Welcome to the American Revolution II

Welcome to the American Revolution II
But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.
"We face a hostile ideology global in scope, atheistic in character, ruthless in purpose and insidious in method..." and warned about what he saw as unjustified government spending proposals and continued with a warning that "we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex... The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist... Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together."Dwight D. Eisenhower

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Obama stimulus funded 'guns-to-drug-lords' plan

"One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors" -Plato

 Obama stimulus funded 'guns-to-drug-lords' plan Just a day after U.S. Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., called for Attorney General Eric Holder's removal, alleging a White House connection to the "Project Gunrunner" that allowed weapons to be delivered to Mexican drug lords, confirmation has come that the program originated at the highest levels of the Obama administration.

The link is the $10 million in taxpayer dollars designated to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for Project Gunrunner in Obama's 2009 American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, otherwise known as the Stimulus Bill.

Someone in Congress knew about Gunrunner, and Obama signed funding for it into law

 “Only time “gun” or “firearm” appears is in the part that give $10,000,000 to the ATF for Project Gunrunner. That was H.R. 495, asking for 15,000,000 for Gunrunner”.
H.R. 495 that I mentioned never made it out of committee, but it looks as it was to specifically fund Gunrunner.
Instead portions of it were rolled into the stimulus package a month later. That text found in H.R.1 is:
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.
Notice that’s $40,000,000 for Southern border enforcement, $10,000,000 of which specifically for Project Gunrunner. What does $10 million pay for here? It didn’t hire any new agents.
So Obama didn’t know anything about this, but he signed $10,000,000 in funding for the program. This thing would stink on a dung pile. It’s time for indictments.

The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) began a pilot program in Laredo, Texas in 2005 with the intention to interdict the flow of weapons from the Southwest border into Mexico. As an aside, since the majority of arms traffic across the U.S. border into Mexico is being driven by drug trade, it was believe that the program would also help to stem the flow of drugs from Mexico into the United States.
Project Gunrunner, as it was dubbed, was directed at Mexican cartels and involved numerous U.S. government agencies as well as the government of Mexico.  Cooperatively, the eTrace firearms tracking system, intended to allow law enforcement in the U.S. to trace firearms movements both domestically and internationally became a key component to the program.
By early 2008, Project Gunrunner had expanded rapidly in border states and into nine U.S. consulates in Mexico. What started as a weapons tracking program became a profitable arms sales business.  $2 million in revenue was garnered through the Merida Initiative, which was hidden in a war supplemental bill.  The Merida Initiative was a program to create a partnership between U.S. law enforcement organizations and Mexican law enforcement. The Department of Justice Inspector General began to question the growth in the programs when payrolls exploded from 25 employees to more than 200 by 2009.
Under the Obama administration ATF received an additional $21.9 million to expand Project Gunrunner, half of which was hidden in the 2009 Obama Stimulus Bill.  Nearly $12 million more was requested in fiscal year 2011 appropriations.
Project Gunrunner went nearly undetected through the latter half of the Bush administration, but the program began to unravel when Mexican gangs murdered Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry last December.  After Terry’s murder, ATF agents and officials stepped forward to expose the sale of hundreds of high-powered rifles and pistols to Mexican drug cartels, despite protests from private gun shops being drawn into the sordid affair.  These are the same private business often taken to task by the Obama administration for selling weapons to criminals, while they were selling them to the worst-of-the-worst.
With federal agents testifying against their commanders, members of Congress calling for the top man's ouster and accusations that ATF is fudging its gun smuggling numbers, the political fallout itself has become fast and furious.
The operation, conducted jointly with agents from ATF, FBI, DEA and other agencies was aimed at reaching beyond the low-level "straw purchasers" of weapons and building a complex case against Mexican traffickers and their weapons brokers.

Firearms reach cartels

But the weapons purchased in gun stores in and around Phoenix, as many as 2,500, got away from ATF surveillance and eventually reached the cartels in Mexico. Two of them were recovered in December at the site in Southern Arizona where smugglers killed Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.
At his news conference Wednesday, President Barack Obama said letting guns go to Mexico "would not be an appropriate step by the ATF, and we've got to find out how that happened. ... As soon as the investigation is completed, appropriate actions will be taken."
On Capitol Hill, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, have been demanding answers from Department of Justice officials.
ATF defenders, some of them retired agents, say the problem of guns from U.S. sources winding up in Mexico is a border-wide phenomenon, and Fast and Furious is just an operation gone wrong in a sea of other cases that ended in convictions.
"The problem of guns from the U.S. ending up in Mexico goes well beyond Fast and Furious, and it was there well before Fast and Furious got started," said Michael Bouchard, the ATF's assistant director for field operations from 2004 until his retirement in 2007.
The operation yielded an indictment in January that named 20 defendants, all low-level purchasers. The indictment identified purchases of 681 guns, including 589 AK-47s.
The political uproar is just the latest battle line in the long war over gun rights versus gun control. Issa and Grassley are widely considered folk heroes to gun-rights advocates who fear liberal Democrats using U.S. guns in Mexico as fodder for more firearms restrictions.
"We've been involved in this issue ever since various folks - the president of Mexico (Felipe Calderon) and President Obama - accused firearms dealers operating legally under the Second Amendment of being the source of violence in Mexico,“ said Andrew Arulanandam, spokesman for the National Rifle Association. "They're the ones advocating more gun control as a means of addressing the problem across the border."
Today, Democrats are sponsoring a forum focused on stopping the weapons flow through gun law "improvements."
Senators Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., issued a report earlier this month, "Halting U.S. Firearms Trafficking to Mexico" that called for reinstatement of the assault weapons ban and an ATF-proposed requirement that firearms dealers report multiple purchases of assault-type weapons to the agency. They based the report on ATF data claiming 20,504 of 29,284 guns recovered in Mexico in 2009 and 2010 and submitted for tracing were U.S. sourced firearms.
That's 70 percent of the total 29,284 guns traced those years.

Ongoing investigations

According to ATF, 1,573 defendants faced charges related to firearms trafficking from 2006 to 2010 under Project Gunrunner, the ATF's five-year effort to combat weapons trafficking to Mexico. The agency has 4,600 on-going Gunrunner investigations in border jurisdictions, an ATF spokesman said.
Gun rights advocates who say ATF data is suspect point out that officials last year said 90 percent of guns traced from Mexico originated in the U.S., then downgraded it to 70 percent this year. Grassley wrote to ATF Acting Director Kenneth Melson challenging the 70 percent calculation.
"Unfortunately, this information paints a grossly inaccurate picture of the situation," he said, citing ATF figures he has showing only a quarter of weapons were traceable to the U.S.
A Hearst Newspapers survey last month of 44 gun prosecutions in Texas, Arizona, California, Nevada, Oklahoma and New Mexico pinpointed a total of 1,600 U.S.-purchased guns by brand name that were recovered in Mexico or intercepted en route.

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