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Wednesday, 20 June 2012


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One quibble; The ATF did not "allow" gun dealers to sell guns to known smugglers, they FORCED them to do so. The dealers initially declined the purchases, until the ATF put pressure on them.

This has also increased violence along both sides of the border here in Arizona. I hope they eviscerate the bastards responsible for this disgrace. (there are over 300 deaths from it in Mexico too, and that's just what we know of).

America's biggest political scandal was Watergate (which caused the downfall of President Nixon). However, what was the death toll in Watergate? Zero. With Fast and Furious, it's at least in the hundreds.

'Arizona CJ', welcome to D&N and thank you for your more local expert knowledge. And your underlying astonishment is matched by mine - even from this distance. The whole thing beggars belief and in most?/many? democratic countries would have led to the fall of a government or at the very least the resignation of ministers. What a herd of blind bovines your country's MSM have become - they don't want to know so they don't look and don't tell. But truth will out - in the end.

Obama's pedestal was way too high. Stories like this suggest how deluded his supporters must have been, yet still many will vote for him come polling day. How to explain it though?

What I never understand is why the US doesn't close the border with Mexico. If Obama won't build a fence, then the States could. If they won't, how about the local authorities. If not them, the people who own the land. I know that some borderland is owned by the Federal government, but presumably they are bordered by private land. The US should follow the Israeli example and build a bloody great wall. And while I am ranting, the EU should wall off Turkey. And buy a lot of patrol boats.

Im really not "up to snuff" on the details of the current foofaraw but I am aware (having some first-hand experience from way back '79-mid 80s) with an earlier version. Perhaps more convoluted since it involved Iran also. (Don't take me to task Arizona CJ - I was mainly on ships near Pakistan and in the Persian Gulf.)

Specifically "Iran-Contra." Then we were sending beau coup arms to El Salvadore. Not sure where those've wound up - Venezuela maybe. 'Course we (the US) have a long history of arms and south of the border.

Admittedly, back in the 80s the cartels weren't of the drug variety so much.

Case of right hand/left hand being strangers.

And we are going to put a wall up around Australia!

Thanks for the welcome! :)

The problem, IMHO, is that Fast & Furious is a convoluted mess and thus not easy for the casual news watcher to understand.

First, what was the purpose of it? No one knows (well, maybe some do, but they aren't talking). Was it an attempt to bolster one cartel against others so they'd kill each other off? That's one claim that's been floated, but it doesn't fit the facts well. (for one thing, most of the weapons went to the stronger of the local cartels). Plus, why involve legal gun dealers? Wouldn't a covert opp prefer to be, well, covert? Also, running a foreign operation out of an ATF office? That's hard to believe. Also, covert opps are, by law, required to be disclosed to a congressional oversight committee. This wasn't (so even if it was an attempt to increase the violence to destroy the cartels, US law was still broken).

Was it like Iran/Contra? Iran/Contra, right or wrong, at least had a couple of comprehensible motives.

One theory is that the Obama administration was doing this as an excuse to crack down on gun dealers. They'd been yapping about the "Iron river" of guns from the US ending up in criminal hands in Mexico all through 2009. That's explain why they coerced gun dealers into selling the weapons but wouldn't give them anything in writing. But, that too fails the sniff test; it would be idiotic to assume you could get away with something like that; the chance of it staying secret would be zero. But, on yet another hand, in 2009 the administration didn't think the Republicans would retake the house (and the subpoena power that goes with it) and without that, they could just lie, like they tried anyway.

Bear in mind they did try to frame the gun dealers. We only know this for sure because one gun dealer had the wit (and balls) to take a recorder with him and tape his meeting with the ATF agents who were ordering him to make these dubious sales.

Until now, the excuse was that no one high up knew of the operation. That's been proven a lie. They are also trying to say it was begun by the Bush admin, which it wasn't. Under Bush, there was a small opp aimed at tracking guns and thus catching smugglers. It was done in concert with the Mexican government, and all guns were recovered. In Fast&Furious, they ordered the agents NOT to track the guns, and they also kept the Mexican government in the dark. (which amongst other things makes this an act of war).

Most of our major TV news outlets are left-leaning, so barely covered this, if at all. Everything changed when Obama invoked executive privilege. He's now indelibly linked himself to the scandal.

Bring down the government? In the US, the only way to remove a President during his term is to impeach him for high crimes. This, however, might rise to that level *IF* they can find proof that Obama broke the law. He may well have done so; if he conspired with Holder to hide sensitive documents that had been subpoenad, that's obstruction of justice. So is deleting them. If he ordered this opp for political reasons (to ram through gun control) and that can be proven, than he's an accessory to murder.

The real interesting bit is that somehow (some kind of leak, it wasn't via the subpoena) the chairman of the investigative committee got ahold of internal e-mails that were very damning (and prove perjury, amongst other things). Who knows what else he has? I'll bet that's causing a lot of sleepless nights.

Why don't we build a fence? Good question! We should, and were supposed to. In areas where it has been built, it has helped a lot. However, the Feds stalled. Arizona is building some parts on state and private land, but we can't on federal land (and most of the border area is federal). We're doing this largely by private donations.

One thing to bear in mind about the fence though; it's a massive undertaking. Arizona's border with Mexico is about 375 miles long (about 600k). That's like building a fence from the English Channel to Edinburgh, and that's just for my state, and much of it is in very remote areas in extremely rugged terrain (mountains). For much of it, there is no road access, not even dirt roads. To do the entire border with Mexico, the length would be about 1900 miles. To put that in perspective, build a fence from John 'O Groats to London, then continue it on to Moscow.

BTW, I'm new to this blog (been lurking about a week). I found it while looking for info in the Eurozone crisis, which is an interest of mine (I havevisited the UK and Europe many times). Long story short, I noticed something that makes no sense to me, and was hoping to find an answer. I'm betting people with local knowledge would know. Basically, it's the way the ECB and other "stability" mechanisms have been buying sovereign debt bonds to try to stabilize the markets. Here's what jumped out at me; When the ECB buys bonds, it puts itself in first position (akin to a first mortgage) so the ECB gets paid first in event of default. This, perforce, puts all other bond holders in second position, thus putting them in a worse position than before the supposed reassuring move (and the proposed ESF 600B bond buying would be the same, I think). This is being done to reassure the bond markets? That's what I can't understand; logically, it'll panic the markets, because it subordinates the bond holders to the ECB and ESF debt. (It's like owning a second mortgage instead of a first; you're second in line for being paid, and thus have far more risk). That's why second mortgages carry higher interest rates than first mortgages. So, the way it looks to me is this move will drive bond yield up, not down. Thus, it makes zero sense. Obviously, I'm missing something (If I was right, surely it'd be all over the news that this was abotu to happen?) but what did I get wrong?
(Please excuse any ignorance on my part; I'm not as well informed on the issue as a local would be.).


If you want to get a better understanding of the Euro crisis - look for video clips of Nigel Farage. You'll get a laugh as well.

I take your point CJ about the length of the required wall. I understand much of the countryside is uninhabited, some of it State Parks. Build the wall in from the international border, you could then make it nice and straight. Then introduce a free-fire zone; you could sell licences to get some of the cost of the wall back.

Foregive me, lady and gentlemen, if I don't respond to each every one of you on this occasion, but thanks for your commentary. I will stick to CJ's very informative comment.

I suspect that like most disasters it came about more by cock-up than conspiracy - although usually futile efforts to hide a cock-up leads in the end to conspiracy. I have absolutely no evidence to support my suspicion that Op. Fast & Furious was the (non)brain-child of a relatively minor official in the Phoenix office of ATF with delusions of grandeur and a desire to be as macho as the DEA, the FBI and the CIA combined! Someone senior in Washington with more intelligence should have stamped on the whole thing before it started. The idea that 'CJ' puts forward that the Obama administration was using it with the long-term aim of putting pressure on gun-dealers is a new one to me but anything, it seems, is possible in the wonderful world of Obama-ism! I share 'CJ's suspicion that sewage from this affair is soon going to lap round the feet of the president.

'CJ', the only man who ever understood all the ins and outs of the current European imbroglio wrote it all down but then went mad and forgot where he put it! Oddly enough, today's WSJ has an article raising much the same points as you:

For some first-class commentary on this convoluted subject you might like to follow Liam Halligan at the Telegraph:

or Daniel Hannan who is a European MP:

Not too much to be learned here, I'm afraid, just a steady stream of bile aimed at the poltroons who reign over us!

"The real interesting bit is that somehow (some kind of leak, it wasn't via the subpoena) the chairman of the investigative committee got ahold of internal e-mails that were very damning (and prove perjury, amongst other things). Who knows what else he has? I'll bet that's causing a lot of sleepless nights."

No doubt CJ, that last (italicized) sentence:

Lacking the attentive knowledge of the latest op I'm limited to speculation. Just make some observations which are insufficient of course for any sort of conclusion.

The Bush era op led to the only convictions (and as far as I can tell, the only prosecutions) during this, subsequent administration. The earlier op beginning 'about' 2006 - the convictions, 2010. Just guessing - I can see where some genius in the Phoenix office may've thought [may've!] "Well, it does work - lessee..."

You may notice this comment arrives somewhat tardy? Don't know it's relevant but I'm given to understand the total arms transferred were not completely accounted for following the "conclusion" of the earlier op.

A question Arizona CJ;

"In Fast&Furious, they ordered the agents NOT to track the guns, and they also kept the Mexican government in the dark."

Who is "they"?

(I've only kept up with national stuff via FOX and mostly very slightly 'cause my interests are focused primarily where CENTCOM's are. But completely as a civilian nowadays mind.)

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