A conservative news and views blog.

Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Gunwalker Cover-up

Timothy Birdnow

I received this e-mail from Alan M. Gottlieb, Chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. It's a fundraising letter, but it has some good information contained. Worth the read, at any rate.

It's been a week since federal investigators arrived in Arizona to begin their ATF "Gunwalker" Mexican weapons scandal probe. True to their promise, federal officials refuse to provide information during their ongoing investigation. However, many are speculating that this is a genuine "cover-up" of the highest order.

This ATF scandal keeps growing and festering into an albatross that is hanging around the necks of officials higher and higher in the Obama administration. The investigators are gathering interviews from witnesses, including ATF insiders and area gun shop owners.

The congressional investigators are frustrated by what they view as across-the-board STONEWALLING by government agencies which have refused to provide information in the investigation.

What is even more obvious and disturbing is how little attention the Arizona media is paying to this story given that it has two major links to the area---the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and the ATF Gunwalker scheme originating out of Phoenix that resulted in two ATF "walked" out guns turning up at the murder scene of Agent Terry. The ATF is corrupt and needs to be de-funded!

At the very center of the congressional investigation now on the ground in Arizona, is United States Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA), ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He and his committee have received reports from whistleblowers and insiders, with full documentation of an ATF cover-up. He sent a very pointed letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder: "During our meeting on January 31, I provided you with copies of my recent letters to Acting ATF Director Kenneth E. Melson. I had received serious allegations from ATF whistleblowers. ATF agents told my staff that the agency allowed the sale of assault rifles to known and suspected straw purchasers for an illegal trafficking ring near the southwest border."

"According to the whistleblowers, at least one gun dealer wanted to stop participating in sales like those to (Jaime) Avila (arrested on December 15, 2010, the very same day that CBP Agent Terry died) sometime around October 2009. However, the ATF allegedly encouraged the dealer to continue selling to suspected traffickers and asked the dealer to forward information about the sales to the Bureau."

Grassley went on, "...In addition to these specific weapons, the indictment of Avila and others references approximately 769 firearms. Of those, the indictment refers to the recovery of only about 103 weapons. So, where are the other approximately 666 weapons referenced in the indictment? Why did the ATF not seize them?"

Ever since, there has been a well-defined cover-up; a literal stonewalling from almost every department---all the way up the line. In reality, the number of people who need to be fired from the federal government keeps increasing as it is becoming obvious and documented that ATF watched while weapons ended up in the bad guy's hands. Now a federal agent is dead by seemingly "friendly fire." No wonder the ATF is trying to cover this all up!

Here's the personal "rub" for you and me---when bad things happen... when the bad guys use the illegal weapons, it give impetus to Mr. Obama to come against ALL guns and gun-owners in general. Yes, YOUR guns guaranteed to you by the Second Amendment!

A February 3, 2011 internal email indicates ATF officials may have improperly guided employees NOT to answer Congressional inquires in the gunwalking scandal. It read: "As always, you are in no way obligated to respond to congressional contacts or requests for information and generally, consistent with ATF policy, you should refer congressional staff who seeks information from you to ATF's office of congressional affairs. You are NOT authorized to disclose non-public information about law enforcement anyone including congressional staff."
U.S. Senator Charles Grassley seeks to get to bottom of ATF cover-up

When Senator Grassley learned of the email and also of alleged retaliation attempts against whistleblowers, he fired off a letter on April 8 to ATF Acting Director Melson. The letter states that it is "unlawful" for ATF to "inappropriately intimidate employees to discourage from speaking with Congress."

The intimidation...the stonewalling...the investigation...the cover-up CONTINUES!

Senator Grassley wants answers. I want answers. You want answers. And---Carolyn Terry, stepmother of Dead Agent Terry, she wants answers! She wrote:

"It's hard to accept that our son was shot and murdered with a gun that was bought in the U.S. We have not had any contact from the Border Patrol or any other agents since returning home on the 22nd (of January). Our calls are not returned. I truly feel that our son's death is a cover-up and they hope that we will go away. That will not happen. We want to know who allowed the sale of that gun that murdered our son. Any help will (be) appreciated. We are the victims of this case and we want some answers."

Some of the whistleblowers came forward to honor Agent Terry and his family.

The Justice Department should do the same!

The Assistant Special Agent in charge of ATF's Phoenix Division, George Gillett, continues to provide information to U.S. Senator Charles Grassley. Of the top managers possibly implicated in the gunwalking strategy, Gillett is the only one who has hired an attorney and is voluntarily providing information to Grassley's office.

The Washington Post reports: "A controversy over tactics used to break up an extensive Mexican gunrunning ring has prompted federal officials to reevaluate an aggressive law enforcement strategy to stop firearms trafficking. The new scrutiny comes after two separate shootings in the past three months in which federal agents were killed and guns recovered by investigators were later traced back to people already under investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives."

If ATF and other federal agencies are covering up the truth about Agent Terry's death, Mr. Obama needs to "clean house" and remove everyone involved in the cover-up!

Our media efforts will also make a very large difference in getting to the bottom of this investigation. Please support our national media efforts today.

I consider the fact that possibly this cover-up could be laid right at the feet of the Commander-in-chief! I quietly reflect about the chain of command that may have authorized this glaring illegal program. I've also noted the lack of response from the administration; not to mention the lack of response by most Arizona papers.

Even the FBI has refused to provide the names of the men arrested for Terry's murder. They also put a lid on any and all other investigative findings. The Agency "declined" to honor a Freedom of Information Act request to provide information on the weapons found at the murder scene.

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