About Those Big Fish The ATF Was Pursuing…

Ostensibly the purpose of ATF’s Operation Fast and Furious was to use the little fish (aka straw purchasers)as a means to reach the big fish of the Mexican drug cartels. After it came out last week that the ATF let Manuel Celis-Acosta, ringleader of the illegal gun buyers, off when they had him in custody at the US-Mexican border, we now learn that the so-called big fish were informants for the FBI.

According to DEA and Congressional reports, the two men were the primary cartel contacts used to finance the illegal gun trafficking ring. Jim Needles, the assistant Agent in Charge of the Phoenix ATF office estimated the brothers spent $250,000 on guns tracked by his agency while conducting Operation Fast and Furious. Needles called it “a disappointment” the FBI didn’t bother to tell his agency of the connection.

“You are getting at the very basis of this investigation,” Senator Charles Grassley said Friday.

“But I have to wait till we have all the information before we bring down the hammer.”

Grassley first revealed in September 2011 the FBI, knew, but failed to tell the ATF, it’s informants were part of the gun trafficking ring. Then in February, Grassley called them “the big fish” ATF had been looking for the entire time.

Both the FBI and DEA know the Miramontes brothers’ role and identity, but declined to tell the ATF during a “deconfliction” meeting Dec. 15, 2009. Nor did either agency speak up at any of the joint meetings all three agencies attended of the Southwest Border Initiative. The DEA and ATF’s Group 7 shared the same floor of the same building and the same ‘wire room’ to listen to wiretaps of suspects.

Eventually and under pressure, the FBI invited top ATF officials to a classified briefing in El Paso in the late summer of 2010 and described the Eduardo and Jesus Miramontes as “a national security assets”. The two men were “off limits, untouchable and indictable” said a source familiar with the briefing.

Watch the latest video at <a href=”http://video.foxnews.com”>video.foxnews.com</a>

Mike Vanderboegh offers this analysis of the news:

Is it becoming clearer? Black operations are compartmentalized. The only thing that is required is the ability to deflect interest from other agencies and supervisors within a given agency who might be meddlesome. “National security” goes a long way. What is also required are back-channel means of communication and control. Can you say from “old friends” like the State Department’s Kevin O’Reilly serving on the National Security Council and “Gunwalker Bill” Newell in Phoenix? I knew you could. And remember the one thing in Phoenix which would be required would be someone in control who could issue the proper orders and put them in a nice legal-looking frame — Janet Napolitano’s lickspittle, anti-gun zealot Dennis K. Burke. Personnel is policy.

Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich is leading a counter-attack by accusing Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), and their investigators of “impeding the Department’s efforts to hold individuals accountable for their illegal acts.” Moreover, as David Codrea notes, Weich’s objections center around the fact that ATF knew Manuel Celis-Acosta was trafficking in firearms and still let him go despite that knowledge. His attempt at deflection on the leaks coming from the Department of Justice is a day late and a dollar short given what we now know.

Like I Said – An Attractive And Effective Spokesperson For Gun Rights

Emily Miller of the Washington Times was on Fox and Friends Weekend this morning to speak about the rise in gun ownership and gun use by women. I think she is correct when she attributes it to the desire for increased self-protection.

I think she did an excellent job in her interview. As I wrote earlier in the week, the unintended consequence of D.C.’s draconian gun laws was the creation of a new spokesperson for gun rights.

Watch the latest video at <a href=”http://video.foxnews.com”>video.foxnews.com</a>

The Unintended Consequences Of Putting Up Roadblocks To Emily Getting Her Gun

I doubt the District of Columbia City Council knew what was in store for them when Emily Miller started her path towards gun ownership. She just wanted a handgun for protection and they made it incredibly hard. Little did they realize that the roadblocks that they had erected to prevent gun ownership in the District would create such an attractive and effective spokesperson for gun rights.

If getting a handgun in the District had been as easy as it was in Virgina, Emily may have written one story and that would be that. The unintended consequence of their recalcitrance has been a 30-part series in the Washington Times, television interviews with Fox News and News Channel 8, testimony at a Council hearing on gun policy, and multiple interviews in the gun media ranging from NRA News to Tom Gresham’s GunTalk Radio.

Emily’s latest interview aired today on Bret Baier’s Special Report and is now the featured story on the Fox News site as I write this. The DC Council is reaping what they sowed.

Watch the latest video at <a href=”http://video.foxnews.com”>video.foxnews.com</a>

Fox Legal Analyst On Holder’s Testimony

Fox News Legal Analyst Peter Johnson finds it a bit incredulous that on one hand Attorney General Eric Holder is “a hands-on” leader aware of what is going on in his department but yet has never discussed Operation Fast and Furious with the President. Johnson also discusses lying, perjury, and misstatements to Congress.

I tend to agree. I think it strains belief that Holder and Obama have not discussed this operation especially since two U.S. law enforcement officers have been killed with weapons from it.

Watch the latest video at video.foxnews.com

Hannity Special On Operation Fast And Furious – DOJ Involvement

In Part II of the Hannity special report on Operation Fast and Furious, FoxNews reporter William LaJeunesse examines who knew what, when, and where about Project Gunwalker within the Department of Justice.

As the former U.S. Attorney for Arizona Melvin McDonald notes, the current U.S. Attorney for Arizona Dennis Burke was “obviously versed in it, told about it but this is a decision that is made in Washington and is made at the highest levels of the government.” It also should be remembered that before he became the U.S. Attorney, Mr. Burke was the Chief of Staff for Secretary for Homeland Security Janet Napolitano.

Watch the latest video at video.foxnews.com

LaPierre: New Reporting Regulation Smokescreen To Cover Up Fast And Furious

Wayne LaPierre, Executive VP and CEO of the National Rifle Association, was interviewed on Saturday morning’s Fox and Friends. Among his contentions is that the new multiple rifle reporting requirement for firearms dealers in the Southwest is nothing more than a smokescreen to divert attention from what happened in Operation Fast and Furious.

Fox News does try to give gun rights a fair shake. However, I wish when they are doing a story on semiautomatic rifles with detachable magazines that they not use video clips of people shooting pistols and handling a bolt action rifle. Jeez! At least it was better than their video interview of LaPierre from Friday when they used pistols and what looks to be a M-60 machine gun.

Watch the latest video at <a href=”http://video.foxnews.com”>video.foxnews.com</a>

Kirsten Powers Is An Airhead

Fox viewers voted that they wanted the topic of Fox’s Friday Lightning Round to be about Operation Fast and Furious. The panelists included Jonah Goldberg from the National Review, Democrat political analyst Kristen Power, and syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer. It was moderated by Bret Baier.

Goldberg, Baier, and Krauthammer made some good points. Goldberg pointed out that if the economy wasn’t so much in the tank and the unemployment rate at 9.2% this would be getting a lot more press. Krauthammer opined that he thought this will continue on into the fall and become an “Autumn Scandal” as well as a summer scandal. Baier continued to bring up the Tampa Field Division and their involvement in walking guns to MS-13 in Honduras.

FoxNews has a lot of attractive and smart blondes on their network. Kirsten Powers is not one of them. I realize that Kirsten Powers’ main role for Fox is to spout the official Democrat Party line. That said, she comes across like an airhead whose sole goal was to deflect attention from Eric Holder and try to make the story about Rep. Darrell Issa. She was totally unbelievable and displayed incredible ignorance about the whole scandal. I guess I should be happy because it showed just how weak the arguments being put out by the White House and the Democrat Party really are.

Watch the latest video at video.foxnews.com