Ralph and I are preparing an article on the ATF Gunwalker scandal that will blow the lid off the operation. I’ve been trying like Hell not to publish our preliminary findings so we can produce a comprehensive post that ties it all together. Even as we assemble the big picture, new pieces of the puzzle are falling into place. For example, today’s New York Times reveals that “The United States is expanding its role in Mexico’s bloody fight against drug trafficking organizations, sending new C.I.A. operatives and retired military personnel to the country and considering plans to deploy private security contractors in hopes of turning around a multibillion-dollar effort that so far has shown few results.” Which means . . .
The U.S. is supporting the Mexican military’s bloody battle against Los Zetas. As we know from the U.S. court filings of the Sinaloa cartel leader promised immunity for his crimes (or not), Uncle Sam has been between the sheets with the Sinaloa cartel. The feds have been allowing billions of dollars of cocaine into the U.S. “in exchange for information about rival cartels.” Specifically, Los Zetas. ‘Cause they’re the enemy. And so these “new” CIA operatives (as opposed to past and existing) are putting the pedal to the metal to assist President Calderon’s anti-Zeta war.
Again, I’m going to bite my tongue here. A bit. Ahead of tomorrow’s piece, let me say this about that. If the U.S. is actively pro-Sinaloa, letting the cartel’s nose candy into America by the 747-load (no joke), would the ATF want to stop guns going to “our” cartel? And while you’re chewing on that, consider the numbers involved. As far as we know, the ATF enabled a couple of thousand rifles from Bob’s Gun Store (or similar) into Mexico during the year Operation Fast and Furious was online. How does that number fit into the overall scheme of things? Here’s a relevant data point from laht.com:
At least 14,000 “armed criminals” are in Ciudad Juarez and Chihuahua city, the state capital, working for the drug cartels that are fighting for control of smuggling routes into the United States, Chihuahua state Attorney General Carlos Manuel Salas said earlier this year.
About 5,500 of the armed criminals operating in Ciudad Juarez belong to Los Aztecas, a gang that works as the armed wing of the Juarez cartel, while the rest work for the Sinaloa cartel, Salas said.
So where’d the Sinaloas—our Sinaloas—get 14,000 weapons? The dots are easy enough to connect, but we’ll lay it all out tomorrow in ATF Death Watch 53. Meanwhile, here’s one for those of you who don’t mind wearing tin hats, from chron.com.
A Mexican military helicopter landed Saturday afternoon at Laredo International Airport by mistake, said a spokeswoman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Mucia Dovalina, the uniform public affairs officer for the Laredo Port of Entry, said the helicopter landed about 3 p.m., but she couldn’t share details such as the number of occupants or whether they were armed.
Dovalina said that, following protocol, CBP officers checked out the helicopter’s occupants, then allowed them to return to Mexico in the aircraft.
“The only thing that I can tell you is that they did land here,” she said. “It was by mistake. They were processed and they were returned to Mexico.”
According to a statement from CBP, the pilot mistook the airport for a landing strip in Nuevo Laredo.
This is the latest such incursion that officials have called inadvertent as the Mexican military increases troop deployments in northeastern Mexico. In July, a convoy of soldiers rolled across the international bridge at Donna and were processed by customs and sent back across.
The Mexican military announced last week that it had wrapped up an operation called “Lince Norte,” or Northern Lynx. The 20-day assault on the Zetas drug trafficking organization used 4,000 Mexican troops, deployed mostly in states bordering Texas.
The operation resulted in the death of the Zeta who controlled Nuevo Laredo and the arrest of a man the military says is a “national level” financier for the gang.