07-30-2011, 11:08 AM
Gunwalker: One Step Closer to the Oval Office
| Gunwalker: One Step Closer to the Oval Office |
This week's revelations placed knowledge of the operation within the White House for the first time.
The cover-up is always worse than the crime: considering the Gunwalker scandal, it’s hard to know if that is true — for the moment. America is now a bit closer to that answer, and is also closer to an answer for the question at the heart of all Washington scandals: what did the president know, and when did he know it?
July 20: The Examiner reported that the State Department, through a little-known program called “U.S. Direct Commercial Sales,” supplied considerable small arms to the Zeta cartel. In fact, a Zeta leader has said that all of their weapons were purchased in the U.S. Evidence indicates that weapons not obtained through the State Department were obtained through straw purchasers in the Gunwalker investigation.
July 25: Fox News reported that two of the 20 people indicted in Operation Fast And Furious for making straw purchases of firearms which were primarily shipped to Mexican drug cartels were cleared by the FBI to make those purchases. Federal officials refuse to explain how this occurred.
Those who have been following the case will recall that when it began to blow up in public, 20 people — all bottom-level straw purchasers — were arrested, and claims were made that no guns were allowed to walk across the border (claims that have been exposed as false). The FBI runs the instant check system (NICS) that must be used to allow anyone to purchase a firearm, yet two convicted felons — apparently in the system as felons — were allowed to buy more than 360 weapons. The FBI has had no comment, however an ATF source told Fox that whenever the NICS flagged a felon trying to buy guns, the ATF in Phoenix was called. Obviously, the ATF and FBI allowed the purchases to go through.
July 26: The Examiner reported that in the fall of 2009, ATF agents in Mexico noticed an unusual number of American guns coming into Mexico, and were surprised to learn that many were traced back to the Phoenix ATF office. Over the year that followed, ATF agents in Mexico complained, and were told only that things were “under control” and that the investigation would end soon — but it did not end until the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in January 2011.
July 27: The Los Angeles Times reported that shortly after the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, ATF officials in Arizona and D.C. made several arrests of straw purchasers. Also, William Newell — ATF head in Arizona — sent several e-mails to his D.C. superiors, one of which admitted that guns were “walked” across the border. He defended the operation, saying: “I don’t like the perception that we allowed guns to walk.”
July 27: Hot Air reported that before Rep. Darrell Issa’s committee on July 26, William Newell testified that in September 2010 he discussed the Gunwalker case with White House National Security Director for North America Kevin O’Reilly. In relation to that communication, Newell sent O’Reilly an e-mail in which he wrote: “You didn’t get this from me.” Newell explained that O’Reilly was a long-time friend, and he shouldn’t have informed him.
The FBI certainly had to have known that the ATF was misrepresenting their forensic findings in the Terry murder, but did nothing to correct that misrepresentation to Congress or to the public, and had no comment regarding this revelation.
The most significant revelation of the week is that someone in the White House was made aware of the operation. Did the president or his chosen officials not only allow but encourage the illegal purchase and smuggling of arms into Mexico, a foolish and cynical attempt to further gun-control policies unobtainable through the legislative process? We now know that knowledge of the program was within a few steps of Obama.
Meanwhile, the MSM continues to avoid perhaps the most important, most deadly scandal in modern American history.
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