Mary Sanchez, an editorialist for the Kansas City Star, writes that the Gunwalker Scandal was "a gun sting" gone wrong and questions Darrell Issa's motives.
". . . Only with Terry's murder did the heated concerns of ATF agents find any traction. Sen. Charles E. Grassley of Iowa and Rep. Darrell Issa of California, both Republicans, have issued a report charging that Operation Fast and Furious has "contributed to the increasing violence and deaths in Mexico," a result that was "regarded with giddy optimism by ATF supervisors." More than 38,000 have died in drug violence in Mexico since 2006. . .
Issa, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, began hearings on the ATF operation this month. It is worth asking whether the ATF officials are following best practices in their current Project Gunrunner operations - indeed, whether they would have been so eager to press on with them if it wasn't mostly Mexicans who were dying from the trafficked guns.
But it is also imperative to ask whether Issa's and Grassley's inquisitions aren't motivated - or at the very least tainted - by politics. Issa began his hearings by warning that no testimony would be admitted that commented on gun-control laws or legislation. That's a tell.
Oversight ranking member Rep. Elijah Cummings (D., Md.) countered that "no legitimate examination of this issue will be complete without analyzing our nation's gun laws, which allow tens of thousands of assault weapons to flood into Mexico from the United States every year, including .50-caliber sniper rifles, multiple AK variants, and scores of others."
How much do you want to bet that's a thread that won't be allowed to unravel in this or any hearing in the near future?
You might imagine my response to this. But, here, imagination is not necessary. Here's my email to Ms. Sanchez:
Sent: Sun, Jun 26, 2011 8:38 am
Subject: re: Your editorial. "Tainted by politics"? The ENTIRE purpose of Gunwalker was politics.
I preface this by giving you my curriculum vita in the Gunwalker Scandal. On 28 December, I was the first blogger to pick up on the scandal and realize its significance. I used my sources within and near ATF to verify the rumor, get the story out to both Senators Sessions and Grassley, link them up with the whistleblowers and the whistleblowers with the media, among them Sharyl Attkisson of CBS News. I have also discovered ATF documents, contacted sources and written analysis pieces that demonstrate that this was an operation conceived and executed at the highest levels of the Obama administration. All of this, I am confident, will be demonstrated at future hearings. That's what I know about the Gunwalker Scandal and its cover-up, having been on the inside and helped create its public beginnings. What I am questioning here is what you actually know about these matters and whether it is enough to inform your editorial writing with any accuracy whatsoever. -- MBV.
I have read your editorial.
You apparently have not read the agents' testimony in the 15 June hearing.
There cannot be a "sting gone bad" when there was no sting to begin with. The agents testified that they were repeatedly told not to follow the weapons as they changed hands, even when the transfer was taking place on this side of the border. A "sting" implies developing a case that can lead to the evil bad guys being caught with the evidence in hand, hopefully before they commit a crime. The ATF agents testified that this was not the case, which puts the lie to the management excuse that this was being done to "catch bigger fish." If there was no sting, then what WAS the purpose?
The agents themselves testified that this ran contrary to EVERYTHING they had ever been taught by policy or experience about interdicting firearms trafficking to criminals and that they could not fathom the rationale behind what they knew was going to be a bloody fiasco.
The ENTIRE purpose of the Gunwalker scandal was to facilitate the trafficking of American civilian market firearms to Mexican drug cartels to boost the statistics of weapons seized in Mexico, often at crime scenes beside the dead bodies of Mexican law enforcement officers, their families or other innocents. ATF supervisors actually celebrated this in emails, described by one agent as "giddy" at the prospect that "our" weapons were being discovered at Mexican crime scenes. This was a POLITICAL purpose, to justify further restrictions on American firearm owners. Nothing else makes sense.
You are chiding Darrell Issa, who -- from the testimony now of dozens of ATF agents and DOJ whistleblowers and the thousands of pages of documents that they have turned over to him (unlike the DOJ) unredacted -- understands perfectly that the administration's purpose was a political one designed to lay the PR groundwork for more firearm restrictions and who now simply wishes to get at the truth of a POLITICAL scandal that has killed at least two American law enforcement officers and hundreds of Mexican citizens despite the most determined attempts to cover that up.
Political? You bet your ass it was political. AND THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION INVENTED IT.
Now, either you didn't pay a damn bit of attention to what the agents testified, don't have the brain cells to understand that this was not "sting gone bad" with some lofty albeit harebrained purpose, or you yourself have a political purpose in casting aspersions on Darrell Issa.
I'm betting on the latter.
For the media has done nothing but shield Barack Obama, even to the point of ignoring while it could the worst political scandal at the federal level ever -- worse than Teapot Dome, Iran-Contra and Watergate rolled into one. Teapot Dome was simply about personal graft. Iran-Contra was about unlawful funding of foreign policy. And although Watergate was, at base, about tampering with the electoral process NO ONE DIED AT THE WATERGATE HOTEL. The Gunwalker Scandal will prove, despite the best efforts of lapdog media outlets such as your own, to have been about the subversion of the Constitutional rights of Americans by creating deaths of hundreds, if not thousands, of innocents.
The shame, my dear Ms. Sanchez, is not on Darrell Issa but rather on you and all your lapdog media kind for shielding, then defending, indefensible political treason against the Constitution of the United States.
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