Rosetta stone, noun.
1. a stone slab, found in 1799 near Rosetta, bearing parallel inscriptions in Greek, Egyptian hieroglyphic, and demotic characters, making possible the decipherment of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics.
2. a clue, breakthrough, or discovery that provides crucial knowledge for the solving of a puzzle or problem.
Every now and then, in the still of the night, I get discouraged, convinced that our corrupt system can never be reformed without violence. Tonight is not one of those nights. Tonight there is a slender ray of hope in the form of the documents below. David Codrea received the following letter and documents over the electronic transom. He forwarded them to me, we concluded that they were exactly and precisely what they were represented to be, and so we are breaking this story together. Tomorrow I will have some analysis, but now, just right now, I don't have the words.
The link to David's Examiner Column is here: "BREAKING NEWS -- Grassley to Holder: Terry family deserves answers."
The Scribd link to the pdf files is here.
Via Electronic Transmission
The Honorable Eric H. Holder, Jr.
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20530
Dear Attorney General Holder:
During our meeting on January 31, I provided you with copies of my recent letters to Acting ATF Director Kenneth E. Melson. I had received serious allegations from ATF whistleblowers. ATF agents told my staff that the agency allowed the sale of assault rifles to known and suspected straw purchasers for an illegal trafficking ring near the southwest border. Authorities allegedly recovered two of those weapons at the scene of a firefight near the southwest border on December 14, 2010. Customs and Border Protection Agent Brian Terry lost his life in that firefight and may have been killed with one of those two rifles. That is why I requested nearly two weeks ago that the ATF brief my staff as soon as possible.
Unfortunately, the reaction to my request has, so far, been little more than delay and denial. I finally received a letter at close of business on Friday, February 4, in response to my request. It came not from the ATF, but from the Justice Department. In that letter, the Department categorically denied that the ATF “knowingly allowed the sale of assault weapons to a straw purchaser….” The Department said the ATF makes “every effort to interdict weapons that have been purchased illegally and prevent their transportation into Mexico.”
However, as I explained in my initial letter to Acting Director Melson, the allegations I received are supported by documentation. It is already public record that federal agents arrested Jaime Avila on December 15, 2010—the very same day that CBP Agent Terry died. The ATF had been tracking Avila’s firearms purchases because Avila was a suspected trafficker since at least November 2009.1 According to the whistleblowers, at least one gun dealer wanted to stop participating in sales like those to Avila sometime around October 2009. However, the ATF allegedly encouraged the dealer to continue selling to suspected traffickers and asked the dealer to forward information about the sales to the Bureau.
*1 Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, “Multiple Sale Summary,” Nov 25, 2009 (Attachment 1).
The dealer who sold the weapons allegedly recovered at the scene of Agent Terry’s death met with both ATF representatives and Assistant U.S. Attorneys as early as December 17, 2009 to “discuss his role as [a Federal Firearms Licensee] FFL during this investigation.”2 On January 9, 2010, Jaime Avila bought three more firearms at the same Glendale, Arizona gun dealer and his purchase was entered into an ATF database two days later.3 By January 13, ATF added Avila to a suspect person database for the investigation.4 On January 14, ATF entered the firearms Avila purchased five days earlier into the National Tracing Center’s Suspect Gun Database.5
On January 16, 2010, Avila bought three AK-47 variant, Romanian WASR-10 assault rifles from the same dealer with the serial numbers 1983AH3977, 1979IS1530, and 1971CZ3775.6 ATF entered these weapons into the National Tracing Center’s Suspect Gun Database three days later.7 Over the next several months, ATF continued to track Avila’s multiple firearms purchases in near real-time, including two purchases of .50 caliber rifles in June 2010.8
After the shooting of CBP Agent Terry, law enforcement officials recovered from the scene two assault rifles.9 On December 16, 2010, ATF’s trace results confirmed that serial numbers 1983AH3977 and 1971CZ3755 match two of the three rifles purchased by Avila and tracked by the ATF nearly a year earlier.10 In addition to these specific weapons, the indictment of Avila and others references approximately 769 firearms. Of those, the indictment refers to the recovery of only about 103 weapons. So, where are the other approximately 666 weapons referenced in the indictment? Why did the ATF not seize them?
The Justice Department’s reply asked that Committee staff stop speaking to law enforcement personnel about these matters. However, if not for the bravery and patriotism of law enforcement personnel who were willing to put their careers on the line, this Committee would have been forced to rely on nothing more than rumors in the blogosphere and a Justice Department denial to resolve these allegations. We need more than that. To be an effective check on Executive Branch power, we need cold, hard facts. We will seek them from whatever source is necessary.
Unfortunately, the Justice Department’s letter suggested that my attempts to seek information about these matters might be politically motivated. I understand the Department needs to “protect … law enforcement personnel … from inappropriate
2 Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, “Management Log for Case: 85115-10-[redacted],” Dec 17,
2009 (Attachment 2).
3 Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, “Multiple Sale Summary,” Jan 11, 2010 (Attachment 3).
4 E-mail from ATF Program Analyst to ATF Agents, Jan 13, 2010 (Attachment 4).
5 Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, “Suspect Gun Summary,” Jan 14, 2010 (Attachment 5).
6 Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, “Suspect Gun Summary,” Jan 19, 2010 (Attachment 6).
8 Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, “Suspect Gun Summary,” Jun 8 and Jun 16, 2010 (Attachment 7).
9 Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, “Significant Information Report,” Dec 16, 2010 (Attachment 8).
10 Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, “Firearms Trace Summaries,” Dec 16, 2010 (Attachment 9).
political influence.”11 However, there is a difference between inappropriate political influence and appropriately holding officials accountable to the American people. I try to conduct non-partisan oversight of the Executive Branch. Regardless of which party controls the White House or the Congress, I do my best to ask tough questions. If you have any evidence that there is anything “inappropriate” about my motives in this matter, please let me know. Otherwise, I respectfully request that the Department avoid such implications in the future.
Finally, I want to share with you a portion of an e-mail from Carolyn Terry, Agent Terry’s stepmother. She wrote yesterday:
It’s hard to accept that our son was shot and murdered with a gun that was bought in the U.S. We have not had any contact from the Border Patrol or any other agents since returning home on the 22nd of [January]. Our calls are not returned. I truly feel that our son’s death is a cover-up and they hope that we will go away. That will not happen. We want to know who allowed the sale of that gun that murdered our son. Any help will [be] appreciated. We are the victims of this case and we want some answers.12
The Terry family deserves answers. The whistleblowers have expressed a desire to honor Agent Terry’s memory by disclosing this information. The Justice Department should work to do the same. The best way to honor his memory is to come clean.
Charles E. Grassley
cc: The Honorable Patrick Leahy, Chairman, United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary
The Honorable Robert S. Mueller, III, Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Kenneth E. Melson, Acting Director, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives
The Honorable Alan D. Bersin, Commissioner, United States Customs and Border Protection
11 Letter from the Justice Department to Senator Charles E. Grassley, Jan 31, 2011.
12 E-mail from Carolyn Terry, Feb 8, 2011.
Mike, Now that Leahy has been publicly notified of this, I will put the word out on the local level to hold his feet to the fire on this.
I have been waiting for this moment the entire time I have been following your investigation. I am glad it is finally here, and after a cup of coffee I will be calling his office, and the peeps. Then a blog posting about what I have found out. Time to ramp up the pressure.
Thank God for the Republic that there are men like you and David.
Is THAT what the DOJ calls coming clean. Blacked-out files,
Time To put ore pressure on Senators and Congress-Critters.
The levels of embarrassment that Holder/DOJ and Melson/ATF are willing to bring on themselves and their agencies is nothing short of stunning.
The masses have had enough of allowing these two to humiliate us.
Iowa is quite fortunate to have a Senator like Chuck Grassley. Where the heck are McCain and Kyl in all this. The crimes are taking place in their backyards. I guess they got all the face time they needed for now sitting in the third row of the Tucson shooting pep rally (next to Sheriff Dupnik by the way) and clapping for Obama.
Holy crap, Mike! The ATF has no clothes on!
Wunderbar. At last the BATFEces have been openly and undeniably exposed. Good work!!
I am so glad to be wrong on my last comment!
This is great news.
And actual evidence too, not just bluster. So happy to see it.
So WHO has the BALLS in DC?
Grassley! Let us contact him to thank him and encourage him, and let him know of our support.
He is standing up. Let us stand with him and be sure he knows it.
I hope and prey this will crash and burn ALL the ATF leadership DOJ and any of the other turds up there. It couldn't happen to a finer bunch and at the hands of Mike and David; WAY TO GO.
Thank GOD for Mike's writings and the true Americans he reaches every day.
Bumped Drudge again asking why he does not consider this news.
Jaw-dropping stuff! If Gunwalker is stonewalled successfully, after this, we'll know that the fedgov is untouchable.
Mike, I just sent this off to Fox and Friends on the Fox News Channel and will see if I can find other interested parties.
Congratulations on the smoking hole, where the smoking gun/s used to be. But just like everything else, if they don't report it, it didn't happen, at least for the rest of the world.
We got big troubles when they can ignore a story like this.
Just sent this article to almost everyone at FNC. We'll see if anyone bites. If they don't I guess we'll have more information than we did before.
Anon at 10:13...
Kyl and McStain are doing what they always do.....being collectivist scum who love more government control. They are RINOs in the truest sense of the word.
They are only "conservative" when it's election time and they are NEVER in favor of individual liberty in spite of their sound bites.....yet the idiocracy in this state keeps electing them over and over.
Sean in AZ
I called Sen. Grassley's office and left a "bravo, attaboy, thanks, keep their feet to the fire" message with the woman who answered the phone.
I think she was a bit surprised, but I'm sure the Senator will get the message.
I emailed Durbin and Kirk, copied from one and pasted to the other. I don't think they're worth the time and the breath it would take to call their offices, and besides, the call is long distance.
I like to think I'm doing my part to keep the water warm.
American Thinker is on it: Sen. Grassley: Time For ATF To Come Clean, too.
Please forgive me -- I can be slow at times and I know that I'm not alone.
For this reason, I'd suggest you spell out - in as much detail as possible - exactly what's so spectacular about this pile of paper.
From my reading/review, including the "lawyer-letter" sent in response to Grassley's 2nd letter to Melson, here's what I THINK I've seen DOCUMENTED to date:
DOJ Lawyer explicitly denies:
(1) that any straw purchases were allowed to proceed,
(2) any of the straw-purchased weapons ended up in Mexico
(3) any of the straw-purchased weapons were used in the shootout leading to Terry's murder.
Further, DOJ claims their arrests weren't of any "straw purchasers" but rather they rolled up all the big-wigs.
Grassley whips out proof, from ATF's own systems, that
(a) straw purchases were allowed to proceed
(b) those straw-purchased weapons DID end up in Mexico
(c) 2 of said straw-purchased weapons WERE used in the shootout leading to Terry's murder.
(d) the "Avila" character was in fact a straw-purchaser, not a conspiracy "bigwig" as previously claimed.
Does this about cover it?
I'm sure you guys are aware that - to most of our fellow citizens - the response to all of this would be "TL:DR" (Too Long: Didn't Read). We can't get them on board unless they understand it, and they're not going to put forth the effort to figure it all out for themselves.
If we can give them a reasonably brief summary of what these documents prove, they'll probably forward it to the hundreds of people on their usual "glurge" forwarding lists, and enough of them might be sufficiently pissed off to make a phone call or three...
Thanks in advance for the effort!!
Echoing DD's request
It took me a long time to transition from writing search warrants/wiretap apps and such (where you include everything and the kitchen sink) to the corporate world (where if you give people more than three crisp, brief bullet points, their heads explode).
If you and David ended each post with a "Summary/Action To Be Taken" in which you give folks three bullets that they can use (or hell, even read) in speaking with the PTB (and each other), you will accelerate the velocity of this caper.
Once you are inside the Bad People's OODA loop, accelerate and jink while providing them with more threats than their minds can handle.
I really hope the Senator doesn't have a dog to be shot or a cat to be stomped by the ATF stack that may visit him. Or children to burn.
It's hard to believe that an "educated" DoJ lawyer would have the balls, or maybe stupidity, to write the 4 Feb letter denying that any of the allegations made by the ATF whistle blower agents were true.
The fool must have had access to the same paper work possessed by Senator Grassley unless of course the ATF managers didn't level with DoJ, which is probably exactly the case.
And then again, Holder could have been standing at the letter writer's shoulder while dictating the letter. After all, Holder's name didn't appear on the letter and he can deny knowledge and throw the letter writer under the bus. I hear he's good at that.
I have heard nothing back from RINOs McCain, Kyl, or Trent Franks. The only good news is that Kyl is not going to seek re-election.
Haven't yet heard from Kirk; this is what D. Durbin sent me. As you know, Congress has a proprietary email system, so I'm not sure what I sent him. I believe I asked him to contact Sen. Grassley's office and keep up to speed. He sits on several subcommittees directly responsible for overseeing several parts of BATFE. I KNOW I mentioned that in the letter I sent him.
February 8, 2011
Dear Mr. :
Thank you for contacting me regarding the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) Demand Letter for multiple sales of specific long guns. I appreciate hearing from you.
In December 2010, ATF announced a new law enforcement initiative, a Demand Letter requiring the reporting of multiple sales of certain long guns by federal firearms licensees (FFLs). The initiative would affect sales in four Southwest border states, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California. The initiative is designed to help law enforcement decrease illegal firearms trafficking along the Southwest border.
Due to the considerable increase in drug and firearms-related violence along the border and in Mexico, ATF has allocated some of its resources to preventing firearms trafficking in the area. Currently, there is a reporting mechanism for sales of handguns. All FFLs must submit a report of multiple sales to the National Tracing Center when a licensee sells more than one handgun to the same buyer within five consecutive business days. The Demand Letter would follow a similar protocol, but would be narrowly tailored to meet particular objectives:
1) Only federal firearms licensees conducting business in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California would be required to meet the reporting requirements of the Demand Letter, since these states are the main sources of crime guns found in Mexico and traced to FFLs.
2) The only types of rifles (new and used) that would fall under the reporting requirement would have the following features: semi-automatic action, a caliber greater than .22, and the ability to accept a detachable magazine. These types of long guns have been identified by ATF and the Government of Mexico as being involved in violent crimes in Mexico.
3) This reporting requirement will begin as a pilot project for a one-year period.
These three requirements would help ensure that the focus remains on tracking criminal firearms traffickers without hampering the Second Amendment rights of lawful citizens.
Investigating and prosecuting drug and gun trafficking networks is a law enforcement challenge that will require sustained cooperation across the border and at the federal, state, and local levels. We must continue to work to reduce the demand for illegal drugs in the United States and help stem the flow of illegal guns and money to Mexico. Enforcing our nation's existing gun control laws must remain a high priority. I will continue to support efforts to help ensure that our nation's gun laws are enforced vigorously.
Thank you again for contacting me. I will keep your concerns in mind. Please feel free to keep in touch.
Richard J. Durbin
United States Senator
It is a vessel filled with foul smelling dung. I haven't yet made a response, but it's going to be on point with all his subcommittee assignments, all his evasiveness, the very small number of calibers that will not be affected by the rule, and another suggestion that he contact Grassley.
I'll keep you posted.
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