The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (and Really Big Fires) is staring down the barrel of a major scandal, one that could lead to the agency’s extinction. The ATF stands accused of letting buyers purchase rifles in the U.S. knowing that the guns were headed for Mexican drug cartels. Worse, they may have literally walked the guns into Mexico themselves (hence the scandal’s name). Worse still, it appears that two of those weapons were used by the drug gang that shot and killed Border Patrol Agent Brian A. Terry . . .
All this to justify the existence of the ATF’s Project Gunrunner firearms interdiction program and, thus, the agency itself. In other words, the agency allowed guns to be smuggled into Mexico so they could justify a program designed to stop guns from being smuggled into Mexico. How about that, then?
Reports of the ATF’s murderous impropriety have been circulating on the net for weeks (including here). A U.S. Senator has now taken up the investigation. The S has hit the mainstream media fan. For a taste of the MSM’s wake-up call we turn to none other than bloomberg.com . . .
“Members of the Judiciary Committee have received numerous allegations that the ATF sanctioned the sale of hundreds of assault weapons to suspected straw buyers, who then allegedly transported these weapons throughout the Southwest border area and into Mexico,” reads a letter sent Thursday from Grassley to Kenneth Melson, acting director of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
The letter does not elaborate on the role possible of federal agents in the sale of the guns, and it could not be determined if the purchases were part of a sting operation . . .
Grassley said in a letter Thursday that a buyer purchased three assault rifles with cash more than a year ago in Glendale, Ariz., and two of those guns were used in the shootout in Arizona.
“These extremely serious allegations were accompanied by detailed documentation which appears to lend credibility to the claims and partially corroborates them,” Grassley wrote.
In the follow-up letter to Melson, Grassley said an ATF manager in Phoenix questioned an agent who answered questions posed by Grassley staffers about the agency’s initiative to reduce the flow of firearms to Mexico.
The manager accused the agent of misconduct for his contacts with the judiciary committee, Grassley said.
“This is exactly the wrong sort of reaction for the ATF,” Grassley wrote. “Rather than focusing on retaliating against whistleblowers, the ATF’s sole focus should be on finding and disclosing the truth as soon as possible.”
Yeah right. Sure. The bureaucrats running federal agencies are famous for committing suppuka. Now that Senator Grassley and the mainstream media are on the case, Gunwalker is going to blow up big. The threads are already starting to unravel. azcentral.com:
A source within the justice system familiar with the case confirmed to The Arizona Republic last week that one or two weapons recovered from the border shootout had been traced to Lone Wolf Trading Co., a Glendale gun store, but did not confirm they were part of Project Gunrunner.
As I bloody well suspected. (I called Lone Wolf the day after a recent gun smuggling bust and asked them if the ATF knew what was going down. There was a long silence. And then they hung up.) While we wait for the next shoe to drop, a few observations . . .
- In all likelihood, the brewing Gunwalker scandal accounts for the otherwise inexplicable disappearance of the ATF’s request for a long gun registry for 8500 gun dealers near the Mexican border. In the light of these revelations, the registry would have seemed criminally inappropriate.
- Gunwalker may also explain the Obama administration’s decision not to install Andrew Traver at the helm of the ATF as a recess appointment. While it’s unlikely that the ATF Chicago bureau chief is involved in the Gunwalker debacle, stranger things have happened. Perhaps Traver knew Gunwalker was coming and didn’t want to be in the hot seat when the scandal broke.
- Traver’s nomination is now on hold. The last thing the Obama administration wants is a televised hearing that exposes Gunwalker and the ATF’s other nefarious activities. For an iceberg tip this surely be . . .
- We know that the ATF knew about guns purchased illegally at a gun store called Carter’s Country in Houston, Texas—and let them go though. The chances of that deal being an anomaly are nil. Lone Wolf is now in the frame for the guns that took out Agent Terry. The owner told azcentral “We have worked closely in conjunction with several federal agencies.” Yes, but for how long?
- If this pans out, the ATF is guilty of a criminal conspiracy to murder. At the risk of stating the obvious, this is serious shit.
- We’re right back in Watergate territory, looking at a major coverup. For example, why haven’t the FBI released the names of Agent Terry’s accused killers?
Why did Department of Homeland Security Director Janet Napolitano fly in immediately after the killing? What did she know and when did she know it? Was President Obama informed about this?
[Click here for Brad Kozak's post Will the ATF Gunwalker Scandal Take Down President Obama?]