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Gosh, it seemed like such a good idea at the time. Last October, the ATF made a point of announcing they’d be sending William Newell, their fair-haired-boy head of the Phoenix office, to Mexico City as the agency’s attaché there. Except a funny thing happened on the way to the City of Palaces…

It’s too bad, really. He was the perfect choice for the gig. Newell habla español muy bien. And he’d had years of experience contending with the cartels.

Only one problem. As head of the Phoenix office, Newell was also on the business end of running Fast and Furious. In fact, he was up to his pencil-neck in it.

And, strangely enough, some in the Mexican government – at least those not fully complicit in the whole program to begin with – would love to get their hands on one of those directly responsible for sending the very guns to the cartels that were used to murder hundreds of their citizens. So there’s at least a good possibility that if Newell actually does set foot south of the border, he could be arrested and tried as an accessory to murder.

Which goes a long way toward explaining why, nine months after the announcement, Newell’s still safely tucked away in Washington, as far from the warm embrace of the federales as possible.

That’s not what ATF’s saying, though. Newell’s just busy, you see.

An ATF official on Friday tried to dispel any notion that Newell won’t be headed south of the border. “As far as his assignment to Mexico City, it’s still in place but it’s been temporarily postponed so that he can assist with the Congressional inquiries and the OIG (Office of Inspector General) review.”

There’s just so much to do when you’re trying to manage a scandal that’s coming to rival Watergate and Iran Contra.

But given the apparent anger about the federally facilitated southbound iron river, it makes you wonder if ATF has anyone at all they’d risk sending down Mexico way. If I were an ATF muckety-muck, I don’t think I’d plan that family trip to Punta Cana any time soon.


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  1. Comparing Gunwalker to Iran-Contra in a gross misrepresentation of the latter “scandal.” Iran-Contra was about supporting a group of freedom fighters working to topple a pro-Soviet wanna-be dictatorship. The equally pro-Soviet Democratic Party was working overtime to make sure Danial Ortega stayed in power.
    Gunwalker is a false flag operation that sacrificed the lives of innocent (and not so innocent) Mexicans in order to make a case for domestic gun control. As such it is far worse than Watergate. Arguably it constitutes a war-crime.

    As I think more about the scandal I am beginning to think that the Cartels were importing civilian firearms with in the intention of selling them back to the US along with drugs. Why else we these weapons be now showing up in the US. I bet half the gunwalker weapons will eventually be recovered by the police in the US.

    • Iran-Contra was more than that. It involved selling very serious military hardware to Iran in an attempt to free American hostages held in Lebanon. The proceeds were then used to fund “freedom fighters” who were atleast as brutal as the pro-Soviet government they fought to over-throw. Remember that laws had been passed in the US to keep the government from helping these rebels/freedom fighters.

      • Rubbish and more rubbish.
        Iran was then the anti-Saddam, and had not had time to morph into its current awfulness.
        The Contras were fighting to take back their country from the oppressive, totalitarian Sandinistas, and you think they should’ve been nice about that?


          They’re both horrible. Don’t lie and try to whitewash the contras as some good group. Better than the Sandinistas? Maybe, but still fuckin’ evil.

          Iran was still bad back then too:

          “The United States had announced a policy of neutrality in the six-year-old Iran-Iraq war and had proclaimed an embargo on arms sales to Iran. It had worked actively to isolate Iran and other regimes known to give aid and comfort to terrorists.”
          (Tower comission report)

          Say it with me now, a Reagan appointed commission found that the administration supported a nation known to give aid and comfort to terrorists.

        • TooMuch. I can tell you slept during history class. Iran in 1979 had a revolution that throw out a U.S. backed, corrupt ruler who had lost the support of the citizens and military. The Revolutionary Guard took Americans hostage in November of that year and those hostage stay that way until 20 Jan 1981(Anyone know why that date?). Saddam, who also came to power in a coup in 1979, was support by the US as a counter-balance to Iran. Saddam was not made “Bad” by the US until after the invasion of Kuwait. And this was after gassing the Kurds and other.

      • karlb, you forget, in the Republican lexicon anything that Saint Ronny did was blessed and shall not be questioned. It does not matter to them that they broke they law to do it. Saint Ronny spoketh that “I am the President and as such this law does not apply to me because I evoke National Security and may break law passed by those other pesky branches of government.

        Remember karlb, if the Republicans do it is it is for the good of the country but if anyone else does they are violating the law and should be impeached.

        • Oh, I know. What cracks me up is that Reagan could never make it through the Republican primaries in today’s culture.

        • Saddam became President of Iraq just before the war started but he had defacto control of the country since the early 70s. Don’t confuse the Presidency with authority in countries organized on Leninist lines. He was the power in Iraq before he decided to take the title.

      • B**l S**T The Contras won an election that was rigged by Sandanistas. They had the support of the people. You are just spouting Soviet-era propaganda. The post Sandanista government had a pretty good human rights record. The only reason that the Democratic Congress voted the restrictions is because they supported the Soviet Union and its allies.

  2. lets stay on topic people, the iran contra scandal is not the best comparison IMHO. this i feel is because of the attempt to limit and link our 2A rights with this drug cartel nonsense.

    now if we could get more attention on F&F and less on Michelle Obama eating a burger and shake this past weekend and get bachmann off of her anti gay thing and the idiotic slavery pledge she signed without reading it , hopefully we will be good to go.

    • sdog, I mentioned Iran-Contra in this context because the writer used the analogy. I agree with all the other points made in your comment, though.

  3. And let this latest bit of “news” show the Mexican government’s continual denial of responsibility for its internal policies, denial of weapon seepage from its military, and the vast corruption of every institution in the country. Mexico is continually trying to deflect attention to its failures by pointing fingers at the U.S.; they’re trying to say without the ATFs gun running there wouldn’t be 40,000 dead Mexicans? Really?

  4. “Last October, the ATF made a point of announcing they’d be sending William Newell, their fair-haired-boy head of the Phoenix office, to Mexico City…”

    What? William Newell has hair?! ;^)

  5. Can’t we just send entire BATF & Really big Screwups to Mexico?? (Another country we should strive to emulate, their gun control laws are fantastically effective).


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