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Death in the Desert: Project Gunwalker and the ATF Cover-Up

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  • suesarkis@aol.com
    I ve been following this investigation for about 6 months now. It is very depressing that Congress is still being stonewalled.
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 1, 2011
      I've been following this investigation for about 6 months now. It is very
      depressing that Congress is still being stonewalled.




      Death in the Desert: Project Gunwalker and the ATF Cover-Up
      By T.L. Davis

      On December 14, 2010, a firefight erupted in the Arizona desert. When the
      smoke had cleared, Customs and Border Protection Agent Brian Terry was dead,
      and the seeds of a scandal had been sown. Some of the rank and file of the
      Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE), often
      referred to as the ATF, began to grow concerned that a new development in Project
      Gunrunner probably had resulted in the death of Agent Terry.

      First word of the incident began to appear on CleanUpATF.org, a
      whistle-blower website dedicated to "returning the integrity, accountability and
      decency to the ATF." Two Second Amendment advocates, Mike Vanderboegh of the
      blog Sipsey Street Irregulars and David Codrea, a writer at Gun Rights
      Examiner.com, became immediately aware of the posts, and their interest pushed
      them to collaborate and use their own sources within the ATF to confirm the
      allegations being made.

      The pair independently corroborated the existence of a deviation from
      Project Gunrunner which they began to sardonically refer to as Project
      Gunwalker. Sources told them of the unstated policy to provide assault weapons to
      straw buyers, who would walk the guns over the border and sell them to
      members of the Mexican drug cartels for the purpose of manufacturing evidence.

      One source of resistance to this development came from Darren Gil, then ATF
      attaché to Mexico, who felt strongly that the Mexican authorities should
      be made aware of the change in tactics. Gil brought his concerns to Special
      Agent in Charge of the Phoenix Office William D. Newell. Despite Gil's
      insistence, Newell refused to inform Mexico of the Bureau's intent. Frustrated
      and considering Newell's refusal to be a significant international policy
      error, Gil went to Newell's superiors in Washington. One can only speculate
      as to the conversations that took place, but Gil has since retired from the

      With no further objections, the cynical plan allegedly was put into effect,
      and a string of subsequent events were unleashed. If played right,
      however, the Obama administration would get their "evidence," and the ATF could
      count on increased resources to pursue the very problem they were
      facilitating. That did not take into account the events that unfolded on the night of
      December 14 -- events which resulted in the death of Agent Terry.

      Vanderboegh and Codrea relentlessly pursued the facts as presented to them
      by numerous and separate sources. They recognized that if true, the
      allegations would spell a serious breach of the public trust and the prospect of
      criminal activity within the ATF.

      Finally, with facts in hand, they sought protection for their sources
      before going public. They approached several staff members on the Senate
      Judiciary Committee. They were directed from one person to the next. It was a
      struggle to ensure the safety of the agents putting their lives and careers on
      the line to expose the actions of the ATF. Eventually, Vanderboegh and
      Codrea obtained assurances that their informants would come under the
      whistle-blower protections offered by Senator Grassley of Iowa, ranking member of
      the Judiciary Committee. What follows is an excerpt of a letter from Grassley
      to Acting Director of the ATF Melson:

      ***Members of the Judiciary Committee have received numerous allegations
      that the ATF sanctioned the sale of hundreds of assault weapons to suspected
      straw purchasers, who then allegedly transported these weapons throughout
      the southwestern border area and into Mexico. According to the allegations,
      one of these individuals purchased three assault rifles with cash in
      Glendale, Arizona on January 16, 2010. Two of the weapons were then allegedly
      used in a firefight on December 14, 2010 against Customs and Border Protection
      (CBP) agents, killing CBP Agent Brian Terry.***

      On January 30, 2011, there came word that the ATF in Phoenix, instead of
      helping Senator Grassley get to the bottom of the allegations, had begun to
      exert retaliatory pressure against agents suspected of blowing the whistle
      on the operation. The following is an excerpt from the subsequent letter
      sent from Grassley to Acting Director Melson upon hearing of the retaliation:

      ***As you know, I wrote you on Thursday, January 27, regarding serious
      allegations associated with Project Gunrunner and the death of Customs and
      Protection Agent Brian Terry. Although the staff briefing I requested has not
      been scheduled, it appears that the ATF is reacting in less productive ways
      to my request. I understand that Assistant Special Agent in Charge (ASAC)
      George Gillette of the ATF's Phoenix office questioned one of the individual
      agents who answered my staff's questions about Project Gunrunner.***

      Mike Vanderboegh is now reporting that the answer to this letter from
      Senator Grassley has been the January 31 promotion of William D. Newell to
      Darren Gil's previous position of Mexican attaché to the ATF. Theoretically,
      this would leave Gillette -- a person already alleged by the whistle-blowers
      to be deeply involved in coercion of the informants -- in charge of the
      Phoenix office.



      There is a new little wrinkle in Attorney General Eric Holder's claims of
      ignorance regarding the Gunrunner Scandal – Holder's Department of Justice
      requested and received $10 million in funding specifically for "Project
      Gunrunner" as part of Obama's 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, aka
      the Stimulus Bill.

      The damning evidence can be found on page 16 of the Act, under the heading
      "Department of Justice" and subheading "Office of Justice Programs"!
      According to the Library of Congress the section reads as follows:

      "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."

      Eric Holder not only knew about Gunrunner, he requested $10 million to fund
      it. The only question now is, how much did Barack Obama know and when did
      he know it?

      "You've got people who are dead. You have weapons that are missing and you
      have an administration that doesn't seem to want to take any accountability
      for it," Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT).

      Like something out of a bad conspiracy movie, it is beginning to appear
      that Holder agreed to the now infamous "Gunrunner/Gun Walking/Fast & Furious"
      program in part to help Second Amendment hating Leftists who sought to
      impose gun control by "proving" that law abiding American gun shops were
      responsible for Mexican gang violence.

      The plan might have worked brilliantly were it not for one murdered U.S.
      border patrol agent and a handful of dedicated ATF agents brave and honorable
      enough to blow the whistle on their own organization's shameful sellout of
      the U.S. Constitution.

      Even now, as the true cost and body count resulting from Holder's betrayal
      become evident, the Left just isn't ready to give up. Rep. Elijah Cummings
      (D-MD) said in a statement that "no legitimate examination of this issue
      will be complete without analyzing our nation's gun laws, which allow tens of
      thousands of assault weapons to flood into Mexico from the United States
      every year, including fifty caliber sniper rifles, multiple AK variants, and
      scores of others." Rep. Cummings apparently does not care that it was the
      U.S. Government, not its citizens, who sent these guns – in violation of
      standing U.S. law – to Mexico in the first place. Anything to kill the Second
      Amendment – even killing our own brave border patrol field agents!

      As the damning evidence and criminal implications mount, Eric Holder's
      Department of Justice seems intent upon stonewalling – adding contempt of
      Congress to the possible list of charges levied against the ATF and DOJ.

      ATF supervisors, acting as Holder's "yes men" and co-conspirators have
      already been caught red handed in a web of lies poured upon a suspicious
      Congress and a shocked nation. While supervisors told the House Oversight
      Committee that no guns were ever allowed across the border, whistle blowing ATF
      field agents have provided ample evidence to the contrary. For every document
      the ATF powerbrokers have refused to turn over, brave agents-on-the-ground
      have turned over their own records, including emails from the very
      supervisors denying "Project Gun Walker" (now being called "Project Gunrunner" by
      the mainstream media) which, in the higher-ups' own words and directives,
      confirms the entire gun walking operation.

      ATF supervisors, surprised that their lies had been exposed, are now
      refusing to turn documents over to House Oversight Chairman Chairman Darrell
      Issa's investigators, claiming the need for redaction of sensitive and
      classified information. Chairman Issa has made it clear that he wants these
      documents unmolested. But given the current state of our criminal government, it
      is doubtful he will receive the evidence any time soon, if at all.

      We must stand up for our rights before a corrupt Eric Holder and tyrannical
      Barack Obama seize our guns and our liberty without any hope of
      restoration or renewal.

      defending a Columbian gun running scam since 2007

      The DOJ/ATF "Gun Walker" scandal isn't the first time Eric Holder's name
      has come up in association with gun runners and terrorist organizations. Just
      a few years ago Holder acted as defense attorney for one of the largest
      gun running scandals in recent history.

      In 2007, then private attorney Eric Holder defended the group that funneled
      $1.7 million into the Columbian group AUC (Autodefensas Unidas de
      Colombia) – a U.S. designated terrorist organization. In addition to funding,
      Chiquita International Brands (CIB) helped the group illegally import over 3,000
      AK-47s and 5 million rounds of ammunition into a country ripped apart by
      drug wars. And Eric Holder not only defended CIB, he initially argued to
      the court that CIB had done nothing wrong. When that did not work, he helped
      CIB negotiate a relatively small fine and eliminate legal penalties for
      the CIB employees who facilitated the illicit weapons transactions.

      Now it comes to light that Eric Holder's own U.S. Department of Justice,
      through its reporting agency the ATF, instituted a policy of assisting in the
      illegal export of guns to Mexican drug cartels. ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco and
      Firearms) agents reportedly not only turned a blind eye toward illegal gun
      sales, field agents were forced by superiors to actively facilitate the
      transfers. And in at least one case, that of Border Patrol Agent Brian
      Terry, the cartels used those "gun walked" weapons to murder U.S. officers.

      In his recent testimony before Congress, Eric Holder claimed absolutely no
      knowledge of the "Gun Walker" program. But given his previous work with
      gun runners, it is not far-fetched to imagine that Holder not only knew, but
      had a large hand in the program.

      Frankly, the ongoing DOJ/ATF "Gun Walker" scandal represents only the
      latest in a long line of disgraces associated with Attorney General Eric Holder,
      including numerous instances of his refusal to enforce or even abide by
      the law, such as the New Black Panthers voter intimidation case, the ACORN
      Voter corruption and funding scandals, federal court orders regarding
      "ObamaCare" and Congressional subpoenas, and his shocking dereliction of duty
      regarding the Defense of Marriage Act. Rather than stand as the "top cop" and
      ultimate sentinel and protector of our nation's rule of law, Holder seems
      to be far more interested in traducing the law to suit his own cronies,
      radical friends, colleagues, business associates – plus random "clients" and
      high bidders. How much longer will we tolerate corruption and outright
      trampling of the Constitution from America's highest law enforcement office?
      Our current Attorney General is not fit to lead the Department of Justice.

      Congressional hearings into the "Gun Walker" case are happening now, so we
      must act quickly to ensure the Department of Justice can be cleansed of the
      cancer destroying it from within. Please fax or email Congress now!

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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