Sunday, July 31, 2011

Alice demonstrates her superior planning skills to Dilbert.

(Note: Alice is my favorite Dilbert character, being the best practitioner of applied violence in both business and social situations. I especially liked her solution when the company tried to save money by moving to a high crime area: she mugged the bosses until they changed their minds.)

Gunwalker Miscellany.

Associated Press: What led to `Project Gunwalker'?

Kevin Ferris at the Philadelphia Inquirer: How ATF delivered assault weapons to drug cartels

Michael Walsh at the New York Post: Lethal fiasco
A Justice Dept. 'Fast & Furious' coverup?

Another alien universe heard from: Guns "should be illegal for all but properly constituted, trained and controlled agencies of governments."

Professor A.C. Grayling, citizen disarmament advocate and author of "Life, Sex, and Ideas: The Good Life Without God," strikes a heroic pose.

A tip of the boonie hat and deep genuflection to Snaggle-Tooth Jones for forwarding a link to this opinion by Professor A.C. Grayling entitled: "What would Breivik be without a gun? The global arms trade inevitably leads to the sort of atrocity inflicted on Norway. The killing machine has to be stopped."

In discussion of the atrocity in Norway last week, there is one subject which has been notable by the almost total silence about it: guns. In response to recurring massacres in American high schools and British villages, in response to footage from Africa and Afghanistan showing ragged, untrained young men brandishing automatic small arms, in response to a man coolly murdering dozens of youngsters in an hour-and-a-half, funfair-like shooting spree on a Norwegian island, where is the outrage at the fact that the world is awash with small arms, that people are making money legally and without blemish to their reputations out of the manufacture and sale of instruments purposely designed to kill?

It is said that you can get a Kalashnikov in the Horn of Africa in exchange for three small children. But before the sale of children for weapons, and before the mayhem and death that results from the use of those weapons, there is the arms trade in a wide range of handguns and high-powered automatic rifles. Every one of these instruments is designed and created for the express purpose of killing. The irresponsible argument of the American gun lobby – that it is not guns that kill, but the people who handle them – is the first point to contest: if Anders Behring Breivik had carried only a knife or a wooden club, he would have been severely restricted in the harm he could do. The same would have been true at Hungerford and Dunblane, at Columbine High School and Kent State University; the agonies of Darfur and Helmand would be vastly less; in fact the world would be a different and happier place if guns were few and their possession a matter of strict official control.

KENT STATE? Huh? Think what you will about what happened there, the arms at Kent State were certainly under "strict official control."

Kent State: An example of the absence of "strict official control" of firearms?

The befuddled professor continues:

Our world stands on its head in most things, but in nothing more so than the fact that a crazy person can buy a gun, an extremely dangerous device, in an American or Norwegian shop, but "drugs" are prohibited and policed at vast expense to society. Indeed, the ironies are still greater: because drugs (excluding some of the most dangerous and harmful, such as alcohol and nicotine) are criminalised but the gun trade is not, the gangs who smuggle the drugs shoot each other with the guns, and not infrequently shoot the policemen who chase them also. This is a stark example of the irrationality of our arrangements. Ban guns and put heroin under the same licensing regulations as alcohol – fools will continue to abuse both, harming mainly themselves: the abuse of guns harms others, and too often too many others – and at a stroke billions of dollars and thousands of lives (think Mexico) would be saved.

Evidently Grayling has not heard of the U.S. government's Gunwalker plot to fuel the Mexican cartels' wars.

Guns should be the subject of worldwide outrage. Their manufacture and sale should be a human-rights abuse, on which we pour vilification and horror. They should be illegal for all but properly constituted, trained and controlled agencies of governments, provided of course that the governments in question are themselves properly constituted and controlled by democratic means in a society where the rule of law obtains.

Human-rights agencies with representation at the UN in Geneva, such as the one I belong to (the International Humanist and Ethical Union), should begin campaigning for the manufacture and sale of small arms to be universally outlawed, and governments (such as the British government) which have responsible attitudes to gun control should be urged to join the campaign.

Srebrenica Massacre Victim: Bosnian Muslim trussed, blindfolded, and shot by Serbian government forces while UN "peacekeepers" stood by and did nothing. The arms at Srebrenica were certainly under "strict official control."

Uh, huh. Yes, we've seen how well the UN protects human rights in places like Bosnia and Rwanda. And for those functions such as reducing animal populations? Grayling has an answer for that, too.

There are easy ways to deal with the need by farmers to control rabbits, and game-park keepers to cull overpopulated herds: if there are genuinely no alternatives to the use of guns in such cases, a small range of suitable guns could be borrowed, under strict licence and for short periods, from the authorities for the express purpose in hand, but not allowed to remain in the community otherwise. If we can legislate for car-seats for children, we can legislate to keep highly dangerous killing instruments out of public hands.

"Highly dangerous killing instruments": language matters: let us no longer use the word "gun" but that phrase "highly dangerous killing instrument", and perhaps perceptions will change. No doubt weapons manufacturers and lobbyists everywhere would regard with equal outrage the idea of severely limiting the number of highly dangerous killing instruments in public circulation, their existence being permitted only under official lock and key. What would these lobbyists argue in opposition? That highly dangerous killing instruments are for sport, for hunting (this last will not wash: killing things for sport? That is itself disgusting), for the fun of loud noises?

All right-thinking people must cower before the immanent force of such logic.

Now here's an example of the "strict official control" of firearms.

Americans with views not too far removed from those of Anders Behring Breivik say that they "need" their guns to "defend their freedoms", meaning against the tyranny of government and federal taxes. They should be reminded that it is the ballot, not the bullet, that is meant to do that job for them.

In fact, there are no good arguments in favour of the existence of highly dangerous killing instruments, and millions of excellent arguments against them, these being each human being, and indeed each elephant and tiger, shot to death by them. The Norwegian tragedy should be absolutely the last straw for civilised humanity on this subject, no further excuses allowed.

Here's another example of the "strict official control" of firearms.

Yes, well, here's the email I sent to Herr Professor Grayling:

-----Original Message-----
From: georgemason1776
To: a.grayling
Sent: Sun, Jul 31, 2011 10:15 am
Subject: re: The practical mathematics of your firearm confiscation proposal.

Herr Professor Grayling (addressing you in German seems so much more appropriate):

Regarding your op-ed: What would Breivik be without a gun?

If you wish the privately-held arms of the United States to be confiscated, I invite you to come and take them. Please bring the UN with you. They will no doubt be of as much help as the UN "peacekeepers" were to the Bosnian Muslims when they stood by impotently and watched as the Serbian government forces slaughtered them in the thousands at Srebrenica. Besides, blue helmets make such convenient target markers.

The practical mathematics of your firearm confiscation proposal are, I think, unsustainable to the need and the proposal itself is morally suspect on its face, even if you do not believe that all rights are God-given and natural and thus, inalienable. (I refer you to the Declaration of Independence, a document crafted during the last time British tyrants tried to take our firearms and we killed enough to dissuade them of the proposition.)

Governments, Herr Professor, have killed many more tens of millions throughout the centuries with their firearms under "strict official control" than any in privately held hands. Adolf Hitler would certainly agree to your proposal, as would Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot.

But as to the mathematics of your proposal, consider this. You are, I think, extrapolating from your own cowardice. If a tyrannical government ordered you to do something at the threat of loss of life, you would do it simply because your cravenly life is more important to you than anything else. Thus, you cannot grasp that there are other people who would die rather than to submit to tyranny such as you propose. And, Herr Professor, that means that they would kill for those reasons as well. You may disagree with that point of view, yet even you cannot deny that it exists in the United States in the numbers of millions.

There are roughly 100 million firearm owners in the United States at this point in time. Let us presume that just three percent of those are of the "cold-dead-hands-yours-or-mine-doesn't-matter" type. There were, during the last great British experiment at American firearm control, three percent of the colonial population who took the field actively against the Regulars and Tory militias of George III. But let us not over promise. Let us just predict that a mere three percent of American gun owners alone would do so again.

So, you have 3 million opponents to your proposal. That's three million bodies you propose to stack up before you get your way. The only thing is, we won't cooperate with your proposal. We will fight you to the death, yours or ours, it makes no difference. And we intend to make that more than a one to one ratio before we go down into your tyrannical good night. Please remember that WE are the ones with the firearms and the ability to use them effectively. In this we outnumber the police and military forces of the United States government by a considerable ratio, leaving aside the fact that most of the tip-of-the-spear troops are own sons and daughters. So, I ask you, does the mathematics of your proposal not daunt you a bit? Is it worth your own death, and those of millions?

What is so moral about government mass murders in the millions of recalcitrant citizens who insist upon their liberties and refuse to be disarmed?

You British have allowed yourselves to be disarmed by a government, for all the good it has done you. Don't make the mistake of thinking that Americans will.

Mike Vanderboegh
The alleged leader of a merry band of Three Percenters
PO Box 926
Pinson AL 35126

LATER: David Codrea's take on the same puke: British philosophy professor shows ultimate goal of gungrabbers

Another country heard from. Pravda on the Potomac uses Gunwalker as an excuse to demand more gun control laws.

Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer reads the Washington Post editorial page. "Now that's more like it," he muses with satisfaction.

Ravings from the collectivist alternate reality.

These people really are something. We catch their regime in the greatest federal scandal ever involving murder of federal agents and innocents of another country and they want to empower the ones that did it. Oh, by all means, what harm can giving more gasoline and matches to an arsonist do?

AN OUTSTANDING IDEA. Open letter to AZ AG Tom Horne: prosecute the ATF people responsible for Fast & Furious under state law.

Hugh Holub has a great idea.

Arguably senior officials in ATF are chargeable for endangerment under state law.

I would urge you and your staff to look into the record that has been developed so far by the US House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the sworn testimony by various ATF employees with an eye on what, if any, state criminal laws were violated in the course of the “Fast and Furious” project.

I am suggesting ARS 13-1201 as just one of what may be many examples of violation of state criminal laws by ATF officials.

There is a fundamental issue at stake here.

Sometimes the federal government operates as though it is not subject to any law, even at the federal level. At times it becomes obvious that in the pursuit of their mission, they disregard state law, placing their mission ahead of the public safety and well-being of the people within a state.

Just because they might be federal employees or even federal law enforcement officials, they do not have any kind of immunity for violations of the state criminal code.

I urge you to look closely at the conduct of ATF within Arizona, and investigate whether or not that conduct violated state criminal laws, And if you find the conduct of the ATF senior management did indeed violate state law, please hold those ATF officials accountable to the people of Arizona.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

McGollum and the Hobbits

"We wants it, we needs it. Must have the precious. They stole it from us. Sneaky little hobbitses. Wicked, tricksy, false!"

In the context of the fight over the debt ceiling, Martin Frost says the Tea Partiers are the Taliban. John Kerry says they're "absolutists and extremists." William Yoemans, writing at Politico, says they're "full-blown terrorists."

The one thing that unites the above worthies is that they are registered collectivist Democrats. Thus, this is why they talk that way, for their intellectual passports are stamped with a hammer and sickle.

But what of The Wall Street Journal, seconded by John McCain?

The fiery, independent version of the Republican senator from Arizona took to the floor of the Senate Wednesday morning. Demanding “straight talk,” Mr. McCain accused conservatives of abandoning reason by opposing the House Republican leader’s plan to resolve the debt crisis.

Mr. McCain mocked Tea Party-allied Republicans in the House for believing — wrongly, he said — that President Obama and Democrats will get the blame for a default if Republicans refuse to increase the nation’s debt ceiling.

By that flawed logic, “Democrats would have no choice but to pass a balanced budget amendment and reform entitlements and the Tea Party Hobbits could return to Middle Earth,” he said, quoting a Wall Street Journal editorial.

“This is the kind of crack political thinking that turned Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell into G.O.P. nominees,” he jeered, referring to two losing Tea Party candidates for the Senate in 2010.


It is a measure of how removed from reality and principle these so-called "conservatives" are that they would think "hobbit" is an insult.

And if tea party folks are "hobbits" that makes McCain Gollum, right? And the Wall Street Journal must be the Oracle of Saruman.

In any case, as a New Mexico tea party leader told my friend Bob Wright, "the hobbits won." This was later echoed by Ed Morrissey at Hot Air.

McCain’s thinking is pretty clear here — the One cannot be defeated, and so one must join forces with it. Had McCain actually read the books that he references, he’d have seen how well that worked out.

By the way, just in case in you don’t recall … the hobbits win in Lord of the Rings. They got a lot of ridicule from the elite and the powerful along the way, but they end up saving the West from ruinous destruction.

Dick DeGuerin talks Houston gunwalking.

"Yeah Houston, Houston means that I'm one day closer to you." Larry Gatlin, "Houston."

Courtesy of John Richardson: Dick DeGuerin Discussing Gunwalking In Houston Area

Issa: AT least two more Gunwalker hearings this year.

Courtesy of Dave Workman.

Nations are not judged in Heaven, but on earth. Another judgment coming.

Patrice Lewis asks So you say you want a revolution?

That's why I'm still of the mind that the only solution is division. We need a Progressive States of America, or PSA, and a Constitutional States of America, or CSA. As cruel and unfair as the mechanics of separating our nation would be, what other answer is there?

So which form of government is likely to work out? Interestingly, the study of history provides abundant examples of both types of government and what the likely outcomes may be.

Examples of progressive governments include Germany, Russia, Italy, North Korea, Cuba, China and endless numbers of other countries in which people have lost their freedoms.

We need look no further than our own history to find an example of constitutional government. Riddled with mistakes as it was, our nation leaped ahead 5,000 years in terms of technology, medicine, manufacturing, standard of living and other benefits – all due to the unique freedom from governmental interference our founders laid out. "By 1976," notes author W. Cleon Skousen, "the 'noble experiment' of American independence and free-enterprise economics had produced some phenomenal results … [it] allowed science to thrive in an explosion of inventions and technical discoveries …" Communication was revolutionized, the average life span was doubled and our standard of living was exponentially enhanced.

But this isn't good enough for the progressives. They want to make over our nation in their own image. They desire power instead of freedom. They prefer to be slave masters of a bankrupt state over being part of a free society.

So let's give them what they want.

I tried posting this reaction, but I've always had trouble posting on WND.

Wishful thinking at its worst. The collectivists, being collectivists, will not give up power over ALL of us short of war. For my part, I am unwilling to cede one square inch of our nation to these tyrants without a fight. THEY are the revolutionaries, Gramscian though they may be. We simply want our liberty back under the Founders' Constitutional principles. We therefore represent Restoration, and they revolution.

There is no case in history that I know of where one country has peaceably agreed to dissolve into ideologically opposite parts. There was ALWAYS a bloody civil war. To the extent that we believe that civil war cannot happen here, decisions will be taken on both sides that make it inevitable.

Do the problems exist as you delineate them? Certainly. Can they be solved politically, without violence? Certainly not. The sooner we all embrace that unfortunate truth, the more ready we will be when it happens.

I do not wish civil war. Only an insane person would. I have done all I can to warn people of its likelihood. But know this, it IS coming, whether we like it or not.

I pray daily to God to prevent it, but I rather think this may be the punishment we deserve for turning our faces from Him.

As George Mason warned his fellow Founders when they refused to give up slavery as part of the Constitution, nations are not judged in Heaven, but on earth. He predicted that as a country we would be bloodily judged for slavery, and we were.

There's another judgment coming.

No amount of wishful thinking or facile political propositions will prevent it.

Mike Vanderboegh
Pinson, AL

Proof that God answers prayer. The Gunwalker Plotters Double Down on Arrogance and Stupidity. So, who is really running ATF these days?

"Lord, make my enemies slow, arrogant and stupid." -- Generic prayer of freedom fighter guerrillas throughout time.

An email posted on

From: Chait, Mark R.
To: All Special Agents in Charge; All ASACS; All Directors, Industry Operations
Sent: Thu Jul 28 19:00:21 2011
Subject: FO Changes August 1

I would like to take this opportunity to announce several changes to the Field Operations (FO) command staff that will be effective August 1st. These changes were made to provide strong leadership, a more efficient span of control and provide enhanced communication and support to the field.

We have created the position of Deputy Assistant Director (DAD) for Programs and this will be Michael Boxler. DAD Boxler, who was the DAD for the Central Region divisions, will oversee the following FO programs: Fire, Explosives, Alcohol and Tobacco Programs and Training; as well as the Firearms Operations Division (FOD).

SAC Mark Potter, who has been the SAC in the Philadelphia Field Division, will be promoted to the DAD for the Western Region field divisions. He will also oversee the International Affairs Office (IAO).

SAC Ron Turk, has been the SAC in the New York Field Division, will be promoted to the DAD for the Central Region field divisions. He will also oversee the Special Operations Division (SOD).

DAD Julie Torres will remain as the DAD for the Eastern Region field divisions and will oversee the Field Management Staff (FMS). (Emphasis Supplied, MBV)

DAD Bill McMahon who has been the DAD Western Region will transfer to the DAD for Office of Professional Responsibility and Security Operations (OPRSO) (Emphasis supplied, MBV).

I would like to personally thank Mark and Ron for their leadership in their field divisions and I look forward to having them a part of the FO executive staff. I would also like to extend the same thanks to Bill for his leadership and work with the Western Region field divisions and IAO. While we will miss his guidance in FO, I know he will take the same professionalism and dedication he has shown us and direct that into his new position at OPRSO. (Emphasis supplied, MBV)

Mark and Ron are welcome additions to our FO team, and I look forward to them joining Julie, Mike and Harry McCabe.

We will have some tough and challenging times ahead of us and I believe that we will come out of this a stronger and better organization. In order to accomplish this, we must all work together and foster open communication at all levels, take a close look at the way we do business and ways to improve our ability to efficiently and safely carry out our mission. Our thought process around investigations and inspections must include the risk /reward of our plans and actions with public safety being at the forefront. We must also consider disruption, interdiction and investigation in a tiered approach with the safety of our citizens as the rule.

Your FO executive staff will continue to provide you the leadership and assistance you need in conducting your business. Our tradition, together with our ability to turn adversity into strength is exemplified through our tenacious work ethic and successful investigations and inspections. Each one of us should be proud of the work of our agency and the men and women of ATF.

Thank you,

Mark R. Chait
Assistant Director
Field Operations

“I’ve got stories to tell,” says Mark Chait. You bet your ass he does. Especially now that he seems to be the Gunwalker plotter running ATF.

Based on the above email, I think it is a fair question to ask who IS running ATF these days? Melson? I doubt it. Melson may still sit in his office, but it is evident that Gunwalker Scandal plotter Mark Chait is running things, perhaps on the instructions of, and certainly with the knowledge of, Eric Holder.

How else to explain the above?

Julie Torres, under whose leadership the Tampa office walked firearms to Honduras, is left in position to do it again.

Worse, the perjurer McMahon is made, what? Why Deputy Assistant Director for Office of Professional Responsibility and Security Operations. OPR?!? REALLY?!? And this AFTER his pitifully poor performance at the latest Gunwalker hearing where he was plainly caught in lies?

"Yes Congressman, I am a stupid, lying arrogant piece of perjuring shit. But Eric Holder likes it that way."

With these actions, Mark Chait, himself a Gunwalker plotter, is doubling his agency down on arrogance and stupidity.

Thank you, Almighty Lord, for answering our prayers.

They really ARE as arrogant and stupid as we had wanted.

LATER: Of course, the ATF agents at Clean Up don't see it that way. They are outraged. Here is the reaction of ATF agent "onesparkz" who posted the email.

Some immediate signs that the Grim Reaper is at our door:

Spoke to Dobyns. He was advised that YES, Newell was heard to say that if he had to do this all over again (Fast and Furious) he would do it exactly the same way!

ATF is trying to fire Cefalu for Lack of Candor. After Tuesday's hearings what do they intend to do to Newell?

Bill McMahon has been the 1st line supervisor for several years over John Torres, Bill Newell, George Gillett, Kelvin Crenshaw - all of whom have caused an overload of complaints by employees to ATF Internal Affairs, many criminal. Not a single act of discipline on any of them under the guidance of McMahon.

Bill McMahon was neck deep in the planning and allowing of Fast and Furious. Never upheld his duty to report. He admitted that he was not paying attention to critical wiretap documents that crossed his desk. His punishment...

On Monday McMahon will become the Deputy Assistant Director of ATF's Internal Affairs. A greater insult to the men and women of ATF at this time and place was not possible.

Read it and weep ATF:

Friday, July 29, 2011

Richard Serrano character references. "He is part of the old Holder clean-up crew." Serrano responds to my email.

After I posted the "modified limited hangout" story below, I received the following character references on Richard Serrano from folks familiar with his record on past scandals.

Said one:
Richard S has always been a "Player" all the way back to the early Waco days, and OKC. That includes carrying the Government's water and covering their collective asses when they are too exposed...Do Not expect too much from him.

He always pulls the "fair and balanced" journalism BS, especially when it's not, he ain't no "Fox-kind-of-Guy!" He is part of the old Holder clean-up crew, an arms-length pussy! DO NOT TRUST HIM! Use him, but no trusting him with anything important.

Another reminded me of our mutual friend J.D. Cash's opinion of him:

JD was convinced Serrano was pretty much a shill for DOJ, with the occasional pretense of being a hard-hitting reporter... I'm not sure, but you've certainly put him on notice...

And I go back to who coordinates inter-agency matters involving a foreign country... ummm???

LATER: Just received this in from Serrano responding to my email.

-----Original Message-----
From: Serrano, Richard
To: ''
Sent: Fri, Jul 29, 2011 11:20 am
Subject: RE: You write as if those were the only emails and the only contacts between O'Reilly & Newell.

I write what I know, when I know it. If you have more Newell-White House emails, you have my email address.

"Media Matters, the pompous pimps of progressive propaganda."

Pretty funny line from Anthony Martin.

The White House's "modified limited hangout" as expressed through the good services of Richard Serrano, LA Times.

While I was waiting for my flight out of Chicago, LA Times DC reporter Richard Serrano called me. We talked about many things but we agreed that the conversation was off the record. It will remain so, as far as I'm concerned.

However, I will say I was surprised when this story crossed my email last night.

Emails to White House didn't mention gun sting

An ATF supervisor who was asked to provide information on efforts to stop weapons trafficking to Mexico did not mention Fast and Furious, a botched operation that let guns reach drug cartels.

By Richard A. Serrano, Washington Bureau

July 28, 2011, 5:37 p.m.

Reporting from Washington— The ATF's field supervisor on the Southwest border sent a series of emails last year to a top White House national security official detailing the agency's ambitious efforts to stop weapons trafficking into Mexico, but did not mention that a botched sting operation had allowed hundreds of guns to flow to drug cartels.

Over three days in September 2010, William D. Newell, a 20-year veteran who at the time was the special agent in charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' field operations in Arizona and New Mexico, briefed Kevin M. O'Reilly, director of North American affairs for the White House national security staff. Newell sent the emails in advance of a meeting between Mexican officials and John Brennan, President Obama's deputy national security advisor.

A White House official confirmed Thursday that Newell had said nothing about the specific tactics used to fight weapons traffickers, which included allowing "straw" purchasers to buy guns without immediately arresting them, in hopes the small-time traffickers would lead authorities to the cartels and reveal smuggling routes into Mexico. The so-called Fast and Furious operation was run out of the ATF's Phoenix field office.

Serrano even kindly gives us copies of said "exculpatory-to-the-White-House" emails.

The series of emails obtained by The Times are the first indication that the White House was not immediately told of the failures of Fast and Furious, which ultimately lost track of about 1,700 guns.

A White House official said Thursday that Newell's emails were "not in relation to Fast and Furious" but rather to brief the White House about other trafficking cases to prep Brennan. The official asked not to be identified because Congress and the inspector general's office of the Justice Department have ongoing investigations.

"There was no mention of investigative tactics like letting the guns walk or the details of how this was all going down," the official said.

"The attorney general has made clear he takes the allegations about Fast and Furious very seriously, and that's why he asked for the inspector general to investigate the matter," the official said. "And it's also why you see the Justice Department cooperating with the House oversight committee."

Asked whether Newell meant to keep the White House in the dark about Fast and Furious, the official replied, "That's a great question for Newell."

"The series of emails obtained by The Times are the first indication that the White House was not immediately told of the failures of Fast and Furious, which ultimately lost track of about 1,700 guns."

Inferring rather more from the available evidence than is supported by it, aren't we Richard? "Not immediately told"? Well, that's a bit of a leap, because I have been told by my sources that there are in fact dozens of emails between the two, as well as phone and personal conversations, all covering the years 2009 to 2011.

I have not been shy about sharing those allegations with other reporters and investigators.

In addition, Serrano assumes, apparently, that Newell is the only direct or back-channel line of communication to and from the White House in the Gunwalker Plot. My first reaction to Serrano's story was to send an email to Serrano, copied to the House and Senate investigators.

-----Original Message-----
From: georgemason1776
To: richard.serrano
Cc: henry.kerner ; brian_downey
Sent: Thu, Jul 28, 2011 11:42 pm

Subject: You write as if those were the only emails and the only contacts between O'Reilly & Newell.,0,7860916.story

You don't recall the phrase "modified limited hangout"?

BTW, they weren't.

You did give the White House what they were looking for, though. If that was your intention.

Mike Vanderboegh

I have as yet not received a reply.

David Warren on the Norway massacre and "A Post-Modern Pact With the Devil." But, another country heard from: "Christian Jihad."

The Devil and Dr. Faustus.

"No one believes in the devil any more. Yet his smell is everywhere." -- Baudelaire

"By their fruits ye shall know them."

However, here we have another country heard from. Francis Schaeffer's apostate son postulates: Christian Jihad? Why We Should Worry About Right-Wing Terror Attacks Like Norway's in the US.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

"Ravenous wolves colonise France, terrorise shepherds."

"We are committed to the coexistence of humans and animals."

Investor's Business Daily: The White House Knew

Editorial here.

Are we to believe neither the White House nor the Department of Justice knew about a program that made that access even easier?

Administration officials have taken the Sgt. Schultz "we knew nothing" approach to any inquiries, only to be tripped up by their own words and actions.

Newell's email to O'Reilly is evidence that at least one person in the White House did.

David Codrea: Let the NRA lawsuit begin.

ATF multiple long gun reporting form sent to FFLs

This is either a praxis post, or a scoop on Chinese Peoples Liberation Army military secrets. The mysterious "co-rotating Mongolia afterburner."

Remember this praxis post on the Chinese Multi-Function Military Shovel WJQ-308? Well, a buddy of mine, like me a practical militaria junkie (also known as "gear whore"), procured two of these from the PRC. They just arrived. One for him and one for me. They cost a pricey $90 each, so I'll have to find something to trade him.

I will have my son do a field test on this equipment, but one thing jumped out at me from the instructions. Go look at "Function 6."

"Function 6: Climb the high tree and building is so difficult. If you can find a rope or wire rope and shovel co-rotating with Mongolia afterburner. . ."

"Co-rotating with the Mongolia afterburner?" Wow. Mysterious. Sounds like a night-time horizontal maneuver of an Ulan Bator prostitute. WTH?

It has to be the code name of some new PLA weapon, right? Do I need to, like, report this to the DOD?

Chapping the ass of the government monopoly of violence advocates.

By email, Kurt Hofmann has drawn my attention to these CSGV Orwellian tweets, here:

"Fox News uses insurrectionist militia leader as source in coverage defending illegal gun traffickers.

And here.

"Defending illegal gun traffickers"? Huh? I thought that was the Obama administration.

"Insurrectionist militia leader." Why thank you. Obviously I still chap the asses of these "government monopoly of violence" mokes.

Kurt, please forward the above form on reporting Internet butt hurt to CSGV.

Issa Hopes White House Official Aware of Fast and Furious Will Testify.

Heritage blog reports:

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) said on a conference call Wednesday evening that he will try to get a White House official who may have had knowledge of the botched Fast and Furious gunrunning operation to testify before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

But Issa, who chairs the committee, was not optimistic about the effort. “Try? Yes,” he said, asked whether he would try to get the official into his committee room. But Issa noted that there has been “political interference at the highest level” throughout the Oversight committee’s Fast and Furious investigation.

The White House official in question is National Security Director for North America Kevin O’Reilly. During a Tuesday Oversight hearing on Fast and Furious, former ATF Special Agent Bill Newell, who was instrumental in implementing the operation, said that he had spoken with O’Reilly about Fast and Furious as early as September 2010. Whether O’Reilly was made aware that the ATF had let guns cross the border into Mexico as part of the investigation was not clear.

Newell’s admission is the first indication that White House officials were aware of the Fast and Furious program while it was ongoing. The email was leaked to the Oversight Committee by a whistleblower, Issa said; it was not released willingly by the White House.

David Codrea: Appropriations Committee calls for independent Gunwalker investigation.


The Congressional Research Service recently released another in a series of “Gun Control Legislation” reports by William J. Krouse, Specialist in Domestic Security and Crime Policy. While the entire report is an invaluable guide for understanding the scope and nature of related firearms control issues being considered by Congress, the report references a recommendation of particular interest to those following the “Project Gunwalker” (Operation Fast and Furious) story. From page 30 of the report (page 34 in the pdf file):

As called for originally by Senator Grassley, the House Appropriations Committee included report language in the Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations bill (H.R. 2596; H. Rept. 112-169) that recommends the appointment of “an outside, independent investigator,” who would be charged with conducting “a thorough investigation of the allegations against ATF with respect to Operation Fast and Furious and policies guiding this and similar operations.” In addition, the House committee called on both DOJ and ATF to cooperate fully with related oversight investigations, whether they be conducted by congressional committees, the DOJ OIG, or an independent investigator.

The $1.1 Billion Dollar Question We Asked the Committee to Ask. "Do you know who Kevin O'Reilly is?"


I love this guy. "Don't try this at home . . . I am a professional Russian."

Vince and Jay on Judge Napolitano.

The oxymoron which is Media Matters (they're not media and they don't matter) runs their big Gunwalker scoop. Soros is not getting his money's worth.

Fox Fails To Fact Check On Operation Castaway.

The July 6 blog item was republished with no additional reporting by dozens of pro-militia and other right-wing websites. It jumped to Fox News in the July 8 broadcast of Special Report with Bret Baier, which featured an interview with "online journalist" Mike Vanderboegh, one of the bloggers who posted the original item. Vanderboegh was a leading figure in the 1990s militia movement who more recently led the Alabama Minuteman Support Team, a border vigilante group, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Vanderboegh was also one of the first to report on the failed Fast and Furious investigation.

"Mike Vanderboegh communicates with a host of ATF agents daily on his web site," said Fox News reporter William La Jeunesse. "Agents told him Wednesday Operation Castaway out of the Tampa office, also knowingly sold guns to criminals, in this case, 1,000 to buyers for the violent drug gang, MS-13. Those guns to Honduras."

. . . La Jeunesse gave no indication that he'd made any attempt to confirm Vanderboegh's story. He simply gave the blogger a national platform.

Later in the same program Baier reported, "We also know that there's another effort by ATF that we're just learning about to get guns from Tampa to Honduras, violent gangs called MS-13 down there."

The origin of the MS-13 detail is murky; Vanderboegh made no reference to the notorious criminal syndicate in his original post. . .

Media Matters also contacted Mike Vanderboegh outside the hearing and asked him about Operation Castaway. After some initial name calling on his side, he repeatedly stressed that he'd never definitively claimed the ATF walked guns to Honduras as part of Operation Castaway, he'd only raised the question of whether it had. In other words, he left himself wiggle room. . .

When pressed about his Operation Castaway reporting Vanderboegh told Media Matters, "I wrote 'Castaway' with a question mark, you jerk."

Fox News stripped off the question mark and ran the story. This adds to the network's long history of uncritically amplifying conspiracy mongering and unsubstantiated claims, especially if they are aimed at the Obama administration.

As a result, it took only 48 hours for the Castaway allegations to make their way from anonymously sourced blog items to the Fox News echo chamber. Two weeks later, they're being touted in the halls of Congress.

He's just jealous. ;-)

Of course, the fact that we've been consistently right about this scandal from the very beginning might militate in our favor when a journalist makes a judgment about whether or not to believe us on a particular new revelation.

Let's review stories that we broke that have been confirmed so far:

Phoenix gunwalking? Check.

National scope? Check.

Lanny Breuer? Check.

White House involvement? Check.

As it happens, I confirmed with "responsible authorities" while in Mordor-on-the-Potomac that the Tampa allegations are being taken seriously and are being investigated. "Yeah, it happened," I was told. I stand by my stories, and I communicated to Congressman Bilirakis' office that the allegations were solid. I reiterated my caution that we have no evidence at this time that the case was called "Castaway" although agents and supervisors involved in Castaway were also involved in the gunwalking to Honduras. In fact, it may not have had an operational name assigned to it at all.

"Media Matters" is unconcerned that Tampa gunwalking to Honduras evinces a national scope to Project Gunrunner. They are reduced to picking nits about the imprecision of politicians' speech and media headlines. Oh, now there's something that doesn't happen every day. One wonders if George Soros considers the millions he spends on "Media Matters" to be a good investment. I mean, if this is the best they can do. . .


Back home, and an apology. The TSA protects us from the threat of diabetic shoe bombs.

Made it back home yesterday after flying first to Chicago, changing planes and then riding a swift sardine can to Birmingham. Exhausted, I fell asleep once I hit the car after Rosey picked me up curbside, and was not awake long after I got home. I just collapsed.

Here's the weird thing: I was never groped. They never put their hands on me, nor was I run through the "naked machine." At Ronald Reagan, TSA paid particular attention to my diabetic shoes and said they needed "to remove the inserts." I objected, saying that they were specially constructed and if they did that they would destroy their utility. "Well, we've got to test them." "Non-destructive testing?" "Yes." So I found a chair halfway through the line and sat down while they took away my shoes and x-rayed them, sniffed them or let them be "mind-melded" by the little psychic midget woman from "Poltergeist," or whatever they do with shoes suspected of deadly intent. After ten minutes, I got my shoes back and hobbled on my way. Heaven knows how they would have reacted to my Darth Vader boot that I left at home for just that reason. My wound care doctor is going to to be upset with me next week, but it was a trade-off. I needed to be there. And I needed to get around while I was there.

Anyway, I want to apologize to those of you whom I promised to notify when I got home safely, and didn't. I'm sorry, but I just collapsed. I didn't have it left in me.

Now, having slept most of the night, let us "drink water and drive on."

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Just a reminder, and a thank you. Confounding the "EeBeeGees."

We couldn't have done what we did this week without the support of Larry Pratt and GOA. From David Olofson to the Gunwalker Scandal, they've been on point.

And you know what? I checked Larry's garage and the parking lot at work. There isn't a weenie wagon in sight.

No weenie wagons at GOA.

LATER: I would also like to sincerely and humbly thank all those folks who made it possible for me to even get to DC and to be able to be in position to do as much as possible to drive the story forward. Others, who eschew all publicity, have helped me out while here.

The campaign for the truth of the Gunwalker Plot is perhaps the most lopsided contest in history, save David and Goliath. In fact, it has been generated and sustained by such improbabilities that it impossible not to see the hand of God in it.

I keep getting information back that those on the other side, the "EeBeeGees" (Evil Bad Guys) of the plot and cover-up, are obsessed to find out whose "intelligence community" pawn I am. "They can't believe," one source said, "that you are able to do this on your own. They just KNOW that you are the tool of somebody more powerful. They're trying to figure out who in the bureaucracy is doing them in."

Of course, the open secret is that I don't do this on my own, but they discount the obvious fact that small groups of "powerless" people can defeat their power. It must be the result of insidious conspiracy on the part of other powerful people or groups.

Well, thieves always think someone is stealing from them and liars are convinced that they are being lied to.

It is perhaps not so surprising, given the fact that diligent, determined citizenship has been so rare in this country for so long, that it should be unrecognized when applied citizenship unexpectedly punches the "EeBeeGees" of the Imperial Federal government in the gut with the binary weapon of mass destruction they most fear -- truth and light.

The other day I floated the latest iteration of Absolved to a potential editor who took me to task because it has no single leading character, no "super hero" (or small group of super-heroes) who rushes in and saves the day. That it doesn't is deliberate, although I certainly realize that it makes it harder to follow. BUT THAT IS HISTORY. That is real. There is no "Army of One," to quote the recent stupid (and failed) Army recruiting slogan. Armies -- and societies worth living in -- are great teams of voluntary individuals, each with his or her own unique, free, sacred and inviolate soul with all its strengths and abilities, weaknesses and sins.

To say that any common purpose worth achieving is "won" by the efforts of one person is a denial of reality. Could the Revolution have triumphed by the efforts of Washington alone? Or Sam Adams? Could it have done without rifleman Tim Murphy's bullet at Saratoga? Or his commander Daniel Morgan who saw the essential thing and gave the order? Or the Over-the-Mountain men at King's Mountain? And what of the back-country wives who put the rations in their men's haversacks, along with the bullets melted down from lead deposits grubbed out with their own hands? Could it have done without the preachers of the Black Regiment? The rogues of the smuggling ships? And what of the fat Boston bookseller Henry Knox who transformed himself, by himself, into an accomplished artillery officers and troop leader? The Quaker's son Nathaniel Greene?

God used each as a tool to accomplish his purpose. Likewise today.

And I thank and bless Him for all of you.

History, I am found of saying, is made by determined minorities.

YOU are such a minority.

Compared to the "EeBeeGees" we fight in this cold war of liberty versus soft tyranny, we lack every resource except one. Our determination. Our determination to use whatever pitiful resources we have. Our determination never to stop until we have won, or we are dead.

Sociopathic bureaucrats, demagogic political appetites dressed in thousand dollar suits and their transactional morality hirelings do not operate that way. They cannot even comprehend that such people as you exist. It is beyond their ken.

So they look for conspiracies where there are none, and that is a measure of their distance from reality. When mere citizenship looks like conspiracy, you are beaten -- because you cannot defeat an enemy, or an idea, that you don't understand.

They are beaten. They just don't know it yet.

It is an eternal war, this war of liberty versus tyranny, and our side wins. Because we don't fight for power, or money, or safe retirement. We fight for liberty, for ourselves and that of our childrens' children.

They are beaten. Not by dint of resources, but of will. His, and our own.

Again, humbly, thanks for the opportunity to serve with you in this struggle.


PS: I'll be back in Birmingham this (Wednesday) evening. I'll try to post then.

The stampede begins? Fibbies start to play the leak game. LAT: "FBI report at odds with ATF claim on weapons."

As predicted here at Sipsey Street, the FBI starts to spin their own meme with leaks. A copy of the FBI document shows ballistics tests did not rule out the Fast and Furious guns in the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian A. Terry.

Today the ATF, tomorrow the White House. The biting back begins.

I told a congressional staffer this week that they were trying to put together a thousand piece puzzle with 36 pieces. I also quoted my good friend and old cowboy Bob Wright, to the effect that "when the atmospherics are right, all it takes to make a herd of cattle stampede is a single fart."

What we needed, I said, was a stampede to give us many more pieces to put together.

Did somebody just fart?

"What was that?!?"

David Codrea: ATF’s Phoenix SAC emailed Gunwalker info to National Security Council.

An exchange between House Committee on Oversight and Reform Committee members and William Newell, former Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive’s Phoenix Field Division during this morning’s hearings on Operation Fast and Furious pointed to key information that may be the most important to come out of today’s session.

Exactly correct.

Transcript of Newell questioning related to NSC's O'Reilly

Sharyl Attkisson: ATF Manager says he shared Fast and Furious Info with White House

CBS Reports:

At a lengthy hearing on ATF's controversial gunwalking operation today, a key ATF manager told Congress he discussed the case with a White House National Security staffer as early as September 2010. The communications were between ATF Special Agent in Charge of the Phoenix office, Bill Newell, and White House National Security Director for North America Kevin O'Reilly. Newell said the two are longtime friends. The content of what Newell shared with O'Reilly is unclear and wasn't fully explored at the hearing.

It's the first time anyone has publicly stated that a White House official had any familiarity with ATF's operation Fast and Furious, which allowed thousands of weapons to fall into the hands of suspected traffickers for Mexican drug cartels in an attempt to gain intelligence. It's unknown as to whether O'Reilly shared information with anybody else at the White House.

Congressional investigators obtained an email from Newell to O'Reilly in September of last year in which Newell began with the words: "you didn't get this from me."

"What does that mean," one member of Congress asked Newell, " 'you didn't get this from me?' "

"Obviously he was a friend of mine," Newell replied, "and I shouldn't have been sending that to him."

Newell told Congress that O'Reilly had asked him for information.

"Why do you think he asked for that information," Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA) asked Newell.

"He was asking about the impact of Project Gunrunner to brief people in preparation for a trip to Mexico... what we were doing to combat firearms trafficking and other issues."

Today, a White House spokesman said the email was not about Fast and Furious, but about other gun trafficking efforts. The spokesman also said he didn't know what Newell was referring to when he said he'd spoken to O'Reilly about Fast and Furious.

Mr. Vanderboegh goes to Washington, gets thrown out of a hearing on complaint from DOJ harridan attorney, harrassed by MM puke & had fun doing it.

Just one of Gunwalker Bill Newell's emails that lead straight to the side door of the White House.

Well, today actually started out sometime before this email, but here is a good enough place to start:

-----Original Message-----
From: georgemason1776
To: brian_downey; henry.kerner
Sent: Sat, Jul 23, 2011 8:34 pm
Subject: re: Fast & Furious emails between ATF Phoenix SAC William Newell and Dr. Kevin O'Reilly, Director of North American Affairs, National Security Council


As the Internet journalist who broke the Gunwalker Scandal on 28 December and who first drew the attention of Senator Jeff Sessions' office to the need for whistleblower protection for Phoenix ATF agents such as John Dodson, sources told me this weekend that your joint investigation possesses e-mails between ATF Phoenix SAC William Newell and Dr. Kevin O'Reilly, Director of North American Affairs, National Security Council.

Dr. O'Reilly's professional background (attached, obtained on the Internet) states he has been a Foreign Service Officer for 22 years, whose most recent responsibilities include coordinating counter-terrorism issues in Latin America for the Department of State and the National Security Council. You will note there is a gap from 1989 to 1995 in his background, before he studied at the Naval War College in 1996-97, after which he embarked on a series of short-term assignments. One of these was as a Pearson Fellow in the office of one of your colleagues, Senator Richard Durbin of Illinois.

Different sources of my own within the U.S. intelligence community who have reviewed the foregoing, consider the e-mails between Mr. Newell and Dr. O'Reilly and their professional positions and duties to be reminiscent of the back-channel communications employed by then-Col. Oliver North, empowered by what was jokingly referred to as a "Fuhrer letter" from then-National Security Adviser John Poindexter. This authorized North to operate outside established channels to implement Iran-Contra mischief. In the opinion of my sources, the highly irregular direct communication between a senior advisor on the National Security Council and a lowly ATF Special Agent in Charge reeks of executive branch misconduct. It would be, if as true as my sources say it is, "felony stupid."

Since SAC Newell will be testifying under oath before the Committee on Tuesday, there is an opportunity for Mr. Newell to explain his own understanding of the communications between himself, Dr. O'Reilly, and the National Security Council; how they relate to Fast & Furious; and thus enable the Committee and the American people to better understand the genesis of Fast & Furious and the role of the White House. This opportunity also affords the Committee the chance to appropriately define the inquiry, and to illuminate the darker recesses of the Gunwalker Scandal debacle before the inevitable speculation that will arise in the press and on the Internet as this information becomes more fully understood.

While I reside in Alabama, I am currently here in the DC area staying at the residence of my friend Larry Pratt, Executive Director of Gun Owners.of America. We plan to be on Capitol Hill to meet with certain congressional offices on Monday morning, and I am writing to you because I would like to personally discuss other aspects of the information discussed above. I would like to talk with you personally at your earliest possible convenience, and will be calling your office early on Monday morning to see if a mutually convenient meeting time can be arranged.


Mike Vanderboegh

In about a half hour on that Saturday night we received the following reply:

-----Original Message-----
From: Kerner, Henry
To: georgemason1776 ; brian_downey
Sent: Sat, Jul 23, 2011 9:06 pm
Subject: RE: Fast & Furious emails between ATF Phoenix SAC William Newell and Dr. Kevin O'Reilly, Director of North American Affairs, National Security Council

Dear Mr. Vanderboegh:

Thank you for your e-mail from earlier this evening. Members of Chairman Issa's staff are available to meet with you on Monday morning. Would 10 o'clock work for you? Please let me know if that time is convenient.

Thank you,


This was the information contained in the attachment:

From Linked In

Kevin O'Reilly's Experience

Director of North American Affairs
U.S. National Security Council
Government Administration industry
2009 – June 2011 (2 years)

Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorsim
U.S. Department of State
Government Agency; International Affairs industry
September 2007 – May 2009 (1 year 9 months)

Foreign Service Officer
United States Department of State
Government Administration industry
November 1987 – 2009 (22 years)

Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism
Director Latin American Affairs
Department of Homeland Security
Government Administration industry
2006 – 2007 (1 year)

Pearson Fellow
Office of Senator Richard J. Durbin
Government Administration industry
2005 – 2006 (1 year)

Deputy Political Counselor
US Embassy, Mexico CIty
Government Agency; 201-500 employees; Government Administration industry
2003 – 2005 (2 years)

Officer-in Charge, Colombian Affairs
U.S. Department of State
Government Agency; 10,001+ employees; International Affairs industry
2002 – 2003 (1 year)

Executive Assistant to the Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs
U.S. Department of State
Government Agency; 10,001+ employees; International Affairs industry
2001 – 2002 (1 year)

Officer-in Charge, Iberian Affairs, NATO Division, J-5
Joint Staff
Government Agency; 1001-5000 employees; Military industry
2000 – 2001 (1 year)

Political Affairs Officer
US Embassy, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Government Agency; 201-500 employees; Government Administration industry
1997 – 2000 (3 years)

Kevin O'Reilly's Education
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Fellow, MIT Seminar XXI - international relations and the national interest
2001 – 2002

Naval War College
1996 – 1997

Loyola University Chicago School of Law
JD, Law
1985 – 1988

The Johns Hopkins University - Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) (MBV: ) (MBV: )
M.A, International Relations
1984 – 1986
Activities and Societies: Bologna Center, 1983-1984

Loyola University of Chicago (MBV: )
BA, History
1979 – 1983
Activities and Societies: Loyola University Rome Center - (MBV: )

On Monday morning Larry and I met with three guys from the Committee. The meeting was on the condition of "Off the Record," hence it is off the record and will not be reported on. I will say that we left without any more information than we had going in. We were by no means certain that the committee would be asking Newell about O'Reilly.

Mr. O'Reilly's name had come to our attention last week. We immediately began gathering anecdotal information, although we could find precious little. One source called him "a ghost," and another said he had been "sheep-dipped." A third said he was a doctrinaire liberal, while a fourth denied that but described him variously as a "snake in a suit," a "sociopath" and said O'Reilly's nickname was "The Scorpion," as in the story of The Frog and the Scorpion.

(I would like to take this opportunity to ask any of our readers to contribute any other information they might have on Mr. O'Reilly. I rather suspect that today's hearing will not be the last that his name will come up at.)

Anyway, just as the first O'Reilly question was being asked of "Gunwalker Bill" about O'Reilly, I fell afoul of a Justice Department harridan with a law degree, who apparently complained that I was harrassing her. (I had asked her to pass down O'Reilly's bio to Newell's DOJ lawyer to ask the boy for an interview and she took exception to it.)

So I sat out in the hall, exulting in the knowledge that they actually HAD asked the $1.1 billion dollar question and wondering where I was going to get something to eat because my sugar was low.

At this point i was ambushed by a Media Matters puke who claimed that I had told "lies" about the Tampa gunwalking incident being part of Operation Castaway.

Like I said, low sugar. I was cranky, and after my umpteenth recital of the facts with his cell phone in my face I believe I called him a bad word, something that started with c and ended with sucker. I can't wait until I see THAT video. My momma would not be proud.

Anyway, I tried to escape him by going back into the hearing, they wouoldn't let me (having been previously banned) so I went down to get something to eat. Only had pocket money for a cookie, but that was enough to tide me over.

So I sat in the cafeteria and made phone calls until Larry came down for a break, then he went back to the hearing and I sat in the hallway by an overflowing garbage can. It stank.

Now THIS, I thought, is an excellent metaphor for Mordor-on-the-Potomac.

Anyway, I'll have to wait until tomorrow to see what happened for the best part of the hearing (other than seeing enough of Newell to recognize that he too is a sociopath, and maybe a psycopath).

A fun time was had by all.

Going home tomorrow having done as much damage as I could to the Evil Empire.

There is no evidence that the committee asked these questions because of Larry's and my urging. Obviously, it didn't hurt.

WND latest: Witnesses to ATF gunrunner operation to name names

'By the end of this, they'll prove that orders came from the very top'

"Command deck panic" at the Hoover Bldg as FBI fears someone will figure out their Gunwalker crimes.

Coming soon to the nightmares of Robert Mueller. The ghost of J. Edgar Hoover, they say, is "some kinda pissed."

The William LaJ. FOX piece on the FBI's perversion of the NICS checks to facilitate the Gunwalker plot "went off like a bomb" in the Hoover building, according to my sources. "Command deck panic," said one, with institutional mid-levels looking at Mueller and Company askance and asking "What would J. Edgar do?" The source answered that question: "Boy, I'll bet J. Edgar is some kinda pissed." He added, "He didn't mind breaking the law, but he was purely allergic to getting caught at it."

So, what cabal of mid-levels will conspire to throw Mueller and Company in the Potomac and try to salvage the reputation of their "beloved Bureau" by turning on the White House?

The possibility certainly exists.

And there just so happens to be a bunch of nice young men (mostly) down at the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee who would be happy to help them out.

David Codrea on House committee report and a link to PDF of entire document.

BREAKING NEWS: ATF attaché calls Gunwalker 'perfect storm of idiocy'

PDF of entire report, also courtesy of David, here.

Praxis: Dronepedia.

Courtesy of John Robb at Global Guerrillas, a link to all things drone.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The National Scope of the Gunwalker Scandal. Lanny Breuer & four border state ATF SACs implicated in report. "Lions! And tigers! And bears! Oh, my!"

Note: The post time and date indicated as a regular part of this blog are expressed by Blogger in the Pacific time zone. This story was in fact posted just after midnight Eastern time on Tuesday 26 July 2011.

“That is, I mean, this is the perfect storm of idiocy.” -- Carlos Canino, Acting ATF Attache in Mexico City, when he finally realized that gunwalking occurred in Operation Fast and Furious.

A report released as part of today's third Gunwalker Scandal hearing conducted by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chaired by California Congressman Darrell Issa presents further evidence of the national scope of the scandal.

Among the findings presented in the report:

** In the fall of 2009, ATF officials in Mexico began noticing a spike in guns recovered at Mexican crime scenes. Many of those guns traced directly to an ongoing investigation out of ATF‟s Phoenix Field Division.

**As Operation Fast and Furious progressed, there were numerous recoveries of large weapons caches in Mexico. These heavy-duty weapons included AK-47s, AR-15s, and even Barrett .50 caliber rifles – the preferred weapons of drug cartels.

**At a March 5, 2010 briefing, ATF intelligence analysts told ATF and DOJ leadership that the number of firearms bought by known straw purchasers had exceeded the 1,000 mark. The briefing also made clear these weapons were ending up in Mexico.

** ATF and DOJ leadership kept their own personnel in Mexico and Mexican government officials totally in the dark about all aspects of Fast and Furious. Meanwhile, ATF officials in Mexico grew increasingly worried about the number of weapons recovered in Mexico that traced back to an ongoing investigation out of ATF‟s Phoenix Field Division.

** ATF officials in Mexico raised their concerns about the number of weapons recovered up the chain of command to ATF leadership in Washington, D.C. Instead of acting decisively to end Fast and Furious, the senior leadership at both ATF and DOJ praised the investigation and the positive results it had produced. Frustrations reached a boiling point, leading former ATF Attaché Darren Gil to engage in screaming matches with his supervisor, International Affairs Chief Daniel Kumor, about the need to shut down the Phoenix-based investigation.

** In spite of assurances that the program would be shut down as early as March 2010, it took the murder of a U.S. Border Patrol Agent in December 2010 to actually bring the program to a close.

** ATF officials in Mexico finally realized the truth: ATF was allowing guns to walk. By withholding this critical information from its own personnel in Mexico, ATF jeopardized relations between the U.S. and Mexico.

** The high-risk tactics of cessation of surveillance, gunwalking, and non-interdiction of weapons that ATF used in Fast and Furious went against the core of ATF‟s mission, as well as the training and field experience of its agents. These flaws inherent in Operation Fast and Furious made tragic consequences inevitable.

Less emphasized, but no less important, are these facts presented within the body of the report supporting the long-held suspicion that Fast & Furious was part of a national program of "gunwalking."

Beginning on page 23 of the report:

G. March 5, 2010 Briefing

FINDING: At a March 5, 2010 briefing, ATF intelligence analysts told ATF and DOJ leadership that the number of firearms bought by known straw purchasers had exceeded the 1,000 mark. The briefing also made clear these weapons were ending up in Mexico.

Two months after the January 5, 2010 briefing, ATF headquarters hosted a larger, more detailed briefing. Not part of the normal Tuesday field ops briefings, this special briefing was dedicated to Operation Fast and Furious. David Voth, the Phoenix Group VII Supervisor who oversaw Fast and Furious, traveled from Phoenix to give the presentation. On videoconference were the four southwest border ATF SACs: Bill Newell in Phoenix, Robert Champion in Dallas, J. Dewey Webb in Houston, and John Torres in Los Angeles. (Emphasis supplied, MBV)

In addition to the usual attendees of the Tuesday morning field ops briefings (the Deputy Assistant Directors for Field Operations, including Bill McMahon, and Mark Chait, Assistant Director for Field Operations), Deputy Director William Hoover also attended. Joe Cooley, a trial attorney from the gang unit at Main Justice, also joined. After a suggestion from Acting ATF Director Ken Melson in December 2009, Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer personally assigned Cooley as a DOJ representative for Operation Fast and Furious. Kevin Carwile, chief of the Capital Case Unit at Main Justice, may have also been present. According to Steve Martin, the inclusion of Main Justice representatives was unusual.

An extremely detailed synopsis of the current details of the investigation ensued, including the number of guns purchased, specific details of all Operation Fast and Furious weapons seizures to date, money spent by straw purchasers, and organizational charts of the straw purchasers and their relationship not only to each other, but also to members of the Sinaloa DTO. . .

The only person that did speak up was Robert Champion, SAC for the Dallas Field Division participating by videoconference, who asked “What are we doing about this?” According to Lorren Leadmon, in response, Joe Cooley from Main Justice simply said that the movement of so many guns to Mexico was “an acceptable practice.”

Shortly after the March 5, 2010, presentation on Operation Fast and Furious, OSII stopped giving briefings on the program to ATF management during the weekly Tuesday meetings. OSII personnel felt that nobody in field operations heeded their warnings, and OSII no longer saw the point of continuing to brief the program.

And beginning on page 39 comes more confirmation of a story first broken by Sipsey Street on Friday, 4 February here, just a little over a month into the public knowledge of the scandal: "I Accuse! Meet the Assistant Attorney General at the center of the Project Gunwalker Cover-up: Lanny Breuer."

C. Lanny Breuer and the Department of Justice

Gil and Canino received the same message of support for Operation Fast and Furious from Main Justice. During a visit to Mexico, Lanny Breuer, the Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division demonstrated his awareness of the case:

Mr. [Breuer] kind of summed up his take on everything at the end, and one of them was that there's an investigation that ATF is conducting that looks like it's going to generate some good results and it will be a good positive case that we can present to the Government of Mexico as efforts that the US Government is taking to try and interdict weapons going into Mexico. And that was about – that was it. That was just a general statement. Myself and my deputy I believe were in the room and we kind of looked at each other. We‟re aware of this case, and so we assumed that‟s what he was mentioning. And we just wanted to make sure – we look at each other going, hope the ambassador [Carlos Pascual] doesn't ask any questions because we really don't know anything about the case. And luckily the ambassador did not.

Canino also remembered a visit from Breuer where he touted the Phoenix case:

Q. And during meetings with Mr. Breuer, did this subject come up?

A. I mean, I was in a meeting, it was a country team meeting, or it might have been a law enforcement team meeting . . . Ambassador, Mr. Breuer was there, Darren was there, Mr. Breuer . . . the Ambassador was saying hey, you know what . . . we need a big win we need some positive, some positive [firearms trafficking] cases. And Lanny Breuer says, yeah, there is a good case, there is a good case out of Phoenix. And that is all he said.

* * *

Q. But do you remember the specific incident with the Ambassador talking about the success stories?

A. Right.

Q. And that is when Breuer mentioned this large case in Phoenix?

A. Yeah. He said we got, there is a good case out of Phoenix.

Q. And is it your impression that the case he was referring to is what now what you now know to be Fast and Furious?

A. Yeah, when he said, I thought, oh, okay . . . he knows. He knows about this case.

The Justice Department, and more specifically, Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer, clearly knew about Operation Fast and Furious. Further, the Department‟s Office of Enforcement Operations (OEO) approved numerous of the wiretap applications in this case. These applications were signed on behalf of Deputy Attorney General Ogden in the spring of 2010. Instead of stemming the flow of firearms to Mexico, Operation Fast and Furious arguably contributed to an increase in weapons and violence.

Additionally, the U.S. Attorney‟s office in Arizona – another DOJ component – was inextricably involved in supervising Operation Fast and Furious as it was part of a “prosecutor-led” and OCDETF funded strike force. According to many agents, the U.S. Attorney‟s office intimate day-to-day involvement was to the detriment of ATF‟s Phoenix Field Division. Furthermore, although DOJ knew about the operation, it kept key people who needed this information in the dark.

Thus today's hearing will continue to build the case for a wider, national scope to the Gunwalker Scandal. There also exists, according to my sources, a golden opportunity for the Committee to take this story even farther up the chain of command, to the doors of the White House itself.

Whether Darrell Issa and his boys are willing to go there or not remains to be seen. We'll find out later today.

"Lions! And tigers! And bears! Oh, my!"

FOX Video from today on Fibbie complicity in F&F.

WaPo actually runs a story on Gunwalker and includes links to War on Guns and Sipsey Street. Does Darth Breuer know?

"U.S. anti-gunrunning effort turns fatally wrong."

Terry’s death was the last straw for Dodson. He said he tried to contact ATF headquarters, ATF’s chief counsel, the ATF ethics section and the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General.

When he didn’t get an immediate response, he and other agents reached out to Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), the ranking minority member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

At the same time, word was leaking out to bloggers on gun rights. They began posting that there was a dark side to the still-unpublicized Fast and Furious.

On Dec. 22, an item appeared on, founded by dissident ATF agents. The post said that an ATF official in Phoenix “approved more than 500 AR-15 type rifles” to be “walked” to Mexico. Some bloggers speculated that ATF was encouraging the smuggling to boost the numbers of U.S. weapons recovered in Mexico to gain support for an assault-weapons ban.

‘A blatant lie’

The public first learned about Fast and Furious in late January 2011 when U.S. Attorney Burke called a news conference in Phoenix to announce a 53-count indictment involving 20 suspects. The indictment alleged that from September 2009 to December 2010, the suspects bought hundreds of firearms to be illegally exported to Mexico.

To Newell, who was also at the news conference, Fast and Furious was a “phenomenal case,” the largest-ever Mexican gun trafficking investigation, a direct answer to the call to stem the flow of firearms south of the border.

A local reporter asked Newell about the rumors that ATF agents had purposely allowed firearms to enter Mexico.

“Hell, no!” he answered. Newell said that they could not follow everyone and that sometimes suspects would elude agents, which could result in guns getting into Mexico.

Peter Forcelli, an ATF group supervisor in the Phoenix office, watched the news conference on television. “I was appalled,” he later testified to Congress. “Because it was a blatant lie.”