NOTE FROM STEWART:
Below is Elias’ article on the ATF “gunwalker” scandal, lauding the whistle-blowing ATF agents. In response to the article, frequent commenter Remember the Alamo asked a very good question:
“Where does the U.S. Constitution delegate to the federal government via the United States Department of Treasury and its Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives the power to regulate the use alcohol, tobacco, firearms, and explosives in the individual sovereign states of the United StateS?” – Remember the Alamo
My response: Nowhere. And that is why I have a problem with calling any ATF agent an “oath keeper” of any kind. Frankly, to truly keep their oaths, they would have to resign. And not only is there no such power granted, it is also in direct violation of the Second Amendment, since what the ATF does EVERY DAY is certainly an infringement of our right to bear arms. As Elias amply illustrates in his article, the ATF’s job is to harass, snare, entrap, and imprison as many gun owners as they possibly can, and that is what they do all the time (and at times, such “law enforcement” results in the deaths of people who’s only “crime” was to own items that Hoplophobes fear and hate). See the Olofson case (in that case, I helped write an amicus brief to the US Supreme Court, pointing out the absurdity ATF’s Alice in Wonderland shifting definition of what is a full auto that would find even a malfunctioning double barrel shotgun or malfunctioning single action revolver from the 1800’s to be a “full-auto” if, while malfunctioning, they fired more than one shot per trigger pull).
Out of respect for Elias, who is a heck of a researcher and writer, and a friend, I didn’t monkey with or edit his piece, but I had to add this comment. While I congratulate the whistle-blower agents on their courage and integrity in blowing the whistle, and I hope more federal agents do the same across the board, I must point out the obvious contradiction of their job with their oath. What they did is worthy of praise, but they do need to think hard about what it is they do for a job, everyday, in light of that sacred oath they swore to support and defend the Constitution. And then, as Jesus told the harlot, go and sin no more!
Stewart Rhodes, Founder of Oath Keepers
ATF Deals Death In Massive False-Flag Psy-Op
“When mankind lost sight of the way to live, came codes of law and order.”
- Lao Tzu, circa 500 BC -
Elias Alias – Oath Keepers
Blow-Back’s A Bitch
What would take the average writer an afternoon has taken me well over a week. Yet I must acknowledge that this story is breaking like storm waves on the government’s beach, and every time I think I’ve got the story covered another breaking wave of new developments hits home hard. Suffice, that this story is going to “grow legs”, with much credit to CBS’s Sharyl Attkisson.
As I write tonight, Thursday, March 24, 2011, I’ve viewed a video of President Obama discussing this case with a Mexican journalist. He used the interview like a pick-me-up photo-op as he slyly got in a plug for the Security and Prosperity Partnership, and boldly confronted reality with a Presidential air of denial. Although he did not use the term Security and Prosperity Partnership, the language was the same.
Attorney General Eric Holder is under the heat-lamp, and so is head of Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Janet Napolitano. Not to mention every salty dog atop the ATF’s hierarchy of internal power, the big-wigs of America’s most rogue Federal enforcement agency, the allegedly brilliant but certainly power-damaged minds of ATF’s leadership. This story is going to grow and spread universally, and its gravity is more than significant. It is a scandal of extreme proportions, enough-so that the President is now asserting that neither he nor Attorney General Eric Holder was aware of this massive criminal ploy by ATF. So as readers dive in below, recall that this is just an accounting of facts I’ve gathered as of March 24, 2011. I’ll give links to a couple of the original timelines by David Codrea and Mike Vanderboegh below.
At the ATF’s Group VII Gunrunner operation in Phoenix, Arizona, (codenamed “Fast And Furious”), there has been some dissension within the ranks. What could be bothering the troops – what could possibly cause dissension? It must have something to do with their job. Are some of them listening too closely to their consciences, while others operate by the hardened hearts produced by government training programs? ATF training involves use of violent force which may be lawfully applied upon free American citizens. Do the agents expressing dissent object to certain ATF policies? Are they worried that the ATF has been knowingly furnishing firearms to the Mexican drug cartels? To see, let us begin with a look at the message sent by email from the group leader to his “boots on the ground” ATF agents at Phoenix. Here is the supervisor of the ATF Phoenix Group VII, writing by email to his agents.
- It has been brought to my attention that there may be a schism developing amongst the group. Whether you care or not people of high rank and authority at HQ are paying close attention to this case and they also believe we [Phoenix Group VII] are doing what they envision the Southwest border groups doing. It may sound cheesy but we are “The tip of the ATF spear” when it comes to Southwest Border Firearms Trafficking. We need to resolve our issues at this meeting. I’ll be damned if this case is going to suffer due to petty arguing, rumors or other adolescent behavior. I don’t know what all the issues are but we are all adults, we are all professionals and we have the exciting opportunity to use the biggest tool in our law enforcement toolbox. If you don’t think this is fun you’re in the wrong line of work – period! This is the pinnacle of domestic U.S. Law enforcement techniques. After this the tool box is empty. Maybe the Maricopa County Jail is hiring detention officers and you can get paid $30,000 (instead of $100,000) to serve lunch to inmates all day. We need to get over this bump in the road once and for all and get on with the mission at hand. This can be the most fun you have with ATF, the only one limiting the amount of fun we have is you.
David Voth, Group Supervisor, Phoenix Group VII
That email has been preserved by CBS news and others. You can see the pdf here:
So what might be the problem?
The problem is that the ATF has been caught placing thousands of guns into the hands of the Mexican drug smuggling cartels. And other characters of interest. It’s safe to say that that is indeed a problem.
The first symptom of the problem arose when some of the ATF’s agents in Group VII felt like doing a little bit of old fashioned Oath keeping. Some of the agents and officers saw something very ugly about the ATF helping the Mexican cartels obtain powerful weapons – lots of weapons, with lots of ammo.
You’re reading this correctly – The ATF has helped “straw buyers” purchase weapons here in the United States and has made notes about the purchases, but the ATF also has allowed the straw buyers to move those guns into Mexico, knowing they would end up in criminal hands. Remarkable, that. But it’s deeper than just that.
The vast spread of the involved governmental agencies, policies, and offices related to this case are mind-boggling. The case is a scandal of serious proportions, and it reaches from the blood-stained sands of our southern border with Mexico all the way to the top of several Federal agencies. It even reaches into the top tiers of the U.S. Department of Justice, and, shockingly, into the Department of Homeland Security itself.
Apparently there are two ways to interpret Mr. Voth’s email to his agents in Phoenix. He has stated that the Project Gunrunner program is the “’tip of the ATF spear’ when it comes to Southwest Border Firearms Trafficking”. That is an amazing statement, for it can be seen two ways, now that we know that the ATF has been running guns into Mexico. It now appears that ATF could be among the most prolific gun traffickers of all. In reality, we must realize that a program this large has to have a recorded sourcing in our governmental structure, for it involves many millions of tax-payer dollars. (The taxpayers probably will want to fume a bit when they learn that their dollars went to assist in supplying Mexican drug lords with high-powered guns. )
Further, as U.S. Senator Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and U.S. Representative Darrell Issa, R-California, both assert, the Department of Justice and the ATF as well as other agencies have lied to Senator Grassley’s investigation into allegations that the ATF was arming criminal gangs in Mexico.
In an article at WorldNet Daily, < http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=276413 > we read some strong language:
“The gun shops are often vilified for being the source, but in this case they did the right thing. They contacted the agency and were told to go ahead,” Issa said. “As we get to the truth, we’re going to hold those who lied to us early on accountable.” Issa is also determined to break through the agency’s efforts to stonewall the investigation. Kraft said Issa also supports plans for an inquiry by Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa.
“ATF and DOJ denied the existence of the program and stonewalled the senator’s requests, relying on a policy of not disclosing information relating to an ‘open investigation’.”
- End quoted passage -
There are two excellent timelines organized to reveal this story in its proper sequence of development. These two timelines are provided by David Codrea of Gun Rights Examiner and Mike Vanderboegh of Sipsey Street Irregulars.  David and Mike are the prominent two individuals who pushed this story to the top despite much resistance and reluctance by mainstream media. Their inspiring efforts helped an ATF agent whistle-blower working inside Fast And Furious at Phoenix come forward with his explosive revelations, and helped get this whistle-blower some protection by a U.S. Senator and, finally by some decent protective coverage by CBS.
With a grateful salute to David Codrea and Mike Vanderboegh, as well as to CBS News correspondent Sharyl Attkisson, Oath Keepers will share with our readers the fruits of David’s and Mike’s outstanding work on the BATFE’s deliberate scheme to smuggle guns into the hands of Mexican drug lords and other criminals. And then we will look at an outstanding conscientious American who awakened to a very nasty situation inside one of America’s most notoriously scandal-ridden enforcement agencies.
What Does The ATF Do?
Although the ATF has a very long list of abuses of American citizens and has been atop the ‘most-hated’ list of many Americans for decades, one highly criminal event in ATF’s past rings the bell as the quintessence of the ATF’s character as an agency which trucks in government force, even militarized force.
Remember Waco? That was a production in Hellish federal authoritarianism run amok, and it was engineered by the ATF. In early 1993 the ATF was expecting budget hearings in Congress, and leadership decided to pull off a – publicized – military-style invasion of a church which had been in the community at Waco, Texas, for half a century. ATF had been training its agents to behave like combat troops, and they really wanted some kind of confrontation in which they could “practice” their militant techniques.
The pretext was that the ATF wanted to serve a warrant about allegedly illegal gun activity. The minister of that church had friendly relations with the County Sheriff, and was often seen shopping in town, and was known by ATF to take his health jogs each morning on County roads by himself – the perfect time to serve a warrant without risk of escalation.
But the ATF wanted to serve a warrant to the minister of that church with fanfare, do it as a well-choreographed
photo-op. This would gain maximum publicity, which was hoped to inspire Congress to increase ATF’s budget. The ATF notified a couple of news organizations and invited them along for the show.
ATF then blundered its way into the notorious shoot-out with a bunch of church people, leaving four ATF agents dead and others wounded. The metal front door of the church, which bore the flanges of incoming bullets on the inside of the door with none protruding outwardly from gunfire inside the church, has mysteriously disappeared. The entire church complex was burned to the ground and buried by the government. The ATF’s calling card was to shoot David Koresh as he stood in the doorway, unarmed. After two churchmen were wounded by wild ATF gunfire, the church folks began returning fire. Four ATF agents were killed, and some churchmen were also killed.
That began a siege, in which the FBI and the U.S. military were brought in under Bill Clinton’s infamous PDD-25. The ATF got the military involvement/assistance by lying to the Pentagon, saying that the church was manufacturing illegal drugs inside their church. The ATF also lied about alleged child abuse, which did not happen, as the medical staff which examined the surviving children attested on film in the documentary named Waco: A New Revelation. That documentary interviews the Sheriff who knew David Koresh personally, and features the FBI FLIR footage which reveals government troops, FBI agents, ATF agents, shooting the church members as they fled the burning buildings. That’s FBI footage. Get the movie and see the truth.
Now ATF has given us a fresh reminder of the sort of mentality which guides this hapless agency, and this newest adventure is destined to rise to the level of Waco, for although the ATF did not do the actual shooting of Agent Brian Terry, two guns which the ATF had purposely allowed to “walk” across the border under surveillance did turn up in the hands of the villains at the fatal encounter where Agent Terry was shot to death.
Cruel and indifferent, and blatantly disorganized due to its being used extensively in Unconventional Warfare operations, black ops, and clandestine activities, ATF has a “public face” which it shares with the public and it has a “false face” which it hides carefully behind the universal veil called “national security secrecy”. No Federal agency holds in contempt the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution as wrathfully, criminally, and with as deadly consistency as does the ATF. It’s what ATF does. Enforce infringement for the government which funds them.
On its public face, ATF is here to stop the bad guys who might dare to shorten the barrel of a rifle or shotgun, or who might have a gun which fires too many bullets too quickly. But on its false face, the face it always tries to hide, ATF generates fines, jail terms, and taxes peripheral to gun manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and citizens who buy guns. ATF is the Federal tool for gun control in America. ATF has murderous blood on its hands. Since Waco, and the subsequent bombing of the Federal building in Oklahoma City (about which ATF also has much to deny), ATF has managed to keep most of its criminal activity out of the public spotlight – until now.
As David Codrea says, this breaking and snowballing story “just may have stopped federal gun control legislation in its tracks for the foreseeable future.” I tend to agree with David Codrea.
To wade into this, let’s look at some documentation. For readers who have not yet caught this story in the media/press, we’ll ask if Project Gunrunner is real? The DOJ/OIG thinks so…
from that pdf:
U.S. Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General Evaluation and Inspections Divisions – Interim Review of ATF’s Project Gunrunner – September 2009 – Report Number I-2009-006
Project Gunrunner is the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) national initiative to reduce firearms trafficking to Mexico and associated violence along the Southwest border.
In the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) and in fiscal year (FY) 2009 appropriations, ATF received $21.9 million in funding to support and expand Project Gunrunner. In May 2009, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) opened an evaluation of Project Gunrunner, which is ongoing. We are issuing this interim report on Project Gunrunner plans as ATF is expanding the project.
Twenty-one point nine million dollars in Recovery Act funds, on top of whatever the Congress additionally may have funded in 2009, is a lot of money. Americans are about to wake up in anger as they see that such a large sum went to arm the drug cartels of Mexico, get a lot of innocent folks shot to death, and convert bands of criminals south of the border into raging military units of professional crime.
The bright spot in this is that Agent Voth is having ‘fun’.
It is unfortunate that DOJ’s Office of Inspector General failed to concern itself with ATF’s oversight of, and literal assistance for, a river of serious guns and ammo streaming across the border into Mexico. All that study did was assess logistics for an abstract operation. Did the Justice Department know that the ATF was running thousands of weapons across the border for the drug cartels? The answer to that question is destined to come out very soon now. But remember, President Obama has said that neither he nor Holder knew.
Perhaps the leadership at ATF smokes too much of the DEA’s bad weed, for we can clearly see that ATF’s logic was a pipe dream which runs like this – ATF would let the guns be sold to known gun runners. ATF even filmed some of the purchases, as CBS footage shows. ATF asked the gunstore owners to jot down the license plates of those who bought too many guns at one visit. These straw buyers were buying fifty-caliber sniping rifles in quantities. Then ATF would somehow follow the guns into Mexico where, magically, ATF would know which drug cartels got the guns.
Then, as this fantasy pipe dream goes up in smoke in the bonfire of bureaucracy and attendant idiocy, after ATF had let the cartels stock up like a criminal military force ready for street combat, and just before anything really bad happened with all those guns ATF was “following”, ATF would don its Savior Suit and dash down there into Mexico and arrest all the bad guys in one fell swoop.
Something like that. Absolute genius. Govlish-style genius at its finest. Pure pipe-dreams. Psy-hash – lit with your tax dollars for toking-up and running guns across the border. But the ATF’s slap-happy hallucination has metamorphosized into a raging nightmare. Hundreds of human beings have been shot with these guns. The Drug Lords, Cartels, and mercenary criminals in Mexico are now heavily enough armed to be a serious problem for the military of Mexico, not to mention local law enforcement in northern Mexico.
Meanwhile, for years the government of Mexico has been begging the U.S. government to do something to stop the flow of heavy armaments into Mexico across our southern border. The ATF of course has striven to keep their Project Gunrunner strictly secret, and has denied the Mexican government much knowledge of their dastardly operation, which was aiding those weapons to cross our border into Mexico.
Don’t Tell Pedro
To the American tax payer who has funded this madness, ATF continues to present its “public face”, but to those who might interdict or stop ATF’s folly the agency only shows its “false face”. ATF brags about how many weapons it has confiscated, loudly and often, but it never told the Mexican government doodly about its cherished gun-running gig.
In fact, the ATF has been lying outright to the Mexican government. Don’t believe me? Read this –
That is from the U.S. Embassy in Mexico. It is an ATF fact sheet furnished by ATF to the Mexican government and to the government of the American people. Here is how it starts –
ATF is deploying its resources strategically on the Southwest Border to deny firearms, the “tools of the trade,” to criminal organizations in Mexico and along the border, and to combat firearms-related violence affecting communities on both sides of the border. In partnership with other U.S. agencies and with the Government of Mexico, ATF refined its Southwest Border strategy. ATF developed Project Gunrunner to stem the flow of firearms into Mexico and thereby deprive the narcotics cartels of weapons. The initiative seeks to focus ATF’s investigative, intelligence and training resources to suppress the firearms trafficking to Mexico and stem the firearms-related violence on both sides of the border.
Firearms tracing, in particular the expansion of the eTrace firearms tracing system, is a critical component of Project Gunrunner in Mexico. ATF recently deployed eTrace technology in U.S. consulates in Monterrey, Hermosillo and Guadalajara, with six additional deployments to the remaining U.S. consulates in Mexico scheduled by March 2008. ATF has conducted discussions with the government of Mexico regarding the decentralization of the firearms tracing process to deploy Spanish-language eTrace to other Mexico agencies.
In the past two years, ATF has seized thousands of firearms headed to Mexico. Trends indicate the firearms illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border are becoming more powerful. ATF has analyzed firearms seizures in Mexico from FY 2005-07 and identified the following weapons most commonly used by drug traffickers:
· 9mm pistols;
· .38 Super pistols;
· 5.7mm pistols;
· .45-caliber pistols;
· AR-15 type rifles; and
· AK-47 type rifles.
Most of the firearms violence in Mexico is perpetrated by drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) who are vying for control of drug trafficking routes to the United States and engaging in turf battles for disputed distribution territories. Hundreds of Mexican citizens and law enforcement personnel have become casualties of the firearms-related violence. DTOs operating in Mexico rely on firearms suppliers to enforce and maintain their illicit narcotics operations. Intelligence indicates these criminal organizations have tasked their money laundering, distribution and transportation infrastructures reaching into the United States to acquire firearms and ammunition. These Mexican DTO infrastructures have become the leading gun trafficking organizations operating in the southwest U.S.
ATF has dedicated approximately 100 special agents and 25 industry operations investigators to the SWB initiative over the past two years. ATF has recently assigned special agents to Las Cruces, N.M., and Yuma, Ariz. These assignments are part of a broad plan to increase the strategic coverage and disrupt the firearms trafficking corridors operating along the border.
And it goes on from there. It covers much, indicating its willingness to share information on its tax-funded operations in Mexico. It does not at any time allude to just where in Article 1, Section 8, the ATF derives its excuse to exist as a Federal organization. It does not tell the Mexican government or the American people’s government about how many straw buys the ATF oversaw in recent years as the straw buyers legally purchased high-powered firepower and ammo from stores which the ATF was using as if those stores were satellite ATF stations involved in a mysterious and seriously large operation destined to take down the border crime lords in one fell swoop. Nope. The ATF didn’t go into that. So what this “fact sheet” really is a lie-by-omission. Before leaving that document let’s look at one other passage which portends something in what I refer to as “Govlish” –
Firearms tracing helps identify firearms straw purchasers, the traffickers, trafficking networks and patterns, thus allowing law enforcement to target and dismantle the infrastructure supplying firearms to the DTOs in Mexico.
When they say, “target and dismantle the infrastructure supplying firearms…”, their statement might be construed to include the gun stores which they presently regulate. The retail gun stores are constantly harassed by ATF as it zealously enforces the letter of its “law”. ATF offered a number of gun store owners a sense of acceptance when the owner agreed to do the ATF’s spy-work for them in his store, keep the records and forward them to ATF on demand. I’m sure ATF went easy with the stores which cooperated in their Gunrunner program. As to regulating those stores, there’s this last sentence in the document –
ATF conducts firearms seminars with federal firearms licensees, commonly referred to as licensed gun dealers, to educate the firearms industry on straw purchasers and gun trafficking. More than 3,700 industry members attended outreach events in SWB divisions in FY 2007.
Here is an article in the Los Angeles Times which notes that the Mexican government wants some answers –
Excerpt: Lawmakers in Mexico are demanding an investigation into a U.S. law enforcement operation that allowed hundreds of weapons to flow into the hands of Mexican drug cartels amid claims from a ranking legislator that at least 150 Mexicans have been killed or wounded by guns trafficked by smugglers under the watch of U.S. agents.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has acknowledged that at least 195 weapons sold in Arizona under Operation Fast and Furious have been recovered in Mexico, traced as a matter of routine via serial numbers after their recovery from crime scenes, arrests and searches.
Nevertheless, the new information is bound to complicate U.S.-Mexico relations at a rocky time. Mexican President Felipe Calderon is already upset at U.S. Ambassador Carlos Pascual over a series of leaked diplomatic cables citing shortcomings in Mexico’s 4-year-old war against drug cartels.
Mexican politicians have criticized the ATF program as a violation of Mexico’s sovereignty and evidence of U.S. arrogance toward its southern neighbor.
Don’t Tell Uncle Sam
So the Mexican government wants some answers. But also, the U.S. Congress now wants answers, as we see in this pdf letter from the House Judiciary Committee to Eric Holder, Attorney General.
From that Congressional letter to the Attorney General dated March 09, 2011 –
We find it ironic that the government allowed guns to be trafficked into Mexico as part of a program designed to stop guns from being trafficked into Mexico. We are also troubled that ATF engaged in activities that may have facilitated the transfer of guns to violent drug cartels while simultaneously attempting to restrict lawful firearms sales by border-area firearms dealers.
Are we beginning to see how serious this is?
Let us quickly note that we cannot blame the gun dealers who were running legitimate businesses in Arizona. They are licensed and operating perfectly legally. Please note as this story unfolds that several of the Federally licensed gun dealers from whom the criminals were buying large volumes of guns had suggested to ATF that such purchases should be forbidden – but the ATF, which needs a job to do, a reason to exist, and also needed big plans to spend all their allocated funding, and which must have something to justify its expensive budget each year, over-rode those FFL gun dealers’ recommendations.
The ATF geniuses told the store owners to continue to sell to known gun traffickers, “straw buyers”, so that ATF could follow the guns as they “walked” across the border. ATF asked the gun store owners to keep records and contact ATF whenever the straw buyers made significant purchases.
Watch the Fox News video of March 09, 2011,in this next linked-article, and notice how Fox News people are trying to carefully choose their language while exposing as little as possible about how deeply this thing goes toward the heart of government policy. Where Sharyll Attkisson of CBS News is telling it straight up as it truly is, Fox News, in a feeble effort to keep up with CBS, gives a very hesitant, even reluctant report on this story. But please note – the wickedness inherent in Gunrunner cannot be avoided now, cannot be denied no matter how carefully newscasters at Fox News parse their words. In this article Senator Grassley notes that this scandal goes into the Department of Homeland Security itself.
Already we know the weapons used to kill Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry were being tracked by Gunrunner, but new documents reveal a much bigger problem.
The questions this morning in Washington are how high does this go and will Congress call for a formal investigation of its own.
“I’m still asking questions and we’re getting the runaround from the Justice Department” Sen. Charles Grassley told Fox News. ”They’re stonewalling. And the longer they wait, the more they fight, the more egg that they’re going to have on their face.”
[U.S. Senator] Grassley and others say Gunrunner was a dismal and deadly failure, with ATF intentionally allowing thousands of weapons to be illegally trafficked to Mexico.
Sen. Grassley says ATF isn’t the only guilty agency. He says Department of Justice lawyers and agents from Homeland Security also watched this debacle unfold, often hand in hand with ATF.
Grassley has lengthy correspondence and numerous documents he wants to post on the Senate Judiciary website, but sources on the Hill say Judiciary Chairman Pat Leahy won’t allow it, refusing to call for an independent congressional investigation.
“I’m not satisfied with the inspector general there doing the investigation; to me it looks like a fox guarding the hen house,” echoes Grassley.
I would add – every government official who seeks to interdict, limit, stall, prevent, discourage, twist, avoid, evade,obfuscate or spin this investigation will be viewed as complicit in the ATF crimes now being investigated. It is called, “conspiracy”.
So now we know that the ATF’s project Gunrunner is real, that it involves several Federal agencies in a lawbreaking spree of official insanity, and that a lot of people are now dead, on both sides of the border, many of them shot by guns furnished under ATF surveillance.
Before moving to the next part of this story, let’s look briefly at an amazing phenomenon. I call it:
Beanbags Vs Bullets
In December, 2010, U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian A. Terry was murdered in a shoot-out at Peck Canyon northwest of Nogales, Arizona, in which our Border Patrol agents were armed with “beanbag bullets” while the smugglers were firing real bullets. Typical fedgov progressive political-correctness set up that scenario – thank Washington D.C., DOJ, DHS, ATF – well, actually, no one seems to want our gratitude, for each of them are denying they gave the order to put bean-bags in Border Patrol guns.
In January, 2011, street agents of the ATF began a discussion online at “Clean Up ATF dot org.
The discussion was about the gun which allegedly killed Agent Terry. It appears that two of the rifles being used by the smugglers were “Project Gunrunner” weapons which had been allowed by ATF to “walk” across the border into cartel hands. Mike Vanderboegh was notified about this online discussion. We can thank Mike for helping get the story out to the world.
Diane Macedo for Fox News published this article on bean bags as bullets and revealed another dimension of this story. Here is the link for the full article, posted by Fox News on March 03, 2011 –
We read there -
The U.S. Border Patrol is under fire for allegedly ordering its elite, SWAT-style units to use non-lethal bean bag ammunition before responding with deadly force – even against suspects armed with high-powered semi-automatic and automatic weapons like AK-47s.
The controversy over the agency’s “bean bag” policy began in the days following the Dec. 14 killing of U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry and has escalated recently as more information is uncovered in the investigation of the fatal shooting.
“When the suspected aliens did not drop their weapons, two Border Patrol agents deployed ‘less than lethal’ beanbags at the suspected aliens,” according to a FBI search warrant request filed in the U.S. District Court in Tucson on Dec. 29. “At this time, at least one of the suspected aliens fired at the Border Patbrol agents. Two Border Patrol agents returned fire, one with his long gun and one with his pistol. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry was shot with one bullet and died shortly after.”
The warrant appears to support claims made by Terry’s brother, Kent, and former U.S. Rep.Tom Trancredo that Terry’s team — part of the U.S. Border Patrol Tactical Unit, also known as BORTAC – was under standing orders to always use bean-bag rounds first before using live ammunition.
“There was a group of four guys with my brother and two had lethal and two had non-lethal weapons there,” Kent Terry told Fox News Friday.
On March 09, 2011, CNN published this piece of damage control by Janet Napolitano, Big Sister head of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
Written by Mike M. Ahlers, CNN:
Four Border Patrol officers who confronted armed immigrants in the Arizona desert last December were not under orders to use “less-than-lethal” force, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said, countering critics who say an ill-advised shooting policy contributed to one of the agent’s death.
But Napolitano declined to say whether two of the four agents were armed only with non-lethal “bean bag” guns, saying the incident is still being investigated.
An FBI affidavit has raised questions about the incident, saying that two of the agents fired “less than lethal” bean bags at the armed immigrants before the immigrants returned fire.
Did those bandits know that our guys would shoot first with bean bags? There is this from the Arizona Daily Star: Records show agents fired beanbags in fatal border gunfight
Border Patrol officials declined to answer questions about protocol for use of force, citing the ongoing investigation.
But Terry’s brother, Kent Terry, said the other agents who were there that night told him that they were instructed to use the non-lethal beanbags first. It’s a policy that doesn’t make sense to Kent Terry.
“You go up against a bandit crew that is carrying AKs, and you walk out there with guns loaded with beanbags – I don’t get it,” Terry said in a phone interview from Michigan. “It’s like going to the Iraqi war with one knife. It boggles my mind. … These guys (Border Patrol agents) are professionals; they should be able to use their judgment call on their own.”
On the night of the deadly encounter, agents were trying to apprehend at least five suspected illegal immigrants. One agent, using thermal binoculars, spotted two men carrying rifles. When the group came close, at least one agent identified himself as police and ordered the men to drop their weapons.
Here’s how the rest of the events are described in the FBI document:
“When the suspected aliens did not drop their weapons, two Border Patrol agents deployed ‘less than lethal’ beanbags at the suspected aliens. At this time, at least one of the suspected aliens fired at the Border Patrol agents. Two Border Patrol agents returned fire, one with his long gun and one with his pistol.
Agent Voth’s Oath Keeper
I’m sure DHS’ Janet Napolitano is having a large time with this, and Agent Voth is still having fun. Eric Holder is probably smiling despite it all as he also tries to find a “public face” to greet the faces he meets. But what about any Oath Keepers in this developing story? Can we find an Oath Keeper in all this? We know that Janet Napolitano violates her Oath every day. More than likely, so do a lot of people working inside DOJ, FBI, DEA, ATF, and numerous other agencies under DOJ’s umbrella. We certainly know that supervisor Voth is totally despicable as a raging fun-seeking Oath breaker.
Let’s talk more about Agent Voth. In his email to his agents, he was talking about the serious questions some of his agents were discussing among themselves – questions about the wisdom, or lack of wisdom, in operation Gunrunner. It had come to their attention that Agent Terry had been murdered by, possibly, a Gunrunner weapon which ATF had let “walk”. Two rifles at that death scene were Gunrunner rifles. Did Mr. Voth give a damn about his Oath to the Constitution? Nope. He was into having “fun”. And he was not about to let his fun be spoiled by some disturbing awareness about the grave reality underpinning his fun.
With a typically Feducated mentality, Mr. Voth took the bureaucratic/governmental approach to leading his men back to their senses. Force them. Threaten them. Warn them. Give them “what-for!” Keep the troops in line. It’s called “authoritarianism”. Works big-time in the military, and also in today’s militarized law enforcement. It is a form of psychological pathology which infests power-damaged minds in too many Federal agency offices.
It is blind, it is careless, it is dangerous, and for the most part it is highly criminal. It is what Heinrich Himmler drove into the hearts and minds of his SS troops. It is the mindset which wants to have fun while playing God with other peoples’ lives. Mr. Voth likely does not know how hideously ugly his mind now appears to Americans. He most likely shall take my criticism as “all in a day’s work”, or “part of the job”, and he will pat himself on the back for enduring in his madness no matter what. But what Superviser Voth probably did not see coming his way is the fact that right there in his Phoenix Group VII stands his antithesis, a man of principle, and that man has come forward.
We see that at leadership levels in DOJ and ATF there is not likely to be found very many Oath Keepers. All up and down the scale they are lying to Senator Grassley, stonewalling, giving Congress the run-around. They’re as immature about this as any three-year-old child caught in the cookie jar. But of course we can’t really expect government-paid employees who play with guns to fess up when they mess up, now can we? I mean, this mess-up is big enough to do serious damage to the entire Federal policy machinery. They’re caught arming drug cartels in Mexico, after all.
Now we’re ready to look to the Oath Keeper and his conscientious companions. There is one Oath Keeper who came forward first, and he is already joined by about a dozen others. This one man was the first man to allow CBS cameras to put a face on an ATF agent confessing the bitter truth about Gunrunner. He and his fellow agents of honor are good men who can, despite their rigorous training, heavy programming, perpetual conditioning, and reinforced mindsets, finally see the truth and the horror of berserk governmental thinking/planning/execution in the tragic “biggest tool” in ATF’s tool box.
Now we have a hero. We have a real man among men. We have an ATF agent who has been willing to face the truth behind the ATF’s bold-faced lie. And this man has chosen to honor his Oath at great personal risk. He did not call up Oath Keepers and ask to join. He did not make a big deal about honoring his Oath. The man just saw what was wrong, knew what it would take to make things right, weighed the consequences, counted his options, and concluded that his duty to the American people and to Agent Terry’s family was to step forward, go public, let this horribly ugly ATF secret out of the bag, and take his chances on any future career. Why? Because ATF agent John Dodson has what all Oath Keepers have – he has a conscience. Here is what he told CBS’ Sharyl Attkisson:
“I’m boots on the ground in Phoenix, telling you we’ve been doing it every day since I’ve been here,” he said. “Here I am. Tell me I didn’t do the things that I did. Tell me you didn’t order me to do the things I did. Tell me it didn’t happen. Now you have a name on it. You have a face to put with it. Here I am. Someone now, tell me it didn’t happen.” – Agent John Dodson, as quoted by CBS’ Sharyl Attkisson
BATFE Agent John Dodson is talking about government-permitted gun running, a long-questioned practice of America’s clandestine government functions. He has proved his mettle as a true American, a man with a conscience which matches his training and skill as an agent, and a man who is willing to do the right thing. From Oath Keepers nationally, Agent Dodson, thank you.
Following The DEA’s Example
We will remember that the reason why the cartels in Mexico want guns is directly related to the business of dealing illegal drugs. On that one point, there is this interesting take by a Houston attorney who is involved with one of the gun stores which ATF had conscripted.
From this WND article
“Senator Grassley is still looking for answers to the questions that he asked of the various agencies. He continues to ask questions as he learns more about the actions of the ATF and the Department of Justice,” Levine stated.
In the search for answers, the Houston attorney says he knows the ultimate solution to the Project Gunrunner question: End the war on drugs.
DeGuerin believes the war on drugs is the issue driving the entire Project Gunrunner problem, because the drugs provide the incentive for criminal activity.
A word or two about that please. We know that the DEA permits drug task forces at both Federal and State level to “let drugs walk”. DEA gives illegal drugs to “snitches” (informants) so they can set-up their associates for future busts. That is not a contested “theory”, it is a known fact – the DEA will let illegal drugs onto the street so they can “catch” somebody. What ATF was doing with the guns was similar, except that they had no way of tracking the guns once they crossed the border into Mexico.
The problem with all that is that ATF knew it could not track those weapons, but it let them “walk” across the border anyway. Worse, as the figures came in, Agent Dodson even asked ATF leadership if they could not see the correlation between escalating gun-crime violence at the border and the volume of guns ATF let “walk”. ATF was not appreciative of Agent Dodson’s query. That would not be fun. Better to ignore the blatant correlations and keep on letting the guns move to Mexico. One superior told him that “if we want to make an omelet, we have to scramble some eggs”. That’s cold.
And that brings up an even more sinister question: Could a psy-op now be about to surface in the investigation spawned by Senator Grassley? I mean to ask, is it possible that certain policy makers on high want some reason to inject military/police operations into Mexico under the guise of a raging drug-smuggling gang-warfare chaotic hell on earth – which someone has to bring under control? If the violence would predictably lead to combining the U.S. and Mexican militaries and law enforcement, would that not be another small step toward the SPP (Security and Prosperity Partnership), otherwise known as the North American Union?
Is NORTHCOM now in Mexico in an “advisory” role? Doesn’t NORTHCOM already have a military agreement with the Canadian military for troop exchanges? The ATF has stated its plans to expand Operation Gunrunner, although funding for that may now be in jeopardy. If the gun crime figures continue to rise in Mexico, ATF would have no trouble getting a larger Federal funding package to combat it, is that not true?
Would the ATF benefit thereby in letting large numbers of guns walk into Mexico? Would DHS benefit for letting ATF benefit? Would the SPP benefit? Would the Federal government benefit? Am I a fool for asking such questions, or would I be a fool if I didn’t?
I work for Oath Keepers. You won’t believe the things I hear from around this nation. The answers to some of these questions are at the links in the Notes section below. This story is only beginning. Oath Keepers salutes Agent John Dodson and his honorable patriot friends who are backing him up as he brings this to the world’s attention.
Agent Dodson worked inside “Project Gunrunner”.
He has come forward to expose it.
Oath Keepers salutes ATF Agent John Dodson.
Copyright 2011 Elias Alias and Oath Keepers, Inc.
1 – David Codrea’s; timeline:
Mike Vanderboegh’s time line:
Dave Workman, Seattle Gun Rights Examiner, March 25, 2011
This morning on the Glenn Beck radio program, National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre suggested that the Gunrunner operation may be far more than a sting gone horribly bad. He said the same thing in an interview Thursday with this column, asserting that this is beginning to look like a deliberate effort to flood Mexico with American guns.
Referring to the Obama administration, LaPierre told this column that “they kept blaming the Second Amendment…for actions of Mexican drug cartels, and it sure looks like they did it to lay the groundwork for more gun control.”
“Someone set out to turn it into a river of guns over the objection of rank and file law enforcement,” LaPierre said.
The full interview will appear in the next issue of Gun Week.
Former ATF senior agent Darren Gil, who was the agency’s top gun in Mexico, went public with serious allegations that he and other ATF officials were denied access to agency computer files related to the Gunrunner project and its Operation Fast and Furious, based in the ATF’s Phoenix office.
Gil told CBS that part of his job as the attaché to Mexico would have been to approve any operation involving Mexico and he did not approve Project Gunrunner or Fast and Furious. But who did?
In an exclusive interview with CBS News, the lead ATF official in Mexico at the time Darren Gil says somebody in the Justice Department did know about the case. Gil says his supervisor at ATF’s Washington D.C. headquarters told him point-blank the operation was approved even higher than ATF Director Kenneth Melson.
“Is the director aware of this,” Gil asked the supervisor. Gil says his supervisor answered “Yes, the director’s aware of it. Not only is the director aware of it, D.O.J.’s aware of it… Department of Justice was aware of it.”—CBS News’ Sharyl Atkisson
MEANWHILE, Sen. Charles Grassley’s inquiry into the project Gunrunner has provided new revelations in a letter to Alan D. Borsin, commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
Grassley told Borsin that “CBP officials allegedly stopped Jaime Avila near the border in the spring or summer of 2010. He allegedly had the two WASR-10 rifles in his possession that were later found at the scene of Agent Brian Terry’s murder, along with over thirty additional weapons. CBP officials contacted ATF or an Assistant United States Attorney who allegedly instructed CBP to allow Avila proceed without seizing the weapons.”
Also related – March 25, 2009 – Two Years Ago – Hillary Clinton In Mexico
The U.S. Congress this month trimmed the amount of drug aid money it will set aside this fiscal year to $300 million from $400 million last year, under a pledge of $1.4 billion to Mexico and Central America over three years.
Since taking office in December 2006, Calderon has spent more than $6.4 billion on his drug war and sent 45,000 troops and federal police to trouble spots around the country.
Mexico has repeatedly said, however, that its efforts will come to nothing if the United States does not clamp down on the smuggling of U.S. guns used in 90 percent of drug crimes south of the border.
Clinton described the violence Mexico is grappling with as “horrendous” and said cartels were alarmingly well equipped.
“It’s not only guns. It’s night vision goggles. It’s body armor. These criminals are outgunning the law enforcement officials,” she said. “When you go into a gun fight, where you are trying to round up bad guys and they have … military style equipment that is much better than yours, you start out at a disadvantage.”
Pdf Letter from Senator Grassley to The Honorable Alan D. Bersin, Commissioner, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20229, dated March 16, 2011, containing this –
Since January, I have been investigating the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and
Explosives (ATF) operation called “Fast and Furious”—part of the broader “Project Gunrunner” initiative. According to several agents, ATF leadership encouraged gun dealers to engage in sales of multiple weapons to individuals suspected of illegally purchasing them for resale to Mexican cartels.
March 23 – Obama on Gunrunner with Mexican journalist – CBS
President Obama says that he and Holder did not know about Project Gunrunner. – “We’re trying to build a kind of cooperation between Mexico and the United States that we haven’t seen before …”
Obama – “It’s not just Mexico’s problem, it’s also our problem. “
Sharyl Attkisson, CBS, Feb 23, 2011, Scandal
Sharyl Attkisson, March 03, 2011 – Agent Dodson’s on-air statements
Sharyl Attkisson, CBS, March 08, 2011 – ATF gun running since 2008
Sharyl Attkisson, CBS, March 10, 2011, Holder Speaks
From that article:
Prior to this week, the position of the Justice Department was that ATF has never knowingly allowed guns to get into the hands of suspected gunrunners. However, Attorney General Eric Holder no longer appears to be denying the allegations, which have been made by a dozen veteran ATF agents…At a hearing today, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison asked Holder to comment on the case. Holder emphasized “The mission of ATF… is to stop the flow of guns. That is the focus of ATF and why they are bravely working in Mexico and in this country.”
Holder went on to say for the first time that letting guns “walk” into the hands of criminals for any reason is wrong. Holder says he’s “made it clear to people in the (Justice) Department that letting guns ‘walk,’ I guess that’s the term people use, is not something that is acceptable. We cannot have a situation where guns are allowed to walk, and I’ve made that clear to the US Attorney as well as the agents in charge of various ATF offices.”
Documents obtained by CBS News show that the Phoenix U.S. Attorney’s office under the Justice Department supervised ATF’s Fast and Furious operation.
Sharyl Attkisson, CBS, March 21, 2011 – 2nd Agent comes forward
Sharyl Attkisson, CBS, with ATF Special Agent #2, video – ATF Special Agent Rene Jaquez – March 21, 2011
Sharyl Attkisson, CBS, Darren Gil, ATF man in charge of Mexico operations for ATF – March 25, 2011
David Codrea and Mike Vanderboegh on the radio / gunrunner interview / inside stuff
Killer good site – Codrea’s War On Guns site –
David Codrea’s Gun Rights Examiner
Mike Vanderboegh’s Website Sipsey Street Irregulars
Miscellaneous Links –
The movie, Waco: A New Revelation, which prompted a new Congressional investigation into Waco: http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/waco-a-new-revelation/
We encourage all readers, and all Oath Keepers members and supporters, to contact their US Representatives and Senators and demand that they support hearings, and also let them know we want to see the resignation of the head of the ATF and of Holder, and we want to know what Obama knew, and when.
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