Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Fast and Furious Timeline and News Links - July 2011


July 2011


July 1, 2011 - The Blue Ridge Now, the online version of the Hendersonville NC Times becomes the latest news outlet to suggest that the whole point of Gunwalker was to pump guns into Mexico from US retail sources, calling it a "False Flag Operation".

July 2, 2011 - Newsmax quotes Sen. Charles Grassley as saying, "Many very high up in the Department of Justice" had full knowledge of Gunwalker. Given that the acting ATF director has stated that, "I am not going to take the fall for this" and that he is scheduled to testify later this month, there are not too many people above him in DOJ. Lanny A. Breuer, assistant AG for the criminal division is already linked to the scandal via warrant requests he signed. Above him is the AG, Eric Holder and above Holder is President Obama. Either Lanny Breuar was behind this whole thing, or he is willing to take the fall for someone else, or he will roll over on someone else higher up - and that means Holder and/or Obama. Things are about to get very interesting.

July 5, 2011 - Human Events publishes a background piece calling for reform of the ATF.

July 5, 2011 - The New York Times publishes another article blaming the ATF's problems on "lax gun laws".

July 5, 2011 - Fox News reports that calls are growing in Mexico for the extradition of those responsible for smuggling guns into Mexico. Mexican officials want those responsible to be tried in both countries.

July 5, 2011 - Fox News covers the story on "Special Report". There is a panel discussion in which liberal commentator Juan Williams states that Eric Holder has to take responsibility for this scandal. No one defends ATF and the general opinion is that this is not going away any time soon.

July 6, 2011 - In a surprise move, acting ATF head Kenneth Melson testified before member of congress on July 4th. He testified that the main target of the investigation was in fact a paid FBI informant. He also testified that DOJ lied to congress and intentionally obstructed their investigation. Rep. Issa and Senator Grassley report that the cover up includes ATF, FBI and DEA. Melson denied prior knowledge of Gunwalker and stated that he moved to replace those execs responsible as soon as he learned of the program. He also wanted to fully disclose the operation to congress and the public, but was forbidden to do so by DOJ officials. Rep. Issa has now backed away from his previous calls for Melson's resignation. Reports: Fox News US News and World Report CBS Washington Times

July 6, 2011 - The local Phoenix ABC affiliate reports that 43 guns recovered by DEA during a drug bust last April have been positively linked to Gunwalker. They also report that FBI and DEA were involved in the program.

July 7, 2011 - Rep. Alan West, appearing on the Steve Gill radio program, calls for Eric Holder's removal and for the appointment of a special prosecutor in the Gunwalker scandal.

July 7, 2011 - The New York Post publishes an OP Ed tying Gunwalker to "under the radar" gun control efforts. They also believe that Eric Holder may have criminal responsibility.

July 7, 2011 - The Washington Post publishes an article in which they present the administration's and DOJ's position with little to no questioning.

July 7, 2011 - The San Francisco Chronicle publishes an article outlining Melson's testimony and the alegations of FBI involvement. They also blame the US for the gun problems in Mexico.

July 7, 2011 - Rep. Issa is interviewed by Fox News. Sean Hannity Interview: Part 1 Part 2 Bret Baier Interview Rep. Chaffetz, who serves on the oversight committee with Rep. Issa is interviewed by Megan Kelly.

July 7, 2011 - The NRA launches www.fireholder.com - a website devoted to the removal of Attorney General Eric Holder in response to Gunwalker. The site has links to news, an online petition and background information on Gunwalker.

July 8, 2011 - Josh Gerstein, writing in Politico, suggests that the ATF scandal may result in the abolition of the agency. One Democratic group is quoted as saying that FBI could handle enforcement and Treasury could handle licensing.

July 8, 2011 - John Lott, writing on FoxNews.com, strongly suggests that the real goal of Gunwalker was to smuggle guns to Mexico in order to advance gun control in the US.

July 8, 2011 - A video from 2009 surfaces on youtube in which Deputy AG David Ogden, speaking from the White House, outlines "Fast and Furious"/"Operation Gunrunner" including DEA and ATF involvement. He states that this was being done on orders from President Obama and AG Holder.

July 9, 2011 - The Greeley Gazette states that Sen. Grassley and Issa have sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, accusing him of issuing "false denials" and "distorting the truth." Also reports that it is "impossible" for Holder not to have known about Gunwalker

July 9, 2011 - World Net Daily commentary asserts that, "FBI, Homeland Security, DEA and ATF all get together to run a sting operation at least partly in a foreign country. Is it even conceivable that Obama would not have to be informed of such a plan? Not likely."

July 9, 2011 - The Charlotte Observer reports that "As a result of Melson's statements, "our investigation has clearly expanded," a source close to the congressional investigation said this week, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the inquiry is ongoing. "We know now it was not something limited to just a small group of ATF agents in Arizona.""

July 9, 2011 - Salem News Online reports that "Holder Lied: DOJ News Release Shows Obama Admin Approved ATF Mexico Weapons Smuggling"

July 10, 2011 - World Net Daily, the first outlet outside the gun rights media to carry the Gunwalker story, reports that the motive for the for Gunwalker may very well have been to advance gun control. In a separate article, World Net Daily also reports that, as part of "Fast and Furious" BATFE trained Mexican police officers known to be corrupt.

July 11, 2011 - The LA Times prints a fairly objective article that points out the DEA, and FBI connections and the administration's cover up efforts. Is this story really beginning to gain traction in the mainstream press?

July 11, 2011 - Fox News reports that the family of murdered Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry is considering filing a suit against the Federal Government for wrongful death. Discovery would provide another source of information on the scandal.

July 11, 2011 - In spite of the fact that dealer already report suspicious buyers - including multiple purchases - to ATF, ATF today announced a "rule" that will require dealers to report sales of multiple semi-auto rifles. In the Gunwalker case, no dealers were charged or disciplined in any way. Why? Because they all reported the straw buyers, only to be ordered to sell the guns. It is widely believed that this new "rule" has absolutely no foundation in law, and is therefore illegal. The NRA is expected to sue to prevent it going into effect. While this "rule" may not prove to be a problem, they want to prevent ATF from making their own laws via the rule making process.

July 12, 2011 - Dennis Hennigan, Acting President of the Brady Campaign and John Lott, gun rights advocate, author of "More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws" discuss Gunwalker on Southern California public radio.

July 12, 2011 - The Daily Caller and other outlets report that AG Holder has given potential witnesses access to a shared hard drive with full details on the failed ATF operation. Sen. Grassley and Rep. Issa have sent him a letter protesting this and expressing their concerns that this is an effort to derail their investigation.

July 12, 2011 - In a first for a major US newspaper, the Deseret News publisheLinks a huge, multi-page article on Gunwalker. In an exhaustive, beginning to current time account of the scandal they compare it to Watergate and Iran - Contra. They also build a strong, fact based case that the true motive of the program was to create a crisis that would enable a "crackdown on guns in the US" and ensure the confirmation of Andrew Traver as ATF head. The article also reports accusations that Holder is lying about when he knew about the operation.

July 12, 2011 - CNN reports that over 1,400 guns given to criminals under "fast and furious" are still un-recovered.

July 12, 2011 - Gun attorney David Hardy, writing in his blog "Of Arms and the Law", lays out a strong case that ATF agents and other involved in the Gunwalker scandal broke the "Arms Export Control Act" (22 USC §2778). Those responsible could be subject to "a fine for each violation not more than $1,000,000 or imprisonment of not more than ten years, or both."

July 13, 2011 - CBS News reports that senior DOJ officials were "unquestionably aware" of Gunwalker.

July 13, 2011 - Rep. Blake Farenthold, appearing on an NRA vidcast, states that the purpose of "Fast and Furious" was to justify further gun control laws.

July 13, 2011 - Katie Pavlich writing at Townhall.com reports that "Fast and Furious" was designed to promote gun control. She has copies of an internal ATF email that appears to support her claim.

July 15, 2011 - The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review prints an editorial calling for Eric Holder's resignation.

July 15, 2011 - PBS reports on the outrage in Mexico over "Fastand Furious". The story is gaining traction in even liberal media.

July 15, 2011 - The Sacramento Bee prints an opinion piece by Margaret A. Bengs which makes the point that California has an interest in the "Gunwalker" investigation.

July 15, 2011 - The Jamestown Sun calls for further investigation of the ATF and the resignation of Eric Holder.

July 15, 2011 - City Watch LA - an LA online outlet reports on the ATF scandal.

July 15, 2011 - The LA Times covers new gun control bills to be introduced in congress, but makes a point of covering Gunwalker in the same article, including asking if the bills were merely an attempt to distract from the ATF scandal.

July 15, 2011 - The Weekly Standard publishes a very large article on Gunwalker entitled: More DOJ Malpractice - A misbegotten scheme to boost gun control turns deadly.

July 16, 2011 - The Christian Science Monitor publishes a large article including coverage of Gunwalker.

July 16, 2011 - The LA Times reports on the FBI involvement in Gunwalker.

July 16, 2011 - The Austin Statesman reports on a case where a firearms dealer reported a suspicious buyer to ATF and the resulting conviction. They then report on 'Fast and Furious" and conclude that this all somehow proves the need for mandatory reporting on multiple rifle sales.

July 17, 2011 - The Tennessean reports that congressional investigators have evidence that the scandal reaches "the highest levels" of the Justice Department - including "Senate confirmed appointees". Rep. Issa has demanded further information, including emails and other documents.

July 17, 2011 - Fox 26, the Fox station in Medford Oregon reports that the family of DEA agent Jaime Zapata has retained a lawyer and that ATF has refused them any information in reagrds to the firearms used in his murder.

July 18, 2011 - The Daily Caller reports that Isaa and Grassley are pushing the FBI and DEA hard for answered regarding their involvement in Gunwalker.

July 18, 2011 - ABC News reports that Acting Director Melson's, "Eyes nearly popped out of his head" when he found out that the subjects ATF was enabling to by firearms and smuggle them across the boarder were on the FBI payroll. When he communicated this to deputy attorney general (DAG) Jim Cole, he did not seem to be shocked.

July 18, 2011 - CNN reports on the congressional demand for DEA, FBI and DOJ documents

July 19, 2011 - More articles on the alleged DOJ cover up of Gunwalker, including the existence of a 'smoking gun" internal report: Fox News Latino LA Times CBS Forbes USA Today Main Justice

July 19, 2011 - Reuters carries a story about Gunwalker, focusing upon a gun dealer who did not want to participate.

July 20, 2011 - Fox News does a story on the straw buyers and the failure of "Fast and Furious" to snare any high ranking cartel members. They also report that new hearings will take place on July 26.

July 22, 2011 - The LA Times reports that the BATFE attempted to mislead congressional investigators earlier in the investigation.

July 22, 2011 - Sen. Grassley is interviewed by Fox News. He reports that DOJ withheld documents given to them by the acting director of ATF. Grassley believes that DOJ is probably "stonewalling" and that "very high ranking officials in DOJ" knew of the program.

July 22, 2011 - Human Events reports that the DOJ's Inspector General has opened a formal investigation into alleged retaliation against ATF whistle blowers.

July 22, 2011 - Sen. Grassley quoted in a Newsmax story as saying that Gunwalker clearly involved criminal activity. He also indicated that acting ATF director Melson was not only told to quit he was ordered not to talk to congress.

July 24, 2011 - The Toledo Blade prints an OP ED by Jack Lessenberry, the paper's obbudsman and member of the journalism faculty at Wayne State University. In it Lessenberry expresses concern in regards to the lack of coverage of Gunwalker.

July 24, 2011 - The Eureka Times-Standard reports on the DOJ cover up.

July 24, 2011 - World Net Daily publishes a commentary by Rodger Hedgecook in which he points out that having created a scandal, the administration is now attempting to use it to pass additional gun control laws. He also reports that "the Obama administration is also running guns directly to the Zeta cartel through the State Department's U.S. Direct Commercial Sales program. The weapons in that program include "anti-aircraft weapons and hand grenades from the Vietnam War era" as well as "grenade launchers … and military gear including night vision goggles and body armor."

July 25, 2011 - The LA Times reports that the US Embassy in Mexico City was intentionally kept "out of the loop" on Gunwalker.

July 25, 2011 - Fox News reports that ATF and FBI manipulated the National Instant Check System (NICS) to allow straw buyers in "Fast and Furious" to buy firearms, even when they were prohibited persons. Human Events and the Daily Caller also carry stories.

July 25, 2011 - On the eve of new hearings the Washington Post publishes an article portraying Gunwalker as a well intentioned, but risky program that just went wrong. They report that their ATF sources are still contending that it still may result in the arrest of high ranking members of the cartel, and if it doesn't it is because Isaa and Grassley's investigation ruined it. Of course the Washington Post contends that thougher gun laws could fix the whole problem.

July 26, 2011 - Fox News reports that a congressional report indicates that the ATF, through "Fast and Furious" was the primary arms source for the Sinaloa Cartel, helping them to buy 1,026 weapons worth more than $650,000. When ATF agents in Mexico reported this "flood of weapons" they were told "everything is under control". Perhaps the most devestating aspect of the report is that Lanny Breuer, the head of the Criminal Division of the Justice Department, was fully briefed on the number of guns and who they were going to. This removes any doubt that high ranking DOJ managers knew of the operation. Breuer's boss is AG Eric Holder, Holder's boss is President Obama.

July 26, 2011 - House Oversight Committee holds hears focusing on the Mexican side of the boarder. You Tube Video: Part 1 Part 2 (Note: The second video is labeled as part 3, I think this is a typo.)

July 26, 2011 - The House Oversight Committee releases a report on the Mexican side of the scandal. Highlights: 1) ATF agents in Mexico City were kept in the dark. 2) Lanny Breuer, the Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division at the Justice Department, was clearly aware of Operation Fast and Furious and touted the case during a visit to Mexico. 3) ATF officials in Mexico City were incredulous that their agency would knowingly allow guns to fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartels. Summary Complete Report

July 26, 2011 - The LA Times reports that forensic data from the FBI proves that a Gunwalker gun was used to kill Agent Terry. The ATF has said the two "Fast and Furious" guns recovered at the scene were not used to kill the agent.

July 26, 2011 - The NY Times reports that William Newell, the former special agent in charge of the Phoenix field division "admitted he made mistakes" in regards to Gunwalker.

July 26, 2011 - CBS headlines that an ATF manager told the White House about Gunwalker.

July 26, 2011 - The Wall Street Journal reports that acting ATF head Kenneth Melson has testified that he did not approve the tactics used in Gunwalker.

July 26, 2011 - Fox News reports that "the scandal has spread" to ICE, DEA and the IRS.

July 26, 2011 - Fox News Reports on "new fast and furious bombshells" by interviewing Sen. Grassley.

July 26, 2011 - Fox News reporter William La Jeunesse reports on today's hearings. He states that lying and duplicity are alive at ATF. He reports on Lanny Breuer's briefing and states that he is "Eric Holder's right hand man". He also reports that the next hearings will focus on DOJ.

July 26, 2011 - The Washington Times reports that the Obama administration sought to intimidate witnesses into not testifying to Congress. They also report that Rep. Isaa is positive that most high level officials in DOJ knew of the program and Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. either knew and misled Congress, or was so out of the loop that he’s guilty of mismanagement.

July 27, 2011 - The Weekly Standard reports that "White House Knew About ATF Gunrunning Scandal"


July 27, 2011 - The Washington Times, pointing out that ATF is the agency that brought us Waco, Ruby Ridge, and now Fast and Furious calls for the disbanding of the troubled agency. They point out that the people they regulate the firearms, tobacco, alcohol and explosives industries are extremely law abiding. Not only did a very expensive "sweep" of all southwestern gun dealers turn up absolutely nothing - it was the dealers who reported the suspicious buyers and were ordered buy ATF to sell the guns anyway. They point out that a 1982 Senate investigation found that ATF’s enforcement tactics “constitutionally, legally and practically reprehensible.” Sadly, in the years since things may have gotten worse.

July 28, 2011 - A local Tucson TV station, KVOA, reports on one of the whistle blowers, Jay Dobyns. He is quoted as saying that ATF's apologies do not come close to being enough.

July 28, 2011 - The LA Times claims that emails sent to the White House by an ATF manager did not mention the fact the fact "Fast and Furious" was sending guns to Mexico.

July 28, 2011 - Investors business daily reports that the White House knew about Gunrunner and "Fast and Furious".

July 28, 2011 - The NY Times condemns the ATF for it's actions - and then calls for a renewed assault weapons ban.

July 29, 2011 - The International Business Times reports that the White House was kept in the dark in regards to Gunwalker.

July 29, 2011 - The National Review online predicts that the scandal will continue to grow and move higher in the administration.

July 29, 2011 - The New York Post reports that the DOJ covered up the operation and that the goal was to increase the number of US guns recovered in Mexico.

July 30, 2011 - AP carries a huge, comprehensive story on Gunwalker, entitled 'What Led To Project Gunrunner". Many gun dealers are quoted and portrayed as being against the program and very concerned about the guns "walking". At the time of posting the Boston Herald, Forbes and the Salt Lake City Tribune appear to have carried the story in its' entirety. Shorter versions were carried in the Huffington Post, CBS News Website, and the NPR Website. Undoubtedly, many more outlets will run the story in their Sunday editions.

July 31, 2011 - Several US Newspaper run Gunwalker linked editorials. Tucson Citizen: Prosecute ATF officials under Arizona law. San Diego Union-Tribune: DOJ cover up dishonors Agent Terry. Philadelphia Inquirer: Holder needs to stop cover up and explain what happened. Miami Herald: Gunwalker proves cartels get all their guns from the US. Washington Post: Build a Stronger ATF - this all happened because they didn't have a director.

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