Patterico's Pontifications


How Big Was Operation Gunrunner? And Did One of the Gunrunner Guns Kill an ICE Agent?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:32 am

Multiple agencies are involved, and there are signs that Alabama and Oregon are involved. We also see more tie-ins with Texas, including another group of gun smugglers arrested.

By the way, my post last night set forth evidence indicating that the gun used to kill ICE Agent Jaime Zapata may have been part of Operation Gunrunner. Add this point to the list of evidence: the indictment of the straw purchasers lists 38 guns they bought between July and November 2010. (One, purchased in October 2010, was one of the Zapata murder weapons.) An affidavit in the case says they gave 40 guns to a CI in November 2010 for the purpose of running them to Mexico.

We don’t know whether the murder weapon was one of those guns, but those numbers (38 and 40) are pretty close, making it seem likely that the Zapata murder weapon was in that shipment. And why didn’t they arrest the straw purchasers the day this transaction was made? Clearly because, at that point, they wanted the operation to remain covert.

And part of keeping it covert would be to allow the CI to deliver the guns to the recipients. Right?

I think the feds had Zapata’s murder weapon in their hands, and let it go. I think that, in February 2011, Zapata was murdered with a gun that literally slipped through the fingers of ATF agents.

Doesn’t it seem that way?

ANOTHER REASON TO DOUBT THE GOVERNMENT COVER STORY: According to the affidavit, the CI was requested on November 5, and took possession of the 40 guns from the straw purchasers on November 9.

So these guys spend months buying these 40 guns, and then turn them all over to a guy they just met??

No. That is ridiculous. The CI mentioned in the affidavit was clearly known to the purchasers well before November 9, 2010, when they gave him the guns to run to Mexico. Meaning the CI had been used before, with these straw purchasers. And the straw purchasers trusted him to deliver the goods . . . because he had before.

27 Responses to “How Big Was Operation Gunrunner? And Did One of the Gunrunner Guns Kill an ICE Agent?”

  1. btw, i think i saw where obama was asked about the scandal and he said he had no idea this was going on.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  2. The gun owners community is livid about this scandal. First of all, everyone is furious that ATF’s usual pattern of incompetence (that’s not invective, that’s historical fact) has been connected to the death of a law enforcement agent.

    Secondly, we heard a lot of propaganda from the Obama administration which cast the firearms industry as being the bad guys in guns going over the border. At the very same time that Obama, Holder and Clinton were brazenly lying about that gun smuggling, the ATF was coercing gun dealers into selling to suspicious buyers.

    That the ATF was manufacturing the very crimes that they were demanding more authority to stop is all too typical of the behavior of this incompetent, rogue agency.

    Disband the ATF now. There is nothing they do that can’t be done better by other Federal LEO, if it needs to be done at all.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  3. Let me be clear i have always said that i believe in the 2nd amendment.

    Let me be clear i have always said we should mind our own buisness in regards to war.

    Let me be clear your a sucker if you fall for my hypocritical lies.

    DohBiden (984d23)

  4. Yes SPQR if you would just let Maobama be clear for 5 seconds he would try to justify himself to us peons


    DohBiden (984d23)

  5. I live in Birmingham and know many of the local gun dealers. They take ATF very seriously because that agency can shut down their businesses at will. I fully agree with SPQR that we should get rid of ATF ASAP.

    Arch (24f4f2)

  6. btw, i think i saw where obama was asked about the scandal and he said he had no idea this was going on.

    They’re going to try that ‘plausible deniability’ card? I thought that only happened in movies now.

    Obama promised the most transparent administration in history, and yet he didn’t even know his administration was sending thousands of guns to criminals? They were talking about the lawless border, and guns from America, and fighting Arizona’s desperate effort to protect itself… and Obama never looked into this activity?

    What other horrible ideas is his administration working on, that Obama ‘has no idea’ about?

    Dustin (c16eca)

  7. I’d like to know how widespread these Operation Gunrunner transactions were/are. For starters, how many gun dealers in how many States reported suspicious purchasers to the ATF but were told to go ahead with the sales anyway?

    DRJ (fdd243)

  8. DRJ – You are not cleared for that knowledge.

    daleyrocks (9b57b3)

  9. DRJ, the ATF is refusing to tell us that.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  10. What right does DRJ have to know what the ATF was doing, anyway? They are being perfectly reasonable public servants to refuse to tell us anything they don’t want us to know.

    After all, this entire story proves they are trustworthy.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  11. Why would anyone think that Obama knew about “Gunwalker”? If you think he did, then you must think that he is in control of what goes on in his administration. He’s not. Samantha Powers is running our foreign policy in Libya. Other handmaidens have been tasked with running the rest of the departments, as Obama continues to travel, throw tony parties, and campaign. There are only so many hours in a day, and meeting with cabinet members are not on the schedule. Or have you forgotten that Obama rarely meets with cabinet members?

    Pinocchio In Chief is only the puppet, whose strings are pulled by those operating behind the scenes. Yet, as is with true of all administrations, the buck stops at his desk, and the failures and mistakes of his administration will eventually lead back directly to him. Unfortunately, not soon enough.

    The idiocy of the whole “Gunwalker” program is that those guns, which were purchased in the U.S., were never going to be put into the hands of the drug cartel hiarchy. They were turned into low level lieutenants who warehoused them, handing them out as needed. Too bad that those running the AFT didn’t have the intellect to know that.

    I think it was well known that the ATF program was a total bust, but the narrative had been set, and so those like Hillary Clinton, Dianne Feinstein, et al, put out the false premise that 90% of the weapons smuggled into Mexico were arms that were purchased in the U.S. It was a lie then, it is a lie now.

    Let’s not forget that Mexico, along with its current president, Calderon, and its previous criminal in office, Vicente Fox, has a policy of blaming the U.S. for all its ills, inspite of its immense wealth. Mexico, like all Spanish speaking nations, is a caste system, and the hiarchy likes it that way. Carlos Slim has once again gained the honor of being the wealthiest man in the world. When we are blaming the U.S. for guns, and violence in Mexico, we ignore the facts on the ground, that that very violence has crossed into our nation, that Americans are dying at the hands of illegal Mexicans daily, that we are supporting the peons that Mexico doesn’t want to support (although it has the money to do so), and that Mexico via its corruption, is basically a third world nation out of control.

    George Bush refused to hold Vicente Fox’s feet to the fire; Obama is buying Calderon dinner before he bends over for him.

    retire05 (63d9af)

  12. retire, I think the point is that Obama promised to be in control of this kind of thing. His promises of transparency and reform meant he would make this kind of thing his business. His commentary on this very issue of border guns shows he was taking a personal interest, and he could easily have asked the ATF to brief him on this issue.

    Personally, I think Obama was aware at some level, and also overwhelmed with all the challenged of leadership. A stronger leader would know to tone down this operation and face the people driving it this hard, but Obama isn’t that man.

    He is, to some extent, and absentee president, playing golf and vacation while other people do his job. So perhaps you’re right.

    either way, I think it’s fair to blame Obama for this kind of administration action. This isn’t a low level rogue screwing up, but a well planned and long running operation, and he’s simply the man ultimately responsible for such things.

    You’re right about Mexico. And as a purely practical matter, American leaders need to fix that, even if it’s not the isolationism some prefer. It affects American families that Mexico is a hellhole.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  13. Dustin, the bottom line is that Obama is AWOL. He is POTUSINO. He is not running the show, accepting the obligation of being CIC. So it is not out of the line of reason (at least to me) that he is/was unaware of what was going on in the ATF. He would have to have been in control to have knowledge of the program. Obama has shown us that being POTUSINO is just a party gig. What fun to get to ride on Marine One and be served arugula on AF1. But still, all roads lead to the Oval Office.

    What kind of people do we have running the ATF that thinks they can track illegal guns once those guns cross our southern border? We would have to assume that the Mexican police, Army and politians are honest. They are not. We have been aware that the corruption in Mexico goes all the way to the top since the brutal death of Kiki Camerena.

    I am sick of our presidents who worry that we are going to piss off the Mexican government. What the hell does Mexico do for us? It is NOT a good friend, or even a friendly neighbor. A highly decorated dead Houston cop seems to be a small price when it comes to our foreign policy with Mexico.

    How about this: we will stop the flow of guns into Mexico and demand that Mexico stop the flow of drugs, and humans, into our nation from their side of the border. Mexican policy allows Hondurans to chase El Norte as long as those Hondurans don’t rest to long in Mexico. Otherwise, those Hondurans, and others, will suffer jail and abuse at the hands of the Mexican. And if Mexico doesn’t like that deal, we can simply make American travel to Mexico off limits, just like Cuba.

    retire05 (63d9af)

  14. SPQR, daleyrocks, Dustin:

    Actually, I was thinking on a much smaller scale. Patterico’s links that incidents of gunwalking may have occurred in Alabama and Oregon were based on bloggers/reporters asking gun dealers in those states whether they had reported suspicious purchasers to the ATF but were told to make the sales anyway. Anyone who goes to gun stores could ask the same thing, couldn’t they? It would be interesting to see if this happening in more than just the border states.

    DRJ (fdd243)

  15. retire05,

    I wish Obama were as clueless as you suggest but I don’t think he is. Frankly, this sounds exactly like the kind of operation a community organizer would think up and embrace, albeit on a much larger scale and with government backing.

    DRJ (fdd243)

  16. Dustin, the bottom line is that Obama is AWOL.

    Yup. Not to dismiss your other points, but this is indeed the bottom line.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  17. DRJ, it would be interesting to do some mass open journalism like that. I’ll suggest it on some of the boards like Codrea’s that are following this.

    But I don’t expect a lot of success. Dealers are terrified of the ATF’s high-handed tactics. Justifiably so.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  18. This is just a plot the gungrabbers will use to justify disarming you.

    DohBiden (984d23)

  19. DRJ – Obama learned plausible deniability by watching Daley in Chicago. So far they have not been able (or tried very hard) to tag him with his Rezko or Blago connections, among others. I think he learned a few things from the machine.

    daleyrocks (9b57b3)

  20. SPQR,

    True, some gun dealers at those links were reluctant to talk and I understand why, but a few store clerks weren’t.

    I think implementing Operation Gunrunner in border states makes sense, although the out-of-control way it’s been managed in the last 2 years doesn’t make sense. But it makes even less sense to let it happen in interior states, where it seems to me that many guns are likely to end up in the hands of cartel-linked criminals operating in the U.S.

    DRJ (fdd243)

  21. daleyrocks,

    All Presidents are insulated by their supporters but it’s hard to erase all traces of responsibility, plus how many of his supporters will be willing to take the fall for him? If Holder or a subordinate is willing to fall on their swords, so be it. I submit it’s the Clinton Way as well as the Chicago Way, and I expect that to happen. But it’s still worth it to see how high it goes.

    DRJ (fdd243)

  22. “I fully agree with SPQR that we should get rid of ATF…”


    Dave Surls (8d673a)

  23. Lefty gungrabbers want to disarm us.

    DohBiden (984d23)

  24. “But it’s still worth it to see how high it goes.”

    DRJ – I have absolutely no disagreement with that sentiment at all. I’m just pointing out he’s done a very good job of covering his tracks up to this point.

    daleyrocks (9b57b3)

  25. Hillary Clinton is apparently receiving a lot of focus right now. Darrell Issa is going after her and requesting she provide his office with “meeting minutes, briefing notes, e-mails and cables relating to any such meeting or meetings that may have occurred from June through September 2010”, as well as explaining in detail the reasons behind her refusal to answer him directly. He seems tenacious and determined to find out how high this went, and who gave their seal of approval to the operation.

    If Hillary Clinton refuses to comply, he can subpoena her. I think it would be incredible to see that happen.

    Dana (9f3823)

  26. In April, 2009, Obama falsely claimed that some 90% of the guns recovered in Mexico came from the US. That was a totally bogus number and Obama was widely and accurately ridiculed for it (except by the lick-spittle msm). Obama was either very confused or deliberately lying. Although a hefty percentage of weapons used in Mexican crimes are from the US, an accurate figure would be nowhere near 90%.

    The April 2009 imbroglio also involved Holder, DHS, and the BATF

    From American Thinker April 2009:

    [“The ambassador used the 90 percent number to justify new gun bans in the United States. Mr. Obama, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano all have made policy recommendations based on this claim.]

    Perhaps the publicly proclaimed bogus stats of April 2009 was the origin for this idiotic Gunwalker scheme.

    LaFong (6c7b85)

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