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  1. #1
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    TEXAS - The Lone Star State

    BRIAN TERRY: Did ATF Smuggled Gun Kill Agent?

    Did U.S. agency smuggle guns to Mexico to justify its budget?

    Posted: January 22, 2011
    12:45 am Eastern

    © 2011

    The death of a U.S. Border Patrol agent north of Nogales, Ariz., on December 14, 2010 might turn out to be the death knell for the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, or ATF.

    Allegations have surfaced suggesting that one of the guns used by Mexican bandits during the firefight in which Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed might have been smuggled into Mexico with the knowing assistance of ATF officials.
    If these allegations prove to be true, it is quite possible that the long troubled agency could be dismantled. Even if there proves to be no connection with Agent Terry's death, the scrutiny generated by an investigation could crash the agency.

    There are actually four separate but connected accusations against ATF officials: First, that they intentionally arranged to have hundreds of firearms "walked" across the U.S. border into Mexico. Second, that they instructed U.S. gun dealers to proceed with questionable and illegal sales of firearms to suspected gunrunners. Third, that they intentionally withheld information about U.S.-sanctioned gun smuggling from the Mexican government. Fourth, that one of the guns ATF allowed or helped to be smuggled into Mexico was involved in the death of Agent Terry.

    The accusations first arose on an ATF insider Internet forum called , where suggestions of these possible misdeeds were characterized as rumors, speculation and "word on the street."

    The forum is a gathering place for disgruntled ATF employees frustrated with ATF management and aimed at rooting out waste, fraud, abuse and managerial malfeasance.

    After the initial rumors were picked up by Internet blogger Mike Vanderboegh of and David Codrea of and Examiner news, more information began trickling out, and Codrea and Vanderboegh began receiving independent and credible corroboration of the rumors.

    At this point the two claim that there are government employees prepared to step forward with personal knowledge and documentation to prove some or all of the accusations, but that the whistleblowers fear reprisals and are seeking official protection from someone in Congress before turning over their information. So far members of Congress are running in the opposite direction.

    The ATF has a long history of abuse, overreaching, show-boating and deception. Repeated examples of botched raids, raids on wrong addresses, bad shootings and wrongful prosecutions were brought out in congressional testimony in the late 1970s, garnering the agency rebukes and budget cuts from outraged members of Congress.

    Accusations of individual agent abusiveness and managerial incompetence continued through the '80s and '90s. In 1992 ATF initiated the tragedy at Ruby Ridge in which Randy Weaver's wife Vicki and 14-year old son Sammy were killed by federal agents and Weaver and his friend Kevin Harris were both seriously wounded. A Federal Marshall was also killed – all over an ATF accusation that Weaver had sold an informant two shotguns with barrels a quarter-inch shorter than the law allows.

    It was also ATF that instigated the assault on the Branch Davidian Church outside Waco, Texas, in 1993, which resulted in the deaths of 4 ATF agents and some 82 men, women and children. These two incidents were later identified as the primary impetus for the 1995 terrorist bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.

    In recent years ATF has engaged in high-profile, expensive and notably fruitless sting operations against the Hell's Angels and other "outlaw" motorcycle clubs; and most recently they have been in the spotlight as federal officials including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Attorney General Eric Holder and President Barack Obama have claimed that over 90 percent of Mexican crime guns were illegally trafficked into Mexico from the U.S. That over-inflated hyperbole led to the creation of Project Gunrunner, an ATF-led initiative that was supposed to reduce arms trafficking across the border.

    Last year the Justice Department Inspector General's office issued a scathing report declaring Project Gunrunner a dismal failure. ATF responded by requesting more money and manpower to beef up the project and backed up the requests with new, better-supported statistics.

    Speculation abounds that the alleged funneling of guns into Mexico by ATF (dubbed "Project Gunwalker") was done to bolster trace numbers specifically to justify bigger budgets for Project Gunrunner and/or to lend credibility to informants attempting to infiltrate gun smuggling operations.

    Whatever the objectives, if the allegations prove to be true, ATF is not likely to survive. The agency has been without a confirmed director for over 6 years. Their explosives operations are already being absorbed by the FBI, and there have been other takeover rumbles from the Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The charges of concealing the smuggling operation from Mexican officials extend up to the highest levels of ATF leaving no place for officials to hide.

    At this point everything hinges on whether some member of Congress will step up and offer protection to the whistleblowers so the facts can be brought out into the open.

    Jeff Knox is a second-generation political activist and director of The Firearms Coalition. His writing can regularly be seen in Shotgun News and Front Sight magazines as well as here on WorldNetDaily.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    May 2005
    Heart of Dixie

  3. #3
    Senior Member AirborneSapper7's Avatar
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    South West Florida (Behind friendly lines but still in Occupied Territory)
    defund and shut them down ... this shit is getting zany
    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

  4. #4
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Aug 2005
    ATF most definitely needs to be shut down along with DEA and the IRS.
    Support our FIGHT AGAINST illegal immigration & Amnesty by joining our E-mail Alerts at

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    May 2005
    Heart of Dixie
    It sounds as though this "crisis" is enhancin the ATF's budget and power.

    Obama Administration May Give ATF New Power to Fight Trafficking of U.S. Guns to Mexico
    In response to continued drug-cartel violence along the US-Mexico border, ATF requested authority to require border-state dealers to report bulk sales of certain types of rifles

    Arizona gun dealers supplying guns to the Mexican cartels at the highest rates

    Proposal to curb gun trafficking along the US-Mexico border was recommended by over 550 coalition mayors

    Firearms Policy Experts Available for Interview

    NEW YORK, Jan. 22, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Obama Administration recently announced an emergency proposal to require southwest border gun dealers to report multiple sales of semi-automatic assault rifles. This will give the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) crucial information for investigating and cracking down on illegal gun traffickers, particularly those who supply weapons to drug cartels in Mexico. The rule will be effective for 180 days once the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) gives its approval. Mayors Against Illegal Guns recommended this policy to the Obama Administration in August of 2009 as part of its Blueprint for Federal Action on Illegal Guns. That report had 40 concrete proposals to take guns out of the hands of criminals without passing new laws.

    The drug war continues to claim lives at an alarming rate. More than 30,100 people have been murdered since 2006, according to the Mexican government. Violence has spilled over the border into to the U.S., claiming the lives of fourteen U.S. Customs and Border Patrol Agents since 2006, including Agent Brian Terry who was killed in the line of duty on December 15, 2010 by a suspect armed with an AK-47.

    The violence in Mexico is fueled by guns purchased in the United States and trafficked across the border. The Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General (OIG) reports that 90 percent of firearms recovered and traced in drug related crimes in Mexico originated in the United States.

    ATF officials have also testified to Congress that AR-15s, AK-47s and other high capacity "long guns" are the preferred weapons for Mexican drug cartels and that these weapons were overwhelmingly traced to U.S. sources. According to the OIG, the percentage of crime long guns recovered in Mexico has increased from 20 percent in 2004 to 48 percent in 2009.

    Last year, Mayor Against Illegal Guns conducted an analysis that shows that the four southwest border states were the source of 75 percent of these firearms. When controlling for population, Arizona exports guns recovered in Mexican crimes at a higher rate than any other U.S. state. For more information, please read the coalition's Issue Brief: the Movement of Illegal Guns Across the U.S.-Mexico Border at

    READ THE BRIEF ... o_2010.pdf

    The new rule when implemented would require gun dealers operating in the four border states to report bulk purchases of certain rifles, including semiautomatic weapons, weapons that are .22 caliber or greater, and weapons that are able to accept a detachable magazine. ATF has the ability to require multiple sales reports through its existing Demand Letter authority.

    Reporting bulk sales gives law enforcement a powerful tool in the war against gun trafficking. Federally licensed gun dealers are already required to complete multiple sale reports for handgun sales, and this data has provided the ATF with valuable investigative information. In 2008, ATF initiated roughly 300 criminal investigations connected with 25,000 illegal guns from information gathered in multiple sale reports. Adding rifles to the list of required multiple sale reports will give ATF greater ability to crack down on Mexican drug gangs, while posing a very limited burden on law abiding gun dealers. Implementation of this policy could not come at a more important time.
    ATF has the clear authority to require multiple sales reports of long guns through its existing "Demand Letter" authority, which allows the agency to require federal firearms licensees to submit records for inspection, including records of importation, production, receipt, sales, or other disposition of firearms. The information included in multiple sales reports falls within the scope of the ATF's existing authority and does not require legislative approval.

    ATF requested the authority from OMB to implement this rule change by January 5, 2011. Approval has yet to be granted.

    For more information on the coalition's proposals to better enforce existing gun laws, please read The Blueprint for Federal Action on Illegal Guns: ... action.pdf

    About Mayors Against Illegal Guns

    Since its inception in April 2006, Mayors Against Illegal Guns has grown from 15 mayors to over 550. Mayors Against Illegal Guns has united the nation's mayors around these common goals: protecting their communities by holding gun offenders and irresponsible gun dealers accountable, demanding access to trace data that is critical to law enforcement efforts to combat illegal gun trafficking, and working with legislators to fix gaps, weaknesses and loopholes in the law that make it far too easy for criminals and other prohibited purchasers to get guns.

    SOURCE Mayors Against Illegal Guns ... 24468.html ... 24468.html

  6. #6
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    May 2005
    Heart of Dixie
    Maybe the new Director can be appointed since there is now a crisis.

    White House Urged To Take Action On ATF Vacancyby Brian Naylor

    January 20, 2011

    President Obama has nominated Andrew Traver, the current chief of the bureau's Chicago office and a career law enforcement official, to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. But the National Rifle Association has voiced opposition to Traver, pictured here in 2007.

    January 20, 2011

    The shootings in Tucson have focused attention on the nation's gun laws. But for years, the agency charged with enforcing those laws — the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives — has been languishing.

    ATF, as it's commonly known, has been without a permanent leader since the middle of the Bush administration. And its budget has lagged behind that of other law enforcement agencies.

    While the FBI, DEA and other government law enforcement agencies have grown, ATF has been stagnant.

    "In 1972, there was 2,500 agents. Thirty-nine years later, there's 2,500 agents — no growth at all in 39 years," says James Cavanaugh, a former special agent in charge for the ATF, who recently retired after 33 years with the agency.

    The ATF has been a political target for opponents of gun regulations for years. In Congress, pro-gun lawmakers have kept its budget virtually flat.

    And there's the leadership question: The ATF has not had a permanent director since 2006. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, co-chairman of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, says that has to change.

    "We simply can't afford to have the ATF at less than full strength when so many gun murders are occurring every single day in all 50 states," he said.

    President Bush's nominee to head the bureau was blocked by three Republican senators.

    An Uphill Climb For Obama's Nomination

    President Obama didn't nominate a director until last November. His choice was Andrew Traver, a career ATF agent who now is in charge of the Bureau's Chicago office.

    Early indications are its going to be an uphill climb for Traver.

    The nation's biggest gun lobby, the National Rifle Association, calls Traver "deeply aligned with gun control advocates and anti-gun activities." NPR asked the NRA for an interview, but it didn't respond to repeated requests.

    Can you imagine a big city police force not having a chief for 4 1/2 years?

    - James Cavanaugh, recently retired ATF agent
    But speaking on an NRA-sponsored radio program, the group's executive director, Chris Cox, made clear his opposition to Traver.

    "He's bad news when it comes to the Second Amendment," Cox said. "But again, when you're looking at a president who put up Sonia Sotomayor or Elena Kagan and surrounded himself with this other gaggle of anti-gun activists — and that's what this guy's been, an activist — it's really just par for the course."

    The NRA's objections to Traver seem to be based at least in part on his appearance in a news story on Chicago's NBC affiliate about gang violence.

    In the clip, Traver was shown dramatically firing an automatic weapon.

    "They see these things in movies; they see them on TV, video games, 'Oh let's get one of those,' " Traver said on the clip. "It gives people a lot of street cred — pull the trigger, you can mow people down."

    The NRA says the story was misleading because automatic weapons are not commonly found on gang members.
    Waiting On The Senate

    The Senate has yet to hold a hearing on Traver. A Judiciary Committee aide says the panel is waiting for the administration to submit the necessary paperwork.

    Cavanaugh says the lack of a Senate-confirmed director with the backing of the president is disconcerting.

    "The agency goes on because law enforcement people are 'can do' people and they're mission people, but nevertheless there's not an agency in government that has to face that kind of problem," he says. "Can you imagine a big city police force not having a chief for 4 1/2 years?"

    And while that might suit the gun lobby, gun control advocates hope the shootings in Tucson will spur the administration to push for Traver's confirmation.

  7. #7
    Senior Member ReformUSA2012's Avatar
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    Jan 2011
    Funny story. So its the gun dealers near the border selling all the guns to the drug cartels?

    Last I heard the US Government was still running guns to the Mexican Army through backwater channels. Maybe its the Mexican Government selling the guns to these the Drug Cartels for a piece of the action. Kinda suspicious some of the US Military hardware they have if its just Grandpa Joe's Gun Shop selling a few pistols, a few semi automatic rifles and the odd convertible fully automatic weapon.

    Maybe we should take the guns out of the hands of those who abuse them. Revoke all Guns from the US Government... only city and state agencies get guns while the feds get bean bag sling shots. This includes all the security for federal government officials. Maybe then they'd learn how to not misuse guns.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    May 2005
    Heart of Dixie
    The link in the original article was broken. Interesting.

    This is the link to Clean Up ATF

    This is their mission statement: is a non-profit organization dedicated to returning integrity, accountability and decency to the management of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE or "ATF").

    In recent years, ATF management has become widely and officially known for corruption, self-service, and at times, overt incompetence. Moreover, ATF managers at all levels routinely retaliate or discriminate against employees who make good faith attempts to address significant cases of flagrant abuse, unlawful acts, waste of taxpayer resources, etc. Managers often use the threat or actual imposition of unfounded disciplinary actions, Internal Affairs “investigations

  9. #9
    Senior Member kniggit's Avatar
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    May 2006

    Dunno about the validity of this but it is interesting
    Immigration reform should reflect a commitment to enforcement, not reward those who blatantly break the rules. - Rep Dan Boren D-Ok

  10. #10
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    May 2005
    Heart of Dixie
    I hope Grassely and the Judiciary Committe get to the bottom of this.

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