Acting ATF Director Ken Melson broke with the Administration and testified About Gun Walker On Independence Day. He appeared before Congressional investigators without the benefit of DOJ minders. Sen. Chuck Grassley and Congressman Darrell Issa reportedly told Attorney General Eric Holder “Acting Director Melson’s cooperation was extremely helpful to our investigation.”
Mike Vanderboegh at the Sipsey Street Irregulars reports on several new rumors floating around DC regarding the Obama Administration’s “Gunwalker” cover-up. The first is that a senior ATF official has approached Sen. Grassley’s office for protection as a Federal whistleblower. The second is that Rep. Issa was the recipient of a gift the other day: “VERY LARGE box of VERY SIGNIFICANT documents dumped on his desk on Tuesday from a VERY UNEXPECTED source.” This early Christmas gift reportedly points to the White House and the Administration’s involvement in the whole scandal.
Seattle Gun Rights Examiner Dave Workman joined NRA News’ Ginny Simone to talk about the recent reshuffling of personnel at the ATF…[audio:http://www.sanfernandovalleygunowners.org/oversized-files/05_18_11_Dave_Workman.mp3]
You know it’s getting bad when even NPR can no longer ignore the “Gunwalker” cover-up…[audio:http://www.sanfernandovalleygunowners.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/20110505_atc_14.mp3]
For his part, Holder said that he hadn’t been aware of the operation. He told lawmakers it’s on his radar screen now.
“What I have told people at the Department of Justice is that under no circumstances, in any case, in any investigation that we bring, should guns be allowed to be distributed in an uncontrolled manner,” he said.
Congressional Republicans say more than a dozen whistleblowers have come forward to express their concerns about the danger of Operation Fast and Furious. That includes ATF agents, their supervisors, and even an Arizona gun dealer.
The unnamed dealer sent e-mails to agents in Arizona last year, six months before Terry’s death, warning them that he had a bad feeling. In the messages, the dealer said he was worried the guns would make their way to Mexico and be used by “bad guys.”
Rush Limbaugh often calls the American news media “The State controlled Media”. From day one the members of The Fourth Estate have done all they can to advance the Obama agenda. Their support has been so complete that Rush’s joke no longer looks like a joke. But in the case of NPR, you can almost excuse them. They are, after all, a State controlled media outlet. (Do you doubt this? Ever heard of the power of the purse?) Thus one would have expected that the last media group to report on the Project Gunrunner cover-up would be NPR.
I guess I was mistaken.
Among other questions asked: Why issue a memo telling agents to keep guns out of the hands of violent criminals is the agents were not allowing them to do so? Sounds a bit like a change in policy.[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZgRHFqk3Jw&w=450&rel=0]
Along with Michelle Malkin, we wondered if the DOJ would respond to Sen. Grassley’s document request. Well, given that the DOJ has chosen to ignore Rep. Darrell Issa’s subpoena, I’d say that the answer is “no”…
The chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on Wednesday criticized the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) for failing to produce any documents in response to a March 31 subpoena seeking information on its handling of gun trafficking operations into Mexico.
In a letter to ATF Acting Director Kenneth E. Melson, Rep. Darrell Issa, California Republican, said the committee had sought documents showing whether the agency made “reckless and inappropriate decisions” as part of its Project Gunrunner operation that “may have contributed to the deaths of both U.S. and Mexican citizens.”
Must be nice working for The One. Little things like subpoenas just aren’t the bother they are for most other people.
Sen. Grassley’s office has posted this video of his complete remarks before the US Senate. In it he details the difficulty he has had getting required information out of the ATF.
(An excerpt of this speech was posted here earlier. This is the complete speech.)
Here’s a round-up of this weekend’s “Gunwalker” stories…
Tim Gaynor at Reuters reports on the latest letter from Sen. Grassley to the Administration detailing emails the Senator’s office has obtained…
U.S. federal agents encouraged an Arizona gun dealer to sell weapons to suspected traffickers for the Mexican drug cartels, even after the dealer warned they would end up in the hands of “bad guys,” according to correspondence released by a U.S. senator.
Sen. Charles Grassley, an Iowa Republican, released excerpts from an e-mail from an unidentified Arizona gun dealer to a supervisory agent of a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives operation targeting gun traffickers that is now subject to a federal investigation.
(A note to Mr. Gaynor: If the ATF lied about the entire operation to Sen. Grassley, why did you assume that they were telling the truth when they repeated their “90% of all guns…” claims to you? You may want to look into that!)
In the letter to Holder, Grassley said the Justice Department’s depiction of Operation Fast and Furious “is simply not credible.”
He also rebuked the Justice Department for failing to provide records that he began seeking in February.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Phoenix on Thursday issued a statement that did not address Grassley’s criticisms or the e-mails. It said federal prosecutors are restricted from commenting about ongoing cases. It also said the Justice Department “will respond to Senator Grassley’s letter as appropriate, and this office will continue to enforce the federal firearms laws vigorously.”
(I don’t want to look like I’m picking on Mr. Gaynor, but he should go check out Mr. Wagner’s story. Wagner mentions the claims US and Mexican authorities make about guns “flowing” into Mexico from American gun dealers; however, he doesn’t blindly accept their “90%” myth.)
Kim Murphy at the LA Times writes about dealer concerns over the thought of “Fast and Furious” guns getting into Mexico…
The investigation into a federal operation that allowed Mexican drug cartels to acquire U.S. weapons escalated Thursday with new revelations that an Arizona gun dealer repeatedly expressed fears that his guns were falling into the “hands of the bad guys” but was encouraged by federal agents to continue the sales.
A series of emails released by congressional investigators showed that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives encouraged the gun dealer against his better judgment to sell high-powered weapons to buyers he believed were agents for the drug cartels.
Employees of the dealer videotaped gun buyers — suspected “straw purchasers” who could legally buy the guns, though cartel members could not — exchanging money with other individuals on the dealer’s premises.
Ms. Murphy also writes about how Assistant Special Agent in Charge George Gillett, Jr., of the ATF’s Phoenix office is now cooperating with Sen. Grassley’s office…
A key leader in the federal law enforcement operation suspected of allowing high-powered assault weapons to fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartels is now cooperating with congressional investigators, providing a crucial new window into the controversial operation known as Project Gunrunner.
George Gillett Jr., assistant special agent in charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ field office in Phoenix, has met with congressional investigators and is expected to provide crucial information about how dozens of U.S. guns may have been transported with the ATF’s knowledge into Mexico. Agents say Gillett provided much of the day-to-day oversight of the Gunrunner operation.
Finally, I’m posting this link to an older story by CBS News’ Sharyl Attkisson. In this story, she interviews the former ATF Attaché in Mexico, Darren Gil…
This story is finally growing some legs. the MSM ignored it for weeks; and many still are. But if you Google “ATF” at Google News, you will see that there are hundreds of recent stories covering the “Gunwalker” scandal.
CBS’ Sharyl Attkisson has provided another update to the ATF’s growing “gunwalker” scandal. Senator Chuck Grassley has obtained emails from 2010 between the ATF and a concerned FFL who became involved in the “Project Gunrunner” operation. This FFL flagged multiple purchase attempts by to shady individuals to the ATF. The ATF told him to let the sales go through, claiming that the agency was tracking the suspected gunrunners. Now these emails are particularly interesting to Sen. Grassley as the ATF assured him as recently as February of this year that no such thing was happening along the US-Mexico border…
According to Sen. Grassley, in a letter fired off to Attorney General Eric Holder last night, the ATF arranged a meeting between the gun shop owner and the U.S. Attorney’s office which is part of the Justice Department. At that meeting, Sen. Grassley says the U.S. Attorney’s office declined to provide written terms but assured the gun dealer there were safeguards in place to prevent further distribution of the weapons being purchased from his business.
“As we now know, those assurances provide to be untrue,” Grassley wrote.
Two months later, on June 17, 2010, the same gun shop owner again wrote ATF’s Supervisor Voth again after he saw a Fox News report about firearms and the border. The gun shop owner called the report “disturbing” and stated “When you [Voth], [the Assistant U.S. Attorney], and I met on May 13th , I shared my concerns with you guys that I wanted to make sure that none of the firearms that were sold per our conversation with you and various ATF agents could or would ever end up south of the border or in the hands of the bad guys… I want to help ATF with its investigation but not at the risk of agents’ safety because I have some very close friends that are U.S. Border Patrol Agents in southern AZ.”
The FFL had repeated contacts with the ATF and they repeatedly told him that they were stopping the guns before they could get into Mexico. However, and this really should have been a big tip-off to the FFL, the ATF was never willing to put that in writing. They were exposing him to legal action and simply would not write him the get-out-of-jail-free card he’d need in the event of a lawsuit. But then again, why would the ATF balk at lying to an FFL when they’re so willing to mislead a US Senator?
CBS has new details on the letter sent from Sen. Grassley’s office to the ATF regarding intimidation of whistle-blowers by the agency…
A top figure in the gunwalking controversy at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) is now cooperating in the investigation.
Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) made that disclosure today in a letter to ATF’s acting director Kenneth Melson.
In the letter, Sen. Grassley warns that any attempt to retaliate against the cooperating official, Assistant Special Agent in charge of ATF’s Phoenix Division George Gillett, is unlawful. Prior to Sen. Grassley’s letter, Gillett had already told his supervisors, through his attorney, that he was cooperating.
Sen. Grassley also says the apparent efforts of ATF executives to stop employees from speaking with members of Congress and their staff is of “grave concern.”
“Without such direct, unfiltered communications, Congress would still be unaware of, and unable to inquire about, the serious allegations involving the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and the sales of weapons to known and suspected gun Traffickers,” reads the Sen. Grassley letter.
More at the link.
The pdf linked above has that ATF email obtained via a FOIA request. In it, you will see that as recently as February, the ATF was denying any connection between the death of Border Patrol agen Brian Terry and their “Fast and Furious” guns.