Saturday, March 5, 2011

ATF's internal disconnect on the policy of "walking" guns. "The whole ugly program smacks of an anti-gun political agenda gone terribly wrong."

Modern art sculpture being proposed for the ATF headquarters lobby.

Phil Boehmke, writing at the American Thinker, in an article entitled "Bloody 'Fast and Furious' program approved by Holder’s DOJ," asks the 1.1 Billion Dollar Question:

The whole ugly program smacks of an anti-gun political agenda gone terribly wrong. Is it possible that we are seeing some of the unintended consequences of an executive level plan to crack down on the legal weapons business in the United States by creating a crisis and then exploiting it for political purposes?

Afraid of losing everything, even the firearm prohibitionists and "government monopoly of force" advocates at the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence are are running from ATF management's self-constructed funeral pyre like a hundred frightened Scarecrows from the Wizard of Oz on a hot, dry day. Here's a CSGV response to a post by "Fernando" on the CBS coverage:

Fernando, we'll have to see what an investigation reveals, but these initial reports are certainly troubling. You are right that the priority has to be on stopping guns from being sold to straw purchasers and transported into Mexico. That is do-able if the resources, regulatory authority and leadership is there. Keep in mind that the NRA has blocked the appointment of a permanent ATF director for the past four years. That situation needs to be remedied immediately and if the house needs to be cleaned, so be it.

Gee whiz, "Gunwalker Bill," you need to pick some friends who are a little more constant and reliable, don't you think?

Of course, even ATF's own agents differ as to what the "walking" policy really is.

Here's what Dallas ATF agents told the Dallas morning News in the Osorio/Zapata case:

Dallas ATF agents said Friday that they don’t intentionally allow guns to be smuggled into Mexico, an alleged investigative technique now under fire in Arizona and the subject of congressional and Justice Department inquiries.

Robert Champion, special agent in charge of the local Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, acknowledged this week, though, that his agents did delay arresting three Lancaster men for three months after confiscating a load of guns the men intended to smuggle across the border to the Zeta cartel in November.

It was only after a gun used to kill Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agent Jaime Zapata in Mexico last month was traced back to North Texas that local ATF agents moved quickly to arrest the Lancaster trio.

“I know people will criticize us for not taking these guys down immediately,” Champion said. “But we weren’t sure what they were up to.”

. . . Despite the widespread scope of his agency’s review, Champion said this week that the Arizona allegations have nothing to do with his office’s Lancaster investigation.

“We don’t walk guns here, period,” Champion said. “Even to the extent that it jeopardizes getting the bigger players. We don’t want the guns falling into the wrong hands.”

Hmmm. But this isn't the last that SAC Champion will hear of the gunwalking policy for, the DMN also reports:

During a probable cause hearing Friday in federal court, Otilio Osorio’s attorney Camille Knight tried to question the ATF agent about the controversial Arizona investigation, known as Operation Fast and Furious, but the prosecutor objected on relevancy grounds. The magistrate judge sustained the objection, cutting off further questioning about the matter.

After the hearing, Knight described her client as a “scared” young man. “This is his first brush with the judicial system,” she said. “This case is bigger than what’s been presented in court today.” She declined to elaborate.

From left to right, Newark SAC Matt Horace, Acting ATF Director Kenneth Melson, Richard Kendall, FEHSF and ATF Assistant Director for Field Operations Mark Chait. Chait says "walking" guns was his bright idea.

Dallas may deny it, but ATF's Assistant Director in Charge of Field Operations says that they certainly do and it was all his idea:

Mark Chait, ATF's assistant director in charge of field operations says he personally decided to change the strategy in September 2010 after years of futile efforts to interdict guns from small-time straw buyers with little hope of dismantling major drug trafficking organizations in Mexico.

In addition, ATF officials have so far been frustrated in efforts to persuade the White House to implement even a simple change in gun sale requirements in order to help detect possible gun-running at the border.

"When we look at the complexities of the organizations working around the border of Mexico, just dealing with the lowest level purchaser, the straw purchaser, doesn't get you to the organizer, the money people and the key people in that organization to shut that down. We found that if we don't attack the organization and shut the organization down, they will continue to move guns across the border," Chait says. "It's kind of a somewhat common sense approach that if you don't get to the higher-level folks that are making the calls, then guns will continue to cross the border."

Chait did say that the policy was not set in stone. "I think we have a good strategy," he said. "I think it needs to be reviewed. We're taking a look at it right now to see if it needs to be tweaked in any way."

A "common-sense approach" that needs "tweaked." Uh, huh.

Some common sense.

Some tweak.

Just asks the ghosts of Brian Terry and Jaime Zapata or the probably hundreds of nameless, faceless Mexican victims of "Fast and Furious." But what the heck. If you want omelets you have to break some eggs, right?

This statement may merely mean that Chait is the highest ranking schlub at ATF headquarters who has been chosen to fall on his sword to protect the higher-ups at ATF, DOJ and State, but a whistleblower street agent derisively comments on the disconnect between the Dallas field office and Chait:

WTF -- do we or don't we? There is such a disconnect between the field and HQ that we in the field have BEGGED formally and in writing to bridge. The absolute arrogance and incompetence of our agent bosses and Chief Counsel's Office created this vacuum. Melson doesn't need a BLUE RIBBON PANEL, he has 2500 experts (sans bosses)in firearms trafficking who have begged to weigh in. And not ONE of those experts (US) would have given the nod to ever walking guns. Those involved in the decision, knew of the decision and failed to act or report, or lied about it to Sen. Grassley should be immediately relieved of command pending a full investigation.

Presumably Darth Breuer can iron out all these difficulties for the Empire at the meeting on Monday and they can all avoid losing their jobs and/or going to federal prison.

Or not.

"Or not" suits me.


Dennis308 said...

"Or Not" sounds fine by me.

Now if someone wants to turn States Evidence against the real Head Honcho of this fiasco maybe a cell the don't get visits by a fella named BuBa might be in the future. As for the rest of the scum that got on this band-wagon put'em in GP where they belong with criminals.


Mark Matis said...

God Damn the pigs to hell for what they have done to this country. God Damn them straight to hell!

J. Croft said...

Think the Obama Administration will try something cute in the false flag vein like OKC to polish this fetid turd known as the BATFE? Really its their only option at this point.

W W Woodward said...

Mark Chait, ATF's assistant director in charge of field operations says, "It's kind of a somewhat common sense approach that if you don't get to the higher-level folks that are making the calls, then guns will continue to cross the border."

Mike, Isn't that exactly what you and David have been trying to tell folks for several months now?


Mickey Collins said...

So Chait invented the policy in September 2010?

I thought it predated Agent Terry's death by at least a year?

Mark Matis said...

For J, Croft:
Why would they need to do that? After all, just exactly WHO is going to do ANYTHING to The One and his toadies? Congress? Do yo REALLY think that Senator Grassley is going to go over to DOJ and arrest Holder? Oh, you say, "Law Enforcement" will do it for him? Yeah, right! There are THREE Federal Court judgments and a contempt citation against the Obamatorium. Just exactly WHAT have the God Damned pigs done with THOSE? May the filthy maggot pig swill rot in hell for what they have done to this country!

J. Croft said...

Mark Matis: when I refer to "something cute in the vein of a false flag like OKC" I meant either making an event happen that demonizes gun owners or take advantage of a shoot out. More than one person has their back to the wall and like Vanderboegh stated in a later post the only reason he (and I) err on the side of caution is because as a movement we aren't ready.

Of course, there is no true "ready" but are you or I or Mike V. truly networked enough? Have enough of anything? Can actually count on caches? Hideouts? Backup?

I say no. The enemy knows this but knows we're not entirely powerless. Time is NOT on their side, especially now with the Gunwalker scandal threatening to throw a fermented pail of shit in their collective faces.

Now, they COULD sacrifice the ATF but I'm thinking that as one of the country's oldest federal law enforcement agencies it has too much symbolic value to the enemy to let this scandal take it down. They'll hang some people out or make/exploit a shootout or terror incident and completely change the script on this. Make a national emergency that will make your average couch potato forget all about some Mexicans and Border Patrol Agents killed over drugs. And you know they will forget.