Despite ridicule from the bloggers who broke the ATF Gunwalker scandal, I’ve continued to suggest that there’s drug money involved in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (and Really Big Fires) anti-gun running gun running operation. I fully admit that I’ve made this assertion based on common sense conjecture (i.e. without any direct evidence). At the same time, I’ve repeatedly discussed the theory favored by my journalistic cousins: Project Gunrunner and Operation Fast and Furious were empire building exercises ultimately aimed at curtailing American gun rights. Reading the website that started the Gunwalker  ball rolling, cleanupatf.com, I came across a succinct and coherent description of that plotline from commentator Regular [not shown]. Of which I’ll share with you . . .

I’ve heard about the beginning and end points, and connecting the dots….

Is money involved? Absolutely – but not in a direct way.

The only cartel money in evidence is the short-term profits gained by the straw buyers and traffickers. ATF encouraged and facilitated the sales, encouraging new “entrepreneurs” (straw buyers) to help the traffickers purchase more guns. So, what I see is an increasing network of witless, stupid straw buyers (did they really think no one would notice?) out to exploit the opportunity to make a few bucks buying guns for various traffickers. Likewise, the mid-level traffickers are likely to be more of the same…. ‘criminal entrepreneurs’ seeing an opportunity and seizing it, then either smuggling the guns to Mexico or passing the guns on to smugglers.

It’s doubtful that the cartels had anything directly to do with it. It’s also highly doubtful that the cartels and traffickers are as organized as we are led to believe. These are far more likely to be mostly a loose network of informal contacts (criminal entrepreneurs) by which drugs and people are trafficked in and guns are trafficked out – for profit.

So, why would ATF participate? Despite ATF’s official contention, it certainly can’t be to ‘take down’ any cartel. Cartels are in Mexico, where ATF has no authority nor significant presence, nor very much cooperation. It couldn’t be to ‘take down’ a weapons trafficking organization, because there is/was none…. Trafficking is most likely a loosely organized and flexible group of opportunistic criminal entrepreneurs making money any way they can. By making guns easily available to straw buyers, the word got out, and ATF effectively ‘created’ the trafficking network! This is a traditional ATF technique – creating a tempting situation and encouraging, then entrapping people into violating the law…. (Think Ruby Ridge and the short-barreled shotguns…)

Trying to apply Occam’s razor, here is a hypothesis (using the available evidence): Keep in mind that ATF has a well-entrenched tracing (and registration) system worth lots of annual budget dollars, and a long history of seeking for, advocating for, and pushing the envelope for, more firearm transaction records, and more tracing, all leading toward full firearms registration. We should not forget ATF’s “Gold Standard” of tracing being full web-based firearms registration as officially presented to the UN disarmament group some years ago….

Now, aside from that, we have ATF actively helping anti-gun politicians (do Feinstein & Schumer come to mind? Only a few days ago?). Remember that ATF, after publicly stating they would no longer release Mexican gun statistics, and while stonewalling Grassley & Issa, Melson provided Feinstein with new Mexican gun statistics in only 9 days.

We also have high-level ATF bureaucratic bubbleheads like Hoover, McMahon & Newell who, for the past few years, have been publicly lying to Congress and the American People promoting the ‘myth’ that the U.S. is supplying cartels with nearly all weapons – then being publicly discredited by Fox, Stratfor, and others. They provided their boss (Obama) with false information, which is never good idea. Their words were then publicly repeated by by Hillery, Obama and others. They should have been humiliated and should have shut up – but they didn’t. So, what was the solution? Prove that the U.S. was the source? How to accomplish that?

1. Show new statistics (by whatever means) that ‘prove’ the U.S. is the source of Mexican weapons,

2. Let a LOT more U.S. guns flow to Mexico to improve the statistics – but DON’T tell the Mexicans. (It’s also documented that some sales were to undercover ATF agents using tax or asset forfeiture funds, who then resold the guns to traffickers) Here’s the ‘smoking gun’ quote, “An increase of crimes and deaths in Mexico caused an increase in the recovery of weapons at crime scenes. When these weapons traced back through the Suspect Gun Database to weapons that were walked under Fast and Furious, supervisors in Phoenix were giddy at the success of their operation.”

3. Ultimately bust a LOT of stupid low-level U.S. straw buyers and traffickers to show there’s a major trafficking problem (which ATF created),

4. Implement multiple long-gun reporting to additionally prove trafficking (real or imagined). Lots of controversy and resulting publicity – with strong politician support (think Feinstein & Schumer), and many more firearm registration records for the National Tracing Center.

5. Continue to include (in the statistics) legitimate U.S. export sales (military, police, etc.) which show up in traces, and carefully omit any mention of them.

6. Continue to blame gun shows as a major source of trafficked guns without background checks. (Great tactical approach. Great anti-gun talking point which can’t be disproved) Personally, I’ve attended hundreds of gun shows (many in the Southwest), and have NEVER seen evidence of trafficking. And, by the way, background checks at gun shows are useless. Straw buyers have clean backgrounds!

What would all this accomplish? Power, glory and promotions to the ATF participants (Melson, Hoover, McMahon, Newell, Chait, Gillette, Voth and sycophants). More budget money to combat the ‘problems’. More personnel, and higher civil service grades for the supervisors. All the typical bureaucracy growth factors. New gun control laws get passed to help ATF to grow as an agency.

Of course, this all may be simply a component of Obama’s “under the radar” approach to gun control – but that’s yet to be proven.

Or, it might all be a figment of an overactive imagination……

Were any connecting dots missed? Comments appreciated – good or bad. If it’s wrong, tell me it’s wrong, but this is how it appears to the world outside of ATF.

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16 Responses to ATF Death Watch 17: From the Horse’s Mouth

    • looks like an AKS-74U the “u” standing for Ukorochennyj, which means short in English. The weird looking barrel is part flash hider and part gas expansion chamber for the ridiculously short barrel 8.3 inches.

      • Damn… $1729 for a semi auto Red Jacket Ak-74U with a fake can… I guess if you have a TV show you can start charging top dollar for your stuff.

        • I was thinking AK 74, but couldn’t figure the attachment. The price is stupid.

        • “The weird looking barrel is part flash hider and part gas expansion chamber”, its not a suppressor
          ak74s= Krinkov, its the same thing

          http://world.guns.ru/assault/rus/aks-74u-e.html

          the write up about the ” Bulgarian Krinkov AK74 Folder, 5.45 x 39″ on the Atlantic firearms website is factually incorrect.

          “fake suppressor is pinned and can not be removed”
          more like fake information to gouge the customer with $1729 price on a f#####g parts kit gun

  1. Having extensively researched the multi-rifle registration scheme, it always struck us as (a well planned & coordinated) coincidence that the registration plans & Gunwalker began and matured in the same time frames. We believe that it is at least a quid pro quo between ATF, their ‘peeps’ in congress and selected anti-gun groups like MAIG.

    It’s important to note here that everyone is reading with disbelief the latest Feinstein/Schumer/Whitehouse report. Remember, there is no civil or criminal penalty for lying on the part of ATF, or Congress. Even if they are under oath the justice system likes to excuse professional law enforcers if the truth gets stretched, or broken.

    Gun bloggers, gun groups & gun owners are wrong however to think that any significant official is “going to prison” for anything associated with Gunwalker. Although it would be nice to see these serial lawbreakers in jail, it’s not realistic.
    Watergate was the high water mark for scandals as there was direct evidence of Executive coordination & their complicity. Here, so far the only evidence we can see suggests that All ATF leadership was complicit, some DOJ staff.

    Calls for a special prosecutor are a political ruse to give cover to politicians who want to easily “make their bones” with the NRA-ILA. They will use their “support for the special prosecutor” to show the NRA-ILA and other pro-rights organizations that they are “pro-gun, and support the 2nd Amendment” while not acting to enact any pro-gun laws, or repeal any anti-gun laws.

    A whitewash will be the result of a special prosecutor appointment. They will give in to the constant beating of the mainstream media drum that this was a “good idea gone bad”, mistakes were made and there should be some slap on the wrist punishments doled out. Some demotions will occur, Congress will wash their hands and after 6 months to 1 year those demoted will have their records expunged and their career paths will be restored.

    Who hasn’t seen this story play out before?

    • I agree with Dave but for different reasons. What made the Watergate scandal balloon was the Nixon hating press that nutured the scandal in the public’s eye. Most of today’s press is firmly in agreement with the Adminstration’s goals and objectives as far as the second amendment is concerned. They will continue to tow the party line on the “Iron River” BS. The non-official media will never have the power to ignite public indignation because they are niche media (that’s TTAG) that will never be seen, heard or read by the average citizen. Joe/Jane Average won’t get involved until they see it on the six o’clock news.

      Dave is wrong about the appointment of a special prosecuter. SPs are loose cannons who usually far exceed their mandate. I don’t want to see one in this case. I want this to be an election issue that helps remove Obama from the White House. I will be glad to let the next AG prosecute the wrong doing.

  2. I agree with Dave Y. Tom Sawyer couldn’t whitewash this business any better than Justice, POTUS and the ATF. In the end, some low-level ATF guys will “retire,” a few low-level gunrunners will get arrested, and a lot more people on both sides of the border will die.

  3. One possibility not really examined is that each of the stakeholders in this mess have cooperated for to serve their own goals, and in some cases, taken advantage of one situation to foster another. Thus, the ATF starts Fast & Furious to boost numbers in order to justify expanding their empire. ATF management sees a lack of results and demands more, as they aren’t getting the power/money they want. Middle managers panic, and authorize the straw buyer “tracking” to keep their jobs. Low-level agents see the SNAFU for what it is, and either protest or decide to augment their income by taking a little advantage and doing some gun facilitation on their own. Anti-gun members of Congress see this as an opportunity to grandstand on gun trafficking, and pitch new regulations. And the Obama Nation sees it as an opportunity for expanding spending, expanding regulations, and limiting personal ownership of guns in a way that it justified by more than their conventional arguments.

    Everybody acts in their own, rational self-interest, and the situation devolves because everyone’s looking out for #1 and nobody’s minding the store.

    I’m not sure I agree with you this time, Ralph. Even though the media has been willing to turn a blind eye to this, with blood in the water, they just can’t help themselves when it becomes this bad. And while they may love Obama, they are currently licking their wounds, feeling a bit ill-used. And that bromance does not extend to civil servants like Melson, and cabinet members like Napolitano and Holder, not to mention staffers like Emmanuel. Stay tuned…this could get interesting.

    • I want to hope that you’re right, Brad, but I just can’t believe that ATF or anyone else is going down. The relatives of the dead feds will be bought off or litigated to death, Melson has already taken the pipe for the bureau, Justice is stonewalling like Thomas Jackson at the First Manassas, and the Senate will not cooperate with the House so as to keep Obama’s britches clean. In the end, I think this will be like Shakespeare’s “tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury signifying nothing.”

  4. “From the Horses’s Mouth.”

    RF, did you fail anatomy? It seems that you don’t know one end of a horse from the other.

  5. There is no “apolitical” aspect of ATF from the headquarters janitorial staff to the upper management and at every level in between they are dedicated gun confiscators; true believers in the elimination of of the 2nd Amendment, the right to keep and bear arms and especially firearms. Rank and file agents hate the fact that you can even own guns. Remember, like politicians they can say anything they want without fear of consequence so while they’re rifling some uncooperative FFL’s records for dirt, they will drop the ubiquitous “We all own guns and support the 2nd Amendment. We shoot ourselves” then a couple sentences later in the fashion of someone who watched (and believed) way too much of NYPD Blue they make up some bizarre, way out in left field kook story and try to pin it on the FFL. No dirt in those records? No problem, just bring a few 4473’s already “mis-filled out” with them and – PRESTO

    Instant violation.

    How do you think Gunwalker got to expand? Over the objection of ethical FFLs?

    Do we think that maybe it was intimidation or threats from “rank and file” ATF agents? Who was interacting with the FFLs to gain cooperation?

    There were no “do gooders” in Gunwalker and these “rats” within ATF were being equally opportunistic.

  6. Here is a good analysis of Gunwalker:

    http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/gunwalker-from-obamas-inauguration-to-issas-report/

    “Within weeks of President Obama’s inauguration in January of 2009, newly installed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Attorney General Eric Holder began to craft the meme that Mexican drug cartel violence was rooted in what they view as lax American gun laws. By February 4, we were hearing the infamous “90 percent lie,” the administration’s false accusation that 90 percent of the guns used in cartel crime could be traced to U.S. gun shops.”

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