM

A journalist’s guide to ‘Project Gunwalker’-Part One

The following is a summary and time line of articles appearing on the Sipsey Street Irregulars blog and Gun Rights Examiner

ATF management was allowing potentially hundreds of semiautomatic firearms to be walked across the Mexican border in order to pad statistics used to further budget and power objectives.


A Journalist’s Guide to ‘Project Gunwalker-Part Two

Insert witty screen name here on March 17, 2011 at 12:20 PM

Dr. Zero’s latest Column on the Gunwalker scandal:

Gun Walking WTF is going on at the BATFE? by John Hayward

Appearing on the Roger Hedgecock radio show Wednesday night, House Oversight chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) announced that he has opened an investigation into Project Gun Walker, which is developing into one of the most bizarre and dangerous scandals of the Obama Administration.

Project Gun Walker, also known by the case name “Fast and Furious” and “Operation Gunrunner,” was a plan in which the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives would deliberately allow guns into the hands of Mexican drug cartels, in order to “see where all the guns ended up, build a big case, and take down a cartel,” as whistleblower agent John Dodson explained to CBS News.

Writing at the St. Louis Examiner, gun rights advocate and blogger Kurt Hofmann questions “the BATFE / Department of Justice spin that this was a perhaps ill-considered, but still honorably intended, effort to bring down at least one major Mexican drug syndicate,” and suggests a more straightforward purpose for the seemingly incomprehensible Gun Walker operation was to “pad the statistics about Mexican ‘crime guns’ coming from the U.S. civilian market.” This would “strengthen the BATFE’s argument for more funding and power… and gun control advocates’ calls for more restrictive gun laws.”

Insert witty screen name here on March 17, 2011 at 12:21 PM

Gun Walking WTF is going on at the BATFE? by John Hayward

Insert witty screen name here on March 17, 2011 at 11:42 AM

…dam#…
….way to get results….

…………can you do anything about the NFL lockout,..I just paid for my season tickets and come August,I want to see some football!!!!

Baxter Greene on March 17, 2011 at 12:22 PM

Guns magazine article on Gunwalker:

Press Continues The Assault

Insert witty screen name here on March 17, 2011 at 12:25 PM

Can Issa be trusted to see this investigation through?

flyfisher on March 17, 2011 at 12:27 PM

This is such a huge scandal. It seems like it should be getting more attention than it has been. Letting vicious murderers right next door buy high-powered sniper rifles. Absolutely f’ing crazy.

WisCon on March 17, 2011 at 12:27 PM

let alone take place supposedly without coordination at the top levels of both bureaucracies.

Only the Mexican ATF office contacted Washington about the operation and the Phoenix office’s insistence that the Mexican government NOT be told what was going on. Someone there, someone high up, told them to keep their mouths shut.

Someone okayed the operation and then told the head of a field office to stay quiet. That would require someone in a highly placed position- and given that Obama has made a point of talking up the problem of guns going across the border it seems an awful big coincidence that the ATF were gaming the numbers like this without the knowledge of someone in his administration.

Jay Mac on March 17, 2011 at 12:28 PM

let alone take place supposedly without coordination at the top levels of both bureaucracies.

I don’t believe this for a nanosecond…

ladyingray on March 17, 2011 at 12:19 PM

I don’t know. It’s possible. This type of thing is sometimes done to give plausible deniability to the higher ups.

That being said, no one ever believes it when the higher ups say they know nothing about it, micro-management being the name of the game in liberal administrations.

The problem is the powers that be try to tie these things to the highest level possible, instead of going after the real culprits – those who actually implemented and approved the action. Obama may have ‘known’ about this but he surely didn’t ‘approve’ it or officially sign off on it, so forget about trying to tie it to him.

Go after JaNap or the ATF leads instead, that kind of thing.

catmman on March 17, 2011 at 12:28 PM

see where all the guns ended up, build a big case, and take down a cartel

I still just don’t get that. How in God’s name would that work?

1. US sends guns over the border
2. Cartel buys guns
3. ????
4. Take down cartel!

strictnein on March 17, 2011 at 12:29 PM

I believe that this was done for one principal reason, -to allow the compilation of bogus statistics regarding gun crime in Mexico being driven by US guns, which would be used to drive through anti-2nd Amendment legislation.

It almost worked. The last two years we were deluged with stories about “90% of crimes in Mexico involving US guns”. Stories were covered right here, and refuted here, but the liberal media pounded on them over and over again. Fox News got suckered as well, especially Greta who repeated the bogus stories only a couple of months ago. WaPo recycled the story too, only a couple of months ago.

I wonder if any of those news organizations are upset that they were used like two-bit hookers or White House interns?

Given the higher objective here, this had to come from the top.

slickwillie2001 on March 17, 2011 at 12:29 PM

oh yeah… pass the popcorn…

Khun Joe on March 17, 2011 at 12:29 PM

Go after JaNap or the ATF leads instead, that kind of thing.

catmman on March 17, 2011 at 12:28 PM

I’m sorry, I didn’t realize obaka was part of the top level of both bureaucracies. I do believe JaNap is…

ladyingray on March 17, 2011 at 12:31 PM

Issa needs to stop talking and start doing. I’m tired of talk. I want actions.

unseen on March 17, 2011 at 12:33 PM

Obama does not have time to look into the petty day to day cable-generated outrage of the ATF gunrunning scandal accusations. He is too busy penning another op-ed telling Arizona what they’re doing wrong.

MayBee on March 17, 2011 at 12:35 PM

This is such a huge scandal. It seems like it should be getting more attention than it has been. Letting vicious murderers right next door buy high-powered sniper rifles. Absolutely f’ing crazy.

WisCon on March 17, 2011 at 12:27 PM
—————————–

Do you mean like these?

ATF let hundreds of U.S. weapons fall into hands of suspected Mexican gunrunners

Gen. Antonio Erasto Monsivais holds up a seized .50 caliber Barrett model 99 single-shot rifle in the seized weapons warehouse at the headquarters of the Secretary of Defense in Mexico City. Mexican authorities have repeatedly complained that most of the weapons used by drug cartels there — including Barrett rifles — are coming from the U.S. The ATF’s Fast and Furious probe allowed guns to be trafficked south of the border in an effort to nail high-level cartel operatives Credit: Eduardo Verdugo/Associated Press

Insert witty screen name here on March 17, 2011 at 12:36 PM

to determine what happened and how two American law-enforcement agents got killed with weapons that the US government allowed to move across the border to Mexico.

WTF?

Look Issa. Investigate, conclude, prosecute and sentence. Wash, rinse repeat as necessary. No more interviews, I want late nights, pizza, and depositions.

ted c on March 17, 2011 at 12:36 PM

I believe that this was done for one principal reason, -to allow the compilation of bogus statistics regarding gun crime in Mexico being driven by US guns, which would be used to drive through anti-2nd Amendment legislation.

slickwillie2001 on March 17, 2011 at 12:29 PM

Hillary pushed this hard in a speech. This was a coordinated effort, not just the ATF chain.

a capella on March 17, 2011 at 12:36 PM

Let me get this straight; can the Obama administration take credit for creating or saving jobs by Issa having to hire investigators to find out why there’s Federal government corruption?

Rovin on March 17, 2011 at 12:39 PM

Gun running? Gun walking?

How about yet another ignorant attempt by this Administration to try to use lawyers to find that perfect legal case instead of simply using laws already on the books and destroying the cartels.

Can’t go after the users, that’d be racist.

Maybe if the Administration would simply read up on the laws already enacted? Then go after the bad guys with no mercy, no prisoners, no excuses?

Might even work well in other places…Afghanistan, the Somali Coast, Libya, South Philly…lots of possibilities if real bona fide adults were running the show.

coldwarrior on March 17, 2011 at 12:40 PM

The problem is the powers that be try to tie these things to the highest level possible, instead of going after the real culprits – those who actually implemented and approved the action. Obama may have ‘known’ about this but he surely didn’t ‘approve’ it or officially sign off on it, so forget about trying to tie it to him.

Go after JaNap or the ATF leads instead, that kind of thing.

catmman on March 17, 2011 at 12:28 PM

…If someone with credibility can tie the “higher ups” to corruption, it usually is a big deal and warrants a high profile investigation.

We have seen a good example of this with the Black Panther case, but we still have yet to see any serious actions being taken:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/right-turn/2011/01/the_us_commission_on_civil.html

The statements indicate several points: 1) the New Black Panther Party case brought by career Justice Department employees was meritorious on the law and the facts; 2) there is voluminous evidence of the Obama administration’s political interference in the prosecution of the New Black Panther Party case; 3) there is ample evidence that the Obama administration directed Justice Department employees not to bring cases against minority defendants who violated voting rights laws or to enforce a provision requiring that states and localities clean up their voting rolls to prevent fraud; 4) the Justice Department stonewalled efforts to investigate the case; and 5) vice chairman Abigail Thernstrom has, for reasons not entirely clear, ignored the evidence and tried to undermine the commission’s work.

This is major corruption that goes right to the heart of our democratic system…the right to free and credible elections.

I hope this ATF case does not come to the same point of conclusion only to sit in limbo.

Baxter Greene on March 17, 2011 at 12:42 PM

Issa needs to stop talking and start doing. I’m tired of talk. I want actions.

unseen on March 17, 2011 at 12:33 PM

This.

I had high hopes for Issa, especially with all the “low hanging fruit” the Soetoro regime provided – like the firing of Gerald Walpin. So far, nothing.

Pick up your game, Mr. Issa.

Rebar on March 17, 2011 at 12:45 PM

Here you go

Harry Reid: The Tea Party Is Over!

Nearly Nobody on March 17, 2011 at 12:45 PM

Issa needs to stop talking and start doing. I’m tired of talk. I want actions.

unseen on March 17, 2011 at 12:33 PM

My sentiments exactly . . . enough rhetoric, let’s get on with it.

rplat on March 17, 2011 at 12:57 PM

So far Issa is a really BIG TALKER……….

Unimpressed with with the blathering Rep. Issa.

Put up or shut up.

PappyD61 on March 17, 2011 at 12:59 PM

Go after JaNap or the ATF leads instead, that kind of thing.

catmman on March 17, 2011 at 12:28 PM

Issa should be leaning on Napolitano and the ATF HARD and holding immediate hearings.

He should also be “suggesting” that the ATF’s scope and funding be reviewed. This is an agency that has been doing stupid $hit in an attempt for relevance and higher funding for about 20 years now and seriously needs to be reigned in.

teke184 on March 17, 2011 at 1:00 PM

Baxter Greene on March 17, 2011 at 12:42 PM

My point is when this kind of thing comes up, many try to tie it to the highest level possible and then no one has anything done to them.

All the ‘capital’ was wasted trying to bring down the bull, it gets demagogued into a ‘witch hunt’, everyone loses interest and then no one is held accountable.

I’m not saying there shouldn’t be an investigation, of course there should. But it needs to go after those like JaNap or the ATF chief, whatever.

catmman on March 17, 2011 at 1:01 PM

teke184 on March 17, 2011 at 1:00 PM

Word.

catmman on March 17, 2011 at 1:02 PM

apparently rogue operation

Yeah, and Watergate was rouge too.

Limerick on March 17, 2011 at 1:05 PM

Treason – … the crime of giving aid or comfort to the enemies of one’s government.

Since the border agents were duly recognized representatives of our Government…

Article III, Section 3, Clause 1:

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

The Congress shall have power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.

I think its time for some Constitutional justice… and seek the death penalty.

dominigan on March 17, 2011 at 1:18 PM

Fill The Jails…!!!

Seven Percent Solution on March 17, 2011 at 1:20 PM

What a story this government gun running operation is – and that IS what it is. All this evidence, and yet none dare call it an…(wait for it)… inside job.

abobo on March 17, 2011 at 1:23 PM

Given the current administration’s desire not to be held accountable for anything – you can bet the higher ups will disavow any knowledge of the event – or blame Bush.

GarandFan on March 17, 2011 at 1:29 PM

The more I look at this, I find compelling evidence that this “gun walking” is merely an attempt to usurp the Second Amendment by trying to lay the blame for the drug cartels and violent crime on American gun ownership and manufacturer in general.

Never let a crisis go to waste…and when you can make up a crisis out of whole cloth, so much the better.

On a related note…Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md, is introducing legislation to toss out individual state laws on driving age and make it a matter of federal jurisdiction.

Little bit by little bit, the Dems are going to try to make everything a federal matter…and thus take away the entire concept of individual liberties, states rights, and common sense…and replace all of it with an all-encompassing national control authority of some sort from womb to tomb.

The statists are here…today.

coldwarrior on March 17, 2011 at 1:34 PM

On a related note…Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md, is introducing legislation to toss out individual state laws on driving age and make it a matter of federal jurisdiction.

Wonderful. Because when I think of who should know how old drivers should be in suburban Louisiana, I want to listen to a bunch of jackholes representing Manhattan, San Francisco, or other places where driving is generally not an option for someone below their 20s.

teke184 on March 17, 2011 at 1:42 PM

Apparently Mexico is upset about this more than most of our media:

Mexico lawmakers livid over US ‘Operation Fast and Furious’

Mexican lawmakers have condemned the US ‘Operation Fast and Furious,’ which purportedly allows gun smuggling in order to track weapons to Mexican drug lords.

How ‘Fast and Furious’ backfired

A Phoenix-based operation, Fast and Furious backfired when two of the weapons in the program were found at the scene of a border shootout that killed US Border Patrol agent Brian Terry in December. ATF whistleblowers and some US congressmen kicked up a fuss over a program they feared would aid cartels in killing innocent people. And last month, a gun smuggled from the US was used in the killing of US Special Agent Jamie Zapata outside Mexico City, although it has not been determined that the gun was part of Fast and Furious.

Insert witty screen name here on March 17, 2011 at 1:43 PM

Guys, guys, guys.

It’s not about taking down cartels.

It’s about putting American gun dealers out of business.

Please understand that the ATF agent doesn’t get promoted unless he has arrests and convictions. Like any government agency, the overall goal is to grow in size, budget, and scope. The more people in this country comply with gun laws, the more the ATF has to create criminals in order to advance careers and increase budgets.

fossten on March 17, 2011 at 1:52 PM

Normally it is wise not to ascribe to malice that which can be explained by stupidity. But the BATF has a long history of stupidity and malice combined resulting in disaster.

So in this case I’m leaning toward the intentional generation of bogus numbers to exploit for political purposes, i.e. funding and expanded powers. The ‘bring down the cartel” BS is a smoke screen to cover the real purposes. In fact, that would align with the motives of BATF agents responsible for past disasters.

novaculus on March 17, 2011 at 1:58 PM

Interesting point made on another blog:

All of this coming out about project gunrunner makes you wonder if this type of thing was done on the Northern side of the border.

Just spit-balling here but think about the possibility that if certain people were allowed to purchase guns when they should not of been allowed to, couldn’t that of been the case with the shooter in Tucson?

Just suppose that the skids were greased so that Loughner was enabled to carry out his plot.

The ATF let certain people take guns across the border, it’s conceivable they could have let the nutcase in Tucson access to a gun to produce their own little Reichstag moment.

The Democratic Party was certainly able to get a lot of mileage out of that incident; it was certainly a fortuitous event for them.

Galt2009 on March 17, 2011 at 2:12 PM

It almost worked. The last two years we were deluged with stories about “90% of crimes in Mexico involving US guns”. ………

slickwillie2001 on March 17, 2011 at 12:29 PM

Yeah, that old saw. Actually 90% of the guns that can be traced that are taken from criminals in Mexico are traced to the US. The only problem is that only about 10% of the guns can be traced. The chinese don’t put serial numbers on their AK’s.

That 9% of guns needed to be pumped up.

iurockhead on March 17, 2011 at 2:24 PM

Now if the BATFE was selling guns to cartels that would blow up in the face of the shooter on the third round, I would be all for it. Just a little creative engineering, and fewer armed animals south of the border.

I can dream, can’t I?

iurockhead on March 17, 2011 at 2:27 PM

What a nightmare this administration is. If we only had one thing after another, it would seem like a break from our tsunami of BS.

jodetoad on March 17, 2011 at 2:31 PM

let alone take place supposedly without coordination at the top levels of both bureaucracies.

I don’t believe this for a nanosecond…

ladyingray on March 17, 2011 at 12:19 PM

What’s the likelihood that rogue operations are truly “rogue” and not just devoid of fingerprints?

SKYFOX on March 17, 2011 at 2:37 PM

see where all the guns ended up, build a big case, and take down a cartel

I still just don’t get that. How in God’s name would that work?

1. US sends guns over the border
2. Cartel buys guns
3. ????
4. Take down cartel!

strictnein on March 17, 2011 at 12:29 PM

This cracked me up. Thanks,I needed a laugh today.

silvernana on March 17, 2011 at 2:58 PM

Issa needs to stop talking and start doing. I’m tired of talk. I want actions.

unseen on March 17, 2011 at 12:33 PM

This! He has done a lot of talking since the election. Stop talking, start acting!

silvernana on March 17, 2011 at 3:01 PM

I still just don’t get that. How in God’s name would that work?

1. US sends guns over the border
2. Cartel buys guns
3. ????
4. Take down cartel!

strictnein on March 17, 2011 at 12:29 PM

Of course you are correct, it doesn’t work.

What could work is a plan to “discover” these US “walking guns” illegally in Mexico. That would give political cover and “proof” of a huge crisis that only strict new gun control laws in the US would fix.

It’s just a happy coincidence that it’s exactly what Obama and the Democrats want to happen.

RJL on March 17, 2011 at 3:40 PM

It’s just a happy coincidence that it’s exactly what Obama and the Democrats want to happen.

RJL on March 17, 2011 at 3:40 PM

And it’s gonna work. How many people in this country do you folks think have ever heard the words “gun” and “walker” together in the same sentence, side by side like that? What I mean is, the name of the scandal itself is still only being reported on blogs like this and the details are being reported even more scarcely.

This will go nowhere. The media will never cover it. Thinking you can shame them into reporting something that could harm their creation is naive at best.

runawayyyy on March 17, 2011 at 5:17 PM