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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #950 on: April 25, 2012, 10:00:57 AM »

ATF to accept public comments prior to outlawing shotguns

by Jack Minor


The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is taking a rare step of allowing public comments prior to issuing a decision on a study that could result in outlawing certain types of shotguns currently available to citizens.

The ATF completed a study regarding the importability of certain shotguns. The basis for a possible ban is based on a loosely defined "Sporting Purpose" test. Using the vague definition almost all pump-action and semi-automatic shotguns could be banned as they are all capable of accepting a magazine, box or tube capable of holding more than 5 rounds. Other characteristics determined to be "military" by the ATF can also be used as a basis for a ban.

Ironically, many shotguns with "military" features are currently being used in shooting competitions held by the USPSA, IDPA and IPSC. The rules could also result in obscure regulations where an individual would be unsure if he is violating them or not.

Dudley Brown, Executive Director of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, said if the ATF succeeds with the banning of tactical shotguns it "will be the most dangerous interpretation of the 1968 Gun Control Act ever envisioned and will outlaw thousands of perfectly legitimate home defense shotguns."

The ATF is currently allowing public comments on the study until the end of the month. Those wishing to express concerns about the study can send an email to shotgunstudy@atf.gov  

Amended to add that this is from January 2011.  Anyone have naything current on this?
« Last Edit: April 25, 2012, 10:03:45 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
G M
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« Reply #951 on: April 25, 2012, 03:14:28 PM »

The basis for a possible ban is based on a loosely defined "Sporting Purpose" test.

I missed the part of the 2nd AMD where it says "sporting purposes".
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #952 on: April 25, 2012, 04:53:11 PM »

Major Fast and Furious Player Who Misled Congress Jumping DOJ Ship
By Katie Pavlich
4/25/2012


Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich, Obama's Department of Justice point man for communications, or in other words, chief obfuscator about Operation Fast and Furious, is jumping ship. Weich has accepted a position as dean of the University of Baltimore School of Law. University officials have confirmed Weich will start his new position in July.


Quote:
"During this time of considerable transition in legal education and the legal profession, it's important to have leadership with integrity and vision," said Robert Bogomolny, the university's president. "Ron Weich embodies those qualities. I look forward to working with him, and I know our students, faculty, staff and alumni will be energized by his arrival." 

As for Weich, "I'm aware of the history and it doesn't concern me," he said. "I'm confident that in partnership with others, we'll make sure the law school has the resources it needs to be effective."

As a reminder, Weich is the man who signed and delivered a letter to Senator Charles Grassley on February 4, 2011 about Fast and Furious that was so misleading and full of falsehoods, that it was eventually withdrawn eight months later. The letter stated:


Quote:
At the outset, the allegation described in your January 27 letter-that ATF "sanctioned" or otherwise knowingly allowed the sale of assault weapons to a straw purchaser who then transported them into Mexico-is false. ATF makes every effort to interdict weapons that have been purchased illegally and prevent their transportation to Mexico......

I also want to assure you that ATF has made no attempt to retaliate against any of its agents regarding this matter. We recognize the importance of protecting employees from retaliation relating to their disclosers of waste, fraud and abuse. ATF employees receive annual training on their rights under the Whistleblower protection Act, and those with knowledge of waste, fruad or abuse are encouraged to communicate directly with the Department's Office of the Inspector General. 

Both of these assertions are lies, or in Eric Holder's words are "inaccurate."

Video: Holder Says Definition Of "Lying" To Congress Depends On "State Of Mind"

Not only did the ATF knowingly allow 2500 AK-47 style and .50 caliber rifles to walk into the hands of dangerous Mexican drug cartels, ATF whistleblowers were mandated to do so, and then were retaliated against for speaking out against the program. Operation Fast and Furious has resulted in the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and at least 300 Mexican citizens.


Quote:
“Allowing loads of weapons that we knew to be destined for criminals, this was the plan. It was so mandated.” –Special Agent John Dodson ATF Phoenix Field Division, June 15, 2012. 

So, now Weich, the guy who issued a letter in an attempt to mislead Congress about the Obama Justice Department's fatal Operation Fast and Furious, is going to head one of our law schools. Great news, since every law student should have a dean willing to submit false information to Congress. 
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #953 on: April 26, 2012, 06:30:39 PM »

http://dailycaller.com/2012/04/26/obama-admin-let-grenades-walk-in-fast-and-furious-documents-show/


Obama admin. let grenades walk in Fast and Furious, documents show
Published: 12:33 AM 04/26/2012
 By Matthew Boyle - The Daily Caller
Bio | Archive | Email Matthew Boyle  Follow Matthew Boyle
 
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 Matthew Boyle is a reporter at The Daily Caller. He studied journalism at Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida, where he worked as an editor at the school's newspaper, The Gargoyle.
inShare.14 Ads by GoogleSelf defense equipmentWe provide all kind of self defense products, equipment & armor www.risk-international.gr
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In a shocking development in the Operation Fast and Furious investigation, documents show Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents allowed grenade parts to walk in addition to guns.

The emails also show Obama administration officials acknowledging that they may lose track of grenades but would still be able to accomplish their original objective even if the grenades explode.

According to an internal email that was provided to Congress by the Department of Justice and first reported by CBS News’ Sharyl Attkisson — who’s been the media’s most dogged reporter in tracking down facts on Fast and Furious – ATF began watching accused smuggler Jean Baptiste Kingery’s AK-47 purchases in 2004. In the 2009 internal ATF email, Obama administration officials admitted they believed Kingery was “trafficking them into Mexico.”

The 2009 email shows the ATF officials had then become aware of Kingery’s alleged grenade trafficking.

The administration officials then put together a plan: They secretly intercepted Kingery’s grenade parts after he ordered them online, marked them with special paint and gave them back to him. Then, they allowed him to take those grenade parts into Mexico. ATF was going to try to find his weapons factory there — even though the U.S. government and its federal law enforcement agencies have no jurisdiction in Mexico — with the apparent goal of building a bigger case against Kingery.

ATF agents had planned to work with Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials — who, unlike ATF agents who ultimately report to Attorney General Eric Holder, report up the chain to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. (RELATED: Full coverage of Operation Fast and Furious)

The emails show ATF agents were aware they might lose track of Kingery while they allowed him to transport the grenade parts into Mexico. The emails also show ATF agents knew that the grenades could end up exploding and killing innocent people if they proceeded with the plan. That didn’t stop the Obama administration’s ATF from allowing the grenades to walk.

“Even in a post blast, as long as the safety lever is recovered we will be able to identify these tagged grenades,” an official wrote in one email.

In addition to those revelations, new evidence photos have emerged: More than 2,000 rounds of ammunition and scores of grenade parts and fuse assemblies are seen in evidence photos that were just turned over to Congress. According to Attkisson’s report, officials had taken Kingery into custody in 2010 — long before Border Patrol agent Brian Terry was murdered with a Fast and Furious-supplied gun — after having caught him trying to transport that ammunition and those grenade parts and fuse assemblies into Mexico hidden inside the spare tire of the SUV he was travelling in.

Attkisson said that ATF agents questioned Kingery at that point but then “inexplicably released” him.

Internally, some in the ATF objected to these practices. For instance, ATF’s Mexico attaché, Carlos Canino — who has cooperated with congressional investigators and appeared willingly before the House Oversight Committee last summer — said ATF was not supposed to allow weapons, including grenades, to walk.

“We are forbidden from doing that type of activity,” Canino wrote in one email. “If ICE is telling you they can do that, they are full of shit.”

This news comes on the heels of Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich’s decision to resign his post at the Department of Justice soon. The University of Baltimore School of Law hired him as its new dean and he starts in July. Weich was the DOJ official who provided provably false information to Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa when Grassley began investigating Fast and Furious.

On Feb. 4, 2011, Weich wrote to Congress that the idea that “ATF ‘sanctioned’ or otherwise knowingly allowed the sale of assault weapons to a straw purchaser who then transported them into Mexico … is false.”

“ATF makes every effort to interdict weapons that have been purchased illegally and prevent their transportation to Mexico,” Weich added in that letter.

The DOJ has since retracted Weich’s letter.

Not one government official has been held accountable for Operation Fast and Furious. Scores of lawmakers — 125 House members, three U.S. senators, two governors — and many major political figures, including likely Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, have demanded Holder’s resignation or firing over Fast and Furious.



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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #954 on: May 01, 2012, 07:39:12 AM »

Republicans moving on contempt citation for Holder; Gowdy says ‘He will comply’

By Dave Workman

Senior Editor


CBS News is reporting that House Republicans are preparing to pursue a contempt citation against Attorney General Eric Holder, in an attempt to force him into releasing thousands of pages of documents that have been subpoenaed by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform relating to Operation Fast and Furious.

The gun trafficking sting operation was mounted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in the fall of 2009, and abruptly shut down in December 2010 after two guns linked to the investigation were recovered at the scene of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry’s murder in Arizona.

In an interview with TGM, Congressman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) said with certainty that Holder “will comply” with those subpoenas, if not through a contempt citation, than under pressure from House budget cutters when the Justice Department appropriation is debated on the House floor in May.

That interview followed Gowdy’s appearance on Fox News’ “On the Record” with Greta Van Susteren, in which he said Holder would comply before Memorial Day.

“Before Memorial Day, Eric Holder will either comply or he will suffer consequences, and when I say consequences, I mean contempt of Congress,” he told Van Susteren.

Gowdy, a former federal prosecutor now in his freshman term in the House, has an ace up his sleeve: Money. He told TGM that Holder may face a budget axe, which is a “wonderful way of getting people’s attention.”

“There has to be consequences for not complying with a legal subpoena,” Gowdy said.

He noted that Holder has been given months to comply with subpoenas for tens of thousands of documents related to Operation Fast and Furious. So far, he said, the few thousand pages of documents that have been delivered have curiously not included any e-mails or memoranda with Holder’s name on them.

That prompted Gowdy to recall from his days as a prosecutor that when there are documents that would benefit someone’s case, “most people go ahead and produce them pretty quickly.” However, when someone either destroys evidence or withholds it, there is the presumption that the evidence is detrimental to their case.

When Gowdy spoke with TGM, he was heading into a meeting with Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA), chairman of the House Oversight Committee. He indicated that the subject was Fast and Furious, and that two other committee members with backgrounds as prosecutors were also attending.

Issa and Senator Charles Grassley have complained for months that Holder and his subordinates in the Justice Department have been withholding documents. Many of the documents that have been provided to the committee have been so heavily redacted as to be useless.

But there are still an estimated 70,000 pages of subpoenaed documents that have not been provided to the committee or to Sen. Grassley, who actually inaugurated a probe of Fast and Furious.

Although the congressional investigation has spanned more than a year and resulted in several hearings on Capitol Hill, nobody involved in the operation has been fired. Former U.S. Attorney for Arizona Dennis Burke resigned from his job last August at the same time that William Newell, former special agent in charge at the Phoenix BATF field office, was transferred to Washington, DC headquarters and his immediate subordinate, George Gillett was also transferred, after having retained counsel and apparently cooperated with congressional investigators.
============

Government's answer to "Fast and Furious" records requests: Blank pages

By Sharyl Attkisson


For more than a year, CBS News has been investigating the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms' "Fast and Furious" operation and related cases that also employed the controversial tactic of "gunwalking." With Justice Department officials refusing all interview requests to date, CBS News requested numerous public documents through the Freedom of Information Act.

So far, all of the requests that have been answered have been denied in part or in full.

This week, we received a partial response to a request made more than a year ago. It asked for communications involving "Project Gunrunner," the umbrella program for Fast and Furious, from 2010 through April 2011. Specifically, it sought any communications to which any of the following top Justice officials were a party: Attorney General Eric Holder; Lanny Breuer, Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division; Kevin Carwile, chief of the Capital Case Unit; and Deputy Assistant Attorney Generals Bruce Schwarz and Kenneth Blanco.

The response includes mostly-blank pages.

See the nearly-blank provided to CBS News (PDF)

Federal agencies can legally claim exemptions from the Freedom of Information Act for a number of reasons including attorney-client privilege, law enforcement purposes, and personal privacy. However, they've fallen under sharp criticism from the media and public interest groups in the past decade as a large number of FOIA requests have languished, sometimes for years.

FOIA was originally intended to expedite the release of public materials to the public and media. However, in practice, FOIA requests are often not even marginally effective at obtaining documents for news reporting. To be most effective and helpful, the requests would often need to be filled in a matter of days or at least weeks.

Few requests filed by this reporter are answered within a year. When and if documents are ever produced, they are often heavily redacted and the timeliness of the information relative to the public interest has long since subsided.

Separately the FBI has denied CBS News all information requested regarding the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. Two Fast and Furious weapons were found at his murder scene in December 2010. The FBI stated that the information was withheld because the murder investigation is ongoing. That investigation has now entered its second year.

CBS News appealed the FBI's denial, arguing that some records had already been made public by FBI to news agencies, that releasing certain parts of its investigative documents would not jeopardize any investigation, and that the FBI should provide, at a minimum, a log of the withheld materials. The appeal was denied. The ATF likewise denied our FOIA request under the basis of "opening investigation."
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #955 on: May 01, 2012, 07:42:22 AM »

Second post of morning.

Standing Guard
By Wayne LaPierre 2:28 PM 04/25/2012


For anyone who doubts President Barack Obama’s dedication to a second-term all-out war on the Second Amendment, say just one name—Mayor Rahm Emanuel—the new boss of Chicago machine politics, tapped as the star co-chair for Obama’s re-election campaign.

Obama’s Chicago-based campaign manager characterized the mayor as key among those who “share the president’s vision of a future. …”

The focus of that Obama-Emanuel shared vision for the nation’s gun owners can be summed up in Emanuel’s pursuit of gun bans by any means.

This is no honorary job. It is real power linking Obama’s re-election with Emanuel’s fanaticism for destroying the Second Amendment.

Emanuel has spent his political life pressing for gun control—as policy advisor to President Bill Clinton, as a member of Congress, then as Obama’s White House chief of staff. As mayor of Chicago, he is doubling down on his vendetta against lawful gun owners. And as the most visible campaign co-chair, his efforts are unconditionally tied to Obama’s re-election agenda.

Days before his campaign appointment, Emanuel launched a vicious attack on law-abiding Illinois gun owners that was stunning even by Chicago standards. Blaming peaceable citizens for Chicago’s runaway criminal violence, Emanuel has demanded that Illinois firearm owners be forced to register their handguns at $65 a pop. Possession of an unregistered gun by ordinary citizens would be a felony. Further, gun owners would be required to re-register their firearms every five years, paying an additional $25 fee per-gun. Failure to comply would be a criminal act.

Forget to renew your registration: go to jail. Move and fail to notify authorities within 72 hours: go to jail. Take your handgun to the range, but forget your registration certificate: go to jail.

As a final insult, the mayor is demanding a punitive or “sin tax” on all ammunition sales to pay for trauma wrought by violent Chicago criminals whom he is unable or unwilling to control.

In a Feb. 9, 2012 report headlined “Emanuel Calls For Statewide Gun Registry,” CBS in Chicago reported Emanuel as bragging, “I have a long history, both on the Brady Bill, assault weapon ban, and passing gun legislation.”

Boss Emanuel credited his draconian gun registration scheme to Rev. Michael Pfleger, a radical leftist whom Barack Obama once characterized in the Chicago Sun Times as being among his personal “spiritual advisors.”

What does Obama’s “spiritual advisor” say about the NRA? Try this from a guest sermon: “It’s a MIDNIGHT HOUR when gun manufacturers and distributors and the NRA under the disguise of rights to hunt, continue to market guns as part of America’s new wardrobe and continue to arm gangs and criminals out of back rooms and back alleys of our cities, and then … seek like Pilate to wash their hands of the responsibility and accountability, of their death dealing, that causes hearses to drive down the streets of our neighborhoods carrying the bodies of our children and they say ‘We are not guilty.’”

Speaking of death and murder, for those who don’t recall, it was Pfleger who called for the killing of a Chicago area gun store owner and threatened pro-gun Illinois legislators as targets to be “snuffed out.” In June 2007, leading a near-lynch-mob at that suburban gun store, Pfleger screamed for the violent demise of the licensed dealer:

“We’re going to find you and snuff you out. … Like a rat you’re going to hide. But like a rat, we’re going to catch you and pull you out. … We’re going to snuff out John Riggio.” As for pro-gun rights state legislators: “We’re going to snuff out legislators that are voting against our gun laws. We’re coming for you because we’re not going to sit idly.”

For his clear threats of violence, there was no prosecution. Under the “Chicago Way,” Pleger’s call to “snuffing” is apparently protected.

And today, Rahm Emanuel’s in-your-face, Pfleger-inspired gun proposals are part and parcel to his being chosen as an Obama campaign major domo. This is the web of Chicago thug political connections that cannot be ignored. Know your enemies by the company they keep.

Among others tapped as campaign chairs who “each share the President’s vision” are a select group—“F-rated” gun-ban politicians, including U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-IL and U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-IL; Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee, I; California Attorney General Kamala Harris, D and Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, D.

Guilt by association? You bet.

With all of the talk about “transparency,” one thing is truly clear—the web of lies spun about the president’s phony, claimed support of the Second Amendment. Obama’s vision of the Second Amendment and the vision of his fellow travelers, Pfleger and Boss Emanuel, is the one that disarmed the citizens of both Washington, D.C., and Chicago—the vision that says there is no individual right to keep and bear arms.

Every gun owner must be “All In” to defeat Barack Obama in the political fight of our generation this November 6—when all of our freedoms are on the line.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #956 on: May 02, 2012, 10:47:44 AM »

I get email from "Southern Pulse/Networked Intelligence".  The following is according to them but not well cited.  How many of these guns e.g. were govt to govt (Mex military) which then walked for example?    Once suspects this 68k number will be bandied about and given the ATF's track record of Orwellian dissimulation we need to be on the alert.  If anyone can pin this down further, it would be appreciated.


MEXICO - ATF acknowledges U.S. origin of recovered guns

On 26 April 2012, the U.S. government announced that about 68,000 guns recovered by Mexican authorities in the past five years originated in the United States. According to data from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), all of the weapons seized in Mexico and submitted for tracing were suspected of being used in crimes in Mexico.
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bigdog
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« Reply #957 on: May 03, 2012, 12:09:17 PM »

House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) released a staff memo today arguing the House should hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress, saying the Department of Justice has refused to produce internal documents relating to a botched operation.

The memo outlines Issa’s investigation into the issue and includes a draft resolution of contempt against Holder.

“Congress now faces a moment of decision between exerting its full authority to compel an agency refusing to cooperate with congressional oversight or accepting a dangerous expansion of Executive Branch authority and unilateral action allowing agencies to set their own terms for cooperating with congressional oversight,” according to the memo.

(continued)
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #958 on: May 03, 2012, 12:43:42 PM »

I caught Issa on FOX this AM with some blonde barbie (do they have any other hair color over there at FOX?  but I digress , , , ) and it sounded very much like "This is your last chance to cough up the documents to which the American people are entitled or else".
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #959 on: May 03, 2012, 10:54:03 PM »

http://www.youtube.com/user/pajamasmedia?v=ufColuskra8

Good introductory summary for those not familiar with OFF.  Under ten minutes.
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JDN
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« Reply #960 on: May 04, 2012, 09:44:17 AM »

http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-oly-shooting-rhode-20120504,0,1147513.column
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #961 on: May 09, 2012, 10:54:48 AM »


http://www.dickmorris.com/obamas-secret-gun-control-plan-dick-morris-tv-lunch-alert/

BD, is he right in what he says about the legal force of a treaty viz our Constitutional rights?
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bigdog
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« Reply #962 on: May 09, 2012, 07:51:27 PM »

There is a great deal in that 3 minute video. 

He says that President Obama could backdoor the small arms ban without congressional approval.  He then, correctly, notes that a treaty must be passed by the Senate.  He then goes on to say that this could happen "easily with a Democratic lame duck Senate."  This I find hard to believe for a few reasons.  First, I think he "misunderestimates" the role of the filibuster.  Second, it takes a supermajority of two thirds for the treaty to be ratified.  Third, I suspect that there are Democrats who are not leaving, but are up for reelection in 2014 who might think twice about voting for the treaty.  But all of that is not what you are asking about.

The answer is sort of.  According to Art. VI, "This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding."  So, Dick Morris seems to want to focus on the portion I bolded.  However, the portion that follows is really key to the argument, and somehting I think Morris is likely overlooking.  "[A]ny Thing in the Constitution to the Contrary notwirhstanding" is extremely important.  It would seem, especially with the incorporation of the Second Amendment (fingers crossed for its continued recogniton), that there is protection against what Morris claims Obama is attempting.  (See http://iapcar.org/?p=567 for a nice discussion.)

I think he wants to sell books. 


http://www.dickmorris.com/obamas-secret-gun-control-plan-dick-morris-tv-lunch-alert/

BD, is he right in what he says about the legal force of a treaty viz our Constitutional rights?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #963 on: May 09, 2012, 08:07:47 PM »

Thank you.

Forgive me for being anal here, but the point is really important and I really want to make sure I get it right.

What is the meaning of "any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding."?

Does it mean that even if contradicted by some part of the Constitution, it still is legally valid?  It seems to say that to me , , ,  sorry to be slow-witted here , , ,
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bigdog
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« Reply #964 on: May 10, 2012, 06:06:27 AM »

According to the best interpretation of the Constitution, and the specific clause you are asking about, treaties do NOT supercede the Constitution. 

Thank you.

Forgive me for being anal here, but the point is really important and I really want to make sure I get it right.

What is the meaning of "any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding."?

Does it mean that even if contradicted by some part of the Constitution, it still is legally valid?  It seems to say that to me , , ,  sorry to be slow-witted here , , ,
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #965 on: May 10, 2012, 06:14:56 AM »

So, there is dispute about this point?

I hope I do not impose with my request, but would you flesh this out further please?
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« Reply #966 on: May 10, 2012, 07:12:59 AM »

I know nothing of this website or its organization, but it does a nice job summarizing the discussion/dispute.  I don't really understand the dispute (as in, it seems facially obvious to me what the Framers were doing).  But, here it is:

"In spite of the clear evidence that the treaty power was intended to be limited, promoters of big government in our century have attacked our constitutional protections through a deliberate misinterpretation of Article VI. They read it as "Treaties...shall be the supreme Law of the Land...any Thing in the Constitution...to the Contrary notwithstanding." They claim that the mention of a Constitution refers to the US Constitution, when the grammar in this clause and usage elsewhere in the document clearly shows that it is referring to the "Constitution or Laws of any State." In other words, while treaties are to take precedence over state laws and constitutions, the would-be tyrants assume that they take precedence over our federal Constitution."

http://www.neusysinc.com/columnarchive/colm0093.html


So, there is dispute about this point?

I hope I do not impose with my request, but would you flesh this out further please?

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #967 on: May 10, 2012, 10:58:53 AM »

Bingo-- the foundation of my confusion, and the nature of the danger, is now made clear.   Thank you.

One would think that there is SCOTUS case law on point , , ,
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bigdog
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« Reply #968 on: May 11, 2012, 04:49:59 AM »

One would think:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=89100044

http://www.sweetliberty.org/issues/staterights/treaties.htm

As I said, I really just get the feeling that Dick Morris is trying to sell his book. 

Bingo-- the foundation of my confusion, and the nature of the danger, is now made clear.   Thank you.

One would think that there is SCOTUS case law on point , , ,
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #969 on: May 11, 2012, 11:12:40 AM »

Thank you BD.

I note the mention of Harold Koh, now at Hillary's elbow in some Int'l Law post at State, in NPR piece you posted, upset at the logic of the SCOTUS decision.  He is well positioned (and will be well supported by SecState Clinton in these efforts) to negotiate something really cute in the language that will seek to provide a basis for the criteria mentioned in , , , I see the piece does not name the case-- any chance you could find us the case and its citation BD?

This concerns me:

"The court said the president, acting on his own, cannot make a treaty binding on the states.

"The Supreme Court ruled that they are binding only if the treaty explicitly says so or if there is legislation to make that clear. For all of American history, many treaties have been deemed to be what is called "self-executing," meaning that their provisions are automatically binding. But not all treaties fall into this category. The Supreme Court's ruling set a bright line for which treaties are self-executing — namely, those that explicitly say so or have accompanying legislation that says so."

So, the President and the Senate can override the Constitution if the President and a majority of the Senate and House pass supporting legislation?  Doesn't this bypass the defined procedures for modifying the C.?

« Last Edit: May 11, 2012, 12:58:14 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #970 on: May 11, 2012, 01:36:20 PM »

second post

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/federal-appeals-court-says-illegal-immigrants-dont-have-right-to-bear-arms/2012/05/08/gIQAvovfAU_story.html
DENVER — A federal appeals court says illegal immigrants don’t have a right to own firearms under the U.S. Constitution.
Emmanuel Huitron-Guizar of Wyoming pleaded guilty to being an illegal immigrant in possession of firearms after his arrest last year. He was ordered held by immigration authorities at the Natrona County Detention Center in Wyoming.
An attorney for Huitron-Guizar appealed the case, saying illegal immigrants are not excluded from possessing firearms like felons and people who are mentally ill, and should have the same rights as U.S. citizens to buy a gun for hunting and protection.
The 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Denver ruled Monday that illegal immigrants have only limited protection under the Constitution.
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prentice crawford
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« Reply #971 on: May 11, 2012, 07:48:04 PM »

Woof,
 Here we go.......

Trayvon Martin's mother in Bloomberg gun control video
By Chris Francescani | Reuters – 4 hrs agoRelated ContentParents of slain teenager Trayvon …
(Reuters) - The mother of Florida shooting victim Trayvon Martin appears in a Mother's Day gun control video produced by an advocacy group led by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Martin, 17, was shot and killed on the night of February 26 in the central Florida town of Sanford following an encounter with armed neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, who said he acted in self-defense.

Police initially declined to arrest Zimmerman, 28, in the shooting of the unarmed black teenager, citing Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law.

Florida, which has some of the most lenient gun laws in the nation, enacted the self-defense measure in 2005, which provides people wide latitude to use deadly force if they fear bodily harm. The law is now in effect in more than 20 states.

Noting that "this will be my first Mother's Day without my son, Trayvon," Sybrina Fulton asks viewers to urge their state governors "to re-examine similar Stand Your Ground laws throughout the nation to keep our families safe."

"Nobody can bring our children back," Fulton says in the video, released on Thursday to several websites by a Bloomberg-led gun control coalition called Second Chance on Shoot First.

"But it would bring us comfort if we can help spare other mothers the pain that we will feel on Mother's Day and every day for the rest of our lives."

Forty-five days after the shooting, following the appointment of a special prosecutor and protest marches across the country, Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder in the racially charged case.

He pleaded not guilty to the charge and is free on bail.

"SHOOT FIRST" LAWS

Bloomberg and Florida State Senator Chris Smith launched Second Chance on Shoot First last month in partnership with several civil rights groups.

Bloomberg often refers to the Stand Your Ground laws as "shoot first" laws.

"I hope Sybrina Fulton's courage will persuade state legislators to take a second look at shoot first laws and take a second chance to get them right," Bloomberg said in a statement.

Bloomberg is one of the nation's most outspoken mayors on the issue of gun control. He has crafted gun law legislation at the local and national level, formed a gun control coalition that counts at least 600 U.S. mayors, and in 2006 directed city attorneys to sue out-of-state gun dealers whose weapons were used in crimes in New York City.

Florida, like many other states, has long held citizens have the right to defend themselves in their own homes, a legal precedent known as the castle doctrine.

Court rulings have expanded that right to include employees in workplaces and drivers in their cars. But Florida courts expressed reluctance to extend those rights to public places, with judges ruling that citizens under threat must make some effort to escape danger without resorting to violence.

In 2005 Florida lawmakers overwhelmingly passed a "Stand Your Ground" bill that eliminated the requirement to flee, and then-Governor Jeb Bush signed it into law.

The National Rifle Association, which has led pro-gun legislation lobbying efforts in Florida and other states, did not return calls and emails seeking comment.

(Reporting by Chris Francescani; Editing by Daniel Trotta and Xavier Briand)

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« Reply #972 on: May 12, 2012, 07:57:54 PM »

Thank you BD.

I note the mention of Harold Koh, now at Hillary's elbow in some Int'l Law post at State, in NPR piece you posted, upset at the logic of the SCOTUS decision.  He is well positioned (and will be well supported by SecState Clinton in these efforts) to negotiate something really cute in the language that will seek to provide a basis for the criteria mentioned in , , , I see the piece does not name the case-- any chance you could find us the case and its citation BD?


Name, citation, briefs and oral argument.  http://oyez.org/cases/2000-2009/2007/2007_06_984
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« Reply #973 on: May 13, 2012, 09:30:08 AM »

"If I remember correctly, the holding of Medellin really focuses on whether or not there is a presumption of self-execution for treaties.  The court found that there is a presumption that treaties are not self-executing unless the treaty itself or the Senate makes clear that the treaty is self-executing.  

"The more on-point case for treaties that conflict with state laws is Missouri v. Holland, where the court found that treaties trump all state laws and constitutions through the supremacy clause.  However, a treaty cannot conflict with the U.S. Constitution.  There is still some question about whether the federal government can accomplish through treaty what it does not have the power to do in Art. I-II of the Constitution.    

"As it currently stands, the Second Amendment provides a minimum floor for a right to arms, states cannot provide lesser rights to their citizens.  There is no upper limit, and many states choose to provide their citizens with a broader right to arms than guaranteed by the Second Amendment.  A treaty could theoretically also make the Second Amendment the upper limit by restricting the right to only what is protected in the Constitution."

This sounds sound to me BD.  What do you think?

Using BD's source, here is a citation for Missouri v. Holland:   http://oyez.org/cases/1901-1939/1919/1919_609

« Last Edit: May 13, 2012, 10:05:45 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
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« Reply #974 on: May 14, 2012, 11:32:49 AM »

From the Crafty Dog: "This sounds sound to me BD.  What do you think?"

Agreed. 
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« Reply #975 on: May 15, 2012, 08:23:29 PM »



http://firearmsregulation.org/
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« Reply #976 on: May 15, 2012, 10:04:28 PM »

 cool cool

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« Reply #977 on: June 01, 2012, 11:24:52 AM »



"[T]he people are not to be disarmed of their weapons. They are left in full possession of them." --Zacharia Johnson, speech in the Virginia Ratifying Convention, 1788
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« Reply #978 on: June 06, 2012, 07:43:05 PM »

GOA Sues ATF to Produce Documents
 
The foundation of Gun Owners of America today filed suit in the U.S. District Court for D.C. to compel the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to produce thousands of documents related to Operation Fast & Furious.
 
Depending upon the outcome of this case, Justice Department officials could spend time in jail.
 
Last year, Gun Owners Foundation submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) which -- not surprisingly -- has virtually been ignored by the ATF. Although the agency has told GOF several times that it would comply with the FOIA request, the ATF has violated each and every one of its self-imposed deadlines.
 
On March 16, 2011, Congressman Darrell Issa, Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, sent a letter to ATF requiring production of records related to their involvement in Operation Fast & Furious -- where thousands of firearms were smuggled from the United States to Mexico.
 
On April 21, 2011, Gun Owners Foundation submitted its own FOIA request to the ATF, to which the ATF has responded in various ways. The agency has sometimes ignored our requests entirely. Several times, ATF has promised (but failed) to produce information by a certain date. And at least once, the ATF suggested we were mistaken, claiming that they had already given us the requested information -- only to follow up that communication with a new promise and new deadline for producing the requested documents.
 
If the court finds in favor of the GOF complaint, the ATF will have to produce the requested documents or face “contempt of court” charges. Given that media reports indicate the House of Representatives may decline to press contempt charges, Gun Owners Foundation remains committed to pressing this case until justice is realized.
 
Please help Gun Owners Foundation to continue doing this important work. You can contribute to GOF at: http://www.gunowners.com/donate.htm
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« Reply #979 on: June 07, 2012, 09:34:38 AM »



http://www.gsnmagazine.com/article/2...x_ied_attacker
ATF puts up $10,000 reward for info on Phoenix IED attacker

Fri, 2012-06-01 10:16 AM By: Mark Rockwell


 6-volt handheld flashlight

A series of three bomb attacks in Arizona using flashlights converted into IEDs has the ATF offering a $10,000 reward for the maker of the devices.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Phoenix Field Division special agent in charge Thomas Atteberry said on May 31 that the reward would be given for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the recent bombings in Glendale and Phoenix, Arizona.
ATF, FBI, Glendale Police Department and the Phoenix Police Department are currently investigating these incidents, said the ATF.
Three Victim-Operated Improvised Explosive Devices (VOIEDs), have been detonated in the Phoenix area since mid-May. The devices are contained within yellow plastic 6-volt handheld flashlights. The devices exploded when the victims picked up what they thought was a discarded item and flipped the on/off switches to see if the flashlights worked.
Two of the incidents occurred in Glendale, AZ, on May 13 and May 14, said ATF. The third incident took place in Phoenix, Arizona, on May 24, it said. Five people received minor injuries related to the detonation of the three devices. ATF said it was withholding further details about the IEDs “to avoid compromising the criminal investigation.”
In the May 13, Glendale incident, the flashlight was left near a business and found in the landscaping area for the business. Two people received minor injuries.
On May 14 in Glendale, a flashlight was discovered in the landscaping area for a second business and one person received minor injuries.
On May 24, in Phoenix, the flashlight was found by an employee of a Salvation Army Rehabilitation facility while sorting through donations to the Salvation Army. Two individuals received minor injuries in that explosion, said ATF.
"We are offering a $10,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for these criminal bombings," said Atteberry, Special Agent in Charge of ATF. "Our immediate concern is that of public safety, if anyone discovers a flashlight that does not belong to them or appears out of place, no matter the color or shape, DO NOT attempt touch or manipulate the flashlight in any way. We are confident the public can assist in providing additional information.”
The agency encourage anyone with information about the crimes is to call its toll-free, 24-hour hotline at 1-888-ATF-BOMB (1-888-283-2662).
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« Reply #980 on: June 23, 2012, 11:17:58 PM »

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/303808/fast-and-furious-and-ocdetf-andrew-c-mccarthy?pg=1
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« Reply #981 on: June 25, 2012, 02:16:06 PM »

I haven't had a chance to check it out for myself, but this blog comes well recommended to me:

http://waronguns.blogspot.com/
=======================
Separately, here's this from "Bullet Points":

Microstamping Dies in New York, Again


New York State Capitol

DESPITE HOUSE PASSAGE, BILL FAILS FOR FIFTH STRAIGHT YEAR . . . Late last week, New York state's microstamping bill died in the Senate after being passed by the Assembly, though with five fewer votes than in years past. Despite being backed by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and gun-control groups like the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence and the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, the bill failed for the fifth consecutive year. Earlier in the week, a Baltimore Sun editorial unwisely suggested that Maryland adopt microstamping, a suggestion which drew a published response from Jeff Reh, general counsel and vice-general manager at Maryland-based Beretta USA, who noted in his letter that implementing microstamping would be cost prohibitive to both manufacturers and to gun buyers. Read a recap of the busy "microstamping" week in the NSSF Blog.
Traditional Ammunition
•   NSSF FILES MOTION TO PROTECT TRADITIONAL AMMUNITION . . . As it promised to do, NSSF today filed a motion to intervene in the frivolous lawsuit brought on June 7 by the anti-hunting Center for Biological Diversity and six other organizations to force the Environmental Protection Agency to ban traditional ammunition containing lead components. By intervening in the case, NSSF seeks to ensure that the interests of the firearms and ammunition industry are protected and to ensure that hunters and target shooters still will be able to select the ammunition of their choice. For a recap on the issue, read today's NSSF press release.
Retailers and Ranges


•   SELL-OUT CROWD OF NEARLY 100 ATTENDS RANGE & RETAIL WORKSHOP . . . An unqualified success is one way to describe the recent NSSF Indoor Range & Retail Development Workshop held in St. Louis from June 18-21. The seminar provided an opportunity for people in the developmental and exploratory stages to network and gain a wealth of insights from successful range/retail owners who addressed the attendees. A video created from the workshop proceedings is being developed, and when completed, NSSF will announce details of availability.
•   NSSF RESPONDS TO JESSE JACKSON'S ATTACKS ON FIREARMS RETAILERS . . . In a blog post last week, NSSF pointed out that the Rev. Jesse Jackson has revved up the blame game against law-abiding, federally licensed firearms retailers in the suburbs of troubled cities like Detroit, attempting to make the argument that the legal sale of firearms is somehow the cause of urban violence. His "guns out, jobs in" campaign ignores that the firearms industry has been responsible for a 30.6 percent increase in jobs from 2008 through 2011, keeping thousands of workers off unemployment lines and homeowners off foreclosure lists. Read more.
•   NSSF LAUNCHES NEW ONLINE COMPLIANCE RESOURCE CENTER . . . The NSSF's new Regulatory Compliance Resource Center now provides one convenient and centralized hub devoted to helping industry members operate their businesses in compliance with the ever-changing terrain of laws and regulations. The website offers an array of practical and essential compliance resources, including articles, videos, products and solutions, on-demand training courses, and much more. Federal Firearms Licensees can also order free Don't Lie for the Other Guy retailer education kits and access information about NSSF's ATF compliance consultation program and NSSF-endorsed Firearms Business Insurance providing up to $25,000 in defense coverage against any ATF record-keeping or administrative action.
•   FFLs: BECOME A MEMBER AND LET NSSF WORK FOR YOU . . . The benefits and resources afforded to NSSF member FFLs are often free, if not substantially discounted from standard service rates. These benefits include expert guidance to maintain ATF/legal compliance and everything from a Form 4473 overlay to a new hotline just for retailers, the opportunity to work with experienced ATF compliance advisors, business property and casualty insurance including ATF defense coverage, discounts on the industry's benchmark research and much more. Not yet a member? Click here to learn more and join NSSF today so we can grow stronger together.
Government Relations
•   HOLDER HELD IN CONTEMPT OVER FAST AND FURIOUS . . . The U.S. House Government and Oversight Reform Committee voted 23-17 last Wednesday to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt for failing to turn over documents connected with the "gun-walking" operation known as Fast and Furious. According to a Washington Post story, a House floor vote could be taken on the matter as early as this week. Hours before the committee voted, President Obama asserted executive privilege to withhold the documents. See Holder's letter to Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), chairman of the committee, on the matter.
•   BRADY CENTER'S DAN GROSS INSULTS FIREARMS INDUSTRY . . . During a debate about microstamping on MSNBC, Dan Gross, president of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, hurled this insult at firearms manufacturers, saying, "This is an industry that at all costs wants to protect its profits, and it does it at the cost of human lives." Go to the 5:00 mark in the video to hear it. Members of our industry who make and sell products that people around the world own in order to protect their lives should be aware of this highly offensive remark from the leader of this anti-gun group. In response, read the challenge offered to Gross by NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel Larry Keane at the end of this blog post.
•   SUNDAY HUNTING BILL INTRODUCED IN DELAWARE . . . State Rep. John Atkins has introduced Delaware HB 367, which would amend Title 7 of the Delaware code relating to the prohibition on Sunday hunting. The bill would allow Sunday hunting on private properties after noon.
•   HOUSE PASSES BILL BENEFITTING PUBLIC-LANDS SHOOTING RANGES . . . With broad bipartisan support, the U.S. House of Representatives last week passed the Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act (H.R. 3065) as Title XII of the Conservation and Economic Growth Act (H.R. 2578). Sponsored by Rep. Heath Schuler (D-N.C.), the legislation provides state game and fish agencies with more flexibility and discretion to use Pittman-Robertson (Wildlife Restoration Trust Fund) funds for the creation, enhancement and maintenance of public shooting ranges. Read the NSSF press release.
•   FEDERAL JUDGE RULES AGAINST PART OF CHICAGO GUN LAW . . . U.S. District Judge Samuel Der-Yeghiayan has ruled that the Chicago firearm ordinance banning permits for people convicted of unlawful use of a weapon that is a firearm is vague and unconstitutional, reported the Chicago Tribune. Shawn Gowder challenged the city's gun law after he was denied a permit because of a misdemeanor conviction, and the judge said the law, "unconstitutionally void for vagueness," violated the plaintiff's right to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment, reported the Chicago Sun-Times.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2012, 04:49:53 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
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« Reply #982 on: June 27, 2012, 12:25:08 PM »













much more on Fast and Furious

« Reply #784 on: Today at 08:07:26 AM »




--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

http://features.blogs.fortune.cnn.com/2012/06/27/fast-and-furious-truth/?hpt=hp_t2

In the annals of impossible assignments, Dave Voth's ranked high. In 2009 the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives promoted Voth to lead Phoenix Group VII, one of seven new ATF groups along the Southwest border tasked with stopping guns from being trafficked into Mexico's vicious drug war.
 
Some call it the "parade of ants"; others the "river of iron." The Mexican government has estimated that 2,000 weapons are smuggled daily from the U.S. into Mexico. The ATF is hobbled in its effort to stop this flow. No federal statute outlaws firearms trafficking, so agents must build cases using a patchwork of often toothless laws. For six years, due to Beltway politics, the bureau has gone without permanent leadership, neutered in its fight for funding and authority. The National Rifle Association has so successfully opposed a comprehensive electronic database of gun sales that the ATF's congressional appropriation explicitly prohibits establishing one.


http://nationaljournal.com/congress-legacy/first-democratic-lawmaker-says-holder-should-be-held-in-contempt-20120627

The first Democratic member of Congress has said that he will vote to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt for withholding documents related to the “Fast and Furious” investigation that has plagued the Justice Department, the Salt Lake Tribune reports.
 
Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, joined House Republicans on Tuesday with his announcement. Most Democratic members are expected to support Holder.

http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/26/hoyer-challenges-issa-to-show-e-mails/?smid=fb-share

With the House just days away from a vote on holding Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. in contempt, Representative Darrell Issa, Republican of California, appeared on national television on Sunday to say he had e-mails showing that the architects of a federal gun-smuggling investigation intended to use the operation to build a case for reinstating the lapsed ban on assault-weapons sales.
 
“We have e-mail from people involved in this that are talking about using what they’re finding here to support the — basically assault weapons ban or greater reporting,” Mr. Issa, the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said on ABC’s “This Week.”
 
On Tuesday, Representative Steny H. Hoyer, Democrat of Maryland and the House minority whip, challenged Mr. Issa to prove it.

 
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« Reply #983 on: June 28, 2012, 01:54:46 PM »

Quite a bit in here contrary to my understandings:

http://features.blogs.fortune.cnn.com/2012/06/27/fast-and-furious-truth/?hpt=hp_t2

3,384 comments The truth about the Fast and Furious scandal
June 27, 2012: 5:00 AM ET
 162 Email Print A Fortune investigation reveals that the ATF never intentionally allowed guns to fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartels. How the world came to believe just the opposite is a tale of rivalry, murder, and political bloodlust.
By Katherine Eban


Dave Voth, Fast and Furious supervisor for the ATF
FORTUNE -- In the annals of impossible assignments, Dave Voth's ranked high. In 2009 the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives promoted Voth to lead Phoenix Group VII, one of seven new ATF groups along the Southwest border tasked with stopping guns from being trafficked into Mexico's vicious drug war.

Some call it the "parade of ants"; others the "river of iron." The Mexican government has estimated that 2,000 weapons are smuggled daily from the U.S. into Mexico. The ATF is hobbled in its effort to stop this flow. No federal statute outlaws firearms trafficking, so agents must build cases using a patchwork of often toothless laws. For six years, due to Beltway politics, the bureau has gone without permanent leadership, neutered in its fight for funding and authority. The National Rifle Association has so successfully opposed a comprehensive electronic database of gun sales that the ATF's congressional appropriation explicitly prohibits establishing one.

Voth, 39, was a good choice for a Sisyphean task. Strapping and sandy-haired, the former Marine is cool-headed and punctilious to a fault. In 2009 the ATF named him outstanding law-enforcement employee of the year for dismantling two violent street gangs in Minneapolis. He was the "hardest working federal agent I've come across," says John Biederman, a sergeant with the Minneapolis Police Department. But as Voth left to become the group supervisor of Phoenix Group VII, a friend warned him: "You're destined to fail."

Voth's mandate was to stop gun traffickers in Arizona, the state ranked by the gun-control advocacy group Legal Community Against Violence as having the nation's "weakest gun violence prevention laws." Just 200 miles from Mexico, which prohibits gun sales, the Phoenix area is home to 853 federally licensed firearms dealers. Billboards advertise volume discounts for multiple purchases.

Customers can legally buy as many weapons as they want in Arizona as long as they're 18 or older and pass a criminal background check. There are no waiting periods and no need for permits, and buyers are allowed to resell the guns. "In Arizona," says Voth, "someone buying three guns is like someone buying a sandwich."

By 2009 the Sinaloa drug cartel had made Phoenix its gun supermarket and recruited young Americans as its designated shoppers or straw purchasers. Voth and his agents began investigating a group of buyers, some not even old enough to buy beer, whose members were plunking down as much as $20,000 in cash to purchase up to 20 semiautomatics at a time, and then delivering the weapons to others.

MORE: 10 ways Toyota is topping Ford

The agents faced numerous obstacles in what they dubbed the Fast and Furious case. (They named it after the street-racing movie because the suspects drag raced cars together.) Their greatest difficulty by far, however, was convincing prosecutors that they had sufficient grounds to seize guns and arrest straw purchasers. By June 2010 the agents had sent the U.S. Attorney's office a list of 31 suspects they wanted to arrest, with 46 pages outlining their illegal acts. But for the next seven months prosecutors did not indict a single suspect.

On Dec. 14, 2010, a tragic event rewrote the narrative of the investigation. In a remote stretch of Peck Canyon, Ariz., Mexican bandits attacked an elite U.S. Border Patrol unit and killed an agent named Brian Terry. The attackers fled, leaving behind two semiautomatic rifles. A trace of the guns' serial numbers revealed that the weapons had been purchased 11 months earlier at a Phoenix-area gun store by a Fast and Furious suspect.

Ten weeks later, an ATF agent named John Dodson, whom Voth had supervised, made startling allegations on the CBS Evening News. He charged that his supervisors had intentionally allowed American firearms to be trafficked—a tactic known as "walking guns"—to Mexican drug cartels. Dodson claimed that supervisors repeatedly ordered him not to seize weapons because they wanted to track the guns into the hands of criminal ringleaders. The program showed internal e-mails from Voth, which purportedly revealed agents locked in a dispute over the deadly strategy. The guns permitted to flow to criminals, the program charged, played a role in Terry's death.

After the CBS broadcast, Fast and Furious erupted as a major scandal for the Obama administration. The story has become a fixture on Fox News and the subject of numerous reports in media outlets from CNN to the New York Times. The furor has prompted repeated congressional hearings—with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder testifying multiple times—dueling reports from congressional committees, and an ongoing investigation by the Justice Department's inspector general. It has led to the resignations of the acting ATF chief, the U.S. Attorney in Arizona, and his chief criminal prosecutor.


Rep. Darrell Issa (R.-Calif.)
Conservatives have pummeled the Obama administration, and especially Holder, for more than a year. "Who authorized this program that was so felony stupid that it got people killed?" Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, demanded to know in a hearing in June 2011. He has charged the Justice Department, which oversees the ATF, with having "blood on their hands." Issa and more than 100 other Republican members of Congress have demanded Holder's resignation.

The conflict has escalated dramatically in the past ten days. On June 20, in a day of political brinkmanship, Issa's committee voted along party lines, 23 to 17, to hold Holder in contempt of Congress for allegedly failing to turn over certain subpoenaed documents, which the Justice Department contended could not be released because they related to ongoing criminal investigations. The vote came hours after President Obama asserted executive privilege to block the release of the documents. Holder now faces a vote by the full House of Representatives this week on the contempt motion (though negotiations over the documents continue). Assuming a vote occurs, it will be the first against an attorney general in U.S. history.

As political pressure has mounted, ATF and Justice Department officials have reversed themselves. After initially supporting Group VII agents and denying the allegations, they have since agreed that the ATF purposefully chose not to interdict guns it lawfully could have seized. Holder testified in December that "the use of this misguided tactic is inexcusable, and it must never happen again."

There's the rub.

Quite simply, there's a fundamental misconception at the heart of the Fast and Furious scandal. Nobody disputes that suspected straw purchasers under surveillance by the ATF repeatedly bought guns that eventually fell into criminal hands. Issa and others charge that the ATF intentionally allowed guns to walk as an operational tactic. But five law-enforcement agents directly involved in Fast and Furious tell Fortune that the ATF had no such tactic. They insist they never purposefully allowed guns to be illegally trafficked. Just the opposite: They say they seized weapons whenever they could but were hamstrung by prosecutors and weak laws, which stymied them at every turn.

Indeed, a six-month Fortune investigation reveals that the public case alleging that Voth and his colleagues walked guns is replete with distortions, errors, partial truths, and even some outright lies. Fortune reviewed more than 2,000 pages of confidential ATF documents and interviewed 39 people, including seven law-enforcement agents with direct knowledge of the case. Several, including Voth, are speaking out for the first time.

How Fast and Furious reached the headlines is a strange and unsettling saga, one that reveals a lot about politics and media today. It's a story that starts with a grudge, specifically Dodson's anger at Voth. After the terrible murder of agent Terry, Dodson made complaints that were then amplified, first by right-wing bloggers, then by CBS. Rep. Issa and other politicians then seized those elements to score points against the Obama administration, which, for its part, has capitulated in an apparent effort to avoid a rhetorical battle over gun control in the run-up to the presidential election. (A Justice Department spokesperson denies this and asserts that the department is not drawing conclusions until the inspector general's report is submitted.)

MORE: How data could save cities from outgrowing themselves

"Republican senators are whipping up the country into a psychotic frenzy with these reports that are patently false," says Linda Wallace, a special agent with the Internal Revenue Service's criminal investigation unit who was assigned to the Fast and Furious team (and recently retired from the IRS). A self-described gun-rights supporter, Wallace has not been criticized by Issa's committee.

The ATF's accusers seem untroubled by evidence that the policy they have pilloried didn't actually exist. "It gets back to something basic for me," says Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa). "Terry was murdered, and guns from this operation were found at his murder site." A spokesman for Issa denies that politics has played a role in the congressman's actions and says "multiple individuals across the Justice Department's component agencies share responsibility for the failure that occurred in Operation Fast and Furious." Issa's spokesman asserts that even if ATF agents followed prosecutors' directives, "the practice is nonetheless gun walking." Attorneys for Dodson declined to comment on the record.

For its part, the ATF would not answer specific questions, citing ongoing investigations. But a spokesperson for the agency provided a written statement noting that the "ATF did not exercise proper oversight, planning or judgment in executing this case. We at ATF have accepted responsibility and have taken appropriate and decisive action to insure that these errors in oversight and judgment never occur again." The statement asserted that the "ATF has clarified its firearms transfer policy to focus on interdiction or early intervention to prevent the criminal acquisition, trafficking and misuse of firearms," and it cited changes in coordination and oversight at the ATF.

Irony abounds when it comes to the Fast and Furious scandal. But the ultimate irony is this: Republicans who support the National Rifle Association and its attempts to weaken gun laws are lambasting ATF agents for not seizing enough weapons—ones that, in this case, prosecutors deemed to be legal.

The investigation begins

The ATF is a bureau of judgment calls. Drug enforcement agents can confiscate cocaine and arrest anyone in possession of it. But ATF agents must distinguish constitutionally protected legal guns from illegal ones, with the NRA and other Second Amendment activists watching for missteps.


U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder
Critics have depicted the ATF as "jackbooted government thugs" trampling on the rights of law-abiding gun owners. From the deadly standoff with the Branch Davidian cult in Waco, Texas, in 1993 to allegations that ATF agents illegally seized weapons from suspected straw purchasers at a Richmond  gun show in 2005, these scandals have helped cement the bureau's reputation in some quarters for law-enforcement overreach.

In part because of these notorious cases, the bureau has operated in a self-protective crouch. It has stuck to small single-defendant cases to the detriment of its effort to combat gun trafficking, the Justice Department's inspector general found in a review of ATF cases from 2007 to 2009. To refocus its efforts, the ATF established Group VII and the other Southwest border units to build big, multi-defendant conspiracy cases and target the leaders of the trafficking operations.

Of course, the ATF can be its own worst enemy. Voth arrived in Phoenix in December 2009 only to discover that his group had not been funded. The group had little equipment and no long guns, electronic devices, or binoculars, forcing Voth to scrounge for supplies.

Then there was Voth's seven-agent team, which was almost instantly at war with itself. Most of the agents were transplants, unfamiliar with Arizona or one another. Fast and Furious' lead case agent, Hope MacAllister, 41, was the exception—a tough, squared-away Phoenix veteran with little tolerance for complaints. Her unsmiling demeanor led Voth to give her the ironic nickname "Sunshine Bear." She declined to be interviewed.

Dodson, 41, arrived one day before Voth from a two-man outpost of ATF's Roanoke field office, where he'd worked since 2002. He had joined the ATF from the narcotics section of the Loudoun County sheriff's office in Virginia, where his blunt, even obnoxious manner did not earn him friends. He's "an asshole sometimes—there is no other way to put it," says his former partner, Ken Dondero, who served as best man at Dodson's wedding. "He's almost too honest. He believes that if he has a thought in his head, it's there to broadcast to everyone."

Voth, MacAllister, and a third agent, Tonya English, were quintessential by-the-book types. By contrast, Dodson and two other new arrivals, Olindo "Lee" Casa and Lawrence Alt, seemed to chafe at ATF rules and procedures. (An attorney for Casa says that "in light of the current congressional investigation, as well as investigations by the Department of Justice Inspector General and the Office of Special Counsel" it would be premature to comment. A lawyer for Alt says Alt could not be interviewed because he is in mediation to settle a suit he filed in which he charges that he was retaliated against for being a whistleblower.)

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Dodson's faction grew antagonistic to Voth. They regularly fired off snide e-mails and seemed to delight in mocking Voth and his methodical nature. They were scornful of protocol, according to ATF agents. Dodson would show up to work in flip-flops. He came unprepared for operations—without safety equipment or back-up plans—and was pulled off at least one surveillance for his own safety, say two colleagues. He earned the nickname "Renegade," and soon Voth's group effectively divided into two clashing factions: the Sunshine Bears and the Renegades.

Even had they all gotten along, they faced a nearly impossible task. They were seven agents pursuing more than a dozen cases, of which Fast and Furious was just one, their efforts complicated by a lack of adequate tools. Without a real-time database of gun sales, they had to perform a laborious archaeology. Day after day, they visited local gun dealers and pored over forms called 4473s, which dealers must keep on file. These contain a buyer's personal information, a record of purchased guns and their serial numbers, and a certification that the buyer is purchasing the guns for himself. (Lying on the forms is a felony, but with weak penalties attached.) The ATF agents manually entered these serial numbers into a database of suspect guns to help them build a picture of past purchases.

By January 2010 the agents had identified 20 suspects who had paid some $350,000 in cash for more than 650 guns. According to Rep. Issa's congressional committee, Group VII had enough evidence to make arrests and close the case then.

Prosecutors: Transferring guns is legal in Arizona

This was not the view of federal prosecutors. In a meeting on Jan. 5, 2010, Emory Hurley, the assistant U.S. Attorney in Phoenix overseeing the Fast and Furious case, told the agents they lacked probable cause for arrests, according to ATF records. Hurley's judgment reflected accepted policy at the U.S. Attorney's Office in Arizona. "[P]urchasing multiple long guns in Arizona is lawful," Patrick Cunningham, the U.S. Attorney's then–criminal chief in Arizona would later write. "Transferring them to another is lawful and even sale or barter of the guns to another is lawful unless the United States can prove by clear and convincing evidence that the firearm is intended to be used to commit a crime." (Arizona federal prosecutors referred requests for comment to the Justice Department, which declined to make officials available. Hurley noted in an e-mail, "I am not able to comment on what I understand to be an ongoing investigation/prosecution. I am precluded by federal regulation, DOJ policy, the rules of professional conduct, and court order from talking with you about this matter." Cunningham's attorney also declined to comment.)

It was nearly impossible in Arizona to bring a case against a straw purchaser. The federal prosecutors there did not consider the purchase of a huge volume of guns, or their handoff to a third party,  sufficient evidence to seize them. A buyer who certified that the guns were for himself, then handed them off minutes later, hadn't necessarily lied and was free to change his mind. Even if a suspect bought 10 guns that were recovered days later at a Mexican crime scene, this didn't mean the initial purchase had been illegal. To these prosecutors, the pattern proved little. Instead, agents needed to link specific evidence of intent to commit a crime to each gun they wanted to seize.


ATF agent John Dodson
None of the ATF agents doubted that the Fast and Furious guns were being purchased to commit crimes in Mexico. But that was nearly impossible to prove to prosecutors' satisfaction. And agents could not seize guns or arrest suspects after being directed not to do so by a prosecutor. (Agents can be sued if they seize a weapon against prosecutors' advice. In this case, the agents had a particularly strong obligation to follow the prosecutors' direction given that Fast and Furious had received a special designation under the Justice Department's Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force. That designation meant more resources for the case, but it also provided that prosecutors take the lead role.)

In their Jan. 5 meeting, Hurley suggested another way to make a case: Voth's team could wiretap the phone of a suspected recruiter and capture proof of him directing straw purchasers to buy guns. This would establish sufficient proof to arrest both the leaders and the followers.

On Jan. 8, 2010, Voth and his supervisors drafted a briefing paper in which they explained Hurley's view that "there was minimal evidence at this time to support any type of prosecution." The paper elaborated, "Currently our strategy is to allow the transfer of firearms to continue to take place, albeit at a much slower pace, in order to further the investigation and allow for the identification of additional co-conspirators." 
Rep. Issa's committee has flagged this document as proof that the agents chose to walk guns. But prosecutors had determined, Voth says, that the "transfer of firearms" was legal. Agents had no choice but to keep investigating and start a wiretap as quickly as possible to gather evidence of criminal intent.

Ten days after the meeting with Hurley, a Saturday, Jaime Avila, a transient, admitted methamphetamine user, bought three WASR-10 rifles at the Lone Wolf Trading Company in Glendale, Ariz. The next day, a helpful Lone Wolf employee faxed Avila's purchase form to ATF to flag the suspicious activity. It was the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, so the agents didn't receive the fax until Tuesday, according to a contemporaneous case report. By that time, the legally purchased guns had been gone for three days. The agents had never seen the weapons and had no chance to seize them. But they entered the serial numbers into their gun database. Two of these were later recovered at Brian Terry's murder scene.

Rebuffed by the prosecutors

Voth was a logical thinker. He lived by advice he received from an early mentor in law enforcement: "There's what you think. There's what you know. There's what you can prove. And the first two don't count."

But he was not operating in a logical world. The wiretap represented the ATF's best—perhaps only— hope of connecting the gun purchases it had been documenting to orders from the cartels, according to Hurley. In Minneapolis, the prosecutors Voth had worked with had approved wiretap applications within 24 hours. But in Phoenix, days turned into weeks, and Group VII's wiretap application languished with prosecutors in Arizona and Washington, D.C.

No one has yet explained this delay. Voth thinks prosecutor Hurley's inexperience in wiretapping cases may have slowed the process. Several other agents speculate that Arizona's gun culture may have led to indifference. Hurley is an avid gun enthusiast, according to two law-enforcement sources who worked with him. One of those sources says he saw Hurley behind the counter at a gun show, helping a friend who is a weapons dealer.

William Newell, then special agent in charge of the ATF's Phoenix field division, suspected that U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke, an Obama appointee, was not being briefed adequately by deputies about the volume of guns being purchased. He wrote to colleagues in February 2010 that the prosecutor seemed "taken aback by some of the facts I informed him about"—by then, the Fast and Furious suspects had purchased 800 guns—"so I am setting up a briefing for him (alone no USAO 'posse') about this case and several other cases I feel he is being misled about."

The conflict between federal prosecutors and ATF agents had been growing for years. Pete Forcelli, who served as group supervisor of ATF's Phoenix I field division for five years, told Congress in June 2011 that he believed Arizona federal prosecutors made up excuses to decline cases. "Despite the existence [of] probable cause in many cases," he testified, "there were no indictments, no prosecutions, and criminals were allowed to walk free." Prosecutors in Los Angeles and New York were far more aggressive in pursuing gun cases, Forcelli asserted.

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Phoenix-based ATF agents became so frustrated by prosecutors' intransigence that, in a highly unusual move, they began bringing big cases to the state attorney general's office instead. Terry Goddard, Arizona's Attorney General from 2003 to 2011, says of federal prosecutors, "They demanded that every i be dotted, every t be crossed, and after a while, it got to be nonsensical."

For prosecutors, straw-purchasing cases were hard to prove and unrewarding to prosecute, with minimal penalties attached. In December 2010, five U.S. Attorneys along the Southwest border, including Burke in Arizona, wrote to the U.S. Sentencing Commission, asking that penalties for straw purchasing be increased. The commission did increase the recommended jail time by a few months. But because the straw purchasers, by definition, have no criminal record and there is no firearms-trafficking statute that would allow prosecutors to charge them with conspiracy as a group, the penalties remain low.

Prosecutors repeatedly rebuffed Voth's requests. After examining one suspect's garbage, agents learned he was on food stamps yet had plunked down more than $300,000 for 476 firearms in six months. Voth asked if the ATF could arrest him for fraudulently accepting public assistance when he was spending such huge sums. Prosecutor Hurley said no. In another instance, a young jobless suspect paid more than $10,000 for a 50-caliber tripod-mounted sniper rifle. According to Voth, Hurley told the agents they lacked proof that he hadn't bought the gun for himself.

Voth grew deeply frustrated. In August 2010, after the ATF in Texas confiscated 80 guns—63 of them purchased in Arizona by the Fast and Furious suspects— Voth got an e-mail from a colleague there: "Are you all planning to stop some of these guys any time soon? That's a lot of guns…Are you just letting these guns walk?"

Voth responded with barely suppressed rage: "Have I offended you in some way? Because I am very offended by your e-mail. Define walk? Without Probable Cause and concurrence from the USAO [U.S. Attorney's Office] it is highway robbery if we take someone's property." He then recounted the situation with the unemployed suspect who had bought the sniper rifle. "We conducted a field interview and after calling the AUSA [assistant U.S. Attorney] he said we did not have sufficient PC [probable cause] to take the firearm so our suspect drove home with said firearm in his car…any ideas on how we could not let that firearm 'walk'"?

Voth believed the wiretap could help bring the case to a swift and successful close. On March 5, 2010, ten days before their first wiretap was set to begin, Voth was in Washington, D.C., to brief ATF brass and Justice Department officials on Fast and Furious. The response was overwhelmingly positive. A senior ATF attorney wrote Voth, "This is exactly the types of cases ATF should be doing with a wire, it is fantastic."

The schism inside Phoenix Group VII

Voth returned to Phoenix fully expecting his team to unite for the work that lay ahead. But instead he found a minor mutiny—over the schedule for the wire, which needed to be monitored around the clock. Dodson didn't want to work weekends. Casa felt his seniority should exclude him from the effort.

Agents were getting pulled from other field offices to assist, and on March 11, one wrote to ask Voth, "You're not going to give the out-of-towners the crappy shifts, are you?" Voth responded, "I am attempting to split the weekends so everyone has to work one of the two days that way no one gets screwed too hard and everybody gets screwed a little bit."

The next day, March 12, Voth sent out the wire schedule at 5:15 p.m. but got such a blizzard of complaints about the shifts that, two hours later, he sent another e-mail to the group. It read in part: "[T]here may be a schism developing amongst the group. This is the time we all need to pull together not drift apart. We are all entitled to our respective (albeit different) opinions however we all need to get along and realize we have a mission to accomplish. I am thrilled and proud that our Group is the first ATF Southwest Border Group in the country to be going up on [a] wire…I will be damned if this case is going to suffer due to petty arguing, rumors or other adolescent behavior…I don't know what all the issues are but we are all adults, we are all professionals, and we have an exciting opportunity to use the biggest tool in our law enforcement tool box. If you don't think this is fun you're in the wrong line of work—period! This is the pinnacle of domestic U.S. law-enforcement techniques. After this the tool box is empty."

The wire turned out to be short lived. Within days, the agents realized that their suspect was phasing out use of the phone they were monitoring. Group VII would have to reapply, all over again, for permission to tap the new phone number.

But Voth's so-called "schism e-mail" would live in infamy. Today it is held up as proof that the group was desperately divided over the tactic of gun walking and that Voth belittled those who opposed it. But there is no documentary evidence that agents Dodson, Casa, or Alt complained to their supervisors about the alleged gun walking, had confrontations about it, or were retaliated against because of their complaints, as they all later claimed.

Who's opposed to gun walking?

The atmosphere inside Voth's group had become toxic. The subjects of dispute were often trivial. For example, when Voth asked Casa to turn off his computer's Godzilla sound effect, which roared each time he got an e-mail, Casa replied, "I have done some limited research and have found no ATF order or internal division memo addressing this issue."

Voth remained even-tempered but did take a stand after one incident. Alt taped to Voth's door an eight-point takedown of agent MacAllister, sarcastically stating that she was in charge of everything. Voth reported the note to an ATF attorney, and Alt apologized. It's unclear what drove the men's anger, but it seems unlikely that it was caused by disagreements over alleged gun walking.

View this document on ScribdHow is it possible to deduce that? Because Dodson then proceeded to walk guns intentionally, with Casa and Alt's help. On April 13, 2010, one month after Voth wrote his schism e-mail, Dodson opened a case into a suspected gun trafficker named Isaiah Fernandez. He had gotten Casa to approve the case when Voth was on leave. Dodson had directed a cooperating straw purchaser to give three guns to Fernandez and had taped their conversations without a prosecutor's approval.

Voth first learned these details a month into the case. He demanded that Dodson meet with him and get approval from prosecutors to tape conversations. Five days later, Dodson sent an uncharacteristically diplomatic response. (He and Alt had revised repeated drafts in that time, with Alt pushing to make the reply "less abrasive." Dodson e-mailed back: "Less abrasive? I felt sick from kissing all that ass as it was.") Dodson wrote that he succeeded in posing undercover as a straw purchaser and claimed that prosecutor Hurley—who he had just belatedly contacted—had raised "new concerns." The prosecutor had told Dodson that an assistant U.S. Attorney "won't be able to approve of letting firearms 'walk' in furtherance of your investigation without first briefing the U.S. Attorney and Criminal Chief."

It was the first time Voth learned that Dodson intended to walk guns. Voth says he refused to approve the plan and instead consulted his supervisor, who asked for a proposal from Dodson in writing. Dodson then drafted one, which Voth forwarded to his supervisor, who approved it on May 28.

On June 1, Dodson used $2,500 in ATF funds to purchase six AK Draco pistols from local gun dealers, and gave these to Fernandez, who reimbursed him and gave him $700 for his efforts. Two days later, according to case records, Dodson—who would later testify that in his previous experience, "if even one [gun] got away from us, nobody went home until we found it"—left on a scheduled vacation without interdicting the guns. That day, Voth wrote to remind him that money collected as evidence needed to be vouchered within five days. Dodson e-mailed back, his sarcasm fully restored: "Do the orders define a 'day'? Is it; a calendar day? A business day or work day….? An Earth day (because a day on Venus takes 243 Earth days which would mean that I have plenty of time)?"

The guns were never recovered, the case was later closed, and Fernandez was never charged. By any definition, it was gun walking of the most egregious sort: a government agent using taxpayer money to deliver guns to bad guys and then failing to intercept them.

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On Feb. 4, 2011, the Justice Department sent a letter to Sen. Grassley saying that the allegations of gun walking in Fast and Furious were false and that ATF always tried to interdict weapons. A month later, Grassley countered with what appeared to be slam-dunk proof that ATF had indeed walked guns. "[P]lease explain how the denials in the Justice Department's Feb. 4, 2011 letter to me can be squared with the evidence," Grassley wrote, attaching damning case reports that he contended "proved that ATF allowed guns to 'walk.'" The case and agent names were redacted, but the reports were not from Fast and Furious. They came entirely from Dodson's Fernandez case.

An unusual alliance

By the end of July 2010, the Fast and Furious investigation was largely complete. The agents had sent prosecutors 20 names for immediate indictment, Jaime Avila's among them. His purchase of the three WASR-10s were listed among his criminal acts. On Aug. 17, 2010, ATF agents met in Phoenix with prosecutors, including U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke. According to two people present, the ATF presented detailed evidence, including the fact that their suspects had purchased almost 2,000 guns, and pushed for indictments. A month later, on Sept. 17, an ATF team—this time including ATF director Kenneth Melson—met with prosecutors again and again pushed for action. The sides agreed to aim for indictments by October, according to one person in attendance.

But as weeks and then months passed, prosecutors did not issue indictments. The ATF agents grew increasingly concerned. By December, prosecutors had dropped Avila's name from the indictment list for what they deemed a lack of evidence.

Only when Terry, the U.S. Border Patrol agent, was murdered in December 2010 did the prosecutors act. Voth's agents arrested Avila within 24 hours of Terry's death. On Jan. 19, 2011, a federal grand jury indicted him and 19 other suspects. (Avila has since pleaded guilty to dealing guns without a license).

Meanwhile, a crucial part of the Fast and Furious scandal—an unusual alliance that would prod politicians and spread word of the failure to stop guns from making their way to Mexican drug cartels—was waiting in the wings. Little more than a week after Terry's murder, a small item about the possible connection between his death and the Fast and Furious case appeared on a website, CleanUpATF.org. The site was the work of a disgruntled ATF agent-turned-whistleblower, Vince Cefalu, who is suing the bureau for alleged mistreatment in an unrelated case. His website has served as a clearinghouse for grievances and a magnet for other ATF whistleblowers.

It had also attracted gun-rights activists loosely organized around a blog called the Sipsey Street Irregulars, run by a former militia member, Mike Vanderboegh, who has advocated armed insurrection against the U.S. government. It was an incendiary combination: the disgruntled ATF agents wanted to punish and reform the bureau; the gun-rights activists wanted to disable it. After the item about Terry appeared, the bloggers funneled the allegations through a "desert telegraph" of sorts to Republican lawmakers, who began asking questions.

A week after the initial Fast and Furious press conference in January 2011, Dodson dropped a small bombshell. He told a supervisor that he had been contacted by congressional staff. Dodson met that day with two ATF supervisors. According to their written contemporaneous accounts, Dodson was vague but claimed that Voth had always "treated him like shit" and that it "felt good" to speak with someone outside ATF.

Dodson appeared on the CBS Evening News a week later. As Voth watched the program from his living room, he says, he wanted to vomit. He saw sentences from his "schism" e-mail reproduced on the TV screen. But CBS didn't quote the portions of Voth's e-mail that described how the group was divided by "petty arguing" and "adolescent behavior." Instead, CBS claimed the schism had been caused by opposition to gun walking (such alleged opposition is not discussed anywhere in the e-mail, which is below). CBS asserted that Dodson and others had protested the tactic "over and over," and then quoted portions of Voth's e-mail in a way that left the impression that gun walking was endorsed at headquarters. CBS contacted the ATF (but not Voth directly). The result was a report that incorrectly painted Voth as zealously promoting gun walking. (A CBS spokeswoman, Sonya McNair, says CBS does not publicly discuss its editorial process but notes, "The White House has already acknowledged the truth of our report.")

View this document on ScribdThe "Witch Hunt"

Less than 36 hours after the CBS report, Voth was jolted awake at dawn by the blaring of his burglar alarm. With his wife and children still in bed, he crept down the stairs of his desert home, his ATF-issued .40 caliber Sig Sauer extended before him. In the garage, he saw a door ajar and a massive kettle bell he used for workouts knocked from its place. Outside, the fleeing intruder had left behind a partial footprint in the sand.

As Voth waited for the police, he checked his e-mail and found an anonymous threat, sent minutes earlier: "You God-damned stupid 'Yes-Man' who does not have either the morals, or the intelligence, to realize that allowing this 'Fast and Furious' operation would result in unnecessary, unjustified deaths: MAY YOU EAT SHIT AND DIE." Later his wife found a strange car outside their house and an angry post on the Internet listing their home address. Voth confidentially shared his concern about that post in a meeting with two senior ATF officials, only to find an account of the meeting on the Sipsey Street blog within 24 hours.

The ATF's office of operations security investigated the threats to Voth. A confidential report on March 29, 2011, concluded, "ATF 'insiders' are the number one threat to GS Voth and his family." The report cited "at least six individuals," whom it did not name, who had "personal agendas to undermine the credibility of ATF supervisors and members of management as retribution for [Voth's] operational shortcomings." The report cited the two blogs and concluded that "the malicious intent of insiders" had led directly to Voth's becoming the target of a "nation-wide…libel campaign."

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Politicians soon got involved, and the situation grew worse for the ATF. In June, Republican staffers for the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee released a joint report that leaned heavily on interviews with Dodson, Casa, and Alt and identified Voth as a central figure in the scandal. It quoted Dodson describing Voth as "giddy" over the slaughter in Mexico—Voth says he was deeply upset by the violence—but didn't reflect Voth's perspective. The report was released two weeks before Voth was scheduled to be questioned for the first time by congressional investigators. (A spokesman for Issa says the committee attempted to interview Voth earlier.)

As the allegations mounted, pressure intensified. In early July the ATF's once supportive acting director, Melson—who according to e-mails had been briefed weekly on the case—went to Congress and threw his own people under the bus. Melson told Grassley that he had read the case reports only after the scandal broke, and had been "sick to his stomach," according to press accounts of the meeting. In August, Melson resigned, as did Arizona's U.S. Attorney, Burke. (Melson's lawyer, Richard Cullen, says the Justice Department's inspector general will likely answer many of the continuing questions.) In December 2011, the Justice Department retracted its Feb. 4 letter, in which it had denied walking guns in the Fast and Furious case.

For Voth, steeped in military loyalty, Melson's betrayal was the blow he couldn't fathom. Voth began losing weight, losing sleep. As he puts it, "You barely remember your own name, your mind is going 100 miles an hour." He no longer knew what to do or who could be trusted. "There would be no way," he says, "to foreshadow this."

Since the scandal erupted, almost everyone associated with Fast and Furious has been reassigned. Dodson, Casa, and Alt have been transferred to other field offices. Voth, who has now been interviewed by congressional investigators and the Justice Department's inspector general, has been reassigned to a desk job in Washington.

New facts are still coming to light—and will likely continue to do so with the Justice Department inspector general's report expected in coming months. Among the discoveries: Fast and Furious' top suspects—Sinaloa Cartel operatives and Mexican nationals who were providing the money, ordering the guns, and directing the recruitment of the straw purchasers—turned out to be FBI informants who were receiving money from the bureau. That came as news to the ATF agents in Group VII.

Today, with Attorney General Holder now squarely in the cross hairs of Congress, Democrats and Republicans are accusing each other of political machinations. Rep. Elijah Cummings, a Maryland Democrat and ranking member of the oversight committee, has accused Issa of targeting Holder as part of an "election-year witch hunt." Issa has alleged on Fox News that Fast and Furious is part of a liberal conspiracy to restrict gun rights: "Very clearly, [the ATF] made a crisis and they are using this crisis to somehow take away or limit people's Second Amendment rights." (Issa has a personal history on this issue: In 1972, at age 19, he was arrested for having a concealed, loaded .25-caliber automatic in his car; he ultimately pleaded guilty to possession of an unregistered gun.)

Issa's claim that the ATF is using the Fast and Furious scandal to limit gun rights seems, to put it charitably, far-fetched. Meanwhile, Issa and other lawmakers say they want ATF to stanch the deadly tide of guns, widely implicated in the killing of 47,000 Mexicans in the drug-war violence of the past five years. But the public bludgeoning of the ATF has had the opposite effect. From 2010, when Congress began investigating, to 2011, gun seizures by Group VII and the ATF's three other groups in Phoenix dropped by more than 90%.

Reporter Associate: Doris Burke
 
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bigdog
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« Reply #984 on: June 29, 2012, 05:27:42 PM »

http://www.rollcall.com/news/darrell_issa_puts_details_of_secret_wiretap_applications_in_congressional-215828-1.html

In the midst of a fiery floor debate over contempt proceedings for Attorney General Eric Holder, House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) quietly dropped a bombshell letter into the Congressional Record.
 
The May 24 letter to Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), ranking member on the panel, quotes from and describes in detail a secret wiretap application that has become a point of debate in the GOP’s “Fast and Furious” gun-walking probe.
 
The wiretap applications are under court seal, and releasing such information to the public would ordinarily be illegal. But Issa appears to be protected by the Speech or Debate Clause in the Constitution, which offers immunity for Congressional speech, especially on a chamber’s floor.
 
According to the letter, the wiretap applications contained a startling amount of detail about the operation, which would have tipped off anyone who read them closely about what tactics were being used.

continued on web site.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #985 on: June 30, 2012, 09:47:36 AM »

*Fast and Furious whistleblowers now supervised by ATF manager who allegedly threatened retaliation* (http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-31727_162-57464286-10391695/fast-and-furious-whistleblowers-now-supervised-by-atf-manager-who-allegedly-threatened-retaliation/)

By Sharyl Attkisson


(CBS News) Two Fast and Furious whistleblowers have reportedly been placed under the supervision of an ATF official who allegedly threatened to "take them down."

That's according to Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) who have asked the Inspector General to immediately investigate.

When the ATF whistleblowers, Special Agents John Dodson and Pete Forcelli, went public last year, Scot Thomasson headed up ATF Public Affairs. According to an eyewitness, Thomasson stated "We need to get whatever dirt we can on these guys (whistleblowers) and take them down." Now, Grassley and Issa say the agents have been put under the charge of ATF's Scot Thomasson who is Division Chief of the Firearms Operations Unit.

Thomasson was also allegedly heard to have said "ATF needs to f__k these guys." And when asked if the whistleblower allegations were true, Thomasson purportedly said he didn't know and didn't care. The accounts are contained in a May 3, 2012 House Oversight memo attached to Congress' draft contempt report against Attorney General Eric Holder.

Dodson went public about the agency's controversial gunwalking tactics in an interview with CBS News in February 2011. He later testified before Congress along with Forcelli.

"It is difficult to understand why ATF leadership would put two of these courageous whistleblowers at the mercy of an individual who made such reckless, irresponsible and inaccurate comments about them 18 months ago," say the members of Congress in today's letter to the Inspector General. The letter also asks "what steps, if any, are being taken to ensure that Thomasson does not use his new position to engage in a campaign of retaliation along the lines he expressed a desire to conduct last year."

ATF told CBS News: "As a general policy, atf does not comment on personnel matters. we respect the rights of all our employees and will proceed an appropriate manner." ATF did not respond to our request to speak to Thomasson, nor did he respond to an email request for comment.
---End Quote---
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #986 on: June 30, 2012, 02:32:24 PM »



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFIpoL3jrfo
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« Reply #987 on: June 30, 2012, 03:57:58 PM »



Second or third post of the day:


No URL on this but it is forwarded by a very reliable person:

Page 16 of the 2009 Stimulus Plan authorizes $10m for Project Gunrunner.

"For an additional amount for ‘‘State and Local Law Enforcement
Assistance’’, $40,000,000, for competitive grants to provide
assistance and equipment to local law enforcement along the
Southern border and in High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas to
combat criminal narcotics activity stemming from the Southern
border, of which $10,000,000 shall be transferred to ‘‘Bureau of
Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Salaries and Expenses’’
for the ATF Project Gunrunner."
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #988 on: July 02, 2012, 10:29:11 PM »

*Blood Money: Obama Contributor Ran Fast and Furious*  (http://news.investors.com/article/616921/201207021850/obama-contributor-ran-fast-and-furious.htm?p=full)

Scandal: A campaign contributor who was an architect of the 1994 assault weapons ban was the mastermind behind the Fast and Furious operation that let guns walk into Mexico, including those that killed two U.S. agents.

Shortly after the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry on Dec. 15, 2010, Attorney General Eric Holder's deputy chief of staff, Monty Wilkinson, received an email from U.S. Attorney for Arizona Dennis Burke telling him just that:

"The guns found in the desert near the murder(ed) BP officer connect back to the investigation we were going to talk about — they were AK-47s purchased at a Phoenix gun store."

It is an email that helps demonstrate that Holder, despite his congressional testimony — as vague, contradictory and misleading as it was — could not have been ignorant about Fast and Furious and its deadly consequences.

It also brings to light the name of Dennis Burke, a seldom-mentioned Obama campaign donor who oversaw Fast and Furious and helped convert it from a gun-interdiction to a gun-walking program.

Burke, who resigned shortly after the scandal became public, has long been a gun-ban architect for the Democratic Party.

As a lawyer for the Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee, he was behind the ineffectual 1994 "assault weapon" ban that sunset in 2004. Burke was also the chief of staff for Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano for a number of years before she became the secretary of homeland security.

Former Sen. Dennis DeConcini, D-Ariz., had high praise for Burke's 1994 effort: "Dennis had all these pictures of these guns — the street sweepers and the AK-47s. And it passed by one vote. A lot of it was not my eloquence on the bill; it was stuff that Dennis had done."

Burke also is an Obama donor, a prime consideration in the staffing of the Obama administration. Federal Election Commission records show that on Jan. 9, 2008, while working for Napolitano, Burke contributed $2,000 to Sen. Barack Obama's presidential primary campaign. Since 1997, according to FEC records, Burke has given $16,350 to Democratic candidates.

Burke would leave that Gov. Napolitano post to join the Obama transition team. He was soon rewarded for his many contributions, monetary and otherwise, when on July 10, 2009, the president nominated him to be the U.S. attorney in Arizona. The Senate confirmed him that Sept. 15.

In July 2010, Burke told the Arizona Capitol Times there had "clearly been direction provided already by President Obama and Attorney General Holder as to what they want to be doing."

That's an interesting statement, considering what Burke would do and how Holder and Obama would claim they were out of the operational loop.

As Fred Lucas notes in his excellent documentation for CNSnews.com of Burke's record, six weeks after Burke was confirmed, he was named to the attorney general's advisory committee of U.S. attorneys with a specific responsibility to report to Deputy Attorney General David Ogden on border and immigration enforcement.

Ogden's office made a significant change in the federal government's strategy on Fast and Furious. "This new strategy directed federal law enforcement to shift its focus away from seizing firearms from criminals and focus instead on identifying members of trafficking networks," House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa wrote in a May 3 memo to other members of his committee.

Burke oversaw this new strategy, which let guns walk into Mexico and into the hands of the drug cartels. The result was the killing of U.S. agents Brian Terry and Jaime Zapata (and some 300 Mexicans-- Marc)

The stench from all this arguably reaches all the way to the Oval Office.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #989 on: July 06, 2012, 10:28:33 AM »

http://dickmorris.rallycongress.com/7175/gun-control/

Sign the petition!
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« Reply #990 on: July 06, 2012, 02:28:04 PM »

Dick Morris lately has not been checking his facts.

The treaty only pertains to international arms trade, and would have NO  effect on current domestic laws.  We would NOT lose our 2nd Amendment Rights.  Morris is all hyperbole. 

http://www.snopes.com/politics/guns/untreaty.asp
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« Reply #991 on: July 06, 2012, 04:09:42 PM »

Morris does often flap his gums outside his lane e.g. here.

That said, I think the underlying concept is true-- the Treaty will be used to jam through more restrictive laws and regulations and quite possibly total registration.
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« Reply #992 on: July 14, 2012, 10:28:31 PM »



http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2012/06/englands_prince.html
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« Reply #993 on: July 16, 2012, 10:39:02 AM »

"Most Americans don't care about whether Attorney General Eric Holder is hiding Fast and Furious documents because they don't understand the story. ... [T]he problem with Republican rectitude in discussing this scandal is that as soon as they start talking about subpoenas and dates and documents, TV channels change across America. They're never going to get answers unless they first explain to the American people why it matters. ... The notion that most guns used by Mexican drug gangs came from the U.S. was a lie -- exposed on about 1 million gun blogs and on Fox News. So, then the Obama administration did exactly what Democrats had been falsely accusing American gun sellers of doing: They put American guns in the hands of Mexican drug cartels. The only explanation for Fast and Furious is that it was a program to prop up a losing gun control argument. ... Republicans refuse to state this clearly because they can't prove it. Instead, they just keep chattering about the documents that haven't been turned over and subpoenas that haven't been answered. ... This isn't just another government program gone bad -- a $300 ashtray, stimulus money fraud, Solyndra or Van Jones. ... It would be as if the Bush administration had implemented a covert operation to dump a dangerous abortifacient in Planned Parenthood clinics, resulting in hundreds of women dying -- just to give pro-lifers an argument about how dangerous abortion clinics are. That's what Fast and Furious is about." --columnist Ann Coulter
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« Reply #994 on: July 18, 2012, 11:57:55 PM »




The Other Consequences of Fast and Furious
July 12, 2012 | 0900 GMT
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Stratfor
By Scott Stewart

On the night of Dec. 14, 2010, U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry was shot and killed while on patrol in an Arizona canyon near the U.S.-Mexico border. Two guns found at the scene were linked to an investigation being run by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) called "Operation Fast and Furious," sparking a congressional inquiry into the program and generating considerable criticism of the ATF and the Obama administration. Because of this criticism, in August 2011 ATF acting director Kenneth Melson was reassigned from his post and the U.S. attorney for Arizona was forced to resign.

Currently, the congressional inquiry is focused on U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who has been accused of misleading Congress about what he knew about Fast and Furious and when he learned it. The Obama administration has invoked executive privilege to block the release of some of the Department of Justice emails and memos sought by Congress pertaining to the operation. The controversy escalated June 28 when the U.S. House of Representatives voted to hold Holder in contempt of Congress for ignoring its subpoenas.

As all Second Amendment issues are political hot buttons, and with this being a presidential election year in the United States, the political wrangling over Fast and Furious is certain to increase in the coming months. The debate is also sure to become increasingly partisan and pointed. But, frankly, this political wrangling is not what we find to be the most interesting aspect of the operation's fallout. Rather, we are more interested in the way that criticism of Fast and Furious has altered law enforcement efforts to stem the flow of guns from the United States to Mexico and the way these changes will influence how Mexican cartels acquire weapons.

Law Enforcement Shifts
Several of these law enforcement changes already have been enacted. For example, the number of ATF inspectors has been increased due to additional funding for an inspection program through the U.S. Southwest Border Initiative. This means that there are more inspectors to audit the sales records of licensed gun dealers. In southern Arizona, for example, the number of inspectors was increased from three to eight. According to the ATF, these inspectors oversee the operations of some 430 federally licensed firearms dealers in six border counties.

These firearms dealers include gun store proprietors as well as independent dealers working the gun show circuit. The increase in ATF inspection staff and activity has sparked an outcry from gun show dealers who claim they are being unfairly harassed by inspectors. ATF sources have told Stratfor that they do not harass dealers but that the staff increase has allowed the bureau to catch up on inspections it was not able to conduct in the past. The sources also said they believe that their increased presence at gun shows is scaring away cartel buyers, although, obviously, some gun show firearms are still finding their way into cartel hands.

Another procedural change occurred in August 2011, when the ATF began a new program in which licensed gun dealers in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California are required to report to the ATF bulk sales of certain types of rifles, namely semi-automatic rifles larger than .22 caliber with detachable magazines such as the semi-automatic AR-15 and AK-47 variants favored by the cartels. The new rule requires gun dealers to report people without federal firearms licenses who buy two or more of such rifles to the ATF within five working days. The rule has raised the ire of some Second Amendment activists, but the ATF notes that it has had a similar reporting regimen for multiple sales of handguns in place since 1975.

The attention that Fast and Furious attracted to the gun smuggling problem also has led to an increase in interdiction efforts by other U.S. federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, including Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Furthermore, weapons cases have reportedly been given increased prosecutorial priority by U.S. attorneys -- meaning they are now less likely to decline prosecution of a gun case than before the controversy emerged. This has led to increased pressure on lower-level violators such as straw purchasers -- people paid by arms traffickers to buy guns from dealers. Greed will ensure that people continue to work as straw purchasers, but considering the increased risk of prosecution and the new reporting requirements, straw purchasers and the traffickers who employ them will be more exposed.

In May 2012, the ATF claimed that the reporting requirements have led to a decrease in large-volume sales of semi-automatic rifles (10 or more in a single purchase). The ATF also said that traffickers are adapting their weapons procurement methods to the new regulations.

Arms Smugglers Adapt
Despite their impact, the law enforcement and reporting changes cannot stem the tide of weapons entirely. In the same way that drug flows adapt to law enforcement interdiction efforts, weapons flows will also adjust. Previous federal investigations have shown that Mexican cartels have contacts in many different parts of the United States, including cities such as Chicago and Atlanta, far from the border. One way to bypass the increase in ATF inspections and the border state reporting requirements is to buy guns in states located farther from the border. Of course, this would require the weapons to be transported longer distances to get to Mexico, increasing transportation costs as well as exposure to interdiction efforts. A shift in the points of purchase would also almost certainly result in the expansion of the new reporting requirements to other states.

Although it will never be possible to completely cut off the flow of guns to Mexico from the United States, it can be reduced. This would force the cartels to search for new sources of weapons.

One significant emerging source of AR-15/M16 variants is something called an 80 percent lower receiver. (The lower receiver is the part of the AR-15/M16/M4 that carries a manufacturer's serial number. These 80 percent lower receivers do not have any serial numbers.) Under U.S. federal firearms law, the unfinished lower receiver is not considered a firearm and thus can be shipped anywhere and sold to anyone without a license. Once the remaining machining on the lower receiver is completed, one can build an AR-15, M16 or M4 carbine by purchasing the additional required parts -- such as the bolt assembly, trigger assembly and barrel -- which also are not considered firearms. Once the weapon is fully assembled, it is then considered a firearm and subject to federal firearms law.

While the 80 percent lower receivers are intended for do-it-yourself gun enthusiasts, according to the ATF, these guns have also begun to show up in increasing numbers in Mexico.

Many if not most of the semi-automatic rifles purchased in the United States and smuggled into Mexico are converted to be capable of fully automatic fire by armorers working for various cartel groups. The same armorers are capable of finishing the machining on 80 percent lower receivers and assembling completed firearms from them. The finishing process is not difficult, and there are specialized jigs one can buy and instructional videos posted on the Internet to assist in the process. With experience, proper parts and equipment, a competent machinist can quickly and easily finish a lower receiver in an hour or less.

But acquiring 80 percent lower receivers is not the only alternative for cartels. As noted previously, the Mexican cartels obtain weapons from a variety of sources. The main reason they buy rifles and high-powered pistols from the United States is that such weapons are cheap and readily available. The United States is also nearby, so the guns do not have to be transported very far. Once in Mexico, such weapons can be sold to cartels or on the black market for three times their purchase price in the United States. This explains the difficulty of shutting down the flow of weapons between the two countries. The gun trade is almost as lucrative as the narcotics flowing north.

The premium prices Mexican cartels are paying for guns mean that even if the U.S.-Mexican border could somehow magically be sealed tomorrow, arms merchants from elsewhere would be able to fill the void. Indeed, there are some weapons that the cartels simply cannot buy from the United States due to a lack of availability. Such weapons include hand grenades, 40 mm grenades, M60 machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades and M-72 anti-tank rockets. Instead, the cartels buy such items from members of the Mexican military, militaries in countries such as Guatemala and El Salvador, or international arms dealers. The cartels would go to these same sources to replace the weapons unavailable in the United States due to increased arms interdiction efforts. South American groups such as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia and Peru's Shining Path have demonstrated that it is not difficult for groups to arm themselves via the black arms market in the Western Hemisphere.

Rifles and other weapons are durable goods, and it is not unusual to find weapons in Mexico that were provided by the United States, the Soviets or the Cubans to various governments and insurgent groups during the Cold War. Weapons are also fungible, or easily substituted for each other. This means that an AK-47 rifle made in the Soviet Union in the 1950s could be replaced by a variant made in East Germany in the 1970s or in China or Romania today. Indeed, it is not uncommon to find assault rifles of various makes and ages in cartel possession. In videos published by groups such as the Cartel de Jalisco Nueva Generacion, gunmen armed with FN-FAL rifles have appeared alongside comrades armed with various models of AKs, M16s and M4s. A cartel gunman does not care where his rifle comes from.

In recent years, Mexican cartels have begun to forge close relationships with Chinese organized crime groups that are helping the cartels obtain precursor chemicals for the manufacture of methamphetamine and other synthetic drugs. These Chinese groups also are reportedly becoming increasingly important components of Mexican cartel money-laundering efforts. Chinese criminal groups have close ties with the Chinese arms manufacturers, and it is possible that they could begin sending guns to their Mexican contacts with the other illicit cargo.

The Mexican cartels have also reportedly become progressively more involved in the transportation of cocaine to Europe via Africa -- a continent awash in black market assault rifles and other weapons. Some of the cocaine trafficked into Europe is handled by Balkan groups with access to large stockpiles of weapons in Eastern Europe.

These various connections ensure that the Mexican cartels will continue to have access to assault rifles and other military ordnance for the foreseeable future, regardless of how much progress U.S. authorities make in their efforts to stem the flow of guns to Mexico.

Editor's Note: We now offer the daily Mexico Security Monitor, an additional custom intelligence service geared toward organizations with operations or interests in the region, designed to provide more detailed and in-depth coverage of the situation. To learn more about this new fee-based custom service, visit www.stratfor.com/msm.


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Read more: The Other Consequences of Fast and Furious | Stratfor
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« Reply #995 on: July 20, 2012, 12:05:30 AM »


Sipsey Street Exclusive: Stratfor's "intelligence" analysis of Gunwalker less than persuasive. ATF's new target: "The Attack of the Eighty Percent Receiver."


I have never been particularly impressed with Stratfor Global Intelligence's analyses of current events, and had that reaffirmed with a recent article entitled, "The Other Consequences of Fast and Furious."

Beginning with the false premise that the majority of cartel weapons in Mexico were obtained from American gun shows and gun stores (precisely the propaganda point that the Gunwalker Scandal was designed to elicit), Stratfor eschews witha sniff the political controversy and says:

Rather, we are more interested in the way that criticism of Fast and Furious has altered law enforcement efforts to stem the flow of guns from the United States to Mexico and the way these changes will influence how Mexican cartels acquire weapons.
The Statfor article then details "Law Enforcement Shifts" based almost entirely on ATF sources, designed to push the "Iron River" meme and the valiant struggle of the gun cops to overcome it.

Despite their impact, the law enforcement and reporting changes cannot stem the tide of weapons entirely. In the same way that drug flows adapt to law enforcement interdiction efforts, weapons flows will also adjust. Previous federal investigations have shown that Mexican cartels have contacts in many different parts of the United States, including cities such as Chicago and Atlanta, far from the border. One way to bypass the increase in ATF inspections and the border state reporting requirements is to buy guns in states located farther from the border. Of course, this would require the weapons to be transported longer distances to get to Mexico, increasing transportation costs as well as exposure to interdiction efforts. A shift in the points of purchase would also almost certainly result in the expansion of the new reporting requirements to other states.

Although it will never be possible to completely cut off the flow of guns to Mexico from the United States, it can be reduced. This would force the cartels to search for new sources of weapons.
Riiiight. And what are these new sources? Why Stratfor has a suspect, courtesy of the ATF, the "80% receiver."

One significant emerging source of AR-15/M16 variants is something called an 80 percent lower receiver. (The lower receiver is the part of the AR-15/M16/M4 that carries a manufacturer's serial number. These 80 percent lower receivers do not have any serial numbers.) Under U.S. federal firearms law, the unfinished lower receiver is not considered a firearm and thus can be shipped anywhere and sold to anyone without a license. Once the remaining machining on the lower receiver is completed, one can build an AR-15, M16 or M4 carbine by purchasing the additional required parts -- such as the bolt assembly, trigger assembly and barrel -- which also are not considered firearms. Once the weapon is fully assembled, it is then considered a firearm and subject to federal firearms law.

While the 80 percent lower receivers are intended for do-it-yourself gun enthusiasts, according to the ATF, these guns have also begun to show up in increasing numbers in Mexico.

Many if not most of the semi-automatic rifles purchased in the United States and smuggled into Mexico are converted to be capable of fully automatic fire by armorers working for various cartel groups. The same armorers are capable of finishing the machining on 80 percent lower receivers and assembling completed firearms from them. The finishing process is not difficult, and there are specialized jigs one can buy and instructional videos posted on the Internet to assist in the process. With experience, proper parts and equipment, a competent machinist can quickly and easily finish a lower receiver in an hour or less.
I did some checking around and this business of the "eighty percent receiver" says more about the appetite of the ATF for an expanded mandate to control gun manufacturing in this country than it does about reality in Mexico.

I asked a number of folks including Georgia gun designer and SOT-licensed manufacturer Len Savage (a good friend of Ramsey A. Bear) about the Statfor article's premises and he replied to the email recipients:

I saw this earlier this week.

A couple of things to note:

* 80% receiver thing...bullshit. There is no such thing. ATF or any govt agency does not recognize 80%. Term of art nothing more.

* Since the mid 90's manufacturing machinery has been going to Mexico...I KNOW this. I made some of those machines that went when I worked for SESCO (Special Engineering Services Co.)

* With a simple and relatively cheap 3 axis CNC you can just push a button and make as many machinegun receivers as you wish....Prints and data package are available online at no cost (google if you don't believe me).

* Mike has been to my shop, and can tell you: very simple and modest (less than 800 square feet) and no CNC equipment. I make MG's or semiautos regularly in it. There is also the example of the Khyber pass gun makers in mud huts, an anvil and files have been making guns for the last hundred years with no electricity!!!!!

* With cartel money and influence they could get the equipment and it is not that difficult (think of all the small ffl/07's in this country working out of their homes and garages) Ronny Barrett designed and made his now famous .50 cal sniper rifle in his garage on simple machines.
A source within the ATF confirmed that the "eighty percent receiver" was just "the latest boogeyman-threat invented by the higher-ups to persuade the Congress to give them more power to regulate manufacturers and strangle the legal individual manufacture of semi-auto ARs for personal use."

Another source familiar with the gun industry pointed out that the eighty percent receiver's offered for sale were "just not that cheap. If you're a drug cartel drowning in money, you can afford an arms manufactory with all the bells and whistles . . . (after the initial investment in machinery) you can crank 'em out, for a fraction of the cost of the 80 percent receiver blank, which still requires machining to finish it anyway."

Readers may recall this story from back in October of last year which quoted a State Department cable from October 2009 which warned:


Quote:
"Claims by Mexican and U.S. officials that upwards of 90 percent of illegal recovered weapons can be traced back to the U.S. is based on an incomplete survey of confiscated weapons. In point of fact, without wider access to the weapons seized in Mexico, we really have no way of verifying these numbers." 

Thefts from Mexican government arsenals, importations of weapons left over from the guerrilla wars in Central and South America in the 90s are also significant sources of cartel weapons. Yet, the meme invented by Billy Hoover of the ATF and parroted by many anti-gun politicians including the President, has always been that American gun shows and gun stores (the same gun stores whose owners had to be coerced into selling to straw buyers) are the principal sources of cartel weapons.

In this lie, Stafor has now apparently been recruited as a willing pawn. So much for "intelligence
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« Reply #996 on: July 20, 2012, 07:30:58 AM »

http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/07/20/12850048-14-shot-dead-at-dark-knight-rises-screening-in-aurora-colorado?lite

14 dead.   cry cry
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« Reply #997 on: July 20, 2012, 09:34:03 AM »

Indeed.
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« Reply #998 on: July 21, 2012, 11:50:59 PM »



http://nation.foxnews.com/fast-and-furious/2011/07/07/breaking-43-weapons-phoenix-traffic-stop-linked-holder-s-gunrunning-scan
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« Reply #999 on: July 23, 2012, 11:37:22 AM »

Rifle in Shooting Once Was Federally Restricted .Article Video Comments more in US | Find New $LINKTEXTFIND$ ».smaller Larger 
By MATTHEW DOLAN And STEVE EDER
James Holmes, the man accused of a mass shooting spree inside a crowded movie theater, would have had a tougher time buying an AR-15 rifle legally eight years ago, when it was subject to federal restrictions. And many types of the weapon still can't be bought in the alleged shooter's home state of California.

But Mr. Holmes was able to obtain a weapon gun enthusiasts praise for its ease of use and rock-solid reliability and, according to authorities, put it to use in his attack early Friday at a Aurora, Colo., movie theater.

Authorities said last week that Mr. Holmes had a AR-15-style semiautomatic rifle, along with a shotgun and at least one handgun.

A Bass Pro Shops retailer in Denver sold Mr. Holmes a handgun and shotgun, according to the company, but the seller of the assault rifle has not come forward publicly. Gander Mountain, another gun retailer with two stores in the Denver area, said in a statement last week that the company was "fully cooperating with this on-going investigation" but declined to say whether it had sold Holmes any firearms.

A federal ban on assault weapons went into effect in 1994, under President Bill Clinton, including a restriction on sales of the AR-15. But in 2004, the ban expired and it was not re-enacted.

The federal ban targeted weapons with specific features, including a device that hides the flash from a gun shooting in the dark. It is unclear whether Mr. Holmes' rifle had those features which would have then qualified the weapon for the federal ban. Indeed, stripped-down versions of the AR-15 were sold legally during the federal ban, experts say.

In the Aurora shooting, "this shooter was planning a military style assault and he chose a rifle that was designed for just such an attack," said Dennis Henigan, vice president of the Brady Campaign to Reduce Gun Violence. He added that the impact of the violence was widened by the rifle's large stock of ammunition—a 100-round drum magazine, said Colorado authorities—which would have been restricted to only 10 rounds per weapon under the previous federal law.

But organizations representing the gun industry say gun control advocates misrepresent the uses for the AR-15 rifle, which is known for its light recoil, unlike some other semi-automatic weapons that kick back hard after firing. The AR-15 rifle is "cheap to shoot, accurate, easy to take care of and take down," said Joe M. Cornell, a federally license gun dealer in Denver who also appraises firearms for his business A Accredited Appraisal Services.

One legitimate use of the AR-15 is marksmanship competitions in the United States, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a trade association for the firearms industry. "And their cartridges are standard hunting calibers, useful for game up to and including deer," the foundation's fact sheet reads.

The AR-15 was created by ArmaLite—hence the initials AR—and licensed to Colt's Manufacturing Company LLC in 1959. Its related weapon is the military grade M16 fully automatic weapon first used by U.S. military personnel in Vietnam and lauded for its high velocity and lighter-weight plastic parts, according to the companies and gun experts.

Today, several gun manufacturers make AR-15-style rifles.

"It was our counterpart to the Russian AK-47," said Joe Vince, the former chief of the crime guns analysis bureau at the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives.

Colt's semiautomatic rifles are "the only rifles available to sportsmen, hunters and other shooters that are manufactured in the Colt factory and based on the same military standards and specifications as the United States issue Colt M16 rifle and M4 carbine," the company said on its web site. Attempts to reach a company representative over the weekend were unsuccessful.

.On the day of the Aurora shooting, Mr. Cornell said, a friend called him inquiring about an AR-15 to buy his teenage son. The weapon is not appropriate to hunt big game because of its low-caliber ammunition, but can be used to kill varmints, including coyotes, according to Mr. Cornell.

"If I had 100 AR-15s, in seven to 10 days, I could sell them all. They're that popular," he said.

It's difficult to determine how many of these rifles are made in the U.S. each year. The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms reports how many rifles are manufactured each year—2,293,247 in 2011 according to interim figures, up 70% since 1998—but does not break down the rifles by make and model or how many qualified as so-called assault weapons.

A few states, including California, New York and Massachusetts, have bans on assault weapons. The one in place in Massachusetts was made permanent under the watch of then-Gov. Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican president candidate who now opposes any new gun laws.

There were renewed calls for a federal assault weapons ban in 2009, after Michael McLendon killed 10 people in southeastern Alabama. He used two assault rifles in the attack—an SKS and a Bushmaster. Now, Gary Kleck, a professor of criminology at Florida State University, is predicting yet another "effort to resuscitate the assault weapon ban."

Still, he said, "The political odds are stacked against it" actually happening as the federal government has been reluctant to act on gun control issues. "For the most part, merely passing new laws, which for the most part go unenforced, won't do any good," Mr. Kleck said.

The congressman from Aurora, Colo., on Sunday called on Congress to reinstate a federal ban on assault weapons. "We've got to do something," said Democratic Rep. Ed. Perlmutter, speaking on CBS' "Face the Nation."

But only a smattering of politicians, mainly Democrats, joined him in demanding a legislative response to the massacre. While expressing remorse for the victims and outrage at the violence, neither President Barack Obama nor his Republican challenger, Mr. Romney, has asserted that easy access to firearms and ammunition had contributed to the massacre.

To the contrary, many Democrats avoided any suggestion that gun laws should be tightened, while at least one Republican speculated that more lives could have been saved had some audience members drawn weapons themselves and returned fire within the theater.

"If it wasn't one weapon, it would have been another. I mean, he was diabolical," Colorado's Democratic governor, John Hickenlooper, said on CNN's "State of the Union."

"If there were no assault weapons available, and no this or no that, this guy is going to find something, right? He's going to know how to create a bomb."

—Jess Bravin, Jamila Trindle and Daniel Lippman contributed to this article.
Write to Matthew Dolan at matthew.dolan@wsj.com and Steve Eder at steve.eder@wsj.com

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