Thursday, March 31, 2011

Mexican Attorney General Resigns! Holder, go thou and do likewise. And take Darth Breuer with you.

A tip of the boonie hat and deep genuflection to Dedicated Dad for this link.

The BBC reports Mexico: Attorney General Arturo Chavez resigns

Mexico's Attorney General, Arturo Chavez, has resigned, President Felipe Calderon has confirmed.

Mr Chavez had been leading efforts to tackle Mexico's violent drugs cartels and reform the justice system for 18 months.

He said he was leaving for urgent personal reasons.

Mr Chavez is to be replaced by investigative prosecutor Marisela Morales, who will be Mexico's first female attorney general.

Holder, go thou and do likewise. And take Darth Breuer with you.

Official Coalition of Willing Lilliputians ATF Gunwalker Scandal Coffee Mugs

Gary at The American Patriot sends:

Anyone going to my Web page ( ) can click on the American Patriot Gift Shop in the Resources menu on the left side. Those not wishing to go to my pages can access the gift shop directly by going to

I do not make anything on these, but I'm darn sure going to get some to give to CBS and other folks.

ALIPAC weighs in: "Obama Administration Caught Arming Mexican Illegal Alien Rebels ." The "T" Word.

ALIPAC statement here.

David Codrea's comment here.

My comment to ALIPAC prior to the release:

Concur with David's analysis. Now is the time to demand immediate hearings. The more pressure they get, the sooner we'll see results. Nothing has happened in this story without "rude behavior" on somebody's part. Help us bang the pots and pans. Understand that this goes straight to the doorstep of the White House. It was not a "sting gone bad." They did not care about dead bodies -- Mexican or American. What they wanted was stacks of bodies to justify further inroads against the liberties of American firearm owners. It was a deliberate conspiracy to subvert the Second Amendment and yes, that is treason.

Codrea: The stonewalling continues; Ex-ATF SAC warns of ‘trap’ and ‘blood bath’ over ‘Project Gunwalker’ -- "explosive stuff."

Stone walls can be pierced, often at the point where you'd think there were the strongest.

House Oversight Committee spokesman confirms ATF missed Issa deadline

A spokesman for the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has confirmed that Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Assistant Director Kenneth Melson did not produce documents and information related to the unfolding Project Gunrunner story that were requested "as soon as possible, but no later than 5:00 p.m. on March 30, 2011" by Chairman Darrell Issa.

Committee spokesman Seamus Kraft called this correspondent in response to a request made earlier today, and confirmed that "ATF did not meet our request deadline."

Kraft advises that further developments to uncover the truth will be forthcoming.


Ex-ATF SAC warns of ‘trap’ and ‘blood bath’ over ‘Project Gunwalker’

A former ATF agent foresees dire consequences if the bureau continues failing to cooperate with congressional investigations.

This came in on the evening of Mar. 30 via email from a trusted source. This correspondent has confirmed it was written by retired SAC (Special Agent in Charge) Bernie La Forest, who “headed up offices in Kansas City, Detroit, Phoenix and Los Angeles,” and is reproduced below unedited. It is in response to Allan Lengel’s report “ATF Needs to Clean the Manure Off Its Boots Now.”

Mr. La Forest has given permission to share his email with Gun Rights Examiner readers with the folowing caveat:

I would only ask that you make it clear that this was simply an “opinion” of someone who has been “out-of-the-game" for several years. I was never muzzled as an ATF manager, even when I and others testified before a congressional subcommittee concerning the 1981 –’82 Proposed Abolishment of ATF under the Reagan Administration.

It is explosive stuff:

How come nobody ever calls me when they've got parachute flares to give away?


I mean, they're so useful.

Michelle Malkin on Hannity -- the video.

The link.

Robert Farago: Another swing and a miss on Gunwalker.

Compounded by this magisterial link at Instapundit, Robert Farago has once more "explained" Gunwalker and missed the point. My comments are posted below his article, so I'll not take up more space with it here.

Three important Gunwalker Scandal posts from David. (Sorry, I'm playing catch-up.)

I would especially draw your attention to the second post below. We need your help banging pots and pans again.

Malkin discusses 'Project Gunwalker' with Sean Hannity

‘Pro-gun Democrats’ AWOL from ‘Project Gunwalker’

ATF to grant ‘Project Gunwalker’ FOIA inquiry ‘in part’

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

So, Michelle Malkin really laid into Gunwalker on Hannity tonight.

That is just outstanding. More tomorrow.

Convicted (and self-admitted) extortionist to "represent the Three Percent."

My thanks to the several of you who drew my attention to "Kerodin" (not his real name) again.

I have decided to underwrite a national tour of Gun Shows and Gun Stores in dominant Red States and 2012 Swing States. This will not be easy and it certainly won't be cheap! But I can't think of a better way to build bridges than to reach across tables and shake the hands of patriotic Americans who will agree with most of our values, if they know we exist.

I will make certain they know we, the III, exist.

I will make certain they understand our values, as detailed in our Platform that many of you helped to craft. I will make certain they Awaken as much as possible by sending them to places like WRSA, Arctic Patriot, the Cliffs, the Guardians, and other Liberty Movement sites that will help them ramp up to speed as quickly as possible.

Of course, having "our values" represented by a convicted predatory felon would not discredit them, would they? Whatever gave me that idea?

Michelle Malkin does Gunwalker right. "This disaster has only just begun."


Holder: "I'm not lying, YOU'RE lying."
Breuer: "I'm not lying, YOU'RE lying.
Holder: "Hell, we're both lying."
Breuer: "Right."
Holder: "What's a Gunwalker?"
Breuer: "I dunno, what IS a Gunwalker?"
Holder: "You are."
Breuer: Like hell I am, you are."
Holder: "I know you are but what am I?"
Breuer: "Infinity."

The most comprehensive single posting I've seen on this to date.

Go and check out the whole thing. Lot's of links and trenchant observations.

I’ve been tied up on other things, but have been following the Project Gunrunner scandal closely — and delve into the basics in my syndicated column today. To its credit, CBS News gave this deadly Obama culture of corruption nightmare mainstream coverage last month. But it’s been brewing on the blogs of gun rights advocates David Codrea and Mike Vanderboegh and the website, where the story originated, for months prior. Codrea’s journalists’ guide to Project Gunrunner here. Here’s Vanderboegh’s blog with massive Gunrunner links and background document caches, including this one of all official correspondence on the Gunrunner scandal between GOP watchdogs Sen. Charles Grassley and Rep. Darrell Issa and the House GOP Judiciary Committee and various Obama officials and agencies.

"The Test." Obama lets slip that Gunwalker is on his mind. I heard this on a talk radio show and I wondered if I was the only one who got it.

So, Barack Obama was on a Univision Town Hall the other day with Univision anchor and talk show host Jorge Ramos, the same fellow who grilled the President on Gunrunner.

And in amongst the mostly innocuous questions was this:

RAMOS: We have talked about different topics, very important, giant concepts, but the main concerns of our children are more concrete. It’s about tests. When was the last time you took a test -- do you remember that?

To which Obama replied:

Let me tell you, I am tested every day. (Laughter.) I was tested when I appeared on Jorge’s program a couple of -- four days ago. (Laughter.) He’s a very tough instructor, a tough -- he’s a tough grader. (Laughter.)

Well, then. So Obama lets slip that Gunwalker is on his mind. Interesting.

Okay, but if he thought that THAT was a test, it wasn't. It was just a pop quiz with no grade impact. Obama's "test" on the Gunwalker Scandal has yet to be scheduled. It may be the final exam of his presidency, and he is in grave danger of flunking it.

Something I've been saying for years.

A tip of the boonie hat to Ron for this link. "Beware of Homeland Security Training for Local Law Enforcement, by An Insider."

Notice to all Threepers and Melson drones.

I will be attending the Knob Creek Machine Gun shoot weekend after next, along with Ramsey A. Bear, Waldo, COL Robert "Mad Bob" REDACTED of the infamous Dogtown Rangers Constitutional Militia and various and sundry other friends. Hope to see you all there.

Let the games begin!

Official Correspondence on the Project Gunwalker Scandal.

Senator Charles Grassley

It struck me this morning while I was searching for one of these letters below that a post containing all of them, properly updated and linked on the sidebar, would be a useful tool. So here it is.

27 January: Grassley to Kenneth Melson.

31 January: Grassley to Melson.

4 February: Ronald Weich to Grassley.

9 February: Grassley to Eric Holder.

16 February: Grassley to Holder.

3 March: Grassley to Eric Holder & Kenneth Melson.

4 March: Grassley to Kenneth Melson.

4 March: Grassley to Hillary Rodham Clinton.

4 March: Grassley to Alan D. Bersin.

8 March: Grassley to Kevin L. Perkins.

8 March: Ronald Weich to Grassley.

9 March: Lamar Smith and House Judiciary Committee members to Eric Holder.

16 March: Grassley to Alan D. Bersin.

16 March: Darrell Issa to Kenneth Melson.

28 March: Grassley to Kenneth Melson.

29 March: Darrell Issa to Hillary Rodham Clinton.

1 April: Press Release, House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform -- "Chairman Issa Subpoenas ATF for ‘Project Gunrunner’ Documents."

1 April: Elijah Cummings to Darrell Issa.

1 April: House Oversight Committee Subpoena to Melson.

8 April: Grassley to Melson.

13 April: Grassley to Holder.

13 April: Weich to Issa.

14 April: Grassley Press Release on Letter to Holder.

20 April: Issa to Melson Contempt Letter.

2 May: Weich to Grassley.

3 May: Issa & Grassley to Holder.

Gunwalker Morning Roundup: Obama's 'I am not a Crook' Moment; Melson Chickens Out; "The AG is going to have to say what he knew & when he knew it."

"Run! Run! Run! As fast as you can! You can't catch me! I'm the Gunwalker Man!" Acting ATF Director Kenneth Melson's future as a children's book.

T.L. Davis on "Barack Obama's 'I am not a Crook' Moment" at American Thinker.

Excellent question at Elm Tree Forge: "Why, Mr. Melson, did you chicken out?"

Which is the same question raised at the Mexico Institute of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars: "ATF refuses to appear before Senate (in Spanish)."

And at "Mexico: 230,000 Are Displaced by the 'Drug War'”

As the toll mounted in Mexico, anger continued over Operation Fast and Furious, a US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) program that allowed some 2,000 firearms to enter Mexico illegally in what appeared to be a bungled effort to trace the activities of US gun smugglers in the US Southwest. Many of the weapons presumably ended up being used by Mexican drug traffickers [see Update #1070]. In a Mar. 22 interview with the Spanish-language Univision television network, US president Barack Obama told correspondent Jorge Ramos: “Well, first of all, I did not authorize it. Eric Holder the attorney general did not authorize it. He’s been very clear that our policy is to catch gun runners and put them into jail.” Ramos asked Obama if he had been informed. “Absolutely not,” the president answered. “There may be a situation here which a serious mistake was made, and if that’s the case, then we’ll find out and we’ll hold somebody accountable.”

But a number of top US officials certainly knew about Fast and Furious. Darren Gil, the lead ATF official in Mexico at the time of the operation, said to CBS News on Mar. 25 that his supervisor told him that ATF director Kenneth Melson was aware of the program and that knowledge of the program wasn’t limited to the Treasury Department, which operates the ATF. “Not only is the [ATF] director aware of it, DOJ’s aware of it,” the supervisor said, referring to the US Department of Justice.

Gil, who retired from the ATF in December, said he was instructed not to tell his Mexican counterparts about Fast and Furious. Gil says he warned his supervisor: “When is this case going to shut down? The Mexicans are going to have a fit when they find out about it.”

And Matthew Boyle at The Daily Caller observes "Issa jumps into gunrunning scandal documents requests after State Dept. stonewalls Sen. Grassley."

“It will be up to the Attorney General to say whether he knew or not,” Issa said. “Right now, the president’s word about what somebody else knew would not be acceptable. As much as we love the president, we can accept him at his word – he didn’t know. The Attorney General is going to have to say what he knew and when he knew it – and, if he didn’t know, who in his hierarchy did know and when did they know it?”

Issa gave Clinton until 5 p.m. on April 12 to provide the documents.

And over at Democratic Underground a collectivist breathes an anxious concern. "rl6214" says --

I hope there isn't some email or recorded phone call that would show the president had any knowledge of it at all.

You just keep hopin', r16214.

A reminder about my Gunwalker email list.

Everything I post here at Sipsey Street on Gunwalker is sent out over a private email list that goes to press, politicians, whistleblowers, ATF managers -- ;-) -- and other interested persons. As I now have to bundle the stories, this amounts to two to three emails per day, but includes breaking news. If you would like to join my email list, just send me a note to

Mike Vanderboegh
ATF Scandalmonger, First Class and the alleged leader of a merry band of Three Percenters.

Michelle Malkin enters the Gunwalker fray: "A bloody, cruel joke."

This is, I think, an important step in getting the word out to our side. With folks like Malkin and Laura Ingraham banging on pots and pans for us, Gunwalker will eventually become a household word among the engaged political folks of the Tea Party side of affairs. They in turn will help motivate the the reluctant among the GOP kittens of the House of Representatives. Senator Grassley is a caged tiger, limited by virtue of his minority status. Issa now seems to be fully engaged as well, but lest we get too carried away, the Gunwalker cover-up artists have already stiffed Lamar Smith on his demand to turn over documents by the 18th, I think it was. AND NO ONE ISSUED SUBPOENAS TO ENFORCE IT. Politeness, deference and civility work in favor of the cover-up. The more pots and pans we bang, the faster we will get to the truth. And Michelle Malkin, with her columns and appearances on FOX News, has a very loud pot.


Project Gunrunner: Obama's Stimulus-Funded Border Nightmare.

Project Gunrunner's reach and authority continues to grow despite dire, prolonged warnings from insiders and whistleblowers that countless monitored guns have been passed on to violent criminals without being intercepted as planned. Following up on leads first published at and the blogs of gun rights advocates David Codrea and Mike Vanderboegh, CBS News reported last month that Project Gunrunner "allegedly facilitated the delivery of thousands of guns into criminal hands." . . .

As investigative watchdog Republicans Sen. Charles Grassley and Rep. Darrell Issa step up pressure on the administration to come clean this week about who knew what and when, Obama denied any knowledge of Project Gunrunner on Spanish-language Univision TV. He blithely allowed that "there may be a situation here in which a serious mistake was made. If that's the case, then we'll find out and we'll hold someone accountable."

Coming from a man who appointed crime-coddling, accountability-evading, open-borders corruptocrat Eric Holder to uphold the law, that is a bloody, cruel joke.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Another "Resistance Is Futile" Pimp, this time one claiming to be a professor of history. (I'm guessing he didn't study much.)

Robert Slayton, claiming to be a Professor of History at Chapman University, holds forth at the HuffPo on the subject of Gun Rights and Libya

The basic premise is that because of all the guns in civilian hands, the citizenry could always launch an armed rebellion and topple the government, if they felt it was justified. Knowing this, officials in Washington always keep one eye alert to this possibility, restraining their worst impulses. This notion, that anyone can lead a successful armed insurgency to topple a much greater force, was immortalized in the 1984 movie, Red Dawn, in which a cadre of high school students effectively fights off an army of well-equipped communist troops who have invaded the United States. So why do I bring it up now, with so many other important stories in the news? I always thought that this argument was hogwash.

Furthermore, says the Professor, Libya proves his point. He thinks.

Now I have dealt with the "Resistance is Futile" Borg-meme horse crap many times over the years. Rather than reinvent the wheel, let me re-post a piece I did almost four years ago for David Codrea's War on Guns, "Resistance is Futile": Waco Rules vs. Romanian Rules.

"What country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them." --Thomas Jefferson to William Stephens Smith, 1787

"We are the Borg. Lower your shields and surrender your ships. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile." -- Star Trek: First Contact

"Resistance is Futile"

You know, the most dangerous thing about liberals in today's America is that they are always taking policy decisions based upon three fallacies:

a. Woeful ignorance of the subject at hand,

b. Extrapolation of their own cowardice onto their opponents, i.e. expecting their opponents to react the way they do, and

c. Willful refusal to grasp that the Law of Unintended Consequences applies both to their world view and to the schemes that they use to enforce that world view upon the rest of us.

They are, in a phrase, without a clue. This is not so dangerous when they are out of power. However, as they now control both houses of Congress and have a better than even chance of controlling the White House in 2009, this has the potential to get a lot of people killed by 2010. An illustrative case in point is David Prather's recent column in the Huntsville (AL) Times, entitled "In a Shoot-out, the Feds Always Win.". Mr. Prather, it seems, has second-guessed the Founders of our tattered Republic and come up with his own idea of the futility of the armed citizenry to secure their own liberty. He writes with scorn of the belief that the Second Amendment means exactly and precisely what it says:

"This argument says that keeping firearms is necessary to ensure that the public can resist government oppression should such arise. In other words, unless you can shoot back at the feds, you can't be free. That's a nice, John Wayne-type view of the world. But it's wrong. It's not just debatably wrong. It's factually wrong. And the reason it is wrong is this: The government has and will always have more firepower than you, you and your neighbors, you and your like-minded friends or you and anybody you can conscript to your way of thinking. You simply can't arm yourself adequately against a government that is rotten and needs to be overturned. Your best defense is the ballot box, not a pillbox.. . . . You can't beat 'em. You'd be foolish to try. So let's take that argument off the table. I don't presume to say that by doing so we will be able to reach a consensus or a compromise or whatever about how we should or shouldn't control firearms in modern society. I'm just saying that shooting it out with the government is like the exhibition team versus the Harlem Globetrotters as far as who is going to win. Only a lot more bloody." -- David Prather, "In a shoot-out, the feds always win", Huntsville Times, May 2, 2007


I am reminded here of the famous Dorothy Parker line, "You can lead a horticulture, but you can't make her think." Now Mr. Prather, who has risen to the lofty position in life of Associate Editorial Page Editor of the Huntsville Times asserts that we gunnies inhabit a "John Wayne-type view of the world (that's). . .factually wrong." As the quote from the principal Founder above clearly shows, it is in fact a "Thomas Jefferson-type" view of the world. Mr. Prather believes the ballot box is a better defense against tyranny than the cartridge box. Oddly enough I agree, as long as the tyrants are willing to play by the election laws. But what happens when they don't? In his novel Starship Troopers, Robert Heinlein offered an answer:

"Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor, and the contrary opinion is wishful thinking at its worst. Nations and peoples who forget this basic truth have always paid for it with their lives and freedoms."

Indeed, the Founders were only able to secure their right to the ballot box by taking up their cartridge boxes and muskets and standing against the army of the most powerful empire in the world at the time and fighting it to a standstill. What has fundamentally changed about the universe since then? Communication is faster, weapons are more powerful, but as we see in Iraq, a determined armed minority can be impossibly overmatched and still cause a good deal of trouble.

"Waco Rules"

Now I have spent a lot of time since the early days of the Clinton Administration considering the Founders' concepts of the deterrence of tyranny by the armed citizenry from the perspectives of philosophy, history, strategy and tactics. The catalyst for all this reflection was, of course, the twin menaces of the increasing Clintonista proscriptions of firearms rights (Brady and the Assault Weapons Ban) and the massacre of the Branch Davidians at Waco. The subsequent failure of the Republican congress and the courts to do anything substantive about either threat-- legislative tyranny or rogue bureaucracy-- led many of us to conclude that we had now entered a time when we could only count on ourselves to maintain our liberties.

The Law of Unintended Consequences decreed that there would be two unexpected results of this Clintonista constitutional misbehavior. The first was the importation and sale within a few months of several millions of semi-auto rifles (principally SKS and AK-variants) into the U.S. This was in anticipation of, and defiance of, the so-called "Assault Weapons Ban." Indeed, this was more rifles of these types than had been sold in the previous TWENTY YEARS. And it was in a political climate where it was fully expected that the next law would call for the confiscation of such weapons. Why, then, did this massive arming take place? Were we buying these rifles merely to turn them over later? When the Clintonistas realized that we were not buying these rifles to turn them in, but to turn ON THEM if they became even more threatening to our liberties, it gave them considerable pause. I am told the analysts in the bowels of the J. Edgar Hoover building were particularly impressed.

The second unexpected result of Clintonista misbehavior, although of lesser import than the millions of rifles, was the rise of the constitutional militia movement. As London Telegraph senior reporter Ambrose Evans-Pritchard wrote:

"The Clinton era . . spawned an armed militia movement involving tens of thousands of people. The last time anything like this occurred was in the 1850's with the emergence of the southern gun clubs. It is easy to dismiss the militia as right-wing nuts: it is much harder to read the complex sociology of civic revolt. . . No official has ever lost a day's pay for precipitating the incineration of 80 people, most of them women and children, in the worst abuse of power since Wounded Knee a century ago. Instead of shame and accountability, the Clinton administration accused the victims of setting fire to themselves and their children, a posthumous smear that does not bear serious scrutiny. It then compounded the injustice by pushing for a malicious prosecution of the survivors. Nothing does more to sap the life of a democracy than the abuse of power." Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, The Secret Life of Bill Clinton

You see, what impressed us gunnies the most was the fact that under what we came to know as "Waco Rules", Catch 22 was in full swing. It was as if the Clintonistas were shouting, "We can do anything you can't stop us from doing." The constitutional militia movement, despised by the administration, caricatured by the media (and professional liars for money like Morris Dees of the Southern "Poverty" Law Center), and unjustly vilified after the Oklahoma City bombing, began to explore the question of just what could be done to stop such unconstitutional conduct on the part of the government. We realized that another way to express Catch 22 is to say, "You can do only what we let you get away with."

I think the FBI realized our power before we really understood it's full implications. For one thing, we had them surrounded. At its zenith, the militia movement had perhaps as many as 300,000 active participants, but we were backed up, you see, by the undeniable fact of those millions of rifles. Of the 85 million gun owners at the time, how many would join the militias if another Waco happened? That was the question. Both sides eventually came to the realization that in any case, it was enough. As Clausewitz observed, "In military affairs, quantity has a quality all its own."

And the first thing we noticed was that the FBI became very much more solicitous of our sensibilities and sought at every turn to avoid a flashpoint. During each little potential Waco-- the Republic of Texas, the Montana Freemen, etc-- the FBI would seek out local militia leaders and ask their advice, seeking their opinions with what sounded like real concern.

The best answer that I recall to one of these FBI queries came from Bob Wright, commander of the 1st Brigade, New Mexico Militia. When asked if he and his friends would actually go to the scene of a future Waco in another state to assist the potential victims, Bob replied, "Why would I want to do that? There's plenty of you federal SOBs around here." This was a perspective the Fibbie had not considered before, and it showed on his face.

So we got through the rest of the Clinton Administration by waging a low-intensity cold war, the history of which has yet to (and may never) be written. The principal point was this: there were no more Wacos. Although they never renounced Waco Rules, they did not again implement them.

The Three Fallacies

Which brings us to today and our armchair theorist of contemporary domestic military operations, David Prather. Let us examine his thesis: "the feds always win" by referring to the three fallacies listed above. First, let us test his woeful ignorance of the subject at hand. In fact, you CAN beat the feds in a shoot-out as was demonstrated by the Branch Davidians in the initial raid of 28 February. Four ATF agents died in this monstrous misuse of government power and far more would have, but for the fact that the Davidians, having repelled the ATF raiders from entering their home, allowed them to leave after the men in black exhausted their ammunition. In effect, the ATF asked the Davidians if they could go home and reload their guns and the Davidians, being nice guys, agreed.

Had Vo Nyugen Giap been running what the Feds later claimed was an "ambush", none of the ATFs would have left that property alive. Indeed, had the Davidians understood the full implications of Waco Rules as they were being worked out for the first time, they would have put up a far tougher fight on both 28 February and 19 April and likely could have stopped the armored vehicles in their tracks.

So, when Prather says "the feds always win", he's probably thinking of Waco, but then so are we. In his ignorance, he does not realize that others observed Waco and the exercise of Waco Rules with a keener military eye, took notes, studied and learned.

Secondly, Prather is extrapolating onto others his own cowardice and unfamiliarity with weapons. He knows HE could not resist a predatory police raid, so he assumes that others could not as well. Should there come another dark time when the feds think they can resort to Waco Rules once more, both they and Prather will discover that such assumptions are deadly mistakes.

Thirdly, The Law of Unintended Consequences is still issuing forth unplanned dividends from the Clinton misbehavior of the 90s. Remember those millions of rifles? They didn't go anywhere. They haven't disappeared.

Romanian Rules

So we have the rifles and we have one other thing: Romanian Rules.

On 16 December 1989, riots in the Romanian city of Timisoara ignited a nationwide revolt which spread to the capital Bucharest. Parts of the army joined the revolutionaries, and on 25 December, after 45 years of communist tyranny, dictator Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife Elene received a Christmas present from the Romanian people when they were summarily executed. Said one Romanian radio announcer, "The anti-Christ died. Oh, what wonderful news."

Ceausescu had ruled the Romanians with an iron hand, using his dreaded secret police to pick his opponents off one by one for imprisonment or execution-- until the day came when the people learned their lesson and met the secret police and the army face to face. Thousands were killed in the fighting, many because they lacked the weapons to do the job. But we're Americans. We observed the Romanian Rules and learned. We realized too that we're much better armed than the poor Romanians.

So what makes Prather think that Americans who may wish to resist our own government if it spins out of control again, will sit idly in their little houses allowing themselves to picked off one by one? In his ignorance and arrogance, Prather has committed the ultimate sin of military planners throughout the centuries: he is presuming that the straw-man opponent he has created in his own mind will sit still and wait to be beaten on his (or Hillary Clinton's) own terms. He is presuming that his opponent won't react, won't be agile, and won't be thinking.

Prather makes much of modern day weaponry that only the government may possess. But you know, artillery and nuclear bombs are of limited utility to a government when the battlefield is its own cities, towns, transportation hubs and commercial centers. Then it becomes like Iraq, only far worse. It becomes a rat hunt where the rats outnumber you, and often, at the point of decision, beat you in the one thing that is most fundamental in an up-close infantry fight: rapid and deadly accurate rifle fire. Shouting Borg-like that "resistance is futile" may scare the faint-hearted, the weak-minded and certain children under the age of ten. It does NOT scare us.

And that is what invalidates Prather's fantasy scenario: we've had almost 15 years to study Waco Rules now. Fifteen years of studying how to best direct the resources of the armed citizenry against the next predatory administration grown too big for its constitutional britches. Fifteen years of considering the lessons of Christmas, 1989. After the cold war with the Clintonistas, we gunnies began to understand the finer points of credible deterrence. Now, having completed a long and challenging curriculum, we certainly understand what Jefferson meant by "pardon and pacify them." It would be wiser if Mr. Prather and his historically foolish liberal friends did not seek to give us a final examination in this subject of study, for the results are NOT academic. Just ask Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu. Of course, you'll have to go to Hell to do that.

Mike Vanderboegh
PO Box 926
Pinson, AL 35126

Gunwalker Roundup

Run! Run! Run! As fast as you can! You can't catch me, I'm the Gunwalker Man!"

From Patterico's Pontifications: Project Gunrunner: How Did the ATF Get Gun Dealers to Agree to Sell Guns to Criminals?

From David Codrea: "ATF to grant ‘Project Gunwalker’ FOIA inquiry ‘in part’"

From Katie Pavlich: ATF Gun Runner Scandal Continues to Grow: Who's Lying?

Credible Deterrence & the Logistics of Liberty Redux

Originally posted almost four years ago at AWRM, a friend asked me to reprint it because he felt it is still relevant so here it is.

Credible Deterrence & the Logistics of Liberty

by Mike Vanderboegh

"The test of a good strategy is that it achieves its object without the necessity for battle. As Sun Tzu put it: 'What is of supreme importance in war is to attack the enemy's strategy; next best is to disrupt his alliances; next bet is to attack his army.'" --General Rupert Smith, British Army, Ret'd, in The Utility of Force: The Art of War in the Modern World, Alfred Knopf, NY, 2007, pp. 13

"A man can never have too much red wine, too many books, or too much ammunition." -- Rudyard Kipling

What did the Founders intend with the Second Amendment? Liberals aside, gunnies would all agree that their purpose was to codify the people's natural right to arms. As men who had been compelled to fight for independence by the British seizure of their arms, it was natural for them to ensure that the people of future generations be enabled to maintain the tools necessary to repel tyranny. But I think their purpose was not only to set up the preconditions to resist tyranny when it appeared, but also to deter it by providing future would-be tyrants with a credible deterrent that would discourage them from making the attempt to begin with. Others think so too. Here are two examples:

"The 'insurrectionist theory' label does not do justice to this aspect of the Second Amendment. True, the Second Amendment implicitly authorizes recourse to arms when less drastic means fail to attain or retain the proper ends of government identified in the Declaration. But the Amendment's greater value lies in the deterrent effect it would have, were it respected and enforced to the degree of its companion rights in the Bill of Rights. Although it implicitly authorizes rebellion-and explicitly provides the means of waging rebellion-the Amendment, if observed, should make rebellion less likely by making it less likely to be necessary. The Second Amendment should stand as a reminder to those who govern of the people's ultimate right to preserve or reestablish their rights by arms. One need not prophesy armed struggle by American citizens against their own government to propose that the citizenry's widespread ownership of firearms could safeguard liberty by deterring tyranny. The great value of the right is political, not military. This value lies not in the fact that the Amendment enables armed resistance, but that by enabling armed resistance it should make the conditions which would justify such resistance less likely to occur."
-- David Harmer, "Securing a free state: Why the Second Amendment Matters", Brigham Young University Law Review, 1998 (

"Too many people wrongly assume that the purpose of revitalizing 'the Militia of the several States' (or, for that matter, of forming the kind of private citizens 'militia' that already exist in several States) is to fight new battles of Lexington and Concord. To the contrary: The goal must be, if at all possible, to deter usurpation and tyranny, so as to make actually fighting any battle here in America unnecessary. Deterrence is always the best defense. And preparedness makes deterrence credible."
- Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr."'The Militia Of The Several States' Guarantee The Right To Keep And Bear Arms", Aug 2005 (

Here we are then, back to Sun Tzu's dictum quoted at the outset. The exercise of the Second Amendment attacks the enemy-of-liberty's strategy at its source, between the tyrant's own ears, strangling the deadly idea of usurpation in its cradle before it can spring forth in murderous adulthood. Note well, I said "the exercise of the Second Amendment." The piece of paper alone guarantees nothing. We are not talking about law or morality or "emanations and penumbras" as one Supreme Court justice has divined. In the end, as with most other things in this world, American liberty is secured by the threat of naked force from the armed citizenry. Tyrants are nothing if not calculating, and the credible deterrence comes from the number of free men and free women opposed to their schemes, the character and number of the arms they hold, the level of proficiency they have achieved with those arms and their perceived will to use them. That, and one other thing, which we will get to in a minute.

But first, you must understand how tyrants think. Joseph Stalin, when informed after World War II that the Pope disapproved of Russian troops occupying Trieste, turned to his advisors and asked, “The Pope? The Pope? How many divisions does he have?” Dictators are unmoved by moral suasion. But you, gentle readers, have the argument that persuades dictators in your gun safes, closets and car trunks: millions upon millions of semi-automatic rifles of military utility-- those evil misnamed "assault rufles" that so frighten Chuck "the Schmuck" Shumer and the Brady Bunch. You have the power, ladies and gentlemen. The question is: Is the possession of rifles and the will to use them by themselves enough? No, it is not.

"Lieutenants study tactics, Generals study logistics." -- Military maxim.

"Then there is ammunition, for above all it is the bullet that kills. Skill is, of course, an essential element in dispatching that bullet effectively, but it is still the bullet that kills.... At the lower tactical levels of command one operates on the assumption that bullets are in continuous supply, but everyone is conscious that it is only an assumption. A rifleman can discharge all that he can carry in only a few minutes, and his commander must then either replace him or resupply him. It is therefore up to the commander to either strictly define or limit a soldier's task to the ammunition he carries, or else ensure that he is steadily replaced or resupplied. As you rise in command, you become increasingly concerned about the bullets rather than the rifles, and all other weapons, since they are the force being propelled and applied." -- General Rupert Smith, British Army, Ret'd, in The Utility of Force: The Art of War in the Modern World, Alfred Knopf, NY, 2007, pp. 79-80

Or as General Walton Walker said in the early, desperate days of the Korean War, "We can win without food, we cannot win without ammunition." And ammunition supplies to the armed citizenry, as many of you have no doubt noticed, are becoming increasingly problematic. Hence this recent story:

Overseas wars causing ammo shortages
By UPI Staff
United Press International
April 9, 2007
SAN JOSE, Calif. (UPI) -- With wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, police departments in the United States are reporting a shortage of ammunition needed for firearms.

The San Jose (Calif.) Mercury-News reported that in addition to overseas conflicts, an unprecedented rise in the price of raw materials is also contributing to the shortage of ammunition. Also compounding the problem are longer delays in the shipment of ammo. Police across the United States said that ammunition shipments that once took 45 days are now taking as long as six months.

Many police departments are stepping up their ammo orders to hold them over during the long delays, the Mercury-News reported. "It has become a nightmare," said Sgt. Don Moore, San Jose police range master.

The U.S. military's increased use of firearms has been blamed for the shortage, but another factor, the Mercury-News reported, is the rise in the prices for ammo. Prices are said to have risen almost fourfold in the past 2 1/2 years, as demand for raw materials has surged in China and India. (Source:

Or this one, quoted in part, from the Fort Wayne, IN Journal Gazette:

Mon, Apr. 02, 2007
Bullet shortage tales spur police to load up
By Rebecca S. Green
The Journal Gazette

Some area law enforcement agencies have stocked up on ammunition in recent months after rumors of shortages and backorders caused by increased usage by military and law enforcement in the ongoing war on terror. Though Jeffersonville-based Kiesler Police Supply and Ammunition Co. sent a letter in February to law enforcement agencies in Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio, alerting them to a continued ammunition shortage, many local agencies are not worried about running out of bullets.
“We wish to advise every police and sheriff department or agency in our territory (whether or not you are a customer of Kiesler’s) that deliveries of duty and practice ammunition are horribly backordered,” the letter read.. . . Increased usage by the military and law enforcement, as well as a number of foreign manufacturers ceasing U.S. sales, has contributed to the backlog, which is “the worst shortage Kiesler’s has seen in its 35 years of being in business,” according to a copy of the letter obtained by The Journal Gazette.

The letter to police goes on to indicate that .223-caliber rounds, used in assault rifles such as the M-16, are backlogged until the end of 2007 or early 2008 for both training rounds and ammunition carried on duty. The M-16 and its descendants, such as the M-16A1 and others, have been the primary infantry rifle used by the U.S. military for more than 40 years, and are also used by a number of other countries. Officials from Kiesler declined to comment for this story but on Friday referred calls to ATK, a weapons system company. No correlation between the increased demands for ammunition by law enforcement agencies, particularly training ammunition, should be drawn to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, said Brian Grace, spokesman for weapons manufacturer ATK.

The company manufacturers a large amount of ammunition used in the civilian, law enforcement and military sectors, doing an estimated $1.3 billion in business in its Ammunition Systems Group and produces about 1.5 billion rounds of small-caliber ammunition annually. ATK’s law enforcement ammunition, both training and duty rounds, is manufactured at plants in Minnesota, while small-caliber rounds for military use are made in Missouri, according to the company’s Web site. Grace said ATK has ramped up production of training ammunition, as well as increased capacity at its plants, making bullets “24/7.” He said the move was driven 99 percent by demand, rather than by a shortage in supply. . . .

. . . Huntington police officer Dale Osborn has served as the department’s firearms instructor for the past decade. He said the .45-caliber is the hardest round to obtain, the only backlog for his department’s supplier, Precision Cartridge Inc. in Hobart. Officials at Precision told Huntington that some suppliers were slower because of an increase in the military’s need for bullets, Osborn said. Slightly cheaper than the rounds carried in officers’ weapons, training rounds make up the bulk of police departments’ ammunition purchases, unlike the more complicated duty ammunition, which expands after contact with a target.

Sgt. Chad Hill, public information officer at the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department, said his department has had such a hard time obtaining the .223 rounds needed for the M-16A1 military surplus rifles carried by the deputies they have had to buy the ammunition from the Czech Republic. . . .He said the department has also had difficulty getting training ammunition for the duty-issued .45-caliber handguns and 9 mm handguns used by the department. While the department has been told to expect an easier time buying bullets by August, there is no guarantee, Hill said. (Source:

We civilian shooters have experienced this lately in the soaring rise in prices, but more troubling was the drying up of entire classes of ammo we have come to depend on, which one observer called The Great Ammo Drought of '06.

"SayUncle (a blogger) mentioned the rising cost of 7.62x39mm ammo, and offered an explanation. While the order of a bazillion rounds of 7.62 for the Afghanis might mean the supply of commercial Wolf/Barnaul ammo remains scarce, it doesn't account for the fact that it has been scarce for almost a year now, and that the scarcity of imported Russkie 7.62x39 is not necessarily directly linked to the price of its domestic alternatives. . . .Thing is, the domestic companies never loaded all that much 7.62x39, since most shooters simply burned up cheap imported Wolf by the case. Then Venezuela bought 100,000 AK's and the ammo to feed them last summer, and that dried up the Russian ammo flow like somebody turned off a tap; the domestic production never really caught up to the increasing demand. If this Afghan contract happens, it'll be another long drought until we see more cheap imported ammo. 'Til then it's going to be brass-cased domestic stuff or nothing, and with metals prices and fuel costs both up, ammo is more expensive than ever. I've seen two or three price hikes from every manufacturer and distributor since last October, with some brands and calibers going up by as much as 20%. Of course, this affects all ammo, not just 7.62x39mm. Combine that with the shortage of Winchester .22 ammo caused by Winchester moving rimfire production to a new facility in Arkansas, and you have a recipe for scarcity and high prices all across the ammunition landscape. Hoard you some ammo today. [Smile] " (Source:

"Hoard you some ammo today." Not bad advice. For if we understand this vulnerability, so do our enemies. Says the Small Arms Survey, an adjunct of the United Nations attempt to control the private use of arms world-wide (including your own, my dear friends):

"Ammunition: Weapons are only lethal when supplied with ammunition. The procurement of the correct type of ammunition for the available stockpiles of weapons is therefore a core concern for states, non-state armed groups, and individuals. While weapons are durable goods, which can be used for many years, ammunition is quickly depleted, and stocks must be replenished. As a consequence, intensive weapons use, such as in contexts of conflict or criminality, requires the maintenance of regular supply lines of ammunition. The oversight or disruption of such supply lines potentially represents an opportunity for controlling arms proliferation and limiting weapons misuse." (Source:

Getting the picture now? You know Bill Clinton did this back in 1994, when the unintended consequences of the impending AWB boosted sales of Chinese semi-auto rifles and ammunition through the roof.

"In a sharp change of policy, President Bill Clinton declared Thursday that he was breaking the link between human rights and trade with China. The president's declaration came as he announced what U.S. officials had been signaling for days: that the White House believes China has made enough progress on human rights in the past year to retain most-favored-nation trade status, which means low U.S. tariffs on the $31 billion worth of goods it exports to the United States.

Though couched in terms of "human rights", Clinton's real purpose was clear enough, even to human rights activists. Said Human Rights Watch Executive Director Sidney Jones at the time:

"'By any yardstick, the human rights situation in China has deteriorated in the last year,' . . .noting more than 100 political and religious activists have been arrested, compared with three dozen prisoners released.. . the decision left Clinton's administration 'looking vacillating and hypocritical while the Chinese leadership, by contrast, has emerged as hard-nosed, uncompromising and victorious.' The ban on arms and ammunition imports from the Peoples Liberation Army is good for 'gun control, not human rights pressure,' Jones said. 'The only big winner from this decision is the Chinese government.'" (Source:

We frightened the Clintonistas with our purchases, and so Bubba cut them off, though too late to stop the balance of power shifting more than a few degrees toward us, the armed citizenry. Millions of rifles and billions of rounds of ammunition flooded in and as Clausewitz observed: "In military affairs, quantity has a quality all its own."

Of course the desire to disarm us by starving our ammunition supply is also alive and well in the proposals of liberal congresscritters over the past decade to require banning "armor piercing" and "cop killer" bullets and attempts to tax ammunition out of existence, or make it chemically "deactivated" after a certain period of time.

So our enemies know well how to mess with our power. The question is: What are we prepared to do about it?

Finding even semi-accurate "guess-timates" of how many rounds of ammunition are in private hands in this country is almost impossible. Anecdotal evidence suggests that after the Clintons departed the White House, many folks felt the pressure was off and have spent the past six years shooting up those billions of rounds of 7.62x39 at the range. Replacing them now is financially problematic for the average gunowner. Even absent continuing production diversions to hot wars like Iraq and Afghanistan (and potential troublemakers like Venezuela), the Chinese economy has driven up prices on all base metals and with them, the cost of the finished product that makes your rifles go "bang." The only "cheap" ammo (circa 12 cents per) to be had these days is Russian and Bulgarian military production 7N6 5.45x39. This is why the semi-auto AK-74 has acheived new significance in your gun shop's line of profitable guns to stock. When that is exhausted, the price on it will also rise.

And this is absent any significant push in the market. Should the Clintons return to the White House, or there's another LA riot or Katrina disaster, the rush will be on and prices that are thought to be high now will be looked upon with fond nostalgia. Unless somebody nukes China, the market forces are going to continue to squeeze us, cutting down on our range time (also important to maintain credible deterrence) and threatening to make our rifles nothing more than expensive clubs.

So I guess I've told you all of this, in part at least, as an investment tip. Buy now. Buy a LOT. Start stocking up on everything from finished rounds to reloading equipment and components. It is the only way to maintain credible deterrence with our political enemies who seek to disarm us on the quiet. We all must turn our attention to the logistics of liberty, lest we lose the deterrence and are forced to fight.

And one other thing. We have always said amongst ourselves that any attempt at universal gun confiscation would be a causus belli-- the trip wire to overthrow the gun-grabbers and drive them from power. We said as much publicly, if indirectly, when we purchased those millions of rifles in the early 90s. It is time to get the message across that attacking the armed citizenry by indirect disarmament in the taxing or banning of ammunition is also a trip wire that potential tyrants need to be mindful of lest we make them a footnote to history.

Mike Vanderboegh
PO Box 926
Pinson, AL 35126

"Tell me," I was once asked, "What do you think about gun control? Give me the short answer." To which I replied "If you try to take our firearms we will kill you."

CBS: "Issa demands 'gunwalking' information from Secretary Clinton."

Hilary: (Thinking) "I sure wish we could get this damn war over so I can get back and concentrate on how to defend myself in the Gunwalker Scandal."


Today, the head of the House Oversight Committee fired off a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton over her agency's refusal to turn over documents and information about the ATF "gunwalking" scandal exposed by CBS News.

"Given the gravity of this matter, this refusal is simply unacceptable," reads the letter from Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.).

Read Issa's full letter to Clinton (PDF).

Issa is acting in concert with Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa). On March 4, Grassley requested information from the State Department involving then-U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Carlos Pascual's meetings with Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer, Mr. Breuer's deputy, and other officials in Mexico City in the summer of 2010 regarding "on-going investigations" related to Project Gunrunner and its Fast and Furious component. However, the State Department has not provided any of the requested materials.

"This refusal is mystifying in its own right" and "stands in stark contradiction to the promise of transparency promoted by President Obama," reads the Issa letter. He is now asking for the information as well. "Additionally, please explain in detail the reasons behind your refusal to answer the Senator directly."

Issa's committee may subpoena documents if they are not provided. So far, the Justice Department, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and several other agencies have been non-responsive to Grassley requests in the gunwalking investigation.

The State Department had no comment other than to say if the letter has been received, then it is being reviewed.

ATF "Official" sez: “It was not a well thought out plan. I think there’s a lot of finger pointing right now.” No kidding?

Allan Lengel, writing at the Federal Law Enforcement blog, Tickle the Wire, says: ATF Needs to Clean the Manure Off Its Boots Now.

ATF has been slow to produce answers for Congress. Grassley is now accusing ATF of stonewalling.

The press has had a field day. One story after another has appeared in papers and on television stations around the country. None of them good. ATF looks like the stuff it has stepped in.

“The feeling is that somebody was sleeping at the switch, although they had good intentions,” one ATF official told me. “It was not a well thought out plan. I think there’s a lot of finger pointing right now.”

Agents say clearly letting so many guns walk was a big mistake. The goal was too ambitious, the risk too great. Maybe the agency was responding to criticism that it needed to go after bigger fish. That’s still not an excuse.

Regardless, agents say they’ve been left in the dark. The ATF honchos at headquarters aren’t telling them anything. They’ve had to rely on information from the media. Many have been demoralized by the mess.

Plus, it’s caused a strain between Washington and the Mexican officials, who feel that the Americans don’t respect them. Let’s face it: It’s highly unlikely ATF would have let that many guns walk had it known they were going to end up in the hands of American criminals around the U.S.

It was a bad plan. And the Justice Department needs to shoulder some blame since someone fairly high up knew about it and gave the blessing.

Gunwalker makes Day by Day!


Thanks to Pete for the link. When Gunwalker finally hits Saturday Night Live, we'll know we've won.

CBS: Melson jerked from witness list! "It was Melson's decision not to testify."

"Run, run, as fast as you can. You can't catch me, I'm the Gunwalker man!"

ATF chief won't appear at Senate hearing in wake of "gunwalking" scandal

So far, Congress and the media haven't had much luck getting answers on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms' ongoing "gunwalking" controversy.

The Department of Justice and ATF have missed repeated deadlines to turn over information and documents to Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), who's investigating. ATF Acting Director Kenneth Melson (at left) was scheduled to appear before a Senate hearing Thursday, in which he would likely have been asked questions about the scandal. However, CBS News has confirmed Melson has now been pulled from the hearing witness list.

We contacted the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to ask why Melson is no longer scheduled to appear. They referred us to the office of Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) who chairs the subcommittee holding the hearing. A press spokeswoman at the senator's office said it was Melson's decision not to testify, and that the subcommittee doesn't have jurisdiction over ATF.

Later, a spokesman told us in an email, "The Subcommittee had invited, but not confirmed, Mr. Melson as well as other officials from ATF to testify at the hearing this week. In the end, ATF declined to send a representative."

The gunwalking investigation may also have derailed any chance for Melson to have confirmation hearings anytime soon. President Obama made Melson, a former Justice Department attorney, acting director in April 2009. Sources on the Senate Judiciary Committee believed confirmation hearings for Melson were about to be scheduled before the gunwalking scandal broke. Now, they believe confirmation hearings for Melson will not happen in the near future.

All of Investigative Correspondent Sharyl Attkisson's reports, videos and articles can be found in one place at

Just how big IS Gunwalker? "‘Bordergate’ – Seattle’s gunrunning case: Shades of ‘Project gunrunner?’"

From Dave Workman:

Tuesday morning’s Seattle carries the story of Richard Wayne Wilson, who is linked – but not with criminal charges – to the takedown of a string of “speakeasy” clubs, and who, it is reported, was responsible for smuggling a small number of guns to Mexico.

It is also reported that documents relating to the gun smuggling have been sealed, and “hearing transcripts have been redacted.” That is to say, a lot of pertinent information has been blocked out.

Secrecy surrounding Wilson’s gun smuggling operation seems suspiciously similar to the veil of secrecy that has been lowered over “Project Gunrunner” and “Operation Fast and Furious,” the “sting” operations mounted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives that are now subject of at least two congressional probes, and multiple press investigations, not the least of which is being conducted by CBS News, Fox News and – independently – at least three Gun Rights Examiners.

While court documents detailing the drug deals remain readily accessible, specifics of Wilson's gun smuggling scheme are lacking. Much of the documentation has been sealed and hearing transcripts have been redacted.—Seattle

In light of Gunwalker, this is interesting.


UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. ERIKA DENISE GARCIA, Defendant-Appellant.

No. 10-2115.

United States Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit.

Filed March 28, 2011.

Light posting this morning, I think.

I'm off to see a doctor, a lawyer, an IRS man, and a man about a mule. Of course with my luck, this morning will be the time when Ken Melson tears off all his clothes and runs screaming through the streets of downtown DC for forgiveness to Senator Grassley's office -- covered live on CBS.

"Who's that crazy white man, momma?" "That's the ATF Director, dear. He's obsessed with guilt over the Gunwalker scandal."

I guess I'll just have to take the chance.

Melson in the dock. "Your Honor, I decided to confess one morning when I read Sipsey Street Irregulars."

"Proving once again that the American government is always willing to provide charity to the needy in other lands. . ."

Found at Death By A Thousand Paper Cuts (I love their header -- "A Rip-Snortin' Gang of Hard-Living Rightwing Cuthroats") here, is a reprint of this commentary and cartoon by Stilton Jarlsberg at Hope ' Change -- "The Conservative Daily Web Comic." Since the author/artist gives license to do so, I reprint it here, but plan to make his website a regular read. The cartoon is a hoot.

Proving once again that the American government is always willing to provide charity to the needy in other lands, the ATF (under Eric Holder's Department of Justice) apparently helped smuggle more than 1700 weapons to Mexican criminals and drug cartels "to see where they'd surface."

Theoretically, this would provide valuable information which would allow the ATF to shut down gunrunners. But in this case, "theory" went out the window... and the AK-47s and armor-piercing shells were unsurprisingly used to murder dozens (if not hundreds) of people, including a U.S. Border Patrol agent and a Customs Enforcement agent.

When a huge operation like this goes so badly awry, it's important to find out exactly who authorized it and just what the hell they were thinking. And already, an investigative House Committee has been able to strike two names off the list: Barack Obama and Eric Holder - both of whom claim they knew absolutely nothing about the operation.

Mr. Holder denied responsibility for the actions of his people, claiming that he'd established in previous testimony that "my people" are actually the Black Panthers.

Mr. Obama went even farther, explaining that he couldn't possibly be aware of every Justice Department plan to ship guns to the Mexican drug cartels because he oversees "a pretty big government" with "a lot of moving parts." He then added that many of the moving parts are "really shiny," and that he blacks out if he watches them too long.

While it's disturbing to think of so many high-powered weapons heading into Mexico, we doubt that the problem will last very long. Because considering the porous state of our southern border, we're pretty sure a lot of those weapons will be coming back eventually...

Mea Culpa.


I've been asked by folks via email and other means what the status of my IRS notice is. Well, it looks like I did indeed screw up on my 2009 return according to the accountant and we actually owe $1,911.00. Don't worry, we'll be arranging payments in portions. I'll be doing that negotiation today. I just wanted to let y'all know that it wasn't a case of "The Empire Strikes Back" but rather "The Dutchman Screwed Up."

First time that's happened. Normally I'm perfect in every way. ;-)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Kurt Hofmann: "'Project Gunwalker' now definitively traced to near top of Justice Department."

Go here.

Back in early February, before CBS News investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson led the way for the rest of the mainstream media to the "Project Gunwalker" scandal, National Gun Rights Examiner David Codrea and the Sipsey Street Irregulars' Mike Vanderboegh were very nearly the public's only sources of information about this still-growing political bombshell. It was Mr. Vanderboegh, in fact, who on Feb. 4 strongly implied Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer's heavy involvement in the fiasco. In that post, Vanderboegh also revealed that the BATFE's (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) Mexico City attaché Darren Gil had vehemently objected to "walking" thousands of guns into Mexico, without the Mexican government's knowledge or agreement, and was overruled by Breuer:

For when he was called upon to deal with the lawful request of ATF Mexico City attache Darren Gil to inform the Mexican authorities of the smuggled rifles of Project Gunwalker, Breuer overruled Gil, the attache was forced into early retirement, and Bill Newell, The Phoenix SAC who had been in on this stupidity from the beginning has now been made the attache in Gil's place.

Mr. Codrea reported on this at about the same time. At that time, Vanderboegh and Codrea were drawing on their own sources for this information. Darren Gil had not yet come forward to the media (and Lanny Breuer certainly hadn't), so back then, those whose agenda was served by keeping this as quiet as possible could afford to dismiss the accusations (How did the Washington Post refer to Messrs. Codrea and Vanderboegh? "Anti-ATF bloggers sympathetic to the militia movement," or something?).

It just keeps getting worse and worse for the Gunwalkers: "ATF agents actually observed a cache of weapons being loaded into a suspect vehicle."

Latest Press Release from Senator Grassley's office:

For Immediate Release
March 28, 2011

Grassley Concerned that ATF’S Risky Strategy of Letting Guns Walk May Have Been Used Beyond Fast and Furious

WASHINGTON – In a letter to the director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Senator Chuck Grassley pressed for additional details about the bureau’s knowledge of the straw purchasers of the guns involved in the killing of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agent Jaime Zapata.

Today’s letter follows a March 4 letter where Grassley cited press reports and a Justice Department press release that raised the prospect that the ATF strategy of allowing straw purchasers to continue to operate in hopes of making bigger cases may have contributed to the shooting of Zapata. The Justice Department responded to Grassley’s letter on behalf of the ATF but refused to provide any substantive information, citing an investigation by the department’s inspector general.

A copy of Grassley’s March 4, 2011 letter to the ATF can be found here. A copy of the Justice Department’s response can be found here.

Here is a copy of the text of today’s letter to ATF Director Kenneth Melson. A copy of the signed letter can be found here.

March 28, 2011

Via Electronic Transmission

Kenneth E. Melson
Acting Director
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives
99 New York Avenue, NE
Washington, DC 20226

Dear Acting Director Melson:

On March 4, 2011, I wrote you regarding questions surrounding the February 15 murder of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Agent Jaime Zapata in Mexico. I have yet to receive a reply.

In my last letter, I referenced the March 1 DOJ press release regarding the Osorio brothers and their next-door neighbor Kelvin Morrison. They were arrested on charges related to trafficking firearms to a Mexican drug cartel and indicted on March 23. According to the release, all three defendants had been suspects in an ATF undercover operation in early November 2010. In that operation, the Osorio brothers and Morrison provided 40 firearms to an ATF informant. The press release indicates, “The meeting [between the informant and the suspected traffickers] was arranged related to an investigation of Los Zetas,” a Mexican drug trafficking cartel.[1]

The DOJ’s press release appears to be the first public acknowledgement that one of the firearms used in the murder of Agent Zapata had been traced back to Otilio Osorio. Specifically, the press release stated:

[A]ccording to one affidavit filed in the case, one of the three firearms used in the Feb. 15, 2011, deadly assault of ICE Special Agent Jaime Zapata that was seized by Mexican officials has been traced by ATF to Otilio Osorio. Otilio Osorio allegedly purchased that firearm on Oct. 10, 2010, in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex, prior to law enforcement’s awareness of the purchase. Ballistic testing conducted by Mexican authorities on this firearm indicated it was one of the three firearms used during the deadly assault on Special Agent Zapata’s vehicle.[2]

The DOJ’s press release gives the impression that law enforcement officials were unaware of Osorio’s activities in October 2010 when he allegedly purchased the weapon that was later used to kill Agent Zapata.

The press release leads the reader to believe that law enforcement had no reason to suspect Osorio was a straw purchaser until sometime between October 10 and early November, when he was the subject of the undercover operation. According to the release:

The investigation now has also revealed that on Aug. 7, 2010, a Romarm, model WASR, 7.62 caliber rifle was discovered by law enforcement officers in LaPryor, Texas, near the U.S./Mexico border. Trace results indicated that Morrison purchased this firearm on July 30, 2010, from a FFL [federal firearms licensee]. According to the affidavit, between July 10, 2010, and Nov. 4, 2010, Morrison purchased 24 firearms from FFLs.[3]

This portion of the DOJ’s press release appears designed to give the impression that the August 7 discovery by unspecified “law enforcement officers” and subsequent trace results linking the weapon to Morrison became known only after the October 10 purchase of the murder weapon.

However, I have learned that ATF agents actually observed a cache of weapons being loaded into a suspect vehicle on July 29, 2010, but did not maintain surveillance on that vehicle.[4] The very next day, Morrison purchased the firearm that was later “discovered,” in August.[5] In fact, it was actually seized along with 22 other AK-style firearms in the very suspect vehicle that ATF agents had witnessed being loaded with weapons on July 29.[6] When the vehicle was stopped en route to Eagle Pass, Texas on August 7, the weapon purchased by Morrison on July 30 was recovered, along with two weapons purchased by Ranferi Osorio.[7] All of these facts were apparently known to federal authorities contemporaneously, and yet none of them are included in the Justice Department’s craftily-worded press release.

The March 8 letter I received from Department of Justice (DOJ) Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich is not an adequate response to my March 4 letter, which was addressed specifically to you. Therefore, please provide your direct response to the questions in my letter, along with the documents previously requested. In particular, please prioritize any documents responsive to paragraph (5), which called for all records relating to when law enforcement first became aware of the trafficking activities of Otilio and Ranferi Osorio and Kelvin Morrison. Should you have any questions regarding this letter, please contact (202) 224-5225.


Chuck Grassley

[1] Press Release, Department of Justice, March 1, 2011, available at
[2] Id.
[3] Id. (Emphasis added.)
[4] ATF Management Log, Case 785096-10-[redacted], Case Title “[redacted] Firearm Traffickers (SWB Gunrunner).” (Attachment 1)
[5] ATF Firearms Trace Summary, Sep. 17, 2010. (Attachment 2)
[6] Supra note 4.
[7] ATF Firearms Trace Summary, Sep. 15, 2010; ATF Firearms Trace Summary, Sep. 17, 2010. (Attachment 3)

CBS: "Mexican attorney general says 'full force of law' to be used in ATF gunwalking scandal investigation."

Ken Melson may be missing his one of these days.

FYI, Melson. They want your cojones on a stick. And I don't blame 'em a bit.

The Office of Mexico's Attorney General has issued strong, new comments in response to ATF Gunwalking allegations exposed in an ongoing CBS News investigation.

As we have reported, agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms say over the course of a year and a half, superiors ordered them to allow thousands of weapons to cross into Mexico as part of a failed plan to gain intelligence and take down a major drug cartel.

Over the weekend, the Mexican attorney general stated: "The controlled trafficking of weapons is not authorized under the Mexican national legislation. An operation that would contemplate this would not have been acceptable to the Mexican government, and it will never be under any circumstance." The Mexican Attorney General also stated that it's conducting its own investigation to identify "the crimes that could have been carried out on Mexican territory."

Those statements were made one day after CBS News' exclusive interview with the former top ATF official in Mexico, Darren Gil. Gil stated that his own agency kept details of controversial operation known as "Fast and Furious" secret from him and his Mexico-based staff.

He also said that when he objected, his ATF supervisor in Washington repeatedly told him the case had been approved not only by ATF Acting Director Kenneth Melson, but also by the Department of Justice, which oversees ATF.

Last week in an interview with the Spanish language network Univision, President Obama said that neither he nor Attorney General Eric Holder approved Fast and Furious. He reiterated that an Inspector General is investigating.

Mexican authorities await the results. "The Mexican government was not informed of any operation that included the controlled trafficking of weapons to Mexico," stated the attorney general's office in its communiqu??© issued over the weekend. "Sanctions will have to be carried out with the full force of law to whomever could have been responsible for the commission of the illicit goods."

Allowing guns to reach criminal suspects and the street without stopping them is known as letting guns "walk": law enforcement insiders say it's normally strictly forbidden because the guns could be used to injure or kill people. Gil told CBS News that unusual numbers of weapons from the Fast and Furious case were turning up at Mexican crime scenes after being used by drug cartel members. As the case and the flow of guns continued, he worried that the weapons would be used to kill innocent civilians, police officers, or military or government officials.

On Dec. 14th, two AK-47 variant assault rifles that ATF allegedly let "walk" a year before were found at the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. Officials are also investigating a possible connection to the murder of Customs Agent Jaime Avila.

Among the outstanding questions: who knew of and approved the Fast and Furious operation, and when? Was a gunwalking strategy deployed in other cases? What was the evidence that caused officials to release two illegal immigrants arrested at the gunning down of Agent Terry? Why has a third been held, but not charged in the murder? If none of the men arrested the night of Agent Terry's murder were responsible, are there any leads as to whoever was? What weapon was used to kill Agent Terry? Where are all the weapons that ATF allegedly let walk into Mexico, but have not been recovered? Of the weapons that have been recovered, in what crimes were they used?

Department of Justice and ATF officials have not agreed to our repeated interview and information requests. So far, they have also refused to provide answers and documents to Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) of the Senate Judiciary Committee, who is investigating. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, has joined the investigation.