ATF Death Watch 60: Los Zetas y Omerta

What are the odds that Senator Grassley and Representative Issa know about the CIA’s connection to the Gunwalker scandal? This website has been beating that drum like an OCD Hare Krishna. Besides, it’s simple common sense. A program designed to arm the Sinaloa cartel was  . . . designed to arm the Sinaloa cartel. At The Company’s behest. If I were a betting man, I’d lay odds that the Congressional investigative committee’s closed-door interview with ATF Acting Director Kenneth Melson opened their eyes to the whole “guns-for-friends” aspect of Operation Fast and Furious. If so, have the perfidy pursuing politicians agreed to stay mum on the real reason behind F&F? How long can they willfully ignore the truth? I mean, it’s not as if the dots aren’t there for the connecting . . .

Apart from the CIA’s long and ignoble history of South American gun running and drug smuggling (not to mention training less-than-salubrious characters in the not-so-fine art of information extraction), we know the U.S. government has a major hard-on for Los Zetas. And doesn’t so much as glance at the Sinaloas, who somehow ended up with nearly two thousand guns enabled by the ATF.

Sherman, set the way back machine for June and take us to (of all places) The Huffington Post:

The Obama administration announced a broadside of harsh new sanctions against four far-flung criminal cartels on Monday, part of what it said is a coordinated strategy to fight international underworld factions that could harm U.S. interests or security.

A new executive order signed by President Barack Obama outlined a regime of harsh sanctions against so-called transnational criminal groups, blocking any American property interests and freezing their assets, authorizing financial sanctions against anyone aiding them and barring their members from entering the United States.

The order, signed Sunday, authorizes new sanctions against criminal cartels in Mexico, Japan, Italy and Eastern Europe: Los Zetas, a Mexican drug ring linked to multiple murders; the Yakuza, Japan’s widespread mob army; the Camorra, a crime network based in southern Italy; and the Brothers’ Circle, an Eastern European criminal group operating worldwide.

As opposed to the Sinaloas, a savage Mexican drug cartel banking billions from the illegal drug trade to the U.S., also linked to multiple murders (as in thousands). ‘Cause they’s our boyz. Which is not to say that all the feds are on the same page. Given the scope and scale of the criminality involved, even the Sinaloas get their ass kicked now and again. Well, not them. Their friends. Clock this from reuters.com:

Police in southern California have arrested 60 people and broken up an Iraqi criminal ring accused of selling drugs, machine guns and improvised bombs out of an immigrant social club, authorities said on Thursday.

The swoop by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and local police targeted a network operating out of El Cajon, which is near San Diego and close to the border with Mexico.

El Cajon police said the criminal organization of individuals of Iraqi descent had suspected ties to the Chaldean Organized Crime Syndicate, a criminal group founded in the early 1980s in Detroit, Michigan.

The group has historical ties to Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel and the Mexican Mafia, a Mexican-American prison gang, the police said.

Funny how the ATF wasn’t involved in a major machine gun bust along with their dear, dear friends at the DEA. You know; the agency that helped the ATF’s Fast and Furious folks with wiretaps and other, as yet unspecified, assistance. I mean, c’mon.

Additional seizures include over $630,000 in cash, three luxury cars and 34 firearms including machine guns and semi-automatic assault rifles, as well as four improvised explosive devices, or IEDs.

Police said the investigation followed complaints of criminal activity at the Iraqi immigrant social club in El Cajon over many years, ranging from drug sales to illegal gambling and prostitution.

In April 2011 a DEA undercover agent was shown a hand grenade at the club, and was told that more of the weapons obtained from a Mexican military source were available.

Huh. A Mexican military source you say? And where, pray tell, does the Mexican military get ahold of those grenades? The same place as Los Zetas methinks. Uncle Sam. Who continues to help arm the Mexican military and their Sinaloa BFFs as the war for control of the drug trade intensifies, ahead of the country’s 2012 election cycle.

Strangely, the formerly Fast and Furious law enforcement types littering the Obama Administration have shown no interest in exposing the source of Los Zetas’ weaponry—despite images which clearly show the Zeats using U.S. military-spec weapons like, I dunno, machine guns and fragmentation grenades.

OK, it’s not strange. At all. More like deeply embarrassing in a pay-no-attention-to-those-U.S.-weapons-in-the-cold-dead-hands-of-the-bad-guys kinda way.

Meanwhile and in any case, although the ATF is no longer directly involved in supplying weapons to the Sinaloa cartel and its friends, it is. There are at least a thousand ATF-enabled guns out there, somewhere, in the hands of people who have no hesitation about using them against their enemies. On both sides of the border.

As Ralph pointed out, the whole Gunwalker scandal would have never hit the mainstream media if a Mexican rip crew hadn’t murdered Border Patrol Agent Terry with an ATF-enabled firearm. Yes, I know: the Sipsey Street Irregulars and David Cordrea were on the case, following up leads provided by disgruntled and, let’s face it, ignorant ATF agents on the sharp end.

But the Mexican drug cartels have been very careful not to wake the slumbering giant to their north. STRATFOR:

As for violence, while the cartels do kill people on the U.S. side of the border, their use of violence there tends to be far more discreet; it has certainly not yet incorporated the dramatic flair that is frequently seen on the Mexican side, where bodies are often dismembered or hung from pedestrian bridges over major thoroughfares. The cartels are also careful not to assassinate high-profile public figures such as police chiefs, mayors and reporters [Ed: gracias a Dios] in the United States, as they frequently do in Mexico.

In short, we’re looking at a fairly straightforward game of live and let die. The U.S. government helps those who help us keep a lid on the violence related to the Mexican drug traffic, be they Mexican politicians or Sinaloa cartel members. As long as everyone plays by the rules, it’s wet beaks all ’round.

Sure, there’s collateral damage: millions of American drug addicts, tens of thousands tortured and murdered Mexican civilians, the death of even a chance at genuine democracy south of the border,. But you’ve got to crush coke to lay out a line. If you know what I mean.

And so the CIA drafted the ATF (along with the rest of the alphabet soup of federal agencies) to help the home team. A foul ball hit a hidden ump who threw the light switch. Everyone ran for the shadows. The ATF got caught in center field.

Which leaves us with the question that began this piece: are Grassley and Issa going to go there? Ralph reckons no. Unless . . .

Another American is killed by a gun enabled by Operation Fast and Furious. Especially if the victim’s someone unconnected with the drug trade. If that happens, the gloves are off. I wonder how frenetically the ATF’s working to recover those Gunwalker guns right now, and if the truth about the ATF’s Fast and Furious program will ever find its way into full public view.

comments

  1. avatar poppymann says:

    The intelligence community has historically made friends with some really nasty people in the name of national defense, which means the defense of the flow of money into the financial system. There’s more to the story than just keeping the lid on violence, it’s about ensuring that money ends up in US banks thereby keeping them solvent. The Financial Times did an excellent, albeit ignored, piece about the role of drug money in keeping the world economy afloat during the big plunge of 2008. Hundreds of billions of drug dollars were injected the system while the bankers looked the other way. I can only surmise that the CIA doesn’t care about regime change or the threat the Zetas pose to the Mexican government, their worry is that the Zetas will control the flow of money and possibly divert the flow from it’s current destination.

  2. avatar Ralph says:

    “Unless . . . Another American is killed by a gun enabled by Operation Fast and Furious”

    Nope, unless the cartel shoots up a school. We’re not talking about the nimrods at ATF, who can be sacrificed if the going gets heavy. But the CIA? Nah. They are the real and only “Untouchables,” and national security is inviolate.

  3. avatar tydiinva says:

    The CIA piece is interesting but I don’t think the agency would run guns through the ATF. They have a number of more reliable sources to do that. I have one former arms dealer in my blackberry phone book.

  4. avatar Phil says:

    I wonder – if the truth about the ATF’s Fast and Furious program will ever find its way into full public view.

    Not a chance, in this world of tangled webs and rabbit holes.

    http://www.newsfollowup.com/obama_cia_business_international_corporation_dunham_soetoro_bisexual_ford.htm#PART_1

  5. avatar J Saupp says:

    I have to agree with tydiinva. Langley has so many different avenues they could pursue to get at the Cartels: via their own ground assets to their authority to conduct operations via the EPIC, HIDTA and the ONDCP.

    I think we are collectively missing another political motivation for this Operation;

    Since this news first broke in the Rumor Ring, there has been a great deal of discussion in law enforcement circles and a general belief exists that there is a clear motivation for this effort that has not been considered by the media;

    There is solid agreement, within law enforcement circles, that the political Left, long-ago chose ATF/BATFE to be its most logical Federal access point to US gun owners, (e.g. Ruby Ridge, Waco and likely ATF assistance to MAIG) that Operation Fast and Furious, was an attempt to exploit the Mexican Drug Cartel war, creating a fear in the US populace that American gun laws are allowing violence to escalate to a level never before seen, giving the Obama Administration justification to support the UN’s Arms Trade Treaty, in order to “protect” the citizens.

    Reminiscent of Mr. Powell’s presentation at the UN concerning Iraq’s Weapons of Mass Destruction, the Obama/Clinton Team appear to have decided that they would attempt the same.

    Background

    On Oct. 14, 2009, the Obama Administration, through Hillary Clinton, reversed the Bush position in ref. the UN Arms Trade Treaty.

    On December 2006, the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution 61/89; “Towards an Arms Trade Treaty: establishing common international standards for the import, export and transfer of conventional arms”

    This Treaty, commonly referred to as “ATT”, was, at its adoption, opposed by the US Government.

    However, the Obama Administration overturned the previous’ stance on ATT, and on October 30th, voted in favor of the treaty.

    Gun Control has long been a divisive and politically destructive issue as represented by common belief that Al Gore’s 2008 Presidential Candidacy was brought to a rapid end because of his publicized stance against private firearms ownership.

    American politicians, aware that any direct, domestic effort to actually remove or further restrict gun rights is potentially detrimental to their career, have in the past, attempted to indirectly implement their anti-gun agenda through foreign treaties.

    During the late 1990s, Bill Clinton signed the Inter-American Convention Against the Illicit Manufacture of and Trafficking in Firearms (CIFTA) convention which would have banned the international importation and exportation of most common personal firearm ammunition. After gun rights advocacy groups brought this treaty to the public’s attention, the public outcry kept Clinton from ever presenting the convention to the US Senate for their signature.

    Political efforts to exploit Congress’ Constitutional obligation to adhere to international treaties as an end run around domestic obstacles to gun control have historically failed, but this tactic appears to have been revived once again.

    The Administration’s stance and policy reversal immediately brings a series of conflicts to mind. Most obviously; voting in favor of a Treaty that openly disregards American national sovereignty, but as the ATT convention has no means of enforcement, its ratification would impose a one-sided obligation that would be clearly unconstitutional. Next; the idea that any sitting President would a sign a treaty or agreement that was in direct conflict with the Constitution, implying the President would place an aspect of American life under the control of a foreign state or organization if it fit his or her political agenda.

    On June 26, 2008, the SCOTUS decision in D.C. vs. Heller, and subsequently McDonald vs. Chicago in 2010, have severally impacted the Left’s Anti-gun agenda logically leaving them to pursue another “angle”.

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