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May 11, 2011
By Staff writers
ATF gun smuggling timeline: a clarification of terms
Due to the fact that the mainstream media in the United States of America has abdicated its responsibility to keep the public informed on issues vital to the nation, most citizens have remained thus far totally in the dark concerning the continually-developing scandal at the ATF--the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. The scandal in a nutshell is that the Obama Administration engaged in an illegal scheme to place U.S. guns in the hands of criminals in Mexico and Honduras. The smuggled guns were used to kill two American Border Patrol Agents and at least 150 Mexican citizens.
In spite of the stellar investigative reporting that exposed this scandal--the work of David Codrea of National Gun Rights Examiner, and Mike Vanderboegh of Sipsey Street Irregulars--the mainstream media have been totally silent except for Fox News. CBS News picked up the story back in March but dropped it suddenly and without explanation.
Thus, the public has been forced to rely upon lesser-known sources, such as this column and that of David Codrea, Mike Vanderboegh, Kurt Hofmann, and others. And while Fox News has done an admirable job at keeping the issue at the forefront of the news, they are but one segment of the massive mainstream media machine that routinely kills stories that put Barack Obama and his Administration in a negative light. It is no surprise, then, that with each new article this writer submits on the scandal more citizens come to the surface to state they have never heard of it. And, the details and the terms used to describe it can be rather confusing to newcomers.
To address that issue, the following is a brief timeline of events along with a clarification of commonly-used terms by those of us who regularly report these mind-boggling events.
March 24, 2009--The Obama Administration announces its U.S.-Mexico Border Policy along with its intent to conduct a sting operation by running guns to Mexico, tracing where the guns wind up, and then capturing and prosecuting the criminals who use those guns to perpetrate violence against Mexican citizens and U.S. citizens in their drug smuggling activity. The program, which had been started under the Bush Administration in 2004, with public funding, was kicked up into high gear, with stimulus funds from taxpayers, in 2009.
This operation was known as 'Project Gunrunner' and was made fully public at the outset. There is no evidence that the original sting operation was illegal or went awry of the law.
December 28, 2010--The first report was issued indicating that Project Gunrunner had gone terribly awry and had morphed into something entirely different, involving 'walking' guns into Mexico by ATF agents who made straw purchases of firearms at gun stores in Arizona. Those firearms were used in the murder of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.
The illegal and scandalous shift in the Project Gunrunner operation was then dubbed as 'Project Gunwalker.' The term 'Operation Fast and Furious' refers to both aspects of the operation, including both Gunrunner and Gunwalker.
January 5, 2011--ATF whistleblowers--agents who were part of the operation from the start but strenuously objected to its illegal components--confirmed that the agency walked guns into Mexico in order to pad statistics on the common mantra that 'U.S. guns are arming the Mexican drug cartels.' The Administration would use these phony statistics to make a case for new gun control measures in the U.S., based in part upon the number of guns that government agents deliberately walked across the border. Roughly 1800 guns were sent to Mexican criminals.
January 7, 2011--A trusted source close to the White House confirms that the highest levels of government, including the White House itself, is 'in the loop' on the illegal scheme and is now calling the shots.
January 19, 2011--Mike Vanderboegh drafts a complete chronology of events leading to the information he and David Codrea had disclosed so far, along with a list of sources.
January 31, 2011--Senator Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, begins inquiries into the scandal as ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
February 1, 2011--Certain outlets within the mainstream media begin to pick up on the story, including the AP and CBS.
February 2, 2011--Fox News begins reporting the story.
March 4, 2011--Conservative talk radio commentator Rush Limbaugh begins to hammer away at the Obama Administraton on the scandal.
March 17, 2011--U.S. Congressman Darrell Issa, R-California, begins investigations into the scandal as Chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
April 1, 2011--The Assistant Attorney-General of the United States confesses to the scandal and implicates his boss, Attorney-General Eric Holder.
April 18, 2011--A special report indicates that Mexican homicides tripled as the ATF sent U.S. guns into the country.
June 15, 2011--The blame game begins as anti-gun groups and Leftwing activists and politicians attack the Gunwalker story by blaming 'lax U.S. gun laws' and smearing Congressman Darrell Issa.
June 22, 2011--Reports surface that the major outlets of the mainstream media are going all-out to save Obama from the Gunwalker scandal. Curiously, CBS News goes totally silent on the scandal, in spite of the fact that early-on they hammered it on a weekly basis.
July 6, 2011--Explosive news surfaces concerning a 2nd scandal involving the Tampa office of the ATF--smuggling U.S. guns to Honduras.
July 8, 2011--Mike Vanderboegh appears on The Fox Report with Bret Baier to discuss the scandal.