When you need some real serious lying wrapped in disinformation it is best to turn to a demonstrated expert in that line of dishonest, perjured country. ATF reaches back into history to bring out their best liar-who-got-away-with-it: James "Waco Jim" Cavanaugh.
Charles E. Schumer, US Congress, New York (D): . . . is there any way that somebody could believe that justifiable homicide . . . could be used as a defense here?
James Cavanaugh, ATF Special Agent: No, Mr. Schumer . . . Assertions that we had helicopters, or men from Mars shooting at them is nonsense. Our agents were laying on the ground shooting at a tower three stories high. Should we be surprised there are bullets on the roof?
Charles E. Schumer, US Congress, New York (D): Of course, I agree with you, Mr. Cavanaugh. . .
Robert Farago, writing at The Truth About Guns, frames just one of the questions raised by this latest turn of events: ATF: Smuggler Smuggled ICE Agent Murder Weapon “Prior to law enforcement’s awareness of the purchase”
I’m having some trouble understanding this, and the ATF isn’t returning my calls. Let me see if I’ve got this straight. The ATF didn’t know about the smuggled guns that were used to kill U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and ICE Special Agent Jaime Zapata before the murders, and yet they arrested the straw purchasers within hours of both crimes. Both of whom were already under their watchful eye. How does that work?
How does that work? Well now we have "Waco Jim" Cavanaugh to explain it for us. Long-time readers of Sipsey Street will recall that Waco Jim and me have a history. Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Dallas office of ATF in February 1993, Cavanaugh was one of the raid planners on the Davidians at Mount Carmel. He was one of the raid leaders who also bore some culpability for allowing the raid to go forward when the ATF knew that their cover was blown. Previously, I have celebrated his retirement, as well as explained "Waco Jim's finest hour: How he got to where he is today."
Mike McNulty's first documentary, Waco: The Rules of Engagement, counterpointed Cavanaugh's testimony above about fire from helicopters at Waco with this exchange between Cavanaugh and David Koresh shortly after the Davidians allowed the out-of-ammunition ATF to withdraw.
Narrator: On the phone front, Jim Cavanaugh was trying to get David Koresh to trust him.
Cavanaugh: Well, I think we need to set the record straight, and that is that there was no guns on those helicopters. There was National Guard officers on those helicopters . . .
Koresh: Now Jim, you're a damn liar. Now let's get real.
Cavanaugh: David, I . . .
Koresh: No! You listen to me! You're sittin' there and tellin' me that there were no guns on that helicopter!?
Cavanaugh: I said they didn't shoot. There's no guns on . . .
Koresh: You are a damn liar!
Cavanaugh: Well, you're wrong, David.
Koresh: You are a liar!
Cavanaugh: OK. Well, just calm down . . .
Koresh: No! Let me tell you something. That night be what you want the media to believe, but there's other people that saw too! Now, tell me Jim again. You're honestly going to say those helicopters didn't fire on any of us?
Koresh: I'm here.
Cavanaugh: What I'm sayin' is . . . now I listened to you, now you listen to me, OK?
Koresh: I'm listening.
Cavanaugh: What I'm sayin' is that those helicopters didn't have mounted guns. OK? I'm not disputing the fact that there might have been fire from the helicopters. If you say there was fire from the helicopters and you were there that's OK with me. What I'm tellin' you is there was no mounted guns, ya know, outside mounted guns on those helicopters.
Koresh: I agree with you on that.
Cavanaugh: Alright. Now, that's the only thing I'm sayin'. Now, the agents on the helicopters had guns.
Koresh: I agree with you on that!
Cavanaugh: You understand what I'm sayin'?
Koresh: I agree with you.
Cavanaugh: OK, OK. So see, we're not even in dispute and Steven's getting all worked up over it.
Koresh: Well, no. What the dispute was over, I believe Jim, is that you said they didn't fire on us from the helicopters.
Cavanaugh: Well, what I mean is a mounted gun . . . like a, you know, like a mounted machine gun.
Koresh: Yeah. But like that's beside the point. What they did have was machine guns.
Cavanaugh: OK. I don't know what they had. They were armed. The people inside had pistols or rifles . . .
Koresh: We agree.
Cavanaugh: OK, alright, that's good, that's good, we agree. So how ya doin' otherwise?
Waco Jim was rewarded by the ATF for his perjuries by being promoted from Assistant Special Agent in Charge of Dallas to Special Agent in Charge in Birmingham, where I got to observe his cowboy activities up close and personal. Indeed, it is no exaggeration to say that Waco Jim single-handedly organized the constitutional militia in this area -- including yours truly -- with the outrage that was the raid on Trader's Gunshop. (Allegations of straw selling; problems with snitch narratives; failure to disclose exculpatory Brady material; charges later dismissed by a contemptuous federal judge who ordered Cavanaugh from his courtroom.) His ability to lie well under pressure and under oath certainly recommended him for his new role: ATF PR flack in the Gunwalker scandal.
"Retired Agent: ATF May Have Been Targeting Entire Gun Smuggling Ring."
ATF agents in Dallas were onto the suspected gun smugglers linked to the gun used to kill ICE agent Jaime Zapata months ago, but they didn’t' arrest them.
Jim Cavanaugh, a retired ATF special agent who was in charge of the Dallas office, tells us the agents may not have arrested the gun smugglers because they were trying to bring down a ring.
Months of surveillance, months of tracking gun after gun ended last week. Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms agents arrested three gunrunners near Dallas. They're accused of trafficking the gun that killed ICE agent Jaime Zapata in Mexico two weeks ago.
“The agents somehow got a tip these were gun traffickers and they suspected they were trafficking to the cartels,” says Cavanaugh.
Cavanaugh says the agents were onto the gun runners back in November.
“ATF undercover informant purchased 40 Barishnkov rifles with obliterated serial numbers so they interjected themselves between the gun traffickers and the cartels. That was an important piece of the puzzle,” says Cavanaugh.
That was in November. The gun that was used to kill Zapata was purchased by the same traffickers in October.
“You could be faced with a situation you might not want to nail those traffickers immediately because you might only get the bottom two of a large trafficking ring. The others could get away and traffic thousands of guns,” says Cavanaugh.
Cavanaugh says it’s possible the agents knew the gun used to kill Zapata was going to Mexico.
“You don't have a probable cause for a search warrant, all the things you need to prove its trafficker. It hits you in the gut,” says Cavanaugh.
He says guns are the gasoline that fuels the drug violence in Mexico. Hundreds of guns could be headed to Mexico every week.
Cavanaugh tells us ATF agents are handcuffed by the law. It’s legal to buy as many guns as you want and any kind of gun in Texas with a driver's license. He says ATF agents could fight back against gun runners better if dealers were required to tell ATF about everybody who bought more than two weapons at one time.
"Handcuffed by the law." If there was one thing demonstrated by the Project Gunwalker Scandal and the outrageous violations of oath and duty demonstrated by the Phoenix SAC William "Gunwalker Bill" Newell -- watching the firearms walk, violating established procedure, brow-beating dissenting agents, inventing his own foreign policy by refusing to inform the Mexican government in violation of treaty and protocol -- it wasn't that ATF was "handcuffed by the law." Newell wasn't restrained by much of anything, including his bosses at ATF and Main Justice.
Cavanaugh is and was a liar. Why is the Bureau not speaking for itself? Why is Cavanaugh at every news scene related to ATF? Why hasn't Director Melson even responded to a senior US Senator? Why did a staff attorney respond FOR him? They are using Cavanaugh to float an excuse and see if anybody will report it.
Jim Cavanaugh is NOT an ATF agent. We are. We don't walk guns ever. Not to find some "ring" or otherwise. Damn sure not 700. Why are you in the media so quick to take a feeble explanation from a retired Boss who's credibility is history? Is there a particular reason Dewey Webb or Bob Champion haven't told you the story? Any reason a retired SAC from Nashville needs to speak for a Bureau?
Why indeed. The questions on the Project Gunwalker Scandal just keep piling up.