Saturday, April 30, 2011

I are heer. Just in time to hear, according to CBS: "NRA's Wayne LaPierre to call for Attorney General Eric Holder's resignation."

Well folks, here I am at the NRA confab, typing to you from the press office with my official NRA credentials. They'll let anybody in here. Now CBS reports that Wayne LaPierre will call for Holder's resignation. (See below.) Of course I'm sure he'll thank us all for dragging him kicking and screaming to the Gunwalker scandal, and will promise that in recompense he will be making the Gunwalker hearings a make-or-break vote for all the Congresscritters. Here's the story:

The National Rifle Association has Attorney General Eric Holder in its sights.

Sources tell CBS News that NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre is expected to call for Holder's resignation in a speech Saturday morning at the Association's annual meeting in Pittsburgh.

LaPierre has accused Holder of trying to "destroy the Second Amendment" and has been critical of the Department of Justice handling of "Project Gunrunner," a program intended to stop the flow of weapons to Mexican drug cartels.

But as CBS News investigative correspondent Sharyl Attkisson reported last month, ATF agents charge the program actually helped get thousands of guns into the hands of criminals.

"When does it stop being law enforcement and start being a criminal enterprise? Innocent people are dying. It makes no sense at all." LaPierre told CBS News last month.

Attorney General Holder has asked the Inspector General to investigate the allegations.

In a statement today the Department of Justice told CBS News "We have invited the NRA to join us and other stakeholders from across the spectrum in working to find common sense solutions to keep guns out of the hands of people who are not legally allowed to possess them. They have yet to come to the table with any productive suggestions, but we hope they will reconsider."

I've got a question: why would we trust them on anything until they come clean on Gunwalker? As the Washington Times opines: "Obama’s gunrunning hypocrisy -- Administration appears complicit in Mexican firearms smuggling scheme."

The Obama administration’s position in effect is that nobody can investigate the Justice Department - not even Congress. The public is supposed to believe an internal review will make an honest determination of whether the gunrunning scheme was a good idea or not. Instead of providing transparency, the White House is exploiting the Mexican gun issue for political purposes. “We’re also doing more to stem the southbound flow of guns into the region,” President Obama said in Santiago, Chile, on March 21. “We’re seizing many more guns bound for Mexico and we’re putting more gunrunners behind bars. And every gun or gunrunner that we take off the streets is one less threat to the families and communities of the Americas.”

The Democrats’ propaganda is supposed to make us think the availability of guns in the United States is the problem, and that gun control is the natural solution. That’s why it’s important to get to the bottom of the question of how many of those “guns bound for Mexico” were sent with the ATF’s stamp of approval. Most of the military weapons used by narcotics traffickers in Mexico come from the Mexican army, but registration measures are easier to ram through by demonizing U.S. dealers.

Truth be told, I don't give a rat's ass if the Lairds of Fairfax give us credit for dragging them to this scandal or not. What I do care about is that if the NRA is going to be SERIOUS about getting to the bottom of Gunwalker, then they damn well had better start ACTING LIKE IT and not just talking about it.

They have the ability to jerk their leashes and bring the RINOs and the "pro-gun" Dems who count on their support in elections to heel on Gunwalker. They can do it.

For example, jim Geraghty reports at National Review:

The NRA takes great pains to emphasize that it is a nonpartisan organization, and the group likes to spotlight high-profile Democrats who vote with them. Last year, House Democrats Heath Shuler of North Carolina and Dan Boren of Oklahoma addressed the convention, keeping far away from any mention of their party’s leadership and turning the folksiness up to eleven. Shuler talked about how the first piece of advice he received as a candidate was from his father, who told him to always stand for hunters.

Playing the role of Heath Shuler this year is Rep. Jason Altmire, a Pennsylvania Democrat who barely survived a GOP wave in his state last year, winning 51 percent of the vote. (The NRA endorsed Altmire in 2008 and 2010.) It’s a short trip for Altmire, who lives innearby McCandless and whose district encompasses some of the Pittsburgh suburbs. In January, Altmire pointedly didn’t vote for Nancy Pelosi for speaker — he explicitly blamed her for the Democrats’ midterm losses, and said that with her as the party’s leader in the House, the Democrats will never win back the lost seats. Altmire voted for Shuler instead. . .

The emerging “gun-walker” scandal at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the Department of Justice is likely to be a frequent topic of discussion.

They will talk about it. But they still have not DONE anything but talk about it.

They cando it. But you will know they are fundamentally unserious about the Gunwalker scandal until they DO IT.

Until then, you will know they're still driving the weeniewagon.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Hey NRA: Passt auf! Achtung, ich kommen!

Found a chauffeur, borrowed what I needed to round up the gas money, departing this afternoon for blitzkrieg on Pittsburgh. Will be there at NRA bash tomorrow morning. Will be wearing my CBS hat.

Award-winning cyber-journalists' latest posts.

Dave Workman: Evidence mounts that government, not gun shops, arming Mexican cartels.

Dave Workman: GUNRUNNER: The ‘blame Bush’ option is out

David Codrea: Superman a ‘prohibited person’

David Codrea: Let George Do It.

Issa: "If you made a decision this felony stupid you shouldn't be making decisions any longer on behalf of the American people."

Patrick Richardson writing at Pajamas Media comments on Issa's recent appearance on the Roger Hedgecock show:

Issa Demands Justice Dept. Answer Project Gunrunner Subpoenas

Said Issa: "If you made a decision this felony stupid you shouldn't be making decisions any longer on behalf of the American people."

Issa told Hedgecock:

"We’re not investigating the sale of guns across the border. We’re investigating the lack of judgment at the highest levels."

In the letter, Issa also stated that he would ask Congress to hold Melson in contempt if necessary, something he made clear in the radio interview he hoped would not need to happen:

"Having contempt for what they’re doing and asking for contempt from Congress are two different things. We may not need it."

Issa also made clear he believed the lapses of judgment went further than just one office in Phoenix:

"This goes all the way to the top. … If you made a decision this felony stupid you shouldn’t be making decisions any longer on behalf of the American people."

Another good question by Leo Banks.

Why Isn't Obama Talking About the Human Skulls?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Three from Hugh Holub.

Apprehensions of illegal aliens at the border are way down…why?

Mexico…a partly failed state

New strategy at border…. can you tell the difference between a CPB Officer and a BP Agent?

We didn't need his Übermensch ass anyway.

Superman Renounces U.S. Citizenship in 'Action Comics' #900

Screw Superman. As I've written before, we must be our own watchmen.

Massad Ayoob: A Warning.

Got militia?

"The general consensus of police, military, and national intelligence is that it’s only a matter of time before this nation experiences an incident reminiscent of Beslan or Mumbai: armed, trained, committed terrorists massacring the innocent with automatic weapons and explosives."

Washington Times editorial: Gun grabbers grasp at straws

Federal figures shoot down left’s imaginary gun decline

JPFO asks the question: "Can we prevent a second civil war?"

Good question, and Threepers too!

Reuters: "Obama administration seeks more comments on rifle sale plan." Antis beating gun rights folks more than two to one. Pick up the slack!

You guys didn't do your job the first time.

The proposal will be published in the government's Federal Register on Friday seeking comments for 30 days, according to a copy obtained by Reuters on Thursday.

It was first published in December and had a 60-day comment period that garnered almost 13,000 responses. About 30 percent opposed the reporting requirement and 70 percent favored it, ATF said.

The second round of comment is typical for new regulations, according to ATF, and no substantive changes were made. After reviewing the new comments submitted, the proposal could be implemented or altered.

C'mon guys, pick up the slack. If the antis are beating us more than 2 to 1 something's bad wrong. Are you willing to concede that they are a more determined minority than we are?

LATER: From TPM Muckraker -- Amid Probe Of 'Project Gunrunner,' Obama Seeks Comments On ATF's Anti-Gun Trafficking Rule

Back at the library. Obama coming into town tomorrow. Memories of Clinton's last tornado trip.

So, the Dear Leader is flying in tomorrow to dispense his royal largesse. This fact brought back memories of when Bill Clinton came into town in similar circumstances back in 1998 after another devastating tornado for the obligatory public emoting and hugging of strange women. Back then I had a big maroon Chevy Silverado king cab pick-up truck and since I knew I was on their silly watch list, I decided to celebrate by strapping a whopping big poster the size of my tailgate on the back-end of the pick-up. It said, in huge black letters on a white background: "HIDE YER WIMMIN! CLINTON'S IN TOWN!" It got rave reviews in traffic and the Secret Service guys assigned to follow me around asked me to pose beside it for a photo. I was happy to oblige. Don't have the pick-up any more. And if everything works right on my fall-back to the fall-back plan, I'll be leaving town for a lightning trip to Pittsburgh by the time Dear Leader lands. Too bad. I could come up with all sorts of taunts for the Lightworker.

Out of power but still here.

Yesterday my fellow citizens, friends and neighbors received a deadly blow that we do not yet know the extent of. Pray for them. A lot of Threepers I know are now volunteering in the search and rescue and clean-up. As for my neighborhood there was minimal damage but the power has been out for some time now and likely will be out for at least another day as the power comany reverse-triages and works on the hardest hit areas first. No impatience here, but it restricts me to posting from the library (Trussville was miraculously spared), so it will likely be light posting for a while.

As for Pittsburgh, this puts a kink in what I had planned. I cannot drive myself without using my damaged right leg to use the accelerator and my left (sans boot) to do the braking. This is clumsy and dangerous. The pool of available chauffers just dried up. Also, there's no way I can leave Rosey as long as the power is out, nor am I happy about leaving the neighborhood when while local juvies walk the streets at dark looking for targets of opportunity. Flying is out and the train is too slow and expensive. I may yet figure out a way to get there but for now my original plans for Thursday and Friday are out the window.

Will let you know tomorrow what alternate plan I can come up with. In the mean time, please be patient and don't get your hopes up.

And don't forget those prayers.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Examiner columnists continue to bang on different aspects of the Gunwalker scandal.

David Codrea chides: National news magazines ignore ‘Project Gunwalker’ story, embrace statist fluff

An overwhelmingly “progressive” mainstream press, one that continually stumps for yet more citizen disarmament while for the most part ignoring what should be a major lead story/headline-generating scandal committed by officials they’re supposed to be monitoring, is all atwitter with anticipation for the upcoming royal nuptials.

“All hail Kate Middleton, the woman who can rebrand the British monarchy,” Newsweek editor Tina Brown gushes as she introduces the weekly’s April 3 cover story.

Thank God for that.

A privileged progressive cheering on the regressive political institution of monarchy, invoking the Deity to laud the Divine Right of kings. How “Freedom is Slavery” Orwellian of her.

Kurt Hofmann asks the very good question: How deeply has DHS been involved with 'Project Gunwalker'?

"Project Gunwalker," the growing scandal in which the Burea of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) deliberately allowed thousands of firearms to be "walked" across the U.S./Mexican border by known gun traffickers, was almost certainly primarily the work of the Department of Justice. The DoJ is the parent department of the BATFE, and DoJ's fingerprints are all over this travesty. Still, this is too big for even the DoJ to have done completely on its own. Sipsey Street Irregular Mike Vanderboegh has been digging deeply into what looks like an administration-wide operation to create the mythical "iron river" of guns from the U.S. commercial market going to Mexico, to match the narrative we've been fed for the last two years.

One agency that would have to be brought into such an operation on some level is the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), as parent agency of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (which is in turn the Border Patrol's parent agency), etc.

See also, Dave Workman: UPDATE: Congressional ‘Gunrunner’ investigators in Arizona

Unable to trust anybody else with his own cover-up, Politico sez: "Eric Holder soldiers on." “I like this job,” he claims.

Well, you don't expect him to let anybody else handle his own cover-up, do you?

For two years, Attorney General Eric Holder has endured a hail of withering criticism from Congress, battled with White House aides and faced the humiliation of seeing the White House retreat from his very public decision to put the September 11 suspects on trial in federal court in Manhattan.

Yet, as other key figures in the administration and the Justice Department are bowing out, Holder is vowing to soldier on. . .

“I like this job,” the attorney general insisted. “This is my last swing through this great department. In a lot of ways, this is a bittersweet experience for me.”

Oh, you bet it is, Eric. You bet it is.

"The Brothers Arellanes" Outstanding article by Leo Banks in Tuscon Weekly. Meet one of the killers of Brian Terry.

Manuel Osorio-Arellanes, who has a lengthy criminal record, was wounded in a gunfight with Border Patrol agents the night of Brian Terry's murder.

A tip of the boonie hat to Robert Farago who brought my attention to this story in the Tuscon Weekly, and a deep genuflection to Leo Banks for permission to copy this here. Be sure and check out his other border articles at the link.


The Brothers Arellanes

The man held in connection with the murder of Agent Brian Terry has a crime-ridden past—and so does at least one relative

by Leo W. Banks

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano's border strategy is to push as much of the illicit traffic as possible out of towns and settled areas, and into the backcountry.

Out of sight, out of mind. With the smugglers high up in the mountains and in remote canyons, she gains enough political cover to stand up and say the border is largely secure, so let's move on to comprehensive immigration reform.

But the strategy hasn't stopped the traffic; it's only moved it—into the neighborhoods of rural Southern Arizonans, which explains why these folks push back so loudly and so emotionally against the government spin.

Everything is on the line for them—their property, their families and their lives, as they try to stay away from dangerous smugglers crossing their land. They believe one of them killed rancher Rob Krentz in March 2010, and another murdered Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry along the Peck Canyon smuggling corridor, northwest of Nogales, on Dec. 14, 2010.

In the latter case, four men were arrested following the Terry incident—all illegal aliens. Three were judged not to be involved and were deported. The fourth, 34-year-old Manuel Osorio-Arellanes, is still being held for trial, now scheduled for May 10, on a felony charge of re-entry after deportation.

If you live along a smuggling corridor in the remote borderlands, or work for the Border Patrol and police those areas, men like Arellanes are your worst nightmare.

He was one of five armed men—part of a "rip crew" of border bandits who refused to drop their weapons when ordered to do so by agents from Border Patrol's elite BORTAC unit. In the deadly shootout that followed, Arellanes was wounded. He admitted carrying a rifle, according to an FBI search warrant, but claimed he did not fire when he realized the men they'd encountered were Border Patrol agents.

Arellanes' criminal past includes domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse, and violence against police, according to records in Maricopa County. Moreover, Arellanes might've been working the Peck Corridor with Rito Osorio-Arellanes, who is believed to be Manuel's brother.

Daniel Osorio-Arellanes was formally deported from the U.S. on Oct 18, 2005.

Rito was arrested in the same area two days before Terry's murder.

Federal court records show that Rito—whose name, like Manuel's, is spelled in multiple ways in public documents—was taken into custody on Dec. 12 near Rio Rico. Smugglers, bandits and illegal aliens often enter and exit the Peck corridor at Rio Rico, which is close to Peck Well, the area of the Coronado National Forest where the murder occurred on Dec. 14.

After his arrest in Mesa on March 16, 2004, for selling $20 worth of crack cocaine to an undercover detective in Pioneer Park, Rito said if released, he would go live with his brother in Mesa. Rito was a transient at the time. Manuel was also was living in Mesa then, and in court records, both gave their address as Pasadena Street.

Rito also had a criminal record in this country, and he told a Maricopa County probation officer in 2004 that he had done time in Mexico for homicide. In a pre-sentencing report, the probation officer wrote that he did not verify that statement.

Rito's lawyer, Daniel Anderson, says he heard that Rito's brother had been shot by Border Patrol agents, but knew nothing more about it. As for Rito's past in Mexico, Anderson said he was unaware of it—and couldn't talk about it even if he were.

Rito Osorio-Arellanes, believed to be Manuel's brother, was arrested near Rio Rico two days before Brian Terry's murder.

The Tucson Weekly tried to confirm Rito's statement through the Mexican Foreign Ministry in Washington, D.C., but was unsuccessful as of our press time.

Were Manuel and Rito working together in Peck Canyon? Were they part of the same crew that was assaulting, raping and robbing illegals and rival drug mules using that corridor?

Court records also detail the border-area arrests of another man with the same last name: Daniel Osorio-Arellanes, 35. Like Rito, Daniel is from Sinaloa, Mexico.

Border Patrol arrested him on Oct. 20, 2008, near the border town of Sasabe, Ariz. Although the record is unclear, he was likely voluntarily returned to Mexico, which basically means he was pushed back across the line.

But the next day, he was arrested again, this time in Amado, near Interstate 10 and Arivaca Road. Court records show he had been deported three years earlier, on Oct. 18, 2005. The government dismissed the felony charge of re-entry after deportation, and Daniel pleaded guilty to misdemeanor entry without inspection. He served 180 days in jail.

Prior to all of this, on Oct. 7, 2008, Mexican police arrested Daniel in Altar, Sonora, just south of Sasabe, for possession of methamphetamine, according to information from Mexico's attorney general.

Meth is commonly used by coyotes and drug-smugglers for the energy boost it provides. Coyotes give it to the people they're guiding to keep them walking through the night, a dangerous tactic that can accelerate dehydration.

Meth has played a key role in the criminal histories of Manuel and Rito as well. Both also have multiple deportations—but the open border allows them to keep returning to this country.

Manuel was detained in Mesa on Nov. 17, 2003, for resisting arrest. According to the Mesa police report, when officers responded to a call about a man looking into backyards and "possibly casing houses," they found Manuel yelling in Spanish at a woman waiting in her car for her daughter outside of New Horizon elementary school.

Manuel refused commands to move away from the car, and when police tried to arrest him, Manuel "spun away from our grasp and attempted to run," the report said. He continued to struggle after being handcuffed.

To get him into a patrol car, officers had to wrestle him to the street twice and Taser him twice, to minimal effect. At the Mesa jail, he fought officers again, after which paramedics were called to take him to the hospital due to a rapid heartbeat.

Manuel, a day laborer in the country illegally, admitted that he used marijuana, cocaine and meth, according to a pre-sentencing report by a Maricopa County probation officer.

He said he began smoking marijuana frequently at age 13. He began using meth "one or two times per month" at 26, and had last used the drug two weeks before his arrest.

He pleaded guilty to resisting arrest and was sentenced to 18 months of supervised probation.

After a period during which Manuel seemed to do well, passing all court-ordered urinalysis tests, he was arrested again on May 21, 2006, for aggravated assault on a police officer.

Officers were summoned to his house in Mesa on a domestic-violence call after his wife reported that Manuel was drunk and causing a disturbance. Police had been to the house several times in previous months for the same trouble.

As an officer approached him, Manuel said, "Don't arrest me." When the officer attempted to handcuff him, Manuel punched the policeman in the face, causing a bloody cut on his left cheek and a bloody lip.

Court papers in Maricopa County state that Manuel admitted using cocaine the day of the arrest. He also said that in the three months prior to his arrest, he'd been using meth, and it had made him "very paranoid," according to the pre-sentencing report.

The report also noted that the officer with whom Manuel fought had been to the house before, on a domestic call during which Arellanes had "smacked up his wife pretty good."

The report provides a glimpse into Manuel's life. He admitted coming to the country illegally in 1999. He said he was married and had two stepdaughters.

Beginning in March 2003, he worked as an $11-per-hour tile-setter for a company in Gilbert. In a letter to the court, his boss said he was pleased to have Manuel on his staff, because he was "a very dependable and reliable worker."

But in a phone interview with the Weekly, company owner Slobadan Daki said that "was on the days when he showed up."

Manuel pleaded guilty to felony aggravated assault on a police officer and got 60 days in jail, followed by three years of probation. He also was ordered to undergo domestic-violence and anger-management counseling, and submit to DNA testing for law-enforcement purposes.

Court records show that Manuel's next arrest occurred six months before the Terry murder, on June 8, 2010, when Border Patrol agents found him after he had entered the country illegally near Nogales. He pleaded guilty to that crime and was deported on June 14—his last known appearance in the country before his re-entry in December.

Clay Hernandez, Manuel's lawyer, did not return a phone call to talk about his client.

Manuel has not been charged in the Terry murder, presumably because the FBI is unable to link the AK-47 he carried to the killing. FBI spokesman Manuel Johnson declined to comment on the ongoing investigation.

Multiple media sources have reported that two AK-47s were recovered at the scene. The guns have been traced to a three-gun cash purchase from the Lone Wolf Trading Company gun shop in Glendale, Ariz., on Jan. 16, 2010, according to a federal indictment.

A law enforcement source with knowledge of the matter said the third AK-47 from that buy, possibly the murder weapon, has never been located and is a key component of the FBI's effort to identify a killer.

As for Rito, now 40 years old, he pleaded guilty to his 2004 crack-cocaine arrest, serving 100 days in jail and getting three years of probation. He told police he was selling drugs to buy food. He acknowledged needing help for his addictions, saying he'd been drinking six to 12 beers a day prior to his arrest and smoking meth daily for two years.

While still on probation, on March 24, 2006, Rito was again arrested in Pioneer Park, for possession of crack cocaine. He gave police a false name and date of birth.

Rito explained to court officials that following his earlier deportation, he returned illegally to the United States again around January 2005 out of economic necessity. He supported himself by waiting on street corners two or three mornings per week to get day-labor jobs that paid $50 to $60 in cash per day.

He admitted to using $60 a day worth of meth or crack, in addition to drinking one to two six-packs of beer a day. He pleaded guilty to possession of drug paraphernalia and spent 30 days in jail, which was followed by three years of probation.

Court records show Rito was deported through Nogales on Feb. 11, 2010. After that, he disappeared from public view until two days before the Terry murder, when Border Patrol arrested him at Rio Rico. He is scheduled to stand trial in federal court in Tucson on June 14 on a felony charge of re-entry after deportation.

Bad weather again.

Severe lightning and T'storms headed this way shortly with possibilities of ex-wives riding bicycles. Shutting down for now and will be back on line later today.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Anniversaries on 26 April.

1805 – First Barbary War: United States Marines captured Derne, Tripoli under the command of First Lieutenant Presley O'Bannon.

1933 – The Gestapo, the official secret police force of Nazi Germany, is established.

1937 – Spanish Civil War: Guernica (or Gernika in Basque), Spain is bombed by German Luftwaffe.

CBS: House & Senate Investigators land in Arizona for "Gunwalker" probe! Nappy & her minions tied to Gunwalker? Gillett singing like a bird!

Gee, I guess they're serious. Smile now Janet, yer days in the bureaucracy are numbered.

CBS News has learned that House and Senate investigators have descended upon Arizona for their probe into the so-called "Gunwalker" scandal. They're gathering interviews from witnesses, including ATF insiders and area gun shop owners. Sources tell CBS News the congressional investigators are frustrated by what they view as across-the-board stonewalling by government agencies which have refused to provide information in the investigation. Government officials have said they won't provide information while their own investigations are ongoing.

"They're investigating themselves," says one source on Capitol Hill, "and then claiming the open investigations preclude them from giving Congress information it needs for independent oversight. It's highly improper."

ATF insiders being interviewed in Arizona are among those who told CBS News that their own agency employed a controversial strategy beginning in late 2009 called "letting guns walk," to try to gather intelligence. In that strategy, used in an operation ATF called "Fast and Furious," ATF allegedly allowed thousands of assault rifles and other weapons cross the Mexican border into the hands of drug cartels. Many of the guns later turned up at Mexican crime scenes, and ATF was notified; but documents show the agency continued to encourage local gun shop owners to sell more guns to the same suspects.

Sources and documents indicate the prosecutor who advised the "Fast and Furious" case in Phoenix was Asst. U.S. Attorney Emory Hurley. His boss, Arizona's US Attorney Dennis Burke, was a longtime chief of staff for Homeland Security Chief Janet Napolitano when she served as Arizona governor. In brief questioning from Congress in March, Napolitano said it was "premature" to comment on details of the Fast and Furious controversies. She also said she was "not aware" that an agent under Homeland Security was on the ATF Fast and Furious task force in Phoenix. Speaking of herself in the third person, Napolitano stated that "no concerns were expressed to the Secretary."

ATF's former lead agent in Mexico, Attache Darren Gil, told CBS News in an exclusive interview that he believes senior Justice Dept. official Lanny Breuer and several of his deputies who visited Mexico amid the controversy last summer knew all about the alleged gunwalking, as did ATF's Acting Director Kenneth Melson. None of those officials would speak to CBS News. Federal agencies have refused Congressional requests to turn over documents related to the official's Mexico trips.

In another development, the Assistant Special Agent in charge of ATF's Phoenix Division, George Gillett, continues to provide information to Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) who's investigating. Of the top managers possibly implicated in the gunwalking strategy, Gillett is the only one who's hired an attorney and is voluntarily providing information to Grassley's office.

According to interviews and documents, a number of ATF agents objected to what they saw as an unprecedented and dangerous approach to gathering intelligence. Objections also came from ATF supervisors and gun shop owners enlisted by the ATF to make the sales. Those who expressed concerns say they were punished, ostracized and even threatened with their jobs by managers.

An internal email from Feb. 3, 2011 indicates ATF officials may have improperly guided employees not to answer Congressional inquires in the gunwalking scandal.

"As always, you are in no way obligated to respond to congressional contacts or requests for information and generally, consistent with ATF policy, you should refer congressional staff who seek information from you to ATF's office of congressional affairs. You are not authorized to disclose non-public information about law enforcement matters... to anyone including congressional staff.." reads the email, in part.

When Sen. Grassley learned of the email and also of alleged retaliation attempts against whistleblowers, he fired off a letter April 8 to ATF Acting Director Melson. The letter states that it is "unlawful" for ATF to "inappropriately intimidate employees to discourage from speaking with Congress."

If I had this hoplophobic moke's email address, I'd send him a reading list about his own history.

"Down Here, People Just Like to Shoot Stuff": A transplanted New Jerseyan ruminates on the Southern obsession with firearms.

Up North, even toy guns brought a gut-level fear for African-American parents. Boys running around playing an innocent game of cops and robbers with their plastic pop guns could easily be misconstrued by the police as armed felons (see: questionable cop shootings). For as far back as I can remember, the black parents around me carried a palpable paranoia about letting their little boys play with toy guns. And of course, having the real thing in the house was always a scary proposition -- the possibility of tragedy was just too high, and the upside was just too low. (After all, if you have to keep your piece locked in a safe at the top of your closet, how helpful is it going to be when that mythical armed intruder is standing over your bed?)

This fellow needs to do some reading on his own history. I'd start with Redemption: The Last Battle of the Civil War and finish with The Deacons for Defense: Armed Resistance and the Civil Rights Movement.

What a historically ignorant wretch.

HuffPo Libs can't believe Gunwalker Scandal. "Shell shock. I've read it three times and it still seems unbelievab­ly insane."

Heroic, benevolent Dear Leader.

Readers may recall this post from the other day "That did it. The bag is out of the Gunwalker cat. 'Mexicogate.'"

The Obama administration faces a tough choice: either orchestrate a cover-up, as the ATF appears to be doing, or open up the case and accept the consequences.

The gunwalking case tests the integrity of the Obama government. It also further weakens support for a failing drug war strategy. The administration is currently seeking millions more dollars in security aid to Mexico under the Merida Initiative.

The best path forward is to fully investigate the operation and punish those responsible -- no matter how high up the blame goes.

Well, Laura Carlsen's Foreign Policy in Focus piece just got put up on the Huffington Post and the HuffPo Libs can't believe the Gunwalker Scandal.

Craftycrow comments: "Thank you for this report! I never would've known about this. How ridiculous­. If you're going to break internatio­nal law and ethics, at least wipe out a lot of bad cartel people in the process. What they did didn't even help."

Rudyinbama writes: "Shell shock. I've read it three times and it still seems unbelievab­ly insane."

The more they find out, the less they're going to like it. It just doesn't fit with benevolent picture they have of "Dear Leader."

Massholes strike for Green Weeniery at Concord.

Barking Moonbats fly at dawn over Concord Bridge.

Very nice: Missourian tax dollars at work. "Union Leaders Teach Labor Studies Courses on Communism, Violence, Industrial Sabotage & Frying Cats."

Commie sabo-tabby's at work.

The University of Missouri has an expansive $1.9 billion enterprise with an operating budget of $500 million which, according to its website, 37% comes through state appropriations. While the University’s Institute of Labor Studies may only be a small fraction of its budget, one must wonder why tax dollars are being used to fund a program that espouses Communism, teaches tactics in industrial sabotage (including stalking CEOs, using members to insinuate sabotage, as well as the killing of cats), and convincing union members that their “group goals” are more important than their individual goals.

Light posting today.

Leg still hurts like hell. Will be working most of today on a chronology of the Gunwalker scandal and other topics. Probably will have more posts later. In the mean time, this remains the single most important post I have done since I broke the Gunwalker story on 28 December. If you didn't have the time yesterday, please make the time today. It is key to what happens in the Gunwalker scandal in the near future, or so I am told.

A Worthwhile Endeavor: Free men and women acting like free men and women. Go figure.

AAR: RTC/Georgia Carry Rally, Georgia State Capitol - April 23, 2011.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Praxis: The Lost Art of 12 Gauge "Cut Shells"

A tip of the boonie hat to Skip who forwarded this:

Which led me to find this post of Veral Smith's: "Cut shells for shotguns."

Perhaps this subject gets a little outside the prescribed limits of this forum, but so what, quite a few of my answers do, if I think it will benefit the readers. So hear goes with a bit of survival information which every shotgunner should know about, and try when he has no need, just so he knows an option for turning his shotshells into a mean big game killer.

Cut shells used to be a legal ammo for deer in Michigan, and during the last great depression, were the only ammo available to many deer hunters. It worked well with paper hulls back then, but even better with modern plastic hulls, using factory made rounds. Reloads may not have enough crimp grip to hold the slug together. They DO NOT work well in semi autos, as they can't eject the stub cartridge. In pumps, you'll have to play with it to get the empty out. In break barrel or bolt action guns the short hull will come out easily, and most importantly, with the breakbarrel, one can look down the tube to be sure the hull didn't remain in the barrel, in case he doesn't see the slug make impact. I've had barrels which ruptured the hull inside sending only the normal swarm of shot out, but never had a hull remain in the tube. Yet it's a concern of mine, and I always check if not absolutely sure a SLUG hit out there somewhere.

Use a sharp knife and cut at a slight diagonal through the shot shell case just a little more than half way, roll the shell a half turn and repeat. This will leave a slim strip of plastic on each side which will loosely hold the "slug" of shot against the powder charge. Make the cut about center of the area on the shot cup where you can see the hollow section.

Use any shotshell. Even dove loads of #8 shot will stomp a deer down with stunning speed, but I prefer heavier shot, #5 and heavier, and heavier loads. There is no need for magnum loads, but they are fine if that's what you are carrying.

I've probably shot them in 40 different shotguns and the only ones which didn't work were one with a rough bore, from someone shooting ball bearings, and a couple with the old adjustable Poly Choke.

How they work. I've never shot a shotgun with barrel good enough to send the whole slug down range, which was not more accurate with cut shells than with factory slugs. The effect on impact is identical to holding the shotgun barrel an inch or two from the animals side, but with cutshells the range goes out to way beyond 100 yards! Seeing one hit will leave an impression you'll never forget.

I wrote this up because they worked so well in the great depression. There is no reason why they won't work every bit as well in this current greatest depression of the nations history.

Veral got a lot of positive comment, and over the next weeks he added more posts:

Wide flatnose glazer danger slug. Pretty descriptive, I'd say. The hull ruptures on contact. Entrance wound will be bore size, then the shot scatters out. Penetration is VERY shallow with fine shot, and ranges to serious depths with heavy buck shot.

Perhaps of interest. My brother in law shot 6 deer in a row with cut shells, #6 shot, 2 3/4 inch shells, from a 12 guage break barrel which he found near a bridge when the river was low. The rattiest gun I ever saw in the woods. Every one of them dropped instantly and never moved. A couple were huge bragging bucks, but they couldn't stand after taking a cut shell in the chest. -- With a broadside shot in the ribs, using fine shot, they kill deer as quick as a 22-250 kills ground hogs, but mess up very little meat. If the shooter messes up and hits in a meaty area, the impact is normally enough to deck a deer, yet meat waste is suprisingly low, for the massive force delivered by a cut shell.

Later "Woodsrunner" asked: "Don't pressures really go up when a cut shell hits a full choke?"

Veral answered:

There are no indicators to make one believe so. I don't believe there is any difference than if the shell were fired normally, and if so it wouldn't matter. You see, by the time a shot charge, cut shell or any kind of projectile reaches the end of the barrel pressures have dropped WAY below maximum chamber pressure, which occurs when the projectile, or shot charge is only inches from the case, and with some loads, perhaps while the charge is still partly inside the case. A better and more accurate way to visualize what happens when the choke is hit is that the constriction slows the projectile a little, maybe. - In my more salad years I made up some slugs which were just under bore diameter, without lube grooves or lubrication of any kind. When they hit a full choke there was pretty heavy leading with just one shot, but no indicators of pressure changing, and the choke did not get larger, or banna peel, which would probably have happened if sizing pressure against the barrel would have been anything like a normal person would suspect. The choke on this particular 16 gauge single shot, was precisely 18 1/2 inches from the breech, which is where I had sawed the barrel off. I didn't like the open bore, so split the barrel with a hack saw, length wise, for about 1 1/4 inches, closed it up a bit tighter than a full choke and gas welded it using chrome moly rod. I then squeezed the choke round as I could and polished the inside. It definitely shot extra full, but a bit to one side, as I didn't get it perfectly straight. One thing for sure, my weld wasn't as strong as the original barrel, it was extra full, yet it didn't show stress from my stupid slug experimenting. Read those last three words again before you try duplicating what I did!

I smile every time I see the interest in this post. Makes me feel good to be an American with all the rest of you! To my mind there is a bit of freedom in just knowing this little trick, even though one may not ever need to use it. I haven't shot one for probably 20 years, except to show some young hunters here, but I feel good knowing this trick and spreading it around.

A couple of days ago it occurred to me that I hadn't rightly explained what happens when cut shells are used in auto loaders, and to a lesser degree in pump guns. The short stub shell cocks a bit and binds, when the ejector jerks to hard on one side, and normally stays in the gun. It's a hassle to get the empty out with an auto, but worth it if you must get feed yourself and shot is the only thing you have when a big animal shows up for dinner. With a pump, the hull comes out fairly easy by jiggling the action a few times. With a bolt gun this will happen naturally, and with any break barrel gun, there are no problems with ejection.

Bad News Bob then asks:

I really like this ideal and even thou it is not required now it would be a handy bit of info when ya need it. What I was wondering thou how much do you leave uncut? I want to try a couple out of my NEF 20 gauge, Just so I'll know.

Veral answered:

Re: Badnews Bobs question. I'm glad you asked.

The cut should go a bit over halfway around the shell, and best position lengthwise, is near the upper part of the cushion web work which is visable through many semi transparent loads. Make the cut holding the shell just like you would if slicing a carrot, thumb backing the shell. But cut only through the hull, not the wad, as we want the wad to remain intact. It does the steering of the back end. Work your cut a bit over halfway around and at a slight angle, so that when a second cut is made on the opposite side a thing strip of shell remains between the two cuts. The cuts don't have to be neat and straight. If you see you are running at too much angle, or not enough bend your cut till the strips are about what you want. This strip between where the two cuts pass, should be anywhere from 1/16 to 1/8 inch wide and about 1/4 inch long if the strip is close to 1/8 wide. If your strip comes out closer to 1/16 wide the two cuts should pass each other a bit less than 1/4 inch, so the shell doesn't become shaky. The purpose of the strips is to hold the shell together till fired. When the shell is fired, the strips break, or are pulled in two. They should break with very little resistance so the crimp isn't loosened, or even completely released. If you should slip up and cut one side too thin or completely off, no problem, so long as it doesn't have to stand recoil. As long as one side remains intact it will hold the shell together if it is fired first in a double barrel, or shot in any single barrel. If you should cut it completely in two, which isn't likely, it is probably best to toss it, because if the shot slides forward, leaving an air space between it and the powder charge you COULD run into pressure problems when the hammer falls, though I've seen a coupld rounds fired this way without pressure signs. If I accidentally cut one completely in half in the field, and were short on ammo, I would slip a grass stem in along side the shell so it had to be forced a bit to chamber, thus holding the shot back against the powder charge.

Looks like the old saying, a picture is worth a thousand words is going to stand here if I don't quit typing and post this! -- Kinda funny. I could demonstrate the cutting and shooting in 20 seconds and have time left over, without speaking a word. It is that simple.

There's more at the link, of course. The video makes a lot of the verbiage above superfluous. Remember, this is a trick to be used single-shot on game in any shotgun, but on evil bad guys only in single or double barrel break shotguns (if that's all you've got). I can see the shell coming apart in a pump or autoloader and that would be a badness thing in the middle of serious social discussion.

Still, it is a neat piece of history that continues to work.

Gunwalker miscellany: Mexican gov't continues to seek extradition of ATF agents & mgmt. involved in Gunwalker; LTEs; DOJ won't comment on GOM lawsuit.

A letter to the editor: "I’m from the BATFE, and I’m here to help you." We need more of these.

From Tom Ramstack at All Headline News: U.S. government stays clear of Mexican lawsuit against gun sellers."

The U.S. Justice Department is trying to avoid involvement in the Mexican government’s plan to sue gun manufacturers and retailers in American courts.

"We would decline to comment," Laura Sweeney, spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Justice, told All Headline News on Monday.

Mexican government officials acknowledged in recent days they have hired a New York law firm to represent them in a lawsuit against the gun industry.

From, a Google translation of "PGR Negiotiated prosecute U.S. agents involved in the plan Fast and Furious."

Saturday 23 April 2011

Have authorized the illegal trafficking of at least two thousand heavy weapons. Asked the U.S. government to identify those involved in the operation.

Mexico City: The Attorney General's Office (PGR) is negotiating with U.S. authorities that agents of the bureau of Alcohol, Snuff, and Firearms (ATF, for its acronym in English) are prosecuted for involvement in illegal trafficking of at least two thousand arms caliber Mexican territory, operating as part of Fast and Furious, Mexican officials said participating in the national security cabinet.

From mid-March, the Deputy Legal and International Affairs initiated the request for information to U.S. government and the identification of all those who participated in the operation, while the Office of Special Investigations on Organized Crime (SIEDO) began a preliminary investigation.

Officials said they consulted during the administration of Arturo Chavez Chavez, the Federal Public Ministry urged that U.S. authorities disclose to the Attorney General the names of ATF agents and officers involved in the transfer of more than two thousand guns into Mexico.

According to information gathered, Mexican officials involved in the exchange groups and collaboration with the Americans continue the negotiations for ATF agents to be punished criminally in that country.

Supposedly, the two thousand weapons illegally entered Mexico, about 750 were recovered and at least two cases the equipment was used to kill U.S. agents, the first one in December 2010, Brian Terry, a member of the Patrol Border, who was killed in Arizona by Mexican criminal suspects, and in February this year in San KLuis Potosi, members of Los Zetas killed Jaime Zapoata, agent of the Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Moreover, the Mexican government will seek to bring to U.S. courts to manufacturers and distributors of weapons that have been sold to Mexican criminal groups, according to a report by CBS News.

Through the wringer, but back home for now -- and maybe in Pittsburgh by Saturday.

Just got back home after being put through the wringer. X-ray by Torquemada the Technician, fluid drained off knee by Doctor Stickem Hard, MRI by the Manson Family's Lesser Cousins and, worst of all -- hours spent in waiting rooms with nothing but chick magazines to read. Good news: no hospital for now and don't have to come back until next Monday, ergo, if I can round up the car rental and gas money, I'll be gimping along at the NRA convention for my "major award."

The SOF award will be presented at Alan Gottlieb's Second Amendment Foundation blogger bash at the Courtyard by Marriot located across the street from the convention center in downtown Pittsburgh on Saturday night 30 April from 6PM to 9PM. The street address is 945 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222.

My intention is to start Thursday, drive to Marion, OH, stay overnight there, then make my way up to the Cleveland area and link up with David Codrea on Friday. We will then travel to the convention on Saturday morning. I'll know for sure by Wednesday if I can pull the whole thing together. If you're going to be there and want to meet up, send me an email to GeorgeMason1776atAOLdotCOM by Friday.


This just in from a DC "old hand" regarding the Dan Restrepo piece.

Mike -- one of your most insightful pieces to date, showing how "connected" this policy was, and how high up the food chain it was "managed/coordinated."

You're getting that PhD in Washington civics, the one not taught in any college or school.

Considering this fellow has tons more experience than me at this business, I take it as a high compliment. I'm off to the doctor now, and probably the hospital after that. I'll have my cell phone with me. And my lap top. Even if I'm hospitalized, I'll still be working.

Too bad, Gunwalker men.

I ain't dead yet.

Meet Dan Restrepo. Is Dan the Oliver North of the Gunwalker scandal? My guess: if he isn't, he knows who is.

Restrepo's job is to implement Obama's vision for how the U.S. should interact with the other thirty-four countries in the Western Hemisphere. There is no typical workday at the NSC "at least, I haven't found one yet," says Restrepo, and the country or issue he's thinking about switches constantly over the course of each day. He chairs frequent meetings between U.S. federal agencies and foreign visitors, and keeps Obama's national security advisor briefed on matters in the Western Hemisphere that might require the president's attention. -- Penn Law Journal, Spring, 2010.

If personnel is policy and bad policies on the ground come from meetings of ambitious persons on high, then those of us who are trying to figure out where the Gunwalker scandal came from might want to look at Dan Restrepo and the meetings he's been in.

Many readers of Sipsey Street who are familiar with the Obama anti-firearm agenda will recall this promise from the Obama campaign, entitled “Address Gun Violence in Cities.”

As president, Barack Obama would repeal the Tiahrt Amendment, which restricts the ability of local law enforcement to access important gun trace information, and give police officers across the nation the tools they need to solve gun crimes and fight the illegal arms trade. Obama and Biden also favor commonsense measures that respect the Second Amendment rights of gun owners, while keeping guns away from children and from criminals who shouldn't have them. They support closing the gun show loophole and making guns in this country childproof. They also support making the expired federal Assault Weapons Ban permanent, as such weapons belong on foreign battlefields and not on our streets.

Fewer readers will be familiar with Obama's campaign promises about Mexico, and even fewer will recognize the name of his campaign point man then and Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Western Hemisphere Affairs on the National Security Council now: Dan Restrepo.

The Bolívar Network of the University of Virginia ("an inclusive alumni organization dedicated to reaching out to and advocating for all Latinos, Hispanics and Latin American birth, origin, or affinity alumni, students and friends of the University of Virginia's Latino community by connecting to each other and to the University") described Restrepo, Class of 1993, before he took up his jobs with Obama thusly:

Dan Restrepo is a Senior Fellow and Director of The Americas Project at American Progress. In his role, Dan is responsible for the Center’s work related to the United States and its place in and relationship with the rest of the Americas. Dan, a first generation American of Colombian and Spanish parents, served on the Democratic staff of the House International Relations Committee from 1993 to 1996. There he focused on all aspects of U.S. policy toward Latin America and the Caribbean, including U.S. policy toward Haiti during its political transitions, U.S. counter-narcotics programs and policies, the consolidation of the Central American peace processes, U.S.-Cuba policy, and the Mexican debt crisis among other matters. During his tenure on the International Relations Committee staff, Dan traveled extensively throughout the hemisphere meeting with government officials, civil society leaders, and opposition party leaders.

Immediately before starting The Americas Project, Dan served as the Director of Congressional Affairs at American Progress. Prior to joining American Progress, Dan spent three years as an associate at the law firm of Williams & Connolly, LLP. (Emphasis supplied, MBV) Prior to those years, Dan served as an attorney for the Florida Democratic Party during the 2000 election recount. From August through November 2000, he worked as the Research Director for the Florida Democratic Coordinated Campaign. . .

Dan graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania School of Law (1999) before serving as a judicial clerk to the Hon. Anthony J. Scirica of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Dan graduated from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA (1993). He speaks fluent Spanish.

Another Restrepo profile.

And what is Williams & Connolly?

Williams & Connolly LLP is a prominent litigation firm based in Washington, D.C. The firm was founded by trial lawyer Edward Bennett Williams, who left the partnership of D.C. firm Hogan & Hartson to launch his own litigation boutique.

Recent high-profile cases include the successful defense of U.S. President Clinton's impeachment, representation of Enron's law firm Vinson & Elkins, representation of the motion picture studios in the Kazaa/Grokster file-trading litigation, defense of the Vioxx cases, and counsel for the plaintiff states in the United States v. Microsoft antitrust remedy trial.

In past years the firm represented Colonel Oliver North during the Iran-Contra Affair, and defended John Hinckley, the would-be assassin of President Reagan, and President Clinton during the impeachment hearings. The firm's senior partner is Brendan Sullivan. -- Wikipedia.

Oliver North. Pretty ironic.

The law firm lists this litany of descriptions of themselves on the sidebar of their website:

"Williams and Connolly likes to save itself for clients in mortal danger." -- The American Lawyer

"The powerhouse Washington law firm with a deep bench." -- Wall Street Journal

"Williams & Connolly, the Washington power law firm." -- Washington Post

"A reputation for fierce representation of its high-profile clients." -- National Law Journal

"One of the city's most prestigious and feared law firms." -- The New Republic

"Tightly knit, highly trained, and notoriously relentless." -- Legal Times

"Washington D.C.'s Williams & Connolly is one of the most prestigious firms in the country - and one of the most tight-lipped." --

I guess it ain't braggin' if you can do it.

W&C describes their own successes in International Litigation and Arbitration:

Williams & Connolly LLP has represented numerous clients in a wide range of international disputes. The firm has been recognized as one of the top 10 firms in the United States for International Commercial Litigation in a survey of corporate counsel and peer firms conducted by Euromoney and awarded the top honor as the only leading law firm for dispute resolution in Washington, D.C. by the PLC Global Counsel Dispute Resolution Handbook (2004-2005 edition). Whether in litigation, arbitration, or negotiation, Williams & Connolly attorneys bring to international disputes the same traditions of top-notch preparation, strategic thinking, and concern for the client's goals as in the firm's domestic litigation practice.

The firm is frequently retained to represent both foreign and U.S. clients in litigation in foreign countries as well as in litigation spanning two or more national jurisdictions. Firm lawyers manage all aspects of such proceedings to ensure a unified, consistent approach. For example, when a Bermuda company confronted a series of disputes over an investment it made in Chile with
co-investors from Chile, Canada, and the United States, Williams & Connolly lawyers directed litigation strategy in each of the relevant countries with close attention to the legal regimes and customs of each country and careful oversight of how developments in one country would impact strategy in the other countries.

The firm's attorneys have represented clients involved in disputes
all over the world, including:

Europe - Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece,
Holland, Hungary, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, the United
Kingdom, Ukraine, Bulgaria, and the former Yugoslavia

Asia and the South Pacific Region - China, Indonesia,
India, Japan, Philippines, Russia, Taiwan, Thailand, and

Middle East - Bahrain, Israel, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, and
the United Arab Emirates

Americas - Argentina, Bermuda, Bolivia, Brazil, British
Virgin Islands, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica,
Ecuador, El Salvador, Mexico, (Emphasis supplied, MBV) Panama, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela

Africa - Congo (Brazzaville and Kinshasa), Madagascar, São
Tomé and Principe, and South Africa

W&C has some powerful partners, including Clinton impeachment lawyer Gregory B. Craig (as was Lanny Breuer, DOJ Gunwalker conspirator). Craig made headlines when he became one of the first of the Clinton camp to endorse Obama, and the ABA Journal predicted in its November 2008 edition that Craig would be named Secretary of State in an Obama administration. However, Craig was ultimately appointed as White House Counsel in the administration, a post he later resigned, supposedly being forced out because of his role in advising Obama to close Guantanamo Bay by January 2010, a task that could not be achieved. His resignation became official on 3 January 2010.

Other high-power partners include Kevin M. Downey and David D. Aufhauser. Aufhauser's official bio states:

His areas of practice include arbitration and mediation, litigation, financial services counseling, Patriot Act and FCPA compliance, OFAC and CIFIUS related matters, and legislative and executive branch investigations.

David has previously served as a Managing Director and Global General Counsel of the UBS AG investment bank, and as the General Counsel of the U.S. Department of Treasury, supervising the Department’s legal functions in International Affairs, Domestic Banking and Finance, Enforcement, the Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. Bureau of Customs, the Office of Foreign Asset Controls, the Secret Service, ATF, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and the U.S. Mint.

David currently serves as a senior adviser at the Center of Strategic & International Studies (CSIS), a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, an executive committee director of the Atlantic Council, a trustee of the St. Albans School of Public Service, and has served on the Global Markets Advisory Board of the U.S. government’s National Intelligence Council.

Altogether as serious bunch of players as you will find in the District of Criminals. And Restrepo apprenticed at the knees of these power brokers for three years.

On 12 November 2008, Restrepo, then Obama's chief campaign adviser on Latin American affairs, was interviewed by Processo's J. Jesús Esquivel on "What Obama wants in the U.S. Relationship with Mexico."

Restrepo maintains that Obama is concerned, and to a degree annoyed, that the Mexican people are paying the consequences for decisions made by the government of George W. Bush in the struggle against narcotics trafficking: abandoning programs to reduce drug use, and not allotting more personnel nor economic resources in order to restrain illegal activities in the United States that help organized crime and narcotics trafficking from the other side of the southern border.

"Obama wants first to decrease the demand for drugs in the United States. He is firmly determined to do that which is necessary in order to revitalize the rehabilitation programs that, we well know, work, and that unfortunately have been abandoned in recent years," he emphasized.

Then "we will work to inhibit the flow of weapons, cash and stolen vehicles that go from north to south across our border." (Emphasis supplied, MBV) That is, Restrepo explained, "he wants to close those flows that feed narcotics trafficking," that too have caused the violent struggle of the drug cartels in Mexico for transit routes to the United States."

On 9 January 2009, (Wikileaks reveals) a secret State Department cable warns the new administration of increasing threats by the cartels to U.S. law enforcement. Very prescient in the light of the deaths of agents Terry and Zapata:

R 232312Z JAN 09 ZDS

S E C R E T MEXICO 000193

E.O. 12958: DNG: CO 01/22/2019

U.S. Personnel and Institutions Targets?

¶12. (C) We have observed a significant up-tick in threats, as well as incidents of surveillance, against USG personnel and properties over the last three months. All threats are treated seriously and precautions taken; fortunately, none has come to fruition.

¶13. (S/NF) On October 12, unknown persons fired gunshots and tossed an un-detonated grenade at the U.S. Consulate in Monterrey. The attack occurred after hours, no one was injured, and little damage occurred. No message was left and we have uncovered no useful intelligence regarding the authors or their motives. One unsubstantiated report cited a source claiming a senior Gulf cartel leader ordered the attack. However, with little hard evidence, no attempt to claim credit and no follow on incident to date, the possibility remains that this was an isolated, possibly even
impulsive, attack not likely undertaken at the behest of senior cartel leaders.

¶14. (C) While the cartels have not yet directly targeted USG law enforcement or other personnel, they have shown little reticence about going after some of our most reliable partners in Mexican law enforcement agencies. Ten close DEA law enforcement liaison officers have been killed since 2007, seven of whom were members of Special Vetted Units. Similarly, within the past two years 51 close FBI contacts have been murdered. More than sixty of Mexico's best law enforcement officers in whom we have placed our trust and with whom we have collaborated on sensitive investigations,
shared intelligence and in many cases trained and vetted have been murdered by the cartels. We do know from sources that cartel members have at least contemplated the possibility of doing harm to both our personnel and institutions, but we frankly don't know enough about how DTO members think and operate to know what factors might trigger a decision to mount such an attack, but the potential threat is very real.

¶15. (C) We assess that the threat to U.S. personnel could increase if the violence continues to escalate and more high-level government officials and political leaders are targeted. Also, a reaction may be triggered if traffickers perceive their losses are due to U.S. support to the GOM's counter-narcotics efforts. We will continue to monitor potential threats to U.S. personnel from organized criminal gangs and be alert to information that suggests drug traffickers increasingly see the U.S. hand as responsible for their losses.

On 25 February 2009, Attorney General Eric Holder announced the Obama administration’s appetite for a new “Assault Weapons Ban” and was immediately slapped down in public by Democrats including Nancy Pelosi and Rahm Emanuel.

On 25 March 2009, Secretary of State Clinton conferred with Mexican President Calderon.

A secret State Department cable that was posted on Wikileaks reveals that in the room for the U.S. were Clinton; Charge D'affaires Leslie Bassett; Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Thomas Shannon; Laura Pena, Senior Advisor to the Secretary of State; and Dan Restrepo, Senior Director, National Security Council. (Emphasis supplied, MBV.) Mexico was represented by President Calderon, Foreign Secretary Espinosa, Ambassador to the U.S. Sarukhan, Under Secretary Rico and Presidential Advisor Fernandez de Castro.

From the cable Summary: “During an extremely cordial conversation with Secretary Clinton, President Calderon emphasized his personal commitment to providing security for Mexican citizens, pressed for greater U.S. actions against arms trafficking, (Emphasis supplied, MBV) conveyed concerns about how the issue of Cuba will be treated at the upcoming Summit of the Americas, and discussed his ideas for global action on environmental issues.”

The cable details:

6. (C) President Calderon acknowledged that our agenda is broader than security, but turned to that topic as the most urgent. His personal commitment was to leave his successor a secure Mexico with credible institutions free of the taint of corruption. To succeed he needed U.S. support, and suggested renewing the assault weapons ban.

He said that there was a clear correlation between the lifting of the ban in 2004 and Mexico's current situation. During the six years of the Fox administration, Mexican forces captured 3,000 assault weapons. In the last two years, they confiscated 16,000, with no end in sight. The availability of assault weaponry had contributed to the cartels' new aggression against government forces. A second factor was cartels' expanding interests. While they still fought for access to the U.S. market, they were increasingly seeking to control the growing Mexican drug market, as well. The combination of assault weapons and an increased imperative for geographic control prompted the dramatic increases in violence Mexico had recently witnessed. The third factor was the Mexican government's increased pressure on the cartels. . .

10. (C) Secretary Clinton responded that her message was one of co-responsibility and cooperation. She was personally committed to making sure both countries succeed. The United States would do its share. In the coming weeks, AG Holder and DHS Secretary Napolitano would visit Mexico to further this important dialogue.

The Obama Administration had announced on March 20 a series of new measures along the U.S. border to impede smuggling or arms and cash into Mexico. The Secretary said she could not be confident that an assault weapons ban would be passed by Congress, but she was confident the Administration would use every means to aggressively enforce existing law. (Emphasis supplied, MBV.) She offered to share ideas with Mexico on demand reduction in both countries. She affirmed the Administration's absolute confidence that Calderon would succeed in his efforts, and that the United States would be with him every step of the way.

The day before, on 24 March 2009, Jackie Vega of the Associated Press, reported: "Gun debate crosses into border struggle
Possible solution hangs over U.S.-Mexico violence."

Congress may be alarmed by the surge in Mexican drug violence and its potential to spill across the border, but its members grow silent when the talk turns to gun control as a solution.

With related kidnappings and killings occurring in the United States, the Obama administration is likely to shift dozens of enforcement agents and millions of dollars to the fight against Mexican drug cartels. . .

However, when Attorney General Eric Holder suggested reinstituting a United States ban on the sale of certain semiautomatic weapons, many lawmakers balked. The 1994 ban expired after 10 years.

Mexico has long tried to get the United States to curtail the number of guns, many purchased legally, that wind up south of the border where gun laws are much stricter. The State Department said firearms obtained in the United States make up an estimated 95 percent of Mexico's drug-related killings.

Yet, when border violence comes up in hearings, lawmakers said they do not see a need for new gun laws. Sen. John Cornyn of Texas heads the GOP's Senate election committee.

"I don't think the solution to Mexico's problems is to limit Second Amendment gun rights in this country," said Cornyn. . .

Federal officials said the president's effort to shift dozens of enforcement agents and millions of dollars to the fight against Mexican drug cartels is not a static response, indicating success will change the dynamic. National Security Council official Dan Restrepo said that is a "problem risk" that they welcome. Restrepo said the need to be adaptable is one of the things they are trying to emphasize, by working effectively and in a coordinated fashion across the federal government. (Emphasis supplied, MBV.)

"The U.S.-Mexico relationship, the Southwest border, implicates pieces of the government that need to be coordinated at the federal level (Emphasis supplied, MBV.) and then obviously with state and local officials," Restrepo said. "That effort is a dynamic one, one that is on-going."

Restrepo cited Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano's invaluable insights as a former border governor. The National Security Council official said the dynamic response will be adjusted as authorities go along and as President Obama directs them to make sure they stay on top of the issue.

"The steps that we are taking today is part of an on-going process," Restrepo said. "Success will require an adjustment of resources as we move forward."

April 2009: The Center for American Progress issues a report: Transcending the Rio Grande: U.S.-Mexico relations need to reach beyond the border. Recommendations of our Mexico Working Group.

Political and economic relations between the United States and Mexico are at a defining moment. Exploding drug-related violence along the U.S.-Mexico border and the inability of both nations to stem the flow of drugs from the south—and lethal weaponry from the north—increasingly feeds powerful criminal groups in both countries. Add to this lethal mix the still reverberating consequences of the global financial and economic crisis and it’s easy to see why U.S.-Mexico relations are rising to the fore of U.S. foreign, economic, and national security concerns.

Indeed, 60 days into his administration, President Obama unveiled in March a new border security strategy as a central component of the $1.4 billion Merida Initiative originally signed in 2008 to address growing bilateral concerns about the increasingly devastating effect drug-trafficking organizations are having on public safety and institutional integrity in Mexico, as well as the strain these organizations are placing on U.S. law enforcement agencies. Several weeks later, Mexico said it would turn to the International Monetary Fund for a $30 billion-to-$40 billion loan under an IMF program designed to help developing nations hit hard by the global financial crisis.

Neither of these critical steps to restore political and economic stability on both sides of the border was envisioned when a working group on U.S.-Mexico relations was first convened in February 2008 by former Senior Fellow and Director of the Americas Project at the Center for American Progress, Dan Restrepo. (Emphasis supplied, MBV.) But the members of the working group understood in no uncertain terms the broader ramifications of deteriorating working relationships between the two countries. All realized the simmering crisis along the border was rapidly penetrating ever more deeply into the interiors of both nations.

The members of the working group assembled by the Center for American Progress, representing a diverse range of expertise and ideological perspectives on the U.S.-Mexico relationship, met four times between February to May 2008 before the Center embarked upon drafting the final report now in your hands. Our working group consisted of 11 members and two congressional staff observers, with several prominent experts with experience in the most critical aspects of U.S.-Mexico relations invited to address the group. Their insights and views were particularly invaluable to informing the content of this report.

A working draft of this document was completed in January 2009, at which time the conclusion of the report was handled by the Research Associate for the Americas Project, Stephanie Miller, and the Senior Vice President for National Security at the Center for American Progress, Rudy deLeon. . .

This report contains concrete policy recommendations to help the Obama administration strengthen and deepen the U.S.-Mexico relationship, focusing on ways the United States can create a more progressive and robust relationship with Mexico in four critical areas:

• Improving the rule of law and judicial reform in Mexico.

• Stopping the illegal flow of arms and money from the United States to Mexico.

• Finding ways to enhance economic development.

• Promoting alternative energy cooperation and development.

Under the heading of "Reduce arms trafficking," the report says:

The United States needs to define a comprehensive strategy aimed at disrupting the traffic of arms to Mexico. This strategy must emphasize preventive initiatives on both sides of the border alongside effective controls on the sale of weapons at gun shows in the United States. Renewing the U.S. ban on assault weapons would help curb some the movement of these lethal military weapons to Mexico.

The United States should also examine more southbound traffic, and in turn Mexico must examine a lot more of what is coming into the United States. Right now Mexico barely stops any cars coming into Mexico from the United States. Just as Mexico often says the United States has a drug-demand problem and needs to address it, the same can now be said for Mexico’s firearms-demand problem, and can do more at the points of entry.

To improve the effective and timely exchange of intelligence on major U.S.-based trafficking of weapons handled by organizations with links to Mexican and Central American criminal organizations, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives needs increased resources to investigate straw purchasers and rogue licensed firearms dealers in the United States. Many of Mexico’s guns seem to be coming from a combination of small minority of rogue gun dealers, legitimate gun dealers who unknowingly sell to non-prohibited purchasers who then intend to give the guns to a third party—so-called “straw purchases”—and sales at gun shows. More resources would greatly help investigations at these places.

In addition, the ATF needs to increase its presence in Mexico at our consulates and work more closely with Mexico law enforcement to trace weapons back to U.S. dealers. Much of this has already begun in the form of Spanish eTrace and Project Gunrunner, which were established to disrupt firearms trafficking between the United States and Mexico by allowing the ATF to identify drug trafficking firearm trends by facilitating the paperless exchange of gun crime data in a secure web-based format. But more can be done. The Department of Homeland Security, however, should remain the lead on these efforts and should direct the ATF to work closely with other law enforcement agencies, such as U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, in operations to:

• Interdict weapons crossing U.S. borders.

• Devise new programs to share tracing capabilities with the appropriate Mexican authorities.

• Close off trafficking corridors.

• Expand actionable, real-time intelligence cooperation.

• Aggressively pursue prosecutions, interdictions and arrests of individuals seeking to move firearms across the border.

Establish a specific program to trace and disrupt the trafficking to Mexico of highpowered, military grade weaponry. (Emphasis supplied, MBV.)

April 2009: Obama makes Mexico his first Latin American stop on his way to the Summit of the Americas. Carin Zissis reports:

President Barack Obama pays a visit to his Mexican counterpart Felipe Calderón this week on the way to the Summit of the Americas. Security and close cultural ties will be on the menu even if spicy food is not. A surge in U.S. media coverage about violence fueled by drug cartels in Mexico has coincided with Washington’s recognition of its role in drug consumption and money laundering. But arms smuggling will be a major consideration. As Mexico's attorney general told USA Today, "For Mexico, the No. 1 priority is guns. The No. 2 priority is guns. The No. 3 priority is guns." The two presidents already met and now Obama will be making his first visit to Mexico and speculation grows over how bilateral relations can and should evolve.

Before Obama arrived in Mexico, the White House took steps to signal support for Mexico's battle with drug lords. The president imposed sanctions on three of Mexico's largest drug cartels, allowing the federal government to sieze their assets. The White House is expected to announce a nominee for "border czar"—a position that will focus on violence and crime in the border area. The Department of Homeland Security also that Alan Bersin, a former Justice Department official, will become the "border czar." The new position will focus on smuggling and human trafficking on the border.

While running for office, Obama promised to repair the U.S.-Mexican relationship. Over the past month, White House cabinet members laid the groundwork for their chief. In early April, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder met with President Felipe Calderón to talk about border security. (Emphasis supplied, MBV.) Their trip came on the heels of one by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, when she acknowledged that the United States shares the blame for the violence stemming from the drug war in Mexico.

On the eve of Clinton’s visit, the Department of Homeland Security launched a multi-agency border security initiative that ramps up manpower and technology to combat smuggling of drugs from and arms to Mexico. (Emphasis supplied, MBV.) Speaking on Worldfocus, AS/COA’s Christopher Sabatini called the new border security plan “a step in the right direction” and said the Obama administration’s proactive approach to demonstrated “a real sense of partnership.”

In keeping with the new security plan, Obama will back Calderón’s efforts to fight the drug cartels. Daniel Restrepo, the White House assistant on hemispheric affairs, told reporters the president will be “reinforcing the support for the Mexican government's efforts in Mexico and doing our part on our side of the border.” He also indicated that Obama will respond to Mexican concerns over the slow pace of funds for security guaranteed under the Merida Initiative. Still, as the San Francisco Chronicle points out, Restrepo was less forthcoming on whether the White House would support reinstating a ban on assault rifles, which make their way into Mexico. The ban was allowed to lapse in 2004 during the Bush administration.

Advice flows in for the Obama administration as to how the White House should support efforts to end the drug war deaths in Mexico, which numbered over 6,000 in 2008. In an op-ed for the New York Times, the Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime Antonio Maria Costa urges Washington to control gun trafficking across the border by adopting the UN Firearms Protocol. . .

Despite the recent focus on Mexico’s drug war, signs point to the violence easing up. The number of deaths related to the drug war dropped by 26 percent in the first quarter of 2009. (Emphasis supplied, MBV.)

On 13 April 2009: Restrepo, by then described as "Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Western Hemisphere Affairs, participated in a teleconference for the media (“President Obama Heads to Mexico, Summit of the Americas April 16-19,”) with Ambassador Jeffrey Davidow, U.S. Director Summit of the Americas, and Denis McDonough, director for Strategic Communications, National Security Council.

Restrepo answers this question:

Question: Thanks. I'll throw this out to anyone. On a "Face the Nation" interview yesterday, the Mexican ambassador suggested that it would be helpful if the United States enacted an assault weapons ban. How will the President approach that issue when he sits down with President Calderón? And what are the President's current thoughts on an assault weapons ban?

MR. RESTREPO: This is Dan Restrepo. The President understands the challenges presented by the illegal flow of weapons from the United States to Mexico, that is why he took the steps that were announced by the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice a few weeks ago, to do more with our own law enforcement capacity to confront those southward flows, to ensure that we are enforcing the laws of the United States as they exist today -- believes we can make a great deal of headway enforcing the laws that are on the books today and make a real positive difference in terms of the flow, the illegal flow of weapons to Mexico. That is the message that the President will be carrying with him.

He looks forward to speaking President Calderón on ways that we can work together more effectively to cut these illegal flows. And again, it's forcing and reinforcing the support for the Mexican government's efforts in Mexico and doing our part on our side of the border.

On 5 June 2009, the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) released its 2009 National Southwest Border Counternarcotics Strategy, which, for the first time, includes a chapter on combating illicit arms trafficking to Mexico. Prior to the new policy announcement, the U.S. government did not have a strategy that explicitly addressed arms trafficking to Mexico. (See "Hiding in plain sight: The real Obama Administration Rosetta Stone reveals the bureaucratic origins of the Gunwalker Scandal.")

It claimed these "Strategic objectives":

1. Enhance intelligence capabilities associated with the Southwest border.

2. Interdict drugs, drug proceeds, and associated instruments of violence at the ports of entry, between the ports of entry, and in the air and maritime domains along the Southwest border.

3. Ensure the prosecution of all significant drug trafficking, money laundering, bulk
currency, and weapons smuggling/trafficking cases.

4. Disrupt and dismantle drug trafficking organizations.

5. Enhance counterdrug technologies for drug detection and interdiction along the
Southwest border.

My sources now say that Restrepo had a "guiding input" into this new policy.

24 July 2009: A Secret Cable from Us Embassy in Mexico City:


E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/24/2019

¶1. (S/NF) Summary. President Calderon's security strategy lacks an effective intelligence apparatus to produce high quality information and targeted operations. Embassy officers working with the GOM report that Mexico's use of strategic and tactical intelligence is fractured, ad hoc, and reliant on U.S. support. Despite their myriad inefficiencies and deficiencies, Mexican security services broadly recognize the need for improvement. Sustained U.S. assistance can help shape and fortify the technical capacity of institutions and can also create a more reliable, collegial inter-agency environment.

On 1 October 2009, Alejandra Labanca writing in the Miami Herald in a story entitled "Mexican drug cartels might target U.S. businesses" reports:

On Wednesday, Dan Restrepo, special assistant to President Barack Obama and senior director for Western Hemisphere Affairs at the National Security Council, pointed out that the current administration is committed to continue cooperating with Mexico. He said Washington has increased resources for drug programs and beefed up security along the southwest border to try to constrain the rampant smuggling of assault weapons heading into Mexico. (Emphasis supplied, MBV.

We now know that it was sometime in the fall of 2009 that someone in the Obama administration at some level green-lighted what would become the "Gunwalker scandal."

On 4 October 2009, a secret State Department cable posted by Wikileaks, Acting Attorney General of Mexico Alcantara hosted a dinner for Deputy Attorney General for the Criminal Division Lanny Breuer September 21 in Mexico City. Other U.S. attendees
included Deputy Assistant AG Bruce Swartz, Deputy Assistant AG for Criminal Division Kenneth Blanco, Special Assistant to the AG Paul Rosen, DOJ Attache Tony Garcia and NAS Director Keith Mines.

On 22 May 2010, with the 2010 mid-term elections looming, it was reported in Mexico that in an interview Restrepo had announced "Obama will not ban the sale of arms."

The government of President Barack Obama will not push a bill to ban the sale of high-powered arms, as Mexican President Felipe Calderón had asked the U.S. Congress according to an official at the White House.

It is not expected that a bill will be pushed in the Congress on this subject, Dan Restrepo told reporters, a National Security Council Hemispheric Affairs advisor.

Restrepo indicated that the government is taking measures so that federal agencies which must control the flow of arms from the United States to Mexico continue, and apprehend “those who violate the laws of the United States.” (Emphasis supplied, MBV.)

During his speech before the joint session of Congress, Calderón asked that the ban on the sale of high-powered arms be renewed, in order to brake the supply of munitions that cross the common border and end up in the hands of the drug cartels in Mexico.

The U.S. Congress ended the ban in 2004.

Mexico has raised on many occasions the ease by which arms in the United States help organized crime by supplying them, but the request of a foreign chief of state that the Congress approve a specific law, especially one so controversial, drew criticism from several legislators.

In statements to Hispanic media, Restrepo said that ban “has been a topic of discussion every time the president of the U.S., Barack Obama, has met with President Felipe Calderon.”

Obama “has been clear that he thinks we have to do more to cut the flow of illegal arms from the United States to Mexico, and we take and are going to continue taking steps to do exactly that”, he said.

Nevertheless, emphasized the high official, the White House “has no intention to push such a bill in the Congress.”

In place of that, he specified, the White House intends to put the emphasis on cutting the flow of arms and money going north and south by means of steps that federal agencies which have that responsibility are adopting, such as the Department of Homeland Security. (Emphasis supplied, MBV.)

Also, emphasis will be put, said Restrepo, on enforcing the current laws of the U.S. against those who are violating them, who are part of the problem.”

“That is what the president of the United States has committed himself to, and that is what we are doing”, stated the high official.

Nevertheless, the daily The Washington Post supported Calderon’s request and indicated that the government of Obama, “has been very absent in the fight against the sale of illegal arms.

“On the subject of arms, the U.S. president should learn a lesson on principle from his Mexican counterpart”, it added.

Calderon visited the capitol on Wednesday and Thursday, when he met with Obama and came to a state dinner in his honor and gave the speech before the Congress.

As the "gunwalking" continued throughout the latter part of 2009 and through 2010 until the death of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry on 14 December 2010, the issue of greatest import to the administration's hopes of getting another "assault weapons" ban and a "gun show loophole" bill depended entirely on the outcome of the 2010 mid-terms, which is where the circumspection on previous demands for a new AWB came from. The administration knew that it could expect some losses but did not anticipate the political disaster that it sustained. Critical to those pre-election hopes was the increasing death toll in Mexico with more and more American civilian market firearms found at crime scenes. With the loss of the House and the deaths of Brian Terry and then Jaime Zapata and -- especially -- the whistle-blowing of courageous ATF agents like John Dodson, Darren Gil and others, the comprehensive plan that resulted in the Gunwalker scandal collapsed completely. Now they are in cover-up mode, big time.

Still, citizen disarmament advocates, Democrat politicians and others continue to call for more restrictions on honest firearm owners, gun stores and gun shows and more power and money for the ATF.

When the various committees of Congress finally get around to investigating "Project Gunwalker" and where it came from, it would seem to me that Dan Restrepo would be a good witness to put under oath. He was the original architect of the Obama Mexico policies while still at the Center for American Progress, and has been in the National security Council with an eagle's eye view of things ever since. We know that this scandal involved considerable inter-agency sharing of information and actions. Such bureaucratic operations across jurisdictional lines require a coordinator, someone at the level of the National Security Council, an Oliver North for example, to oversee the various parts.

Is Dan Restrepo the Oliver North of the Gunwalker Scandal?

Let's ask him.

Under oath.

Mike Vanderboegh