Skip to comments.New Documents Highlight Differences in Bush-Era, Obama-Era Gunrunner Investigations
Posted on 10/15/2011 12:12:54 PM PDT by jazusamo
One was a failed law enforcement operation. The other was a possible criminal conspiracy.
There seem to be two avenues of document extraction in the ongoing Gunwalker scandal, in addition to witness testimony. One is the subpoena process being used by House and Senate committees investigating the plot. The other is selective leaking to favored media sources, which appears to be a preferred tactic of the White House. The former is official process, the latter an attempt to short-circuit the process.
Both approaches have been used in a pair of articles released via the Associated Press (via National Public Radio) and ABC News about an early Operation Gunrunner interdiction effort known as Operation Wide Receiver.
The Associated Press article presents an interesting variation of reality:
A second Bush administration gun-trafficking investigation has surfaced using the same controversial tactic for which congressional Republicans have been criticizing the Obama administration.
The tactic, called gun walking, is already under investigation by the Justice Departments inspector general and by congressional Republicans, who have criticized the administration of Democratic President Barack Obama for letting it happen in an operation called Fast and Furious.
The 2007 probe operated out of the same ATF office that more recently ran the flawed Operation Fast and Furious. Both probes resulted in weapons disappearing across the border into Mexico, according to the emails. The 2007 probe was relatively small involving over 200 weapons, just a dozen of which ended up in Mexico as a result of gun-walking. Fast and Furious involved over 2,000 weapons, some 1,400 of which have not been recovered and an unknown number of which wound up in Mexico.
The Associated Press article goes on to paint the picture of a serially incompetent ATF office that began acting in a dangerous manner in 2007 and which continued until ATF whistleblowers came forward after Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was gunned down in December of 2010, in a variation of the Bush did it meme that has long been a reflexive defense mechanism of the Obama White House.
But the ABC News article paints a very different picture , using newly obtained emails between ATF supervisors running Operation Wide Receiver:
ATF agents observed this vehicle [carrying guns] commit to the border and reach the Mexican side until it could no longer be seen, Carroll wrote in a Sept. 28, 2007 email. We, the ATF did not get a response from the Mexican side until 20 minutes later, who then informed us that they did not see the vehicle cross. For the first time we are working hand in hand with the GOM [Government of Mexico] and providing them with what they want and this is what we get!
The following day, ATF Acting Director for Field Operation William Hoover was demanding information on the strategy.
Have we discussed the strategy with the U.S. Attorneys Office re letting the guns walk? Do we have this approval in writing? Have we discussed and thought thru the consequences of same? Hoover wrote to Newell and Carroll. Are we tracking south of the border? Same re U.S. Attorneys Office. Did we find out why they missed the hand-off of the vehicle? What are the expected outcomes?
I do not want any firearms to go south until further notice, Hoover wrote on Oct 5. I expect a full briefing paper on my desk Tuesday morning from SAC Newell with every question answered.
On Oct. 6, 2007, Newell wrote in an email, Im so frustrated with this whole mess Im shutting the case down and any further attempts to do something similar. Were done trying to pursue new and innovative initiatives its not worth the hassle.
The AP claim that the Bush-era Wide Receiver and Obama-era Fast and Furious were using the same controversial tactic is deceptive, verging upon being a fabrication. The differences between the botched Bush-era interdiction effort that was Wide Receiver and the blatant gun-running of Obamas Fast and Furious are something that weve discussed previously, but the ABC News article provides even more details that highlight just how different the operations were.
Wide Receiver was a botched, small-scale, law enforcement gun-smuggling interdiction effort that involved local Phoenix-based ATF agents working in conjunction with Mexican law enforcement. When guns were lost roughly 200 irate supervisors immediately shut down the program.
Wide Receiver could hardly be any more different than Fast and Furious.
Fast and Furious used elements of at least four cabinet-level departments: Justice, State, Homeland Security, and Treasury. U.S. attorneys, the directors of the FBI and DEA, the Attorney Generals Advisory Committee, and senior DOJ officials were briefed. High-level State Department approval was critical, in order to avoid breaking arms export control laws. Even the White House National Security Counsil (NSC) had direct communications about the operation.
Unlike Wide Receiver, Operation Fast and Furious excluded Mexican government officials. Instead of working in conjunction with Mexican law enforcement in order to prevent gun smuggling, the operation was designed to ensure that more than 2,000 guns would be successfully smuggled into Mexico by the drug cartels to be used in violent crimes.
The same supervisors that were appalled at the failures of Wide Receiver seemed to be giddy at the success of Fast and Furious when the weapons they sent over the border were found at murder scenes, or taken from the bodies and stash houses of narco-terrorists.
Operation Wide Receiver was a failed law enforcement operation that was shut down immediately when it went wrong. Operation Fast and Furious was a possible criminal conspiracy to ensure that one of the most powerful and violent criminal cartels in the world was armed not with inexpensive fully-automatic military weapons that can be had on the black market very cheaply, but with sporting semi-automatics that were American-imported or manufactured firearms costing 100%-400% more. The obvious, and only logical, explanation for such a plot was to ensure that as many American weapons as possible were showing up at Mexican crime scenes.
Perhaps one day the mainstream media will finally ask who ordered Operation Fast and Furious, who approved the plot, and why.
Until then, Congress is right to push for oversight and the presidential appointment of a special counsel to investigate the criminal conspiracy and the coverup.
And then there is this...
Worse Than Gunwalker? State Dept. Allegedly Sold Guns to Zetas
Phil Jordan, a former CIA operative and one-time leader of U.S. Drug Enforcement Administrations El Paso Intelligence Center, claims that the Obama administration is running guns to the violent Zetas cartel through the direct commercial sale of military grade weapons:
Jordan, who served as director of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administrations El Paso Intelligence Center in 1995, said the Zetas have shipped large amounts of weapons purchased in the Dallas area through El Paso.
Theyve found anti-aircraft weapons and hand grenades from the Vietnam War era, Plumlee said. Other weapons found include grenade launchers, assault rifles, handguns and military gear including night-vision goggles and body armor.
More about State Department involvement...
has sources claiming Obamas man in the State Department, (former) Deputy Secretary of State Jim Steinberg, was the State Department operative who helped Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and the Department of Justice Deputy Attorney General David Ogden formulate the strategy that led to the tactics used in Operation Fast and Furious.
A little more than two years later, it was announced that Steinberg's time in the Obama State Department was over. From the New York Times, 30 March 2011:
Mrs. Clinton heaped praise on Mr. Steinberg, describing him as an indispensable partner. On every foreign policy challenge, big and small, he has helped formulate our policy and oversee its execution, she wrote. Mr. Steinberg, she said, played Oscar to Jack Lews Felix, referring to Jacob J. Lew, her other deputy, who left earlier this year to become Mr. Obamas budget director.
Want to read even more about State Dept. involvement? ...
Which comes to this...
Which just doesn't seem like enough.
More of the same,,,,...
It's definitely not enough. Many people were murdered due to these arms getting into the wrong hands.
People should be prosecuted and go to a federal pen when and if convicted and it looks like Holder and should be one of them.
It really could be termed mass murder and then there are the international implications of arms trafficking in foreign countries to criminal syndicates. They committed acts of war on Mexico and Honduras and possible other countries. Their actions also materially assist groups like Hezbollah who are working with the cartels in Mexico. 0bama and company have created real reasons to despise and distrust the U.S.. Very serious reasons.
This cannot be true unless those same supervisors were told by someone higher-up that they were doing the right thing and would be rewarded.
That’s a mean advertisement.
I’m a mean lady. Grrr.
And the difference is....
Great post and graphics Oldlady.I second your request for those who use FR to support FR.
Just a dollar a day keeps the occupiers away!
Under F&F the ATF was actually prevented from tracking and doing their job by the regime. Two different worlds. We need to nail the DBM every time they try and compare/blurr the story of the two which will be their track. I have no doubt.
Thank you. The graphic is humblegunner’s, and the mean ad copy is mine.
That is how I see it.. But the Bush bashers here won’t see it that way..
Wide Receiver vs. Fast and Furious was never about Bush. It was about one op that failed due to various reasons. WR and one op that failed due to the ATF being told they must fail. Two different worlds.
No, but that's where it starts. This administration won't prosecute any of its members because they would start singing, IMHO. It will have to be the next. They could extradite them to Mexico, if they don't want to prosecute.
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