Thursday, June 30, 2011

Sipsey Street joins White House in objecting to Mark Halperin's characterization of Obama as "a dick."

Nothing could be further from the truth. He is, in fact, dickless.

Jay Dobyns to be on David Codrea's War on Guns Resistance Radio show.

Here's the link.

David writes:

Today, on The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance Radio

* Interview: Jay Dobyns on Vince Cefalu
* Interview: Doug Ritter, Knife Rights
* Democrat Gunwalker hearings
* I Left my Rights--in San Francisco
* Obama press conference
* An anti-gun bigot
* Vanderboegh on Gunwalker
* More as time permits

Join us at 7:00 am Pacific/10:00 am Eastern on NBC 1260 AM/96.1 FM, Scottsdale, or click "Listen Live."

Archives are here. It looks like they're going to post by the week and replace the show at each day's link the evening of the broadcast date.

Spread the word on this, OK? Nobody else is doing a daily exclusive gun rights broadcast in a major market during morning drive time, and if this works, it could not only create an opportunity to spread to other markets, but also open doors for efforts by others. We complain our voice is not heard in the media--here we've got a foot in the door at an NBC affiliate station to promote a full-blown no compromise message. Just a few short months ago I certainly would never have predicted I'd see that happen--or that I'd be a part of it.

At PJM, Bob Owens asks: Can demagoguery stymie the growing Republican investigation?

House Dems Set to Demonize Gun Owners with Gunwalker Hearing

Owens on old "Bloody Hands" Cummings:

Instead of seeking answers from those Obama administration officials who are culpable for a rogue government program that has left cops, soldiers, and civilians dead, the congressman from Baltimore will use his position in order to provide airtime to those who would place blame at the feet of American citizens.

There may be a more disreputable role for a congressman to play during such a scandal, but I’m finding it hard to think of one.

The case of Vince Cefalu makes The Atlantic magazine. Stupid is as stupid does.


"Stupid is as stupid does." -- Alabama philosopher Mrs. Gump.

The Obama Administration's Whistleblower Problem.

Boy, did they screw up when they fired Vince. I keep thinking, "Can we count on these Obamanoid mokes to keep being as stupid in their cover-up as they have been so far?"

And you know what? So far the answer is "yes."

Firearm confiscationist yellow rat bastards release "report" in advance of today's not-hearing. Plagiarist Sari Horwitz continues her masquerade.


Not surprisingly, it is posted on-line by Pravda-on-the-Potomac.

And here's the matching WaPo story by Sari Horwitz, the plagiarizing unofficial mouthpiece of gun control masquerading as a "reporter.".

Masshole situational awareness (or not.)

Situation awareness, situational awareness, or SA, is the perception of environmental elements with respect to time and/or space, the comprehension of their meaning, and the projection of their status after some variable has changed, such as time. It is also a field of study concerned with perception of the environment critical to decision-makers in complex, dynamic areas from aviation, air traffic control, power plant operations, military command and control, and emergency services such as fire fighting and policing; to more ordinary but nevertheless complex tasks such as driving an automobile or bicycle.

Situation awareness (SA) involves being aware of what is happening around you to understand how information, events, and your own actions will impact your goals and objectives, both now and in the near future. -- Wikipedia.


Body found in public pool 2 days after victim drowned.

TSA to build firing range in Tampa Florida. I guess they want to be able to shoot 95-year-old grandmas who refuse to surrender their Depends.

Thanks to Irregular Steve for forwarding this link.

Firing Range - Tampa, FL
Solicitation Number: HSTS07-11-R-00071
Agency: Department of Homeland Security
Office: Transportation Security Administration
Location: Contracts and Procurement . . .


This combined solicitation/synopsis is for the purchase of range services on an established/existing range in accordance with the following requirements.

Services anticipated July 2011.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has a requirement for a firearms range to conduct mandatory quarterly qualifications and other firearms training. The range shall be within a 25 mile radius of Tampa International Airport.

The proposed range must meet the following standards to qualify for consideration:

DHS personnel will use the range an estimated 1600 hours per one year term. DHS requires exclusive use of the range in 2 or 4 hour blocks per each training session. The range will be closed to the public during the hours that DHS uses the range. DHS will provide all ammunition, targets, and firearms instructors. DHS firearms instructors will act as safety officers and call all courses of fire on the range without oversight from range staff. Additionally, a mat room is required for usage approximately 400 hours per one year term to train for defensive measures. The mat shall be approximately 400 square feet of matted area, have ventilation, air conditioning, classroom, locker room facility in close proximity.

The range shall be indoors. The range must possess air conditioning, heating, and an approved ventilation system that conforms to existing OSHA regulations. The range must possess a minimum of 12 firing points and must be able to accommodate a qualification course distance minimum of 1.5 yards and maximum of 25 yards. The range must possess and maintain all target retention devices. The range will have a designated firearms cleaning area. The range operator will be responsible for all lead recovery at the range, and removal of all waste materials from the range and the weapons cleaning area. Spent brass casings will be cleaned up at the end of each day by range personnel. The range shall be equipped with men's and women's restroom facilities with running water for DHS use. The range shall provide adequate parking to accommodate at least 15 vehicles.

The range must be able to accommodate .380, 9mm, .40 S&W, and .357 SIG caliber duty and training (frangible) ammunition. The range rules must allow movement between firing points and will not restrict movement-oriented firearms training by students (e.g. standing to kneeling transitions, stepping behind cover). The range rules will allow students to draw and fire from the holster. The range rules will not disallow a student from moving in front of the firing points with an instructor present, including conducting lateral movements between target points. Range rules will not disallow students from performing multiple and rapid-fire drills.

Transcript of Obama press conference on Gunwalker.

Courtesy of the Wall street Journal.

THE PRESIDENT: Antonieta Cádiz? There you are.

Q Thank you very much, Mr. President. First, if you receive a mandatory E-verify bill only without legalization, are you planning to veto that deal?

And second, on Fast and Furious, members of Congress and the government of Mexico are still waiting for answers. Are you planning to replace ATF leadership? And when can we expect the results of the current investigation?

THE PRESIDENT: On the second question, as you know, my attorney general has made clear that he certainly would not have ordered gun running to be able to pass through into Mexico. The investigation is still pending. I’m not going to comment on a current investigation. I’ve made very clear my views that that would not be an appropriate step by the ATF, and we got to find out how that happened. As soon as the investigation is completed, I think appropriate actions will be taken.

With respect to E-verify, we need comprehensive immigration reform. I’ve said it before. I will say it again. I will say it next week. And I’ll say it six months from now. We’ve got to have a system that makes sure that we uphold our tradition as a nation of laws and that we also uphold our tradition as a nation of immigrants. And that means tough border security, going after employers that are illegally hiring and exploiting workers, making sure that we also have a pathway for legal status for those who are living in the shadows right now.

We may not be able to get everything that I would like to see in a package, but we have to have a balanced package. E-verify can be an important enforcement tool if it’s not riddled with errors, if U.S. citizens are protected — because what I don’t want is a situation in which employers are forced to set up a system that they can’t be certain works. And we don’t want to expose employers to the risk where they end up rejecting a qualified candidate for a job because the list says that that person is an illegal immigrant, and it turns out that the person isn’t an illegal immigrant. That wouldn’t be fair for the employee and would probably get the employer in trouble as well.

So I think the goal right now is to let’s continue to see if we can perfect the E-verify system. Let’s make sure that we have safeguards in place to prevent the kind of scenarios that I talked about. But let’s also not lose sight of some of the other components to immigration reform. For example, making sure that DREAM Act kids — kids who have grown up here in the United States, think of themselves as Americans, who are not legal through no fault of their own, and who are ready to invest and give back to our country and go to school and fight in our military and start businesses here — let’s make sure that those kids can stay.

We need to have a more balanced approach than just a verification system.

Q (Inaudible.)

THE PRESIDENT: I don’t have an answer as to whether the investigation is completed yet, and it wouldn’t be appropriate for me to comment on the investigation if I don’t — if it’s not yet completed.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Obama dodges Gunwalker Scandal question at presser. Issa rips his silence.

Evan Perez, at the WSJ reports:

President Barack Obama, at his press conference, spoke carefully about an emerging scandal over a federal gun-running probe.

But he said Attorney General Eric Holder “would not have ordered” the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives operation known as Fast and Furious, in which federal agents monitored — but didn’t stop — firearms sales to suspected smugglers in hopes of making a big trafficking case.


Neil Munro, writing at The Daily Caller:

President Barack Obama today dodged questions about the botched “Fast and Furious” gun-smuggling investigation, but put Attorney General Eric Holder on the hot seat.

“As you know, my attorney general has made clear that he certainly would not have ordered gun-running to pass through into Mexico,” Obama said in a careful answer.

But Obama did not deny that neither he nor Holder knew of the investigation, and he did not say that he would aid the congressional inquiry into increasingly controversial project.


At The Hill, Jordy Yager reports: "Issa rips Obama's silence on ATF gun-tracking matter."

“President Obama's remarks today on Operation Fast and Furious were disappointing,” Issa said in a statement.

“There was no sign of urgency to provide answers or explain why no one at the Justice Department has accepted responsibility for authorizing an illegal gunwalking operation six months after Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry's murder.

“The American people expect more from the President than unsubstantiated assertions that the Attorney General didn't know about this reckless program and no explanation about who authorized it,” Issa said.

List of firearm confiscationist yellow rat bastards for tomorrow's not-hearing by old "Bloody Hands." Helmke's swan song & Bouchard's "expertise."



U.S. Rep. Elijah "Bloody Hands" Cummings -- so called because he had control of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee prior to the 2010 elections and never held an oversight hearing that might have addressed ATF management problems and short-circuited the Gunwalker Scandal -- is holding something of a hoplophobe indoor garden party tomorrow.

Channing Turner at Main Justice called this hopped-up advertisement for gun control a "minority hearing." It is not, for Cummings doesn't have the authority to call a formal hearing on his own.


U.S. Rep. Elijah "Bloody Hands" Cummings

Dave Workman calls it a "forum" or “briefing.”

The quintessential hoplophobic collectivist creep Senator Chuck Schumer will be there.



Arturo Cervantes, listed by the Minority witness list as "Mexico Ministry of Health," is supposed to be there as well.

Dr Arturo Cervantes on right in 2009, when he was head of the Road Traffic Accident Prevention Centre in Mexico City.

Dr. Cervantes will no doubt give stirring expert testimony on how Project Gunwalker firearms disrupt Mexican traffic patterns. That is his specialty, I believe.

There of course will also be the usual firearm confiscationist suspects:

Colby Goodman, Author of “U.S. Firearms Trafficking to Mexico: New Data and Insights Illuminate Key Trends and Challenges.” Readers of Kurt Hofmann's St. Louis Gun Examiner column will recall his story on Mr. Goodman from 2 May, "Author of study quoted by anti-gun groups changes story, implicates 'Gunwalker.'" I'm sure vigorous questioning by old Bloody Hands will elicit the changing story that Kurt wrote of.

Paul Helmke, retiring president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, will be there, up for his last swan song before leaving the Brady Bunch for parts as yet unknown.

Thomas Mahoney, Assistant State’s Attorney Supervisor, Gang Prosecution Unit, Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. Mahoney is a buddy of Andrew Traver, the notoriously anti-firearm Chicago SAC of ATF who the Obamanoids wish to become the replacement for Ken "Gunwalker Man" Melson. Mahoney served on the same Joyce Foundation/IACP "Gun Violence Summit Advisory Group."

Eric Olson, Senior Associate, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. He has already given us a look at what his testimony will be -- here is what he had to tell the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Peace Corps, and Narcotics Affairs in May of this year.

And what hoplophobe fun fest would be complete without Kristen Rand, Legislative Director of the Violence Policy Center?

More interesting to me, and certain to be Bloody Hands star witness is Michael R. Bouchard, former Assistant Director Field Operations, ATF. "Look! Look! We've got an ATF witness, too!"

The ATF street agents I talk to are not that impressed with Mr. Bouchard's agency career. One said, "Yeah, he was a coward who wouldn't come forward when Truscott was stealing the silverware during the anonymous whistleblower thing. He sat as the Director's ass't like former SAC Vanessa McLemore. He's a disgrace and should shut the fuck up. He was the former ADFO who ignored threats to Dobyns."

The Washington Times reported his bio in January of 2004:

A veteran agent for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has been named to head the ATF’s Office of Field Operations, where he will oversee regulatory and criminal enforcement for 23 field divisions throughout the country.

Michael R. Bouchard, who supervised the ATF’s investigation and apprehension of Washington snipers John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo, will also be responsible for oversight of ATF personnel who inspect federally licensed firearms and explosives dealers and manufacturers, and for all criminal investigators focusing on illegal firearms and explosives matters, arson, violent gangs, and alcohol and tobacco diversion.

He will also oversee the resource deployment of the ATF’s National Response Teams, which respond to major arsons and bombings nationwide.

Mr. Bouchard was formerly the deputy assistant director for the ATF’s Strategic Intelligence and Information division.

Mr. Bouchard began his career as a police officer and detective in Connecticut in 1979, moving to the ATF in 1987, where he has served in numerous positions at its headquarters and across the country. He headed the ATF field division in Baltimore, where he was responsible for criminal and regulatory enforcement issues in Maryland and Delaware. He also served as resident agent in charge of the Boston field division, where he handled the investigation into one of the largest arson-for-profit fires in the history of Massachusetts.

As head of the ATF’s Resource Management Branch, he also oversaw the logistics for the Oklahoma City bombing deployment and all church fires in the middle to late 1990s. He headed the Arson Enforcement Branch, served as chief of the Arson and Explosives Programs Division and as director of the Youth Crime Gun Interdiction Initiative.

As a member of the National Response Team, Mr. Bouchard supervised the ATF’s efforts at several major incidents, including the September 11 attacks on the Pentagon.

A native of Connecticut, Mr. Bouchard received a bachelor’s degree in fire-arson investigation from the University of New Haven in Connecticut; and a master’s degree in national-security strategy from the National War College in Washington.

He also serves on the arson and explosives committee with the International Association of Police Chiefs, and previously served on committees with the National Fire Protection Association and the International Association of Arson Investigators.


That was as high as he was going to rise in the ATF heirarchy. As CNS News
reported in March 2006, Bouchard was called on the carpet by Congress to explain why the ATF got involved in some "gun show stings" that went badly wrong.

But it was the Truscott scandal which did in Bouchard's career. As Dan Eggen reported in Pravda-on-the-Potomac in February 2007: "ATF Officials Who Challenged Director Moved to Lower Posts."

Two senior officials at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives who opposed many questionable management and spending decisions by the agency's former director are being moved to lower-ranking positions effective Thursday, officials said.

Deputy Director Edgar A. Domenech, who also served as acting director last year, is being moved out of ATF headquarters to lead the agency's Washington field office. The assistant director for field operations, Michael Bouchard, will become an assistant to Michael J. Sullivan, a U.S. attorney who is temporarily running ATF.

The transfers are widely seen within ATF as demotions. They come seven months after the sudden departure of Carl J. Truscott, the former director, who clashed with Domenech and other senior executives over spending and management practices.

An inspector general's report issued after his departure showed that Truscott -- who previously served as head of President Bush's security detail at the Secret Service -- engaged in a wide-ranging pattern of questionable expenditures on a new ATF headquarters, personal security and other items. The report also said that he violated ethics rules by forcing employees to help his nephew prepare a high school video project.

Domenech took over for Truscott after he resigned and reversed a decision to include a costly engraved quotation from Bush's speech to Congress after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks at the new headquarters entrance.

ATF spokeswoman Sheree Mixell characterized the moves as routine and said "both are important positions."

Domenech and Bouchard could not be reached to comment last week.

The new deputy director will be Ronnie A. Carter, a 27-year ATF veteran, who has headed the agency's Dallas office since 2002. Bouchard's replacement is William J. Hoover, a 20-year veteran. Hoover headed the Boston office for about three years before taking over the Washington office in January 2006.


Bouchard decided to retire immediately after his demotion.

He has always been good for a comment or two since then, whenever Pravda wants a quotable quote to back up a pro-gun control story by "reporters" James V. Grimaldi and the forgiven plagiarist Sari Horwitz, such as this one in October of last year: "ATF's oversight limited in face of gun lobby."

"We were always given just enough food and water to survive," said Michael Bouchard, former ATF assistant director for field operations. "We could barely just keep going. The ATF could never get that strong, because the gun lobby would get too concerned."


Of course, from the Democrats' point of view, Bouchard has also said some very inconvenient things about Gunwalker. For example:

Defenders of the agency questioned whether Melson is about to become a sacrificial lamb for decisions made higher up in the Justice Department, the ATF’s parent.

“If anybody thinks the ATF is calling the shots on this, they’re wrong,” said Michael Bouchard, the ATF’s assistant director for field operations from 2004 until his retirement in 2007. “For ATF top officials to take all the hits on this is totally unfair.”


I'm sure Bloody Hands will be eager to explore THAT sentiment.

The best news on this not-hearing? A spokesman at the Minority staff on the Committee told me sadly that it will not be on C-SPAN. I'm sure that Sari Horwitz will cover it anyway.

David Codrea: Cummings, Schumer to hold ‘Gunwalker’ show trial against gun rights.

Go here.

If Gunwalker worked, they’d go for more power and gun control. If Gunwalker didn’t work, they’d go for more power and gun control.

Heads we win, tails you lose.

Poor Paulie. Despite the facts he still beats the same discredited drum.


Me and Paulie shaking hands, 19 April 2010. You know, he is a bit of limp-wrist.

"In the ATF 'Fast and Furious' Controversy, Congress Needs To Question Its Own Behavior."

David Codrea: Calling out excuse-mongering Jon Stewart and Media Matters on Gunwalker intent .

Excellent.

Cummings & his crowd of gun confiscationist yellow rat bastards will hold a "hearing" on Thursday on why Gunwalker should mean more gun control.


Starring Charlie Schumer!

Batman and The Grateful Dead: The Melson Deal, Patrick Leahy & the motives behind the scenes. The modified limited hangout offered up in desperation.

Rat in a drain ditch, caught on a limb, you know better but I know him.

Like I told you, what I said, Steal your face right off your head. -- He's Gone, by the Grateful Dead.


Barack Obama will give us a press conference today. It will be his first in three months. Since then, the Gunwalker Scandal has grown from a whisper to a low roar in the background. I think it is certain he will be asked about the Gunwalker Scandal by someone, perhaps several someones. He will be judged harshly, even by some of his media friends, if he comes up with an answer as lame as his press secretary gave the other day to CNS News: White House Won’t Say If Obama Wants ATF Director to Resign.



Bryan Preston, commenting on Bob Owen's piece, "Gunwalker: What Will Happen When Ken Melson Testifies?," wrote at the PJ Tatler about the deal between Grassley and Patrick Leahy to break the logjam of nominations and Gunwalker documents and testimony, hereinafter referred to as The Melson Deal.

ATF interim head Ken Melson has been itching to testify before Rep. Issa’s committee so that he isn’t turned into a convenient fall guy, even hinting that he could say interesting things about his boss, AG Eric Holder. Now there’s word that he will testify, but it’s thanks to a deal between Sens. Grassley and Leahy.

Grassley and his fellow Republicans were given full access to ATF documents, Melson, and other key witnesses; and in return, Grassley agreed to release three Obama administration nominees he had been blocking, according to correspondence obtained by NEWSWEEK and THE DAILY BEAST.


Tactically, this is very smart on the part of the Republicans and we need to see more of it. It works like this: Senator A puts a hold on X number of Obama nominees, which Senators can do for any reason. Keep that hold in place as long as the administration stonewalls on Gunwalker or another issue the Senator is working. Release the hold once you get the administration to play ball. That’s what Grassley has apparently done here. It sounds like hostage taking, but as long as the administration is going to ride roughshod over Congress’ authority and oversight, Congress has to use what powers it has to force the administration to open up. The confirmations process, which the Democrats militarized over Robert Bork back in the 1980s, is fair game.

Gunwalker is a big deal. Not only did it lead directly to the death of a US Border Patrol officer; guns from the operation have turned up on US streets. And as Bob Owens has written, it looks like it may have been a political operation to soften support for Americans’ Second Amendment rights. Owens handicaps the possible outcomes from Melson’s testimony, which range from Melson taking the fall to meltdown in the DOJ. Stay tuned.


"Very smart on the part of the Republicans." Yes. Well. I did not comment on Owen's post myself yesterday because I wanted time to analyze this turn of events and, more importantly, get the analysis of folks I trust.

To understand what is happening behind the scenes, you need to know a little bit more about Senator Patrick Leahy.

"See to it that Senator Leahy is comfortable." Batman comic fan Patrick Leahy in his big role.

First and foremost, remember that Leahy is an Obama kool-aid drinker, having braved the wrath of Hillary Clinton to endorse Obama early on in the Democrat presidential primary process.

Remember too that Leahy has been around Mordor on the Potomac for a looong time, and understands every dirty nuance of how the real game is played. For example, while he was Vice-Chairman of the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in 1987, Leahy showed an unclassified draft report on the Iran-Contra affair to a news reporter -- and got caught. At a press conference, Leahy stated, "Even though it was declassified, I was way too careless about it," and accepted blame. As Wikipedia reports, "Disclosure of that information was against the Intelligence Committee rules, and Leahy said he hastened his already planned departure from the committee because he was so angry at himself. . ."

Right. In other words, it was important to the Democrats that the information be leaked, so he leaked it and was willing to fall on that sword in the interests of his party.

So he's canny AND tough. This is also worth remembering. Not that he's not a diligent practitioner of hypocrisy too.

In 2004, Leahy was awarded the Electronic Privacy Information Center's Champion of Freedom Award for efforts in information privacy and open government and is regarded as one of the leading privacy advocates in Congress.

Yet, as TechDirt reported in April of this year:

As expected, Senator Patrick Leahy, who continues to be Hollywood's favorite Senator, has made it clear that he's going to reintroduce the COICA censorship bill, and he appears to be completely ignoring the very real First Amendment concerns that people have been raising by saying:

"There's no First Amendment right that protects thieves. It protects speech."

Seeing as he's a Senator, it would help if he were familiar with the law. As such, he would know that (1) copyright infringement is not "theft," and (2) yes, the First Amendment protects all kinds of speech, even speech made by criminals and (3) the Free Speech issues that many of us are concerned with are the takedowns of legitimate non-infringing content, which we've seen happen repeatedly by Homeland Security -- which is the type of program Leahy is looking to expand with COICA.

It's immensely frustrating that someone like Senator Leahy would flat-out mislead over these very serious concerns. Though, of course, I have some ideas why. Perhaps the fact that Time Warner and Walt Disney are the two largest contributors to his campaign, and Vivendi (owners of Universal Music), General Electric (until recently owners of Universal Studios) and Viacom are not far behind has something to do with it...


Ah, yes, Hollywood and Leahy.



From Wikipedia:

Leahy is a fan of the Grateful Dead. He has not only attended concerts, but has taped them, and has a collection of the band's tapes in his Senate Offices. Jerry Garcia visited him at his Senate offices . . .who asked Leahy which Dead song was his favorite, he replied: "... my favorite is "Black Muddy River" but we always play "Truckin'" on election night at my headquarters."


When it seems like the night will last forever
And there's nothing left to do but count the years
When the strings of my heart start to sever
And stones fall from my eyes instead of tears

I will walk alone by the black muddy river
And dream me a dream of my own
I will walk alone by the black muddy river
And sing me a song of my own
And sing me a song of my own -- Black Muddy River, The Grateful Dead.


Now that is revealing. Leahy, who is intimately familiar with all things Dead, has to know that "stones fall from my eyes instead of tears" is a reference to these lines:

GLOSTER:
I do the wrong, and first begin to brawl.
The secret mischiefs that I set abroach
I lay unto the grievous charge of others.
Clarence,--whom I indeed have cast in darkness,--
I do beweep to many simple gulls;
Namely, to Stanley, Hastings, Buckingham;
And tell them 'tis the queen and her allies
That stir the king against the duke my brother.
Now they believe it; and withal whet me
To be reveng'd on Rivers, Vaughn, Grey:
But then I sigh; and, with a piece of Scripture,
Tell them that God bids us do good for evil:
And thus I clothe my naked villany
With odd old ends stol'n forth of holy writ;
And seem a saint when most I play the devil.--
But, soft, here come my executioners.

[Enter two MURDERERS.]

How now, my hardy stout resolved mates!
Are you now going to dispatch this thing?

FIRST MURDERER: We are, my lord, and come to have the warrant,
That we may be admitted where he is.

GLOSTER: Well thought upon;--I have it here about me:

[Gives the warrant.]

When you have done, repair to Crosby Place.
But, sirs, be sudden in the execution,
Withal obdurate, do not hear him plead;
For Clarence is well-spoken, and perhaps
May move your hearts to pity, if you mark him.

FIRST MURDERER: Tut, tut, my lord, we will not stand to prate;
Talkers are no good doers: be assur'd
We go to use our hands, and not our tongues.

GLOSTER: Your eyes drop millstones when fools' eyes fall tears:
I like you, lads;--about your business straight;
Go, go, despatch.

FIRST MURDERER: We will, my noble lord. [Exeunt.]

-- Shakespeare, The Life and Death of King Richard the Third, Act One, Scene Three.


Identifying with assassins. Interesting.

Leahy is also a friend of Bono and a fan of U2. He is also a published photographer and a big fan of Batman comics. Leahy appeared in cameo roles in the 1997 film Batman and Robin, and in the 2008 film The Dark Knight.

Despite the fact that he has supported the "gun show loophole" and other firearm restriction measures, Leahy is rated "C" by the NRA.

An Obama loyalist. A Deadhead. A Batman freak. A powerful, savvy player of the DC game.

So why would he do The Melson Deal? Why give up on the cover-up of a scandal that may bring down his president and his party just for the mess of pottage that those appointments represent?

According to my sources, they have a plan. It is the Nixonian "modified limited hangout" plan. Whether it works or not is problematic for the Obamanoids, but as one old intelligence operative told me: "At this point with Melson playing for himself and not the team, it's all they've got."

My sources predict that they will attempt to hold the criminal line at Lanny Breuer and the political line at Eric Holder. Under this scenario, Breuer takes the beating for the team in the assumption that he can avoid serious legal trouble and Holder resigns because he "failed to control his people." This, of course, is wild understatement even based on what we know now from whistleblowers and documents already released by the whistleblowers. The Phase Two hearings coming up in the House that deal with Mexico will make this even plainer.

But, my sources say, they have a problem. And the name of that problem is former Deputy Attorney General David "Shorty" Ogden. Ogden resigned his position over unspecified "differences" with Eric Holder and Obama policies. Was one of them Gunwalker? Nobody that I know has a clue.

We do know from the document unearthed by John Solomon regarding the October 2009 meeting at Justice that Ogden, then Number Two at DOJ, was a prime mover in the change of strategy that was the "Gunwalker" plan. Ogden, rather than Melson, could prove to be the John Dean of this scandal, according to the folks that I talk to.

Will Ogden roll? I asked. Probably, came the consensus. Ogden, like Melson, is playing for himself now. "If he's asked the right questions in the right venue (under oath) he'll come clean," I was told.

"But why did they cave so easily?" I asked. "Why now?"

"They know they can't stop a lot of this from coming out, so they want to hurry it up, hold the line at Holder, take the hit and weather it so that it's old news by the time November, 2012, gets here." This is all, my sources say, about protecting Barack Obama's second term now.

"They're desperately holding on to the Iran-Contra example . . . Reagan survived that. They're crossing their fingers and praying to Gaia that Obama can survive Gunwalker. Right now it's all they have."

I laughed at the Gaia reference, and commented that if they were praying it was the same fervent prayer that a gambler utters when he pulls the lever on a slot machine.

"You got it."

So, according to my sources' informed best guesses, Leahy's gambit on The Melson Deal came straight from a White House that is hardly confident that it will work but desperately hoping that it does.

Hope, of course, is not a valid strategy.

I rather suspect that Issa and Grassley will be the rocks upon which the shipwreck of all the White House's hopes are dashed.

Seattle cops offer free AR's to passersby.

What a steal of a deal.

Praxis: Alternate Power -- the DIY Solar Trough Collector.

Courtesy of John Robb at Global Guerrillas, we have this link on a DIY Solar Trough Collector, which leads to these instructions, "Manual making of a parabolic solar collector."

Oops. Gunrunner lawyers seek discovery on Project Gunwalker "agency misconduct." “We were doing what we were told to do."

Neil Munro, writing at the Daily Caller, reports: Gunrunner lawyers seek discovery.

Texas criminal defense lawyers are investigating the Justice Department’s Fast and Furious investigation of cross-border gun smuggling, using routine “discovery” rules that allow defendants to look for flaws in prosecutors’ evidence, statements and purpose.

“As the lawyer for Jose Sauceda–Cuevas, I’ve got to look at every possibility,” including agency misconduct, that would help him in the courtroom, said David Dudley, a Harvard-trained criminal defense lawyer based in Los Angeles.

The U.S. Attorney for the Arizona district is charging Dudley’s client with 25 counts related to gun trafficking. The charges include 10 false statement made during gun purchases, five identity theft charges, five counts for felony possession of a gun, and “five counts of Illegal Alien in Possession of a Firearm,” according to a May 19 press statement.

“The defendant orchestrated straw purchases of over 110 assault rifles and pistols in a multi–state enterprise to provide weapons for the drug war” in Mexico, the statement said. . .

Dudley is working with another client’s attorney to launch the discovery investigations. But neither will get to investigate the investigators unless the trial judges approves their request for discovery.

“I have no idea” if the judges will grant discovery, Dudley said. But, he said, “I assume [prosecutors] will anticipate that we will look at every possibility for our client.”

“Anything he files in court, we’ll respond to appropriately in court,” said Robbie Sherwood, a spokesman for the Arizona prosecutor, based in Phoenix, Ariz.

“I think there’s a pretty good chance of getting discovery if they show it is relevant to a defense,” said Dick DeGuerin, a Houston-based lawyer who persuaded the federal government last year to quit its gun-trafficking investigation of the Carter’s Country, a four-store chain of hunting shops in Texas.

“Orders from either a Justice Department official or from supervisors in ATF to allow the sale to go forward … will be relevant” to a defense, he said. “It certainly might be used in mitigation” of a tough sentence.

From 2006 to 2010, Carter’s County sold guns to suspicious buyers at the behest of the ATF, but stopped once agency officials declared the gun shop to be the target of a criminal investigation. The retails hired him in early 2010, and “once we convinced the assistant U.S. attorney that what we were saying was true – that we were being encouraged to go through with lawful but questionable sales by the ATF – the [attorney] realized we had not been violating the law, nor conspiring with anyone to violate the law,” he said.

“We were doing what we were told to do,” he said.

Dudley is also asking the judge to set aside most of charges facing his client. In a previous California case, he persuaded a judge to drop multiple cocaine-related charges faced by his client, because police declined to arrest him after his first violations. The argument, he said, reduced his client’s sentence to five years, down from 20 or more, he said.

In the gun trafficking case, agency officials did not immediately arrest his client after they first suspected him of violating the law, but instead waited while he made more gun-purchases until they could charge him with many offenses, Dudley said.

“We’ve got enough laws on the books to deal with gun-trafficking and misusing guns … we need better oversight and responsibility and accountability in the agencies that enforce the laws,” especially in the ATF, DeGuerin said. “We’re not going to sue anybody, but I think the more all this comes to light, the better informed the public will be.”

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Bob Owens: The ATF director is going to talk. Whom will he implicate?

"Gunwalker: What Will Happen When Ken Melson Testifies?"

Melson will instead apparently testify in July about what he knows of the program of which he was “intimately familiar,” according to Issa. If Melson does testify as Solomon reports, several possible scenarios could play out:

1. Melson takes the fall.

While the Los Angeles Times reported that Melson didn’t want to take the fall for his superiors in the Obama administration, there still will be considerable pressure upon him to take the blame for the operation. There is a chance that he will use his time in front of Congress to either stonewall the investigation or to accept responsibility for having initiated and run Gunwalker.

If Melson was going to fall on his proverbial sword and take the blame for the operation, however, he had ample time to do so over the past two weeks. This is the least likely scenario.

2. Melson implicates Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer. Breuer takes the fall.

While the details of Operation Fast and Furious are still murky, it was to be run with the knowledge of the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division, run by Lanny Breuer. Breuer personally authorized a wiretap that was part of Gunwalker, and may have been responsible for blocking an ATF request to inform the Mexican government about the estimated 2,000 guns the operation let into their country. Breuer is no stranger to scandalous behavior, having represented President Bill Clinton during his impeachment and Sandy Berger after Berger stole classified documents from the National Archives.

Based upon what is known now about Gunwalker and Breuer’s loyalty to the Democratic Party, this appears to be the most likely scenario.

3. Breuer isn’t the highest link in the chain: Melson implicates Attorney General Eric Holder.

Chairman Issa states that AG Holder “absolutely” knew about Gunwalker earlier than he testified that he did, and if Issa has the evidence to prove that the attorney general is part of a cover-up, then there is every reason to suspect Holder will be forced to resign, or will face impeachment.

This is a far more likely scenario than many think.

4. Collateral damage.

There is the distinct possibility that Lanny Breuer and Eric Holder are not the only administration officials that run the risk of going down as a result of their roles in Gunwalker and its cover-up. While ATF and their parent organization the Department of Justice were ultimately responsible for the operation, other executive branch departments were involved.

The Department of Homeland Security played a role in Gunwalker, and DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano would possibly be kept abreast of Gunwalker since she was both the former governor of Arizona and the state’s attorney general from 1999-2002. Lesser-ranking figures within DHS and other agencies were certainly involved, but Napolitano is the cabinet-level official other than Eric Holder who would have most likely known about Gunwalker.

5. And they all fall down.

The least likely scenario is the most dramatic and explosive. There is the possibility that testimony from any of the above actors in this deadly drama could point directly to the Obama administration itself.

It is highly unlikely that the president would have known about the details of the operation unless it originated as one of his ideas. While this sort of devious plot is consistent with his policy goals — and his history of unethical gun control scheming is duly documented — layers of plausible deniability shield presidents from impeachment even if they are involved. It would take the figurative smoking gun — or perhaps a literal one, with Obama’s fingerprints on it — to acquire enough evidence to impeach the president.

In the unlikely scenario that the White House is implicated at all, a White House staffer would likely admit to being briefed about the generalities of the operation but not the specifics, similar to the way Congressman Issa was briefed that there was an ATF operation, but not that the ATF was effectively “walking” guns to the cartels.

We’ll know in several weeks if one of these scenarios comes to pass, or if something unexpected occurs to change the equation entirely.

One thing will not change: Hundreds have died as a result of a dangerous and illegal operation that occurred on President Obama’s watch, and someone is going to have to pay the price.

Grassley holds up his end of the deal, nominations released and passed. Now we'll see if Leahy and DOJ do what they promised.

Senate OKs DOJ recess appointee.

Vince Cefalu and Darrell Issa on FOX News. Most important disclosure: Issa says nice things about Melson. Oh, yeah, he's rolling.



Link.

"The growing sales of these military-style weapons have become a regional problem that requires regional solutions."


"I've got a 'regional solution' for you."

A tip of the boonie hat to Irregular Matthew for the link below.

Andres Oppenheimer, Latin America correspondent for the Miami Herald, writes -- "Commentary: Deadlier U.S. guns raise death toll in Mexico."

My opinion: With more than 40,000 deaths in drug-related shootings in Mexico over the past five years, an escalating death toll in Central America and the Caribbean, and U.S. policemen being outgunned by criminals in many cities, the growing sales of these military-style weapons have become a regional problem that requires regional solutions.

The Obama administration should seek congressional ratification of a 1997 regional treaty known as CIFTA, which tries to crack down on illicit firearms trafficking in the Americas. President Barack Obama has said he supports CIFTA, but isn't doing much to get it passed by Congress.

And Latin American countries should step up diplomatic pressure on the United States to get Congress to reinstate a ban on assault weapons that was allowed to expire in 2004, as well as to get Obama to issue an executive order to stop imports of military-style weapons that often end up in the hands of Mexican and Central American drug cartels.

How many more people have to die in mass shootings across the hemisphere before we put an end to this madness?


Now, y'all know I can't resist an open invitation like that.

-----Original Message-----
From: georgemason1776
To: aoppenheimer
Sent: Tue, Jun 28, 2011 7:53 am
Subject: Your failure to think through the problem.

Dear Andres,

I will skip over the policy implications of the current ATF Gunwalker Scandal, which, like most American media, you conveniently ignore in your screed and come to the more important point.

I was once asked by a citizen disarmament advocate such as yourself what I thought of "gun control." As I began, he interrupted and said, "Give me the short answer." I thought for a moment and then said, "If you try to take our firearms we will kill you."

Your obvious failure to think through the policy you advocate is an illustration of the Chinese dictum: "Be careful what you wish for, you may get it."

There are a considerable number of Americans -- well armed Americans -- who will not obey any further restrictions on our God-given, natural and inalienable rights when it comes to firearms. If, as I believe, that number amounts to a mere three percent of American firearm owners, that means you'll have to kill three million of us in a bloody civil war to achieve what you want. That doesn't count all the tyrannical, gun-grabbing sonsabitches that we'll be forced to kill in righteous self-defense before we meet our Maker, and you should know that we intend -- and have the skills and the means -- to make that more than a one-to-one ratio. The pile of bodies of the next American civil war that you unthinkingly advocate would be in the millions, and we'd almost certainly win anyway, simply because our will to live free is greater than yours to oppress us.

Please, do not extrapolate from your own cowardice. You think that if you convince the federal government to carry out your policy that we'll just meekly submit, because you cannot conceive of resisting yourself. We, on the other hand, have principles that we are willing to die for. Unfortunately for some, that means we are willing to kill in defense of those principles as well.

So, you have to ask yourself, now that I have helped you think through the practical, unintended consequences of your advocated policy, is it worth it?

If I may suggest, don't piss off the "bitter clingers" by trying to take any more of our liberty and property, Andres. There's no worthwhile future in it, for any of us.

Mike Vanderboegh
The alleged leader of a merry band of Three Percenters
PO Box 926
Pinson AL 35126

Is Ken Melson the new John Dean? History doesn't exactly repeat itself but it often stutters. How one witness testifying under oath leads to others.



The indispensable rat, without whom Richard Nixon might have hung on to his second term:


John Dean, Richard Nixon's White House Counsel, at the top of his game, 27 May 1972, in the middle of the Watergate conspiracy. Disgrace followed shortly after, and he sold out anybody and everybody he had to in order to survive.

The tale of John Dean and Watergate, from Wikipedia:

From "master manipulator" to star witness

The start of Watergate

Dean, then White House Counsel, met with Jeb Magruder (Deputy Director of CREEP) and John N. Mitchell (Attorney General of the United States, and Director of CREEP) for a presentation by G. Gordon Liddy (counsel for CREEP and a former FBI agent) on January 27, 1972, in Mitchell's office. At that time, Liddy presented a preliminary plan for intelligence gathering operations during the campaign year 1972. Reaction to Liddy's plan was highly unfavorable; Liddy was ordered to scale down his ideas, and he presented a revised plan to the same group on February 4, which was, however, left unapproved at that stage. A scaled-down plan would be approved by late March of that year. This would lead eventually to attempts to eavesdrop on the Democratic headquarters at the Watergate Complex in Washington, D.C., and to the Watergate scandal.

Linked to cover-up

On February 28, 1973, Acting FBI Director L. Patrick Gray testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding his nomination to replace J. Edgar Hoover as Director of the FBI. Armed with newspaper articles indicating the White House had possession of FBI Watergate files, the committee chairman, Sam Ervin, questioned Gray as to what he knew about the White House obtaining the files. Gray stated he had given reports to Dean, and had discussed the FBI investigation with Dean on many occasions. Gray's nomination failed, and now Dean was directly linked to the Watergate cover-up.

White House Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman claimed that Dean was appointed by Nixon to take the lead role in coordinating the Watergate cover-up from an early stage, and that this cover-up was working very well for many months, keeping the scandal bottled up until after the 1972 elections, which were a landslide for the Republicans, with Nixon being returned for a second presidential term by a dominant margin, the second-greatest in American history, behind only Franklin Delano Roosevelt's win over Alf Landon in 1936.

Cooperates with prosecutors

On March 23, 1973, the Watergate burglars were sentenced with stiff fines and prison time; Dean hired an attorney and began his cooperation with Watergate investigators on April 6, while continuing to work as Nixon's Chief White House Counsel, never disclosing this obvious conflict to Nixon. On April 22, Nixon requested that Dean put together a report with everything he knew about the Watergate matter and even invited him to take a retreat to Camp David to do so.

Fired by Nixon

Coupled with his sense of distance from Nixon's inner circle, "The Berlin Wall" of advisors H.R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman, Dean sensed he was going to become the Watergate scapegoat, and despite going to Camp David, he returned to Washington without having completed his report. Nixon fired Dean on April 30, the same date he also announced the resignations of Haldeman and Ehrlichman.

Dean had earlier asked Nixon for formal immunity from prosecution for any crimes he may have committed while serving as White House counsel; Nixon refused to grant this, and this refusal led Dean to cooperate with the prosecutors very soon afterwards. Upon going to the prosecutors, Dean also requested immunity, which was not granted despite his many revelations.

Testifies at Senate Committee

On June 25, 1973, Dean began his testimony before the Senate Watergate Committee, in which he implicated administration officials, including Nixon fundraiser and former Attorney General John Mitchell, Nixon and himself. He was the first administration official to accuse Nixon of direct involvement with Watergate and the resulting cover-up in press interviews. Such testimony against Nixon, while damaging to the president's credibility, had little impact legally, as it was merely his word against Nixon's. Nixon vigorously denied all accusations against him that he had authorized a cover-up, and Dean had no proof beyond various notes he had taken in his meetings with the president. It was not until information about secret White House tape recordings having been made by President Nixon (disclosed in testimony by Alexander Butterfield, in July 1973), the tapes subpoenaed, and analyzed, that Dean's accusations were substantiated.

Watergate trial

Dean pled guilty to obstruction of justice before Watergate trial judge John Sirica on November 30, 1973. He admitted supervising payments of "hush money" to the Watergate burglars, notably E. Howard Hunt, and revealed the existence of Nixon's enemies list. On August 2, 1974, Sirica handed down a sentence of one to four years in a minimum-security prison. However, when Dean surrendered himself as scheduled on September 3, he was diverted to the custody of U.S. Marshals, and kept instead at Fort Holabird (near Baltimore, Maryland) in a special "safe house" holding facility primarily used for witnesses against the Mafia. He spent his days in the offices of the Watergate Special Prosecutor and testifying in the trial of Watergate conspirators Mitchell, Haldeman, Ehrlichman, Robert Mardian, and Kenneth Parkinson, which concluded on January 1, 1975. Dean's lawyer moved to have his sentence reduced, and on January 8, Sirica granted the motion, adjusting Dean's sentence to time served, which wound up being four months. With his conviction for felony offenses, Dean was disbarred as a lawyer, so could no longer practice law.


Dean is one Watergate character that I'm sure Kenneth Melson (or Kenneth Melson's lawyer) has studied, just as I'm sure Melson has pulled out the history books to see how Oliver North avoided prison in the Iran-Contra scandal. But there is another fellow mentioned in the narrative above whose tale makes those folks in the White House who know their history pray that the Gunwalker hearings do not unearth a modern-day version of.



Meet Alexander Porter Butterfield. The son of an early Navy flyer, Butterfield became an Army pilot in World War II, flying P-38s in the Pacific Theater. He remained in the Air Force and won a Distinguished Flying Cross for heroic photo recon work in Vietnam.

After Nixon's election in 1968, Butterfield's friendship with H. R. Haldeman earned him a job as Deputy Assistant to the President. From Wikipedia:

Butterfield was highly regarded for his dedication to the job which led him to work very long hours. He was a deputy to Haldeman, and aside from routine matters such as visitor tours of the White House, Butterfield provided briefing papers for the President. Among his responsibilities was the setting of Nixon's schedule and the maintenance of his historical records, which included the operations of the secret taping system which Nixon had installed in the White House.

When Nixon was re-elected, Butterfield was appointed on December 19, 1972 as administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration. He was routinely asked to appear before the United States Senate committee headed by Sam Ervin and was interviewed by staff of the committee on July 13, 1973, prior to going before the Senators. John Dean had previously mentioned that he suspected White House conversations were taped, and the committee was therefore routinely asking witnesses about it. Butterfield did not want to voluntarily tell the committee of the system, but had decided before the hearing that he would, if asked a direct question.

As it happened, Butterfield was asked the direct question by the minority (Republican) counsel, Donald Sanders. He told the staff members that "everything was taped ... as long as the President was in attendance. There was not so much as a hint that something should not be taped." All present recognized the significance of this disclosure, and Butterfield was hastily put before the full Committee on July 16 to put the taping system on the record. Chief Minority Counsel, Fred Thompson, catapulted himself into history by asking "Mr. Butterfield, are you aware of the installation of any listening devices in the Oval Office of the president?"


The rest, as they say, is history.



There was no predicting what any of the witnesses called to testify under oath would say, and Butterfield's answer was greeted with incredulity. This was Nixon's "oh, shit!" moment. The rest of the battle was a losing rear-guard action on the part of the White House defending what was on those tapes, including the infamous "18-1/2 minute gap."

Butterfield, who was not involved in the Watergate cover-up, was never under any threat of prosecution himself so he had nothing to lose by telling the truth.

The Butterfields of Gunwalker are, in addition to Melson's possible (indeed, likely) reprise of John Dean, the people whose testimony under oath the White must fear the most.

Funny thing about testifying under oath -- whether forty years ago or next month -- you just never can tell what a witness is going to give away when sworn.

Once upon a time, it was the the second term of a President.

This time?

That is what the White House is worried about.

Another Gunwalker LTE

Have you written yours' yet?

Monday, June 27, 2011

This just in from the desert telegraph: Vince Cefalu to be on FOX News tomorrow at 10AM Eastern.

Just received this email:

The buzz saw known as Vince Cefalu will be back at it tomorrow morning on FOX! Spread the word!

10am hour eastern / 7am hour pacific

America’s Newsroom with Bill Hemmer and Martha MacCallum - FOX News Channel

This should be good.

ATF, for the record this show pulls a 3 Million viewership audience share. Ouch!

ABC15 Phoenix : Proof of Gunwalker firearms NORTH OF THE BORDER. Now, the media starts to work on this scandal.

Big boy media scooped by little ABC affiliate.



Assault weapons linked to ATF strategy turn up in Valley neighborhoods

* By: Lori Jane Gliha

PHOENIX - The ABC15 Investigators have uncovered new information showing weapons linked to a questionable government strategy are turning up in crimes in Valley neighborhoods.

For months we've been searching through police reports and official government documents to uncover whether assault weapons linked to a controversial ATF plan put Valley communities at risk.

Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives recently testified during a Congressional hearing, saying they knowingly allowed weapons to slip into the hands of buyers who would then distribute the weapons to known criminals.

The strategy was supposed to lead ATF officials to drug cartel leaders, but agents admitted they never followed the weapons to see where they went.

As a result, they testified, hundreds of weapons are now on the streets in the United States and Mexico, in the hands of criminals.

On Thursday, watch ABC15 News at 10pm to see the official documents that prove guns connected to the ATF strategy are in Valley neighborhoods.

Day by Day continues: the White House Gunwalkers.

Grassley's strangehold on Obama nominations pays off. Documents released and Melson to testify in deal with Senator Leahy.

The latest from John Solomon: Armed for a Fight.

A deal between Sens. Leahy and Grassley has cleared the way for the ATF’s acting boss to testify before Congress on a controversial gun sting. A NEWSWEEK/DAILY BEAST Exclusive.

The head of the embattled federal agency that combats gun trafficking has agreed to talk with Senate investigators, a potentially important breakthrough as Congress tries to determine whether higher-ups in the Obama administration knew about a controversial sting that let assault weapons flow across the border into Mexico’s drug wars.

The testimony — expected next month from Kenneth Melson, the acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives — was brokered as part of a deal between Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and the committee’s top Republican, Iowa's Charles Grassley. Grassley and his fellow Republicans were given full access to ATF documents, Melson, and other key witnesses; and in return, Grassley agreed to release three Obama administration nominees he had been blocking, according to correspondence obtained by NEWSWEEK and THE DAILY BEAST.

Grassley had been fighting to get full access for months. He finally got it with a letter Leahy wrote to Attorney General Eric Holder requesting access for both his staff and Grassley’s investigators to the evidence and witnesses in the gun-sting investigation. In return, Grassley agreed to let proceed the nominations of Jim Cole to be deputy attorney general, Lisa Monaco to be assistant attorney general for national security, and Virginia Seitz to be head of the Office of Legal Counsel, the letter shows.

ATF has acknowledged it knowingly allowed more than 1,700 weapons—most of them semiautomatic assault weapons like AK-47s—to be sold by cooperating U.S. gun dealers to suspected straw buyers for the Mexican cartels during a 15-month sting in Arizona known as Operation Fast and Furious. Melson is the highest-known official to date to acknowledge approving a strategy to build criminal cases against Mexican drug cartels by allowing assault weapons to flow from U.S. gun stores through straw buyers and across the border. Officials said his testimony is considered a key piece of evidence, and Grassley’s investigators plan to interview him by the middle or end of July.

The revelation of the botched sting has generated outrage in both the United States and Mexico. Nearly half the weapons were later recovered at crime scenes on both sides of the border, including two at the murder of U.S. border agent Brian Terry last December and more than 300 at Mexican crime scenes. In recent days, evidence has emerged in the investigations conducted by Grassley and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) that the deputy attorney general’s office inside the Justice Department encouraged a new gun-fighting strategy in October 2009, just days before ATF started the Fast and Furious operation.

Holder, the attorney general, has denied knowing about the controversial ATF sting, which ran from November 2009 to February 2011, and he has ordered an internal investigation. President Obama has said he believes serious mistakes may have been made. Since the controversy erupted this spring, ATF and federal prosecutors have been ordered to stop all guns flowing to straw buyers. Frontline ATF agents have testified they strongly objected to the agency’s decision to “let guns walk,” meaning allowing straw buyers to buy guns with ATF’s knowledge and letting the weapons leave federal monitoring without being interdicted, the normal practice. Cooperating gun dealers also expressed concerns about the tactic.

Congressional investigators in both chambers want to know whether Melson discussed or sought approval for the strategy from Holder or his top deputies, the White House, or other senior law-enforcement officers. They also want to know whether Melson’s agency has run into roadblocks or poor information sharing in its efforts to combat larger gun trafficking.

As head of the agency that conducted the controversial sting, Melson has faced calls for his resignation. But in private conversations with congressional investigators in recent days, Melson has indicated he does not believe he did anything wrong because he carried out his bosses’ wishes and is eager to testify to describe the full picture, according to sources familiar with those conversations.

Issa, who is among those to previously call for Melson’s ouster, is hopeful the acting ATF director can answer crucial questions about what was known above him. “Director Melson has had a long and distinguished career at the Department of Justice. But in the eyes of the public he is, so far, the highest-ranking official who [knew] about gun walking,” Issa told THE DAILY BEAST over the weekend. “[But] I don’t believe he was the highest-ranking official at Justice who knew about or authorized this operation.

“He may still have an opportunity to set the record straight for his agency and get away from being the focus of demands for accountability. We certainly want to hear his full story and see all the evidence about what happened,” Issa said.

Melson would also have the opportunity to clarify for investigators what exactly he told members of Congress, including Issa, during an April 2010 classified briefing on efforts to combat Mexican gun trafficking. News stories and Democrats have alleged that Issa was specifically briefed on Operation Fast and Furious, an allegation Issa has disputed. Two people familiar with the briefing, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the details, told THE DAILY BEAST that during the briefing a year ago, held in a congressional skiff — a secure location for briefings — ATF officials described several ongoing cases for Issa, Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.), and other staff.

One of those mentioned was the Fast and Furious operation, though the briefers never specifically revealed the code name, the sources said. Instead, they said there was an investigation ongoing in Arizona in which more than 1,300 weapons had passed into the hands of suspected straw buyers and into the marketplace, according to the sources. The briefers explained that the goal of the investigation was to track the guns to the larger cartels so a bigger case could be made, and that three of the most popular weapons that had been trafficked included an AK-57 variant known as the 7.62, .50-caliber weapons, and an AR semiautomatic variant known as the 5.56. The briefers also mentioned a recovery of a weapon in Mexico and a specific amount of money used to buy the guns, according to the sources.

However, the briefers, including Melson, did not mention several of the most controversial topics uncovered recently by congressional investigators, including the name Fast and Furious, or the fact that ATF agents and even gun dealers had reservations about the tactics, the sources said.

A spokesman for Issa told THE DAILY BEAST that the congressman was briefed on ATF efforts to combat gun trafficking but remembers it being more general. “They offered a short and broad overview of ATF efforts along with some information about the reliability of statistics on Mexican crime guns that originated in the United States. What they certainly did not say was the controversial truth about one particular operation: instead of tracking and making every effort to interdict guns, agents were being ordered to let criminals walk away with them,” spokesman Frederick Hill said.

Before the deal with Leahy, Grassley had faced limited cooperation from the Justice Department even as he raised questions about the tactics used by ATF, in part because Republicans are in the minority in the Senate. Issa’s committee has subpoena authority with Republicans in control but also has complained of foot-dragging on the production of documents and witnesses in the investigation.

Vince Cefalu in his own words. On FOX Business & in an interview at Tickle the Wire, kicking Waco Jim Cavanaugh's ass.



ATF Agent Says Agency Can Get an Agent Confirmed as Director if They’re Top Notch

Vincent Cefalu is a special agent with ATF. His column is in response to a column authored by ex-ATF official James Cavanaugh, who said appointing an ATF director by presidential appointment isn’t working. Cavanaugh said the appointment should be made by the umbrella agency — the Justice Department.

By Vincent A. Cefalu
For ticklethewire.com

I too I have worked for many Directors for 25 years and am STILL on the job. Therefore I would like to respond to the ATF unofficial mouth piece, Jim Cavanaugh.

First of all please stop speaking for ATF management, they are big boys. They have chosen to speak through DOJ attorney’s instead and that is quite troubling.

Your comments early in this debacle suggested you were trying to mitigate and minimize HQs accountability for being so out of control. You were making excuses for how hard catching gunrunners is. Let me break it down for you; you develop evidence and probable cause you seize their guns and arrest them or not. No Guns hit the street.

They LET 2000 guns go to criminals because no one in the loop had the courage or integrity to stop it. Sound familiar Jim? You are obviously doing a Great bit of promoting. And I am intimately aware of the gunshots you heard in anger, and the circumstances of why you heard those shots. That’s not a GOOD thing Jim. Why exactly did you hear gunshots at all?

Have you lost your mind? Keep the appointment in Justice? Yeah that’s who I want overseeing and making sure ATF is accountable.

We have the opportunity to stand with the big boys and because of a totally ineffective and abusive Executive staff, you assert that we can’t get a Director confirmed.

Enter Clarence Thomas, he got confirmed, enter an EXTRA 2 years for the Honorable Mr. Mueller. Stop telling the American people St. John cant get confirmed. How would you know that. All three of our last attempts failed. Stop selecting poor candidates and we will have a Director. Just because he has an ATF badge, doesn’t make him competent

I think what you fail to acknowledge is that Mr. Magaw saved and rebuilt this agency, love him or hate him. He definitely would have been confirmed. Then Mr. Truscott began the process of bosses being bigger than the mission.

Then Mr. Sullivan, who paid about as much attention to our agency as you do to facts. Half United States Attorney and half ATF Director. I think I may have figured out why we have lost our explosives jurisdiction for all practical purposes.

Our ESF 13 function was openly criticized by the GAO. Our NRT program is in the tank and we have more employee disputes than either the FBI or DEA. The industry that we have all worked so hard to become partners with over the last 30 years hate us and don’t trust us.

A Director from inside would be preferred by ALL. The notion the NRA will tank anybody for no reason is insane.

The abuses brought down on the industry by bad policies, the legislating from inside a Bureau has to stop. The total adversarial demeanor has to change, between the field and HQ. Most have lost faith.

That’s not going to happen, dipping a little deeper into the same poison well. They are all either promoted by or have promoted each other.

We need clean crisp leadership to groom a future Agent as our Director. A General Stanley McChrystal of sorts, that realizes HQ is here to support the field, not the other way around. Put a strong “A” political Cop Boss in their and he will get confirmed as a Director.

The exact reason the current and your generation of bosses got away with so much is because the layers of accountability were so thick, and there was no transparency.

No one much had accountability that he/she couldn’t hand off to somebody else. Lets be accountable. We are ATF. We don’t redact 95% of a document to a Congressional Chairman. We hand all of our stuff over. We are ATF and we have nothing to hide.

So Jim, if we let the Justice Department pick our Director, is it your assertion that they would hold likes of Mclemore, Crenshaw, Ford, Hoover at bay?

Um, do you watch the news? The agency lacks character and accountability at the highest levels. An outsider has to clean house, and then provide a short list of qualified managers for consideration as our Director. And no Jim, that is not going to be you. If it makes you feel better, I don’t want the job either.

Back Home.

Rosey's on the couch and I'm trying to play catch up. Everything went well, although the gall bladder was "huge, distended, infected and full of pus" according to the doc. We even got a color glossy photo of the little mother suitable for framing. Probably won't frame it, though.

Thanks to you all for your prayers.

Mike
III

Pravda-on-the-Potomac deliberately distorts truth of Gunwalker Scandal to further empower the ATF and rob firearm owners of their liberty.


Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer reads the Washington Post editorial page with elation. "Now that's the kind of misdirection propaganda we pay them for!"

How Congress can empower the ATF

THE GUN RIGHTS lobby has spent considerable time and energy in pursuit of one goal: crippling the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). It has largely succeeded — and with dire consequences.

Concerned to the point of paranoia about the erosion of the constitutional right to keep and bear arms, the National Rifle Association and far too many lawmakers have fought against virtually every proposal to empower the bureau to better track and crack down on illegal firearms. They have won reductions in the ATF’s already meager budget. They have restricted the bureau’s ability to share information with other law enforcement agencies. They have kept the bureau rudderless for the past six years by blocking confirmation of new directors. And they continue to fight new rules that would allow the bureau to track bulk sales of long guns that have played a major role in the drug-fueled violence in Mexico.



Now, the very critics who have tied the bureau’s hands are expressing outrage over a novel, and we would agree questionable, ATF operation intended to curb gun smuggling into Mexico.

Operation Fast and Furious was launched in 2009 and was centered in the ATF’s Phoenix office, where agents surveilled straw purchases of AK-47 knockoffs and other high-powered weapons known to be favorites of the drug cartels. The agents did not try to seize the weapons but instead watched as straw buyers made repeated visits and passed firearms to third parties. In January, the Justice Department indicted some 30 relatively low-level individuals on charges of gun running and making straw purchases.



The ATF had hoped to move against higher-ups in the chain of command, but the operation went awry when the bureau lost track of 2,500 weapons, some of which have now been traced to criminal activity south of the border. Two such weapons were found in December at the scene of the murder of a U.S. Border Patrol agent.

The Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General and Congress are investigating, understandably. The probes could help to explain what went wrong and what could or should have been done differently. But Capitol Hill’s intense interest in the ATF should not stop there.



Lawmakers should give the ATF the tools it needs to fight illegal gun trafficking. They should enact stronger penalties for straw purchases and craft a federal gun-smuggling statute; close the gun-show loophole, which allows buyers under certain circumstances to purchase weapons without a background check; resuscitate the ban on assault weapons; and give the ATF the authority to collect data on multiple sales of long guns in border states. The Senate should move quickly to confirm a director for the long-leaderless bureau.

We may never know whether the bureau would have launched the Fast and Furious operation had it had other, more effective tools at its disposal. Those who would clobber the bureau for possible mistakes should look in the mirror and accept some responsibility for its failings.


Note first that Pravda blames the designated fall-guy agency (ATF) and the designated fall guy (Ken Melson). The one thing you can guarantee is that WaPo will protect the higher ups and especially their designated Venerable Saint Barack, the Lightworker.

Note, too, that Pravda glosses over the hundreds of Mexican citizens dead at the muzzles of these weapons in the hands of cartel gunmen that the ATF and DOJ and DHS and State and the White House KNEW would happen.

More to point, how can anybody call the NRA or anybody else "paranoid" about giving ATF more power and money when they've engaged, at the behest of their White House bosses, in a deliberate conspiracy to subvert the Second Amendment rights of Americans?

At the hospital ---

Rosey's already under the knife and I'm in the waiting room taking my mind off things with the laptop.

Off to the hospital.

Back later.

At the Akron Air Show. Classic aviation, new message.


Letter to the editor on Gunwalker.

Written yours yet?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Notice

I don't know if I will get to post anything tomorrow until late, for Rosey is going in early for gall bladder surgery. I'll try to have something for y'all, but no promises. Please keep Rosey in your prayers.

Mike
III

"Downfall."

It is hard for me to believe, but two more days and it will be six months since I wrote the first story about the murder of Brian Terry and the rumors of what has come to be known as the Gunwalker Scandal. David Codrea, my public partner in this venture toward the truth, has just begun Part Four of his Journalist's Guide to Project Gunwalker."

Mark Matis, my most singularly, prolifically and consistently negative commenter on this blog, said in the very first response to that very first post:

This country's "legal" system will make sure that Border Agent's family NEVER gets access to info on what REALLY happened. They are VERY good at that.


Well, six months on, I'd like to think that we're at least closer to what Mark predicted would never happen. In fact, Mark is turning out to be a pretty good reverse barometer. If Mark says it's "never" going to happen, it just might.

Not that Mark hasn't had plenty of company. Jimmy the Saint commented to the same post the next day:

"Write your congresscritter and ask when it is that the oversight hearings will begin?" Twelfth of Never.


Defender was more prescient:

This is like Watergate. The implications for the entire gun regulation mechanism... It's also like ... treason.


Jay Stang was even more prescient, saying sarcastically:

Hey, you know if you want to make an omelet, you have to break a few eggs.


No one knew then that these were the exact words of an ATF supervisor to one of the whistleblower agents.

Of course, the forward progress toward the truth of the Gunwalker Scandal (and I'm happy as can be that the term, invented by David Codrea's sardonic wit, is catching on) has not been easy, nor in a straight line. Yet, the fact that it has progressed is due in no small measure to the readers of David's and my blogs and emails, to those who got off their asses and tried to make the system work, and moved it to where we are today. For that alone, gentle readers, I thank you and hope God blesses you and yours.

The cover-up continues to break down. That is a fact.

Here is Clarice Feldman, a former federal prosecutor, writing in today's American Thinker:

I believe there were a lot of people involved at the Department of Justice and I doubt there'd be so much stonewalling and mudslinging were Holder in the clear.

Besides wanting Melson's testimony and a more forthright response to the Committee's document requests from the Department of Justice, Issa wants those agents who did come forward and speak to the Committee to be granted the federal whistleblowers protections they are entitled to by law. CleanUpATF.org. which asserts it is run by ATF agents, claims abuse of agents and mismanagement in the agency is common.

In the meantime, here's Holder's dilemma in a nutshell: If he doesn't fire Melson, the issue will continue to boil on the front burner. If he does, Melson is free to talk to the Committee, and if my suspicions are correct, Melson's testimony will lead to Holder's long deserved downfall as Attorney General.


Downfall. Here's the dictionary definition:

Down·fall (dounfôl), noun
a. A sudden loss of wealth, rank, reputation, or happiness; ruin.
b. A cause of sudden ruin.


The Gunwalker Scandal, if pushed to the complete outing of the truth will lead not only to the downfall of Holder's career (and his conceivable indictment), but to the downfall of the Obama administration and of the entire gun control agenda for a generation. Gunwalker was the commission of the ultimate deadly lie. Its exposure will destroy the legitimacy of this federal leviathan that has accrued power for a century at the cost of liberty, property and the God-given, natural and inalienable rights codified in the Constitution.

Gunwalker can be the tipping point for many downfalls.

It can be the downfall of the lie that yielding your liberty and property to an all-powerful federal government can bring you safety.

It can be the downfall of the lie that you can be made safer by unilateral disarmament.

It can be the downfall of the lie that the people who push those first two lies are interested in anything else besides power and money at the American people's expense.

I say "can be" and "if" because there is nothing certain about how far this will go. That, dear readers, is still up to you. You have brought this ugliness out into the open by putting pressure on your congresscritters, the NRA and the media. Are you going to rest now, or keep on pushing?

As for me, I'm going to keep on pushing.

"Downfall." I like the sound of that word.