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PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 8:54 AM 
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I can assume why this isn't getting more traction, but even the small details that I am reading about Operation: Fast and Furious should be making much bigger news.

Some brief details:
The ATF sold a large cache of weapons to Mexican drug cartels (at least 2,000) in an effort to track and stop illegal weapons trafficking.

According to reports, more than half of those weapons are still unaccounted for. The weapons that they have found, many have been used in violent crimes in Mexico and the US - including the shooting death of a US Border Patrol agent.

From HuffPo
Quote:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- At least 122 firearms from a botched U.S. undercover operation have been found at crime scenes in Mexico or intercepted en route to drug cartels there, according to a Republican congressional report being issued on Tuesday.

Mexican authorities found AK-47 assault rifles, powerful .50 caliber rifles and other weapons in late 2009 that were later linked to the U.S. sting operation to trace weapons going across the border to Mexico, the report said.

Guns from the program, dubbed "Operation Fast and Furious," also were found at the scene of the murder of a U.S. Border Patrol agent in the border state Arizona last December. It is not clear if they were the weapons responsible for his death.

The sting has become an embarrassment for the Obama administration and its Justice Department, rather than a victory in cracking down on the illegal flow of drugs and weapons to and from Mexico.

It has also hurt ties with Mexico, which has been battling the violent cartels in a war in which thousands have died.

The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and federal prosecutors had hoped the sting would help them track gun buyers reselling weapons to cartels. But U.S. agents did not follow the guns after the initial purchaser re-sold them.

The report continues
Quote:
Of the 2,000 weapons sold to the suspected gun traffickers, just over half remain unaccounted for, the report added. The Justice Department said that the ATF was not aware of the majority of those gun sales when they occurred.


So far, there have been no arrests of any Mexican drug cartel members in relation to the guns.

There have been some firings at ATF, but there have been some possibly questionable promotions.

William G. McMahon, who championed Fast and Furious inside ATF, was elevated from ATF's deputy director of operations to deputy assistant director of the ATF's Office of Professional Responsibility and Security Operations. (the ATF division that investigates misconduct).

Also promoted was William Newel, the special agent in charge of ATF's office for Arizona and New Mexico. Newel was promoted to special assistant to the assistant director of the agency's Office of Management in Washington.

The third promotion went to David Voth, formerly the program's on-the-ground team supervisor, who is now branch chief for the ATF's tobacco division.

I don't see how anyone associated with the operation could be promoted. But I don't have all the facts.

Among those that have lost their positions are Acting ATF Director Kenneth Melson who has been reassigned to a lesser post in the Justice Department and the U.S. attorney for Arizona, Dennis Burke, was also pushed out.

Several of the whistle-blowers have been re-assigned.

There are questions as to how many other Federal agencies were involved or had information about this failed Sting. There is a Congressional inquiry that is looking at the involvement of FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 7:23 AM 
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It's pretty shameful, but it is also pretty common for federal employees to take the brunt for their supervisors' fuck-ups.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 10:32 AM 
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Yep, peons get the crap that the supervisor can deflect. Sucks.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 8:39 AM 
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That's not exactly limited to federal employees. You can find the same poor managers anywhere.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 11:14 AM 
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Part of the problem I have is that we are not getting much coverage of this fiasco as we should. Why did the ATF break protocol and let over 2,000 firearms go willingly to international criminals?


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 4:08 PM 
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Because they are stupid and lack oversight.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 7:05 AM 
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Quote:
Part of the problem I have is that we are not getting much coverage of this fiasco as we should.


The era of real news has long since ended. As people can customize and configure their content delivery to the perfect echo chambers, it is only going to get worse from here.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 10:01 AM 
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rugen wrote:
Quote:
Part of the problem I have is that we are not getting much coverage of this fiasco as we should.


The era of real news has long since ended. As people can customize and configure their content delivery to the perfect echo chambers, it is only going to get worse from here.


I have made it my mission to inform as many people as I can about O:F&F. I am trying to get more people to ask questions, like "what really happened?"

This isn't something that can or should be swept under the rug. This has resulted in Americans being the victim of vicious crimes, even death, at home by international criminals.

Was the purpose to show that we still have a porous border? Was the purpose to show that criminals will still get "illegal" or controlled firearms regardless how many regulations the government has on them? Was the purpose to add further instability to our neighbor to the south?


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 2:45 PM 
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Given how much attention has been paid to the number of firearms sales that have ended up south of the border for use by drug cartels, I don't think any reason they could have had would make sense at all.

There's already enough of an issue with it that the ATF could have set up watches at pawn shops without adding to the problem.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 12:13 PM 
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This is a Fox News piece, and it is just underscoring something that we should have already known:

full story
Quote:
Not only did U.S. officials approve, allow and assist in the sale of more than 2,000 guns to the Sinaloa cartel -- the federal government used taxpayer money to buy semi-automatic weapons, sold them to criminals and then watched as the guns disappeared.

This disclosure, revealed in documents obtained by Fox News, could undermine the Department of Justice's previous defense that Operation Fast and Furious was a "botched" operation where agents simply "lost track" of weapons as they were transferred from one illegal buyer to another. Instead, it heightens the culpability of the federal government as Mexico, according to sources, has opened two criminal investigations into the operation that flooded their country with illegal weapons.


Yeah, we should have known and understood that these weapons were bought with taxpayer funds (the government can't buy anything without taxpayer funds). The only other option would be that the operation sold weapons that had been seized from other operations or already on hand. Seeing that a selection of these weapons were tied to local gun dealers really adds to the "what was the real purpose of this action?" question.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 4:06 PM 
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Even the coverup is being handled ineptly.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 1:15 PM 
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following up on the "US Funds were used" it seems that this is a violation of U.S. Code Title 18, Part 1, chap. 96, section 1960-61, defining the use of federal funds to illegally obtain and/or transfer controlled substances and/or items to unauthorized third parties.

To do this within the law requires a bench warrant from a state or federal court. The buying or selling has to be done in a controlled manner, the items must never be out of law enforcement control (meaning they at least must be tracked), and they cannot cross state lines or national boundaries without proper notification of authorities on the “receiving end”.

The Mexican government was not notified, and from what I can tell, there were no warrants to do this.

Add to the "suspect firearms" database that was created to catalog the firearms that were sold so they could identify them after they were recovered at crime scenes and many more questions are raised.

The link below is a letter from Senator Grassley to Attorney General Holder and BATF Acting Director Melson asking for more answers.
Letter

This has to go very high in the DoJ.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2011 5:13 AM 
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Didn't we learn that beginning with the last administration warrants are irrelevant? :p


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 7:42 AM 
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CBS News story
Looks like AG Holder was not completely truthful during his testimony during a Congressional Hearing...
Quote:
WASHINGTON - New documents obtained by CBS News show Attorney General Eric Holder was sent briefings on the controversial Fast and Furious operation as far back as July 2010. That directly contradicts his statement to Congress.

On May 3, 2011, Holder told a Judiciary Committee hearing, "I'm not sure of the exact date, but I probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks."

Yet internal Justice Department documents show that at least ten months before that hearing, Holder began receiving frequent memos discussing Fast and Furious.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 7:44 AM 
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there are a lot of links in the CBS News Story that I linked above.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 8:28 AM 
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Have any of you been following the hearings?

[url=http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-57450110-503544/house-committee-schedules-contempt-vote-against-holder/?tag=cbsnewsMainColumnArea}Congress is considering charging Holder with Contempt[/vote]
Quote:
(CBS News) CBS News has learned the House Oversight Committee will vote next week on whether to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress.

The dispute stems from Holder failing to turn over documents subpoenaed on October 12, 2011 in the Fast and Furious "gunwalking" investigation.

"The Obama Administration has not asserted Executive Privilege or any other valid privilege over these materials and it is unacceptable that the Department of Justice refuses to produce them. These documents pertain to Operation Fast and Furious, the claims of whistleblowers, and why it took the Department nearly a year to retract false denials of reckless tactics," Issa wrote in an announcement of the vote to be released shortly. It will reveal the vote is scheduled for Wednesday, June 20.


If you heard the back and forth last week you would have to wonder "what all is Holder hiding?" or "is he THAT incompetent?"


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 5:01 PM 
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Looks like Obama decided to use the Executive privilege. I wonder what he is hiding.
Is it my imagination, or does Obama like to be not very transparent?

Quote:
TRANSPARENCY SHATTERED - OBAMA SEALS UP "FAST & FURIOUS" DOCS

In an effort to cover up the truth about "Fast & Furious" Obama has invoked Executive Privilege sealing up all the relevant documents and preventing the public from knowing what happened.

This has all the hallmarks of a Nixonian presidential cover up. Townhall.com is reporting that this act is an "indication that President Obama was involved in Operation Fast and Furious, which he has boldly denied."

If he has boldly denied that he was involved in or had any personal knowledge of it - why would he seal the documents that would prove it? A president seals documents when there is incriminating evidence contained within them. A president, especially this president who campaigned as Mr. Transparency, doesn't seal documents when those documents would show him in a positive light.

During the Bush administration, Obama sharply criticized Bush for asserting executive privilege. He said of Bush at that time:

"You know, there’s been a tendency on the part of this administration to — to try to hide behind executive privilege every time there’s something a little shaky that’s taking place. And I think, you know, the administration would be best served by coming clean on this. There doesn’t seem to be any national security issues involved with the U.S. attorney question."



Adding that, "I think the American people deserve to know what was going on there.”



If nothing wrong was done, why do you need to hide it?


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 7:10 PM 
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I'm not going to even try to claim that they have nothing to hide, but you do realize that this is the first time Obama has used his executive privilege? I'd say that his level of secrecy, while still higher than I would like, it still far behind that of other modern Presidents.

In the end, as long as the President is transparent regarding their financing and who they are being lobbied by, I'm a happy camper. Sadly, no President has done this or is likely to.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 11:27 AM 
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This ticking time bomb looks to be growing too.

Forbes.com has large piece on it: http://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/20 ... watergate/

And The Telegraph has a detailed piece as well (it links to the Forbes piece) http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/timst ... watergate/

One of the key quotes from the Telegraph piece:
Quote:
It’s important to note that the Bush administration oversaw something similar to Fast and Furious. Called Operation Wide Receiver, it used the common tactic of “controlled delivery,” whereby agents would allow an illegal transaction to take place, closely follow the movements of the arms, and then descend on the culprits. But Fast and Furious is different because it was “uncontrolled delivery,” whereby the criminals were essentially allowed to drop off the map. Perhaps more importantly, Wide Receiver was conducted with the cooperation of the Mexican government. Fast and Furious was not.
(bold by me)

I am not going to infer what the ulterior motives may or may not have been. It will be the cover-up that causes the largest problem.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 4:20 PM 
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I just thought I would point out that the privilege asked for only pertains to documents after Feb. 4th, 2011, after the operation was over and after the "cover up" the Republicans are screaming about.

I don't like executive privilege. I really don't, and I don't like it being used by anyone including Obama. But I would take Boehner and his GOP buddies a lot more seriously if they were bitching this much any of the six times Bush used it.


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