Patterico's Pontifications


The Latest Obama Friday Night Document Dump: Fast and Furious

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 2:35 pm

You know it worries them because of the timing:

Late Friday, the White House turned over new documents in the Congressional investigation into the ATF “Fast and Furious” gunwalking scandal.

The documents show extensive communications between then-ATF Special Agent in Charge of the Phoenix office Bill Newell – who led Fast and Furious – and then-White House National Security Staffer Kevin O’Reilly. Emails indicate the two also spoke on the phone. Such detailed, direct communications between a local ATF manager in Phoenix and a White House national security staffer has raised interest among Congressional investigators looking into Fast and Furious. Newell has said he and O’Reilly are long time friends.

Keep up the pressure.

31 Responses to “The Latest Obama Friday Night Document Dump: Fast and Furious”

  1. If Kevin O’Reilly is on assignment in Iraq for the State Department, perhaps Hillary Clinton might be available to answer a few questions under oath for the Congressional Committee.

    A US agency, the ATF, using taxpayer funds so straw buyers (strangely approved by the FBI) could flood a neighboring country with illegal firearms is certainly a matter that falls within the responsibilities of the State Department.

    I’d like to hear what Secretary Clinton has to say after she takes the oath to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

    ropelight (e415b4)

  2. it won’t make a lick of difference. at this point, you could show a video of Obama pushing the stool up an impoverished boys rear end, and you’d be a racist for questioning the motivations of our dear leader.

    his heart was in the right place. the ends justify the means. I mean, do you really think the leftists give two shits about dead LEO’s? especially border patrol. they’re the enemy.

    at this point, if they haven’t figured out what’s going on, they don’t want to.

    mark (e93f5d)

  3. Especially since it is her Dept of State that must approve all export licenses for firearms shipped from the United States to foreign countries.

    Another Drew - Restore the Republic / Obama Sucks! (5ac6ff)

  4. Obama lied, people died.

    Tutu (1870ab)

  5. “You know it worries them because of the timing:”

    I suspect they’re worried because they’re afraid someone might have left a paper trail by mistake.

    Dave Surls (28f866)

  6. nobody died in Watergate. Where is the press?

    quasimodo (793ff1)

  7. Nothing to see here. Also, Romney’s a Mormon. A Mormon! You shouldn’t vote for him. Or Perry.

    MSDNC (e48b3e)

  8. I could write a lot about what I’m reading here, but with only limited time available, let me say this.

    IMO, two culprits here in the boneheaded investigative strategy of the ATF is the fact that it’s ability to act is in large measure held hostage by the fact that the gun sales are tied to larger OCDETF investigations of Mexican cartels, and the fact that the multi-faceted Southwest Border Initiative tends to swallow up the individual investigative strategies of individual agencies.

    I’ll follow up on this as I have time today. But here are a couple of things to keep in mind.

    The arrow chart, IMO, tracks ALL sales of firearms, regardless of type, from FFLs in Arizona, which are later identified by serial numbers based on seizures in Mexico. The chart is not limited to simply those weapons that end up in Mexican crime scenes, nor does it mean that every firearm reflected by the arrow as “walked” by ATF — i.e., ATF monitored the sale transaction and then allowed the “straw buyer” to take the gun and traffic it across the border into Mexico.

    Its clear that ATF did engage in the latter two “tactics”, and I can see in some of these email exchanges the reasons for doing so.

    One that sticks out is the complaint about the US Attorney’s Office being unwilling to indict straw buyers unless there was evidence that the purchase of the weapon was part of a scheme to place the weapon with a DTO for illegal purposes. ATF rightly complains about this in one of the emails.

    This is the long email about the USAO wanting ATF agents to personally inspect the weapons in Mexico before it would indict the straw buyer in connection with the transaction. This requirement does put the ATF agents in a difficult position in terms of building a prosecutable case if you want them to intercept the straw buyer outside the gun store in order to prevent the gun from ending up in Mexico. Based on the email, it seems to me that the US Attorney’s Office was telling ATF they would not prosecute a straw purchaser under those circumstances. I don’t know what the rationale would be for that decision.

    I think this is where the case agents became uncomfortable — and tensions between agents and prosecutors are common in all types of cases on the issue addressed here: where the agent thinks there is enough evidence to make an arrest and take down the contraband, but the prosecutor is telling the agent that the evidence sufficient to make the arrest isn’t sufficient to gain a conviction at trial, so the agents need to do more. In this instance, “doing more” seems to be allowing the straw buyer to leave with the gun, with the hope/expectation that the gun would turn up with a Mexican DTO, thereby giving the prosecutor better evidence with which to prove the case.

    I can easily see ATF agents being very uncomfortable with this requirement, but being told by higher-ups that doing so was necessary to get the cases charged, and getting the cases charged was necessary to trying to “work up the latter” from the straw purchasers to the middlemen to the real buyers.

    It was the job of the US Attorney in Arizona to overrule his line AUSA who was requiring this much evidence from ATF. It seems to me that instead of doing that, he backed his line prosecutor in making this a prerequisite to charging the cases.

    And I think that is why the resignation of Dennis Burke as US Attorney a few weeks ago was the first “head to roll” here.

    shipwreckedcrew (757c1e)

  9. OCDETF — Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force.

    These are multi-agency task forces that receive funding from a budget passed by Congress independent of the individual agency budgets. They engage in long-term investigations of “organizations”, rather that individuals. The idea of naming “Operations” comes form OCDETF, as every enforcement initiative they conduct begins with an OCDETF proposal written by a case agent, which is then presented to the regional OCDETF oversight committee — usually headed by an AUSA who is an OCDETF attorney (based on his/her designation by the US Attorney in that particular OCDETF region). The investigation is accepted/rejected for OCDETF funding by the committee. If OCDETF funding is approved, that gives the agent access to a separate fund for “buy” money or funds for operational expenses for specialized equipment separate from his agency’s budget (which has many demands upon it). The OCDETF operations are monitored with 90 progress reports to the oversight committee. Unproductive OCDETF investigations are shut down by terminating funding, while productive investigations can go on for years.

    These kinds of investigations can include wiretaps, financial analysis, long-term surveillance, etc. That’s why the funding comes from a separate source — and individual investigation like this would punch a big hole in a lot of agency budgets, and without a separate source of funding, individual agencies probably wouldn’t green light them.

    So, where these gun purchases are tied up in larger OCDETF investigations that exist independent of the individual agency initiative (Gun Runner), the OCDETF priorities and goals usually trump because of the time and money that is being expended. An agent with a prosecutable case that might compromise the goals of an ongoing OCDETF investigation will be told that his case won’t be indicted until the OCDETF investigation is terminated, because the “discovery” in the smaller case would expose the existence of the OCDETF investigation.

    shipwreckedcrew (757c1e)

  10. By next Friday afternoon, the ATF will have been disappeared.

    Patricia (1832e5)

  11. Hillary would have the same answer she had under oath in the Whitewater investigation: “I don’t recall”.

    PatAZ (c65c00)

  12. I bet a lot of people are going to have a sudden onset of memory problems in the days to come.

    Dave Surls (28f866)

  13. Comment by Patricia — 10/1/2011 @ 5:37 pm

    I sort of wonder about that Patricia.
    There is a news report from Oregon of a woman being declined from purchasing a firearm due to having an Oregon Medical MJ card – as per ATF instructions to FFL’s. Yet, as an FFL, I have received no such notice from the ATF. Of course, if we enforced the ruling about “use of mind-altering, chemical substances” here in CA, we’d never be able to sell a gun to anyone (Heh!).

    Another Drew - Restore the Republic / Obama Sucks! (5ac6ff)

  14. ‘The “liar, liar pants on fire” argument usually isn’t the most effective. But when it comes to guns, President Obama is lying through his teeth.’

    ‘On Thursday, while on a visit to Mexico, the president continued his Blame America First tour. “This war is being waged with guns purchased not here but in the United States,” he said, referring to the drug wars that are tearing apart our neighbor to the south. “More than 90 percent of the guns recovered in Mexico come from the United States, many from gun shops that lay in our shared border.”’–Washington Times editorial 4/20/09

    Funny how right when El Jefe was trying to blame American gun dealers for Mexican violence (and lying about the details) the feds start forcing gun dealers to supply guns to Mexican drug dealers.

    What a coincidence.

    Don’t tell me this scumbag and his friends aren’t behind all this.

    That, I ain’t buying.

    They were deliberately trying to stir up violence in Mexico in order to justify shutting down gun sales here (and eventually they intend to completely disarm the American populace, of course), thus infringing on our 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

    And, they murdered people doing it.

    Nothing new for Democrats. They’ve murdered lots of folks over the years, and they pretty much constantly wipe their ass on the Constitution. So, this is just business as usual.

    Dave Surls (28f866)

  15. The Mexican government should take this case to the United Nations I think and have the General Assemble vote to condemn these horrific human rights abuses perpetrated by the United States government.

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  16. *Assembley* I mean I think I’m a need coffee

    I watched Jarmusch’s Stranger than Paradise this afternoon and it mellowed me out plus mi supermercado was out of diet mountatin dew so I got “diet sundrop” instead

    I’m not sure it has the same kick

    I need to google

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  17. oh. It has plenty of kick apparently.

    Among soft drinks, it is known for its high caffeine content (63 mg per 12 oz can, 9 mg higher than a 12 oz can of Mountain Dew, but not as much as Vault with 70.5 mg per 12 oz can).

    apparently it’s been around since the 30s

    nobody tells me anything

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  18. Mexico should take this case to the Hague, because we know the Left has always had the highest respect for the International Criminal Court – it is only the VRWC which ignores it.

    Another Drew - Restore the Republic / Obama Sucks! (5ac6ff)

  19. Can I make sure I have this whole thing right:

    A federal law enforcement agency sold guns to Mexican drug cartels to prove that the legal sale of guns in the U.S. was contributing to illegal gun sales to Mexican drug cartels resulting in the deaths of many Mexican nationals as well as at least one U.S. federal agent.

    Do I have that right?

    So, the point was apparently to say that legal U.S. gun sales contribute to the drug cartels because they buy guns illegaly.

    Do I have that right?

    Now, I just want to make sure I’m following this, so bear with me.

    Maybe the problem is the illegal drug trade caused by millions of leftists and slackers who like to snoot and toke and not the legal sale of guns?

    Yet, the target was intended to be the legal sale of guns?

    Did I miss something? Other than the fact that the administration is utterly hopeless at governing and is, what’s the word? Stupid?

    Also, help me out one last time. Why isn’t this a scandal?

    Ag80 (bae7ed)

  20. Why isn’t this a scandal?

    Because the MSM (with one or two notable exceptions) refuses to touch it with a ten-foot pole.
    It will go viral when it’s on the front page, above the fold, of the NYT; but not before.
    If it isn’t in The Times, it isn’t news – in the ingrained beliefs of the media herd.

    Interestingly, the NRA is a UN-approved and recognized NGO, which I believe, would give them standing to file a complaint at the ICC at The Hague.
    The question is, would the ICC render an indictment against a Progressive politician within the U.S.Govt for acts against another sovereign country, and the deaths of citizens of that country?

    Another Drew - Restore the Republic / Obama Sucks! (5ac6ff)

  21. The windy city mythomaniac is continuing to kill the m.s.m. A.B.C. may be exiting the closet.

    sickofrinos (44de53)

  22. Shipwreckedcrew explanation no doubt correctly describes how some ops work. But his explanation seems to have little relevance to what we’ve learned of ATF and FBI conduct. It does not explain ATF direct purchases on ATF letterhead shipped to cartels. Nor orders not to track or surveillance. Nor that no arrests were made until it blew up. Orders to FFLs to force them to sell to suspicious buyers even as the admin was demonizing those dealers and writing illegal regulations to punish them.

    SPQR (8f25c3)

  23. Perhaps it is a matter of perspective:
    The view of a career prosecutor who wishes to ensure Justice Under the Law, and political appointees who have an agenda and are willing to do most anything to advance it?

    When your local USA is a career political hack (as was whatishisname in AZ who was tied to Napolitano’s hemline) and has never demonstrated anything other than partisan motives; well, bad things have a tendency to happen.

    Another Drew - Restore the Republic / Obama Sucks! (26b465)

  24. Remember that as this was going on the admin,Obama and Hillary, were brazenly lying about the numbers of guns going to Mexico via US gun shops.

    SPQR (8f25c3)

  25. When has a Liberal-Progressive-Democrat ever spoken truthfully about the presence of firearms, and the 2nd-Amendment, in this Republic?

    This operation was nothing but a scheme to prove the meme that they had already been advancing.

    Another Drew - Restore the Republic / Obama Sucks! (26b465)

  26. Well, it gets betterer and betterer:

    Now, we learn of another operation in the ATF’s AZ office called “Wide Receiver“,
    but DoJ is still stone-walling Sen.Cornyn over what was happening out of the Dallas and Houston offices; not to mention the schemes in Indiana, and Florida.

    Another Drew - Restore the Republic / Obama Sucks! (26b465)

  27. SPQR — my comments were limited to what I was reading in the documents that were released on Friday. I haven’t read the source documents from which the other allegations have been gleaned. If there is a convenient link to those, I would like to see them.

    As is the case in many instances such as this, reporters — both left and right — mischaracterize things they read when they don’t understand them. Such as the relationship between and agency initiative like GRIT, and a connected investigation under OCDETF.

    shipwreckedcrew (757c1e)

  28. Re the ATF direct purchase of the Draco handguns.

    The obvious reason for the letter was that the ATF didn’t want the standard purchase forms to have the name of a known ATF agent on them. If the purchases are for an undercover operation, that makes sense. No federal agency is going to have its agents’ true name listed on some piece of paperwork that it can’t control. Since the FFL keeps a copy of the ATF form listed, then Dodson can’t purchase them in his own name. So the letter from Voth to the FFL ACCURATELY states the law — that federal agencies are exempt from the registration requirements if the weapons being purchased are to be used in official agency activity.

    That is a different question from whether it was wise to conduct an undercover operation that involved an agent posing as a straw buyer to persons involved in the pipeline of getting assault weapons transferred from the US to Mexico.

    It is always HIGHLY QUESTIONABLE when an operation involves allowing any form of contraband to enter commerce after that contraband is in the possession of law enforcement. This is never done without senior approval.

    In this instance, however, the Draco handguns would not be “contraband”. It is not illegal to own them or sell them, so long as the correct paperwork is completed and they haven’t been illegally modified.

    Nevertheless, there is a dubious and doubtful enforcement mindset behind this type of operation.

    And, I will say without too much fear of contradiction, that most ATF agents do not join that particular agency because they have a love for the 2nd Amendment.

    shipwreckedcrew (757c1e)

  29. “And, I will say without too much fear of contradiction, that most ATF agents do not join that particular agency because they have a love for the 2nd Amendment.”

    I about died laughing at that one.

    Dave Surls (28f866)

  30. Don’t get too far out in front of the memos that are all the rage today.

    They don’t say as much as Holder critics are claiming, and its entirely likely these kinds of memos end up on the desks of AG Office staffers, and not on the AG or DAG desks.

    Don’t let the real issues get overshawdowed by “red herring” allegations made by reporters who don’t understand what they are writing about.

    shipwreckedcrew (dd1bdb)

  31. I will tolerate the Mannchurian in the white house when pigs fly out of my butt.

    DohBiden (d54602)

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