More Moves For A Cover-Up
In addition to William McMahon’s move to a position of immense power over the agency wide question of ethics, former Phoenix Special Agent in Charge William Newell, who first was promoted to be attaché in Mexico City—an outrageous affront to that government—was then “transferred” to be a key player in the BATFE’s Office of Management. If you think the McMahon appointment was an in-your-face insult to Congress and to whistleblowers, try this explanation from the agency’s PR office:
“On Aug. 1, 2011, Special Agent Newell, who had been selected as Country Attaché Mexico City, was reassigned to the Office of Management to assist with the OIG investigation and congressional inquiry.”
The man who is at the center of an insane project with the intended consequence of tracing guns to bloody Mexican crime scenes is promoted to “assist” Eric Holder’s internal investigation of that scandal? If there were ever a question that the Obama White House was not ordering a total whitewash, this answers it.
Further evidence of the political taint to what is touted as an “independent” investigation by the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General came with a request from Attorney General Holder that Rep. Darrell Issa surrender to him transcripts of meetings that the chairman, U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, had with BATFE Acting Director Ken Melson—a figure the Obama administration was prepared to crush under its bus. Since Holder may well prove to be a part of the “Fast and Furious” conspiracy, his involvement corrupts OIG’s supposed neutrality. In addition, Issa and Grassley upped their lawful demands for production of documents that Holder has refused to supply for congressional oversight.
The third principal in “Fast and Furious,” David Voth, was moved to head up BATFE’s tobacco objecting to the gun-walking scheme in a March 12, 2010, memo to the field: “If you don’t think this is fun, you’re in the wrong line of work—period.”Agent John Dodson, among the first to shed light on “Operation Fast and Furious,” has said that Voth was “jovial, if not giddy” when trace reports from crime scenes came from the Mexican government.
Who’s In Charge, Anyway?
In another strange aspect of this sordid mess, the initial announcement of William McMahon’s promotion within BATFE, came not from the acting director, Kenneth Melson—who has been cooperating with Capitol Hill investigators—but in an Aug. 1internal memo from Mark R. Chait. Many insiders say Chait, assistant director of field operations, is among those actually controlling the agency.
In his memo—coming only a week following scathing appraisals of McMahon’s lack of candor and accusations that he was far less than truthful before Congress—Chait gushed:
“I would also like to extend the same thanks to Bill [McMahon]for his leadership and work with the Western Region field divisions and IAO. While we will miss his guidance in FO, I know he will take the same professionalism and dedication he has shown us and direct that into his new position at OPRSO.
”You might remember Chait as the same official who penned a July 2010 e-mail that is considered a key smoking gun in congressional questions about the underlying purpose of “Operation Fast and Furious.”
That e-mail is proof positive that BATFE’s gun-running scheme was intended to garner power and funds to prove a big-lie campaign claiming that federally licensed gun dealers were the virtual sole source of firearms used by the murderous Mexican drug cartels.
“We are looking for anecdotal cases to support a demand letter on long gun multiple sales,” Chait wrote to McMahon and his direct subordinate, William Newell, the Phoenix special agent in charge, who directed the guns-to-Mexican “Fast and Furious” criminal enterprise.
And of course, despite specific prohibitions in federal law, the Department of Justice has blithely gone ahead with the “demand letter,” which is in reality a long gun registration scheme in the border states of California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas that is being challenged in federal court by the NRA (see “Standing Guard,” p. 8).
Ironically, it was just that kind of information voluntarily provided by dealers to BATFE with respect to highly suspicious multiple purchases by law-breaking criminal buyers that kicked off “Fast and Furious” in the first place.
And in that case, those buyers were encouraged by BATFE leadership to repeatedly commit felony acquisition of firearms. In the Phoenix operation, dealers who reported obvious illegal activity were told to let it continue, and continue, and continue.
Fast & Furious 101
For those who might not be up on all the details of the ever-ballooning “Fast and Furious” scandal, a short primer is in order.
The government-sanctioned gun running conspiracy operated for two years, beginning in 2009, out of the BATFE office in Phoenix, Ariz.—though evidence is mounting that similar scams were also run in other locations, such as Houston, Texas.
Under “Fast and Furious,” BATFE street agents were instructed to stand down as felony violations of federal firearm and smuggling laws—punishable by decades in federal prison—were committed. When conscientious, federally licensed dealers reported illegal straw sales involving large numbers of guns, they were told by agency officials to allow the felonious sales to be completed on the spot and to look the other way in the future
Agency superiors thus forced field agents to passively observe the “walking” of as many as 2,500 illegally acquired firearms beyond agency control into the cave-darkness of criminal commerce—mostly in Mexico.
The absurd idea was, allegedly, to trace those guns to drug “kingpins” across the border.
According to William Newell, the man in charge of the Phoenix operation, “The goal of the investigation was to disrupt and dismantle an entire firearm trafficking network (in Mexico).”
How could that even be remotely feasible when neither Mexican law enforcement at any level, nor BATFE representatives stationed as guests of the Mexican government, were even made aware of the operation? It was top secret.
In truth, the scheme originated as a means to “trace” guns back to U.S. retailers from Mexican crime scenes in order to prove the big Obama administration and media lie—that 90 percent of the firearms used in Mexico’s narco-anarchy come from federally licensed U.S. gun dealers.
The purpose of that entire campaign was to glean power and money for BATFE—power in the form of more gun laws and more bureaucratic restrictions on the rights of law-abiding private citizens. Ban semi-autos. Shut down gun shows. Gun registration.
The logic of the BATFE/Justice Department agitprop goes this way—this is what we are all supposed to believe:
Mexican society is terrorized by narco-anarchy, with over 35,000 unarmed citizens murdered during the past four years. For the law-abiding, Mexico has the most restrictive gun laws in the hemisphere. Therefore, American freedom and the rights of our citizens must be equally restricted, since our guns can be illegally acquired and smuggled to that terrorized nation.
Proving that insanity is what “Fast and Furious” is really all about.
Some in the media have called “Fast and Furious” a “plan gone horribly wrong.” Led by President Barack Obama’s blithe admission that there were “mistakes,” the administration is saying, “Nothing to see here. Move on.”
This was not a mistake. Illegally moving guns to Mexico was the intended purpose.
“Fast and Furious,” when you get down to it, is a criminal conspiracy on the part of BATFE leadership and officials in the U.S. Department of Justice. It was a conspiracy hatched for propaganda purposes. The deaths and bloodletting in Mexico were the natural results oflaw enforcement leaders gone completely rogue.
For the planners of “Fast and Furious,” the free big-media ride ended a few days before Christmas 2010 in a lonely canyon in Arizona near the Mexican border, where Border Patrol agent Brian Terry—during a wee-hours beanbag versus 7.62×39 mm firefight—was gunned down. Two of the AK semi-automatics at the scene were the product of “Fast and Furious.”
The death of Terry, a family man and veteran, changed everything.
Were it not for Terry’s death, the operation doubtless would have continued unabated, with U.S. gun-control forces ghoulishly pointing to the ever-mounting body count south of the border to further their agenda.
America's 1st Freedom
NRA's pure news magazine especially for our membership. Its mission is to deliver professional, compelling, accurate, timely and hard-hitting journalism that tells the truth about the threats to our Second Amendment rights.