Monday, October 31, 2011

Praxis: Wearing a wool blanket.

Wearing A Wool Blanket from Benje Psyari on Vimeo.

Fast and Furious: 17 Members of Congress Now Calling For Holder to Resign.

"I think he’s been a mistake from the very beginning."

More shuck and jive from Darth Breuer at the New York Times.

Documents Reveal Reactions to Disputed A.T.F. Investigations in Arizona.

ROFLMAO! Darth Breuer accepts responsibility for the loss of the Gunwalker Death Star, but blames Bush for it anyway.

Okay, below I told you that the Senate Judiciary Committee was going to pre-empt the House with a Holder hearing on November 8 and that the White House was going to do a docu-dump to friendly journalists today. Well, chief among those scandal deflectors these days is TPM Muckraker and here is the big raisin in the disinformation turd:

Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer Issues Statement On 'Operation Wide Receiver'

Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division released the following statement today:

"Throughout my tenure as Assistant Attorney General, one of my highest priorities, and one of the central missions that I have set for the Criminal Division, has been to work with out Mexican counterparts to fight the scourge of drug trafficking and violence in Mexico, and to address the public safety crisis along the Southwest Border of the United States. That is why, among many other steps, in 2009, I offered Southwest Border U.S. Attorneys' Offices assistance from one of the Criminal Division's experienced prosecutors to assist in gun trafficking prosecutions.

"In response to that offer, the Arizona U.S. Attorney's Office asked the Criminal Division prosecutor to assume responsibility for Operation Wide Receiver, and the Criminal Division's Gang Unit agreed to do so, despite not having been involved in the underlying flawed investigation of the matter by the Tuscon Field Office of the ATF's Phoenix Field Division in 2006 and 2007.

"As that prosecutor evaluated the case in the fall of 2009, she realized that ATF's investigation -- which had concluded two years earlier -- had included the use of misguided tactics that had resulted in ATF losing control of numerous guns that then crossed the border into Mexico. This information was brought to my attention in April 2010.

"When I learned of the unacceptable tactics used in Operation Wide Receiver, I instructed one of my Deputy Assistant Attorney Generals to schedule a meeting with ATF's Acting Director and Deputy Director to bring these issues to their attention. The next day, my Deputy met with the ATF Deputy Director and others to discuss this matter.

"In prosecuting the defendants in Operation Wide Receiver, the Criminal Division focused on how to ensure that those responsible for illegal firearms trafficking were brought to justice, despite the flaws in the investigation.

"Knowing what I now know was a pattern of unacceptable and misguided tactics used by the ATF, I regret that I did not alert others within the leadership of the Department of Justice to the tactics used in Operation Wide Receiver when they first came to my attention.

"When the allegations related to Operation Fast and Furious became public earlier this year, the leadership of ATF and the U.S. Attorney's Office in Arizona repeatedly assured individuals in the Criminal Division and the leadership of the Department of Justice that those allegations were not true. As a result, I did not draw a connection between the unacceptable tactics used by the ATF years earlier in Operation Wide Receiver and the allegations made about Operation Fast and Furious, and therefore did not, at that time, alert others within Depoartment leadership of any similarities between the two. That was a mistake, and I regret not having done so.

"I remain more committed than ever to the Criminal Division's mission to fight violence in the United States and Mexico."

Here is the CBS piece on this remarkable statement.

Here is CNN's take.

Breuer faces a Senate subcommittee hearing Tuesday in which he may be asked for a face-to-face explanation of his position.

As head of the criminal division, Breuer is one of Attorney General Eric Holder's most important assistants.

His statement of regret came as the Justice Department sent 650 pages of documents to Congressional investigators. The documents had been subpoenaed October 11 by Republican lawmakers angered by what they claim was stonewalling by the Justice officials.

Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, said his staff would scour the new documents.

"At first glance, the documents indicate that contrary to previous denials by the Justice Department, the criminal division has a great deal of culpability in sweeping the previous Wide Receiver strategy under the rug and then allowing the subsequent Operation Fast and Furious to continue without asking key questions," Grassley said.

"With every document that comes out, the Justice Department loses credibility and the faith of the the American people," Grassley concluded.

I am at the end of a very long, exhausting day, so I am going to reserve my thoughtful reaction to this until tomorrow.

It strikes me, though, that this is the same Lanny Breuer who insisted that the Mexicans not be told. The same Lanny Breuer who evinced a pretty complete knowledge of what was happening in F&F. If the Bushies made him do it, why didn't the Obamanoids use it to beat the GOP over the head with it?

The other immediate idea that strikes me is that Breuer has been selected as the sacrificial goat whose bureaucratic slaughter is intended to protect Holder.

It won't work, of course. But I must admit it is funny to watch them try.

The singing raisin in the disinformation turd: Lanny Breuer says he heard it through the grapevine.

This just in: SENATE Judiciary Committee to pre-empt the House with a Holder hearing on NOVEMBER 8; WH to do docu-dump to friendly journalists TODAY.

By way of David Corea, Sharyl Attkisson has just tweeted that the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing featuring Eric Holder on NOVEMBER 8th, next week. This will pre-empt the more unfriendly house hearing scheduled for December 8.

These things don't happen by accident, so obviously the White House sees advantage in having Patrick Leahy arrange this.

Also, a little Waldo just told me that there will be a document dump from DOJ this afternoon, beginning with "friendly" journalists. Film at eleven, boys and girls. Film at eleven.

I know David always wanted to be denounced by Media Matters.

"Denounce the enemy of the proletariate and imperialist agent Codrea!"

Now he has his wish.

Kimberly Dvorak , Homeland Security Examiner: "Operation Armas Cruzadas- DHS Napolitano’s own Mexican gun-trafficking program."


While Operation Fast and Furious remains a thorn in U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder’s side, it looks like Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano may soon begin sharing the pain.

Sec. Napolitano recently informed the House Judiciary Committee she had no knowledge of Fast and Furious, but omitted to mention her own department was running Operation Armas Cruzadas.

Operation Armas Cruzadas highlights another crucial factor – that the Mexican government had more of a role in the cartel arms trafficking business than just playing the victim.

This new information dovetails with complaints by Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) agents in the Phoenix office that complained Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents from Team VII regularly called “dibs” on gun trafficking cases in order to “get credit” for splashy narco-related investigations. One agent explained that the atmosphere seemed more focused on press conferences and ego rather than commonsense.

The DHS memorandum reveals that ICE ran Operation Armas Cruzadas with the full knowledge of Arturo Chávez Chávez,Mexican Attorney General in an effort to ostensibly prosecute cartels in Mexico using U.S. intelligence and agents. This is a departure from Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) Operation Fast and Furious where the Mexican government claimed it knew nothing about the gun-walking program.

The Mexican Attorney General agreed it was beneficial for both “…governments to work in a coordinated fashion to prevent, discourage and process arms traffickers,” the documents disclosed.

These documents demonstrate ICE remains more involved in the gun trafficking business than anybody knew or Sec. Napolitano was willing to admit to Congress. . .

This is the first report concerning Operation Armas Cruzadas and a series of stories will provide more information on this gun-trafficking program in the coming days.

Yeah, well I'll be interested to see the document(s) that Ms. Dvorak has. Operation Armas Cruzadas is not exactly a deep dark secret, although like Project Gunrunner it certainly may have deep dark secrets of its own.

Here is the announcement of its inauguration on 9 June 2008.

On 18 March 2009, there was this testimony from David Johnson, Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, U.S. Department of State before the House Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, of the Committee on Foreign Affairs on the subject of "Guns, Drugs and Violence: The Merida
Initiative and the Challenge in Mexico":

Just to add a couple of points, there are ongoing operations by our law enforcement agencies—the DHS, ICE, Operation Armas Cruzadas, going on for 6 months now—which have already resulted in 104 criminal arrests, the seizure of 420 weapons, and more than 100,000 rounds of ammunition, and that is one of the cooperative programs. ATF, of course, has Project Gunrunner.

The week before, Marcy Foreman, DHS' Director of the Office of Investigations of ICE testified on the “Border Enforcement Security Task Force” before the House Appropriations Committee's Subcommitte on Homeland Security:

DHS recognizes that southbound weapons smuggling is a grave concern amid the growing violence along our border with Mexico. This violence requires a comprehensive, bilateral effort and on January 30, 2009, Secretary Napolitano responded by issuing a Border Security Action Directive which focused the wide-ranging authorities of the Department on the rampant violence along our southern border. The Secretary emphasized the necessity of a broad, multi-agency response to attack the flow of weapons and money that continues to fuel the violence. ICE contributes to that fight through two principal bilateral initiatives: Operation Firewall to address bulk cash smuggling; and Operation Armas Cruzadas, to detect, disrupt and dismantle weapons smuggling networks. Particularly in Armas Cruzadas, ICE-led, Border Enforcement Security Task Forces (BESTs) function as critical enablers in coordinating a comprehensive, multi-agency approach to fighting weapons smuggling. These DHS task forces include important partners such as Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and other foreign, federal, state and local task force officers.

Armas Cruzadas:

The rampant border violence along the United States/Mexico border is a direct result of criminal organizations attempting to exert their control over not only the democratically elected officials of the Mexican government but also rival criminal organizations. The problem is of such magnitude that the Mexican military has had to step in to support and sometimes replace law enforcement officials who can not address the violence and restore order. Many of the instruments of this violence are from weapons smuggled from the United States into Mexico.

Criminal organizations commonly use straw purchasers with clean criminal histories to purchase firearms and turn them over to smugglers. The challenge in countering the smuggling activity is compounded by the reliance on the technique called “ant trafficking,” where small numbers of weapons are smuggled through multiple ports-of-entry, on a continued basis.

In June 2008, ICE formally launched Operation Armas Cruzadas to combat transnational criminal networks smuggling weapons into Mexico from the United States. As part of this initiative, the United States and the Government of Mexico (GoM) synchronize bilateral interdiction, investigation and intelligence-sharing activities to identify, disrupt, and dismantle these networks engaged in weapons smuggling. Key components of Armas Cruzadas include training for BEST task force officers and our partners in ICE’s long-standing authorities under the Arms Export Control Act, as well as newly-acquired, export authority under Title 18, United States Code, Section 554 (Smuggling goods from the United States). This statute augments the broad arsenal of cross-border criminal authorities available to ICE investigators, and is particularly useful in targeting weapons smuggling. Another important Armas Cruzadas component is industry outreach, including presentations to groups involved in the manufacture, sale, or shipment of firearms and ammunition along the southwest border. This industry outreach includes a collaborative initiative between ICE and Mexico’s Procuraduria General de La Republica (PGR) prosecutors to produce bilingual posters identifying potential penalties for weapons smugglers under U.S. export and Mexican gun trafficking laws. The posters solicit the public for information related to these schemes, and are displayed in shops and agencies in the border region, including ports-of-entry. The Government of Mexico has also distributed these posters within Mexico.

In addition to outreach, more rapid exchange of information is essential to success in confronting the southbound weapons flow. Armas Cruzadas strengthens bilateral communication through deployment of ICE Border Liaisons to sustain cooperative working relationships with foreign and domestic government entities; and also through a Weapons Virtual Task Force, comprised of a virtual online community where U.S. and Mexican investigators can share intelligence and communicate in a secure environment. In order to more seamlessly investigate the networks that span our common border, BESTs, ICE attaché offices, a U.S.-vetted GoM Arms Trafficking Group and the Border Violence Intelligence Cell exchange cross-border weapons-related intelligence. The Border Violence Intelligence Cell, housed at the El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC), along with the ATF weapons desk, serves as ICE’s central point for analyzing all-source intelligence and trends in firearms smuggling. In December of last year, this cell, in conjunction with DHS intelligence components, produced a strategic assessment of southbound weapons smuggling that guided increased weapons investigation and interdiction operations along the Southwest Border.

Let me share an example of how ICE partners with others, such as ATF and local investigators, in combating weapons smuggling. ICE, ATF, and the San Antonio Police Department initiated an investigation of Ernesto Tornel Olvera-Garza of Monterrey, Mexico who first began trafficking in hunting rifles in June 2005. During the course of the investigation, agents learned that between 2006 and the time of his arrest in October 2007, he trafficked in high-powered, high-capacity handguns and assault rifles. Since his temporary visa did not allow him to legally buy guns in the United States, Mr. Olvera-Garza instead paid people in the United States to buy guns for him and lied about who the guns were for. Mr. Olvera-Garza organized and led the gun-smuggling conspiracy, which included at least nine “straw purchasers” who purchased firearms on his behalf. More than 50 weapons were purchased and smuggled to Mexico as part of this ring. One of Mr. Olvera-Garza's smuggled pistols was recovered in Mexico after it was used in a running gun battle where two Mexican soldiers were killed. Mr. Olvera-Garza has pleaded guilty and is pending sentencing.

Since the initiation of Operations Armas Cruzadas, DHS has seized 420 weapons, 110,894 rounds of ammunition and arrested 104 individuals on criminal charges, resulting in 58 criminal indictments and 42 convictions to date.

So Armas Cruzadas was hardly a secret, as I say. Actually, I hope Dvorak's future stories will include a little more context as well as documents, so that we may judge the evidence ourselves.

David Codrea: Why does Justice Department need to lie on FOIA responses?

Gee, let me guess. Because they're guilty?

Early investigator of the true circumstances of the Terry murder dies of pneumonia.

Long time readers will recall the valiant work that Tuscon Citizen columnist Hugh Holub did early on to try to discover what really happened in Peck Canyon the night Brian Terry was killed.

I have just learned in an email from his widow Nancy Valentine Holub that Hugh passed away last month.

I cannot tell you what a shock this is to learn of his passing and what a loss it is to country.

Vaya con Dios, Hugh. You will be missed.


This is the last email exchange I had with Hugh. He was a great guy. A brilliant guy.

-----Original Message-----
From: Hugh Holub
To: georgemason1776
Sent: Wed, Jul 27, 2011 9:35 am
Subject: Newell


I was reading Newell's testimony for Issa's hearing yesterday and after blowing a few gaskets came up with an idea which I am going to chase from my end.

There is a state crime called "reckless endangerment" and if Newell hasn't recklessly endangered a lot of lives...including Brian Terry's....then the law is meaningless.

My idea is to pitch our state attorney general to indict the SOB for state crimes. And if he sees the cell door closing on him....he'll rat out who approved the scheme.....

The idea is that the feds seem to think that since they are feds, they are above the law. Take them down a few notches, prosecute them under state law, and throw their butts in state prison.

I had first hand experience with this when I was a city attorney for a border cops nabbed a Border Patrol agent for going 75 mph through one of our school zones without lights and we took him down and prosecuted him for speeding and reckless endangerment. Had the Justice Department all over my ass for "obstructing" and all that shit....and lots of on the ground a BP agent would follow me home and park behind my truck so I couldn't back out of my drive way while he did his paperwork....

Anyway we made the charges stick....and sent the feds a really strong message that their conduct was subject to state law. They behaved a lot better in our city after that.

Hugh Holub

-----Original Message-----
From: georgemason1776
To: HughHolub
Sent: Thu, Jul 28, 2011 7:09 am
Subject: Re: Newell

Hugh, this is brilliant. Let me know how it goes.

That's the last I heard from him. I got busy and sometime in between, he died. I am ashamed to admit that. It still is a great idea, but somebody else is going to have to make it happen now.


SSI Exclusive: U.S. vs. Clark, et. al. Who is ATF trying to protect with their misconduct? Themselves, their highly-placed snitches, or both?

In law, spoliation of evidence is the intentional or negligent withholding, hiding, altering, or destroying of evidence relevant to a legal proceeding. Spoliation has two possible consequences: in jurisdictions where the intentional act is criminal by statute, it may result in fines and incarceration for the parties who engaged in the spoliation; in jurisdictions where relevant case law precedent has been established, proceedings possibly altered by spoliation may be interpreted under a spoliation inference. -- Wikipedia.

NFATCA is their name. "Power through experience" is their claim. ATF snitching is their leaders' game.

The case is U.S. vs. Clark, et. al. The investigation began in 2006.

Here are the Raid Affidavits and Returns, filed on 19 August 2008.

The indictment was filed on 27 July 2010.

Yet the pre-trial wrangling continues.

Why has it taken so long? Because ATF employees and one very highly placed ATF snitch, named John Brown, are smack in the middle of it and it took that long to try to salvage the case while not revealing the ATF's dirty linen. Now, however, the case is coming apart and the dirty linen, for those who have access to the public source documents on PACER, is visible for all to see.

Generically, the Clark case is about the extent to which:

(1) a registered machine gun can be altered by changing its caliber, barrel length and other features, and

(2) ATF and particularly its Firearms Technology Branch can arbitrarily create regulations that have no basis in law, and which hapless defendants find out about only after they get indicted for violating rules that ATF created out of whole cloth and never publicized.

At play here is the lack of scientific testing procedures, but also serious corruption on the part of ATF because:

(A) ATF had been aware of the modifications of a number of the firearms for many years,

(B) at least one FFL, the highly-placed John Brown, who was knowingly dealing in these firearms was not indicted, leaving the defendants that Brown sold some of these firearms to understandably pissed off, and raising questions about why the ATF has created a magic bubble of non-prosecution around him, and,

(C) there was at least one internal ATF investigation involving ATF personnel, perhaps having to do with machineguns that Brown sold them on a sweetheart deal basis.

Two other points:

No statute or regulation addresses the alteration of registered machine guns (other than a prohibition on altering the serial number).

All the firearms involved were registered and reportedly acknowledged by ATF to be incomplete prior to any alteration or modification.

Long time readers will recall the name John Brown, friend of Dan Shea and President of the National Firearms Act Trade & Collectors Association (NFATCA), the machine gun equivalent of the NRA, and how it cropped up in The True Story of the Life of "R.A. Bear": Inception & impregnation into the minds of the ATF via a highly placed snitch named Dan Shea of the NFATCA.

They may also recall that John Brown was caught assisting the ATF in their long-time persecution of an "economic Waco" on Georgia firearms designer Len Savage in an article from December 2010 by David Codrea: "Why did NFATCA president forward claimant email about legal case to ATF?"

But snitching, it seems, may not have been the only service John Brown provided the ATF. Pay close attention to this discovery letter filed on 16 August 2011. Here is a transcript of the pdf in its entirety:

Transmitted via E-Mail and Fed Ex

August 16, 2011

Kathy Lemke, Esquire
Assistant United States Attorney
Two Renaissance Square
40 North Central Avenue, Suite 1200
Phoenix, AZ 85004

Re: United States of America v. RANDOLPH RODMAN
Cr. No. 10-1047 ROS

6th Discovery Letter including Brady Request for Documents and Information Relating to ATF’s Mishandling and Spoliation of Evidence in this Case, Machinegun, s/n A6042075

Dear Ms. Lemke:

This is a request for disclosure of documents and records pursuant to FRCrP 16 and for “exculpatory information” in the custody of ATF, See, Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963) and its progeny. Some of the documents may be within a system of records maintained by the ATF Office of Internal Affairs (IA) or the Office of Professional Responsibilities (OPR), organizational components of ATF responsible for investigating employee conduct which may violate criminal statutes, departmental and/or agency policy or procedures, ethical standards, professional responsibilities, employee malfeasance and/or nonfeasance and all other matters which may implicate waste, fraud or abuse.

As you know, I have a standing written request since September 15, 2010 to be informed merely of the existence of an IA or OPR investigation. The request has been repeated in subsequent letters, emails and conversations but it is not yet resolved. The purpose of my inquiry is solely to avoid wasting your time and mine in making specific Brady requests for

(Page 1)

things that do not exist. I told you that I had a good faith belief that such an investigation had been opened or is still in being. After informing me that you had no personal knowledge of such an investigation followed by repeated requests, you stated that you would make an official inquiry of ATF. Last week, while in Phoenix, I asked again and was told that you had not yet heard back from ATF. You asked several times about the basis of my knowledge and belief. I told you orally that it was privileged and that the privilege belonged to a client not named in this indictment. My clients include current and past ATF employees, two firearms trade associations, licensed firearms manufacturers, importers and dealers as well as firearms collectors and private individuals.

Accordingly, it is reasonable to deem your failure to respond as a total denial of my request. My requests herein for Brady material will be based on what I believe to be the basis for an internal investigation and my personal knowledge of material that would be generated and collected in the course of an ATF IA or OPR investigation.



Discovery disclosures produced to date reveal that on 10/31/06, a machinegun, s/n A6042075 (Note #1), was then registered to a licensed FFL and Special Occupational Taxpayer (SOT) in the State of Virginia, John Brown, dba Battlefield Sports. This is one of three machineguns (Note #2) named in the indictment which Mr. Brown acquired during the life of the conspiracy. On 10/31/06, Mr. Brown brought machinegun, s/n A6042075 to the FTB facility in West Virginia and delivered it to R. Vasquez, Deputy Chief of FTB. Discovery documents do not disclose what caused Mr. Brown to deliver a registered transferable machinegun to FTB for examination. It is axiomatic that it was not spontaneous. The only reasonable explanation is that it was done at ATF’s request. It is also reasonable to infer that ATF was requesting an examination was to confirm or deny information that Mr. Brown was in possession of an unlawful machinegun. This is not an unusual occurrence. What is unusual is that a person suspected of possessing a contraband machineguns was called and requested to transport it to a laboratory for testing. If ATF had such information, it follows that a special agent should have been assigned to take custody of the machinegun to deliver it to FTB for examination. Special agents are authorized to conduct criminal investigations and seize property. They are trained in the care, custody and handling of property with potential evidentiary value whereas other ATF employees are not. Allowing unauthorized employees to handle potential evidence violates every principle of a professional law enforcement agency.

#1 Machinegun, s/n A6042075, is named as part of the conspiracy in the indictment, See, Paragraphs 15, 36; Overt Act 36.

#2 The two others: Machinegun, s/n 8201010886; approved Form 3 dated 11/17/2000 and
machinegun, s/n 820101592; approved Form 3 dated 8/2/2006.

(Page 2)

Irrespective of how the machinegun s/n A6042075 came to be in the custody of FTB, on 10/31/06, R. Vasquez, then the Deputy Chief of ATF FTB made an official determination that it had been unlawfully registered and was, in fact, contraband and the consequences of that determination was the basis for the investigation underlying the indictment in this case. The discovery material does not specifically indicate why a contraband machinegun in the custody of ATF was not seized or abandoned by Mr. Brown but was permitted to walk, losing control of the chain of custody.

Brown purchased s/n A6042075 from my client. The Form 3 application to transfer it was approved by ATF on 11/2/04. Brown, in turn, transferred it to an unlicensed Virginia resident, Peter Storm on an approved Form 4 on 6/25/05. On 8/25/06, Mr. Storm transferred it back to Mr. Brown on an approved Form 4. Thereafter, on 9/27/06, Mr. Brown applied to transfer it to a licensed SOT in Texas. That application was pending on 10/31/06 when the official FTB determination was made that it was contraband. Mr. Brown’s pending application to transfer A6042075 was disapproved for that reason.

The next step in this primer of how not to handle evidence in a criminal case occurred when Mr. Brown abandoned A6042075 to ATF. The abandonment took place at his licensed premises in Virginia on 11/21/06. Discovery material provided thus far is silent as to how or when Mr. Brown received knowledge that his machinegun was contraband and had to be abandoned to ATF. Although not expressly stated, it is clear that ATF returned machinegun, s/n A6042075 to Mr. Brown on 10/31/06, after determining that it was contraband and that it ended up in the State of Virginia at his licensed business. It is not known whether Mr. Brown was told by ATF that it was contraband before it was returned to him on 10/31/06 nor is it known who initiated the call to Mr. Brown that it must be abandoned. If he was not told or otherwise knew that FTB had determined that it was unlawful to possess that gun, he was not in violation of 26 U.S.C. §§5861(b) and 5861( c). If he transported the machinegun across state lines without knowledge that it was contraband, he would not have violated 26 U.S.C. § 5861(j) and the vehicle used to transport the contraband machinegun would not be subject to seizure and forfeiture pursuant to 26 U.S.C. § 5872(a).


Curiously, the agents assigned to seize or accept abandonment did not seize the entire assembled operable machinegun (which ATF had declared contraband on 10/31/06). Instead, Mr. Brown abandoned a part or parts of it described as the “receiver assembly.”(#3) It is not

#3 The term “receiver assembly” is a word of art with no common meaning other than that it is probably a combination of parts which form a receiver. The “receiver” of a machinegun is defined by statute as a machinegun; as is “any part designed and intended solely and exclusively for a machinegun;” as is “any combination of parts designed and intended for use in converting a weapon into a machinegun;” as is “any combination of parts from which a machinegun can be assembled if such parts are in the possession or under the control of a person.”

(Page 3)

possible for anyone to know what part or parts were relinquished to ATF as evidence of crime. All that is known for certain is that ATF accepted a part or parts in lieu of the complete, assembled contraband machinegun. Nevertheless, a part or parts described as the “receiver assembly” of s/n A6042075, were placed in the ATF evidence vault in Virginia.

On 6/15/07, a Special Agent took the “receiver assembly” of machinegun, s/n A6042075 from the evidence vault and hand delivered it to the ATF Firearms Technology Branch with a request for testing, examination and classification.

On 8/13/07, FTB Firearms Technician Kenneth E. Mason issued the report of his examination. Mr. Mason’s official report does not conclude that the item he tested was, in fact, contraband. However, in his narrative, he describes the markings that appeared on the sample “receiver assembly.” Following the completion of the FTB testing, the “receiver assembly” was returned to the Falls Church evidence vault.


On 8/8/08, ATF Special Agent Quartetti, the case agent of the Virginia investigation requested permission to destroy the “receiver assembly” (#4). No reason is given for Agent Quartetti’s request to destroy the evidence. This is another unusual happenstance in the bizarre history of machinegun, s/n A6042075.

On 8/27/08, the “receiver assembly” was removed from the evidence vault and destroyed. The destruction was completed by two agents who certified the destruction. You provided a copy of ATF Form 3400.30, the form used to request authority to destroy and certify the destruction. The form has space for the signature of an authorizing ATF official but there is no signature. The Falls Church Report of Investigation (ATF Form 3120.2) used to document this event states that s/n A6042075 was destroyed “in accordance with ATF Policies and Procedures.”


I request, pursuant to FRCP 16(a)(1)(E), Documents and Objects, and Brady v. Maryland, (supra.) to be provided with the following documents, records, forms and papers by whatever name:

1. A true copy of all versions of the ATF Standard Operating Procedures for Firearms Technology Branch (FTB) employees that were operative during the life of the conspiracy

#4 ATF Form 3400.30 “Report of Destruction” is used to request destruction of property that is within the custody of ATF. There is space on the Form for an ATF official to authorize destruction and also space for two Agents to certify that the property was destroyed.

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(1993 through 2008). This request includes procedures related to the handling and care of samples received by FTB for testing of any kind, particularly samples that have potential for use as evidence in a criminal case, and the procedures for handling samples which have been determined by FTB to be contraband (unlawful to be possessed). This request includes official procedures guiding the completion of ATF Form 5311.3, the form used to transmit property and describe the purpose of testing.

2. A true copy of the report of the FTB official examination of a machinegun, serial number A6042075, on or about 10/31/06. This request encompasses disclosure of the ATF-FTB Form 5311.3; all papers and forms acknowledging receipt of A6042075 from the registered owner. I also request all statements of persons and all papers and forms used to effect the handling of this particular machinegun following FTB’s determination that it was contraband; the ATF-FTB Form 5311.3 transmitting the sample; all entries (relevant pages only) in the FTB evidence log; the official FTB case number assigned; all records related to the disposition of the contraband item; the work notes of Mr. Vasquez, the Technician conducting the examination; and, any photographs or videos taken in the course of the examination.

3. A true copy of all statements of ATF employees and private citizens interviewed in connection with the FTB testing of machinegun, s/n A6042075, all correspondence relating to arrangements to receive the sample for testing and particularly email correspondence in the period prior to 10/31/06 between Mr. Brown and Mr. Vasquez, or any other FTB employee regarding the arrangements for testing and examination of machinegun, s/n A6042075; and any information in ATF’s system of records regarding phone calls between Mr. Brown and any FTB employee.

4. A true copy of statements of all ATF employees and private citizens interviewed in connection with the destruction of machinegun A6042075.

5. The offices of FTB are situated in a compound in a rural area of Martinsburg, WV. The compound is surrounded by chain link fence and a security guard controls ingress and egress of vehicles. Entry to the compound is limited to persons that have received prior approval from ATF. Inside the FTB building, another security guard limits entry to the building to those who are escorted by an ATF employee for the entire visit. I request entries in the compound and building log book for 10/31/06 regarding Mr. Brown’s entries and exits with a machinegun into the compound and entry to and exit from the FTB office building.

6. Copies of any photographs taken at anytime that s/n A6042075 was in the custody of ATF. This request would include photos taken during the time it was in ATF’s custody on10/31/06, during the second FTB examination, between 6/15/07 and 8/17/07 and during the time it was in an ATF evidence vault and during the time it was destroyed.

The Report of Investigation regarding Mr. Brown’s abandonment states that Mr. Brown

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gave the Virginia Special Agents a CD with photos. A copy of that CD is requested.

7. I request a copy of the relevant pages of the ATF Special Agent manual that authorizes the destruction of property being retained as evidence in a criminal case. You will recall I made an earlier request for disclosure of such a procedure. I received no response to my first request and would now be most appreciative if you would confirm in writing that no such procedure exists now or ever existed. The obverse is true and I request that you provide the relevant pages of the agents’ manual which prohibits the destruction of property in ATF’s custody that is being retained as evidence in a criminal case. The latter request would include steps to be taken to avoid destroying evidence inadvertently and all information in the custody of ATF reflecting that the agents did or did not comply before destroying machinegun, s/n A6042075.

In view of the scheduling constraints, please expedite a response to this request. If no response is received within fifteen (days) from receipt, I will deem it denied and will be guided accordingly.

If I can answer any questions or provide additional information, please call or email me anytime.

Robert E. Sanders
Enclosures: none
cc: Gregory Bartolomei, Esquire, William Foreman, Esquire,
Counsel for George Clark Counsel for Lorren Kalish
Joseph R. Conte, Esquire,
Counsel for Hal Goldstein
Lloyd C. Tate, Esquire,
Counsel for Idan C. Greenberg
Frederick R. Petti, Esquire,
Counsel for James Arnberger
Michael J. Smith, Esquire,
Counsel for Lorren Kalish

(Page 6)

Here are some questions not specifically raised in the letter.

If John Brown was guilty of the same offenses as the other defendants, why was he not charged?

What is the relationship(s) if any between Mr. Brown and the employees of ATF FTB, or of ATF headquarters?

Has Brown done any "sweetheart deals" of machineguns to or from employees of ATF?

What is the motive for Brown's previously evident snitching for the ATF? Is he controlling them or are they controlling him?

And will the revelations of the internal affairs investigation shed light on any of the above?

Most importantly for the continued career prospects and liberty of a certain high-level ATF employee -- who ordered the destruction of the evidence and why?

Inquiring minds not only want to know, but are salivating to find out.

B. Todd, it looks like you've got a whole lot more than just the Gunwalker Scandal to worry about, although it involves almost the same cast of characters.

"Damn, Holder, you didn't tell me about all THIS shit when you talked me into taking this job."

And as for the NFATCA, I can imagine their next few board meetings and elections are going to be REAL interesting. A lot of folks are going to be wondering what John Brown had to say about them to the ATF and wondering if he and his friends like Dan Shea were using that corrupt agency's management for competitive advantage. For the rank-and-file of the NFATCA, this is as if the NRA had discovered that Wayne LaPierre was helping the ATF walk guns to the cartels. Not neat. Not neat at all.

I have several more stories detailing facets of this case scheduled. Although the misconduct in the Clark case does not rise to the deadly scale of the Gunwalker Plot, it does involve the same cast of ATF and DOJ characters committing crimes under color of law and is, legally speaking, probably just as threatening to their right to breathe unfettered air outside of prison walls once we know all.

Hang on, folks, this ride is just beginning, and we here at Sipsey Street are so pleased to be your tour guide, in at the beginning.

David Codrea's massive and thankless task, The Journalist's Guide to Project Gunwalker, has reached Volume Seven.

My co-conspirator in dealing blows against the hoplophobe empire, David Codrea, in his natural habitat.

And did I mention, outstandingly useful?

"One Pivotal Week For Fast and Furious."

M. Catharine Evans at American Thinker:

This past week, top government leaders continued to spin the deadly 2009 gunwalking Fast and Furious operation as some low-level rogue operation. In addition, there were inside-the-Beltway rumors, letters sent between key players, and demands for Holder's resignation.

The heroic online journalists at sites like Sipsey Street Irregulars, PajamasMedia, and Townhall have worked for months uncovering facts leading to the foul murders of federal agents and Mexican citizens. During the week leading up to Halloween, certain signs appeared suggesting that their diligent work is beginning to yield some interesting fruit.

"Waco Jim" Cavanaugh's ironic advice: "Law-enforcement’s duty remains to keep everybody safe."

"Waco Jim" Cavanaugh, betrayer of ATF street agents, perjurer in chief rewarded by promotion, "retired" volunteer public relations flack for ATF management, lectures us on the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Retired ATF Executive Comments on Occupy Wall Street and the Police.

Law-enforcement’s duty remains to keep everybody safe, even the protesters, and to act with patience and understanding first, and quiet measured and appropriate strength when required.

How this guy can utter such hypocrisies without choking on the words is beyond me.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Resistance. "It is the choices that we make that will decide the nature of our resistance . . . Our choices will be the mark of who we are."

When the Nazis took Wales: The truth behind Resistance, the new film about Britain's secret underground army.

See also: Parham Airfield Museum and Coles Hill House.

Sheriff Paul Babeu Q & A on Fast and Furious

From the Arizona Daily Star.

David Codrea confesses.

Seeing as how friends are being attacked, I guess it’s confession time. I made them. And I didn't use Photoshop. I have neither the time nor inclination to become skilled with that, and find the admittedly limited capabilities of Paint adequate for producing satirical images, crude in technique though they may be. So it looks like I’ve just doubled JPFO’s troubles—now both their award recipients are in hot water with NJDC.

National socialists sure get prickly when you point out what they are…

A Halloween Card to the corrupt leadership of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives & a personal postscript to Billy "90%" Hoover.

You say you're not scared of goblins and witches . . .

Nor curious congressmen with subpoena itches . . .

You say you're not frightened of the living dead . . .

But what of those who live rent-free in your head?


(Scared the shit outta ya, didn't we?)

A personal postscript from Mike Vanderboegh to Billy "90 Percent" Hoover:

Billy, no matter how hard you beat your skull with your fists, we're still there, ain't we? Quit fighting the inevitable and go roll to the committee. They might even make you an immunity deal. Maybe they can even extend it to your misconduct in the U.S. vs. Clark case. At the very least, your head won't hurt so much. And your conscience, if you have one, will rest easier.

An open letter from a Federal Firearms Licensee to members of law enforcement.

The other day, I was chatting with a fellow truth-seeker in the Gunwalker Scandal and we were pondering the lack of more whistleblowers from Texas -- both LEOs and FFLs -- especially given that Fast & Furious has given them the perfect excuse to come forward. It is not hard to understand how ATF was able by lies and coercion to get dealers to "cooperate" and sell more weapons to straw buyers. The economic threat to their livelihoods implicit in the presence of a man with a gun and a badge standing in front of you who regulates your industry is hard to miss. He can always find a paperwork violation to put you out business, or in jail, should he so desire. It is harder to understand that attitude now, when there is a friendly Congressman and Senator to tell your story to. And yet, as my friend pointed out, it is only human to want to wait and see which side is going to win. "The committee," he said, "has not done a stellar job of shielding whistleblowers so far."

As for the ATF agents of the Houston Field Division (and, for that matter, agents from other agencies such as Border Patrol, ICE, FBI, DEA and so on), the lesson of John Dodson and the other brave whistleblowers seems to be that craven silence is better for their careers than upholding the oath to the Constitution that they took.

Again, the fact that despite their cooperation with the Issa committee, most of the whistleblowers of Fast and Furious seem to be pretty much on their own -- still receiving daily bureaucratic retribution impacting their careers, their families and their health -- surely influences the heretofore silent agents reluctance. The fact that the obvious criminals of Fast and Furious are being shielded is not lost on others who know, but have not yet come forward.

Again, it is not hard to fault the Committee, and even Senator Grassley, for failing to take more public steps to highlight the Obama administration's campaign of retribution against the whistleblowing agents. Publicity alone would be persuasive to the agents, I think, that they are not alone, that those in authority actually appreciate the sacrifice that coming forward represents. It would also work on the lizard brains of the retaliators, with the threat that if the cover-up falls apart, that it will be they and not the whistleblowers who suffer lawful retribution.

With that conversation in mind, I was interested to receive this email from a "cooperating FFL" who once went along with the gunwalker program and now is cooperating with the Issa committee:

Dear Michael,

Perhaps you will post this letter from an FFL dealer to both State and Federal rank and file law enforcement members who read your posts. It is important for them to hear first hand, concerns from one of the FFL's this administration used. Although I cannot be named as it's author, the words I believe speak for itself.

An open letter from a Federal Firearms Licensee to members of law enforcement.

As one of many cooperating FFL dealers in the Fast & Furious ongoing debacle, I simply want those rank and file members of both State and Federal law enforcement to know that weapons that were deliberately allowed to find themselves into criminal hands by this administration's hidden agenda for gun control has put all of you at risk.

And let's be clear here. This administration's high ranking officials, that is to say, your own directors and supervisors could care less. Brian Terry proved that with his life last December. Your directors and your bosses will simply continue to turn a deliberate blind eye to what all of you know already. That the end will justify the means. Insane isn't it?

We are witnessing top officials going under oath before congressional leaders and outright lying. To put it mildly, this is the worst case of acute collective amnesia we have all ever seen in any of our lifetimes. And it gets much worse, for as one of those dealers ATF & DOJ used to allow hundreds of guns to slip into the wrong hands, I am scared to death that another one of either yourselves, or one of your loved ones, or just another fellow law enforcement member, may again fall victim to this administration's illegal and clandestine operation for their hidden agenda.

Notwithstanding, there are untold Mexican citizens that have paid the ultimate price for this administration's policy of gunwalking, while catering to the Hispanic voters with promises of amnesty. What has happened here is plain to see, for it is what it is,....Genocide.

When this government's officials know the brutal war going on every day south of the border, killings that now top over 45,000, and yet they initiate an operation designed for the sole purpose of allowing thousands of military grade weapons to be put into the hands of existing killers. And with the full knowledge and anticipation of their desired outcome, well it's much like pouring gasoline on an already existing fire is it not?

There exists a term for this act which many of you may have heard of in your vast law enforcement experience. It's called premeditated murder.

And this administration has embarked on an ongoing campaign of fluid deception and despicable tactics that are criminal in every sense of the word. To those of you in law enforcement that were either involved directly or indirectly, I appeal to your fundamental sense of good, what is right, and to the oath you swore, and most importantly to our nation. Many of you like myself know what actually happened, and how attempts to cover it up are being orchestrated at the highest levels. They will not succeed for it has already been proven. What I am really saying here is that many of you have been caught up in this and your jobs and careers are being held over your head. Wake up! You allow this to occur now and next time it will be much worse, and I don't want another of you killed by this administration's insane ideas.

You have a simple choice to make. Continue to go along with it and destroy your own futures and that of your children, or pick up the phone and talk with a young congressional investigator dealing with this. He is fair and will certainly listen to what you have to say. Stephen Castor 202-225-5074. Trust him. We do! Be safe.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

David Codrea: Documents and recordings give insight into de León's anti-gun agenda

Including handouts and recordings.

By request, a reprint from February 2010 -- “Choose this day whom you will serve.”: An Open Letter to American Law Enforcement.


I received a request for a reprint of this piece I wrote back in Febraury of last year. It strikes me as relevant today as it was then, so I agreed.


“Choose this day whom you will serve.”: An Open Letter to American Law Enforcement.

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity. -- William Butler Yeats, “The Second Coming.”

Gentlemen and ladies of American Law Enforcement,

There is a growing perception among many Americans that we are headed for one of those periodic moments in our history when our reactions to events will redefine who we are as a people, where we are going as a country and who gets to call the shots when we get there -- what George H.W. Bush called “that vision thing.” This is happening in the middle of unprecedented external and internal stresses on our social order, the results of which you see daily on the streets.

It is going to get worse.

Odds are, it is going to get MUCH worse before it gets better.

IF it gets better any time soon, which I doubt.

And so, ladies and gentlemen of American law enforcement, the prudent among you should be considering this question now, rather than later: “What am I going to do when we get to ‘much worse’?”

Consider first where we are.

The Justice Department's National Gang Intelligence Center estimated last year that there were over a million hard-core gang members in this country who were responsible for over 80% of the crimes in many communities. Other experts have suggested that when you add in the gangs’ “extended families” and wannabes the number is closer to between five and ten million. As unemployment has increased, their numbers have likewise swelled.

But the gangs, as bad as they are and as great a threat as they pose to public order, are nothing compared to the larger problem, and that is this.

Respect for duly constituted authority and social trust are essential ingredients of civilization. These elements represent the basic glue of society.

Respect for duly constituted authority is, as every cop knows, at an all-time low. There are two general reasons for this, one systemic and the other so personal that if you look yourselves honestly in the mirror you can see it.

Systemically, “duly constituted authority” derives its legitimacy from the founding documents of our country, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and from the Founders’ concepts of the rule of law. These have all been under attack for a hundred years or more by both corrupt political parties and their union and business familiars. The Constitution has become for some a joke and for others an inconvenient speed bump on the road to tyranny. As long as this degradation of the legitimacy of our political and legal system was perceived by only a narrow portion of the population, it was manageable in a societal sense. This is no longer true.

When a president and Congress robs one set of people to enrich their cronies, when they violate the settled rule of law regarding bankruptcy to stiff secured creditors in the case of General Motors while rewarding self-anointed unsecured creditors -- their political allies, the auto unions -- the rest of the population cannot fail but conclude that we are no longer under the rule of law, but the rule of men, which is to say, the law of the jungle. Or, put another way, they -- the “authorities” -- can do anything that the citizenry can’t or won’t stop them from doing. This is the societal Catch 22 we are now in (and have been for a while) that I call “Waco Rules.”

Other cases such as that of David Olofson, a veteran and marksmanship instructor and family man who was railroaded by the ATF on an automatic weapons charge when his semi-automatic AR-15 malfunctioned (and he was chosen for prosecution simply because the ATF did not care for his low opinion of them), have convinced many that a fair trial is no longer possible in federal court if an agency decides to “deal with” them. And if we are no longer guaranteed a fair trial in the federal court system, then if we are innocent and decide that we do not wish to play drop the soap with either the Aryan or Muslim Brotherhoods, our only guarantee is the right of an unfair gunfight when the ATF comes calling.

And remember that Olofson is merely one example of federal misadventure. There are many others, as there are plenty of similar cases in local and state jurisdictions. When the law-abiding rightfully no longer trust the law enforcers and begin to view them as a class of criminals merely acting under color of law, anarchy is not far away.

Yet, you will say, “don’t blame me, I enforce the law, I don’t make it.” True, but insufficient as an excuse, and here we get down to that look in the mirror.

My friend, fellow gun rights blogger and National Examiner columnist David Codrea over at WaronGuns has a description for feral cops. He calls them the “Only Ones.” His daily blog is filled to overflowing with example of rogue cops, their partners who never rein them in and the prosecutors and judges who find reasons to go easy on even the most heinous of criminals with badges. You know who I’m talking about. If you say there are none of these currently operating or in the making within your department then you are either lying or uninterested in seeing the truth, which amounts to the same thing.

Everyone knows what happens to honest cops who “rat out” their uniformed criminal associates. They are hounded, despised, disciplined and shunned -- and that’s on a good day. Can you blame many of us who pay attention to such law enforcement corruption for concluding that you may merely be a member of an “official gang” as opposed to a freelance one? Such dereliction of duty begs the question: If your excuse is that you don’t make the law, you just enforce it, and then you don’t enforce it upon yourselves, why should we be paying tax dollars to support “official” law breaking?

There is another image that many of you can see in the mirror if you choose to take an honest look -- that of tax collector and nanny state bully boy. Yes, we know, you didn’t make the laws, some liberal puke with a control fetish did. But when you write speeding tickets for 3 miles over the limit because you’ve been told to write “x amount” of dollar value, or when you pull people over for “seatbelt violations” at random roadblocks and then ransack their cars without probable cause, can you understand how such behavior eats away like acid on your reputation -- individually and collectively -- as servants of the citizenry? What part of “to protect and serve” does that represent?

But worse than all that is the militarization of the police -- in equipment, tactics and, worst of all, attitude -- and the federalization of all law enforcement over the past forty years, but especially in the last ten. There were, last time I checked a few years ago, something like 750,000 full time state, city, university and college, metropolitan and non-metropolitan county, and other law enforcement officers in the United States. Add to that another 150,000 or so full time law enforcement personnel working for the federal government. With the growth of new agencies like the TSA during the “war on terror” (who, because of political correctness can’t seem to figure out who the real “terrorists” are so they merely oppress the rest of us in order to be “fair”) that number has certainly risen.

In any case, there are hardly enough Feds to work the administration’s will upon a nation so vast and a people so numerous, so, much thought and effort has gone into suborning and subverting local and state law enforcement for federal purposes -- “Joint Task Forces” and “fusion centers” being two principal ways. Yet, as the Founders quite clearly understood, it is one of the duties of local law enforcement, especially the county sheriffs, to interpose themselves between the federal government and the people of their jurisdictions when the federal government becomes oppressive.

Now, however, local law enforcement is looked upon by federal agents as force multipliers and willing stooges -- “local yokels” in their parlance. And as a mark of how successful their campaign has been, many local law enforcement officers agree and happily lick the boots that kick them.

A recent case in point. Two county sheriff’s deputies showed up at the doorstep of a man out west who had expressed his contempt for Nancy Pelosi and and other federal politicians in letters and emails. These deputies, saying that the FBI had sent them, interrogated the man, threatened him “with Leavenworth” and engaged in intimidation of political speech. These local cops, having no jurisdiction to do anything of the sort, would have been laughed off of my porch here in Alabama and told to bugger off and return with real federal cops, if that was in fact their intention. Too often these days, when the federal man says “frog” many of you merely ask “how high?”

Of course, if this intimidation had back-fired on the locals in any way, the Fibbies would have been the first to disavow them, leaving them hanging out in the legal laundry to dry. So when y’all are looking in that mirror, ask yourselves how truly stupid you actually are when it comes to enforcing an agenda and not the law just because the Feds ask you to.

Because here’s the essential thing: you, ALL OF YOU, took an oath to, among other things, “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” You swore that, the overwhelming majority of you, to God. Did you think that oath had a shelf life? Do you think that now that you have by your reckoning faithfully upheld that oath for, say, twenty years now that tomorrow it is okay to forget it? You swore, whether you realized it at the time or not, an OATH, before GOD, and it was a LIFETIME oath.

While you are looking in the mirror, evaluate your career based upon that oath. It was not to a man, or an administration, or a political party but to an idea -- the idea of ordered liberty as codified in the Constitution of the United States of America. So ask yourself, did you or did you not intend to faithfully uphold that oath? Because the answer to that question is going to become very important very quickly as this politically divided and morally fractured society continues to spin out of control.

To quote Joshua, “Choose this day whom you will serve.”

Katrina showed us many things. It showed that in a disaster many cops will look to their families and not the public duty, leaving their fellow law enforcement officers with an even greater burden. It showed us that cops can be opportunistic criminals as well, partaking in looting with as much energy as professional criminals. It also showed us that the police no longer trust the law-abiding citizen with arms, depriving them of their only means of self-defense once the cops have moved on, thus leaving them to the tender mercies of robbers, rapists and murderers.

It is perhaps dangerous to make too large of a generalization, for there are many rural jurisdictions where this does not apply, but the fact of the matter is that by and large, the police no longer trust the people they are supposed to protect, and they especially do not trust an armed citizen, even if he represents no danger to the cop. This is standing the oath on its head. The people do not exist to serve the servant, but rather the other way around.

When a policeman pulls over a driver whose computer record shows not only the driver’s license of the vehicle’s owner, but the fact that they have a concealed carry permit, it is too often SOP for the cop to approach the vehicle, gun drawn, order the man or woman from the car, put them on their knees and cuff them before anything else transpires. These are not the acts of public servants but rather of an occupying army. And with each breach of trust, the glue holding society together is further weakened. For the more you distrust us, the more we are reminded to distrust you.

It is important to remember, Mr. and Ms. Law Enforcement Officer, that you need us, the law-abiding armed citizenry, one hell of a lot more than we need you. Just ask any criminal. Who is it that they fear most? The encounter with a policeman or a would-be victim who turns out to be armed? I tell you this uncomfortable truth and I hope you have the honesty to admit it -- the criminals of this country are far more scared of the armed citizenry than they are of the police.

It is not the fear of the patrol car that inhibits criminal behavior the most, but rather the prospect of screwing up and getting his brains blown out by a citizen in righteous self defense. And so, when you participate in citizen disarmament efforts, whether gun seizures like Katrina, or merely identifying otherwise friendly peaceable folks as “the enemy” just because they are armed, you are alienating your most valuable friends and empowering your most vicious enemies. Not to mention the fact that you are violating that sacred oath you took.

So ponder that deteriorating social trust that holds civilizations together, and then ponder this: the worst is yet to come.

What will happen when we are faced, God forbid, with some dislocating national disaster -- natural or man-made -- that makes Katrina look like a kindergarten playground? Now, even if you intend to run off like some New Orleans policemen did, to see to the safety of their families rather than keep order in the city, you are still going to need the cooperation of the armed citizenry in your home neighborhood to protect your family.

You -- ALL of you -- law enforcement officers, will then need us, the armed citizenry -- ALL of us willing and competent to muster -- to defend public order against the tide of chaos represented by five or ten million gang members and the tens of millions of panicked unprepared refugees or opportunistic criminals left unrestrained by a breakdown.

Do you seriously think that federal police, all 150,000 of them, will actually help you in that event, beyond issuing orders that they will not be personally endangered with carrying out?

You will then be on your own, and you will have us. At least those of you will who have the sense to plan now to make that happen in the event.

You might start by remembering your oaths, by beginning to trust us, by refusing to engage in petty harrassments of CCW permit holders and by strengthening your department’s auxiliary program (or starting one if you do not have one).

But first and foremost you must quit looking at and treating the law-abiding armed citizenry of the United States as the enemy. For if you don’t, we certainly will be.

Convince us by your actions that you are no better than the gangs who commit crimes without uniforms and we will treat you similarly. And there ain’t nearly enough of you to shove us around in a real national emergency.

Remember, Americans are nothing if not a practical people. We're predisposed to help and support you. Please, take our hand when it is offered, BEFORE it is needed.


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

The California Republic, it seems, still lives in out-of-the-way places -- and so do Sheriffs who are Oath Keepers.

Historic Bear Flag raised at Sonoma on June 14, 1846, by a group of American settlers in revolt against Mexican rule. The flag was designed by William Todd on a piece of new unbleached cotton. The star imitated the lone star of Texas. A grizzly bear represented the many bears seen in the state. The word, "California Republic" was placed beneath the star and bear. It was adopted by the 1911 State Legislature as the State Flag.

Rural rebellion brewing.

These rural folks, living in the shadow of the majestic Mount Shasta, believe that they are being driven away so that their communities can essentially go back to the wild, to conform to a modern environmentalist ethos that puts wildlands above humanity. As the locals told it during the Defend Rural America conference Oct. 22 at the Siskiyou Golden Fairgrounds, environmental officials are treading on their liberties, traipsing unannounced on their properties, confronting ranchers with guns drawn to enforce arcane regulatory rules and destroying their livelihoods in the process.

The evening's main event: a panel featuring eight county sheriffs (seven from California, one from Oregon) who billed themselves as "Constitution sheriffs." They vowed to stand up for the residents of their communities against what they say is an unconstitutional onslaught from regulators in Sacramento and Washington, D.C. In particular, they took issue with the federal government's misnamed Travel Management Plan, which actually is designed to shut down public travel in the forests.

Plumas County Sheriff Greg Hagwood related the stir he caused when he said he "will not criminalize citizens for just accessing public lands." Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey reminded the crowd that county sheriffs are sworn to uphold the Constitution "against all enemies, foreign and domestic." These are fighting words.

Sheriff Dean Wilson of Del Norte County said he was "ignorant and naïve about the terrible condition our state was in." He came to believe that people were being assaulted by their own government. "I spent a good part of my life enforcing the penal code but not understanding my oath." Wilson and other sheriffs said it is their role to defend the liberties of the people against any encroachments – even if those encroachments come from other branches of government.

TPM Muckracker, the collectivist Gunwalker Scandal deflection machine, provides a moment of unintended clarity.

"Eric Holder To Testify On Fast And Furious As Dems Call On Ex-ATF Director Melson."

I particularly liked this paragraph:

Issa has been hammering Holder over the anti-gun trafficking operation (emphasis supplied, MBV) and a handful of Republican members of Congress have even called for his resignation though there’s been no evidence that Holder was aware of the “gun walking” tactics.

Yes, well. Let's leave aside the "no evidence that Holder was aware." Rather, I would draw your attention to the description of Gunwalker as an "anti-gun trafficking operation." And indeed it was a "trafficking operation" whose purpose was "anti-gun."

Thank you, TPM Muckracker, for that bit of unintended clarity.

Terror Alert Silliness. Cardboard boxes and weedeater line shuts down Texas town. I thought Texans had more sense.

Windblown trash sparks scare in Shallowater.

What turned out to be windblown trash sparked a scare in Shallowater Friday morning.

Shallowater police joined by the Lubbock County Bomb Squad, ATF officers, and postal inspectors were called out to First State Bank off Highway 84 to investigate a suspicious package outside.

As a precaution, employees of the bank and the post office next door were evacuated and Shallowater schools about a mile away were locked down.

At about 10:30 a.m. the all-clear was issued.

David Turner, with the Lubbock County Sheriff's Office, said, "A long piece of red weed-eater line had somehow managed to attach to the bottom of the bag and there was another little cardboard box that just all probably from the wind overnight attached to each other and then hung up in the equipment there under the drive thru window."

Turner said all the precautions paid off as a good training scenario.

Friday, October 28, 2011

U.S. vs. Clark, et. al.

"Dude, Hoover's freakin' -- big time."

Haven't heard about it? My DC sources say you will. Even the retired spooks have heard of it. In fact, I'm looking for folks who can shed some light on this case which has been kicking along since about 2006 and involves many of the same Phoenix ATF and DOJ supervisory idiots as Fast and Furious. The defendants, lawyers and others close to the case aren't talking.

ATF management is talking, though. Screaming in panic would be a better description, or so Waldo says.

It may be the next big DOJ scandal after Gunwalker.

So, if you've got the inside skinny on this case, drop me an email. I'll be happy to break the story when it hits.

Here's hoping that this is an OWS photo-shop.

On the other hand, maybe she's been eating some of Jonathan Alter's unicorn skittles.

Another altered state heard from . . . And don't forget to try the unicorn skittles.

"The White House is scandal free. Plus, since Obama has been president, my unicorn Antonio Gramsci shits very tasty skittles. Really. Try one."

Alter: Obama’s Miracle Is a Scandal-Free White House.

President Barack Obama goes into the 2012 with a weak economy that may doom his reelection. But he has one asset that hasn’t received much attention: He’s honest.

Yes, he really believes that. Worse, he thinks he can sell that proposition to the rest of us.

Jonathan Alter's unicorn Antonio Gramsci just after taking a big skittles dump.

I liked this comment below the article by GracieZG:

I think this is a satire. Or perhaps the writer is stuck on April Fools Day. Or he's been in a coma for quite a while. Or he's being paid to say this. Or his editor has threatened him. Or he wants to be the editor so he's sucking up. Or he's a robot. Or.....oh, yeah.....he's a modern journalist. Well, there you go. I think that's the problem. No connection between the gray matter and the fingertips. No willingness to do original research. Very, very busy doing other things. Dogmatically right. Alienated from over half the population because of deep-seated prejudice based on no face time with "the enemy," based on constant indoctrination by teachers with deep-seated prejudices based on dogmatic adherence to either Fabian socialism or communism. The "no scandals" thingee is so laughable. The way to have "no scandals," is to deny access to all documents lawfully requested, to keep the scandals buried as long as possible, such as has been done for many months now. Or just blatantly lie to Congress. Can you say, "Holder"? The scandals are a deep pit of nasty murky slime that unfortunately can be smelled way beyond our borders by all but those who keep fingers in their ears, clothes pins on their noses, and eyes wide shut.

"Hey, don't insult me by naming your unicorn after me, you bourgeois loon."

CBS --- ATF gunwalker update: Eric Holder to testify on Fast and Furious. Democrat counter-proposal: Let's blame ATF.

CBS News has learned Attorney General Eric Holder has agreed to appear before the House Judiciary Committee regarding "Fast and Furious." The hearing will take place Dec. 8th.

Also, the Dems have a counter-proposal. Let's have a hearing and blame everything on Phoenix ATF. No wonder Newell looks like a "f--king ghost," as reported earlier.

Also today, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) requested a public hearing with the former Director of ATF: Kenneth Melson.

"A hearing with Mr. Melson would help the Committee and the American people better understand what mistakes were made in Operation Fast and Furious, how these tactics originated, who did and did not authorize them, and what steps are being taken to ensure that they are not used again," wrote Cummings in a letter today to Rep. Issa.

SSI Exclusive: ATF contempt and lies for Issa & Grassley. The "Giddy Omelet Man" brags he's still running Phoenix Group VII! "I'm not going anywhere!"

"Gunwalker Bill" in happier days.

"If you're going to make an omelet, you've got to scramble some eggs." -- ATF Group VII supervisor David Voth to Agent John Dodson when he complained that letting guns walk was going to get people killed.

Hey, Gunwalker Scandal aficionados, remember this ATF ass-covering exercise?

August 17, 2011


Contact: ATF Public Affairs Division
(202) 648-8500

ATF Responds to Inaccurate News Reports Regarding "Fast and Furious" Personnel

WASHINGTON – The following statement is from Scott Thomasson, Chief, Public Affairs Division, Office of Public and Governmental Affairs, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF):

"Recent media reports have inaccurately characterized personnel changes involving ATF agents associated with the Fast and Furious operation as promotions. Special Agents David Voth and William Newell and Deputy Assistant Director William McMahon were laterally transferred from operational positions and moved into administrative roles, they were not promoted. They did not receive salary or grade increases nor did they assume positions with greater responsibility."

"On May 13, 2011, McMahon was reassigned to a position within the Office of Professional Responsibility and Security Operations, back filling a position that had been vacant for more than one year. His transfer was one of six transfers announced that day involving various other positions."

"On August 1, 2011, Newell, who had been selected as Country Attaché to Mexico City, was reassigned to the Office of Management to assist with the OIG investigation and congressional inquiry."

"Furthermore, Voth was reassigned to a headquarters position, a lateral move to a program area."

"These transfers/reassignments have never been described as promotions in any of the documents announcing them."

"Voth was reassigned to a headquarters position, a lateral move to a program area." Uh, huh.

And remember this about Voth?

If "Operation Fast and Furious" was merely a botched attempt at law enforcement, why was a supervisor of the operation, David Voth, "jovial, if not, not giddy but just delighted about" marked guns showing up at crime scenes in Mexico, as career Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent John Dodson told Rep. Darrell Issa's House Oversight Committee? -- New York Post editorial, "The gang that couldn't sting straight," New York Post editorial, 22 June 2011.

Well, here's another famous David Voth quote for you, Rep. Issa:

"I'm not going anywhere!" -- David Voth, bragging to co-workers on the sixth floor of Phoenix Field Division Headquarters recently.

Sipsey Street Irregulars has learned that David Voth never was reassigned as the above ATF press release said in August. In fact, he's still in Phoenix, according my sources, still running Group VII and still, at least nominally running "Fast and Furious." In addition, William Newell is still in Phoenix as well.

One source tells this writer:

William Newell and David Voth are still in Phoenix, AZ working on the F&F cover-up. Voth is reporting the the sixth floor ATF office in Phoenix and working with Hope McAllister, Tonya English and Marge Zicha. Voth has been heard boasting that he was not going anywhere soon, because he need to complete his time in Phoenix in order to be promoted to the position of ASAC (Assistant Special Agent in Charge). In addition, it has been related to me that Mr. Voth is close to the new Director and as been seen in close door meetings with the new director on several occasions."

The source continues:

ATF's shuffle of managers is nothing more that a smoke screen and the fact that Newell, Voth, McAllister, Engilsh and Zicha are still working on F&F from within the Phoenix office shows contempt for the whole congressional investigation.

Another confirms:

Voth is still running the Fast and Furious case in Phoenix. The rest of the group was disbanded and sent to other groups. Most of them were not willing participants in that train wreck of a case.

But. But. What about this report from CBS in May? --

Another move involves Agent David Voth, who directly supervised the Phoenix ATF "Group VII," that executed Fast and Furious. Sources say he's also been assigned to the U.S. Attorney's office along with Agent Hope McAllister. Sources say McAllister was the agent in charge of Fast and Furious. Replacing Voth as head of Group VII is Steve Barborini from Miami.

Barborini, a well-respected agent, did go out to Phoenix, the sources say but not forever:

Yes, He was there for about 6 months, but did not work on anything related to that case. He also thought it was bad to the core. Steve is a good guy, and he left to retire. He's an absolute gentleman. If he were there when that case started . . . he'd have been standing up with his hand raised before the committee. Believe me.

As soon as Barborini retired, Voth was put back in charge, He never left Phoenix. Sources say that when Voth was "re-assigned" to the Branch Chief job at HQ, "his first concern was that it not knock him off of the career ladder. Unreal isn't it? The guy completely fell asleep at the wheel and wants to promote higher up the ranks."

Voth has been heard by many bragging about his "stroke" with the new ATF Acting Director, B. Todd Jones, and boasting that "I'm not going anywhere!" until he's made enough time in the job to qualify for further promotion.

As for Newell, sources say, he has been seem recently, also on the 6th floor of Phoenix ATF Field Division headquarters. One source reported that Newell, unlike Voth, who is reported to be as "happy as a pig in shit," has apparently suffered these past months.

He "looks like a fucking ghost," said one source. Said another, "He's lost weight, lost hair, and looks like he irons his clothes with a ball-peen hammer. He looks bad. The stress is clearly getting to him. I didn't think he could lose weight, and look more gaunt. He already was the ATF version of Ichabod Crane."

Perhaps, but he is still sitting in his nice house in Phoenix most days, doing nothing on the taxpayer's dime. And one thing is clear, said a source close to the investigation in DC, "B. Todd Jones is part of the cover-up if he's letting his toady Voth work the system like this after all the smoke and mirrors about transfers." He added, "How in the hell can Voth think that he's got anything to look forward to career-wise other than federal prison is beyond me. Does he smoke crack?"

All the sources agreed that the Senior Executive Service and the Chief Counsels Office of the ATF, the real twin powers in the corrupt agency for many years now, are not afraid of Congressman Issa or Senator Grassley.

Even as they reward the Gunwalker conspirators and victimize the whistleblowers, they apparently are as corrupt and contemptuous as they ever were.

"The committee," said one source, "doesn't scare them."

William "Gunwalker Bill" Newell, won't have to dress up to scare small children on Halloween this year.