July 08, 2011

It's a Trap!

I've seen several claims in the past 24 hours that "prove" that Attorney General Eric Holder, or Congress, or the President, or the Pope, knew about Gunwalker/Fast and Furious because of a speech someone made, or because of legislation being proposed or because of a line item in the Stimulus bill.

I would strongly urge caution in these matters.

Please Keep in mind that Gunrunner is a long-term cartel weapons interdiction program that kicked off during the previous administration. there is no indication that Gunrunner has ever been anything but above-board. The program/project framework has long been used in business and government, with the program being the general vision, with individual projects/operations as steps towards realizing that vision.

It looks like this:


Project 1

Project 2

Project 3


Gunwalker/Fast and Furious was a specific secret operation or project within the much larger framework of Gunrunner. A list of all operations with the Gunrunner program is not publicly available, but I would be stunned if the total number of projects wasn't several dozen, or more, with many or most of them being covert and unknown to the public.

Gunwalker and Gunrunner are not the same thing even though they are related. We have enough evidence coming in—at a pace "fast and furious," one might say—and do not need to make leaps of logic. There is no need to jump the gun or make wild accusations.

Justice will be served.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at July 8, 2011 07:31 AM

"Justice will be served."

I think that depends on how 'justice' is defined. Will someone take the fall for this? Of course. It's gotten to far along to avoid that now.

The real question - and the one that most concerns me - is whether or not the people who are actually responsible will be the same as those taking the fall.

Posted by: Washington Nearsider at July 8, 2011 07:37 AM

So, to try to make this analogous to the scandal that brought down the Nixon administration, would it be accurate to Gunrunner corresponds more closely to CREEP (Committee to Re-Elect the President) as the umbrella organization. Gunwalker/Fast & Furious was a covert part of that, just as the Watergate burglary team was a small covert part of the CREEP activities.

To have gone after Nixon by attacking CREEP as a whole would have been a failure, because CREEP could claim legitimate activity and Nixon supporters would use this to cloud the issue. It was necessary to focus on the Howard Hunt/G. Gordon Liddy team and activities. Likewise, to now go after Eric Holder or others by attacking Gunrunner would be a failure, because Holder/Obama supporters will use its legitimate and legal activities to cloud the issues of the wrongdoing of Gunwalker/Fast & Furious.


Posted by: Astroprisoner at July 8, 2011 09:17 AM

Gunrunner may be the overarching mission that received the money initially, however it does not preclude allocation of money within ATF to the Fast and Furious Op. As folks say, "Follow the money."

Posted by: cvsusn at July 8, 2011 09:30 AM

Great point. One can see the deflections ahead.

Posted by: drjohn at July 8, 2011 10:05 AM

So what you are saying is that Operation Fast and Furious was needed to prevent Operation Gunrunner from being effective. The former was in fact designed to sabotage the later. The resulting deaths logically leading to charges of Accessory to Murder Before the Fact. Including ATF, DoJ, and all the way up to Obama, who personally told the Bradys last march that he was "working on gun control, under the radar". What could be more under the radar than this covert ATF operation.

Posted by: Robert Hanson at July 8, 2011 10:06 AM

Granted, but keep in mind, as I detailed in a post in February 2009, that prior ATF administrator Hoover described in congressional testimony ""...As part of “Project Gunrunner” we will seek to expand inspection and compliance activities to include focused forward traces of firearms that, through historical firearms recovery and trace data have been identified as “weapons of choice” for the cartels and their enforcers. These inspections will also seek to use firearms tracing and proactive investigative measures to identify and interdict those who pose as legitimate buyers while they are actually straw purchasing firearms for cartel members..." (emphasis mine)

At the time, I wondered about the meaning of the odd-sounding "focused forward traces" and "proactive investigative techniques."

Has fast and furious has clarified that now?

(My 2009 post is here

Posted by: FOD at July 8, 2011 10:22 AM

'"At the time, I wondered about the meaning of the odd-sounding "focused forward traces" and "proactive investigative techniques."'

I think the basic difference is allowing the guns being 'forward traced' to cross the border into Mexico.

Posted by: Syl at July 8, 2011 12:08 PM

'justice will be served'.

yea, right. dream on buddy.

Posted by: dkhenilsneoi at July 8, 2011 12:10 PM

"Justice will be served."

I hope so but I have very serious doubts. There has long been two sets of rules, one for the very rich and the political class, and one for the rest of us. Some of the lower level people will certainly pay, but what is the likelihood than anything worse than forced resignation will happen to Breuer, Cole, and Holder?

What is justice for those dozens who have already died, and the hundreds who will eventually be killed by these guns? What is justice for their families?

What punishment serves justice for those who broke their oaths of office, US and Mexican law, and cynically fed a death machine? What punishment serves, when their despicable motives were to advance their personal and political agendas?

The people responsible should be facing life in prison. I don't think that is very likely to happen.

Thanks for all the good work Bob.

Posted by: novaculus at July 8, 2011 12:13 PM

Thank you so much. I did not know this. Clarification is a good thing!

Posted by: Angela at July 8, 2011 12:32 PM

George Bush and the Republicans should be held responsible for this! Even though Bush has been out of office now for several years and the Republicans haven't controlled Congress since 2006, they surely are the root of everything wrong, even if logic and reality say otherwise.

Admiral Ackbar would be very disappointed in you all for your comments.

Posted by: A Conservative Teacher at July 8, 2011 01:01 PM

"proactive investigative measures to identify and interdict those who pose as legitimate buyers while they are actually straw purchasing firearms for cartel members"

I had to look up "interdict" to make sure I had the correct meaning. First is the Christian definition, the forbidding of communion to miscreants. Second the Scots definition, a court order against further such action. Finally, the MILITARY definition: to destroy an enemy's lines of communication by firepower.

Which is exactly the point. Regardless of the "original" plan...under the current administration there was, and is, and will be NO "interdiction" of anyone.

No priest will tell the cartels not to expect to receive communion. No useful court orders will be issued against them. Most of all, there was NO destruction of an ememy's ability to continue to harm us.

On the contrary, they were given guns, very deadly guns, and it is yet to be determined if those guns were in fact paid for with US tax dollars...

And those guns were not only used in Mexico, but now it turns out they have been used, and are being used, by illegal immigrants in Arizona.

I repeat, Accessory to Murder Before the Fact. Which is a big time felony !

Posted by: Robert Hanson at July 9, 2011 01:02 AM

Justice will be served....... that's utterly naive.

Here's a statement that's equally obtuse,
"ice is cold"

Actual justice, moral justice may be served but don't count on it.
But the process political systemic justice can be said to have been served no matter the outcome, and that is crap

Posted by: rumcrook at July 9, 2011 04:23 PM

You forgot the "sarc" tags on that foolishness.

Posted by: emdfl at July 9, 2011 07:24 PM