Gunwalker: The Fast and Furious scandal expands Update: Gun control lobby involved?

posted at 1:20 pm on June 20, 2011 by Jazz Shaw

Over the last week we’ve given you a couple of reports on the emerging scandal surrounding the ATF’s disastrously handled Operation Fast and Furious, also known as Operation Gunwalker. Over the weekend, Pajamas Media (where they have been doing a bang-up job breaking and covering this story) brought forth more damning details coming from Darrell Issa’s investigation. In particular, some of the comments from whistle-blowers inside the ATF have been beyond alarming.

Page 27: [Special Agent John Dodson, the original whistle blower]

“Well, every time we voiced concerns…But every day being out here watching a guy go into the same gun store buying another 15 or 20 AK-47s or variants or . . . five or ten Draco pistols or FN Five-seveNs . . . guys that don’t have a job, and he is walking in here spending $27,000 for three Barrett .50 calibers …and you are sitting there every day and you can’t do anything…”

Page 38: [Dodson, speaking about ATF supervisors in Phoenix and their disregard for lives lost due to Fast & Furious]

“[T]here was a prevailing attitude amongst the group and outside of the group in the ATF chain of command… I was having a conversation with Special Agent [L] about the case in which the conversation ended with me asking her are you prepared to go to a border agent’s funeral over this… because that’s going to happen. And the sentiment that was given back to me by both her, the group supervisor, was that…if you are going to make an omelette [sic], you need to scramble some eggs.”

There’s more at the link, so check out the entire thing. At this point it’s difficult to believe that this isn’t going to end very badly for a lot of the players involved. While the old school media was slow off the mark on this story, by this morning even the Morning Joe crew was covering it at MSNBC, so the lid seems to be well and truly off the pot.

The unresolved questions at this stage seem to be less about how this was screwed up so badly, but rather who authorized this debacle and how high up the food chain it goes. As Ed Morrissey already noted, it looks like the president will be tossing acting head of the ATF, Kenneth Melson under the bus. But given the scope of this scandal, the horrific damage which resulted (including the loss of American agents’ lives) and the sheer stupidity of the plan, well…

I think you’re going to need a bigger bus.

UPDATE: Also at PJM, Bob Owens has yet another update. Was this a move to boost up the gun control lobby?

The obvious answer is that Gunwalker’s objective was never intended to be a “legitimate law enforcement interest.” Instead, it appears that ATF Acting Director Ken Melson and Department of Justice senior executives specifically created an operation that was designed from the outset to arm Mexican narco-terrorists and increase violence substantially along both sides of the Southwest border.

Success was measured not by the number of criminals being incarcerated, but by the number of weapons transiting the border and the violence those weapons caused. An ATF manager was “delighted” when Gunwalker guns started showing up at drug busts. It would be entirely consistent with this theory if DOJ communications reflected the approval of the ATF senior officials they were colluding with — but as we know, Holder’s Department of Justice refuses to cooperate.

ALSO: While this may look like the “Gong” show, the word was “going” as noted in the comments. Corrected.

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Lorien, I understand we’re starting to speculate this was a scheme to justify more gun control but I want to hear “their” explantion when we ask “WTF was this all supposed to be about??”

And you think ATF and DOJ will actually tell you that gun control was their objective? Not unless they’re waterboarded.

GarandFan on June 20, 2011 at 8:25 PM

In Watergate noone was killed and people went to jail. Here Obama/Holder will get away with murder. Difference is Dem president and compliant media.

txmomof6 on June 20, 2011 at 9:23 PM

.50 cal rifles are a real threat to the armored cars and APCs of the Mexican army.

Rebar on June 20, 2011 at 6:42 PM

Believe it or not, RPG-7′s are both cheaper and more effective against LAVs than the .50 BMG. A basic launcher is $75 and cost per explosive warhead is in the $50-$125 range… so which would you rather get, a few launchers and lots of reloads or a single Barrett for your $7k?

The equation does not make sense.

And beyond the one FA TSMG that was a US collector’s item the BATF bought from a collector, there have been other TSMGs showing up in like-new condition and the only place on this planet to get those are in the old Lend-Lease stocks in Russia. They got thousands of them during the war but didn’t use 45ACP… when NOS starts showing up in Mexico it can only have one source: Russia.

Nice to know the Red Mafia is helping out down there, no?

ajacksonian on June 20, 2011 at 9:41 PM

TRAITOROUS?

PappyD61 on June 20, 2011 at 2:08 PM

Absolutely!

Gang-of-One on June 20, 2011 at 9:58 PM

Being born in the radicalism of the SDS/Weather Underground plotting Communist takeover of the US in the 60′s & 70′s they will stop at nothing to implement their agenda.

Wow, what a conincidence. That’s the exact time period I began buying every weapon I could afford and became what some of my hippy friends called a gun-homo.

Surprising how many of them grew out of the hippy sh!t and now “cling to guns!”

Gang-of-One on June 20, 2011 at 10:19 PM

[Posted elsewhere]

On the topic of Obama’s Fast and Furious impeachment, just a couple of questions:

First, How stupid do they think we are?

Obama, Shrillary and the rest of the Communists and gun grabbers come out with the bogus factoid of the 90% myth and they expect us all to swallow it hook, line and sinker. Then “Someone” in the most transparent of presidential administrations sets up a program specially designed to funnel guns across the border to back up this claim.

How did they think we weren’t(corrected)going to find out about this and demand some fast and furious resignations?

Did they really think that we would just surrender our rights to defend our selves just because of this little fraud of theirs?

Reports are that they delighted in the reports of traceable guns being found at crime scenes, in other words, they were giddy at the carnage their stupid plan inflicted on people.

Don’t the democrats care about people? Or are they really just pawns in a struggle for control of everyone’s life.

They had to have known that just letting these guns “Walk” would have resulted in crime, death and destruction.

Why didn’t they care about the ‘results’ of their little plan to subvert our Constitutional rights????

Insert witty screen name here on June 20, 2011 at 10:24 PM

Finally Bob Owens is bringing up the real goal. There never was a law enforcement mission here. This was salting the mine to make Hillary’s claims about American guns fueling the drug wars become credible. If they follow this up the ladder I’d bet dollars to doughnuts the State Department is involved.

rcl on June 20, 2011 at 10:28 PM

If Valarie Plame demanded a Special Prosecutor…

THIS is screaming for it!

Seven Percent Solution on June 20, 2011 at 10:42 PM

If Valarie Plame demanded a Special Prosecutor…

… THIS is screaming for it!

Seven Percent Solution on June 20, 2011 at 10:42 PM

Phht. That’s for sure. She was an office worker. I’ll never forgive Fitzgerald for that outrage and I hope Republicans in Congress never do.

slickwillie2001 on June 20, 2011 at 11:11 PM

You can read the Oversight Committee’s report here:
http://oversight.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1341:report-four-atf-agents-working-on-controversial-operation-fast-and-furious-tell-their-story&catid=22:releasesstatements
Their link to the actual PDF is at the bottom.


Mike Vanderboegh and David Codrea are the Woodward and Bernstein of the Second Amendment. For those not reading it, be sure to check SipseyStreetIrregulars and Codrea’s Examiner columns.

CPL 310 on June 20, 2011 at 11:54 PM

CPL 310 on June 20, 2011 at 11:56 PM

So Melson is telling his friends he did nothing wrong and sees no reason to resign. That is one step removed from “I was only following orders.” Melson is sending a message he won’t go alone.

As Acting Director, the only people in authority over him are at the DOJ. I think he reports to Lanny Breuer who heads up the criminal division at Justice.

novaculus on June 21, 2011 at 1:06 AM

Success was measured not by the number of criminals being incarcerated, but by the number of weapons transiting the border and the violence those weapons caused. An ATF manager was “delighted” when Gunwalker guns started showing up at drug busts.

this is immoral and criminal.

ted c on June 21, 2011 at 6:27 AM

An ATF manager was “delighted” when Gunwalker guns started showing up at drug busts.

The same ATF manager must have been “ecstatic” at Agent Brian Terry’s funeral . . .

BigAlSouth on June 21, 2011 at 6:45 AM

Believe it or not, RPG-7′s are both cheaper and more effective against LAVs than the .50 BMG. A basic launcher is $75 and cost per explosive warhead is in the $50-$125 range… so which would you rather get, a few launchers and lots of reloads or a single Barrett for your $7k?

The equation does not make sense.

ajacksonian on June 20, 2011 at 9:41 PM

Thing is, while possession of an RPG 7 is totally illegal in the U.S., the ownership of .50 BMG firing Barrett rifles is a state by state thing.

Now, if you can point to Barretts as a “hideous crime spree just waiting to happen! Look! We have PROOF!” which would appear to be the objective in giving the narco-thugs such weapons, to illustrate the perverted perception of the point, as desired by the gun grabbers of all political persuasions, then it makes more sense, yes?

This isn’t about total anarchy, this is about targeted, well orchestrated and documented anarchy for the purpose of framing the 2nd Amendment debate.

It would have worked to if not for those meddling- OOPS! forgot:

The Won and his criminal AG are immune to the scrutiny of the press: They’re black, so accusing them of committing felony crimes is a terrible racist stereotype!/

This story needs to get out there to everyone with ears and two working brain cells and blown wide open.

Sadly, while you can try Holder in criminal court for felony crimes, Obama gets to be tried by a jury of his friends and party associates.

That and probably more than a couple GOP Senators who, fearing they’ll be called “racists”, wouldn’t vote to convict if a Gunrunner gun was used to kill their own mother.

Everybody here knows the ones I’m talking about.

So there you have it: A moment of absolute distress. An absolute low for our nation and system of government as a whole.

Excuse me while I go and vomit.

(Any apparent anger voiced in the above rant is not directed at you, ajacksonian, please don’t take it that way. This whole thing just caused a gasket to pop and I’m in a world of pissed off I’ve never seen before. Don’t take the tone of the post personally.)

SuperCool on June 21, 2011 at 6:49 AM

Haven’t been keeping up to much on this but …

As I understand – ATF didn’t actually SELL guns – they simply allowed someone to sell these guns – illegally?

It’s hard for me to believe that a gun seller would risk his business like this. Has a connection been made between the ATF and those who sold the guns? Maybe the ATF was actually behind the sales of these guns?

HondaV65 on June 21, 2011 at 8:15 AM

HondaV65,

You have to remember that the ATF can come into any gunshop at any time and audit the books/records. Any “issue” and you are shut down.

So when you call it in , and an ATF agent tells you to sell it to a strawman, then you DO IT, or face going out of business.

Also I am betting that since they oversee alcohol and tobacco, that they have a hotline to the IRS as well.

Make no mistake, ATF is run by thugs. Just like Chicago.

orbitalair on June 21, 2011 at 8:37 AM

orbitalair on June 21, 2011 at 8:37 AM

Yeah see – this is what I was thinking too. It’s one thing to simply turn a blind eye and not enforce the law – or selectively enforce it for a political goal but …

If the ATF entered the realm of actually “manipulating”, “encouraging”, or “facilitating” the transfer of guns here – then that is REALLY bad stuff.

HondaV65 on June 21, 2011 at 8:56 AM

This is the Obama administration showing us what they mean by working on gun control “behind the scenes”

Chuck on June 21, 2011 at 9:18 AM

Great point made over at market-ticker.org

Under 18 USC Section 2,…

(a) Whoever commits an offense against the United States or aids, abets, counsels, commands, induces or procures its commission, is punishable as a principal.

(b) Whoever willfully causes an act to be done which if directly performed by him or another would be an offense against the United States, is punishable as a principal.

…these ATF directors are punishable as principles in the crime since they knowingly provided weapons to individuals/groups who then used those weapons in the commission of a crime against the United States.

In other words, they need to be brought up on charges of MURDER, not dismissed from office…

dominigan on June 21, 2011 at 9:37 AM

I don’t know if this has been brought up yet, but:

How is this not an Act of War against Mexico?
Our government is deliberately supplying high grade weaponry to subversive paramilitary elements in defiance of the authority of the Mexican government.

Didn’t we do something similar, albeit with Stingers, against the Russians in Afganistan? That was a war.

Seems to me that this is an opportunity for Mexico to gain a huge diplomatic win against the US, should they choose to exercise it.

I know the idea must have been to create a cycle of violence that could later be parlayed into a ban on privately owned US arms, but dudes, this is covert war tactics in full flower.

Who else sees it this way?

Cricket624 on June 21, 2011 at 10:13 AM

It’s hard for me to believe that a gun seller would risk his business like this. Has a connection been made between the ATF and those who sold the guns? Maybe the ATF was actually behind the sales of these guns?

HondaV65 on June 21, 2011 at 8:15 AM

The ATF instructed the gun dealers to make the sales yet when the story broke, the dealers were the scapegoats. One of the dealers even contacted the ATF when he didn’t have enough stock to complete a purchase. ATF told him to order the 16 extra guns needed to complete the sale.

Here’s a link to several letters from Sen. Grassley and articles about the gun dealers published in a Tucson newspaper this past April. I posted this previously in another thread.

http://tucsoncitizen.com/view-from-baja-arizona/2011/04/16/gun-shop-owner-warned-atf-that-walking-guns-to-the-mexican-drug-cartels-was-wrong/

In one email, the dealer raises for a third time with an ATF supervisor his concerns about how the case is being handled.

“I shared my concerns with you guys that I wanted to make sure that none of the firearms that were sold per our conversation with you and various ATF agents could or would ever end up south of the border and in the hands of the bad guys…I want to help ATF with its investigation, but not at the risk of agents’ safety because I have some very close friends that are U.S. border patrol agents in southern Arizona,” the dealer wrote to ATF Supervisor David Voth.

Furthermore, according to the FFL, there were “one or two” occasions on which his employees actually witnessed and recorded with surveillance cameras an exchange of money between the straw purchaser and another individual on the premises.[6] Despite this actual knowledge of a straw purchase, the dealer said ATF officials wanted him to proceed with the transaction.[7] However, his employees refused to process the sale.[8]

GrannySunni on June 21, 2011 at 10:52 AM

GrannySunni on June 21, 2011 at 10:52 AM

I wonder if that dealer you referenced knows that he just pasted a very large target on his own back and handed Holder a Barrett .50 cal? (Note to Holder: No, you don’t hold it sideways, you a$$hat.)

SKYFOX on June 21, 2011 at 11:01 AM

Skyfox, you’re right of course and the dealer probably knows it too.

GrannySunni on June 21, 2011 at 11:29 AM

There are incredibly damning implications from the testimony. The Obama adm was ready to let people die for their political agenda.

INC on June 20, 2011 at 1:31 PM

They’re leftists. It’s what they’ve always done – and what they’ll always do.

The blood of innocents is the cement which is the foundation of a communist revolution.

Solaratov on June 21, 2011 at 12:58 PM

BTW, Daily Caller reports ATF has thousands of documents in MD that it hasn’t turned over to Issa. ATF is going through them (no doubt with big black markers in a CYA procedure).

Wethal on June 20, 2011 at 3:19 PM

Perhaps the committee should issue a subpoena for all of those records, have the U.S.Marshalls serve the subpoena at the BATFE office in Md. and impound all of the records. Use one federal law enforcement agency to force another one to comply with the law.

Solaratov on June 21, 2011 at 1:46 PM

This is the Obama administration showing us what they mean by working on gun control “behind the scenes”
Chuck on June 21, 2011 at 9:18 AM

I wouldn’t be surprised. What’s the timeline for this quote and the story breaking?

Akzed on June 21, 2011 at 7:15 PM

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