Gunwalker: ATF Walked Guns Directly to Cartel Using Taxpayer Dollars
Mike Vanderboegh at Sipsey Street Irregulars and David Codrea at the Gun Rights Examiner have broken an exclusive story that claims the ATF authorized the sale of firearms directly to the agency in order to have them provided directly to the cartels:
A letter forwarded on Friday by a proven reliable source to Gun Rights Examiner and Mike Vanderboegh of Sipsey Street Irregulars documents Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives management authorizing the sale of firearms, which sources say were intended for delivery to cartel purchasers as part of the “Fast and Furious” / ”Gunwalker” scandal.
A copy of the letter, which bears the handwritten note of the gun dealer who accepted it, is also posted at the Examiner. The note reads: "Picked up guns 6/10/10. Paid cash." The line "Paid cash" was underlined. The ATF special agent authorized to pick up the weapons was John Dodson, the agent who became the first whistleblower on Operation Fast and Furious after two walked guns from the smuggling operation turned up at the scene of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry's murder.
According to Vanderboegh:
The existence of this letter provided to these reporters by a previously reliable source familiar with the Fast and Furious investigation, coupled with interviews of other sources across the country which put it into context, provides startling proof that the Federal government did not merely "lose track" of weapons purchased by "straw buyers" under surveillance by the ATF and destined for the Mexican drug cartels. In an undercover operation ordered by Fast and Furious supervisor David Voth, the U.S. government purchased firearms with taxpayer money from licensed firearms dealers, instructed them to conduct the sales "off the books," and used an ATF agent, John Dodson, to deliver them directly to people that Dodson believed were conducting them across the border.
According one source close to the Issa committee and knowledgeable of its workings, this revelation "puts a stake in the heart of the 'botched sting operation' lie." He continued, "There never was any 'sting,' there was only a deliberate effort to provide weapons to the DTO's (Drug Trafficking Organizations)." He added, "this was one hundred percent us -- our money, our guy, our (gun)walking."
A spokesperson for Senator Charles Grassley responded to the allegations by Vanderboegh/Codrea by noting:
In a March 3 letter to Attorney General Holder and Acting ATF Director Melson, Senator Grassley released Reports of Investigation (Attachment 1 to the letter linked below) in relation to the same case to which Mr. Voth’s letter pertains. There is more detailed information about this non-Fast and Furious case in those previously released ROIs than in Mr. Voth’s letter. The Voth letter was not obtained until later and merely corroborates the information already in the ROIs.
The letter and attachment noted by Grassley's office corroborate Vanderboegh/Codrea's claim, and show that Dodson bought the weapons from Guns for All, a FFL in Peoria, AZ.
The allegation that the purpose of Operation Fast and Furious was a plot to inject weapons of American dealer origin into the near civil war between the Mexican government and drug cartels is utterly consistent with previously revelations about the conspiracy. The stated cover story for Operation Fast and Furious and alleged parallel Gunwalker plots in Houston, Dallas, and Tampa never made sense and would have been shot down by risk-averse bureaucrats before it even became a formal proposal.
There was never any method to track the firearms provided to the cartels. The cartel leaders that were the alleged target of the investigation never would have been involved in such low-level work as weapons procurement, an allegation on par with claiming they can ensnare a Fortune 500 CEO for the purchase of toner for printers. And of course, the U.S. government does not have the authority to arrest suspects across an international border in Mexico. The justification for the operation is laughable even as a hastily trumped-up cover story. Those who were a part of the conspiracy felt they had political cover at the highest level of government, and didn't believe they needed but the thinnest of veneers of a cover story for their actions, which have led to weapons being recovered at the scenes of over 200 murders in Mexico and to the shooting of three U.S. federal agents.
If Vanderboegh/Codrea are correct -- and for the duration of this scandal they have been dead-on accurate -- Dodson was chosen by his superiors to become the "walker" of Fast and Furious guns in order to "dirty" him for his previous vehement arguments against the operations. The apparent hope was that if he was sullied in the operation himself, that he would be unwilling or unable to blow the whistle on crimes that he himself participated in. Obviously, they miscalculated his character.
The plot to ensnare Dodson sounds like a Hollywood mob movie for a very good reason; this kind of stunt has been revealed in multiple RICO prosecutions of organized crime.
The unraveling Gunwalker conspiracy has the potential of being the most devastating scandal in the history of American politics.