Third Party & Independents Archives

A 'Whodunit' Right Here At Election Time

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ATF_gunwalking_scandal
wiki excerpt: “The first known ATF “gunwalking” operation to Mexican drug cartels, named Operation Wide Receiver, began in early 2006 and ran into late 2007. Licensed dealer Mike Detty informed the ATF of a suspicious gun purchase that took place in February 2006 in Tucson, Arizona. In March he was hired as a confidential informant working with the ATF’s Tucson office, part of their Phoenix, Arizona field division. With the use of surveillance equipment, ATF agents monitored additional sales by Detty to straw purchasers. With assurance from ATF “that Mexican officials would be conducting surveillance or interdictions when guns got to the other side of the border”, Detty would sell a total of about 450 guns during the operation. These included AR-15s, semi-automatic AK-pattern rifles, and Colt .38s. The vast majority of the guns were eventually lost as they moved into Mexico

At the time, under the Bush administration Department of Justice (DOJ), no arrests or indictments were made. After President Barack Obama took office in 2009, the DOJ reviewed Wide Receiver in September 2009 and found that guns had been allowed into the hands of suspected gun traffickers. Indictments began in 2010, over three years after Wide Receiver concluded. As of October 4, 2011, nine people had been charged with making false statements in acquisition of firearms and illicit transfer, shipment or delivery of firearms. As of November, charges against one defendant had been dropped; five of them had pled guilty, and one had been sentenced to one year and one day in prison. Two of them remained fugitives.

Another, smaller probe occurred in 2007 under the same ATF Phoenix field division. It began when the ATF identified Mexican suspects who bought weapons from a Phoenix gun shop over a span of several months. The probe ultimately involved over 200 guns, a dozen of which were lost in Mexico. On September 27, 2007, ATF agents saw the original suspects buying weapons at the same store and followed them toward the Mexican border. The ATF informed the Mexican government when the suspects successfully crossed the border, but Mexican law enforcement were unable to track them."

No knowledge on 'gun running' but it seems to me dumping a bunch of guns into Mexico with the expectation that somehow Mexican enforcement authorities would 'interdict' the guns is somewhere near preposterous to ridiculous. I could better comprehend it if the plan was to get approval to hire more personnel, improve relations between US and Mexican enforcement officials and so on . . . One thing I would bet on is that some high level officials in the Mexican gov't are carrying around some US 'walking weapons'.
But, IMO, gun running to catch high level druggies, it ain't. And, whatever the underlying plan, AG Holder is not going to give it up. Like most administrations, their bad deeds surface near the 3rd year and they feel they can 'batten down the hatches', deny, delay, etc to get past the election process. Even if the Repubs were carrying out a pure political agenda if the AG has nothing to hide why would he? If the admin is willing to share national intel with the public why would they object to sharing some druggie info with congress? Inquiring minds want to know.

To try and have an investigation done by a couple of lawyers beholden to the Justice Dept is (1) , a waste of taxpayer dollars and, (2), puts a label on all us taxpayers of 'stupid'. But, both sides do it so it is what it is.. . .

Otherwise, we have the Corpocracy we deserve.

Posted by Roy Ellis at June 12, 2012 5:35 PM
Comments
Comment #346596

So what are you saying? Was Holder intentionally arming Mexican drug cartels just because he liked arming Mexican drug cartels?

Sorry, but when Issa demands the spotlight, I just laugh. This was the guy who burned down his own business for the insurance money. He made it clear from the moment the GOP took the majority that he would use his position to bury the Obama administration in a blizzard of subpoenas. Unfortunately for Issa, this has been a remarkably clean administration. It results in non-stories like this receiving hype.

And Cornyn? He led the effort to prevent Holder’s nomination in the Senate in the first place, basically because Holder was not down with torture. Conyn HATES Holder. He’ll say and do anything.

Sorry, Roy, but you’re way off base on this one. It’s simple election year politics by a couple of partisan hacks.

Posted by: phx8 at June 12, 2012 6:50 PM
Comment #346598

I am in agreement with you, phx8. Every 4 years about this time the subpoenas come out. This leaves the voters in a quandry as to whether its for real or for political purposes to make the ‘in’ party look bad.

In this case, if the AG/admin is clean re ‘fast and furious’ why would the AG not provide whatever info congress wants to make his case. Surely, all of congress has access to druggie intel.

Most of the time when there is smoke there is fire - - watergate, the Regan and Ollie scam as examples. Makes me conjure up a conspiracy of some sort that has little to do with gun running.

I suspect it will come out but may be 3-4 years downstream.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at June 12, 2012 7:47 PM
Comment #346599

Roy,

This was an ATF operation (Project Gunrunner) that began in the Bush administration (2005) and was significantly expanded during his term. The controversial “Fast and Furious” was a progeny of the main operation.

The Obama administration continued to ramp up the operation when he took office and provided additional funding (stimulus money).

You can argue that either or both of the DOJ administrations were negligent in oversight. But, the reality is that the highest level of career professional federal law enforcement agencies, in this case ATF, were the principal culprits. It was they who devised and implemented the gun running strategy.

It is foremost a failure of professional federal law enforcement to adhere to basic legal and commonsensical principals. Lets be clear, the agency that brought you Waco was responsible for “Gunrunner” and its spinoff “Fast and Furious.”

By the way, the tactics employed by ATF in the gun operations are not very dissimilar to those employed by the DEA and other agencies in the drug war. In fact, they are probably a product of those operations. Send the drugs through, follow the trail, find the higher level operatives and the operational structure of the drug distribution network. The difference is that drugs, per se, are not likely to be used to kill law enforcement officers. High powered weapons are another matter.

Posted by: Rich at June 12, 2012 8:37 PM
Comment #346600

When Richard Armitage inadvertently “outed” Valarie Plame, you guys made a Federal case. In the Plame case, no law was broken; nobody got killed and we knew who did it. The only problem for Democrats was that the guy that did it was not the guy they were after.

In this case, we have Holder not telling the whole truth about an operation that no doubt cost people their lives.

I will not follow the folly of my liberals friends in demanding a sentence before we know all the facts, but it might be a good idea to find out more.

Posted by: C&J at June 12, 2012 10:00 PM
Comment #346601

Scooter Libby broke the law repeatedly, and convicted for two counts of perjury, two of making false statements to federal investigators, and obstruction of justice. People may have died due to the outing of Plame.

We know Armitage was one of the ones who outed Plame. Who was Novak’s second, confirming source? It may have been Rove. It may have been Cheney. We’ll never know for sure, but we do know this: Libby was lying to protect someone.

Cheney lobbied to have Libby pardoned, but to his credit, Bush did not pardon Libby.

Posted by: phx8 at June 12, 2012 10:15 PM
Comment #346605

Couldn’t the Obama administration and Holder advoided this election year fiasco by turning over all the documents a couple of years ago? Why the stall, if there is nothing there? Holder dragged this out and he and Obama deserve all grief they get.

Posted by: TomT at June 13, 2012 10:04 AM
Comment #346614

TomT,
Enormous amounts of documents have already been provided over a period of years. There’s just nothing sufficiently scandalous to satisfy Issa and Cornyn. After all this time, they’re blaming Holder for not having anything, but the simple explanation is that there’s simply nothing much for them to have in the first place. It was a crappy program, and Holder stopped it. This is just so much hot air.

Posted by: phx8 at June 13, 2012 2:38 PM
Comment #346616

phx8, you are repeating the Administration talking points. Holder has not given them all the documents. Did Issa and Cornyn have the right to ask for all the documents? Yes or no? Did Holder give them all the documents? NO. Holder continued to use Fast and Furious, and Holder has played dumb. I watched the committee hearings and if Holder was doing all he could, why did he tell them they could meet and discuss the situation (after he realized they were going to find him in contempt)?

Let me make a prediction; Holder will resign when this begins to hurt Obama in the polls. Holder said Obama had complete confidence in him and that will only last until he begins to hurt Obama; then he will be thrown under the bus.

Tell me phx8, if this was a republican administration in an election year, what would the left do??? Your outrage is a joke.

Posted by: TomT at June 13, 2012 2:58 PM
Comment #346618

C&J-
We only learned who leaked it after a long investigation, so it’s not exactly as if the Bush Administration had the guy come out and say “Whoops! My bad!”. Instead, they tried to cover it up, and that by the way was what got Scooter Libby convicted.

That they may not have broken any law is irrelevant. They behaved like they did, interfering with the investigation. Which means that at the very least, they thought they were at risk under the law. Which, by logical extension means that they committed acts that they assumed could get them in serious trouble.

What’s more, what were they doing?

The files and affadavits that I read indicated that they were basically shopping this crap around to everybody, telling anybody they could get ahold of about this fact. They deliberately spread information they shouldn’t have, and as a consequences, Plame was burned, her operations were burned, and an unknown number of agents who she was running overseas were burned, or worse, tortured and perhaps killed.

I know you’ll argue that the CIA said nothing of that kind happen, but really, be realistic here: the CIA isn’t going to reveal more information about such a debacle.

And to what end?

To undermine the credibility of a critic of the President’s policy. To perform a basic political rat****ing.

Do you have enough perspective on this to realize that what you were seeing there are the political operatives of the President, the people who should be busy polishing speeches and advising the President on what the popular course of action might be instead reaching into the policy realm, and ****ing things up in order to score political points against a political adversary? Do you understand how ****ed up that is?

I am sick to death of Republicans screwing up policy so they can improve their political fortunes, discredit their dissenters and opponents, gut support for political alternatives to their agenda. We saw it in the Healthcare debate, where perfectly good, bipartisan ideas like the mandate, counselling for seniors looking to safeguard their medical rights, and provisions cutting costs for Medicare were attacked in the name of defeating Obamacare.

We’ve seen it in the jobs situation, with Republicans repeatingly opposing policies that have traditionally been bipartisan favorites (like continuing unemployment benefits), and advocating for policies that, as of yet, have only killed jobs and slowed job recovery from the recession’s destructive influences. I mean, really, how many public sector workers do we have to lay off before we start seeing the drag that’s putting on employment? We could be around a point better, simply on the basis of the numbers of people fired. That’s not even getting into multiplier effects.

Roy Ellis-
Whose word are you taking that they haven’t been forthcoming?

Fact is, with the Ollie North Scandal, you had worse than walked guns, you had people illegally funding fighters in Central America by selling arms to Iran. The same Iran that then and now Republicans held up as terrible enemies.

Fast and Furious was crappy policy, but it wasn’t anywhere as deliberately illegal as the Iran-Contra Scandal, nor as illegal as the Watergate Scandal, which had deliberate command and commision of felonies as the tip of an iceberg of an immense, illegal operation of political rat****ing operations intended to sway elections.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 13, 2012 3:24 PM
Comment #346620

TomT,
You write: “Your outrage is a joke.”

Outrage? I’m barely even interested. There’s just nothing much there.

Do you really want to go after Holder? Why not go after something real, something documented? How about Holder’s failure to go after Bush administration officials for war crimes? Waterboarding is torture, and today, neither Bush nor Cheney can set foot in many countries around the world on risk of being arrested as war criminals, yet Holder has done nothing to prosecute them. Guantanamo, rendition for torture, those are real issues, and Holder didn’t lift a finger. I know, I know, it’s a matter of political expediency. There’s no appetite among Americans to dwell on war crimes. Unfortunately, when it’s allowed to happen without consequences, we can all be sure it will happen again.

Want to go after Holder? While I’m as happy as anyone to see drones taking out Al Qaida, there are still a lot of concerns about the overstepping of presidential authority. Once again, Holder has closed his eyes and blessed some very constitutionally questionable actions. A lot of Bush administration programs that clearly violate the 4th amendment have been allowed to continue under Obama, and once again, Holder hasn’t lifted a finger.

Get real, TomT. You want Holder? There’s no reason to manufacture a fake scandal. There’s plenty out there that has been abundantly documented.

Posted by: phx8 at June 13, 2012 6:07 PM
Comment #346637

Stephen

The special prosecutor knew it was Armitage three months after the investigation started. The investigation went on two more years.

They only “behaved as though they were guilty” because they were under constant attack.

The leaks now and the Holder stonewall are much worse.

“I am sick to death of Republicans screwing up policy so they can improve their political fortunes, discredit their dissenters and opponents, gut support for political alternatives to their agenda.”

That is exactly what Democrats are doing, using leaks and obfuscation. And yes, I am sick to death of their antics.

Posted by: C&J at June 13, 2012 10:07 PM
Comment #346639

C&J, don’t you find it interesting that liberals like Stephen accuse the right of doing the very thing the left has been doing for years.

Obama adheres to the Saul Alinksy “Rules for Radicals” method of politics, which teaches the dark art of destroying political adversaries.

RULE 5: “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” There is no defense. It’s irrational. It’s infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions.

RULE 12: “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” I cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. I go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions.

The left accuses the right of personal attacks on people and yet by their own rules, they are taught to do this. Rules for radicals was written by a liberal for liberals, not for conservatives.

This is what I mean by Stephen Daugherty’s arrogance and double standards. He is “fed up” with Republicans, yet he has no problem with the fact that personal attacks and smearing people was a leftist strategy. Stephen Daugherty can’t be taken seriously because he is a girly-man who bases all his thinking on emotion. Clinton’s defense against all the women who accused him of raping, fondling, or in any other way degrading them; was to personally smear the women. This has been a liberal tactic for many years.

Posted by: Billinflorida at June 14, 2012 12:37 AM
Comment #346640

billinflorida,
Ever hear of the GOPAC memo? It was written by Newt Gingrich:

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article4443.htm

It lists “words to help you clearly define the policies and record of your opponent and the Democratic party,” inclucing words like “traitor.” Yes, it’s quite a list, and it seems far more relevant than vague allusions to Saul Alinsky, a person no one other than Newt Gingrich ever publicly mentions. Odd, isn’t it? In psychological terms, that’s called ‘projection.’

Posted by: phx8 at June 14, 2012 12:54 AM
Comment #346641

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2012/06/fast-and-furious-the-video.php

Now we know phx8 knows how to google Saul Alinsky.

“January 30, 2009

You may not recognize his name at first, but Saul Alinsky served as the inspiration behind President Barack Obama’s initiative to become a community organizer in Chicago. Fridays is the 100th birthday of the founder of the Industrial Areas Foundation. Alex Cohen talks with Alinsky biographer Sanford Horwitt about his book Let Them Call Me Rebel: Saul Alinsky His Life and Legacy and the man.”

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=100057050

phx8, sorry but people do know who Alinsky was and Obama’s comnnection to him. You are playing revisionist history.

Posted by: Billinflorida at June 14, 2012 1:07 AM
Comment #346642

If you say say, billinflorida. But I’ve never heard of the Industrial Areas Foundation, Alex Cohen, Sanford Horwitt, or that book. Maybe it’s just a gap in my knowledge of the political landscape.

Posted by: phx8 at June 14, 2012 1:43 AM
Comment #346662

phx8, or perhaps you need to broaden your area of knowledge, instead of living in a liberal bubble.

Posted by: Billinflorida at June 14, 2012 1:55 PM
Comment #346671

What a stupid argument. In this era of sophisticated political negative advertisement, does anyone really think that either of the warring parties are adhering to some game plan espoused by right or left radicals twenty or thirty years ago? Please, both political parties employ highly trained and paid “consultants” to prepare their messages and attacks. One day they are working for the right and the next day for the left.

To think that one or the other is somehow under the spell of some obscure radical guru is extraordinarily naive. They both play the same game. They both employ the same people and employ the same tactics.

Posted by: Rich at June 14, 2012 7:36 PM
Comment #346672

But… but… Rich! Sputter, sputter. Saul Alinsky sounds so Jewish, so foreign. Why, he could be another Leon Trotsky or, even worse, an Emmanual Goldstein, the target for the Three Minutes Hate in “1984.”

I’ve never heard of this guy outside of two commenters on WB and Newt Gingrich. It’s just one of those weird things that gets passed around the right-wing blogosphere.

Posted by: phx8 at June 14, 2012 7:54 PM
Comment #346686

Rich, explain why most of Obama’s cabinet and those he surrounded himself with (his whole life), are from Chicago and are affiliated with Alinsky in one form or another?

Posted by: Billinflorida at June 14, 2012 9:57 PM
Comment #346690

Not everyone who spends time in Chicago hangs out with Saul Alinsky.

Posted by: phx8 at June 14, 2012 10:35 PM
Comment #346691

phx8, your kind of dense aren’t you; didn’t I say the ones who Obama surrounds himself with, who are from Chicago.

Posted by: Billinflorida at June 14, 2012 10:56 PM
Comment #346694

billinflorida,
Name names. Name dates. Enough vague allegations. Put something specific out there.

Here is the Obama administration cabinet and where they come from:
Biden VP Deleware
Clinton Sec State Arkansas/NY
Geithner Sec Treas NY
Panetta Defense CA
Holder Justice NY, DC
Salazar Interior CO
Vilsack Ag IA
Bryson Commerce CA
Donovan HUD NY
LaHood Trans IL
Chu DOE CA
Duncan Ed IL
Solis Labor CA
Sebelius HHS KS
Shinseki VA HI (military)
Napolitano DHS AZ

Chief of Staff Jack Lew DC
Jackson EPA NY, LA, NJ
Zients OMB DC
Kirk Trade Rep TX
Rice UN DC, CA
Krueger Econ Advis NJ, PA
Mills SBA ME, MA

An interesting exercise for me. I’m impressed by the diversity and breadth of experience of Obama’s cabinet. These are high-powered and generally moderate people, well educated, with backgrounds in business and politics. What is remarkable is not the presence of people from Chicago, but the lack.

LaHood is from IL, but he is a Republican. Arne Lahood, in Education, is the only Cabinet member actually from Chicago. Good luck finding anything connecting him to Alinsky or whatever. I sure don’t see it. There’s nothing radical about him. I think you’re just making things up. I don’t think you can back up anything you’re saying. It’s just pure, unadulterated baloney.

Posted by: phx8 at June 15, 2012 12:52 AM
Comment #346710

phx8,

“I don’t think you can back up anything you’re saying. It’s just pure, unadulterated baloney.”

Oh and BTW, it seems right out of rule #5. Perhaps Alinsky is a conservative.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at June 15, 2012 9:20 AM
Comment #346716

Thanks for the links, billinflorida. I would strongly urge anyone reading this to look at the yahoo link provided above by billinflorida. It does an excellent job of showing a unique point of view on Obama’s communist background. You see, his parents were communists. His grandparents were communists. His pastor was a communist. “Cathleen Sabilias is a well known Socialist / Communist.” (I’m pretty sure the author means Kathleen Sebelius, former Governor of Kansas. The Governor of Kansas a well known socialist/communist? Who knew? Oh wait. That was “well known.” Never mind.)

You know, billinflorida, most people who read that yahoo post are going to laugh. And no, they’re not laughing ‘with’ you.

Posted by: phx8 at June 15, 2012 11:25 AM
Comment #346739

phx8, you know, you try to make a joke of a very sad situation in America. We have a man sitting in the WH, who during his whole life, has been surrounded with radical Communist/marxist/socialists; and all you can do is make a joke of it. It’s not hard to search the history of every person on the list. Perhaps you should have done that instead of trying to make a joke out of it. These people are the mentors of Obama; who have made him what he is. Perhaps you could tell us which person on the list is not a radical? Give me a name and I will do the search for you.

Posted by: Billinflorida at June 15, 2012 10:15 PM
Comment #346754

billinflorida,
If you want to prove a point, please do me the courtesy of using reliable sources. An anonymous rant on Yahoo does not count as a reliable source. Name calling does not constitute proof. I would prefer non-partisan sources, but I’m fine with partisan ones, provided they have done their homework. Something like the Breitbart site will be viewed with a lot of suspicion. While he was alive, Breitbart published some unscrupulously edited videos that were later discredited. So… Sometimes a source like the National Inquirer will get a story right, and nail a politician like Edwards about a sordid affair. More often, stories about alien kidnappings and such are just not going to be taken seriously.

Since the orginial article is about Holder, why not focus on him?

And the idea that Obama is surrounded by communists and Marxists is ludicrous. There are very few communists in the entire US, never mind at the highest levels of government. There are some socialists in the US, but not many, and I don’t know of any in the Obama administration that consider themselves socialists (socialism being government ownership of the means of production). I read the biographies of the various Cabinet members, and they are remarkably mainstream, accomplished, and well-educated people.

Posted by: phx8 at June 15, 2012 11:20 PM
Comment #346759

phx8, sorry, but Obama has surounded himself with socialist/marxist radical Chicago thugs. You are sounding like SD.

Posted by: Billinflorida at June 15, 2012 11:40 PM
Comment #346760

billinflorida,
OK. Spell it out. Let’s take Holder. He doesn’t come from Chicago. Almost no one in Obama’s Cabinet comes from IL. But let’s take Holder. Show me how Holder is a socialist/marxist/radical. Show me using a reputable source, a source that practices basic journalistic ethics. Or quote Holder saying something like ‘I advocate the nationalization of the oil industry,’ or ‘Let’s abolish private property.’ Show me an example of Holder being radical, say, proposing replacing the Constitution with “Steal This Book.” Has Holder ever registered to vote as a socialist or communist? Has he ever advocated anarchism? Or hummed “The East is Red” during the Star Spangled Banner? Burned the American Flag? You keep going there, billinflorida, and here’s your chance. Make a case.

Posted by: phx8 at June 16, 2012 12:53 AM
Comment #347012

So, the AG will go to the mat for the admin in a vain attempt to cover ‘F&F’.

Not a chance that ‘inquiring minds’ will get any info from any source prior to the elections re F&F.

The AG was to have given a statement in the May time frame as to whether congresspersons could be individually sued for failing to carry out their sworn oath of office. This relates to congresspersons refusing to acknowledge/implement Article V Convention as spelled out in the Constitution.

No answer, foot dragging on that issue as well.

It’s the ‘Corpocracy’s’ AG at his best in ‘protecting the peoples interest in their gov’t through transparency and due diligence.

Very much the same situation where President Bush used executive privilege to thwart an investigation into his firing of attorney generals around the country. Difference is, in this case someone died and we don’t know who, justice hasn’t been done, etc.

Otherwise - - -

Posted by: Roy Ellis at June 20, 2012 5:33 PM
Comment #347014

Phx8,

Forget about it. Billinflorida has no facts to prove Holder or anyone else in the Obama administration is a radical, socialist or marxist. It simply is his belief. The problem with beliefs is that they require no proof.

Posted by: Rich at June 20, 2012 6:33 PM
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