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Author Topic: We the Well-armed People (gun and knife rights stuff )  (Read 540725 times)
Power User
Posts: 42458

« Reply #600 on: July 02, 2011, 08:46:19 AM »

Thank you for those specific examples of the standard of proof required GM. (As usual, the post would be helped by some introductory words by you as to why you are posting it wink )  That said, one suspects it is relatively easy for a smarter-than-stupid dealer to not get caught -- which I think is JDN's point.

Which I think, brings us to my point-- that the government itself has been a far bigger source of the guns used by the Narco Gangs than anyone else-- yet the Obama Gang continues to use dishonest data in order to attack the American people's right to bear arms.   When viewed in conjunction with the President's very curious statement about "working under the radar" the reasonable yet admittedly circumstantial inference is that the President, AG Holder, and all his people involved are some seriously cold, and IMO criminal people.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2011, 08:48:16 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
Power User
Posts: 15532

« Reply #601 on: July 02, 2011, 06:58:14 PM »


Actually I'd argue that for a rogue FFL dealer, it's pretty easy to get caught once he/she becomes the focus of an investigation. Guns that originate from legit manufacturers have traceable serial numbers and a paper trail from factory, to wholesale distribution, to the FFL. Once a firearm is seized, you can often trace is back to the FFL. If there is an inordinate number tracing back to a FFL, or a potential straw purchaser, there you have the focus of your investigation. It doesn't take a BATFE S/A to see if a FFL is willing to sell to someone posing as a felon and make a case from there.
Power User
Posts: 42458

« Reply #602 on: July 03, 2011, 09:25:56 AM »

A major piece on restoring gun rights to people who rights were terminated due to mental illness.

Yes, it is POTH, but it does seem like some people who should not have their rights restored are getting their rights restored.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2011, 09:34:35 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
Power User
Posts: 42458

« Reply #603 on: July 04, 2011, 05:57:45 PM »
Power User
Posts: 15532

« Reply #604 on: July 06, 2011, 04:34:02 PM »

Email Confirms ‘Gunwalker’ Known Throughout Justice Department

Attorney General Holder's credibility takes another hit.

July 6, 2011 - 8:20 am - by Bob Owens

An email cited in Senator Charles Grassley’s testimony in front of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Operation Fast and Furious indicates that knowledge of the program was spread across the highest levels of the Justice Department. This lends even greater suspicion to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder’s claim that he knew nothing about the program until well after Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed.
The October 27, 2009 email from ATF Phoenix Field Division Special Agent in Charge (SAC) William Newell regarded a Southwest Border Strategy Group meeting that focused on Fast and Furious. It contained a laundry list of high ranking Justice Department officials that attended the meeting, including:
 •Assistant Attorney General (Criminal Division) Lanny Breuer,
 •Kenneth Melson, Acting Director, ATF
 •William Hoover, Acting Deputy Director, ATF
 •Michele Leonhart, Administrator, DEA
 •Robert Mueller, Director FBI
Four other Justice Department directors or their representatives came from the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), Bureau of Prisons (BOP), U.S. Marshals Service (USMS), and the Executive Office for United States Attorneys (EOUSA). The chair of the Attorney Generals Advisory Committee (AGAC) also attended the session. Their names were redacted in the released document. U.S. attorneys for all four southwest border states also attended.
Operation Fast and Furious, now known to many by the more accurate name of “Gunwalker,” was a multi-agency operation that allowed and — in some instances — approved the purchase of firearms destined for Mexican drug cartels by so-called “straw buyers.” The purchasers, who had clean criminal records, would buy firearms from U.S. gun stores for drug gangs. While most gun smuggling involves small quantities of weapons, a small number of high-volume straw purchasers each bought hundreds of firearms for the cartels.
ATF agents were told by their supervisors to ignore their agency’s charter and training and allow the guns to be smuggled into Mexico without interdiction. Roughly 2,000 firearms — ranging from pistols and AK-pattern semi-automatic rifles to .50 BMG sniper rifles — were smuggled into Mexico under Gunwalker and without the knowledge of Mexican authorities. Hundreds of smuggled weapons have turned up at crime scenes across Mexico and the U.S. border states and at least 152 law enforcement officers and soldiers have been killed with Gunwalker weapons.
While it has been known since the beginning of the investigation that the ATF, DOJ, DHS, and the IRS were heavily involved in Gunwalker, the Newell email confirms that every major agency within the Department of Justice was briefed on Gunwalker, including the AGAC, which has the formally ordered functions of giving U.S attorneys a voice in department policies and advising the attorney general.
It strains credibility to claim that the assistant attorney general, the AGAC, the directors of the five major DOJ agencies in charge of law enforcement, and all the U.S. attorneys in the Southwest region were privy to Gunwalker, but that the attorney  general himself was unaware of the operation. It suggests that either Holder is being untruthful about what he knew about the operation, and when he knew about it, or that he is so out of touch with a major operation conducted by his key law enforcement agencies that he is too incompetent to fulfill his official duties.
Senator Grassley made an observation in his presentation to the House Oversight Committee that indicates that DOJ-wide incompetence or politics may be in play as well:

According to an internal briefing paper, Operation Fast and Furious was intentionally designed to “allow the transfer of firearms to continue to take place.”[3]
Why would the ATF do such a thing?
Well, the next line in the brief paper tells us.  It was, “to further the investigation and allow for the identification of additional co-conspirators[.]”[4] So, that was the goal.  The purpose of allowing straw buyers to keep buying was to find out who else might be working with them — who else might be in their network of gun traffickers.  Of course, that assumes that they are part of a big, sophisticated network.  That kind of assumption can cause you to start with a conclusion and work backwards, looking for facts that fit.  Until you figure out that you’ve got the cart before the horse, you’re probably not going to get anywhere.
Professor of Criminology Gary Kleck recently published an article in the Wall Street Journal called “The Myth of Big-Time Gun Trafficking.”[5] Professor Kleck said that according to his study of national crime data, ATF handles only about 15 operations each year that involve more than 250 guns.[6] According to his study, a typical trafficking operation involves fewer than 12 guns.[7]
The operation was a snipe hunt. Operation Fast and Furious was chasing a phantom network that DOJ either imagined or was desperate to create in order to perpetuate the Obama-administration lie that 90-percent of crime guns in Mexico originated from the United States.
Newsmax interviewed Senator Grassley in an article published Monday, and asked him whether or not the operation was an attempt by the administration to change public opinion on “assault weapons” in order to lead to the introduction of gun control measures by Democrats. Grassley was not ready to discount that hypothesis, a wise move considering the forum Rep. Elijah Cummings conducted last week to demonize gun owners. The report Cummings issued called for no less than three gun control measures.
Predictably, most mainstream media organizations covering Gunwalker aren’t willing to acknowledge the depth, breadth, or severity of the scandal or its illegality. Judged by the numbers of crimes committed, lives lost, and executive branch officials involved, Gunwalker has the potential to surpass both Watergate and Iran-Contra as one of the worst scandals in American political history just based upon what little we publicly know of the operation and its equally abortive and incompetent cover-up.
Let us lay this out as clearly and unambiguously as possible, so there can be no mistake.
Senior law enforcement officers within the Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security, including government appointees, potentially committed felonies that led to the deaths of dozens, if not hundreds of Mexican police, soldiers, and civilians, and the murders of least two American federal agents. This program was put in place in order to pursue a phantom gun-smuggling network that only seemed to exist in the the minds of those pushing a political agenda of gun control championed exclusively by the left wing of the Democratic Party, Attorney General Eric Holder himself, and the president of the United States, Barack Obama.
Mexican government officials are infuriated by the scandal, and unlike the New York Times and Washington Post that seek to minimize it, they want justice.
Senator Rene Arce is chairman of Mexico’s Commission for National Security, a congressional panel similar to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. He told Fox News that the American officials that authorized Gunwalker should face felony charges in the United States, and then be extradited to Mexico to stand trial there.
It is highly unlikely that we will see Janet Napolitano, Eric Holder, Lanny Breuer, Kenneth Melson, or any other government officials in Mexico to face the possibility of life in a Mexican prison, but the fact that senior government officials in Mexico think that Gunwalker is that serious should turn heads here in the United States.
When Justice is administered by the lawless, there is no justice. We must have have criminal investigations into Gunwalker. There simply is no other option in a lawful society.
Power User
Posts: 9464

« Reply #605 on: July 07, 2011, 08:14:18 AM »

Should Eric Holder (and Obama) be tried in Mexico or in America (or at The Hague) for this type of crime?
Power User
Posts: 15532

« Reply #606 on: July 08, 2011, 09:03:31 AM »

Let's see, the US DOJ will go after the state of Arizona and Maricopa county sheriff for trying to protect it's citizens from the illegal alien invasion, while it runs guns into Mexico and arms those illegals in AZ.
Power User
Posts: 9464

« Reply #607 on: July 08, 2011, 09:36:37 AM »

"the US DOJ will go after the state of Arizona and Maricopa county sheriff for trying to protect it's citizens from the illegal alien invasion, while it runs guns into Mexico and arms those illegals in AZ."

I simply don't understand this scandal/operation.  Is there someone of authority stepping forward and explaining this is what we did and this is why we did it?  Arming cross-border militants (what could possibly go wrong?) at a time we should be attacking INSIDE Iran for doing the same thing?  Maybe it will all come out in congressional hearings:
Power User
Posts: 15532

« Reply #608 on: July 10, 2011, 09:16:05 AM »

Obama Sold, Tracked, Same Guns To Cartels He Hoped To Ban Because They Were Tracked From Cartels

Posted by Matthew Knee   Saturday, July 9, 2011 at 8:30am

In the Spring of 2009, the Obama administration called for the banning of “assault rifles” and .50 BMG “sniper rifles” due to their use in crimes by Mexican drug cartels.  Obama dubiously alleged that 90% of these weapons  were tracked back to the United States, implying that Americans have an obligation to surrender some of our freedoms to keep these weapons from being smuggled illegally over the border and used in Mexican-on-Mexican violence in Mexico.  In this vintage clip, NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre discusses Obama’s proposals with Glen Beck.
Obama backed off these proposals a month later, noting that such a ban would not be politically feasible at this time.
In Fall of 2009, the Obama Administration conceived Operation Fast and Furious, in which the ATF sold thousands of advanced weapons to Mexican drug cartels in order to track them once they were used in crimes.  This policy perfectly dovetailed with Obama’s gun control arguments.  First of all, by selling guns to the cartels that the ATF could definitely trace back to the US (because they were bought from the ATF), the percentage of guns used in Mexican crimes traceable to American guns would increase.  ATF supervisors rejoiced at their success when they found that these guns were being used for violence in Mexico.

Surveillance video obtained by CBS News shows suspected drug cartel suppliers carrying boxes of weapons to their cars at a Phoenix gun shop. The long boxes shown in the video being loaded in were AK-47-type assault rifles…
…Documents show the inevitable result: The guns that ATF let go began showing up at crime scenes in Mexico. And as ATF stood by watching thousands of weapons hit the streets… the Fast and Furious group supervisor noted the escalating Mexican violence.
One e-mail noted, “958 killed in March 2010 … most violent month since 2005.” The same e-mail notes: “Our subjects purchased 359 firearms during March alone,” including “numerous Barrett .50 caliber rifles.”
Dodson feels that ATF was partly to blame for the escalating violence in Mexico and on the border. “I even asked them if they could see the correlation between the two,” he said. “The more our guys buy, the more violence we’re having down there.”
Senior agents including Dodson told CBS News they confronted their supervisors over and over.
Their answer, according to Dodson, was, “If you’re going to make an omelette, you’ve got to break some eggs.”
There was so much opposition to the gun walking, that an ATF supervisor issued an e-mail noting a “schism” among the agents. “Whether you care or not people of rank and authority at HQ are paying close attention to this case…we are doing what they envisioned…. If you don’t think this is fun you’re in the wrong line of work… Maybe the Maricopa County jail is hiring detention officers and you can get $30,000 … to serve lunch to inmates…”
And which guns did the ATF sell to the cartels?  AK-47-type assault rifles and Barrett .50 BMG sniper rifles. Exactly the types of guns that Obama hoped to ban due to their use by the cartels.
I’m not saying that the Obama Administration intentionally magnified the precise circumstances that they were using to justify their gun control proposals.  However, their reckless policy not only had this effect, but provided guns to criminal gangs that were used to murder U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, ICE Special Agent Jaime Zapata and about 150 Mexican law enforcement personnel.  Those involved in this tragic irony must be punished accordingly.  It is vital that the public comes to know who in the administration knew what and when they knew it.  Kudos to Congressman Issa for bringing this deadly scandal into the light.  Shame on the MSM for not making this a top story.
Power User
Posts: 2268

« Reply #609 on: July 10, 2011, 03:54:40 PM »

Thanks for keeping us up to date with this story, GM.  It is indeed an important story to follow. 
Power User
Posts: 42458

« Reply #610 on: July 10, 2011, 04:21:00 PM »

Amen.  I thought that last post really pulled things together.
Power User
Posts: 15532

« Reply #611 on: July 10, 2011, 04:28:02 PM »

This is the part that gets me:

Senior agents including Dodson told CBS News they confronted their supervisors over and over.
Their answer, according to Dodson, was, “If you’re going to make an omelette, you’ve got to break some eggs.”
There was so much opposition to the gun walking, that an ATF supervisor issued an e-mail noting a “schism” among the agents. “Whether you care or not people of rank and authority at HQ are paying close attention to this case…we are doing what they envisioned…. If you don’t think this is fun you’re in the wrong line of work… Maybe the Maricopa County jail is hiring detention officers and you can get $30,000 … to serve lunch to inmates…”

The line level agents saw this and balked, and were told STFU by the bosses. The ATF and other feds do "controlled delivery" cases all the time, this was not "controlled delivery", it was the USG engaging in blatant violations of federal law with the full knowledge of high ranking US DOJ figures.
Power User
Posts: 15532

« Reply #612 on: July 10, 2011, 04:50:34 PM »

This is what a controlled delivery case looks like:

Manchester Man Charged with Illegally Importing, Possessing Body Armor

U.S. Attorney’s Office December 06, 2010

District of Connecticut(203) 821-3700

David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that WAHEED ISLAM, also known as WALTER MISSOURI, JR., 43, of Seaman Circle, Manchester, has been charged by criminal complaint with the illegal importation and possession of a bullet proof vest.

 According to the allegations set forth in the federal criminal complaint, on November 28, 2010, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer at the DHL Hub located in Hebron, Kentucky intercepted and selected for border inspection a suspicious DHL package that had originated in China. The package, which was addressed to WAHEED ISLAM, was manifested as containing a “100% cotton knitted men’s vest.” However, subsequent examination of the package revealed that it contained a bullet proof vest, specifically one set of Level IIIa body armor.

 The complaint further alleges that WAHEED ISLAM’s criminal history includes numerous convictions for violent assaults, robberies and burglaries of varying degrees. It is a violation of federal for an individual to possess body armor if he has previously been convicted of a crime of violence.

 Today, law enforcement officers from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security, including a law enforcement officer acting in an undercover capacity, made a controlled delivery of the DHL package to WAHEED ISLAM’s Manchester residence. WAHEED ISLAM was arrested after he signed for and accepted delivery of the parcel.

 Following his arrest, WAHEED ISLAM appeared before United States Magistrate Judge Thomas P. Smith in Hartford and was detained pending a detention hearing that is scheduled for December 8 at 10:00 a.m.

 WAHEED ISLAM is charged in the complaint with possession of ballistic body armor by an individual who has been convicted of a crime of violence, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of three years. He also is charged with illegally concealing the true nature of imported merchandise into the United States, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.

 U.S. Attorney Fein stressed that a complaint is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

 U.S. Attorney Fein commended the substantial efforts and cooperation of the several agencies involved in this investigation in both Connecticut and Kentucky, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”), Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”) and Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”); the Manchester Police Department; and the State of Connecticut Office of Adult Probation. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Stephen B. Reynolds.

What you don't do is knowingly let Mr. Islam take possession of the vest, then wait to see if he ends up in the newspapers.
Power User
Posts: 15532

« Reply #613 on: July 10, 2011, 05:04:25 PM »

This is what happens to a state level LEO who does his own "operation gunwalker".

An Oklahoma Drug Agent Arrested for Smuggling Guns to Mexico

Reported by: Lori Rozzell

 OKLAHOMA--A drug agent for the state of Oklahoma is on house arrest after accusations that he smuggled guns for a Mexican drug cartel.  Francisco Reyes led a double life during his three years with the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics.  According to court documents filed Monday, he's facing three counts for conspiring to smuggle guns.  ATF agents say they've been tracking Reyes and his whereabouts for some time now.  According to court documents, ATF agents recovered dozens of assault rifles heading to Laredo and then traced them back to Oklahoma, and then ultimately to Reyes.  Investigators say Reyes would recruit several friends-- one in particular named Gregorio Morales; he was also arrested. 

"We want to stress that his was a single individual employee acting on his own, on his own time, and not during the Bureau hours or in Bureau vehicles," Mark Woodward of the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcatoics said. 

Investigators say Reyes would recruit several friends in the Stillwater area and across the state to buy the firearms for him before he completed the paperwork to get the guns to Mexico.  Reyes was a reserve officer with the Goodwell Police Department for two years.  He left in May of 2004.  His supervisor at the time said there was no problems or issues, and he left in good standing with the Department.  ATF agents have been tracking weapons Reyes bought at several gun stores since June.   
Power User
Posts: 42458

« Reply #614 on: July 10, 2011, 05:26:15 PM »

Pertinent counter-point there GM as to the right way of doing things.

Urge Your U.S. Senator To Sign Sen. Moran's Letter To The President Opposing The UN Arms Trade Treaty
Friday, July 01, 2011
NRA will be in full attendance at the UN's Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) "Preparatory Committee" meeting in New York, July 11-15.  The so-called "Prep. Com." will be laying the ground work for a final negotiation session in 2012.  NRA's message will be simple and strong – an ATT which in any way, shape or form affects the constitutional rights of American gun owners is simply unacceptable.  Civilian firearms must not be within the scope of an ATT.  There will be no compromise on this crucial point.

U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kansas) agrees with NRA's position and has drafted a letter to President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton expressing "grave concern about the dangers posed by the United Nations' Arms Trade Treaty."   

Members are strongly encouraged to contact their U.S. Senators and urge them to stand by Sen. Moran, the Constitution and America's gun owners by supporting and signing this critically important letter (you can find contact information for your U.S. Senators here, or you may contact them by phone at (202) 224-3121).  It is imperative that we get backing from your senators in order to show the UN and the Obama administration that they don't have sufficient support or votes in the U.S. Senate to ratify a gun-ban treaty.

As we have often reported, NRA has been engaged at the United Nations and elsewhere internationally in response to anti-small arms initiatives for more than 15 years.  During this time, we have been actively opposing transnational efforts that would limit Americans' Second Amendment freedoms and have been monitoring and actively fighting any and all attempts on the part of the UN to restrict our sovereignty and gun rights.

NRA has been a recognized Non-Governmental Organization at the United Nations since 1997.  Our status as an NGO allows us to closely monitor the internal UN debate over firearm issues and report back to our members.  Our NGO status also allowed NRA to take an active role in thwarting the absurdly titled "UN Conference to Review Progress Made in the Implementation of the Programme of Action to Prevent and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects" in 2006, and the previous meeting, the "UN Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons" in the summer of 2001.

In addition to its UN activities, NRA is a founding member of the World Forum on the Future of Sport Shooting Activities.  The WFSA is an association of hunting, shooting, and industry organizations that was founded in 1996.  The WFSA includes over 35 national and international organizations, representing over 100 million sport shooters worldwide.

NRA members may rest assured that NRA will be actively involved in this process and will oppose any treaty that attempts to impose limits on our Second Amendment rights.  In the meantime, members should contact their U.S. Senators and urge them to sign Sen. Moran's letter.

Power User
Posts: 42458

« Reply #615 on: July 10, 2011, 05:28:30 PM »
Power User
Posts: 42458

« Reply #616 on: July 11, 2011, 02:58:14 PM »

By the way, I note this thread now has over 100,000 reads cool
Power User
Posts: 42458

« Reply #617 on: July 16, 2011, 05:01:46 PM »

I don't remember where, but I heard something about the Operation Gun Runner in Texas-Mexico apparently has a correlary in Florida running guns to Central America.  Anyone heard anything about it?

There is a brief reference to it in the piece below:

Guns Gone Wild -- ATF's Good Intentions Gone Bad
Obama's Solution: New Gun Control Measures
"The ultimate authority ... resides in the people alone. ... The advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation ... forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition." --James Madison

Obama's ATF Political FollyIn January of this year, Federal Judge John Roll, a Republican nominated by President George H.W. Bush, was among six citizens murdered by a psychopath in Tucson. Democrat Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was among 14 wounded in that attack.

Predictably, Barack Hussein Obama and his Leftist cadres in the Democrat Party were quick to convert the Tucson tragedy into political fodder to formulate a new round of "common sense" gun control legislation. Indeed, Obama claimed the Tucson assault should "at least be the beginning of a new discussion on how we can keep America safe for all our people." He went on, "I believe that if common sense prevails, we can get beyond wedge issues and stale political debates to find a sensible, intelligent way [to confiscate guns]."

But Obama's nefarious plan to undermine the Second Amendment was well underway many, many months prior to the Tucson murders -- and well below the radar. In fact, anti-gun activist Sarah Brady said that Obama told her, "I just want you to know that we are working on [gun control]. ... We have to go through a few processes, but under the radar."

Why would Obama want to be so clandestine with his anti-2A agenda?

In recent decades, Democrats have suffered serious electoral and judicial setbacks when trying to enact gun control measures. Given the lack of broad support for such measures, Obama is silently advancing the Socialist agenda to disarm Americans and, ultimately, neutralize our ability to defend Essential Liberty.

In March of this year, I detailed insider accounts regarding Project Gunrunner, a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives operation begun in 2005, which originally had the objective of tracking weapons transfers between the U.S. and Mexico in order to expose Mexican drug cartels.

However, in early 2009, the Obama administration determined that the original purpose of Gunrunner could be altered in order to provide a new mandate for implementing their gun control rationale: Stopping the flow of "assault weapons" into Mexico. To facilitate that agenda, Attorney General Eric Holder authorized operation "Fast and Furious," that set into motion an ATF plan to encourage and enable "straw purchase" firearm sales to arms traffickers, and allow the guns to make their way into the hands of violent Mexican drug cartel assassins.

Holder determined that he could manufacture a case that guns purchased in the U.S. were responsible for all the violence in Mexico. Then Obama could use that "evidence" to make the argument that, in order to stem the violence, more stringent gun control measures were necessary, starting incrementally with restricting gun sales in Border States. As Demo Rep. Carolyn McCarthy put it, "[Obama] is with me on [gun control], and it's just going to be when that opportunity comes forward that we're going to be able to go forward."

Border Patrol Agent Brian TerryThe "opportunity" was moving forward unabated until one of the ATF's Fast and Furious guns was used last December to murder U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, and other guns were used in the February ambush of Immigration and Customs Agents Jaime Zapata and Victor Avila by Los Zetas Cartel soldiers in Mexico. Agent Zapata was killed in that assault.

I should note here that in all accounts from my sources within ATF, clearly the agents involved at the tactical level of Gunrunner and F&F were under the impression that these operations were legitimate efforts to identify transit lines between the U.S. and members of Los Zetas and other Mexican drug cartels.

However, at the strategic (high-level management) levels of the ATF in Arizona and Texas, it was well understood that Holder had a scheme to use this operation to jumpstart Obama's gun control scheme. (In a March 2010 ATF memo, agents reported that the managers in charge of Fast and Furious were "jovial, if not giddy" over news that ATF guns were associated with murders in Mexico.)

There is new evidence that Holder even used "stimulus debt" to launch "Operation Castaway" in Florida -- putting guns into the hands of the world's most brutal transnational gang, Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) -- to generate additional "supporting evidence" for Obama's gun control mandate.

Recall if you will, Democrat outrage when Oliver North, working for the Reagan administration, ran a clandestine operation selling arms to Middle East bad guys so they could kill other bad guys over there, and then used some of the sales proceeds to fund the good guys in Central America fighting against Marxists south of our border. No such Democrat angst is evident this time.

Obama and Holder are moving forward with their subterfuge with no concern about rebuke. Moreover, they are doing so as if agents Terry and Zapata were still walking the line.

Last Thursday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney announced, "The president directed the attorney general to form working groups with key stakeholders to identify common-sense measures that would improve Americans' safety and security while fully respecting Second Amendment rights. That process is well underway at the Department of Justice with stakeholders on all sides working through these complex issues. And we expect to have some more specific announcements in the near future."

Well underway, indeed. Lost amid the din of all the extra-constitutional federal tax-n-spend debates this week, Obama spared Democrat congressional action on gun control by unilaterally circumventing the Second Amendment via an Executive Order. You guessed it -- he decreed new restrictions on gun sales in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. Holder's Deputy Attorney General, James Cole, claimed that Obama's EO would help the ATF disrupt illegal weapons trafficking networks between the U.S. and Mexico.

Meanwhile, there's a growing list of serious crimes committed in the U.S. with ATF guns that were thought to be in Mexico.

Parents of Agent Jaime ZapataAs Obama ramps up additional gun control measures, I would remind him that the first shots of the American Revolution were fired in response to the government's attempt to disarm American colonists, specifically to capture and destroy arms and supplies stored by the Massachusetts militia in the town of Concord.

As reflected in James Madison's words regarding the "ultimate authority" for defending liberty, our Founders fully understood that to secure Liberty, "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed."

As Madison's Supreme Court appointee, Justice Joseph Story, wrote in his 1833 "Commentaries on the Constitution," "The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them."

The Second Amendment was and remains "The Palladium of Liberties."

Those who are foolishly willing to compromise Essential Liberty to pursue Obama's illusion of safety, in the timeless judgment of Benjamin Franklin, "deserve neither liberty nor safety."

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!

Mark Alexander
Publisher, The Patriot Post

« Last Edit: July 16, 2011, 05:11:02 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
Power User
Posts: 15532

« Reply #618 on: July 17, 2011, 12:25:45 AM »

More ‘Gunwalker’ Emails Suggest Gun-Control Conspiracy

Posted By Bob Owens On July 15, 2011 @ 8:46 am

A Washington Times editorial notes that Operation Fast and Furious was “too fast, too furious [1],” as the gunrunning scandal continues to widen.

It was bad enough that more than a half-dozen director-level law enforcement officials and an unknown number of supervisors and managers acquiesced to a plot that armed cartels with more than 2,000 weapons in ATF’s Phoenix Field Operations area. But saying that a combination of groupthink, stupidity, and institutional inertia is to blame for this fiasco is giving dozens of federal law enforcement officers across multiple agencies the benefit of the doubt that they are merely criminally incompetent.

The increasingly more plausible motivation: political appointees of the current administration concocted a scheme to destabilize a friendly government to restore the flagging anti-gun movement.

That scenario would have seemed paranoid just weeks ago, but new evidence appearing almost daily indicates that the “Fast and Furious” scandal based in Arizona may be just one part of a much wider campaign by multiple government agencies acting well beyond the law.

Recent developments indicate that in addition to Fast and Furious in Arizona, another  gunrunning operation was headquartered in ATF’s Tampa Field Operations area. It allowed roughly 1,000 firearms to be smuggled to the ultra-violent MS-13 gang in Honduras.

Evidence also suggests that similar multi-agency programs exist in both the Houston and Dallas Field Operations areas covering all of Texas and Oklahoma.

Taken together, this suggests that we are not dealing with an isolated incident, but an ambitious and insidious attempt by the highest levels of a rogue government to reshape our world by any means necessary.

Katie Pavlich broke the story [2] yesterday of a ”smoking gun” email between ATF officials: Mark R Chait, assistant director for field operations with the ATF, copied ATF deputy assistant director for field operations on an email to William Newell, the special agent in charge (SAC) of the Phoenix Field Division:

    Bill – Can you see if these guns were all purchased from the same FfL and at one time. We are looking at anecdotal cases to support a letter on long gun multiple sales.

Chait was asking Newell to use tracing data to support an initiative supported by the administration to require the reporting of multiple rifle sales.

If that sounds familiar, it should; this week, President Obama pushed an executive order — an end-run around Congress – stating the feds will now require the reporting of multiple rifle sales within a five-day period. That the office of the presidency lacks the constitutional authority to enact such a rule seems irrelevant to this administration, which is certain to see this edict challenged in court if the ATF attempts to enforce it.

Even more damning: the existence of more emails that confirm these same ATF officials and others were colluding to use the Operation “Fast and Furious” guns that they helped smuggle into Mexico as a pretext for the new reporting regulation.

Congressman Darrell Issa and Senator Charles Grassley continue to unravel this plot. Along with the emails proving that the ATF was using “walked” guns to justify stricter gun laws, they sent a letter to embattled Attorney General Eric Holder asking the following:

        Is there any other evidence suggesting that ATF of DOJ officials discussed how Operation Fast and Furious could be used to justify additional regulatory authorities for the ATF? IF so, are there any such indications prior to July 14, 2010?
        Rather than collecting additional information on law-abiding gun owners, what steps have you taken to ensure that the ATF is better able to act on the information it already possesses to interdict the flow of firearms to criminals?

If most of the claims regarding this scandal are substantiated — and developing evidence certainly indicates a high likelihood of that happening — we face a watershed moment in American history.

Every component of federal law enforcement within the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security — and most likely with the knowledge of the Department of State — undertook a massive operation designed to facilitate the flow of thousands of weapons into the hands of some of the most vicious criminal organizations on Earth. These operations likely took place with the full knowledge of cabinet level officials, and possibly the White House. The weapons “walked” were used to gun down innocent men, women, and children, not to mention the brave police officers and soldiers in each nation trying to wage peace.

It demands a criminal investigation and the possible RICO prosecution [3] of dozens of federal law enforcement officers, supervisors, senior management, political appointees, and possibly elected officials.

Our federal law enforcement apparatus became a criminal conspiracy. This was an assault on the democratic rule of law and the very essence of our republic.

URL to article:

URLs in this post:

[1] too fast, too furious:

[2] broke the story:

[3] RICO prosecution:
Power User
Posts: 15532

« Reply #619 on: July 18, 2011, 07:00:27 AM »

Unanswered questions from congress.
Power User
Posts: 15532

« Reply #620 on: July 18, 2011, 02:04:29 PM »

Gunwalker: ATF Targets Were Actually FBI Informants

It would be comical if we weren’t talking about dead federal agents and Mexican nationals.

July 18, 2011 - 10:39 am - by Bob Owens

Writing from the Los Angeles Times Washington Bureau, Richard Serrano reveals that at least six of the ATF’s targets in Operation Fast and Furious were paid FBI informants.
Your tax dollars at work:

In a letter to FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III, the investigators asked why U.S. taxpayers’ money apparently was paid to Mexican cartel members who have terrorized the border region for years in their efforts to smuggle drugs into this country, and to ship U.S. firearms into Mexico.
“We have learned of the possible involvement of paid FBI informants in Operation Fast and Furious,” wrote Rep. Darrel Issa (R-Vista), chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and Sen. Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee. The two have been the leading congressional critics of the program.
“At least one individual who is allegedly an FBI informant might have been in communication with, and was perhaps even conspiring with, at least one suspect whom ATF was monitoring,” they wrote.
The FBI and DEA did not tell the ATF about the alleged informants. The ATF and congressional investigators learned later that those agencies apparently were paying cartel members whom the ATF wanted to arrest.
To simplify: the Department of Justice was paying ATF agents to ignore federal laws in order to provide weapons to criminal informants paid by the FBI, who then distributed those weapons to other cartel members who killed federal agents from Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement plus an estimated 150 soldiers and police in Mexico.
The development draws FBI Director Robert Mueller further into the scandal, and suggests that acting ATF Director Ken Melson was being truthful when he claimed he was unaware of key elements of Operation Fast and Furious. Congressional investigators now need to interview the FBI director and determine if Mueller was also being provided with only partial details about the operation.
If that turns out to be the case, it is a damning indictment of the Justice Department and senior officials within the Department, who learned nothing about the disastrous and deadly effects of compartmentalization which were partially to blame for the success of Islamic terrorists on September 11, 2001. The “wall of separation” created by Clinton-era Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick seems to have been embraced by her successor Eric Holder, who is now the attorney general under Barack Obama.
The “wall” was created to safeguard the civil liberties of terrorists by keeping counter-terrorists from communicating with federal prosecutors, but can be twisted to serve a far more nefarious purpose, as the various “Gunwalker” operations being uncovered seem to show.
“Operation Fast and Furious” was run out of Phoenix as a multi-agency operation, and Congress is now pursuing leads into “Operation Castaway,” an operation based out of Tampa that seems to have mirrored the goals and tactics of the Arizona operation while providing weapons to the violent MS-13 gang in Honduras. Additionally, ICE Agents Jaime Zapata and Victor Avila were ambushed — and Zapata killed — with a weapon traced back to a yet-unnamed operation based out of Dallas. A steady recovery of weapons to southern Mexico out of the Houston area seems to indicate the possibility of a fourth operation.
It has been know from the beginning of the scandal that Operation Fast and Furious was a multi-agency operation involving elements of the Department of Justice (ATF, DEA, FBI, etc.) the Department of Homeland Security, the IRS, and almost certainly the State Department. It is suspected that this operation violated the Arms Export Control Act, and turned federal law enforcement officers into felons.
While the administration originally tried to scapegoat acting ATF Director Melson and a key source indicates that Deputy Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Blanco is now being set-up to take the fall, neither man has the authority or reach to initiate or approve this kind of operation. It is unlikely that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder was unaware of such wide-ranging and vast operations that involved every law enforcement agency within the Department of Justice. It is also possible — even probable at this point — that he perjured himself in congressional testimony.
Holder either knew of the operation and purposefully committed his agencies to committing thousands of felony acts, or he is a serial incompetent playing the role of patsy for a cabinet-level peer or his superior.
Power User
Posts: 15532

« Reply #621 on: July 19, 2011, 04:38:38 PM »

Issa and Grassley -- more bombshells
Posted by David Hardy · 18 July 2011 07:39 PM

Their latest letter to Justice.

The most impressive revelations are of data that Acting Director Melson gave them. ATF was ready to cooperate until it was gagged by the Deputy Attorney General. They informed the Deputy AG that they had documents that contradicted the "official story" Justice was giving out. A memo describing an important meeting -- held to convince a cooperating gun dealer who was getting worried about allowing all these suspicious gun buys -- was actually written over a year later, after the controversy broke. Melson says there is a memo that is a "smoking gun," which Justice is still refusing to reveal to the Committee.

This is the hottest political story since Watergate ... and of course (with a few exceptions) the MSM is ignoring it. The government itself sets up operations that run thousands of guns to drug cartels, gets two Federal agents and hundreds of Mexican nationals killed, then the coverup goes right up to the Deputy AG (which means it goes at least to the AG: his deputy wouldn't want to be accused of going behind his back), an agency head goes defector. And the MSM is in "move on folks, nothing to see here" mode.

If that weren't enough entertainment for the day, Sipsey Street Irregulars reports on letters that Issa and Grassley asking for information on the murdered Border Patrol Agent and the murdered ICE agent, and data on their paid informants who were part of the gun distribution system in Mexico.
Power User
Posts: 15532

« Reply #622 on: July 22, 2011, 04:32:36 PM »

Worse Than Gunwalker? State Dept. Allegedly Sold Guns to Zetas

It’s a stunning allegation that makes the other gunrunning scandals look like child’s play.

July 22, 2011 - 10:35 am - by Bob Owens

Phil Jordan, a former CIA operative and one-time leader of U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s El Paso Intelligence Center, claims that the Obama administration is running guns to the violent Zetas cartel through the direct commercial sale of military grade weapons:

Jordan, who served as director of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s El Paso Intelligence Center in 1995, said the Zetas have shipped large amounts of weapons purchased in the Dallas area through El Paso.
Robert “Tosh” Plumlee, a former CIA contract pilot, told the Times he supported Jordan’s allegations, adding that the Zetas have reportedly bought property in the Columbus, N.M., border region to stash weapons and other contraband.
“From the intel, it appears that a company was set up in Mexico to purchase weapons through the U.S. Direct Commercial Sales Program, and that the company may have had a direct link to the Zetas.”
The U.S. Direct Commercial Sales program is run from the U.S. State Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls. It regulates and licenses private U.S. companies’ overseas sales of weapons and other defense materials, defense services, and military training. This does not include the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program, which authorized sales to foreign governments.
An El Paso Times article – as of now ignored by mainstream media — went into much more shocking detail:

“They’ve found anti-aircraft weapons and hand grenades from the Vietnam War era,” Plumlee said. Other weapons found include grenade launchers, assault rifles, handguns and military gear including night-vision goggles and body armor.
“The information about the arms trafficking was provided to our U.S. authorities long before the ‘Columbus 11′ investigation began,” said Plumlee, referring to recent indictments accusing several Columbus city officials of arms trafficking in conjunction with alleged accomplices in El Paso and Chaparral, N.M.
Jesús Rejón Aguilar, the number three man in the Zeta’s hierarchy, disclosed last week that the Zetas bought weapons in the United States and transported them across the Rio Grande. Mexican federal authorities captured Rejón on July 3 in the state of Mexico, and presented him to the news media the next day. His recorded video statement was uploaded on YouTube.
Jordan agreed with Plumlee’s allegations that the Zetas are operating in the Columbus-Palomas border.
Plumlee, who has testified before U.S. congressional committees about arms and drug trafficking, said the roads in Southern New Mexico provide smugglers easy access to Mexico’s highway networks. provides a map of the air-smuggling route originating in Dallas at Alliance Airport and ending in Columbus, New Mexico — a small town that has also been rocked by the arrests and guilty pleas of the town mayor and other elected officials who were running guns to a cartel safehouse, and then apparently into Mexico.
There is no direct link made as of yet between the Columbus, NM, officials case and the allegations of the Dallas-to-Columbus air smuggling route, but the possible connection should raise eyebrows.
If these allegations can be verified: what on Earth was the State Department thinking supplying the direct sale of military weapons to a cartel front company? Weapons that were then smuggled out of the very airport used by the Drug Enforcement Agency charged with bringing down the cartels?
Anthony Martin at the Examiner brings up one of the most damning and compelling questions that the State Department and Obama administration must answer if this story is true:

The program is set up so that the sale of U.S. guns to foreign entities involve direct negotiations with the governments of those countries purchasing the weapons. The description of the program specifically states that it regulates the sale of U.S. firearms to other countries or international organizations.
How, then, did a drug cartel purchase weapons through this program when it is neither an international organization nor a government?
At The Truth About Guns, Brad Kozak opines:

The ATF was not the only ones running guns to Mexico. Apparently the State Department was playing, too. And then consider this angle — was the State Department competing with the ATF for the hearts and minds of the Mexican drug trade?

If the ATF is supplying the Sinaloas (with Calderón’s tacit approval and/or help) and State is playing for the Zetas, where does that leave the rest of America?
It sounds like a fictional thriller, but considering what we’ve already learned of Operation Fast and Furious, the Justice Department, and the possibility of even more gunrunning operations (Operation Castaway) out of DOJ, is a rival program being run out of State really a bizarre accusation?
Hello Kitty
« Reply #623 on: July 25, 2011, 12:48:09 AM »

I hate to say it, but this actually makes me laugh.

Lots of excellent info, but the portion about the government (I'm currently in one of those third world countries) (check the ip), telling people that they can't have firearms because way back when someone was bad, whilst they're selling them to the cartel is exactly why I scoff at them and anyone else that thinks they have the right to regulate another's ability to have firearms for any reason.

News flash to some.... the world never has been, will be, nor was it meant to be... SAFE. Some people need to take responsibility for that and cope. No-one is responsible for my safety but myself, and I like it that way. Especially these days. You can't even trust your own government (as though one ever could). Enough out of me.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2011, 12:54:48 AM by Hello Kitty » Logged
Power User
Posts: 15532

« Reply #624 on: July 25, 2011, 07:30:03 AM »

You can never make the world 100% safe. You can make sure where you live doesn't look like Mogadishu or Juarez. You shouldn't blindly trust your government, which is why it is the responsibility of the public to monitor the elected officials and those that answer to them and make changes as needed.
Hello Kitty
« Reply #625 on: July 25, 2011, 09:37:33 AM »

GM, you bring up some excellent points. I've been to Juarez several times and though I've not yet been to Mogadishu, Juarez and other places here in Mexico can't help but make me wonder if humans were ever designed to live in peace.
I and others (and I suspect yourself), have seen a great deal of the "peaceful" nature of our species, which is to say, I wonder if we're aren't just yanking each other's chains in any attempt to control it (gun control laws).
As Guro Crafty had posted earlier, there have been studies done, that reflect that the only policy to have made an impact is one where people are allowed concealed carry licenses.
I have a huge amount of respect for what law enforcement puts on the line in terms of risking their lives, but even they will tell us that the citizens are the first line of defense, and though we know what that means, for the benefit of others, simply put; the police cannot protect you no matter how much one may wish that to be true.
I'll forego the God given right for everyone, regardless of what other's think, felons included, to protect their lives, and simply state that politicians are virtually useless (there is a heavy amount of evidence to support this), and that for all of the laws that they pass, they still cannot stop one person from harming another, if that person is bent on doing that. An excellent example of this is the tragedy that just happened in Norway.
Telling each of those people on the island that they can't have firearms wouldn't have saved their lives, but allowing each of them to have a CCL most definitely would have changed the outcome.
Me? Everyone should be armed. It is their responsibility and ours, to protect ourselves. The problem arises, when leftists, who fail to acknowledge their responsibility, think that they're somehow going to form some type of policy that will fabricate a peaceful world. It simply isn't going to happen.
Ad note: Those same leftist politicians (many of them) have CCL's as well. I wonder why.
Power User
Posts: 15532

« Reply #626 on: July 25, 2011, 10:35:11 AM »

Well, we that live in the modern, western nations live in a greater degree of peace and safety than other humans elsewhere. If we look at the rates of death from tribal warfare from hunter-gatherer societies, they have a much high rate of deaths as a percentage of their population. Look at our own history and the massive loss of life in the civil war or WWI and compare that with our current wars.

Having said that, there are real dangerous people within our societies walking free among us. Very rarely is law enforcement in the right place at the right time to prevent a crime from being completed. The odds are probably better that your assailant would be struck by lightning rather than be stopped by a patrol officer who happens to be nearby. I've often joked that if the general public knew who was walking among them, not only would they buy a gun, they'd move to a deserted island and ring the shores with razor wire and land mines.

A few bipedal predators I've dealt with professionally leap to mind. One is a hulking young adult male whom I believe has already committed one murder (I tried to get the case re-opened and re-investigated, but couldn't) who is obsessed with abducting, raping, torturing and cannibalizing women. He has a "book" he has written filled with graphic descriptions and drawings of bound women with amputated limbs in torture chamber settings.

To my knowledge, he is currently walking free, no probation, no parole and no pending cases that I am aware of.
Power User
Posts: 42458

« Reply #627 on: July 29, 2011, 03:27:51 PM »

U.S. Taxes Bought ATF Guns for Cartels; Holder Lied

Written by Alex Newman   

Tuesday, 12 July 2011 16:00
As the scandal surrounding the Obama administration’s operation to put high-powered guns in the hands of Mexican drug cartels continues to grow, new revelations suggest that American taxpayers might have actually paid for the weapons through the stimulus bill and multiple agencies. On top of that, Attorney General Eric Holder apparently lied about his knowledge of the scheme.

 The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (still known as ATF) is facing growing pressure after whistleblowers exposed “Project Gunrunner” and “Operation Fast and Furious” to public and congressional scrutiny. It turns out many of the guns shipped to Mexican crime syndicates with ATF permission have ended up at crime scenes on both sides of the border. And at least three of the weapons were involved in the slaying of U.S. federal agents. 
But despite the Obama administration’s frantic efforts to cover up and minimize the fiasco while demonizing guns, the furor continues to grow. And more federal agencies are now coming under scrutiny for their roles in the plot.
Acting ATF boss Kenneth Melson (standing right in picture above), recently threatened with contempt of Congress charges for obstructing the investigation, revealed a startling new twist to investigators late last week. At least some of the criminals supposedly being armed with ATF permission for “investigations” were actually working for the FBI and the DEA — unbeknownst to the ATF. Or so the story goes.

 Melson may have been pressured by the Department of Justice not to disclose details of the operation, and some members of Congress believe he was being set up as a fall guy to avoid investigations of higher-ups. But in testimony last week, the embattled ATF boss claimed his agency was not aware of the other agencies’ involvement because information was not properly shared.

 His recent statement sparked a widening of the congressional investigation, according to a source close to the probe cited in the San Francisco Gate. "We know now it was not something limited to just a small group of ATF agents in Arizona," the congressional source explained. 

 Members of Congress leading the inquiry into the scandal are getting very suspicious. "The evidence we have gathered raises the disturbing possibility that the Justice Department not only allowed criminals to smuggle weapons but that taxpayer dollars from other agencies may have financed those engaging in such activities," wrote Rep. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) in a letter to Attorney General Holder.

“It is one thing to argue that the ends justify the means in an attempt to defend a policy that puts building a big case ahead of stopping known criminals from getting guns,” they added. “Yet it is a much more serious matter to conceal from Congress the possible involvement of other agencies in identifying and maybe even working with the same criminals that Operation Fast and Furious was trying to identify.”

Even more explosive was a recent statement by one of the founders of a top Mexican drug cartel, Los Zetas. In a taped interrogation released to the public, Jesús "El Mamito" Aguilar told Mexican police earlier in July that his crime syndicate was getting weapons directly from the U.S. government. Similarly, a top operative in the Sinaloa drug cartel explained to a federal court earlier this year that he was trafficking drugs with permission from the U.S government.

 Beyond the question of whether or not the U.S government has been deliberately aiding gun and drug trafficking, however, there’s still more. Top administration officials — and even Obama himself — have made headlines in recent days after reportedly getting caught in blatant lies.

 Attorney General Holder, for example, is under intense fire. He told Congress in May of this year that he had “probably” learned about the government’s involvement in gun running only in “the last few weeks.”

But a couple of years ago, he was bragging about the scandalous program by name during a speech in Mexico. “My department is committing 100 new ATF personnel to the Southwest border in the next 100 days to supplement our ongoing Project Gunrunner,” he boasted to an anti-gun crowd outside of Mexico City in 2009.

 Similarly, Obama said he neither approved nor had knowledge of the program to arm the cartels. But the so-called “stimulus” bill, which the President signed, contained an explicit appropriation of tens of millions of dollars in funding for the scheme.   

“The evidence suggests that [Border Patrol] Agent [Brian] Terry's death was financed by the president's stimulus package with the full knowledge and support of Attorney General Holder,” charged the Investor’s Business Daily in a scathing editorial entitled "The Stimulation of Murder" about the ATF program. “President Obama needs to man up about Gunrunner and either take responsibility for this tragedy or admit, under oath if need be, that even he didn't know what was in the stimulus bill.”

Critics of the administration have for weeks been raising the possibility that federal officials may have been deliberately arming the cartels for ulterior motives. But even as the gun trafficking scandal explodes, the Obama administration is making good on threats to impose more unconstitutional restrictions on Americans’ Second Amendment rights by executive decree.

 As the public outcry over the federal gun smuggling operations intensifies, blame will eventually be pinned on someone. The media frenzy has been steadily growing for months as new revelations continue to shock observers. Where it will all end, however, remains to be seen.
Power User
Posts: 15532

« Reply #628 on: July 29, 2011, 04:09:33 PM »

U.S. Taxes Bought ATF Guns for Cartels; Holder Lied

I didn't see anything inaccurate in the piece, but you are aware that the "New American" is the John Birch Society, right?
Power User
Posts: 42458

« Reply #629 on: July 29, 2011, 07:09:53 PM »

NO, I was NOT aware.  THANK YOU for bringing that to my attention.  It most certainly is worth noting.  It was sent to me by someone who has been a consistent source of good material and so I did not think to question it.
prentice crawford
« Reply #630 on: July 30, 2011, 11:45:59 AM »

 The person that sent it to you wasn't aware either. tongue
prentice crawford
« Reply #631 on: July 30, 2011, 11:58:08 AM »

What led to 'Project Gunwalker'?
By PAULINE ARRILLAGA - AP National Writer | AP – 56 mins ago

PHOENIX (AP) — Ten days before Christmas, ATF agent John Dodson awoke, got his morning coffee, switched on the TV news — and heard the words he had dreaded every day of every month he had been a member of the gun-trafficking investigative team called the Group VII Strike Force.

A Border Patrol agent had been shot dead in a gun battle with suspected bandits. The agent was 40, only months older than Dodson himself, another ex-military man who chose to serve his country by working for the U.S. government.

An all-too familiar feeling returned to the pit of Dodson's stomach, an awful mix of panic, fear and disgust that flowed from one haunting question:

In allowing guns onto the streets in hopes of knocking off a big arms-trafficking ring, had ATF's Group VII been unwitting accomplices in the death of a fellow federal agent?

Dodson had come to Phoenix to carry out a key component of ATF's mission: To stop gunrunning to Mexican drug cartels. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives had stepped up efforts to dam the "Iron River" flowing south, and Group VII was supposed to be leading the way with an operation aptly called "Fast and Furious."

The focus was a group of individuals alleged to have bought more than 1,500 weapons in 15 months from Phoenix-area gun dealers on behalf of the cartels.

Some days, dozens of AK-47 variants would be purchased at once. The same buyer might return to the same store days later to buy 20, 30, 40 more weapons.

Dodson and the Group VII team often observed these buys from inside unmarked cars in the parking lots of the shops. But from the very beginning, he and other agents realized their mission in Phoenix wasn't to stop the guns at all.

"Stand down," the investigators were told whenever they sought permission to make a stop and attempt to retrieve the weapons. "Just surveil."

At times, agents followed buyers to their homes or drop points, but they would eventually be instructed to leave. They saw guns being transferred from one car into another, but then watched as that car drove away with the weapons.

In law enforcement parlance, the practice was known as "walking" guns. And the many hundreds of guns sold during Fast and Furious walked far: To border towns in Arizona, to El Paso and San Antonio, to remote reaches of Mexico — places like Tamaulipas, 1,400 miles from Phoenix, and Guerrero, 1,700 miles south.

On Dec. 14, two of them somehow found their way to a swath of Arizona desert called Peck Canyon, where Brian Terry and three other U.S. Border Patrol agents came upon a crew of border outlaws. Gunfire was exchanged, and Terry, his wrists decorated with bands that read "Honoring the Fallen," was shot in the back. He died amid the mesquite.

It didn't take long that next day for confirmation to reach Group VII: Two Romanian-made AK-47 type rifles had been found at the shooting scene. Both had been purchased nearly a year earlier. And the buyer was a known Fast and Furious suspect who was, immediately after the shooting, finally arrested though he'd been watched for months.

"I just felt sick," Agent Dodson says. "I still do."

Worse, he knew that hundreds more weapons sold as part of Fast and Furious were still out there in the hands of criminals who wouldn't hesitate to use them.


It was supposed to be the big case — the one that went beyond the buyers, the drug cartels' equivalent of pawns in a game of chess. Taking them out alone doesn't assure victory.

Fast and Furious had far loftier goals: To go after those directing gun buys on behalf of the cartels. Maybe bring down an entire trafficking cell. Or even cripple a cartel itself.

To try and capture a few kings.

A different kind of strategy was developed and put in motion. It went like this: Instead of working to interdict the many guns that were bought, ATF agents allowed weapons to move through the trafficking network in an attempt to identify additional conspirators and, ideally, build a bigger, stronger case.

It was a risky proposition for a typically risk-adverse agency, a strategy in which the consequences may not have been entirely thought through. But this puzzle had many more pieces that came together to complete the final picture: Gun laws that make curbing arms trafficking challenging. Several unsuccessful prosecutions. A government faced with a deadly, and growing, problem — and the need for a solution, no matter the hurdles.

By the time Fast and Furious was launched in the fall of 2009, gun violence in Mexico was clearly out of control. Daily news reports described bloody shootouts as drug cartels battled for power, and worry had increased about cross-border violence in the many burgs straddling the U.S.-Mexico boundary.

Mexico looked to the United States to both blame and beg for help. Its own stiff gun laws had long driven criminals north of the border to expand their armories, but better efforts to trace crime guns recovered in Mexico underscored the enormity of the problem.

By 2009, the ATF was reporting that some 90 percent of the weapons Mexican authorities recovered and submitted for tracing originated in the United States, and pressure was increasing from Mexican officials for the United States to address the issue. Even before he was sworn in, Barack Obama vowed to Mexican President Felipe Calderon that the United States would step up efforts to stop the trafficking of weapons south.

The question was how to do it.

Old strategies primarily targeted the straw purchasers who were paid to buy weapons for higher-level traffickers, but those cases could be difficult to make, especially in Arizona.

For one, there is nothing illegal about walking into an Arizona gun shop and buying an unlimited number of weapons, so long as the purchaser passes a federal background check. A crime occurs only when weapons are exported to Mexico or if individuals are acting as unlicensed dealers by buying and reselling large quantities of weapons.

Straw purchasers themselves are typically prosecuted for what's known as "lying and buying": making a false statement on the federal documentation they fill out when purchasing a gun by claiming they are the actual intended possessor when, in fact, the gun is for someone else. But even in those cases, courts have held that the evidence must show the gun was purchased on behalf of a "prohibited possessor" — a felon, for example.

All of these things can be tough to prove, and several cases had been tossed over lack of evidence. Most notable was one of the last big cases the Phoenix ATF investigated before Fast and Furious — the widely publicized probe of gun shop owner George Iknadosian, who was accused of knowingly selling hundreds of guns to straw buyers.

In March 2009, a judge threw out the case against Iknadosian, noting that the weapons were purchased legally and there was no proof that they ultimately wound up in the hands of unlawful possessors. It was a hard pill to swallow, and the lead agent on that case, ATF special agent Hope MacAllister, would go on to become the lead case agent for Fast and Furious.

"You have a lot of worlds colliding," said James Cavanaugh, a retired ATF supervisor who negotiated a cease-fire with the Branch Davidians following the bureau's botched 1993 raid in Waco, the last major scandal to embroil the ATF. "You have the war on the border. Prosecutors who are overly skittish on taking a gun case" because of the laws and gun culture in Arizona but also, said Cavanaugh, because they'd been "burned by other cases."

There was also a growing desire in both the Justice Department and the ATF to move beyond straw-purchase investigations, considered the equivalent to arresting a corner drug dealer to try to stop drug smuggling. In search of a more meaningful solution to the overall trafficking problem, the Justice Department in the fall of 2009 began developing a revised strategy that concluded "merely seizing firearms" wouldn't end gun smuggling. Rather, it said, the focus should be on finding ways to investigate and eliminate an entire trafficking network.

"It was with this guidance in mind that Operation Fast and Furious originated," the former head of the ATF in Phoenix, William Newell, told a congressional committee Tuesday.

The Justice Department's Office of Inspector General then began a review of ATF gun trafficking efforts, a report that criticized the agency's "low-level investigative focus" and recommended "developing more complex conspiracy cases" against those further up the food chain.

Soon, the ATF issued its own reworked policy, calling for a more "creative" approach to gun probes and suggesting that straw purchasers be viewed as a stepping stone to identifying other members of a gun trafficking operation. The document noted that such a strategy was already being used in several ATF field divisions. Places like Phoenix, where ATF supervisors acknowledged in a memo summarizing Fast and Furious back in January 2010 that their strategy was to "allow the transfer of firearms" to take place in order to identify co-conspirators.

All of this led to a dramatic shift in tactics: ATF agents could let guns go in order to make a more substantial case. The ATF memo called it "limited or delayed interdiction," and seemed to anticipate what this would mean in terms of weighing risks vs. benefits. It warned that "practical considerations" may require bringing investigations to a quick close. Those included probes in which "numerous diverted firearms ... are being used in violent crimes and recovered by law enforcement."

It's an approach that some longtime ATF agents found astonishing.

"I can tell you in every case I was involved in, the bureau would've been afraid to let the guns go," said William Vizzard, who worked almost 30 years doing gun investigations for ATF and later taught criminal justice at California State University. "There was always the obsessive fear that if a gun goes out there ... it may be misused and traced back to you, and the political implications are terrible."

Mike Bouchard, a former assistant director for field operations, said the endless criticism may have left some at ATF figuring, "No matter what we do we're going to get beat up. Take off the little guy, people say you're not going after big enough people. Take off big people, these are the risks. ... And I'm not sure people thought of the risks that come along with going after the big guys."

That's not to say that guns were never "walked" in past ATF investigations, former agents said. The difference is how it was done.

Jay Wachtel worked more than two decades as an ATF agent in Arizona and California, where he ran his own gun-trafficking unit. He now teaches firearms law and policy at California State University, Fullerton. Letting guns walk has been a practice, he said, so long as it is done in a controlled manner that involves surveillance — and eventual seizure — of the weapons.

"The idea was that you would follow it long enough until you were sure you had enough probable cause" to make a traffic stop or get a search warrant or initiate an arrest, he said, or do what's known as a "knock and talk" — approach a suspect and see if he'll spill the beans. But letting guns walk into Mexico was unheard of, he said.

Wachtel recalled a few times in his career in which loads were lost — including one suspect with 20-30 guns that his team lost in traffic — and the devastation agents felt.

"You have to be an idiot not to worry about what happens with guns," he said. "We used to lose sleep."

The very same fear gripped some members of Group VII from the start.


They began assembling in Phoenix around December 2009 — excited, at first, to be on the front lines of a major border gun case.

The seven-member team included Larry Alt, an 11-year ATF veteran with a law degree; Olindo "Lee" Casa, a transfer from Chicago with 18 years under his belt; and Dodson, who had worked counter narcotics in the Army and the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office in Virginia before joining ATF around 2004.

Everything seemed to be in place: A number of suspected straw purchasers had already been identified, and several area gun dealers had been briefed on the investigation and asked to partner with ATF in alerting the agency whenever a suspect came in.

One day soon after their arrival, Dodson and Casa were dispatched to a shop to observe a suspect who was about to make a buy. From the parking lot, the agents watched as the suspect walked out with numerous assault rifles. They got on the radio and asked the lead case agents: At what point are we going to take him?

Just follow, came the response.

Dodson figured they were going to execute a search warrant. Instead, after following the suspect back to his house, he was stunned when the order came down to end surveillance and leave. The guns stayed with the suspect.

It happened again and again. As the case progressed and wiretaps went up, agents began regular surveillance of the straw purchasers, taking pictures and video. Agents would sometimes watch buyers meet with the moneymen, then follow them to the gun shops and wait outside as they went in and purchased the weapons, then follow them back to a house or business where the guns were passed on to someone else.

Still, when agents inquired about making stops, their supervisors said no.

"On several occasions I personally requested to interdict or seize firearms in such a manner that would only further the investigation, but I was always order to stand down and not to seize the firearms," Casa would later tell congressional investigators.

"Prior to my coming to Phoenix ... I had never witnessed a situation where there wasn't at least an attempt to interdict or take the firearm at some point," said Alt.

Dodson began asking just about anyone who would listen: What's the plan here?

"Essentially the attitude was ... 'We know what we're doing. The U.S. attorney's office is on board with this. This is how it works,'" Dodson said.

Firearms dealers were regularly providing purchase forms and receipts to the ATF whenever the identified suspects made buys, and then Group VII agents would enter that information — serial numbers, the buyer's name, the type of weapon — into a database meant to help trace guns once they were recovered.

The idea was if the guns were recovered, authorities in the United States or Mexico could initiate a trace — and the ATF would have more evidence in their case against members of the gunrunning scheme. They might also identify additional suspects across the network.

It didn't take long for that database to start getting hits. In November 2009 some 37 weapons purchased by known Fast and Furious suspects were seized by Mexican authorities across the border from Arizona.

By mid-January 2010, more than 20 individuals had been added to the ATF's "suspect person database" as alleged Fast and Furious straw purchasers. Among them was Jaime Avila, who later that month purchased the weapons that would be found at the scene of Brian Terry's shooting. By February, some 200 Fast and Furious guns had been recovered in Mexico.

Over weeks and months, the buying frenzy continued. In just one month, the targets of Fast and Furious purchased 359 firearms. One suspect alone would purchase more than 600 guns himself after he had been identified as a suspect in the probe, according to internal ATF records turned over to congressional investigators.

Among Group VII, dissent quickly set in. Dodson, Casa and others complained about the strategy and warned of its potentially deadly consequences. At one point Dodson pointedly asked his case agent, MacAllister, if she was prepared to attend the funeral of a border agent or sheriff's deputy killed with one of the walked guns.

Alt was predicting that someone would eventually have to answer to Congress. Later he would say: "I was in agreement with Agent Dodson that someone was going to die."

By March 2010, the group supervisor, David Voth, sent out an email about a team meeting to address a "schism" developing within Group VII. Saying the agents needed to "get on with the mission at hand," he wrote that people of "rank and authority ... believe we are doing what they envisioned the Southwest Border Groups doing."

He called Group VII "the tip of the ATF spear" in border arms trafficking, adding: "I will be damned if this case is going to suffer due to petty arguing, rumors or other adolescent behavior."

But soon, the agents weren't the only ones voicing concerns. Gun dealers also grew wary as more and more weapons were sold.

Speaking on condition of anonymity because of ongoing inquiries, one dealer described the pace of the sales as "unprecedented ... It had never happened like that before."

Still another said that because of the volume, "our sales people would go behind the door and have a direct dial to ATF, speak to somebody and they'd say, 'Yup, they're on our list. Go ahead and make the sale.' Otherwise, we probably wouldn't have."

One dealer even met with Voth and the lead prosecutor on the case, Assistant U.S. Attorney Emory Hurley, to seek assurances that guns weren't going south of the border. That same dealer emailed Voth in June 2010, saying he was worried for friends who were Border Patrol agents.

"I want to help ATF with its investigation but not at the risk of (agents') safety," wrote the dealer. Voth earlier had emailed the same gun shop owner, saying: "If it helps put you at ease we (ATF) are continually monitoring these suspects using a variety of investigative techniques which I cannot go into detail."

Among agents on the ground, there was a sense of foreboding. When a pregnant U.S. consulate worker was fatally shot across the border from Texas, there were rumblings: What if the murder weapon was a "Fast and Furious" gun? When Voth sent around emails citing the alarmingly high number of drug-related murders every month in Mexico, Dodson wondered whether ATF was, in some way, responsible.

"You would just hear: Nine people killed. Six people," he remembered. "But you never saw a picture."

Never, that is, until Terry was shot.

The very day after the shooting, ATF agents arrested Jaime Avila. According to court documents, Avila allegedly admitted on the spot to buying some 40 AK-47 variants.

Dodson, who had been transferred out of Group VII several months earlier, figured that at last his supervisors would admit mistakes had been made. Then he saw the ATF's initial investigative report regarding the shooting, and it made no mention of the fact that Avila had been a known suspect for months on end.

Fearing a potential cover-up, he tried calling the ATF's chief counsel in Washington but got no reply. He called the inspector general's hot line and again got nothing.

Then he learned that U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley's office might be looking into the operation and sent a note via an email address set up for potential whistleblowers.

Talk to me, he wrote.


Seven months later, Fast and Furious has fast become a political thorn for the Obama administration, prompting calls for the resignation of ATF's acting director, stirring the debate over gun control and straining relations with Mexican officials. Attorney General Eric Holder has ordered the Justice Department's Office of Inspector General to look into what happened, and Obama has vowed to take "appropriate actions."

Meanwhile, a parade of ATF agents have come forward, offering astonishing testimony in condemnation of their own employer over a probe they now call embarrassing, shameful, dumbfounding. They include some of the Group VII agents, including Dodson, Casa and Alt, but also another Phoenix-based supervisor, an ATF intelligence specialist and three Mexico-based agents.

"Put bluntly, it is inconceivable in my mind ... to allow firearms to disappear at all," Darren Gil, the former ATF attache to Mexico, testified Tuesday before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. "It is even more inconceivable that a competent ATF special agent would allow firearms to cross an international border, knowing that they are ultimately destined for the hands of the worst of the worst criminals."

In his own interview with congressional investigators, ATF Acting Director Kenneth Melson said there were "some mistakes made" during Fast and Furious and that he believes interdiction could have occurred but didn't. William McMahon, who heads ATF field operations in the West, and Newell, the former top man in Phoenix, have also acknowledged mistakes.

Newell told the House committee Tuesday that it was never the purpose of Fast and Furious to permit the transportation of firearms into Mexico. He nevertheless acknowledged that his office knew as early as November 2009 that guns being purchased by Fast and Furious suspects were, indeed, being recovered there.

When asked why the operation wasn't aborted, Newell stressed the difficulty in proving such cases and said prosecutors wanted more evidence. He also pointed to the larger mission of the operation.

"These Mexican drug cartels are going to get their firearms ... so we have to do everything we can in terms of taking out the infrastructure. Straw purchasers are the lowest rung on the ladder," he said, adding that focusing just on them would not have had "a lasting impact."

That the goal was laudable, no one disputes. But in the aftermath of Fast and Furious, the ATF and Justice Department are rethinking old investigative techniques vs. new, whether the end justifies the means, and how to better weigh risks vs. benefits.

The Justice Department has since clarified its policy regarding gun investigations, prohibiting operations "which include guns crossing the border." The policy adds that if there is knowledge that guns are about to enter Mexico, "immediate action" should be taken to get the weapons — even if it jeopardizes an investigation. Also, gun shops in Texas, California, New Mexico and Arizona are now required to alert the ATF to purchases of two or more high-powered rifles in a five-day span to help agents spot suspicious buying patterns.

In January, Avila and 19 other members of the alleged Fast and Furious network were indicted on charges including conspiracy, dealing in firearms without a license and making false statements in the acquisition of guns. Trial is currently set for February, though officials say the investigation continues and other suspects may be charged.

At the time of the indictment, the heads of the ATF and Arizona U.S. Attorney's Office touted the recovery of some 567 weapons in both Mexico and the United States. But in congressional testimony Tuesday, an ATF intelligence analyst said that Fast and Furious associates had purchased, in all, more than 2,000 firearms — and that 1,430 had yet to be recovered.

For their part, the Terry family is still waiting to learn more about how the two guns found at Brian Terry's slaying made their way there. One suspect has been charged with second-degree murder in the shootout and is awaiting trial, but other suspects remain on the loose.

Sources have told The Associated Press that the fatal bullet did not conclusively match either of the recovered Fast and Furious guns, according to ballistics tests. Patrick McGroder, an Arizona attorney hired by the Terry family to weigh possible legal action, said those tests are "less than equivocal." He plans an independent test.

"The obvious questions are: What were those guns doing in the possession of the outlaws? Were those weapons fired at Brian? And more importantly — if so — was the fatal bullet fired from one of those weapons?" said McGroder.

The agent's mother, Josephine Terry, said in an interview with the AP: "Justice, to us, is not beating around the bush. If the government wants to hide something, that's what irritates us. If you made a mistake ... say you did. Just say you did."

In Phoenix, several of those who helped oversee Fast and Furious have since been reassigned out of state, including Newell and Voth, the Group VII supervisor. Voth did not respond to phone messages and emails from the AP. MacAllister also did not return a phone message. ATF spokesman Scot Thomasson said they could not comment due to the pending criminal cases and ongoing internal and congressional inquiries.

Dodson, for now, remains in Phoenix — waiting to see what becomes of his ATF career now that he's been labeled as the guy who helped blow the whistle on Fast and Furious.

But he and other Group VII agents are still searching for answers to their own lingering questions, including how it all came to happen and who, ultimately, is responsible.

Perhaps the most important question that has no clear answer: Where are the rest of the guns?

"People say, well they're going to get guns anyway, so at least this way we were trying to make a case," Dodson said. "Even if that is the case, we in no way should facilitate it for them. We should do everything we can to obstruct it. ... I struggle a lot with: What more could I have done sooner? Why did it have to take a murder for something to finally happen?"

And he wonders, still: "How many other families like the Terrys are there going to be?"


EDITOR'S NOTE — This story is based on interviews with ATF agents, past and present; gun dealers who cooperated in Fast and Furious; court records in the Fast and Furious case; the testimony of current and former ATF agents before congressional committees and to congressional investigators; and a review of internal ATF emails and investigative documents assembled as part of the congressional inquiry into Fast and Furious as well as government strategy documents and reports regarding ATF's approach to gun probes.

« Last Edit: July 30, 2011, 12:06:12 PM by prentice crawford » Logged
Power User
Posts: 42458

« Reply #632 on: August 01, 2011, 12:19:18 AM »

BTW, with considerable pride I note that this thread has over 100,000 reads.  I am honored gentlemen by your presence here.
Power User
Posts: 15532

« Reply #633 on: August 02, 2011, 01:49:44 PM »

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the ATF's "Fast and Furious" or "Gunwalker" scandal, which appears to reach the highest levels of the Justice Department. Read the whole magazine article here, but the short version is that the Justice Department knowingly allowed thousands of weapons to fall in the hands of criminals in Mexico that were then used to kill U.S. law enforcement agents.
Well, today a bombshell dropped. It's not just the Justice Department that looks culpable -- it looks like the White House was briefed on the operation as well:

At a lengthy hearing on ATF's controversial gunwalking operation today, a key ATF manager told Congress he discussed the case with a White House National Security staffer as early as September 2010. The communications were between ATF Special Agent in Charge of the Phoenix office, Bill Newell, and White House National Security Director for North America Kevin O'Reilly. Newell said the two are longtime friends. The content of what Newell shared with O'Reilly is unclear and wasn't fully explored at the hearing.
For various reasons relating to the White House's gun policies and relations with Mexico, many have speculated that the White House was involved. (This involves a lot of political posturing on guns by the White House, which I explain in detail in my piece mentioned above.) But this is the first concrete proof that the White House knew what was going on.
Power User
Posts: 15532

« Reply #634 on: August 03, 2011, 07:29:19 PM »

#Invalid YouTube Link#

Hello Kitty
« Reply #635 on: August 04, 2011, 12:06:43 PM »

Someone please educate me. Is the John Birch society a bad thing, and if so, how? (From a Conservative- Libertarian frame of mind)

Thank you in advance.
Power User
Posts: 9464

« Reply #636 on: August 04, 2011, 01:56:46 PM »

"Is the John Birch society a bad thing, and if so, how? (From a Conservative- Libertarian frame of mind)"

I don't know exactly when or where they went too far to be so widely discredited.  As we are all (conservatives-libertarians) constantly accused of being extremists, it is important to not be unnecessarily guilty of it - in order to influence swing voters and win elections.

Looking through wikipedia and a few articles I find that the main core beliefs  mostly match conservatism, but there are a number of planks of John Birchers that I disagree with.  I see they had quite a feud with the Wm F Buckley types of conservatism in their time - and lost.  The main point I think would be to not go back now and re-fight those fights.  More constructive IMHO would be to join forces with the best of the new groups and keep them focused on the right issues and right solutions.
prentice crawford
« Reply #637 on: August 04, 2011, 02:24:37 PM »

Woof HK,
 For the most part they are as I am, a group that supports original Constitutional ideas and are anti communist and stands against just about everything the Left stands for. This of course makes them a prime target for attacks from the Left just off hand but what is of concern is their mix of religious and racial ideology within their political stances that put them in the extreme radical Right category and has left them exposed to charges of being a antisemitic and a racist organisation in the past.  However, some like Ron Paul still associate with the society because of it's staunch support of the Constitution, limited government and Conservative causes.
John Birch Society
Robert Welch introduced the idea of the John Birch Society at an Indianapolis meeting he convened on December 9, 1958 of 12 "patriotic and public-spirited" men. The first chapter was founded a few months later in February 1959. The core thesis of the society was contained Welch's initial Indianapolis presentation, transcribed almost verbatim in The Blue Book of the John Birch Society, and subsequently given to each new member. According to Welch, both the US and Soviet governments are controlled by the same furtive conspiratorial cabal of internationalists, greedy bankers, and corrupt politicians. If left unexposed, the traitors inside the US government would betray the country's sovereignty to the United Nations for a collectivist new world order managed by a "one-world socialist government." The Birch Society incorporated many themes from pre-WWII rightist groups opposed to the New Deal, and had its base in the business nationalist sector discussed earlier.

Welch was born in 1899 and worked "in the candy manufacturing business all of his adult life," for many years as the vice president for sales and advertising of the James O. Welch Company, founded by his brother. He was on the board of directors of the ultraconservative National Association of Manufacturers for seven years starting in 1950, and chaired NAM's Educational Advisory Committee for two years. It was at NAM, during the height of the Red Menace hysteria, that Welch honed his Americanist philosophy. Welch toured the country chairing meetings on the state of American education, and producing a 32-page brochure "This We Believe About Education," that "concluded that in America parents--and not the State--have the ultimate responsibility for the education of their children." 200,000 copies of the brochure were distributed by NAM.

Welch served as vice chairman of the Massachusetts Republican Party finance committee in 1948, and unsuccessfully ran for Lt. Governor in the 1950 Republican primary. Welch supported the ultraconservative Taft over the more moderate Eisenhower by running as a Massachusetts Taft delegate to the 1952 Republican convention. In 1952 Welch wrote May God Forgive Us, a study alleging "subversive influences" by government officials and their allies to shape "public opinion and governmental policies to favor the Communist advance." The book was published by the ultraconservative Henry Regnery Company, which in 1954 also published Welch's The Life of John Birch, which told the story of a fundamentalist missionary in China who became an intelligence agent for General Claire Chennault's Flying Tigers. Birch was killed by Chinese communist soldiers while he was on a mission at the end of WWII. In February of 1956 Welch started publishing a magazine, One Man's Opinion, and in January 1957 he left the candy business to devote his energies to "the anti-Communist cause."

Welch saw collectivism as the main threat to western civilization, writing "both the Greek and the Roman civilizations did perish of the cancer of collectivism, and the civilization of Western Europe is doing so today." This view was shared by many conservatives of the day, and had been developed by such conservative intellectuals as Hayek. The ingredient that Welch added was an "uncompromising conspiracy theory of world events, one that blamed domestic rather than foreign enemies for the spread of communism," as Diamond summarized. Although critical of Oswald Spengler's intellectual snobbery, Welch agreed with Spengler's thesis in Decline of the West, of a "cyclical theory of cultures," but Welch argued that western European civilization was being prematurely put at risk by a conspiracy to promote the decay of collectivism.

According to the JBS theory, liberals provide the cover for the gradual process of collectivism, therefore many liberals and their allies must actually be secret communist traitors whose ultimate goal is to replace the nations of western civilization with one-world socialist government. "There are many stages of` welfarism, socialism, and collectivism in general," wrote Welch, "but communism is the ultimate state of them all, and they all lead inevitably in that direction." A core tenet of the JBS was that the US is a republic not a democracy, and that collectivism has eroded that distinction. That this distinction was largely a semantic trick--used to cover the essential autocratic elitism of Welch and the JBS philosoph--was examined by Lester DeKoster, a conservative Christian who warned of the JBS anti-democratic agenda in his monograph titled The Citizen and the John Birch Society.

The JBS concern that collectivism, statism, and internationalism would be ushered in through a subversive communist conspiracy naturally evolved into the JBS "Get US out of UN!" campaign, which alleged in 1959 that the "Real nature of [the] UN is to build One World Government (New World Order)." Behind much of this concern was opposition to communism not only on economic, ideological, and pragmatic geopolitical grounds, but also because it was seen as a godless conspiracy. The influence of fundamentalist Christian beliefs on Birch doctrine are often obscured by the group's ostensible secular orientation. As Welch put it, "This is a world-wide battle, between light and darkness; between freedom and slavery; between the spirit of Christianity and the spirit of anti-Christ for the souls and bodies of men."

Welch's magazine, renamed American Opinion, became the official JBS publication in 1959, as chapters began to be built. In January 1960 the Birch Society had 75 chapters and 1,500 members, and by September 1960 there were 324 chapters and some 5,300 members. In March of 1961, according to Welch, there was "a staff of twenty-eight people in the Home Office; about thirty Coordinators (or Major Coordinators) in the field, who are fully-paid as to salary and expenses; and about one hundred Coordinators (or Section Leaders as they are called in some areas), who work on a volunteer basis as to all or part of their salary, or expenses, or both." Estimates of Society membership by the end of 1961 ranged from 60,000 to 100,000. The actual membership figures are shrouded in secrecy and often disputed. Broyles argues that in 1966 the actual active membership was more like 25,000 to 30,000, but this seems a low, and active members are outnumbered by paid members in most groups.

No matter what the actual membership, the JBS pioneered grassroots lobbying, combining educational meetings, petition drives, and letter writing campaigns. One early campaign against the second Summit Conference between the US and the Soviet Union generated over 600,000 postcards and letters, according to the Society. A June 1964 Birch campaign to oppose Xerox Corporation sponsorship of TV programs favorable to the UN produced 51,279 letters from 12,785 individuals.

Much of the early Birch conspiracism reflects an ultraconservative business nationalist critique of business internationalists networked through groups such as the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). The CFR is viewed through a conspiracist lens as puppets of the Rockefeller family in a 1952 book by McCarthy fan, Emanuel M. Josephson, Rockefeller, 'Internationalist': The Man Who Misrules the World. In 1962 Dan Smoot's The Invisible Government added several other policy groups to the list of conspirators, including the Committee for Economic Development, the Advertising Council, the Atlantic Council (formerly the Atlantic Union Committee), the Business Advisory Council, and the Trilateral Commission. Smoot had worked at FBI headquarters in Washington, DC before leaving to establish an anticommunist newsletter, The Dan Smoot Report. The shift from countersubversion on behalf of the FBI to countersubversion in the private sector was an easy one. The basic thesis was the same. In Smoot's concluding chapter, he wrote, "Somewhere at the top of the pyramid in the invisible government are a few sinister people who know exactly what they are doing: They want America to become part of a worldwide socialist dictatorship, under the control of the Kremlin."

In a 1966 speech, Welch coined the name "The Insiders" to describe the leaders of the conspiracy. The Birch Society seems unable to make up its mind if the Insiders are direct descendants of the Illuminati Freemason conspiracy, although the basic concept is clearly related. During the late 1980's and early 1990's the Birch leadership downplayed the connection, while in the late 1990's, the Birch book list began sprouting titles seeking to prove the link to the Illuminati Freemason conspiracy. Many Birch members, and founder Welch himself, expressed support for this thesis, sometimes in writing, sometimes at Birch public meetings. According to the theory, there is an unbroken ideologically-driven conspiracy linking the Illuminati, the French Revolution, the rise of Marxism and Communism, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the United Nations. Of course, not all Birch members agreed with everything that Welch or the Society proposed. Welch's famous book, The Politician, caused a stir even among many loyal Birch members who were shocked by Welch's assertion that President Dwight D. Eisenhower was "a dedicated conscious agent of the communist conspiracy."

Birch Society influence on US politics hit its high point in the years around the failed 1964 presidential campaign of Republican candidate Barry Goldwater who lost to incumbent President Lyndon Johnson. Welch had supported Goldwater over Nixon for the 1960 Republican nomination, but the membership split with two-thirds supporting Goldwater and one-third supporting Nixon. A number of Birch members and their allies were Goldwater supporters in 1964 and some were delegates at the 1964 Republican convention.

The John Birch Society White Book was a spiral-bound collection of all JBS Weekly Bulletins issued in the previous year and handed to every new member. The Bulletins in the 1964 White Book contain chatty and anecdotal information about the campaigns important to the JBS. A major effort was conducted under the slogan "Impeach Earl Warren," which was reported to be generating 500 letters per day to members of Congress. The JBS also sought to restore prayer in school, repeal the graduated personal income tax, stop "Communist influences within our communications media," and stop the "trend of legislation by judicial fiat."

The phrase "legislation by judicial fiat," was widely interpreted within the JBS as opposition to federal assistance to the goals of the civil rights movement over the objections of persons insisting that state's rights should supersede federal laws. During its heyday in the mid-1960s the Birch response to the civil rights movement and urban unrest was to launch two "campaigns under the banners of Support Your Local Police, and Expose The 'Civil Rights' Fraud.

The "Support Your Local Police" campaign opposed the use of federal officers to enforce civil rights laws. "[T]he Communist press of America has been screaming for years to have local police forces discredited, shunted aside, or disbanded and replaced by Federal Marshals or similar agents and personnel of a national federalized police force," one article complained. Another reason articulated for opposing the civil rights movement was that it was a creation of Communists, and Birch members were urged to "Show the communist hands behind it." According to a 1967 personal letter from Welch to retired General James A. Van Fleet inviting him to serve on the Birch National Council:

==="Five years ago, few people who were thoroughly familiar with the main divisions of Communist strategy saw any chance of keeping the Negro Revolutionary Movement from reaching decisive proportions. It was to supply the flaming front to the whole 'proletarian revolution,' as planned by Walter Reuther and his stooge, Bobby Kennedy"

Despite its opposition to civil rights, throughout this period the JBS had a handful of black conservative members who supported this position on philosophical grounds involving states rights, economic libertarianism, and opposition to alleged communist subversion of the civil rights movement.

The JBS simultaneously discouraged overt displays of racism, while it promoted policies that had the effect of racist oppression by its opposition to the Civil Rights movement. The degree of political racism expressed by the JBS was not "extremist" but similar to that of many mainstream Republican and Democratic elected officials at the time. This level of mainstream racism should not be dismissed lightly, as it was often crude and sometimes violent, treating Black people in particular as second-class citizens, most of whom had limited intelligence and little ambition. In Alan Stang's book published by the JBS, It's Very Simple: The True Story of Civil Rights, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. is portrayed as an agent of a massive communist conspiracy to agitate among otherwise happy Negroes to foment revolution, or at least promote demands for more collectivist federal government intrusion.

The same is true with JBS levels of personal and political antisemitism. When crude antisemitism was detected in JBS members, their membership was revoked. The most celebrated incident involved Birch leader Revilo P. Oliver who moved over to work with Willis Carto and the Liberty Lobby after being forced to resign from the Birch Society for making antisemitic and White supremacist comments at a 1966 Birch rally.

The Birch Society promoted the book None Dare Call It Conspiracy by Gary Allen who included a dubious discussion of the Rothschilds and other Jewish banking interests as part of a sketch of a much larger conspiracy involving financial and political elites and the Council on Foreign Relations. Allen explicitly rejected the idea that by focusing on the early roll of the Rothschilds in investment banking he was promoting a theory of a Jewish conspiracy:

==="Anti-Semites have played into the hands of the conspiracy by trying to portray the entire conspiracy as Jewish. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The traditionally Anglo-Saxon J. P. Morgan and Rockefeller international banking institutions have played a key role in the conspiracy. But there is no denying the importance of the Rothschilds and their satellites. However it is just as unreasonable and immoral to blame all Jews for the crimes of the Rothschilds as it is to hold all Baptists accountable for the crimes of the Rockefellers.

Nicely put, yet Allen used insensitive loaded language concerning the "cosmopolitan" nature of the "international bankers," and he slipped when comparing Jews to Anglo-Saxons, mixing issues of race, ethnicity, and religion. He seemed sincere in rejecting overt and conscious antisemitism and did not seem to be cloaking a hidden hatred or distrust of Jews, but he included a hyperbolic and inaccurate assessment of the role of the Rothschilds, Warburgs, and other Jews compared to the non-Jewish banking interests that grew along with industrial capitalism. The problem was unintentional, but still real, and the stereotype of a Jewish establishment was clearer in Allen's other work, as Mintz explained, "A conspiracist unimpressed by anti-Semitism could construe the material differently from a confirmed sociological anti-Semite, who could find a codification of his fears and anxieties."

In a similar fashion the Society promoted conspiracist theories that involved mild antisemitism, and Welch once buttressed his claims of the Illuminati conspiracy by citing notorious British antisemite Nesta Webster. At its core, however, the Birch view of the conspiracy does not reveal it to be controlled or significantly influenced by Jews in general, or a secret group of conniving Jews, nor is their evidence of a hidden agenda within the Society to promote suspicion of Jews. The Society always struggled against what it saw as objectionable forms of prejudice against Jews, but it can still be criticized for having continuously promoted mild antisemitic stereotyping. Nevertheless, the JBS was closer to mainstream stereotyping and bigotry than the naked race hate and genocidal antisemitism of neonazi or KKK groups. When the Society promoted a historic tract about the conspiracy, it was usually their reprint of Robison's Proofs of a Conspiracy.

In a sense, the Birch society pioneered the encoding of implicit cultural forms of ethnocentric White racism and Christian nationalist antisemitism rather than relying on the White supremacist biological determinism and open loathing of Jews that had typified the old right prior to WWII. Throughout its existence, however, the Society has promoted open homophobia and sexism.

The Society's anti-communism and states rights libertarianism was based on sincere principles, but it clearly served as a cover for organizing by segregationists and White supremacists. How much of this was conscious, and how much unconscious, is difficult to determine. That the Birch Society clearly attracted members with a more hate-filled (even fascistic) agenda is undeniable, and these more zealous elements used the JBS as a recruitment pool from which to draw persons toward a more neonazi stance on issues of race and culture. As Birch members assisted in building grassroots support for Goldwater's Republican presidential bid in 1964, critics of the JBS highlighted the group's more unsavory elements as a way to discredit Goldwater, who was labeled an extremist. For the JBS, however, Goldwater was a compromise candidate. JBS records from 1964 reveal Birch misgivings about the political reliability of Goldwater. Newspaper articles from the Birch archives show Goldwater quotes that conflict with Birch dogma heavily underlined and sporting rows of question marks; yet a racist and antisemitic attack on Goldwater by the White supremacist Thunderbolt, is labeled "Poison," with a bold pen stroke.

After Goldwater was soundly drubbed in the general election, Welch tried earnestly to recruit another politician to accept the Birch torch-former Alabama Governor George Wallace. "It is the ambition and the intention of Richard Nixon, during the next eight years, to make himself the dictator of the world," warned Welch in a November 11, 1968 post-election letter to Wallace. "The people of this country are ready for an anti-Communist crusade behind some political leader who really means it," wrote Welch urging Wallace to adopt the Birch platform.

The more pragmatic conservatives and reactionaries who had been fundraising and organizing specialists during the Goldwater campaign would form the core of what became known as the New Right. Although many New Right and new Christian Right activists were groomed through the Birch Society, the group's core conspiracism, passionate and aggressive politics, and its labeling by critics as a radical right extremist group tainted by antisemitism and racism, were seen as impediments to successful electoral organizing. The Birch Society became a pariah. In the late 1970's the New Right coalition of secular and Christian conservatives and reactionaries emerged as a powerful force on the American political landscape, and was influential in helping elect Ronald Reagan to the presidency in 1980. The eclipsed Birch Society saw its influence dwindle even further after Reagan took office, and further still after they attacked Reagan's policies.

When Robert F. Welch died in 1985, the Birch Society had shrunk to less than 50,000 members. There then ensued an internal struggle over who would grab the reins of the organization. The victors even alienated Welch's widow who denounced the new leadership from her retirement home in Weston, MA. Magazine subscriptions, often a close parallel to membership, fell from 50,000 to 30,000 to 15,000.

The collapse of communism in Europe and the end of the Cold War might have signaled the end of the Birch Society, but the UN role in the Gulf War and President Bush's call for a New World Order unwittingly echoed Birch claims about the goals of the internationalist One World Government conspiracy. As growing right-wing populism sparked new levels of cynicism regarding politicians, and economic and social fears sparked rightist backlash movements, the Birch Society positioned itself as the group that for decades had its fingers on the pulse of the conspiracy behind the country's decline. Between 1988 and 1995 the Birch Society at least doubled, and perhaps tripled its membership to over 55,000.

In the Birch Orbit
Conspiracist anti-communism similar to that offered by the JBS was widespread on the nativist right during the 1950s and 1960s. In addition to the books by Gary Allen, Robert Welch, Dan Smoot, and Alan Stang are enough books in the genre to fill several library shelves.
Among the most influential leaders of the countersubversion movement against the global communist conspiracy following the McCarthy period was Dr. Fred Schwarz and his California-based Christian Anti-communism Crusade. A tireless lecturer, Schwarz in 1960 authored You Can Trust the Communists (to be Communists) which sold over one million copies.Schwarz's newsletter once suggested that communists promote abortion, pornography, homosexuality, venereal disease and mass murder as ways to weaken the moral fiber of America and pave the way for a communist takeover.

The assault on America by forces of godless communism were central themes in three other widely distributed books which were used to mobilize support for the 1964 Goldwater campaign. The best known book was Phyllis Schlafly's A Choice, Not an Echo which suggested a conspiracist theory in which the Republican Party was secretly controlled by elitist intellectuals dominated by members of the Bilderberger banking conference, whose policies were designed to usher in global communist conquest.Schlafly's husband Fred had been a lecturer at Schwartz's local Christian Anti-communism Crusade conferences. The title "A Choice, Not an Echo" became one of Goldwater's campaign slogans.

Schlafly elaborate on the theme of the global communist conspiracy and its witting and unwitting domestic allies in The Gravediggers, a book on military preparedness co-authored with retired Rear Admiral Chester Ward. Ward, a member of the National Strategy Committee of the American Security Council was also a lecturer at the Foreign Policy Research Institute which formulated many benchmark Cold War anti-communist strategies.The Gravediggers, claimed U.S. military strategy and tactics was actually designed to pave the way for global communist conquest. The Gravediggers was tailored to support the Goldwater campaign.

Often overlooked because of the publicity surrounding A Choice, Not an Echo was John Stormer's, None Dare Call it Treason, which outlined how the equivocation of Washington insiders would pave the way for global communist conquest. None Dare Call it Treason sold over seven million copies, making it one of the largest-selling paperback books of the day. The back cover summarizes the text as detailing "the communist-socialist conspiracy to enslave America" and documenting "the concurrent decay in America's schools, churches, and press which has conditioned the American people to accept 20 years of retreat in the face of the communist enemy." Stormer updated his text in the late 1980's to expand on his theory, shifting his focus from anti-communism to claim secular humanism now played a key role in undermining America.

One of the core ideas of the US right is that modern liberalism is an ally of collectivism and a handmaiden for godless communism.  
 This article has been adapted from the book:
Right-Wing Populism in America: Too Close for Comfort

John Birch Society

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


John Birch Society

Logo of the JBS.


Educational and Political advocacy group

Appleton, Wisconsin

Region served
United States

Arthur Thompson


The John Birch Society is an American political advocacy group that supports anti-communism, limited government, a Constitutional Republic[1][2] and personal freedom.[3] It has been described as radical right-wing[4][5]
It was founded in 1958 by Robert W. Welch Jr. (1899–1985), who developed an elaborate infrastructure that enabled him to keep a very tight rein on the chapters.[6] Originally based in Belmont, Massachusetts, the JBS is now headquartered in Grand Chute, Wisconsin,[7] with local chapters in all 50 states. The organization owns American Opinion Publishing, which publishes the journal The New American.[8]

 [hide] 1 Values 1.1 Characterizations
2 History 2.1 Origins
 2.2 1960s
 2.3 Eisenhower issue
 2.4 1970s
 2.5 After Welch
 2.6 2009–present
3 In popular culture
 4 Officers 4.1 Presidents
 4.2 CEOs
5 Members 5.1 Notable members
6 See also
 7 References
 8 Further reading 8.1 Scholarly studies
 8.2 Primary sources 8.2.1 Criticizing the John Birch Society

9 External links

The society upholds an originalist interpretation of the U.S. Constitution, which it identifies with Christian principles. It seeks to limit the powers of government and opposes wealth redistribution, economic interventionism. It opposes collectivism and Totalitarianism, particularly communism, but also socialism and fascism. In a 1983 edition of Crossfire, Congressman Larry McDonald (D-Georgia), then its newly appointed president, characterized the society as belonging to the Old Right rather than the New Right.[9]
The society opposed aspects of the civil rights movement in the 1960s because of its concerns that the movement had communists in important positions - for instance, in the latter half of 1965, the JBS produced a flyer titled “What’s Wrong With Civil Rights?”, to also be used as a newspaper advertisement.[10][11] As published, one of the answers provided by the JBS was: “For the civil rights movement in the United States, with all of its growing agitation and riots and bitterness, and insidious steps towards the appearance of a civil war, has not been infiltrated by the Communists, as you now frequently hear. It has been deliberately and almost wholly created by the Communists patiently building up to this present stage for more than forty years.”[12] The society opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, saying it was in violation of the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and overstepped the rights of individual states to enact laws regarding civil rights. The society is against "one world government", and has an immigration reduction view on immigration reform. It opposes the United Nations, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), and other free trade agreements. The society argues that there is a devaluing of the U.S. Constitution in favor of political and economic globalization, and that this trend is not an accident. It cites the existence of the Security and Prosperity Partnership as evidence of a push towards a North American Union.[13] Stuart A. Wright has said, their political racism however was no different from both Republicans and Democratic politicians of the time.[14]
It has been described as "ultraconservative",[15] "far right",[16] and "extremist".[17] The Southern Poverty Law Center lists the society as a "'Patriot' Group".[18] Other sources consider the society as part of the patriot movement.[19][20]
The society was established in Indianapolis, Indiana, on December 9, 1958, by a group of 12 led by Robert Welch, Jr., a retired candy manufacturer from Belmont, Massachusetts. Welch named the new organization after John Birch, an American Baptist missionary and U.S. military intelligence officer who was killed by communist forces in China in August 1945, shortly after the conclusion of World War II. Welch claimed that Birch was an unknown but dedicated anti-communist,[6] and the first American casualty, Welch contended, of the Cold War.
One of the founding members[21][22][23] was Fred Koch,[24] founder of Koch Industries, one of the largest private corporations in America.[25] Another was Revilo P. Oliver, a University of Illinois professor who later severed his relationship with the society and helped found the National Alliance. A transcript of Welch's two-day presentation at the founding meeting was published as The Blue Book of the John Birch Society, and became a cornerstone of its beliefs, with each new member receiving a copy.[9] According to Welch, "both the U.S. and Soviet governments are controlled by the same furtive conspiratorial cabal of internationalists, greedy bankers, and corrupt politicians. If left unexposed, the traitors inside the U.S. government would betray the country's sovereignty to the United Nations for a collectivist New World Order, managed by a 'one-world socialist government.'"[26][27] Welch saw collectivism as the main threat to Western Civilization, and liberals as "secret communist traitors" who provided cover for the gradual process of collectivism, with the ultimate goal of replacing the nations of western civilization with a one-world socialist government. "There are many stages of welfarism, socialism, and collectivism in general," he wrote, "but Communism is the ultimate state of them all, and they all lead inevitably in that direction."[27]
The society's activities include distribution of literature, pamphlets, magazines, videos and other educational material while sponsoring a Speaker's Bureau, which invites "speakers who are keenly aware of the motivations that drive political policy".[28] One of the first public activities of the society was a "Get US Out!" (of membership in the UN) campaign, which claimed in 1959 that the "Real nature of [the] UN is to build a One World Government."[29] In 1960, Welch advised JBS members to: "Join your local P.T.A. at the beginning of the school year, get your conservative friends to do likewise, and go to work to take it over."[30] One Man's Opinion, a magazine launched by Welch in 1956, was renamed American Opinion, and became the society's official publication. The society publishes the journal The New American on a biweekly basis.[8]
By March 1961 the society had 60,000 to 100,000 members and, according to Welch, "a staff of 28 people in the Home Office; about 30 Coordinators (or Major Coordinators) in the field, who are fully paid as to salary and expenses; and about 100 Coordinators (or Section Leaders as they are called in some areas), who work on a volunteer basis as to all or part of their salary, or expenses, or both." According to Political Research Associates (a progressive research group that investigates the far right), the society "pioneered grassroots lobbying, combining educational meetings, petition drives and letter-writing campaigns.[27] One early campaign against the second summit between the United States and the Soviet Union generated over 600,000 postcards and letters, according to the society. A June 1964 society campaign to oppose Xerox corporate sponsorship of TV programs favorable to the UN produced 51,279 letters from 12,785 individuals."[27]
In the 1960s Welch insisted that the Johnson administration's fight against communism in Vietnam was part of a communist plot aimed at taking over the United States. Welch demanded that the United States get out of Vietnam, thus aligning the Society with the far left.[31]
The JBS was moderately active in the 1960s with numerous chapters, but rarely engaged in coalition building with other conservatives. Indeed, it was rejected by most conservatives because of Welch's conspiracy theories. Ayn Rand said in a Playboy interview that "What is wrong with them is that they don't seem to have any specific, clearly defined political philosophy... I consider the Birch Society futile, because they are not for Capitalism but merely against Communism."[32][33]
Former Eisenhower cabinet member Ezra Taft Benson – a leading Mormon – spoke in favor of the John Birch Society, but in January 1963 the LDS church issued a statement distancing itself from the Society.[34]
Anti-semitic, racist, anti-Mormon, anti-Masonic, and religious groups criticized the group's acceptance of Jews, non-whites, Masons, and Mormons. These opponents accused Welch of harboring feminist, ecumenical, and evolutionary ideas.[35][36][37]
In 1964 Welch favored Barry Goldwater over Richard Nixon for the Republican nomination, but the membership split, with two-thirds supporting Goldwater and one-third supporting Nixon. A number of Birch members and their allies were Goldwater supporters in 1964[38] and some were delegates at the 1964 Republican National Convention. The JBS played no known role in the fall election campaign.
In April 1966, a New York Times article on New Jersey and the society stated – in part – a concern for "the increasing tempo of radical right attacks on local government, libraries, school boards, parent-teacher associations, mental health programs, the Republican Party and, most recently, the ecumenical movement."[39] It then characterized the society as, "by far the most successful and 'respectable' radical right organization in the country. It operates alone or in support of other extremist organizations whose major preoccupation, like that of the Birchers, is the internal Communist conspiracy in the United States."
Eisenhower issue
Welch wrote in a widely circulated statement, The Politician, "Could Eisenhower really be simply a smart politician, entirely without principles and hungry for glory, who is only the tool of the Communists? The answer is yes." He went on. "With regard to ... Eisenhower, it is difficult to avoid raising the question of deliberate treason."[40]
The controversial paragraph was removed before final publication of The Politician.[41]
The sensationalism of Welch's charges against Eisenhower prompted several conservatives and Republicans, most prominently Goldwater and the intellectuals of William F. Buckley's circle, to renounce outright or quietly shun the group. Buckley, an early friend and admirer of Welch, regarded his accusations against Eisenhower as "paranoid and idiotic libels" and attempted unsuccessfully to purge Welch from the Birch Society.[42] From then on Buckley, who was editor of National Review, became the leading intellectual spokesman and organizer of the anti-Bircher conservatives.[43] In fact, Buckley's biographer John B. Judis wrote that "Buckley was beginning to worry that with the John Birch Society growing so rapidly, the right-wing upsurge in the country would take an ugly, even Fascist turn rather than leading toward the kind of conservatism National Review had promoted."[43]
The society was at the center of an important free-speech law case in the 1970s, after American Opinion accused a Chicago lawyer representing the family of a young man killed by a police officer of being part of a Communist conspiracy to merge all police agencies in the country into one large force. The resulting libel suit, Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc., reached the United States Supreme Court, which held that a state may allow a private figure such as Gertz to recover actual damages from a media defendant without proving malice, but that a public figure does have to prove actual malice, according to the standard laid out in New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, in order to recover presumed damages or punitive damages.[44] The court ordered a retrial in which Gertz prevailed.
Key society causes of the 1970s included opposition to both the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and to the establishment of diplomatic ties with the People's Republic of China. The society claimed in 1973 that the regime of Mao Zedong had murdered 64 million Chinese as of that year and that it was the primary supplier of illicit heroin into the United States. This led to bumper stickers showing a pair of scissors cutting a hypodermic needle in half accompanied by the slogan "Cut The Red China Connection." According to the Voice of America, the society also was opposed to transferring control of the Panama Canal from American to Panamanian sovereignty.[45]
The society was organized into local chapters during this period. Ernest Brosang, a New Jersey regional coordinator, claimed that it was virtually impossible for opponents of the society to penetrate its policy-making levels, thereby protecting it from "anti-American" takeover attempts. Its activities included the distribution of literature critical of civil rights legislation, warnings over the influence of the United Nations, and the release of petitions to impeach U.S. Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren. To spread their message, members held showings of documentary films and operated initiatives such as "Let Freedom Ring", a nation-wide network of recorded telephone messages.
After Welch

A sign advocating America's withdrawal produced by the John Birch Society.
By the time of Welch's death in 1985, the society's membership and influence had dramatically declined, but the UN's role in the Gulf War and President George H.W. Bush's call for a 'New World Order' appeared to many society members to validate their claims about a "One World Government" conspiracy.
The society continues to press for an end to U.S. membership in the United Nations. As evidence of the effectiveness of JBS efforts, the society points to the Utah State Legislature's failed resolution calling for U.S. withdrawal, as well as the actions of several other states where the Society's membership has been active. The society repeatedly opposed overseas war-making, although it is strongly supportive of the American military. It has issued calls to "Bring Our Troops Home" in every conflict since its founding, including Vietnam. The society also has a national speakers' committee called American Opinion Speakers Bureau (AOSB) and an anti-tax committee called TRIM (Tax Reform IMmediately).[46]
The second head of the Society was Congressman Larry McDonald from Georgia, who was killed on September 1, 1983, when the Soviets shot down KAL 007. The only congressman killed by the Soviets during the Cold War, he was on the way to the 30th year commemoration of the U.S.-S. Korea Mutual Defense Treaty in Seoul.
The Society has been active in supporting the auditing[47] of, and aims to eventually dismantle, the Federal Reserve System. The JBS believes that the U.S. Constitution gave only Congress the ability to coin money, and did not intend for it to delegate this power to a banking monopoly, or to transform it into a fiat currency not backed by gold or silver.
The JBS was a co-sponsor of the 2010 Conservative Political Action Conference, ending its decades-long exile from the mainstream conservative movement.[48][49]
In popular culture
 In 1964, Dizzy Gillespie made a semi-satirical run for President, and formed chapters of the "John Birks Society" (his real name was John Birks Gillespie) in 25 states.[50]
 Bob Dylan wrote "Talkin' John Birch Paranoid Blues",[51] narrated by a paranoid society member who looks everywhere for Communists, even in his toilet bowl and at one point decides that they are in his television set.
 Charlie Daniels song "Uneasy Rider" references the group - the man with green teeth response "I'm a faithful follower of Brother John Birch"
 General Jack Ripper in the movie Dr. Strangelove was based upon the John Birch Society's anti-fluoridation campaign.[52]
 The Chad Mitchell Trio performed the satirical song "The John Birch Society".[53]
 Steve Jackson Games included a mythical "Fred Birch Society" as one of hundreds of groups in the collectible card game Illuminati: New World Order.[54]
 Walt Kelly used his comic strip Pogo to produce a satire that appeared in book form as "The Jack Acid Society Black Book."[55][56]
 Robert W. Welch, Jr. (1958–1983)
 Larry McDonald (1983) – a U.S. Representative killed by the Soviet Air Force in the 1983 KAL-007 shootdown incident.
 Robert W. Welch, Jr. (1983–1985)
 Charles R. Armour (1985-1991)
 John F. McManus (1991–2004, 2005–present)
 G. Vance Smith (2004–2005)
 G. Allen Bubolz (1988–1991)
 G. Vance Smith (1991–2005)
 Arthur R. Thompson (2005–present)
One survey in the early 1970s found the typical John Birch Society members were middle or upper-middle class, Republican and Protestant.[citation needed] They were also fairly young and well educated: the majority of the sample was under 40 at time of recruitment and had completed at least three years of college. A later survey in the mid 1980s found the membership then was disproportionately from the Southwestern United States, young, urban, male, and Catholic. They were consistently conservative on secular issues, antigovernment, and negative toward communism. Wilcox (1988) reports the evidence does not support liberal notions that irrationality, social strains, or status anxiety explained their beliefs.[57]
Notable members

Robert Adelmann
 Gary Allen
 Thomas J. Anderson
 Lloyd W. Bailey
 Guy Banister
 Reed Benson
 Taylor Caldwell
 Roy Cohn
 Robert DePugh
 Medford Bryan Evans
 Bonner Fellers
 John William Finn
 Ezola B. Foster
G. Edward Griffin
 William Norman Grigg
 J. Evetts Haley
 Billy James Hargis
 Merwin K. Hart
 Edgar W. Hiestand
 William P. Hoar
 H. L. Hunt
 Meir Kahane (as FBI informant)
 Carl Karcher
 Jamie Kelso
 Granville Knight
 Fred C. Koch
Alfred Kohlberg
 David Lane
 Jacqueline Logan
 Robert Jay Mathews
 Larry McDonald
 Tom Metzger
 David A. Noebel
 Revilo P. Oliver
 Robert M. Owens
 Floyd Paxton
 Westbrook Pegler
 William Luther Pierce
 John Rees
H. L. Richardson
 Thomas Robb
 Archibald Roosevelt
 John H. Rousselot
 Morrie Ryskind
 Kurt Saxon
 Phyllis Schlafly
 John G. Schmitz
 George Schuyler
 Philippa Schuyler
 Eric Show
 Edwin Walker
 John Wayne

See also
 United States isolationism
 United States withdrawal from the United Nations
 Wise Use Movement
 Separation of church and state
 Edmund Burke Society, similar Canadian organization
^ Principles of the John Birch Society, 1962. "We believe that a Constitutional Republic, such as our Founding Fathers gave us, is probably the best of all forms of government"
 ^ LectLaw "We believe that our system of government, a Constitutional Republic, is the finest yet developed by man."
 ^ "The JBS Mission". The John Birch Society. Retrieved 2010-02-18.
 ^ Webb, Clive. Rabble rousers: the American far right in the civil rights era. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 2010 ISBN 0820327646 p. 10
 ^ Bernstein, Richard (May 21, 2007). "The JFK assassination and a '60s leftist prism Letter from America". International Herald Tribune (Paris): p. 2.
 JORDAN, IDA KAY (August 26, 2001). "VOTERS ADMIRED N.C. SENATOR'S INDEPENDENT STREAK, SOUTHERN CHARM". Virginian — Pilot (Norfolk, Va.): p. J.1.
 Brinkley, Douglas (February 10, 1997). "The Right Choice for the C.I.A.". New York Times: p. A.15.
 ^ a b Schoenwald, Jonathan M. (2002). "Chapter 3 - A New Kind of Conservatism: The John Birch Society". A Time for Choosing: The Rise of Modern American Conservatism. Oxford University Press (US). ISBN 0195157265.
 ^ Dan Barry (June 25, 2009). "Holding Firm Against Plots by Evildoers". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-04-04.
 ^ a b The New American.
 ^ a b "Larry McDonald on the New World Order". Liveleak. 2008-02-15. Retrieved 2008-07-18.
 ^ Epstein, Benjamin R.; Forster, Arnold (1966). Report on the John Birch Society, 1966. Random House. p. 9.
 ^ What's Wrong with Civil Rights?. Belmont, MA: American Opinion. 1965. OCLC 56596124.
 ^ "The John Birch Society Asks: What's Wrong With Civil Rights?". The Post-Times (West Palm Beach, FL): p. A10 cols. 1–6. 31 October 1965. Retrieved 30 January 2011.
 ^ Farmer, Brian (2007-09-17). "The North American Union: Conspiracy Theory or Conspiracy Fact?". The John Birch Society. Retrieved 2011-04-07.
 ^ Wright p55
 ^ Lunsford, J. Lynn (February 4, 2009). "Business Bookshelf: Piles of Green From Black Gold". Wall Street Journal: p. A.11.
 "Beck's backing bumps Skousen book to top". Deseret News (Salt Lake City, Utah). March 21, 2009.
 Byrd, Shelia (May 25, 2008). "Churches tackle tough topic of race". Sunday Gazette — Mail (Charleston, W.V.): p. C.5.
 ^ Burch, Kurt; Robert Allen Denemark (1997). Constituting international political economy. Lynne Rienner Publishers. p. 125. ISBN 9781555876609.
 Oshinsky, David (January 27, 2008). "In the Heart of the Heart of Conspiracy". New York Times Book Review: p. 23.
 Danielson, Chris (February 2009). ""Lily White and Hard Right": The Mississippi Republican Party and Black Voting, 1965-1980". The Journal of Southern History (Athens) 75 (1): 83.
 Lee, Martha F (Fall 2005). "NESTA WEBSTER: The Voice of Conspiracy". Journal of Women's History (Baltimore) 17 (3): 81.
 ^ LIEBMAN, MARVIN (March 17, 1996). "PERSPECTIVE ON POLITICS; The Big Tent Isn't Big Enough; By allowing extremists to flourish openly, the GOP forces out those who represent the party's moderate values.". Los Angeles Times: p. 5.
 TOBIN, JONATHAN S. (March 9, 2008). "The writer who chased the anti-Semites out". Jerusalem Post: p. 14.
 Gerson, Michael (March 10, 2009). "Looking for conservatism". Times Daily (Florence, Ala.).
 ^ "'Patriot' Groups". Southern Poverty Law Center. Spring 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-31. "Generally, Patriot groups define themselves as opposed to the 'New World Order' or advocate or adhere to extreme antigovernment doctrines. ... Listing here does not imply that the groups themselves advocate or engage in violence or other criminal activities, or are racist."
 ^ Thomas, Jeff (February 13, 1995). "Determined `patriots' say their time has come/ Reduction of government sought". Colorado Springs Gazette - Telegraph: p. A.1.
 ^ Junas, Daniel (March 14, 1995). "DISAFFECTED CITIZENS FORMING ARMED MILITIAS". Seattle Post - Intelligencer: p. A.9.
 ^ Davis, Jonathan T. (1997). Forbes Richest People: the Forbes Annual Profile of the World's Wealthiest Men and Women. Wiley. pp. 138. ISBN 9780471177517. "Founding member (1958) John Birch Society — reportedly after seeing Russian friends liquidated"
 ^ Hoover's 500: Profiles of America's Largest Business Enterprises. Hoover's Business Press. 1996. pp. 286. ISBN 9781573110099. "In 1929 Koch took his process to the Soviet Union, but he grew disenchanted with Stalinism and returned home to become a founding member of the anticommunist John Birch Society."
 ^ Wayne, Leslie (7 December 1986). "Brothers at Odds.". The New York Times (NY): p. Sec. 6; Part 2, p 100 col. 1.. ISSN 0362-4331. "He returned a fervent anti-Communist who would later become a founding member of the John Birch Society."
 ^ Diamond, Sara (1995) Roads to Dominion: Right-Wing Movements and Political Power in the United States NY: Guilford Press p. 324 n. 86. ISBN 0-89862-862-8
 ^ Mayer, Jane (2010-08-30). "Covert Operations: The billionaire brothers who are waging a war against Obama.". The New Yorker (Condé Nast Publications). Retrieved 2011-02-06.
 ^ Welch, Robert E. (1961). Blue Book of the John Birch Society. American Opinion Books. ISBN 0-88279-215-6.
 ^ a b c d "John Birch Society". Political Research Associates. Retrieved 2008-07-18.
 ^ John Birch Society Speakers Bureau
 ^ Matthew Lyons; Chip Berlet (2000). Right-Wing Populism in America: Too Close for Comfort. New York: The Guilford Press. pp. 179. ISBN 1-57230-562-2.
 ^ French, William Marshall (1967). American Secondary Education. Odyssey Press. pp. 477. ISBN 0771991983. Retrieved 2008-07-20.
 ^ Stephen Earl, Bennett (1971). "Modes of Resolution of a 'Belief Dilemma' in the Ideology of the John Birch Society". Journal of Politics 33 (3): 735–772. doi:10.2307/2128280.
 ^ "Who was Ayn Rand? - a biography, Playboy interview, 1964". Retrieved 2008-07-18.
 ^ "The Atlas Society : "The 'Lost' Parts of Ayn Rand's Playboy Interview"".
 ^ Prince, Gregory A. (2004). "The Red Peril, the Candy Maker, and the Apostle: David O. Mckay's Confrontation with Communism". Dialogue: a Journal of Mormon Thought 37 (2): 37–94.
 ^ Bryant, John. "The John Birch Society – Exposed!". Retrieved 2008-07-18.
 ^ "A Spectre Haunting Mormonism". Retrieved 2008-07-18.
 ^ Bove, Nicholas J., Jr.. "The Belmont Brotherhood". Retrieved 2008-07-18.
 ^ William F. Buckley, "Goldwater, the John Birch Society, and Me"
 ^ Ronald Sullivan, "Foes of Rising Birch Society Organize in Jersey," New York Times, April 20, 1966, page 1
 ^ Quoted at "Glenn Beck talks with JBS President John F. McManus" Aug. 15, 2006.
 ^ Welch, Robert (1975). The Politician. Boston: Western Islands. cxxxviii–cxxxix. ISBN 99908-64-98-5. "At this point in the original manuscript, there was one paragraph in which I expressed my own personal belief as to the most likely explanation of the events and actions with this document had tried to bring into focus. In a confidential letter, neither published nor offered for sale and restricted to friends who were expected to respect the confidence but offer me in exchange their own points of view, this seemed entirely permissible and proper. It does not seem so for an edition of the letter that is now to be published and given, probably, fairly wide distribution. So that paragraph, and two explanatory paragraphs, connected with it, have been omitted here. And the reader is left entirely free to draw his own conclusions."
 ^ John B. Judis, William F. Buckley, Jr.: Patron Saint of the Conservatives (2001) pp 193-200
 ^ a b Confounding Fathers: The Tea Party’s Cold War Roots by historian Sean Wilentz, The New Yorker, October 18, 2010
 ^ Haiman, Franklyn Saul; Tedford, Thomas L.; Herbeck, Dale (2005). "Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc". Freedom Of Speech In The United States. Strata Publishing. ISBN 1-891136-10-0.
 ^ Guthrie, Andrew (1999-11-24). "Is Panama Canal Falling Under Chinese Control?". Voice of America. Retrieved 2008-07-25.
 ^ The Ross Institute.
 ^ CPAC 2010 Cosponsors. Retrieved January 30, 2010.[dead link]
 ^ Bill Hahn, JBS Public Relations Manager (December 15, 2009). "The John Birch Society Announces CPAC 2010 Cosponsorship". Retrieved 2010-01-30.
 ^ "Before Colbert, there was Dizzy" : WFIU Public Radio, 2007.
 ^ "Talkin' John Birch Paranoid Blues". Retrieved 2011-02-24.
 ^ JENKINS, LOGAN (March 27, 1999). "Fluoride feud hasn't lost its bite". The San Diego Union - Tribune: p. B.11.
 ^ MSN reviews "At the Bitter End" by The Chad Mitchell Trio
 ^ List of INWO groups.
 ^ Walt Kelly biography from
 ^ Coyne, Connie (April 12, 2003). "Cartoonists Are an Independent Lot -- as 'Boondocks' Proves". The Salt Lake Tribune: p. B.2.
 ^ Stone (1974); Wilcox (1988).
Further reading
Scholarly studies
 McGirr, Lisa. Suburban Warriors: The Origins of the New American Right (2001), focus on Los Angeles suburbs in 1960s
 Schoenwald; Jonathan . A Time for Choosing: The Rise of Modern American Conservatism (2002) pp 62–99 excerpt and text search
 Stone, Barbara S. "The John Birch Society: a Profile," Journal of Politics 1974 36(1): 184-197,
 Wilcox, Clyde. "Sources of Support for the Old Right: a Comparison of the John Birch Society and the Christian Anti-Communism Crusade." Social Science History 1988 12(4): 429-450,
 Wright, Stuart A. Patriots, politics, and the Oklahoma City bombing. Cambridge University Press. 11 June 2007. ISBN 978-0521872645
Primary sources
 Robert W. Welch Jr. The New Americanism and Other Speeches. Boston: Western Islands, 1966.
 Gary Allen. None Dare Call It Conspiracy. G S G & Associates, Inc., 1971.
 Welch, Robert (1961). The blue book of the John Birch Society. Boston: Western Islands. ISBN 0-88279-105-2. OCLC 16903114.
 Welch, Robert (1964). The Politician. Belmont, Massachusetts: Belmont Publishing. ISBN 9990864985. OCLC 376165.
 Welch, Robert; John Birch Society (1964). The White Book of the John Birch Society for 1964. Belmont, Massachusetts: John Birch Society. OCLC 21571870.
 Welch, Robert (1966). The New Americanism and Other Speeches. Boston: Western Islands. ISBN 0-88279-211-3.
Criticizing the John Birch Society
 De Koster, Lester. (1967). The Citizen and the John Birch Society. A Reformed Journal monograph. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans.
 Epstein, Benjamin R., and Arnold Forster. (1966). The Radical Right: Report on the John Birch Society and Its Allies. New York: Vintage Books.
 Grove, Gene. (1961). Inside the John Birch Society. Greenwich, CT: Fawcett.
 Grupp, Fred W., Jr. (1969). "The Political Perspectives of Birch Society Members." In Robert A. Schoenberger (Ed.), The American Right
 Hardisty, Jean V. (1999). Mobilizing Resentment: Conservative Resurgence from the John Birch Society to the Promise Keepers. Boston: Beacon.
External links
 John Birch Society website
 The New American, JBS biweekly publication
 "John Birch Society," Political Research Associates
 Report of the California Senate Fact finding Subcommittee on Un-American Activities on the John Birch Society
 "What is the John Birch Society?", short excerpt of a film, released circa 1965, of Robert W. Welch Jr., explaining why he founded the John Birch Society and its aims.

Categories: John Birch Society | Appleton, Wisconsin | COINTELPRO targets | Conservatism in the United States | Organizations established in 1958 | Political organizations in the United States


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« Last Edit: August 05, 2011, 02:23:18 PM by prentice crawford » Logged
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« Reply #638 on: August 04, 2011, 06:12:02 PM »

Thank you for that very informative read PC.
Power User
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« Reply #639 on: August 04, 2011, 06:22:14 PM »

In a 1966 speech, Welch coined the name "The Insiders" to describe the leaders of the conspiracy. The Birch Society seems unable to make up its mind if the Insiders are direct descendants of the Illuminati Freemason conspiracy, although the basic concept is clearly related. During the late 1980's and early 1990's the Birch leadership downplayed the connection, while in the late 1990's, the Birch book list began sprouting titles seeking to prove the link to the Illuminati Freemason conspiracy. Many Birch members, and founder Welch himself, expressed support for this thesis, sometimes in writing, sometimes at Birch public meetings. According to the theory, there is an unbroken ideologically-driven conspiracy linking the Illuminati, the French Revolution, the rise of Marxism and Communism, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the United Nations. Of course, not all Birch members agreed with everything that Welch or the Society proposed. Welch's famous book, The Politician, caused a stir even among many loyal Birch members who were shocked by Welch's assertion that President Dwight D. Eisenhower was "a dedicated conscious agent of the communist conspiracy."

*Things like the above tend to damage it's brand.
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Posts: 42458

« Reply #640 on: August 04, 2011, 06:32:53 PM »

 cheesy cheesy cheesy

Hence my reaction upon realizing I had posted an article of Bircher origin.

That fact that I found the article agreeable of course is worth noting, but the fact also remains that I continue to find the Bircher brand quite problematic.
Power User
Posts: 15532

« Reply #641 on: August 04, 2011, 06:38:13 PM »

Yeah, I thought the article was fine. I glanced at the URL and  shocked

There is a good point in looking at "gunwalker" vs. all the finge conspiracy theories. In gunwalker, there are many whistleblowers and a paper trail a mile wide that seems to grow daily. Funny how out of the massive number of people that would be required to pull off the 9/11 "inside job", not one single whistleblower. Must be the alien mind control technology we recovered from the Roswell crash in '47 or something.
prentice crawford
« Reply #642 on: August 05, 2011, 02:19:35 PM »

 Back to focus; fire Holder.

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« Reply #643 on: August 07, 2011, 01:05:01 PM »

"Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom of Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretence, raised in the United States." --Noah Webster, An Examination of the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution, 1787

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« Reply #644 on: August 07, 2011, 02:43:27 PM »
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« Reply #645 on: August 09, 2011, 04:57:26 PM »
Power User
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« Reply #646 on: August 10, 2011, 02:51:08 PM »

If British shopkeepers had the right to bear arms, vicious thugs would think twice before looting

By Nile Gardiner
Last updated: August 10th, 2011

Turks on the streets of Dalston on Monday night
During the Los Angeles riots in 1992, many store owners in the south central part of the city defended their property against marauding gangs with their own weapons, and succeeded in protecting their livelihoods and thousands of jobs that depended on them. And across the country, Americans admired their bravery, thankful for the Second Amendment to the US Constitution which protects their right to keep and bear arms, and thereby defend themselves, their families and their property. In contrast in London in 2011, shopkeepers were left at the mercy of feral, brutal thugs acting with impunity across whole swathes of the capital as the police were overwhelmed. If they had the right to bear arms and defend their stores with force, it would have been a very different story, and brutal looters would have met firm resistance.
Britain’s gun laws are among the most draconian in the world, yet the nation has some of the highest levels of violent crime and burglary in the West, and there is no shortage of gun crime in major cities such as London and Manchester. While criminal gangs are often able to acquire firearms on the black market, ordinary law-abiding British citizens are barred from owning guns for self-defence.
The riots in London, the West Midlands and the North West should prompt a renewed debate in Britain over the right to bear arms by private citizens. The shocking scenes of looting across the country are a reminder that the police cannot always be relied upon to protect homes and businesses during a period of widespread social disorder. The defence of life and property can never be entrusted solely to the state, not least when there is a complete breakdown in law and order. As we have seen this week in Britain, when individuals are barred from defending their own property from mobs of vicious thugs, sheer anarchy and terror reins.
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« Reply #647 on: August 10, 2011, 11:43:01 PM »

A Playboy playmate was charged with firearm offenses after attempting to board a plane in Florida with a loaded handgun in her bag, the Orlando Sentinel reported Wednesday.

Shanna Marie McLaughlin, Playboy's Miss July 2010, was arrested around 6:35pm Monday at Orlando International Airport as she attempted to board a plane to Los Angeles.

The 26-year-old, who has a valid permit to carry a concealed weapon, told police that the bag she was carrying was hers, but that she did not know that her boyfriend had put his loaded .45 caliber Colt revolver in it.

The model was jailed Monday on charges of carrying a firearm in a place prohibited by law, but has since been released, the Sentinel reported.

McLaughlin's former school, the University of Central Florida, had to apologize publicly last year after she was photographed scantily clad in a sports locker room for a magazine spread.

McLaughlin was back in the headlines last month when she publicly lent her support to Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, who had been criticized by his former fiance Crystal Harris over his sexual prowess.

Read more:

prentice crawford
« Reply #648 on: August 11, 2011, 01:54:31 PM »

Birmingham: Three Killed in Riots

Posted by Caitlin Bronson on August 11, 2011 5:53 AM
 Shop keepers begin to clean up on Ealing High Street, west London following a third straight of disturbances on the stre... Read More

 A standoff in Birmingham between rioters and the Muslims of Dudley Road ended in tragedy Wednesday as the U.K. riots reached the country’s second-largest city. According to the Associated Press, three young men were killed when a carload of rioters drove into a fleeing crowd of people who were trying to save a row of family-run shops from looters.

 The three men killed were 21-year-old amateur boxer Haroon Jahan, and brothers Shazzar Ali, 30, and Abdul Musavir, 31. They were part of a large group of Muslims in Birmingham’s west end to attempt to defend shops and a mosque from rioting looters.
“We all had stones in our hands. But we had no defense to stop a car,” Mohammed Ibrahim, 23, told the AP. “They revved their engines and drove right at us as fast as they could. These men deliberately tried to kill us all.”
As racial tension in the riots was laid bare, Haroon’s father, Tariq Jahan, took the time to plead with South Asian community not to seek revenge for his son’s death.
“Today we stand here to plead with all the youth to remain calm, for our community to stand united,” Jahan said. “This is not a race issue. The family has received messages of sympathy and support from all parts of the community—all races, all faiths and backgrounds.”
He urged the angry young men to “grow up” and return home.

 Citizens don't need gun rights now that we have modern police protection. Yeah, right! tongue angry tongue The anti gun zealots and politicians in Britain have more blood on their hands now.

« Last Edit: August 11, 2011, 02:05:41 PM by prentice crawford » Logged
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« Reply #649 on: August 11, 2011, 11:46:18 PM »

Rioting for Fun and Profit
Paul A. Rahe · 9 hours ago

The riots in Britain are instructive. There is, according to The Wall Street Journal, one neighborhood where the rioters backed off. In the North London neighborhood of Dalton, we are told,

Hundreds of Turkish and Kurdish men, many armed with broken billiard cues, poured onto the streets to protect their businesses and homes from the kind of mayhem that was laying waste to other parts of London.

"They created a barrier and chased the kids back," said Burcu Bay, who works as a waitress at Tugra, a Turkish sweet shop and cafe on Dalston's main thoroughfare. "It was like being in a war."

What happened in Dalston, an area defined by its large Turkish and Kurdish immigrant community, was a rare instance of locals uniting to defy the wave of violence that has swept London in recent nights, leaving a trail of burned-out buildings, looted shops and broken glass. In other areas, rioters encountered little resistance, as terrified locals took cover and stretched police were.

The clashes in Dalston, a ramshackle neighborhood of pawn shops, Turkish social clubs and kebab joints, began when a gang of about 50 youths approached the area from the east, setting fire to a bus and smashing in the windows of a chain restaurant, a bank and an electrical goods shop.

Dozens of local men came out on the street to block their progress. Over the course of the evening, they pushed back the heavily outnumbered troublemakers in three separate surges, driving them away from a cluster of Turkish-owned shops and businesses. Women and elderly men sought refuge in local cafés to watch the clashes from a safe distance.

In some instances, skirmishes turned violent. "The police wanted to arrest one of my friends because he punched some of the guys," said a waiter at the Somine restaurant. "We didn't let them."

A key driver behind the locals' response was the strong sense of communal identity among Turkish and Kurdish residents of Dalston, who saw the rioters as a kind of alien invasion. "These people weren't local," said the waiter. "We've been here for ten years and would have known them if they were from the area."

The article – written by Guy Chazan and Jeanne Whalen with help from Peter Evans – is a nice piece of reporting. It tells you everything that you need to know – right down to the crucial fact that the police wanted to arrest one man for punching a thug intent on stealing his property. What is happening right now in London and in cities to the north could best be described as a self-inflicted wound.

Do you remember the riots a year or two ago in Paris and in other French cities and the burning of cars along the Champs Ėlysées? What you may not remember is something else that was reported in passing at the time – that, for some years prior to these riots, one hundred cars a night were being torched in the cities of France. I passed through Paris not long after these events, and a French professor I know told me that this latter piece of news came as a real shock to her. The truth is that the police had, in effect, abandoned the Muslim neighborhoods and that impecunious, hard-working Muslims living in these neighborhoods, men and women who had scrimped and saved to buy jalopies, had been losing them to the thugs for some time. None of this was reported until the disorders spread from the slums in the suburbs to the wealthy districts of Paris.

Something of the same sort can be said about Britain as well. There are two dimensions to the British story. First – although what we call the right to bear arms had its origins as an English right, guaranteed in the 1688/89 Declaration of Rights and Bill of Rights – that right was  gradually abrogated in the course of the twentieth century. Second – although the right to self-defense, the right to defend one’s person and property when the authorities cannot in a timely and effective fashion provide protection – is a natural right and had always, until recently, been recognized as such in Britain – that right, too, was abrogated in the course of the last century. There is a very fine book on the subject by my friend Joyce Lee Malcolm, author of To Keep and Bear Arms: The Origins of an Anglo-American Right. Entitled Guns and Violence: The English Experience, it was published by Harvard University Press seven years ago. Her two books ought to be force-fed to every member of Parliament.

For some time now – and this was already true, alas, in the Thatcher years – the political class (Labour, Tory, and Liberal) has been united behind the principle that these matters must be left to the police – that, if one’s life or limbs are in danger, one can of course use force to defend one’s person but that one cannot rightfully lift a finger to defend one’s property and that, if the attack extends to one’s person, the force that one deploys in its defense must be strictly proportionate to the threat. If, for example, your home was burglarized over and over again and you secured a gun, a knife, or a baseball bat and killed or harmed an intruder, you would go to prison for a long stay.

I am not making this up. I was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford between 1971 and 1974. I was a visiting fellow at Clare Hall, Cambridge in the spring of 1999, and I was a visiting fellow at All Souls College, Oxford in 2005/6. In the quarter-century that passed between my first stint in the UK and my second, Britain changed. I remember a man living in a rural area being sent to prison for what amounted to life for killing someone who had repeatedly broken into his home.

I remember other things as well. When I was at Cambridge University, my wife and I went into London one evening to go to the opera. Our return on the train was decidedly uncomfortable. Our car – and the other cars nearby – came to be filled with young women and men (mostly the latter) who were drunk and disorderly. There was no one on the train to prevent them from making our trip a real misery. Had we said a word, I have no doubt that the crowd would have turned on us. It reminds me a bit of what it was like in New York City in the summer of 1969. The hooligans were in command.

In fact, it was worse than that. One evening, a group of thugs took the train into Cambridge from a nearby town, walked to Clare Hall, hurled bricks through the windows, broke into the apartments, stole computers, then marched to the train station and journeyed home. No one was ever caught.

I am told that fewer than ten percent of burglaries are solved and that, of those who are convicted, fewer than ten percent do time. In effect, there is no law and there is no order in Britain. You cannot bear arms. You are denied the means of self-defense. It is illegal to use force to defend your property. If you use “disproportionate force” in defending your person, you can and will be jailed. It is demanded that you leave all such matters to the police, and law enforcement is ineffectual. Not surprisingly, even before the riots that Britain is suffering right now, theft and violent crime were considerably greater there than in the United States.

In Britain, they have a lot to learn – or relearn – and it is an open question whether these recent events will give rise to a bout of a rethinking or not. I rather doubt that David Cameron has the backbone, and one cannot look to the Liberals or to Labour. Those associated with the last-mentioned party, which is out of power right now, will whine and whine about “social justice.” In the United Kingdom, as in the United States, a left-liberal is someone who pities the criminal, not the victim.

In the US, we are generally better off. For one thing, we incarcerate criminals. There has been much hand-wringing about this in recent years, as our own left-liberals fulminate against the incarceration rate. But there is one truth that cannot be gainsaid: a criminal who is locked up is not on the streets committing crimes. Lock them up and the crime rate will go down (as it has in the US).

We are better off in other ways as well. The right to bear arms is not only given lip service here. In recent years, it has been reasserted by the Supreme Court. Moreover, in many states, one has a right to defend one’s property. In those states, if someone breaks into my home, I can kill him with impunity. And, finally, thanks in part to the example of Rudy Giuliani in New York, we have policing methods aimed at concentrating attention on high-crime areas and on harassing criminals that really work.

The appearance of flash mobs in Philadelphia and Chicago is, however, a warning. I would like to know more than I do about the incarceration rate in Pennsylvania and Illinois, about the policing methods used, and about the laws pertinent to the right of a shopkeeper to gun down thieves.

In times like these, it is useful to remember the immortal words of John Adams: “We talk of liberty and property, but, if we cut up the law of self-defence, we cut up the foundation of both. . . . If a robber meets me in the street, and commands me to surrender my purse, I have a right to kill him without asking questions.”
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