ATF Death Watch 158: New Evidence That Operation Fast and Furious Armed the Sinaloa Cartel

 

Operation Fast and Furious was a small piece of a larger puzzle. Although the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ “Guns for Goons” program furthered the ATF’s pro-gun control, empire-building agenda, the Agency-instigated gun running aided, abetted and armed the Sinaloa cartel against their deadly rivals Los Zetas. (The former being the more U.S. and Mexican government friendly international criminal conspiracy.) ATF DW 157 highlighted the testimony of captured Los Zetas “logistics coordinator” Victor Zambada-Niebla, who said exactly that. New evidence from WikiLeaks [via elpasotimes.com] provides confirmation . . .

The info comes from emails written by the recently hacked intelligence agency Stratfor.  [Click here to read.] The first revelation: Stratfor claims they got the Fast and Furious ball rolling by tipping off the ATF to gun smuggler Manuel Solis Acosta.

“(Twenty) people were arrested and 34 total indictments” came from the Fast and Furious investigation and arrests executed on Jan. 25, said Stratfor analyst Fred Burton in an email to fellow analyst Marko Papic. “A big deal. The investigation started thanks to intel that we shared with ATF.”

That’s an interesting tie-up but not a particularly damning piece of information. It should be noted that Stratfor is, by it nature, self-aggrandizing and solidly pro-ATF. [Burton: “the ATF has always been a red haired step child hated by everyone to include the NRA, FBI and Texas gun nuts. I interned at ATF while in college.”]

Also, judging from the email, Stratfor’s not exactly wired-into the ATFs inner workings or playing with a full deck of stats on cartel armaments. All that said, here’s the bombshell:

The Stratfor email said [Manuel Acosta] Solis “went out and got 3 main straw purchasers. These 3 guys then went on to recruit (on average) 14 people each. They made contact with El Compa who runs a restaurant in El Paso immediately off (Interstate 10).” “At this restaurant, in the back,” the email goes on to say, “is a warehouse, where all the guns were later sent to SINALOA (the Joaquin ‘Chapo’ Guzman drug cartel).”

And there it is in black and white: through Operation Fast and Furious, the ATF was helping arm the Sinaloa cartel. Question: was that the plan or a byproduct of the plan?

It’s hard to know. As we saw when the ATF attempted to take U.S. gun dealers to court for allowing illegal purchases that the ATF had approved, information about F&F within the agency was compartmentalized. Not to mention the importance of incompetence.

ATF Special Agent Hope McCallister seems to have been completely clueless when Solis was nabbed for ammo smuggling (with a list of firearms for “killer”). She released him with her number scribbled on a $10 bill and a promise that he would be a good boy.

On the other side of the conspiracy coin, we have Zambada-Niebla’s testimony. We also know that the DEA was laundering millions of dollars for the Mexican cartels. And yet, as analyst Burton asserted, there’s no love lost between the ATF, the FBI or any other of Uncle Sam’s agency alphabet soup. A proper conspiracy requires some level of cooperation.

As one of my contacts said, America’s foreign policy towards Mexico is all smoke and mirrors. Perhaps the Congressional investigation into Fast and Furious can illuminate a few dark corners. In fact, I have every reason to believe that their revelations about Uncle Sam’s involvement with the Sinaloa cartel will be this election cycle’s “October surprise.” Well, I can hope.

comments

  1. avatar jwm says:

    illegal drugs are a multi billion dollar windfall of untaxed money every year. this kind of money buys a lot of corruption on both sides of the border. the fact that we don’t have the level of violence on our side of the border shows that the street level cops on our side of the line are not as corrupt as those on the mexican side. and it may also show that when civilians have the right to arm themselves it cuts down the murderous rampages of these cartel goons. 1 mans take on it. ymmv.

    1. avatar fred says:

      Robert was right, early on. Read this from Diplomad, a retired senior State Dept guy with counter-narcotics experience.

      http://thediplomad.blogspot.com/2012/10/the-invisible-secretary-of-state.html

  2. avatar GS650G says:

    There are still posters around here complaining Romney is no better on guns than Barry. Get real. We need to fire Barry in Nov and finally get Holder off our TVs.

    1. avatar Aharon says:

      Unsettling how many people see politics in a polarized either/or we good/them bad people perspective. Have you noticed some of the shallow new commentators that have landed on this site lately who can’t see beyond their chosen religion’s belief system err tribal loyalty err I meant political party’s propaganda?

      1. avatar Accur81 says:

        There’s much more to my political views than simplicity and polarization. If you want to trivialize religion by calling it a tribal loyalty, that is your 1st A right. However, it does not cause me to increase my respect for your religion, or lack thereof. Secular humanism, atheism, and agnosticism require faith as well. Choose wisely, because one of the only guarantees in life is death.

      2. avatar UChicagoMaroon says:

        When you commit ad hominem argument and a blanket generalization like that, it’s highly ironic to call others ideologues.

      3. avatar torchthebasstrd says:

        Shallow commentator? Yeah, I see one: Aharon. That’s not based on any political belief, just your glaring cognitive bias.

      4. avatar AhahUrFunny says:

        So you vote for a guy who has publicly denounced AR-15’s as solely killing machines (hint: it’s Romney in Massachusetts). Now, who is the one who REALLY blindly buys into the propaganda/tribal religion?

    2. avatar Bovsky says:

      http://www.iberkshires.com/story/14812/Romney-signs-off-on-permanent-assault-weapons-ban.html

      From the article:
      “Governor Mitt Romney has signed into law a permanent assault weapons ban that he says will make it harder for criminals to get their hands on these guns.

      “Deadly assault weapons have no place in Massachusetts,” Romney said, at a bill signing ceremony on July 1 with legislators, sportsmen’s groups and gun safety advocates. “These guns are not made for recreation or self-defense. They are instruments of destruction with the sole purpose of hunting down and killing people.”

      How about you get real?

      1. avatar SeanC says:

        “I would support banning the sale of ammunition for assault weapons and limiting the sale of ammunition for handguns.” B.H.O.

        Source: 2003 Independent Voters of Illinois – Independent Precinct Organization Questionnaire –> http://blogs.suntimes.com/sweet/2007/12/sweet_column_obamas_2003_iviip.html

        1. avatar SeanC says:

          More responses from the same questionnaire (by the way, if you had any question of how he would govern as president, it’s pretty obvious what he planned, even in a senator candidate survey):

          35. Do you support legislation to ban the manufacture, sale and possession of
          a. handguns?

          While a complete ban on handguns is not politically practicable, I believe reasonable restrictions on the sale and possession of handguns are necessary to protect the public safety. In the Illinois Senate last year, I supported a package of bills to limit individual Illinoisans to purchasing one handgun a month; require all promoters and sellers at firearms shows to carry a state license; allow civil liability for death or injuries caused by handguns; and require FOID applicants to apply in person. I would support similar efforts at the federal level, including retaining the Brady Law.

          b. assault weapons? –> from the part a) ban on the manufacture, sale and possession of…

          Yes.

          c. ammunition for handguns and assault weapons?

          I would support banning the sale of ammunition for assault weapons and limiting the sale of ammunition for handguns.

  3. avatar Michael B. says:

    I’ve got a question. If .GOV was using these Sinaloa guys to help the Sinaloa cartel out in a war against Los Zetas, why would they arrest them?

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      At first they didn’t (see: link to CBS story on Solis above). And consider that they let Grenadewalker Jean Baptiste Kinglsey go.

      And then drug thugs with ATF-enabled guns murdered Agent Terry. So they had to act.

      Someone should ask the arrested F&F gun smugglers (who got light sentences) what the hell was going on.

      1. avatar Michael B. says:

        That makes sense.

  4. avatar Sammy says:

    Ef I Lern to speak spanish will meester holder geev me one of those bueno guns?

  5. avatar Sanchanim says:

    I feel in order to learn the truth we need the current administration out of the white house. It will be months even years before we could possible get a true picture, if we ever do.
    Executive privilege was asserted on something the current administration declared they knew nothing about. Seriously, then why invoke the privilege, just because?
    Next we have Holder falling over his own testimony, and being held in contempt, not that it really means much because he isn’t touchable.
    If this had been an ordinary citizen he would have been lead to the slammer in handcuffs.
    The only way to get this resolved is to have an administration change and have the new POTUS demand the release of all documentation to the public. Of course this could lead to criminal charges being filed against all sorts of folks. Possibly even the ex POTUS. It might even snare up a few folks in the senate and house who’s time has come and gone, and I can think of a few….

  6. avatar ConspiracyNut says:

    Fred Burton is not a credible source for anything. One only has to skim over his books to see that he’s full of shite.

    http://www.amazon.com/Ghost-Confessions-Counterterrorism-Fred-Burton/dp/1400065690

    1. avatar fred says:

      Counter-terrorism was the dumping ground for FBI, pre-9/11.

      No telling if Burton was part of that, and it should be noted that despite good intel and efforts ground up by FBI agents in a couple places (remember the Minneapolis whistle-blower) that the real failure was inability to share info- and that was due to the inability to get through the legal restrictions/walls put up by Clintons AG – Jamie Gorelick.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jamie_Gorelick

  7. avatar 2speed says:

    Don’t worry, next time they’ll just email the blueprints to their favorite drug cartel and they can print a whole arsenal using a squadron of 3D printers. Plausible deniability via cyber-terrorism.

    “Gee Mr. Speaker, I have no idea how they got their hands on a whole arsenal of our experimental all-polymer guns, must’ve been cyber-terrorists!!! Quick, we must activate the internet kill switch!!!”

  8. avatar TTACer says:

    “The info comes from emails written by the recently hacked intelligence agency Stratfor. ”

    Agency? Stratfor is a private, for profit company.

  9. avatar Freddie Serna says:

    What cartel works out of Rocky Point (Mexico)? I’m not sure if the incident that happened in Rocky Point on the 19th and 20th of July, 2012 is related to a cartel/gangs or not. On July 19th five dead bodies were found on the main street of Rocky Point. On July 20th seven bodies were found on main street. It looks like it was two factions at war with other but I’m not sure.

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