Tuesday, March 29, 2011

ATF Gun Running Scandal – How High Does It Go?

Many years ago, the question was; How much did the President know and when did he know it? Now, President Obama is facing the very same question. Sadly, while Watergate did not involve anyone dying, the scandal Obama faces involves a US Federal law enforcement agency facilitating the smuggling of guns that have killed hundreds of Mexicans and a US Boarder Patrol Agent. The following is a rough timeline of the current scandal that has potential to bring down the Obama presidency:

Early 2009: Secretary of State Hillery Clinton and Attorney General Eric Holder blame gun violence in Mexico on US gun shops selling to smugglers. Holder calls for a new ban on “assault weapons”. Their claim that 90% of guns recovered at Mexican crime scenes come from the US is quickly disproved - not only buy gun groups, but by the liberal group factcheck.org. 60 Democratic congressmen send Holder a letter telling him that a new Assault Weapons Ban is “dead on arrival”.

At virtually the same time: The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) began ordering gun dealers to sell guns to suspected smugglers. Yes, you read that right. When gun dealers called to report a suspected “straw purchase” or “gun smuggler” instead of being told to refuse the sale, or stall the buy so they could arrive and arrest the illegal buyer – something that had been ATF policy for decades – the dealers were ordered to complete the sale. They were often told to get the vehicle license number of the buyer. Many gun dealers were so dismayed by this policy of “letting the guns walk” that they demand the orders in writing (which they got), others record conversations with ATF agents and/or note their names.

Early 2008 to late 2010: Instead of arresting the smugglers, ATF agents are ordered to watch as the guns are smuggled into Mexico. Over and over they beg for permission to stop the guns from going into Mexico – every time the order is the same; Stand down. In one case senior ATF officials order the Board Patrol to release both the guns and the smugglers after they catch them. During this time, ATF facilitates the smuggling of between 3000 and 10,000 firearms to Mexican drug cartels. The guns begin turning up at Mexican murder scenes. Many ATF agents protest this policy and are warned to keep quiet because this program has been approved at the highest levels of the administration. One of these agents warns his boss that, “ It’s only a matter of time before we have to attend the funeral of a US Federal Agent killed by one of “our guns”.

Late 2010: Reports of the policy begin to appear on the insider web forum cleanupaft.org.

December 14th 2010, just after 11:00pm: US Board Patrol Agent Brain Terry is killed with an AK-47 smuggled into Mexico with the help of ATF.

December 28th 2010: The first whistle-blowing agent makes contact with gun rights media reporters David Codrea and Mike Vanderboegh. This first agent states that the program’s purpose was to increase the number of US guns recovered in Mexico in order to justify further gun control laws in the US and increase ATF’s budget. Mike Vanderboegh breaks the story in his blog and David Codrea begins a series of reports in the Gun Rights Examiner.

Early to mid January 2011: Whistle-blowers continue to talk to David Codrea and Mike Vanderboegh. They confirm that ATF Agents were forbidden to notify any Mexican police officials of the “program”. They also confirm that ICE was involved and that they were told that the highest levels of the Justice department had approved the program.

Mid to late January 2011: Codrea and Vanderboegh actively seek a mainstream reporter who is willing to tackle the story. No one wants to cover it. At the same time, they begin seeking congressional protection for whistle-blowers.

January 22, 2011: World Net Daily becomes the first news outlet outside the “gun rights” media to report the story.

Late January 2011: ATF supervisors begin threatening whistle-blowers in an effort to stop the story.

January 30, 2011: Mexican press begins reporting on the scandal. Over the next two months it becomes and remains front page news throughout the country for the next two months. Mexican lawmakers are furious and demand that the US Agents be extradited for trial in Mexico. The US Ambassador is forced to resign. In late March the Mexican Attorney General states that an investigation is under way and that he is willing to bring charges against US Officials.

January 30, 2011: Sen. Charles Grassly offers his protection to whistle blowers. His staffers begin investigating.

January 30, 2011: Fox News Online carries a story on the scandal.

February 2011: ATF officials try to stonewall Sen Grassly – in doesn’t work. He continues to demand answers. Approximately 12 ATF agents come forward to aid his investigation.

February 15, 2011: The Washington Times begins reporting on the story.

February 23, 2011: Sharyl Attkisson of CBS news becomes the first mainstream broadcast news report to report the story. She continues to dig and report for the next 6 weeks, joined belatedly by Fox News. Two brave agents go on camera to confirm the story.

March 4, 2011: Rush Limbaugh discovers the story and shares it with his 20 million listeners.

March 17, 2011: Rep. Darrel Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, calls on the ATF to answer questions and produce documents about "gunwalking" operations where guns were allegedly allowed into Mexico in order to track drug cartels. Congressional hearings are now certain.

March 23, 2011: In an interview with the Mexican TV network Univision, Pres. Obama goes on the record stating that neither he, nor Attorney General Eric Holder had knowledge of guns being smuggled into Mexico with the knowledge and aid of ATF.

March 27, 2011: The highest ranking agent yet goes on camera. The now retired agent was head of ATF operations in Mexico during the entire time the guns were going south. He described how he protested the policy over and over. The response was that this operation had been approved at the highest levels of both ATF and the Justice Department.

If you want to watch the many videos on this story, go to foxnews.com or cbsnews.com and just search for “ATF”.

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