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MORE ON THAT ATF GUNRUNNING SCANDAL: Secret recordings raise new questions in ATF ‘Gunwalker’ operation. “CBS News has obtained secretly recorded conversations that raise questions as to whether some evidence is being withheld in the murder of a Border Patrol agent. The tapes were recorded approximately mid-March 2011 by the primary gun dealer cooperating with ATF in its “Fast and Furious” operation: Andre Howard, owner of Lone Wolf Trading Company in Glendale, Arizona. He’s talking with the lead case ATF case agent Hope MacAllister. The tapes have been turned over to Congressional investigators and the Inspector General.” (Via Alphecca).

ATF GUNRUNNING SCANDAL UPDATE: ATF Death Watch 73: Phoenix U.S. Attorney’s Office Implodes Over Gunwalker.

ATF GUNRUNNING SCANDAL UPDATE: Associated Press covers Gunwalker. “The article needs to be read in its entirety to get the full impact, but one notable point is that firearms dealers made sales of AK-47 type weapons that they normally would not have, because they were encouraged to do so by ATF. . . . The Obama administration’s cover-up continues to this day, as Eric Holder’s Department of Justice stonewalls Congress, seemingly in order to prevent the investigation from reaching into the highest levels of the administration. If the media’s need to protect the fast-sinking Obama administration were not so acute, this would be quite a scandal.”

MORE ON THAT ATF GUNRUNNING SCANDAL: More ‘Gunwalker’ Emails Suggest Gun-Control Conspiracy: Plus, Congressional investigators ask Eric Holder if there is any other evidence that Gunwalker was an anti-gun PR stunt. I’m sure he’ll be as forthcoming as always.

MORE ATF GUNRUNNING SCANDALS: “Several lawmakers are questioning the Obama administration about whether the controversial ‘Fast and Furious’ gunrunning probe may have had a cousin in Florida that resulted in guns being trafficked to Central America.”

BOB OWENS: Media Still Soft-Pedaling ATF Gunrunning Scandal Despite Hundreds Of Deaths.

GOT INSIDE INFO ON THAT ATF GUNRUNNING SCANDAL? There’s a confidential tipline at [email protected]

BOB OWENS: Don’t be confused on that ATF Gunrunning scandal. There’s a difference between the “Gunrunner” program, and “Operation Fast And Furious.”

MORE ON THAT ATF GUNRUNNING SCANDAL: Dozens of ‘Fast & Furious’ guns were confiscated from illegal aliens in Phoenix.

MORE ON THAT ATF GUNRUNNING SCANDAL: ‘Fast & Furious’ gets hotter for Holder. “Don’t look now, but the real action in Washington this week isn’t the partisan wrangling over the debt ceiling but something — literally — even more incendiary: Operation Fast and Furious, which seems about to explode right in the face of Attorney General Eric Holder — and maybe other administration officials, too. . . . The ATF’s acting director, Kenneth Melson, has been singing like a canary to congressional investigators as he pushes back against administration pressure for him to resign and take the fall for something that, at the very least, had to include the US Attorney’s Office, the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration and possibly the Homeland Security Department. In a letter to Holder released yesterday, Rep. Daryl Issa and Sen. Chuck Grassley accused the Justice Department of blocking their investigation into the burgeoning scandal (which has resulted in the deaths of at least two American agents and countless Mexican civilians), muzzling the ATF and involving other federal agencies, including the FBI and the DEA, in funding the crackpot scheme.”

As they say, worse than Iran/Contra. Plus this: “So if the identities of the Mexican criminals were known to the feds, what was the point of Project Gunrunner — and why is Holder so desperately trying to stonewall by withholding hundreds of documents from Congress? Law-abiding gun owners and dealers think they already know. With the Obama administration wedded to the fiction that 90 percent of the guns Mexican cartels use originate here — they don’t — many suspect that ‘Fast and Furious’ was a backdoor attempt to smear domestic gun aficionados as part of its stealth efforts on gun control by executive fiat.”

ATF GUNRUNNING SCANDAL UPDATE: Gunwalker: The ATF’s Kenneth Melson Blows the Whistle on the Justice Department. “In a blockbuster development in the Operation Fast & Furious gun-running scandal, Acting ATF Director Kenneth Melson secretly testified before House and Senate investigators on July 4 with his own personal lawyer present, former United States Attorney Richard Cullen, without the knowledge of the ATF or the Department of Justice. . . . Contrary to the Justice Department’s denials, according to Melson, ATF agents specifically witnessed transfers of weapons from straw purchasers to third parties without taking any further action.” Read the whole thing.

UPDATE: Reader Christopher Tolley writes: “My take is that the MSM will excoriate those viciously partisan, shoot-from-the-hip, renegade Republicans, Issa and Grassley, for obtaining Melson’s testimony in ‘secret’, and ignore the substance of what Melson actually said.”

IN THE WAKE OF THAT ATF GUNRUNNING SCANDAL, BOB OWENS ASKS: The Assault Weapons Ban: How Silly Was It? (Part One). “With the Obama admin and a Washington Post editorial calling for its reinstatement — amidst a tie-in to the Gunwalker scandal — it’s worth revisiting the boneheaded law.”

ATF GUNRUNNING SCANDAL UPDATE: U.S. Officials Behind ‘Fast and Furious’ Gun Sales Should Be Tried in Mexico, Lawmaker Says. “While the investigation continues into the U.S. operation that helped send thousands of guns south of the border, Mexican lawmakers say they’ll press for extradition and prosecution in Mexico of American officials who authorized and ran the operation.”

They told me if I voted for John McCain we’d see demands for the extradition of Administration war criminals. And they were right! They just didn’t tell me it was the war on guns. . . .

ATF GUNRUNNING SCANDAL UPDATE: The Hill: Issa rips Obama’s silence on ATF gun-tracking matter:

At a press conference Wednesday, Obama reiterated that Attorney General Eric Holder did not order the gun-tracking program, which was run by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and allowed known and suspected straw purchasers to buy thousands of weapons in hopes of tracking them to members of Mexican drug cartels.

Holder called for the Inspector General to investigate the matter to determine who approved of the operation. Obama said he would comment further on the issue once the investigation is completed. . . .

But Issa, who held a charged hearing on the issue earlier this month, has indicated that responsibility for the operation rests with some of the highest officials at the Justice Department and the ATF.

They’ll stall until after the election if they can.

ATF GUNRUNNING SCANDAL UPDATE: Assault weapons linked to ATF strategy turn up in U.S. neighborhoods.

MORE ON THAT ATF GUNRUNNING SCANDAL: How the Obama Administration Conned the Washington Post.

MORE ON THAT ATF GUNRUNNING SCANDAL: “Imagine the DEA telling pharmacists to illegally sell oxycontin to known drug dealers or they would be shut down. Then imagine the DEA using the fact that more oxycontin was on the street (and hundreds of overdose deaths) as a pretext for making it harder for patients to get prescribed narcotics. This is essentially what happened with the ATF and Project Gunwalker.”

AN ATF GUNRUNNING SCANDAL TIMELINE: Gunwalker: From Obama’s Inauguration to Issa’s Report.

Major scandals don’t always have the most dramatic beginnings. Andrew Johnson was impeached for replacing the sitting secretary of war; Richard Nixon’s collapse started with a breaking and entering. Bill Clinton’s infamy was guaranteed for quibbling over the definition of a common verb.

It now appears that high-ranking officials in the Obama administration may be writing the end of their careers and risking a life behind bars by arguing about the technical definition of “walking” firearms.

Read the whole thing, as some are calling this scandal “bigger than Iran-Contra.” Plus this: “U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has apparently lied to Congress about when he knew of Gunwalker, and considering the scope of the operation it is implausible that he was not involved in its implementation.” Will we see a False Statements Act prosecution?

MORE ON THAT ATF GUNRUNNING SCANDAL: Breaking Fast–and Furiously. “While the old school media was slow off the mark on this story, by this morning even the Morning Joe crew was covering it at MSNBC, so the lid seems to be well and truly off the pot.”

THINGS YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED THIS WEEKEND, if you were out, you know, having a life or something:

More people questioning Administration’s War Powers Act theories.

What happens when Syria explodes.

ATF Gunrunning Scandal Looking More And More Sleazy.

Alex Nunez loves the Prius V.

It’s still not too late to stock up on those deliciously evil incandescent lightbulbs.

Corruption and demosclerosis.

Deep questions about the sanity of at least one Texas judge.

Video: Failed glitter attack on Michele Bachmann.

They told me if I voted for John McCain we’d see savage reprisals against whistleblowers. And they were right!

A bad year for climate science.

Chinese-backed atrocities in Myanmar.

The New York Times’ lame hit piece on Clarence Thomas. And the construction of an ObamaCare “failure narrative.”

ATF GUNRUNNING SCANDAL UPDATE: “The Wall Street Journal reported last night that the political fallout from Operation Fast and Furious has the White House looking for a fast and furious way out. The acting head of the ATF, Kenneth Melson, will likely lose his job, perhaps as early as next week, the WSJ’s sources say, in what looks like an effort to contain the damage.”

That won’t be enough, for a scandal that some are calling “worse than Iran-Contra.” “The effort to get rid of Melson looks like an attempt to appease the House, but it’s not likely to work. Had the White House provided more cooperation with Darrell Issa on this and other investigations, a Melson resignation might have sufficed. Instead of cooperating, Melson and Attorney General Eric Holder stonewalled the Oversight Committee for weeks, and when they finally turned over the documents subpoenaed by Issa, the heavy redactions prompted Issa to tell the the DoJ’s Assistant Attorney General that he ‘should be ashamed’ of its conduct in an investigation into the death of one of its Border Patrol agents. . . . Issa now will go after the DoJ for its conduct in the investigation, because Holder and Weich have certainly acted as if they have something to hide. And the sudden desire to throw Melson under the bus seems to indicate that the White House would like to end this probe rather quickly, too. At this point, even a resignation by Weich wouldn’t slow Issa’s probe.”

Bonus quote: “Allowing loads of weapons that we knew to be destined for criminals, this was the plan. It was so mandated.” –Special Agent John Dodson ATF Phoenix Field Division. I retain my suspicions about the connection between a secret ATF operation that allowed thousands of weapons to go from U.S. gunshops to Mexican crime scenes, and a public gun-control campaign by the Obama Administration that stressed the need to limit gun sales in the United States because weapons from U.S. gun shops were turning up at Mexican crime scenes. Call me cynical, but this is an awfully convenient juxtaposition.

THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER EDITORIALIZES: Operation Fast and Furious should end Holder tenure. “Documents released by the Issa panel make it clear that Operation Fast and Furious was well-known and enthusiastically supported at the highest leveIs of ATF. That means the program had to have been supported elsewhere within the Justice Department. Thus, it is inconceivable that Holder did not know about Operation Fast and Furious. But even if he didn’t know, he clearly should have. Either way, Wednesday’s hearing provided the latest evidence that it’s past time for Holder to go.”

Well, people are calling this ATF gunrunning scandal worse than Iran/Contra.

On the other hand, some are suggesting that Holder should run for higher office. They’ve even got a running mate picked out:

It’s a perfectly matched ticket. (Image from reader Robert Sbisa).

THE CONGRESSIONAL REPORT ON THAT ATF gunrunning scandal is out. Call me suspicious, but when I hear that ATF folks were “giddy” over the news that these guns were showing up at Mexican crime scenes, I can’t help but feel that the whole thing was designed to shore up efforts at gun control in the United States based on claims that it was necessary to prevent guns flowing to Mexico. Based on evidence to date, a better way to keep guns from flowing to Mexico would be to defund the ATF.

Also, if administration people were lying to Congress about this program, should we expect to see False Statements Act prosecutions? If not, why not?

MORE ON THAT ATF GUNRUNNING SCANDAL: Will the Justice Department be held to account for arming lethal Mexican cartels? “To date, the ATF operation, which encouraged gun shops in the American southwest to sell weapons to suspected criminals and let them carry the weapons across the border, has resulted in an estimated 150 Mexican law enforcement officers and soldiers shot with ATF-supplied weapons.”

BORDER SAFETY: Questions Linger After ATF Gunrunning Scandal.

ROBERT FARAGO: Calderon’s Silence on ATF Gunrunning Scandal Explained: “Mystery surrounds the ATF Gunwalker scandal. Who authorized the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ stingless sting operation that allowed, indeed enabled thousands of U.S. guns to flow to Mexican drug cartels? Why is the Obama administration stonewalling the Congressional investigation of Project Gunrunner and Operation Fast and Furious? What else are they hiding? And here’s another one: why has Mexican President Felipe Calderon remained on the sidelines of this story, continuing to cozy-up to President Obama when it’s clear that Uncle Sam supplied weapons to the narco-terrorists plaguing his country? Well, it looks like we might have an answer. . . . Anabel Hernández has made quite the charge: the Sinaloa cartel has bought the Mexican government lock, stock and Calderon. What’s more, the DEA knows about the corruption and plays ball with Calderon to catch other cartels, giving the Sinaloas a pass. Which would account for Calderon’s lack of indignation on the whole Gunwalker deal.” Well, stay tuned.

ATF GUNRUNNING SCANDAL UPDATE: Grassley Presses for More Answers on Operation Fast and Furious, Allowing Guns to “Walk.”

More here.

ATF GUNRUNNING SCANDAL NOW AN INTERNATIONAL INCIDENT: Mexico lawmakers demand answers about guns smuggled under ATF’s watch.

MORE ON THAT ATF GUNRUNNING SCANDAL: Agent: ATF Partly Responsible For Mexico Violence.

MORE ON THAT BATF GUNRUNNING SCANDAL: Agent: I was ordered to let U.S. guns into Mexico. “An Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms senior agent assigned to the Phoenix office in 2010, Dodson’s job is to stop gun trafficking across the border. Instead, he says he was ordered to sit by and watch it happen.” All while the ATF was blaming U.S. gun shops for weapons found in Mexico . . . .

MORE ON THAT ATF GUNRUNNING SCANDAL: Grassley to Holder: ATF refused to answer specific questions in briefing.

NRA WEIGHS IN on the ATF gunrunning scandal. “BATFE’s desire to mandate reporting of multiple long gun sales by border area firearms dealers is questionable since BATFE seems incapable of managing the criminal leads it already has and unwilling to submit to constitutionally mandated Congressional oversight.”