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Juarez border (courtesy

The Congressional investigation into Operation Fast and Furious has gone cold. This despite the fact that “on Thursday, June 28, 2012, [Attorney General Eric] Holder became the first sitting member of the Cabinet of the United States to be held in criminal contempt of Congress by the House of Representatives for refusing to disclose internal Justice Department documents in response to a subpoena.” Wikipedia’s entry for “ATF gunwalking scandal” tells the sad tale of the Obama administration’s coverup of the ATF’s extra-legal anti-gun-running gun-running program, that armed the Mexican rip crew who gunned down US Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. That coverup continues. The reason for F&F remains shrouded in mystery. But TTAG’s original theory seems increasingly likely with news that . . .

the U.S. State Department traded U.S. Visas for Sinaloa drug cartel members in exchange for information about their rivals. This squares with the real reason behind Fast & Furious: to support the Sinaloa drug cartel over Los Zetas, to weaken the Zetas. Hence the ATF let American gun store guns walk across the border to Sinaloa cartel members. Hence the DEA letting tens of millions of dollars in Sinaloa cash motor across the border  (as reported by the New York Times and TTAG). Hence God knows what.

Note: this does not mean that the alternative alternative theory is wrong. That Uncle Sam wanted to encourage/enable/create an “iron river” of U.S. gun store gun to Mexico to justify a ban on “assault rifles” in the U.S. Indeed, we’re still left with the legacy of that maneuver: the ATF’s border state long gun registry. But I reckon we’re looking at one of those Murder on the Orient Express multiple motivation deals.

You did notice the words “State Department” above, yes? Guess who was the head of the U.S. State Department at the time of this “visas for drug thugs” program. Presidential aspirant Hillary Clinton. Did Hillary also know about the gun-walking aspect of Operation Fast and Furious, which violated international law? What do you think? Meanwhile, here’s the story of the visa scandal. Go figure . . .

On March 13, 2010, gunmen deployed by the Juárez cartel took up their positions as guests filtered out from a child’s birthday party.

Many of the guests worked at the United States consulate in Juárez.

A Chihuahua state police officer named Jorge Alberto Salcido, whose wife was a Mexican citizen employed by the consulate, left the party with his children, ages 4 and 7. One team of gunmen went after Salcido. He was shot to death; his children survived.

At about the same time, U.S. consulate employee Lesley Ann Enriquez and her husband, Arthur Redelfs, a detention officer at the El Paso County jail, were murdered.

Now documents show the motive for the killings was the Juárez cartel’s belief that the United States was actively helping their enemies in the Sinaloa Federation by issuing visas to Sinaloa members in exchange for intelligence on the Juárez cartel.

The evidence suggests the consulate killings were part of a tapestry of events that some people believe is traceable to U.S. law enforcement’s decision to work with one set of criminals in
Juárez at the expense of another.

In this Fronteras Desk web exclusive, Lorne Matalon speaks with Jason McGahan, the author of a report for The Daily Beast news site entitled, “U.S. Visas Helped Fuel The Juárez Drug Wars.”

Matalon also speaks with College of William & Mary Professor George Grayson the co-author with Sam Logan of “The Executioner’s Men” Los Zetas, Rogue Soldiers, Criminal Entrepreneurs and the Shadow State They Created.”

Grayson has chronicled other examples of U.S. authorities paying informants inside the Mexican underworld.

McGahan’s research in Juárez led him down a path where he kept hearing the same question. Here’s the introduction to his story:

In the Mexican border city of Juárez the question persists: What kind of involvement did the United States government have, or not, with the turf war between drug cartels that claimed thousands of lives only a short drive across the Rio Grande from El Paso? Three years after the worst of the carnage, details about the U.S. role gradually are beginning to surface.
McGahan and Grayson describe the risks inherent in using paid informants who often want it both ways; the immunity that being an informant affords, at least temporarily and the income that comes with being a major drug trafficker.

McGagan describes another incident that came to light in April as a Sinaloa cartel prosecution was adjudicated in federal court in Chicago.

The son of another Sinaloa kingpin made headlines alleging in court in Chicago that his father’s cartel received “carte blanche” from the United States government to continue to smuggle illegal cocaine by the ton into the country. U.S. officials denied this.

The Feds also deny unconfirmed claims arising from the case in Chicago that they permitted informants from the Sinaloa cartel to attend meetings where the cartel was discussed, or warned them of anti-drug operations planned in the cartel’s territory. By way of proof, they point to the plethora of top Sinaloa leaders captured and prosecuted in recent times, culminating with the arrest of El Chapo.

El Chapo is Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera, the leader of the Sinaloa cartel and the alleged intellectual author of the most gruesome murders of police in Juárez between 2007-2010, at the same time the United States was paying some of El Chapo’s subordinates for information.

While it is true that Sinaloa operatives have been captured or killed recently, a review of arrest records released in Mexico shows a pattern that clearly favors Sinaloa over any of its rivals.

Grayson expands on the notion that there are unpredictable consequences when the U.S. decides to pay Mexican nationals of questionable repute for information.

Given that violence in Juárez rose while U.S. visas were issued to Sinaloa operatives, the questions remains; what the did the U.S. gain by striking deals with criminals in Mexico?

Here’s McGahan’s take:

El Chapo was arrested by a special contingent of Mexican Marines in February. Although the carnage in the Juárez area has diminished, on May 25 two armed men entered the law office of the ex-president of the local bar association and gunned him down along with a municipal judge who was with him at the time. Border security analysts interpret the murders as a settling of old scores by the Juárez cartel, which has gained in strength and boldness and apparently intends to retake the territory it lost in the war with El Chapo and the ICE.

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  1. Fast & Furious was a way of deporting some of the last remaining publicly transferrable automatic weapons. The assumption was, allow the straw-purchases and the transfer across the border, when recovered they would be U.S. gov’t property and “destroyable”.

    • So commit crimes to hinder legal activity. And then refuse to answer a subpoena. Play the race card against dissent and continue go about your criminal activity from a seat of power as head of the Department of “Justice”. This is why we need private courts and police forces operating concurrently with the state, to enforce laws the state refuses to enforce.

  2. obviously it was all George Bush’s fault. And this is the first that Obama has heard of this. He’s pissed off and will work tirelessly to get to the bottom of it. Right after 18 holes and a little time with Reggie…

    • “18 holes and a little time with Reggie…”

      Not sure if you meant it in that order, I know we dont want to be crass and all.;)

      • while we mention Reggie, why was he at the WH during the night of the Benghazi attack (he was no longer employed there) and when did he leave the WH (since the logs were not released).

        Just saying

        • I think we can all deduce what “Bathhouse” Barry was up to on the night of the Benghazi attacks and why he was unavailable for many hours to make the critical decisions that were required that night. Just one more item in an ever-growing laundry list of impeachable and treasonous offenses.

    • Maybe “Barry” will even enlist the aid of OJ by getting him out of prison and helping him on his search for the real killers and have OJ help him find the guns all while playing that 18 holes. *cough* Bravo Sierra *cough* Or not.

  3. And the ensuing violence south of the border sent thousands of Mexican nationals across the border into the US for fear if their lives. I presume the State Dept would give them all citizenship along with a pat on the back and a whisper in the ear: “Remember – the democrats got you into America. The election is coming soon.”

  4. I strongly believe that the “Iron River” theory was the first motivation. This administration is much more interested in being able to control the US citizen than eliminating controlled substances (kinda like a community activist works). The only issue with Mexico is making sure the US is in tactical control but our leaders don’t care at all who they are controlling.

    • I think it was both. Given the outcome it just proves that this administration cannot do one thing, let alone two at the same time.

  5. So the rule of law has been terminated in the USA, by the President.

    So what was that oath he took when he was sworn in (twice)? Something about “protect and defend the Constitution of the United States”? Hey, if you like your Constitution, you can keep your Constitution! And that’s a promise!

  6. From day 1, my take is that the purpose of this whole effort was to generate a perceived need for a treaty with Mexico, banning “assault weapons.” The libs believe that treaties trump the constitution and therefore are a way around the second amendment.

    See here:

    Most people who noticed this story ay all, got a laugh out of the fact that a jilted wife was prosecuted under a chemical weapons treaty (more particularly the federal statute enforcing that treaty) for basically sprinkling hot-foot-power all around the door of her rival. Seems zany until you realize what it’s really about–establishing the principle that the state can squash an individual in the name of a treaty. As Justice Scalia put it, this is the equivalent of putting a severe horse head in the bed of the American people. Be warned.

  7. “Hence the ATF let American gun store guns walk across the border to Sinaloa cartel members.”

    They LET FFLs do that???
    And how did FFLs do THAT, did they close the store and smuggle guns across the border?

    Why not say the DOJ walked guns across the border by ordering FFLs to go through with suspicious sales when the FFLs alerted the feds, and ordering federal agents to stand down and not interdict the weapons?
    And now the administration which engaged in this practice is telling us that Border Patrol is outgunned by cartels using US retail market .50BMG rifles.

    • You can be sure that this administration will claim that those US market .50 BMG weapons should be banned, because they are crossing the river and being used against American Border Patrol Agents.

  8. What DIFFERENCE does it make? At this time? Nixon was an absolute angel compared to this bunch. Keep your powder dry.

    • Comparatively, maybe, but Nixon was no angel! How many thousands who have done no harm have been killed or had their lives and families disrupted in his personal, insane, racist War on (some) Drugs?

  9. If the ATF allowed these guns across the border just to help the state department, then they are truly an evil, inept group of degenerates. That is some truly impressive collusion between two bureaucracies to affect a bizarre foreign policy. This is what happens when we elect hard core progressive democrats to positions of power. I don’t think republicans even have the will or desire to enact their own ideas that could possibly lead to stupidity like this.

    No matter the true reasons for allowing the guns to cross the border, that the ATF allowed it to happen while persecuting law abiding citizens, proves they are a danger to our liberty.

  10. “The ATF in a very good position to make (all manner of questionable firearms) determinations. We understand the concern about it, but there needs to be someone that’s close to the (cartel) community that can make the call.”

  11. The problem with that theory is that F&F was the creation of two ATFE and Really Big Fires agents in the Tucson office. That does not jibe with a grand conspiracy among federal agencies and three different drug cartels who have obvious reasons to claim that they had card blanche to smuggle drugs, especially if the same cartel members are all in prison. Yeah, the government pays rats for information, but the State Department gives out visas to Mexicans like candy. Not because they provide drug info, but because both parties want an open border.

  12. And it all happened under Americas first black president and first black Attorney General.
    Gee, international gun running, to Mexico’s most violent drug cartel,….what could possibly be illegal about that? The press rolls over and plays dead. The narcissist, selfie-centered socialist president hooks up with a lawless AG with a severe chip on his shoulder for white people, and well….any/everything’s possible. And people still wonder how statist tyrannies come into being. Well, now we’ve got a front row seat.

    What about Leland “Buzz” Yee? Heard anything about that international illegal gun running democrat scandal? I guess there was nothing to that story either.

  13. Well until recently the Sineloas just ran drugs while their buddies the Zetas started stealing, smuggling, and reselling oil from Pemex, which messes with the wrong peoples money….that’s a no-no!

    Unfortunately now the Sineloas have learned how lucrative da awl bidness is and there isn’t a gang big enough to stop them anymore..

    I wonder how long it will take us to find an excuse for military intervention in Mexico?


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