Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Vindication. CBS runs the definitive Gunwalker story so far: Gunrunning scandal uncovered at the ATF. "You can't stop the signal, Mal."

"You can't stop the signal, Mal." -- Mr. Universe to Malcolm Reynolds in Serenity, 2005.

David Codrea writes:

Mike Vanderboegh and I are both more than pleased with this initial report. It exceeded the high expectations we had for this after corresponding and speaking with the people involved. We were both impressed with their interest in this story and perceived a commitment to be thorough and truthful. They were, and our expectations for further reports with even more details remain high. The bar has been set for others following to try for.

Indeed. As I watched our vindication play out in electrons I couldn't help but think of Mr. Universe. "You can't stop the signal, Mal." The Project Gunwalker scandal, which began as a whispered rumor, is now out in front of the whole world to see. Most significantly, the ATF and DOJ hid, refusing to comment, refusing even to send out the weasel-worded non-denial deniers. Guilty. As. Sin.

There is more coming on CBS, I can promise you that. And now the other networks and print "authorized journalists" will have to get off their duffs and start to play catch-up.

When they write the history of this scandal, today will be recalled as a red-letter day. And the people that read it will have no idea how much time, effort, tears, curses and sweat, went into getting to this day. Nor will they ever know how much the agents risked to get the word out. They kept their oaths. Remember that.

I'll tell you truly, when the video below came to the end, I darn near cried.

No more posting tonight. Tonight, I'm going upstairs, kiss Rosey, and sleep the sleep of the just. I hope the agents do too.



February 23, 2011

Gunrunning scandal uncovered at the ATF

Program aimed at stopping the flow of weapons from the US to Mexico may have allegedly had the opposite effect


WASHINGTON - Keeping American weapons from getting into the hands of Mexican gangs is the goal of a program called "Project Gunrunner." But critics say it's doing exactly the opposite. CBS News investigative correspondent Sharyl Attkisson reports on what she found.

December 14, 2010. The place: a dangerous smuggling route in Arizona not far from the border. A special tactical border squad was on patrol when gunfire broke out and agent Brian Terry was killed.

Kent, Brian's brother, said "he was my only brother. That was the only brother I had. I'm lost."

The assault rifles found at the murder were traced back to a U.S. gun shop. Where they came from and how they got there is a scandal so large, some insiders say it surpasses the shoot-out at Ruby Ridge and the deadly siege at Waco.

To understand why, it helps to know something about "Project Gunrunner" an operation run by the ATF the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

Read the indictment

"Project Gunrunner" deployed new teams of agents to the southwest border. The idea: to stop the flow of weapons from the US to Mexico's drug cartels. But in practice, sources tell CBS News, ATF's actions had the opposite result: they allegedly facilitated the delivery of thousands of guns into criminal hands.

CBS News wanted to ask ATF officials about the case, but they wouldn't agree to an interview. We were able to speak to six veteran ATF agents and executives involved. They don't want to be quoted by name for fear of retaliation. These are their allegations.

In late 2009, ATF was alerted to suspicious buys at seven gun shops in the Phoenix area. Suspicious because the buyers paid cash, sometimes brought in paper bags. And they purchased classic "weapons of choice" used by Mexican drug traffickers - semi-automatic versions of military type rifles and pistols.

Sources tell CBS News several gun shops wanted to stop the questionable sales, but ATF encouraged them to continue.

Jaime Avila was one of the suspicious buyers. ATF put him in its suspect database in January of 2010. For the next year, ATF watched as Avila and other suspects bought huge quantities of weapons supposedly for "personal use." They included 575 AK-47 type semi-automatic rifles.

ATF managers allegedly made a controversial decision: allow most of the weapons on the streets. The idea, they said, was to gather intelligence and see where the guns ended up. Insiders say it's a dangerous tactic called letting the guns, "walk."

One agent called the strategy "insane." Another said: "We were fully aware the guns would probably be moved across the border to drug cartels where they could be used to kill."

On the phone, one Project Gunrunner source (who didn't want to be identified) told us just how many guns flooded the black market under ATF's watchful eye. "The numbers are over 2,500 on that case by the way. That's how many guns were sold - including some 50-calibers they let walk."

50-caliber weapons are fearsome. For months, ATF agents followed 50-caliber Barrett rifles and other guns believed headed for the Mexican border, but were ordered to let them go. One distraught agent was often overheard on ATF radios begging and pleading to be allowed to intercept transports. The answer: "Negative. Stand down."

CBS News has been told at least 11 ATF agents and senior managers voiced fierce opposition to the strategy. "It got ugly..." said one. There was "screaming and yelling" says another. A third warned: "this is crazy, somebody is gonna to get killed."

Sure enough, the weapons soon began surfacing at crime scenes in Mexico - dozens of them sources say - including shootouts with government officials.

One agent argued with a superior asking, "are you prepared to go to the funeral of a federal officer killed with one of these guns?" Another said every time there was a shooting near the border, "we would all hold our breath hoping it wasn't one of 'our' guns."

Then, Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was murdered. The serial numbers on the two assault rifles found at the scene matched two rifles ATF watched Jaime Avila buy in Phoenix nearly a year before. Officials won't answer whether the bullet that killed Terry came from one of those rifles. But the nightmare had come true: "walked" guns turned up at a federal agent's murder.

"You feel like s***. You feel for the parents," one ATF veteran told us.

Hours after Agent Terry was gunned down, ATF finally arrested Avila. They've since indicted 34 suspected gunrunners in the same group. But the indictment makes no mention of Terry's murder, and no one is charged in his death.

Kent Terry said of his brother, "He'd want them to tell the truth. That's one thing my brother didn't like was a liar. And that's what he'd want. He'd want the truth.

In a letter, the Justice Department which oversees ATF says the agency has never knowingly allowed the sale of assault weapons to suspected gunrunners.

By Sharyl Attkisson


Sdv1949 said...

Mike, you done good. My liberal wife was appalled when we watched it and I added the back story. This now has legs.

Thank you.

Dedicated_Dad said...






Kurt '45superman' Hofmann said...

You and David have made a bigger positive difference for this country than anyone I have ever had the honor and pleasure of knowing.

Thank you.

Scott J said...

Congrats to you and David and all the others who drove this.

GrayMan said...

Epic, its about time that the ATF's dirty laundry gets aired out to the public. someone had to do it, a job well done mike.

Anonymous said...

Mike, I'm raising a glass of home-made Mead to you tonight.

You shamed the FBI into arresting a known criminal that they didn't want.

Now you and David have shamed "Authorized Journalists" into doing their God-damned job.

Although it remains to be seen if they follow it through to the end.

Go sleep the sleep of the just.

Well done.

Well done.

Anonymous said...

Only problem is...who watches CBS News??

excitedVulcan said...

Good work. Thank You. If you are ever in mid Michigan, you have a place to stay. Look me up!

Legal Alien said...

Mike and David . . . .


the absolutely BEST 5 mins I have ever watched on CBS!!!!

doubletrouble said...

Good job Mike, thanks.

RKV said...


RKV sends.

RKV said...

Bravo Zulu, Mike.

Travis McGee said...

Wow! Exceeded my hopes by far. Great work!

Travis McGee said...

Terrific, exceeded my hopes for CBS. Great work, Mike and Dave!

drjim said...

Well Done, sir!

Anonymous said...


Trying to watch the story on your page and the link provided. Reloaded it a dozen times and I can't see the whole thing. Hopefully because it's being watched again and again by people all over. Many thanks to you, David and the many agents who are making these goons accountable.


sofa said...


u said...

Words fail me in trying to express my satisfaction at seeing this story finally in the MSM, and on CBS prime time evening news at that.

Words also fail me in trying to express my admiration, respect, and gratitude to Mike and David for all the hard - and hazardous - work that they have done to bring this scandal to the attention of more people.

So I'll just say outstanding and incredibly well done, gentlemen.

Uncle Al said...

Oops. Minor point. That post from "u" was supposed to be from "Uncle Al." Dang fingers.

Anonymous said...

Mike and David,

Just thanks.


Anonymous said...

Well done sir!
All that hard work and thankless labor has payed off.
Any chance you and Codrea will be credited?
Thanks for all you do.

Anonymous said...

You know that scene at the end of The Insider where Jeffrey Wigand (played by Russell Crowe) finally gets to see the 60 minutes segment that vindicates him? I bet you're feeling like him tonight.

I sent an email to ATF today linking the blog entry below. My message in the subject line: "Run and hide, boys."

Well done, Mike and David. Well done.

Dennis308 said...

At last, Yours and Davids labors are bearing fruit, Ya done a great job Dutchman. God Bless.


FHK96 said...

Hell yeah! I have been following this since you and Codrea brought it to our attention.

Eric said...

Bravo Mike, Bravo
You and everyone else that brought this to light did great.

Dakota said...

Excellent report ... I have to wonder how it got past the censors. I can only assume that this will be another story to stop "us" from purchasing in the future.

In any case the "B"ATF is going to take it in the bum and they deserve it for all the BS they have pulled over the years. I hope this brings down the whole house of cards .... right to the top.

Unknown said...

Score one for the lovers of truth, justice, and the American way (with no help from Superman). Now if CBS and the other lamestream media will only mention the allegations that ATF's purpose was to artificially inflate the "U.S.-purchased guns" statistics in order to increase their own budget, as well as to provide propaganda to support further infringement of 2nd Amendment rights, the story will draw some of the outrage against ATF which that agency richly deserves.

Anonymous said...

In my opinion both You and Codrea (along with the ATF agents who want to clean up the Agency) have "Single Handedly" forstalled a new "Assault Weapon" ban.
Where's the NRA? Fund raising,selling wine and kissing Senator's and Congresseman's
A big Thank You. You guys have struck hard for Liberty.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Mike, you done real good. You actually restored some of my lost hope, which is something I didn't think anyone could do at this point. It goes to show what hard work can accomplish, even when the powerful are lined up against you. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

homobangbangamus said...

Well, now they have to deal with it. Question, where is everyone else and our fair and balanced "friends" at fox?

CBS just gained 50% and fox lost another 25%. Pretty soon, I won't need to watch them at all! Except for Glenn of course because he has it just about right and he's pissing off all the right people!

the Hunter said...

Well done, patriots. Smoke 'em if you got 'em, then let's reload and saddle up.

Anonymous said...

When good men do something!! Thank you Mike & David!

DB said...

Welcome to the wagon CBS, your only a couple months late.

fireplaceguy said...

Never would have dreamed CBS had this in them. Could they possibly be in pursuit of relevance?

Regardless, congrats! I have no idea how many hours you and David have into this by now, but I know it's a lot and this must feel great!

Way to go.

leemcgee said...

"One man with courage is a majority." - Thomas Jefferson