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natty bumppo

Operation Fast and Furious

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Ecuador
Timeline

No heads will roll in this Administration, unless someone needs to be thrown under the bus as a political "sacrificial lamb."


06-04-2007 = TSC stamps postal return-receipt for I-129f.

06-11-2007 = NOA1 date (unknown to me).

07-20-2007 = Phoned Immigration Officer; got WAC#; where's NOA1?

09-25-2007 = Touch (first-ever).

09-28-2007 = NOA1, 23 days after their 45-day promise to send it (grrrr).

10-20 & 11-14-2007 = Phoned ImmOffs; "still pending."

12-11-2007 = 180 days; file is "between workstations, may be early Jan."; touches 12/11 & 12/12.

12-18-2007 = Call; file is with Division 9 ofcr. (bckgrnd check); e-prompt to shake it; touch.

12-19-2007 = NOA2 by e-mail & web, dated 12-18-07 (187 days; 201 per VJ); in mail 12/24/07.

01-09-2008 = File from USCIS to NVC, 1-4-08; NVC creates file, 1/15/08; to consulate 1/16/08.

01-23-2008 = Consulate gets file; outdated Packet 4 mailed to fiancee 1/27/08; rec'd 3/3/08.

04-29-2008 = Fiancee's 4-min. consular interview, 8:30 a.m.; much evidence brought but not allowed to be presented (consul: "More proof! Second interview! Bring your fiance!").

05-05-2008 = Infuriating $12 call to non-English-speaking consulate appointment-setter.

05-06-2008 = Better $12 call to English-speaker; "joint" interview date 6/30/08 (my selection).

06-30-2008 = Stokes Interrogations w/Ecuadorian (not USC); "wait 2 weeks; we'll mail her."

07-2008 = Daily calls to DOS: "currently processing"; 8/05 = Phoned consulate, got Section Chief; wrote him.

08-07-08 = E-mail from consulate, promising to issue visa "as soon as we get her passport" (on 8/12, per DHL).

08-27-08 = Phoned consulate (they "couldn't find" our file); visa DHL'd 8/28; in hand 9/1; through POE on 10/9 with NO hassles(!).

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Filed: Country: Brazil
Timeline

No heads will roll in this Administration, unless someone needs to be thrown under the bus as a political "sacrificial lamb."

sounds about right. oh well the circus begins ....

Senator Grassley blasts ATF at House hearing on "gunwalker" scandal

by Hugh Holub on Jun. 15, 2011, under atf, politics

On June 15th US Senator Charles Grassley testified before the House Oversight and Government Operations Committee on the ATF "fast and furious" scheme that allowed guns to "walk" into the hands of the Mexican drg cartels.

Two of the ATF "walked" guns ended up at the murder scene of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry south of Tucson.

Here is his testimony:

Statement of Senator Charles E. Grassley

Before the United States House of Representatives

Fast and Furious

June 15, 2011

Thank you, Chairman Issa, for calling these important hearings and for the great work you and your staff have done. I am grateful to Agent Brian Terry's
for being here today and wish to express my sympathies for their loss. I hope we can get them the answers they deserve. I also want to thank the federal agents who will be testifying from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. I know they are here to tell the unvarnished truth. I also know that can be tough, since they still work for ATF. These agents already risk their lives to keep us safe. They shouldn't have to risk their jobs too.

Any attempt to retaliate against them for their testimony today would be unfair, unwise, and unlawful.

When I became Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee in January, this was the first oversight issue to land on my desk. Several other Senators' offices contacted my office to pass along these allegations about an ATF case called "Operation Fast and Furious." At first, the allegations sounded too shocking to believe. But sadly, they turned about to be true.

ATF is supposed to stop criminals from trafficking guns to Mexican drug cartels. Instead, ATF made it easier for alleged cartel middlemen to get weapons from U.S. gun dealers. Agents were ordered to stand by and watch these middlemen — these straw purchasers — buy hundreds of weapons. Agents warned that inaction could lead to tragedy, but management didn't want to listen. We will hear from some of those agents today.

Inaction would be bad enough, but ATF went even further.

ATF encouraged gun dealers to sell to straw buyers. Emails prove that at least one dealer worried prophetically about the risk. [1]

He wrote to ATF about his concern that a border patrol agent might end up facing the wrong end of one of these guns. ATF supervisors told the dealer not to worry. So, the agents said it was a bad idea. And, the gun dealers said it was a bad idea.

Who thought it was a good idea? Why did this happen?

The President said he didn't authorize it and that the Attorney General didn't authorize it. They have both admitted that a "serious mistake" may have been made. There are a lot of questions, and a lot of investigating to do. But one thing has become clear already — this was

no mistake. It was a conscious decision by senior officials. It was written down. It was briefed up to Washington, D.C. According to an internal briefing paper, Operation Fast and Furious was intentionally designed to allow the transfer of firearms to continue to take place.

Why would the ATF do such a thing?

Well, the next line in the brief paper tells us. It was, "to further the investigation and allow for the identification of additional co-conspirators".

So, that was the goal. The purpose of allowing straw buyers to keep buying was to find out who else might be working with them — who else might be in their network of gun traffickers. Of course, that assumes that they are part of a big, sophisticated network. That kind of assumption can cause you to start with a conclusion and work backwards, looking for facts that fit. Until you figure out that you've got the cart before the horse, you're probably not going to get anywhere.

Professor of Criminology Gary Kleck recently published an article in the Wall Street Journal called "The Myth of Big-Time Gun Trafficking."

Professor Kleck said that according to his
of national crime data, ATF handles only about 15 operations each year that involve more than 250 guns. According to his study, a typical trafficking operation involves fewer than 12 guns. So why would the ATF make it a priority to identify large networks of traffickers? Why would senior leadership decide to explicitly elevate that goal above ATF's traditional work of seizing weapons that were illegally purchased?

On October 26, 2009, emails indicate that there was a meeting of senior law enforcement officials at the Justice Department.

It appears to have included the heads every law enforcement component of the Department, including directors of the FBI, the DEA and the ATF.It also included the U.S. Attorneys for all the
border states, the Director of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, and the Chair of the Attorney General's Advisory Committee. Sounds like a pretty big, important meeting, doesn't it?

On the agenda at that meeting was a document describing the Department's strategy for combatting the Mexican cartels. In a section called "Attacking the Southbound Flow of Firearms," it says:

Thus, given the national scope of this issue, merely seizing firearms through interdiction will not stop firearms trafficking to Mexico. We must investigate, and eliminate the sources of illegally trafficked firearms and the networks that transport them.

The message was clear. Trying to identify networks of traffickers is more important than seizing weapons. This document was transmitted to the head of the Phoenix Field Division on October 27, 2009.

Four days later, the Phoenix Field Division began investigating Uriel Patino on suspicion of being involved in a gun trafficking ring. Ten days after that, Patino was assigned his own case number. In the first 24 days that the ATF was on to him, Patino bought 34 guns from dealers cooperating with the ATF. That's nearly three times more than the typical gun trafficking operation, according to the study in the Wall Street Journal I mentioned earlier. But that was just the beginning.

Since the dealers were cooperating, ATF received notice of each purchase right away. Analysts entered the serial numbers into ATF's Suspect Gun Database, usually within days of the purchase. On November 20th, one of the 34 guns Patino bought turned up in Mexico — just 14 days after he bought it in Phoenix. ATF learned of the recovery through a hit in the suspect gun database on November 24th.

That same day, Patino brought Jaime Avila into a cooperating gun dealer and they bought five more guns. ATF had real-time notice from the dealers and agents rushed to the store to follow them, but arrived too late. Over the next six weeks, Avila bought 13 guns at dealers cooperating with the ATF.

The dealers notified the ATF of each purchase right away. Analysts entered the serial numbers into the ATF database, usually within about 2 days of the purchase. Yet ATF did nothing to deter or interrupt the straw purchasers. Avila went back to the cooperating dealer and purchased three more AK-47-type weapons on January 16, 2010.

ATF simply put the serial numbers in its database. Still, ATF did nothing to stop Avila and Patino. 11 months later, two of those three rifles were recovered at the scene of Agent Terry's murder.

During those 11 months, Avila purchased another 34 firearms.

It usually took about 5 days to enter the serial numbers into ATF's database. But ATF often had real-time or even advanced notice of the purchases from the dealers.

ATF even specifically approved particular transactions.

For example, in August of 2010, a gun dealer cooperating with the ATF asked for guidance. Patino wanted 20 more weapons, but the dealer only had 4 in
.

The dealer told ATF that if he were to sell the guns, he would have to "obtain the additional 16 specifically for this purpose." An ATF supervisor wrote back, "our guidance is that we would like you to go through with Mr Patino's request and order the additional firearms".

At this point, ATF already knew that he bought 673 guns from cooperating dealers and that many had already been recovered at crime scenes. I want to be clear that we don't know whether this particular order was actually filled.However, these new emails support what agents and dealers have been telling us for months. According to them, dealers notified ATF when any of the straw purchasers bought guns — either before, during, or shortly after the sale. We don't know what the exact totals are. But, we know the Suspect Gun Database had at least 1,880 guns related to this case.

At least 30 of them were high-power, .50 caliber rifles.The straw purchasers bought 212 guns in just six days in December 2009. 70% of all the guns in the database were bought by just 5 straw purchasers. If ATF agents had been allowed to stop just those five buyers, most of the guns in this case would not have fallen into the wrong hands.

Finally, I want to say something about the politics of gun control. This investigation is not about politics. It is about getting the facts. No matter what side of that issue you are on, the facts here should be disturbing. There will be plenty of time for both sides to argue about policy implications of all this at some point. But I hope we can do that another day.

Today is about these agents not being allowed to do their job. Today is about the Terry family and their search for the truth. Too often, we want to make everything about politics. We pick sides and only listen to what we want to hear. At least for today, let's just listen to what these agents and this family has to say. Let's hear their stories. Then let's work together to get answers for this family and the other
who may have suffered. It's time to get to the truth and hold our government accountable.

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So if this is what happens in unclassified circles... imagine what happens that we CAN'T hear about!


Русский форум член.

Ensure your beneficiary makes and brings with them to the States a copy of the DS-3025 (vaccination form)

If the government is going to force me to exercise my "right" to health care, then they better start requiring people to exercise their Right to Bear Arms. - "Where's my public option rifle?"

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Brazil
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So if this is what happens in unclassified circles... imagine what happens that we CAN'T hear about!

full_paper_shredder.JPG

i can almost hear the machines running already...


* ~ * Charles * ~ *
 

I carry a gun because a cop is too heavy.

 

USE THE REPORT BUTTON INSTEAD OF MESSAGING A MODERATOR!

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full_paper_shredder.JPG

i can almost hear the machines running already...

That's not a classified shredder. They're actually pretty good and make dust out of anything that needs to be hidden. Fire works well too!

could also have hdd overload from trying to hide the data files ...

Fire%20Damaged%20Maxtor%20Hard%20Drive.jpg

Exactly.


Русский форум член.

Ensure your beneficiary makes and brings with them to the States a copy of the DS-3025 (vaccination form)

If the government is going to force me to exercise my "right" to health care, then they better start requiring people to exercise their Right to Bear Arms. - "Where's my public option rifle?"

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That's not a classified shredder. They're actually pretty good and make dust out of anything that needs to be hidden. Fire works well too!

:secret: i know that - but you find a pic of a classified shredder in operation....


* ~ * Charles * ~ *
 

I carry a gun because a cop is too heavy.

 

USE THE REPORT BUTTON INSTEAD OF MESSAGING A MODERATOR!

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:secret: i know that - but you find a pic of a classified shredder in operation....

I googled it but this popped up instead -

jhewitt.jpg

the one on the left .... :P

allred_lee_weiner_061511.jpg

Nice!


Русский форум член.

Ensure your beneficiary makes and brings with them to the States a copy of the DS-3025 (vaccination form)

If the government is going to force me to exercise my "right" to health care, then they better start requiring people to exercise their Right to Bear Arms. - "Where's my public option rifle?"

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Filed: Country: Brazil
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Off-Topic2.gif

Head of ATF Is Likely to Go

The Justice Department is expected to oust the head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, according to people familiar with the matter, amid a troubled federal antitrafficking operation that has grown into the agency's biggest scandal in nearly two decades.

Moves toward the replacement of Kenneth Melson, acting ATF director since April 2009, could begin next week, although the precise sequence of events remains to be decided, these people said.

The shakeup shows the extent of the political damage caused by the gun-trafficking operation called Fast and Furious, which used tactics that allowed suspected smugglers to buy large numbers of firearms. Growing controversy over the program has paralyzed a long-beleaguered agency buffeted by partisan battles. The ATF has been without a Senate-confirmed director since 2006, with both the Bush and Obama administrations unable to overcome opposition from gun-rights groups to win approval of nominees.

In November, President Barack Obama nominated Andrew Traver, the head of the ATF's Chicago office, as permanent ATF director. The nomination stalled in the Senate after the National Rifle Association said Mr. Traver had a "demonstrated hostility" to the rights of gun owners.

Mr. Traver is set to travel to Washington on Tuesday to meet with Attorney General Eric Holder and Deputy Attorney General James Cole, the people said. The administration is weighing whether to name Mr. Traver as acting director or choose another interim chief while awaiting Senate action on his nomination, they said.

ATF spokesman Scot Thomasson said: "Acting Director Kenneth Melson continues to be focused on leading ATF in its efforts to reduce violent crime and to stem the flow of firearms to criminals and criminal organizations. We are not going to comment on any speculations."

Mr. Melson is the most senior official so far implicated in a congressional probe of the Fast and Furious operation. The ATF Phoenix office ran the program in 2009-2010 to monitor weapons purchases by suspected gun smugglers. Agency officials hoped eventually to build a case against major arms smugglers serving Mexican drug cartels. The ATF has struggled to stanch the flow of U.S. weapons to Mexican drug gangs.

At a House hearing this week, Rep. Darrell Issa (R., Calif.), chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, disclosed internal documents showing that Mr. Melson was closely involved in managing Fast and Furious operation. One email among ATF officials described Mr. Melson's request for an Internet link to hidden cameras the ATF had planted in gun shops cooperating with the operation, Mr. Issa said, citing the documents. That allowed Mr. Melson to watch a live feed of suspected "straw buyers," who purchase firearms on behalf of others, buying AK-47-style rifles, he said.

Mr. Issa and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa) are leading the congressional probe of Fast and Furious, which came to light after an Arizona shootout in December that killed a U.S. border agent. Two assault weapons bought in a gun shop that was part of the operation were found at the scene. The shooter and the gun used to kill the agent haven't been identified. A Mexican national is charged in the shootout.

Republican lawmakers say the agency was "reckless" in running the program and should have known that at least some of the thousands of weapons would end up in Mexico or be used in crimes in the U.S.

The office of the Justice Department's inspector general is investigating the matter.

Fast and Furious has grown into the agency's worst crisis since the ATF's 1993 raid on a religious sect in Waco, Texas, which triggered a gunbattle that killed four ATF agents. The fallout from the raid and subsequent government assault on the sect's compound led to years of recriminations and investigations of the ATF.

The Fast and Furious operation caused dissent in the ATF Phoenix office, according to three ATF agents who testified at a House hearing Wednesday. The agents said they battled supervisors who insisted on doing surveillance instead of arresting suspected straw buyers.

Despite the Justice Department's internal probe, the hearing helped cement the view among top Justice Department officials that Mr. Melson needed to be moved out before pressure from lawmakers grew more intense, according to the people familiar with the matter.

Ronald Weich, assistant attorney general for legislative affairs, testified at this week's hearing but gave few details of the program. Mr. Weich said that if the investigation found "flawed strategies" or "insufficient surveillance of weapons," the responsible officials would be held to account.

The ATF is at the forefront of the government's efforts to stem the flow of what both the U.S. and Mexican governments say is a flood of U.S. arms to Mexican cartels. ATF agents say stopping that flow is often complicated by gun-owning traditions, particularly in border states, and laws that make it difficult to prosecute illegal weapons sales.

Gun-rights groups, which dispute that the U.S. is a major source of firearms trafficked to Mexico, have criticized ATF attempts to increase regulation of gun purchases. At the same time, the Obama administration has been under pressure from big-city mayors and others who favor tighter restrictions.

In a 2010 audit, the Justice Department inspector general criticized the ATF for pursuing too many small-buyer cases and not using its resources to find major gun traffickers.

It's unclear how the current controversy will affect the administration's chances of winning Senate confirmation for Mr. Traver. Mr. Traver is a 24-year ATF veteran investigator and former Navy officer. As the head of the ATF office in Chicago, he made a priority of pursuing gang cases. In particular, he focused on pursuing street gangs that had spread from urban areas into the suburbs, according to people who have worked with him.

Some ATF agents believe the scandal could help highlight how Congress's refusal to approve an ATF leader contributes to the agency's troubles.

White House spokesman Jay Carney, in response to questions Friday, said, "I can tell you that, as the president has already said, he did not know about or authorize this operation."

source

Edited by natty bumppo

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