All sorts of news bubbling up, reportage of which is in various stages of completion.
Posts Tagged ‘Mexico’
Democratic Party candidate for Hidalgo County Precinct 1 Constable Robert “Bobby” Maldonado has a little problem. He’s been charged with money-laundering, as police found money in the trunk of his car.
$1,068,930, to be precise.
One might wonder why someone with that much money was bothering to run for office at all, but I suspect being Constable would offer up a lot more lucrative avenues for Mr. Maldonado as a cartel’s man on the inside of law enforcement.
(Hat tip: Must Read Texas.)
Continuing her excellent reporting on the issue, Sharyl Attkisson drops another bombshell: Just like us “paranoid” right wingers thought all along, Fast and Furious was about promoting gun control:
Documents obtained by CBS News show that the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) discussed using their covert operation “Fast and Furious” to argue for controversial new rules about gun sales.
ATF officials didn’t intend to publicly disclose their own role in letting Mexican cartels obtain the weapons, but emails show they discussed using the sales, including sales encouraged by ATF, to justify a new gun regulation called “Demand Letter 3″. That would require some U.S. gun shops to report the sale of multiple rifles or “long guns.” Demand Letter 3 was so named because it would be the third ATF program demanding gun dealers report tracing information.
On July 14, 2010 after ATF headquarters in Washington D.C. received an update on Fast and Furious, ATF Field Ops Assistant Director Mark Chait emailed Bill Newell, ATF’s Phoenix Special Agent in Charge of Fast and Furious:
“Bill – can you see if these guns were all purchased from the same (licensed gun dealer) and at one time. We are looking at anecdotal cases to support a demand letter on long gun multiple sales. Thanks.”
On Jan. 4, 2011, as ATF prepared a press conference to announce arrests in Fast and Furious, Newell saw it as “(A)nother time to address Multiple Sale on Long Guns issue.” And a day after the press conference, Chait emailed Newell: “Bill–well done yesterday… (I)n light of our request for Demand letter 3, this case could be a strong supporting factor if we can determine how many multiple sales of long guns occurred during the course of this case.”
Read the whole thing.
The best, most favorable explanation is that Fast and Furious was instituted for some still-undisclosed purpose, and that some ATF agents saw it as a ghoulish opportunity to promote gun control.
The worst: The Obama Administration designed and implemented Fast and Furious in a premeditated fashion, breaking the law and helping kill hundreds of Mexican citizens and U.S. border patrol agent Brian Terry, all for the sole, express purpose of promoting gun control.
They had to kill people with guns in order to save them from getting killed by guns.
It shows that just because your paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you.
Hat tip: Powerline, where John Hinderaker says: “If the Obama administration did arrange for the shipment of arms to Mexican drug gangs, not for any legitimate public purpose but in order to advance a left-wing political agenda, and those guns were used to murder hundreds of Mexicans and at least one American border agent–which they were–then we are looking at a scandal that dwarfs any in modern American history.”
So says that bastion of right-wing propaganda, The New York Times:
Undercover American narcotics agents have laundered or smuggled millions of dollars in drug proceeds as part of Washington’s expanding role in Mexico’s fight against drug cartels, according to current and former federal law enforcement officials.
The officials said that while the D.E.A. conducted such operations in other countries, it began doing so in Mexico only in the past few years. The high-risk activities raise delicate questions about the agency’s effectiveness in bringing down drug kingpins, underscore diplomatic concerns about Mexican sovereignty, and blur the line between surveillance and facilitating crime. As it launders drug money, the agency often allows cartels to continue their operations over months or even years before making seizures or arrests.
Another former agency official, who asked not to be identified speaking publicly about delicate operations, said, “My rule was that if we are going to launder money, we better show results. Otherwise, the D.E.A. could wind up being the largest money launderer in the business, and that money results in violence and deaths.”
Those are precisely the kinds of concerns members of Congress have raised about a gun-smuggling operation known as Fast and Furious
I suppose it’s progress of a sort when even The New York Times realizes something went horribly wrong in Fast and Furious. And even if the money laundering program was working, what chance does it have now that the cover has been blown?
Does anyone actually believe the Obama Administration has an effective, coherent plan to take down the cartels?
What next? Will we find out that U.S. agents actually carried out cartel assassinations?
The former officials said that federal law enforcement agencies had to seek Justice Department approval to launder amounts greater than $10 million in any single operation. But they said that the cap was treated more as a guideline than a rule, and that it had been waived on many occasions to attract the interest of high-value targets.
If Fast and Furious is any guide, those “hundreds of thousands of dollars” will turn out to be tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars.
(Hat tip: Instapundit.)
I hope you’re celebrating both Veterans Day and Nigel Tufnel Day (11/11/11) today. A few bits of news:
I’ll try to do a Greek/Euro debt update just as soon as I figure out just what the hell Europe is actually doing…
Either I’m getting a little better handle on things, or Fast and Furious revelations have slowed down just enough for me to keep up.
(Hat tips: Sipsey Street, Say Uncle, and the usual suspects.)
You know, when I started doing Fast and Furious updates, I didn’t realize I’d have to update this daily. But events are moving at a pretty brisk pace:
Finally, not related at all (except also involving guns), but I wanted to point out that Adam Winkler, author of Gunfight: The Battle over the Right to Bear Arms in America, points out that yes, the roots of gun control in America are racist in nature.