Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Grassley asks for independent investigator to probe ATF! Plus more Gunwalker Scandal Items. It is getting hard to keep track of them these days.

This just in from John Solomon at Center for Public Integrity. Grassley asks for independent investigator to probe ATF.

Sen. Charles Grassley, the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, demanded Tuesday that an independent watchdog be used to investigate the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives decision to let hundreds of guns fall into the hands of straw buyers for suspected Mexican weapons traffickers in hopes of making a bigger criminal case.

Grassley took issue with Attorney General Eric Holder’s decision last week to ask the acting inspector general of the Justice Department to conduct the probe, saying the department’s internal watchdog might have a conflict of interest in reviewing the controversial program that was uncovered by the Center for Public Integrity and CBS News.

The senator cited several possible conflicts, noting the IG’s office failed to act on the allegations when they were first brought to its attention by frontline agents and that an earlier report by the IG that criticized ATF’s past approach to investigating border state gun trafficking may have provided the impetus for the new investigative strategy that allowed suspected straw buyers to walk off with weapons from gun dealers. In addition, Grassley noted, the Justice watchdog’s top job is vacant since Inspector General Glenn Fine’s retirement, leaving the office without a confirmed presidential appointee.

“Without a greater level of independence, it will be difficult for the public to have faith in the impartiality and integrity of the result. Therefore, I request that the Acting Inspector General recuse her office and that a disinterested inspector general’s office be selected to conduct the review,” Grassley wrote the Council of Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency, the umbrella organization that oversees the conduct of federal inspectors general.

Grassley also requested that the probe be expanded from Holder’s request to include “the circumstances surrounding false and misleading statements to Senate Judiciary Committee staff and to me in response to questions about these allegations over the past several weeks.”

When Grassley first inquired about ATF’s tactics, Justice officials reported back to him that they would never knowingly let a straw buyer walk off with a gun if they thought it was going across the border and took every action to interdict weapons headed to Mexico.

ATF officials, however, later told the Center that they let more than 1,700 guns flow to straw buyers with the expectation they might cross the border or end up in the hands of criminal while the agency tried to build a criminal case.

In addition to the probe requested by Holder, the ATF is asking an outside panel to also review its tactics in the war on Mexican gun trafficking.

Senator Grassley's own press release here.

Pdf of letter here.

Also, we have Dave Workman "Seattle Times wakes up to ‘Gunrunner’ scandal…sort of."

Then Anthony Martin observes "The official spin begins on ATF/DOJ gun smuggling scandal."

Kurt Hofmann asks the very good question "Why should any gun dealer cooperate with BATFE?"

T.L. Davis takes us "Beyond Gunwalker."

Perhaps Mr. Calderon wasn't too worried about these weapons coming across the border because most of them, the semi-automatic type, were being used by Mexican gangs in AMERICA. Now, we, us, you and me, need to come to grips with the idea that our president, Barack Obama, doesn't seem to care that these illegal weapons that have gone down to Mexico with the AID of the ATF, have done their killing on the south side of the border and have been U-turned back toward the citizens of the United States. The flood of semi-automatic weapons coming from Mexico to the US should be the concern here, at least on a level equal to that of the fact that they are going south.

Yet, what is the response from the big meeting in Washington DC over the weekend? Where is Obama on this issue?

Then David Codrea has these important items:

This NSSF blog post with the comment: "A link to Gunwalker? Nope, No Gunwalker Here... These people are worse than useless. They're collaborators."

New White House Press Secretary audition.
Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jzYpADZiv00&feature=related

"White House pleads ignorance to ‘Project Gunwalker’"

Some ‘illegal’ U.S. guns being used to defend Mexican lives

“To avoid falling victim of a vicious drug war, some resort to taking up arms,” Adriana Gómez Licón reports in the El Paso Times.


Teachers, ranchers, town officials, business owners and lawyers in rural towns of northwest Chihuahua near New Mexico have armed themselves.

And here’s the noteworthy part:

Legal or not, they are ready to use their guns for protection.

Mexico is a perfect real-world laboratory for looking at what happens when the gungrabbers get their wish list fulfilled, and anti-gun policies are enacted at a societal level—the old adage that when guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns (aside from the military and police, that is, the “Only Ones”)—proves out. Which leaves citizens who simply wish to protect themselves the terrible consequences of breaking the law and facing life-destroying penalties:

But in Mexico, it is close to impossible to obtain a permit to carry a gun. People need a license just to own any firearm. The process is burdensome. The punishment for illegal possession is severe, including prison terms of up to seven years.

There has been speculation that some of the guns going south from the United States to Mexico end up in the hands of citizens intent on defending themselves and their families regardless of the risks. With the increasing disregard of prohibitions in favor of protection documented in Licón’s story, that hardly seems a stretch.


Dakota said...

Well now they've gone too far ....we can not have firearms in the hands of private citizens in Mexico!!!! They might be able to defend themselves from not only the drug runners .... maybe they'll start thinking about cleaning up our corrupt and tyranical government too. Damn those freedom loving "gringos".. (insert Hoppers speech here)

Reg T said...

I am glad to see Senator Grassley moving on this, in an intelligent and forceful manner. Cynic that I am, I feared he was powerless to oppose a DOJ that refused to even acknowledge his presence.

I cannot tell you how much I hope my cynicism is proven baseless here, and that justice triumphs this time, at least. Now, if Issa can be made to move off of his duff, perhaps we will get to see some real "change". As in: "regime change". As David Codrea indicated to me, we should all be writing to, or calling, him to arrange and convene hearings.

GOA on their web site http://gunowners.org/ has a "legislative action center" where you can send an email to your elected representatives, either using one GOA has written, modifying it, or writing your own. The site will set it up based on your zip code and address. Makes it very simple.

Aaron Zelman at JPFO had been writing and speaking for years of the need to rein in the out-of-control ATF. I doubt we will ever have a better opportunity to attempt that than now, after Mike and David have done all the heavy lifting.

Along with supporting Mike and David, spiritually and financially, if you aren't already a member of GOA and JPFO, you should join. Take the money you have been paying to the "800 pound gorilla" sleeping in its cage, and send it to those two organizations. You will get a lot more for your money there than at NRA, I promise you.

Reg (Life Member at GOA, JPFO member for years as well.)

Dennis308 said...

"And here’s the noteworthy part:
Legal or not, they are ready to use their guns for protection."

There is a saying just accros the River down here"Es mejor que esta en la carcel que en la tumba"
translation: It's better to be in jail than in the grave.

I say it about time the citizens of Mexico started arming themselves.

Texas(on the border)

Dedicated_Dad said...

How can you STAND it?

Those PUKES at "Center for Public Integrity" apparently wouldn't KNOW "integrity" if it walked up and p!$$ed in their face!

I quote from the article you linked:

"...the controversial program that was uncovered by the Center for Public Integrity and CBS News..."

You lying sack of $#!+ ! You didn't "uncover" a damn thing!

Mike V. and David C. "uncovered" it - put the whistleblowers in touch with Grassley, publicized it, and goaded the rest of us into hounding every politician and media-outlet we could THINK of until SOMEONE did something about it, and until SOMEONE in the lap-dog media COVERED IT!

Further, IIRC, **FOX** was the first "network" to actually cover the story -- so you can't even claim THAT!

A bit of research into "The Center for Public Integrity" shows they're funded by "The Joyce Foundation" -- These people are *NOT* our friends! Granted, at the moment they're "the enemy-of-our-enemy" - so that's enough, I guess -- For NOW -- but still...


"Integrity" - my happy-pink-@$$...

I hope the rest of you will join me in calling these pukes out...

Dedicated_Dad said...

I can't comment at "CPI" because I REFUSE to sign up for the privacy-violations embodied in "faeces-book".

I DID take advantage of their "comment" form - http://www.publicintegrity.org/about/our_organization/contact/ - where I said this:

"I'm writing about your article at http://www.publicintegrity.org/blog/entry/3004/

In said article, you said "...the controversial program that was uncovered by the Center for Public Integrity and CBS News..."

This is "INTEGRITY"?

You people didn't "uncover" SQUAT.

Mike Vanderboegh (SipseyStreetIrregulars.blogspot.com) and David Codrea (WarOnGuns.blogspot.com) did the yeoman's work on this.

THEY "uncovered" it. THEY goaded hundreds of us into harassing every Congressman, Senator and media-outlet we could think of, trying to get SOMEONE in power to act, and SOMEONE in the lap-dog media to cover the story.

Further - if I recall correctly - *FOX* was the first network to cover the story!

Granted, CBS has done far more than I ever would have expected to publicize this treason, and I applaud them for it. You too have covered the story, and that's appreciated as well -- but to claim you "uncovered" it is a disgusting lie.

The LEAST you could do is mention the names of the two men who made sure you knew about it -- without them it would still be buried, like the dirtbags responsible would prefer.

Hopefully you'll prove you deserve your name, and demonstrate that you have the INTEGRITY to issue a retraction, and give proper credit where it is due.


I'd strongly encourage everyone here to do something similar.