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(CNN)   In depth investigation of Fast and Furious reveals that - now, you may want to sit down for this - the DOJ did nothing wrong and the whole thing is a politically motivated witch hunt   (features.blogs.fortune.cnn.com) divider line 653
    More: Obvious, Justice Department, DOJ, Furious, Branch-Davidians, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Charles Grassley, contempt of Congress, street gangs  
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4007 clicks; posted to Politics » on 27 Jun 2012 at 12:49 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-06-27 05:26:01 PM

paygun: birchman: Of course! If they just would have stopped the program, straw buyers would have quit buying all the guns for the Mexicans! Flawless logic!

Call me crazy but if they stopped the program where they allowed straw purchases, I bet the amount of straw purchases would at least go down.

This makes about as much sense as the DEA selling drugs. Not sting operations, I mean just selling drugs and claiming that they did it to see where people bought their drugs. Now granted it does cut down on a lot of investigation. As soon as you sell the guy drugs, you know that he bought them from you.


Ok. You're crazy. There is no way that going from a position of "we're watching the suspects but not stopping them" to "we stopped watching them" would lead to those suspects decreasing the behaviour that was being watched.
 
2012-06-27 05:26:06 PM

paygun: How about anything more than what little we do now? Now granted, I'm assuming all the illegal aliens make it across the border without benefit of helicopters or jet packs.


How much more? Is there a cost/benefit analysis that you would apply (for example, lets say spending 10% more money resulted in less than 10% more traffic being caught, would it still be worthwhile? 100% more money for 1% more traffic?).

Jet packs and helicopters, no.
Ultralights, yes. Link
Tunnels, yes.

And, btw, you are talking about guns going SOUTH. Or at least you were.

You know there are towns right on the border too right? Tunnels going from one basement to another, not to mention just getting past the fence and bam, you're running around in the city.

As for the deserts and scrubland, are you aware of just how much border there is out there? There are places with a highway not 2 miles from the border, where there might be one agent patrolling 20 miles in a truck. If he drives fast, he won't see the foot sign of the crossers. If he drives slow, he'll be on one end of the zone when somebody crosses a half mile behind him and won't make it back for hours. And of course, in that time, they've walked to the highway and got picked up. They don't even have to stay, they can just drop a load a mile in and flee back while someone on our side picks that load up.

Next you'll tell me a fence will stop them. Like they can't jump over the normandy barrier or cut through any barrier we build. Those fences are a money pit. Aliens tear at them from the other side, or, and i know this'll amaze you, use ladders, or hooks on their shoes to climb them.

And you're talking about stopping southbound loads too, remember? Cut the vehicle barrier in advance and then send the truck on a quick drive through. Easy peasy.

I don't think you realize what it is you are asking and how silly any politician claiming they'll lock that border down is being.
 
2012-06-27 05:27:00 PM

qorkfiend: Esc7: And the US Attorneys not doing their job made it near impossible for the F&F team. I don't see what is incorrect about that.

What do you believe the job of a US Attorney is? In this case, they looked at the evidence and told the ATF they didn't have enough to make an arrest, which is exactly what the US Attorneys should be doing.


I personally believe (and I am far far from any form of law enforcement agent) that when the ATF comes to you and says they have a poor person buying a lot a guns, or really anyone buying a lot of guns, that that action is suspicious.

Now I might be wrong. The specific instances in the article seem insanely suspicious. Maybe the US Attorneys were right. But after seeing the fallout from all of this, it seems people expected something to stop all of this from happening.
 
2012-06-27 05:27:24 PM

apoptotic: Not to even mention that if you want to actually catch the guns before they leave the country you'd have to search vehicles before they cross the border, and people tend to get all 4th Amendment-y if you suggest that.


We're letting people get guns who shouldn't legally have them but those guys over there won't let us stop them
SO WE JUST KEPT DOING IT.
repeat
 
2012-06-27 05:28:39 PM

paygun: birchman: Since it sounds like you have very little knowledge of what we actually do now, that's kind of a cop-out answer. But I guess if you're in favor of a big increase in the size of government then that's your right. Where do you propose we get the money for this magic army of freedom protectors to line the thousand miles of border we have?

Like I said, I'll take your word as gospel. If that's not going to work, then let's not do it. I think we've already shown that doing everything we can to make sure guns make it across the border isn't really a good solution to stopping guns from getting across the border.

I have to admit that I thought this was the usual "we have to outlaw guns because Mexico" but apparently this isn't just the usual tired argument for more gun control. Right?


No, it's not. I'm a liberal but I'm a gun-loving liberal. My whole issue with this situation is that it's turning into an enormous controversy over something that, while frustrating, isn't really all that surprising or preventable given the circumstances. Of course, that's politics I guess.
 
2012-06-27 05:28:41 PM
target="_blank">Dinki: Um, ATF admitting lack of oversight != illegal gun walking.

The question being debated in this thread, and in the headline, is whether it's reasonable to hold the DOJ and it's head, Eric Holder, responsible for the clusterfark that was F&F. Lack of oversight isn't illegal. However, it is a sign either you or someone you hired isn't doing their job and therefore you or someone in your chain of command should be held accountable. Which is what the current investigation is about.

Dinki: If you read the article, it said that federal prosecuters can't prosecute straw buyers, unless the buyer basically admits he is a straw buyer.

Oh, and the link you posted is about the Wide Receiver program, not F&F.


I'm aware that's what the federal prosecutors said. It's bullshiat. People are prosecuted for it all the time. This article is attempting to say "ATF didn't screw up, the US Attorney did" while ignoring the fact that both of those report to DOJ and Holder. Yes, the quote is about Wide Receiver, which was the predecessor to F&F. The quote illustrates that the various groups within DOJ were either failing to communicate with each other or outright lying to each other about what the program was actually doing as early as 2006. It was apparently a problem that started under Bush/Gonzales/Ashcroft and continued under Obama/Holder. There's not much point in asking Gonzales or Ashcroft to explain what happened, or to hold them accountable, as they're no longer in a position to release documents even if they want to nor could they change policy even if they wanted to. Holder can. That's why it's appropriate to ask him to come before Congress and explain it. Which last I checked is what the current debate is about.

Dinki: The fact that other news organizations have not thoroughly investigated this does not invalidate this article.


It invalidates the idea that both the article and the headline puts forth that this is a completely made up scandal that only republicans think is a big deal. If Village Voice and HuffPo think it's a big deal, it obviously isn't something being stirred up only by republican operatives. Surely you're not so dumb that you need that explained to you.

Dinki: No, they could not be arrested. The ATF would have had to witnessed the illegal transfer. And by illegal, that means it would have had to be transfered to a convicted felon or a foriegn national.


Which they would have witnessed had they actually bothered tracking the people and the guns as they said they would. There's no doubt that the guns made it to felons and foreign nationals. If the ATF had actually done what they claimed they were doing (tracking the guns and the sellers) they would have had that evidence.

Dinki: Um, no- the ATF specifically told the shops that they would not instruct them how to run their business.


That's the letter you're going to cite? The one that says roughly "we know you have concerns, but you don't have any reason to worry (at least not until a federal agent ends up dead by one of the guns you sold)." The one that claims they were tracking the buyers and the guns when they clearly were not. The one that says your 'continued cooperation' (where 'cooperation' means continuing to sell guns to suspected straw purchasers) is appreciated. That letter? Damn man, I take back what I said before about about you not being that stupid.

The letter indicates that ATF and US Attorneys were on the same page and working closely together and that they were building a case. The linked article claims exactly the opposite.

If the ATF really didn't have the resources to investigate properly (i.e. follow the weapons) as the article claims, and the "attorney" the letter refers to had already determined that there weren't going to be any arrests or prosecutions, as the article claims, then why any they lying to this guy in the letter and telling him that his 'continued cooperation' is needed to 'secure the most comprehensive case' possible?

Was the ATF (and by reference the US Attorney) lying in the letter when they said they were building a case on this, or is this article full of shiat now when they say they couldn't possibly have built a case on this? If they knew they couldn't build a case, why did they encourage this guy to continue cooperating by continuing to sell to suspected straw purchasers? Again, where they lying to this guy in the letter, or are they full of shiat now? Are they more likely to be lying now that they're being investigated, or before when they weren't?

Likely explanation: They weren't lying, they were trying to build a case, but the ATF investigation was handled so poorly that they weren't able to actually get the evidence they needed nor were they able to prevent the guns from falling into the wrong hands because they let the sales go through but then didn't actually monitor or follow the purchasers due to internal conflicts (see, e.g. the 'wire' emails). This also jibes with what the ATF has admitted to above and is the reason they've changed policies about allowing these kinds of sales. However, we do not and cannot know if that's the actual explanation because AG Holder refuses to release the documents that would show that. Probably because it's an election year and he knows it will make his Department and the ATF look like the bungling idiots that they are.

Are the Republicans pursuing this with unusual fervor because it's a screw up by a Democratic administration and it's an election year? Absolutely. It's hard to imagine the Republicans getting worked up about gun enforcement any other time. That doesn't change the fact that there obviously *was* a screw up, that the screw up was obviously in either the ATF or the US Attorney's Office, or both (both of which are DOJ), and that the DOJ doesn't feel like cooperating with a Congressional investigation that Congress has the power, authority, and duty to conduct.
 
2012-06-27 05:28:48 PM

Smackledorfer: I don't think you realize what it is you are asking and how silly any politician claiming they'll lock that border down is being.


I've already been corrected on that, and now I believe that we'll never control the border. I've moved ahead to where we both know this is going, because a gun can make it out of the country, we should outlaw guns. Isn't that right?
 
2012-06-27 05:29:36 PM

Welfare Xmas: qorkfiend: Having poor procedures is not equivalent to breaking the law.

Poor procedures? You should work in public relations.

//letting 2500 guns be transferred into the hands of drug cartels apparently for no farking reason* != poor procedures
//*obviously there was no hope what so ever that it would lead to criminal charges


For fark's sake, it wasn't "no reason". It might have been a bad reason, but it was a reason nonetheless.

"No hope what so ever that it would lead to criminal charges" must be why they asked the federal prosecutors if they had enough evidence for criminal charges.
 
2012-06-27 05:31:13 PM

birchman: No, it's not. I'm a liberal but I'm a gun-loving liberal. My whole issue with this situation is that it's turning into an enormous controversy over something that, while frustrating, isn't really all that surprising or preventable given the circumstances. Of course, that's politics I guess.


This thing was a bad idea under Bush, when people went to jail for it. I don't see why Obama's administration should get a pass either.

I know this is going to sound strange because this is fark, but I'm actually saying that this is wrong no matter which party did it. Crazy, I know.
 
2012-06-27 05:31:13 PM

paygun: Smackledorfer: You will never, EVER, control the southern border for southbound traffic. We can't fully control for incoming traffic AT ports of entry. We can't control for incoming traffic between ports of entry. And you want to prevent people from sneaking guns SOUTH?

I'll take that as gospel. If we can't control guns going south, then we can't. I don't see how one ineffective strategy is better than the other, unless of course it suits a political agenda. And I think that's exactly what's going on here.

Now if this isn't just an argument to curtail civil rights then please go on.


How the heck did you read that post and think I was arguing in favor of curtailing civil rights?

Of course its a political agenda: republicans get everyone afraid of mexicans, both sides get everyone afraid of drugs, and we spend an assload of money and time pretending we can keep the mexicans out and win the drug war. Where have you been? Next you'll be amazed to find out that the TSA doesn't actually make us super safe, but instead just lets politicians say they are making us safe and win votes.

If you meant F&F in particular is part of a political agenda to do something, then that is ridiculous and has been covered in this thread already.
 
2012-06-27 05:31:15 PM

redmid17: Nina_Hartley's_Ass:

WALL OF TEXT FROM ARTICLE



Is this the only thing you're going to do in the thread?


Pretty obvious plenty of people in the thread haven't bothered to read it. Why don't you go pester them?
 
2012-06-27 05:31:57 PM

paygun: birchman: They weren't "allowing" straw purchases, they were already happening. Legally.

Straw purchases are illegal by definition. What have I missed here?


By definition, yes. Unfortunately the burden of proof to show that intent was the big obstacle here. It's perfectly legal to buy 20 guns in Arizona and then privately sell them to another person in Arizona as long as you don't believe they are going to be used to commit crimes. Try proving that without a mindreader.
 
2012-06-27 05:33:12 PM

Esc7: qorkfiend: Esc7: And the US Attorneys not doing their job made it near impossible for the F&F team. I don't see what is incorrect about that.

What do you believe the job of a US Attorney is? In this case, they looked at the evidence and told the ATF they didn't have enough to make an arrest, which is exactly what the US Attorneys should be doing.

I personally believe (and I am far far from any form of law enforcement agent) that when the ATF comes to you and says they have a poor person buying a lot a guns, or really anyone buying a lot of guns, that that action is suspicious.

Now I might be wrong. The specific instances in the article seem insanely suspicious. Maybe the US Attorneys were right. But after seeing the fallout from all of this, it seems people expected something to stop all of this from happening.


That's what happened. ATF had suspicions. They began investigating. After a while, they turned over all of their evidence to the US Attorneys and asked, "Do we have enough?". The US Attorneys looked through it all and said "Nope, not enough, not yet. Sorry."
 
2012-06-27 05:33:16 PM

apoptotic: Smackledorfer: paygun: I'm proposing that we tackle the problem of guns going across the border by attempting to control the border

You will never, EVER, control the southern border for southbound traffic. We can't fully control for incoming traffic AT ports of entry. We can't control for incoming traffic between ports of entry. And you want to prevent people from sneaking guns SOUTH?

Let me clarify my above statement: Never, without spending 60, maybe 100 times what we currently do on border security, can we control that border between or at the POEs. Or a massive minefield and rules of shoot on sight for in between POEs. At the POEs themselves you'd require a dog sniff and a backscatter or other xray of 100% of incoming vehicles (and currently what, 1 in 20 might get secondaried currently?). To keep the trade at its current level, you'd have have more than 20 times the number of lanes, especially if you were xraying the vehicles for contraband, cause that takes even more time. I can't even conceive of how much more you'd have to do for POE traffic. And you are asking for us to run southbound checks at that level too then.

Not to even mention that if you want to actually catch the guns before they leave the country you'd have to search vehicles before they cross the border, and people tend to get all 4th Amendment-y if you suggest that.


You realize they have customs checkpoints like 100 miles in from the border on I-10 right?
 
2012-06-27 05:33:40 PM

qorkfiend: it wasn't "no reason".


So what was the reason? After the first few times the federal prosecutors said "sorry not enough evidence." Why did they keep doing it?
 
2012-06-27 05:33:42 PM

Welfare Xmas: apoptotic: Not to even mention that if you want to actually catch the guns before they leave the country you'd have to search vehicles before they cross the border, and people tend to get all 4th Amendment-y if you suggest that.

We're letting people get guns who shouldn't legally have them but those guys over there won't let us stop them
SO WE JUST KEPT DOING IT.
repeat


Tell me what they should have done to prevent it and why the US Attorney was wrong when they said they couldn't perform said action.
 
2012-06-27 05:34:47 PM

Smackledorfer: If you meant F&F in particular is part of a political agenda to do something, then that is ridiculous and has been covered in this thread already.


People believe it was part of a political agenda because it was just so retarded and accomplished nothing that they assume there had to be some goal. The idea of the ATF doing whatever it could to move guns across the border for no reason at all just seems too stupid to believe. Then throw in "we're doing something under the radar on gun control" from Obama and here we are.

It's not too far fetched for me to believe that this was an attempt to create a crisis and then capitalize on it politically. But Occam's razor. Mindless idiocy is governemnt's default. This is more likely to be just government being government.
 
2012-06-27 05:35:06 PM

apoptotic: Not to even mention that if you want to actually catch the guns before they leave the country you'd have to search vehicles before they cross the border, and people tend to get all 4th Amendment-y if you suggest that.


They actually were running a southbound operations in Santa Teresa when I lived in El Paso. Some people complained. They'd ask you if you had anything to declare, guns, ammunition, money in excess of 10k, etc.

There really isn't any 4th amendment rights when it comes to border searches. There is a clear border nexus when you are waiting in line for 20 minutes on a road that goes nowhere except the outbound lane at a POE. You were absolutely going to cross, and there is no serious material change that would take place between the search point at the border itself. Agents can search without suspicion.

But of course that didn't stop people from complaining about it.
 
2012-06-27 05:36:28 PM

Nina_Hartley's_Ass: redmid17: Nina_Hartley's_Ass:

WALL OF TEXT FROM ARTICLE



Is this the only thing you're going to do in the thread?

Pretty obvious plenty of people in the thread haven't bothered to read it. Why don't you go pester them?


Because they're not the ones posting useless walls of text and some are even talking about things outside of the scope of the article. Don't worry though you won't be bothering me anymore.
 
2012-06-27 05:36:45 PM

Nina_Hartley's_Ass: /i think we've all worked with these people...


What I expected. These guys are dipshiats. If there was a grand conspiracy to outlaw "assault weapons", I doubt these guys were clued in to the plan.
 
2012-06-27 05:36:48 PM

qorkfiend: Frank N Stein: Somolia? You mean that country that's in shambles because of a failed experiment in communism?

This is a new one.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Somali_Democratic_Republic

Like most countries with "Democratic" in the name, it was a totalitarian military dictatorship.
 
2012-06-27 05:37:43 PM

paygun: birchman: No, it's not. I'm a liberal but I'm a gun-loving liberal. My whole issue with this situation is that it's turning into an enormous controversy over something that, while frustrating, isn't really all that surprising or preventable given the circumstances. Of course, that's politics I guess.

This thing was a bad idea under Bush, when people went to jail for it. I don't see why Obama's administration should get a pass either.

I know this is going to sound strange because this is fark, but I'm actually saying that this is wrong no matter which party did it. Crazy, I know.


I'm trying to understand, but what is "wrong" about what happened? What should they have done that they didn't do? All they were basically doing was monitoring the activity, unable to actually do anything about it, hoping to eventually gather enough evidence to make a case some day.
 
2012-06-27 05:37:48 PM

Welfare Xmas: qorkfiend: it wasn't "no reason".

So what was the reason? After the first few times the federal prosecutors said "sorry not enough evidence." Why did they keep doing it?


Couldn't possibly be an attempt to gather additional evidence, since they didn't have enough.
 
2012-06-27 05:37:52 PM

paygun: Smackledorfer: I don't think you realize what it is you are asking and how silly any politician claiming they'll lock that border down is being.

I've already been corrected on that, and now I believe that we'll never control the border. I've moved ahead to where we both know this is going, because a gun can make it out of the country, we should outlaw guns. Isn't that right?


At no point have I ever suggested outlawing guns, nor is there is any connection between pointing out the costs of locking down the border with outlawing guns.
 
2012-06-27 05:40:32 PM

birchman: It's perfectly legal to buy 20 guns in Arizona and then privately sell them to another person in Arizona as long as you don't believe they are going to be used to commit crimes.


No, it's not. Dealing in guns without an FFL is illegal. Now that doesn't mean that an ATF agent magically appears whenever you do it, which is what you seem to be hung up on.
 
2012-06-27 05:40:37 PM

kingoomieiii: Isn't Holder's actual explanation that the documents list off multiple undercover agents that cartel enforcers would just LOVE to find and behead?


When it's for a good cause, we call it "Freedom Shortening".
 
2012-06-27 05:41:40 PM

Talondel:
2) That completely ignores the fact that the federal prosecutors are also DOJ employees who are overseen by Holder. It also ignores the fact that the US Attorney for Arizona was told by ATF and DOJ officials that all the guns being allowed to walk were being 'tracked' and that they wouldn't go missing.


Just so we all know, the article you cited on this point was NOT talking about the Fast and Furious program and it was not the US Attorney in place during that operation. Your citation refers to the prior US Attorney and the Bush-era operation, known as Wide Receiver.

If TFA is to be believed, Fast and Furious was not a gun walking program, but rather it was a straw purchaser crackdown operation which the subsequent US Attorney never chose to prosecute.

Seems that the farkups have been occurring for quite some time and involved multiple agencies. Let's elect Romney because the negro has done a lousy job of cleaning up the place.
 
2012-06-27 05:41:54 PM

redmid17: You realize they have customs checkpoints like 100 miles in from the border on I-10 right?


They are immigration checkpoints. They have the right to stop you and question your immigration status without suspicion . The courts have upheld this. They can also, in the process of that, ask you other questions in a nice friendly manner that they can't really force you to answer. Of course, they can use evasiveness to articulate a need to send you to secondary for more questioning. You still have 4th amendment protection against vehicle searches without an appropriate level of suspicion, it is just that much easier for them to build the suspicion since they are able to stop you without any.
 
2012-06-27 05:42:37 PM

paygun: birchman: It's perfectly legal to buy 20 guns in Arizona and then privately sell them to another person in Arizona as long as you don't believe they are going to be used to commit crimes.

No, it's not. Dealing in guns without an FFL is illegal. Now that doesn't mean that an ATF agent magically appears whenever you do it, which is what you seem to be hung up on.


Personal firearms transfers are legal in Arizona unless you know beforehand that the person receiving the weapon is not legally allowed to own it, or the weapon will be used to commit a crime.
 
2012-06-27 05:42:38 PM

paygun: It's not too far fetched for me to believe that this was an attempt to create a crisis and then capitalize on it politically.



By continuing a program started under the Bush Justice Administration?
 
2012-06-27 05:43:21 PM

paygun: Smackledorfer: If you meant F&F in particular is part of a political agenda to do something, then that is ridiculous and has been covered in this thread already.

People believe it was part of a political agenda because it was just so retarded and accomplished nothing that they assume there had to be some goal. The idea of the ATF doing whatever it could to move guns across the border for no reason at all just seems too stupid to believe. Then throw in "we're doing something under the radar on gun control" from Obama and here we are.

It's not too far fetched for me to believe that this was an attempt to create a crisis and then capitalize on it politically. But Occam's razor. Mindless idiocy is governemnt's default. This is more likely to be just government being government.


The idea that the ATF was actively encouraging the gunrunning IS too stupid to believe. How in the world does anyone believe that? Occam's Razor would state that they were inept and failed to do anything to stop the gunrunning but instead just feebly got to observe.

Seriously, do you believe that the ATF was motivated to get more guns into cartel hands? Not like the RFID tracker idea, just plain guns? I'm afraid that's what your post conveys.
 
2012-06-27 05:44:02 PM

Esc7: paygun: Smackledorfer: If you meant F&F in particular is part of a political agenda to do something, then that is ridiculous and has been covered in this thread already.

People believe it was part of a political agenda because it was just so retarded and accomplished nothing that they assume there had to be some goal. The idea of the ATF doing whatever it could to move guns across the border for no reason at all just seems too stupid to believe. Then throw in "we're doing something under the radar on gun control" from Obama and here we are.

It's not too far fetched for me to believe that this was an attempt to create a crisis and then capitalize on it politically. But Occam's razor. Mindless idiocy is governemnt's default. This is more likely to be just government being government.

The idea that the ATF was actively encouraging the gunrunning IS too stupid to believe. How in the world does anyone believe that? Occam's Razor would state that they were inept and failed to do anything to stop the gunrunning but instead just feebly got to observe.

Seriously, do you believe that the ATF was motivated to get more guns into cartel hands? Not like the RFID tracker idea, just plain guns? I'm afraid that's what your post conveys.


It's not like gunrunners needed extra encouragement, anyway.
 
2012-06-27 05:44:03 PM

Esc7: Welfare Xmas: Esc7: The F&F team apparently wanted to do the same thing but was stymied.

By the Federal Prosecutors? WOW this really must be a problem with the DOJ and Holder. Too bad somebody isn't investigating him.

Good thing I'm not a Democratic Partisan. Those Federal Prosecutors should be dragged out and forced to further explain this issue. The DOJ and Eric Holder should be raining goddamn fire and brimstone on these guys for NOT DOING THEIR JOBS. If any of these stories about the ATF employees acting like a bunch of wanking children are true, whoever hired them needs to be hauled up there and raked over the coals.

It seems like the whole system in Group VII of Arizona was a farking mess. FIX IT.

What it doesn't seem like is some nefarious plot to actively try to get guns into the hands of drug cartels. The fact that this falsehood is perpetuated is appalling. The fact that I personally believed the ATF handed over guns to known cartel members for cash based only on newspaper headlines is tragic. I feel like I, and everyone else here, have been lied to.


this.

I think that pisses me off more than anything particularly because I don't get my news from any one particular source and a lot of it comes from my commute, listening to NPR. I didn't know the facts of the case but I at least thought I understood how we had somehow sold guns to Mexican cartels but lost track of them. Until a few hours ago, I was certain I had that much right.
 
2012-06-27 05:45:02 PM
media.townhall.com
 
2012-06-27 05:45:26 PM

birchman: All they were basically doing was monitoring the activity, unable to actually do anything about it, hoping to eventually gather enough evidence to make a case some day.


You really don't believe that the ATF can stop someone from buying a gun from a dealer? That's ludicrous. All they had to do was disallow the sales, arrest the straw purchasers, pull the dealer's license, or deny the background check. They had multiple ways of stopping this from happening. There's a reason why the agents involved with this were pissed off about it continuing.
 
2012-06-27 05:45:40 PM

tenpoundsofcheese: The cover up is worse than the crime.


I see the cheese and whine platter has arrived at table ten.
 
2012-06-27 05:45:44 PM

paygun: birchman: It's perfectly legal to buy 20 guns in Arizona and then privately sell them to another person in Arizona as long as you don't believe they are going to be used to commit crimes.

No, it's not. Dealing in guns without an FFL is illegal. Now that doesn't mean that an ATF agent magically appears whenever you do it, which is what you seem to be hung up on.


FTA:

Emory Hurley, the assistant U.S. Attorney in Phoenix overseeing the Fast and Furious case, told the agents they lacked probable cause for arrests, according to ATF records. Hurley's judgment reflected accepted policy at the U.S. Attorney's Office in Arizona. "[P]urchasing multiple long guns in Arizona is lawful," Patrick Cunningham, the U.S. Attorney's then-criminal chief in Arizona would later write. "Transferring them to another is lawful and even sale or barter of the guns to another is lawful unless the United States can prove by clear and convincing evidence that the firearm is intended to be used to commit a crime."
 
2012-06-27 05:46:06 PM

intelligent comment below: By continuing a program started under the Bush Justice Administration?


Not just continued, but still run by George Bush to this day. George Bush is also still president.
 
2012-06-27 05:46:26 PM

Smackledorfer: apoptotic: Not to even mention that if you want to actually catch the guns before they leave the country you'd have to search vehicles before they cross the border, and people tend to get all 4th Amendment-y if you suggest that.

They actually were running a southbound operations in Santa Teresa when I lived in El Paso. Some people complained. They'd ask you if you had anything to declare, guns, ammunition, money in excess of 10k, etc.

There really isn't any 4th amendment rights when it comes to border searches. There is a clear border nexus when you are waiting in line for 20 minutes on a road that goes nowhere except the outbound lane at a POE. You were absolutely going to cross, and there is no serious material change that would take place between the search point at the border itself. Agents can search without suspicion.

But of course that didn't stop people from complaining about it.


Yeah I actually didn't realize that until someone else just mentioned the I-10 checkstops and I looked it up. Legal or not, I suspect that if that practise was greatly expanded (which it would have to be in order to be effective), the outcry would be deafening.
 
2012-06-27 05:47:27 PM
The irony is, this could turn into public outrage about gun laws.

/Go ahead Issa, have your Hearings
 
2012-06-27 05:48:19 PM

apoptotic: Smackledorfer: apoptotic: Not to even mention that if you want to actually catch the guns before they leave the country you'd have to search vehicles before they cross the border, and people tend to get all 4th Amendment-y if you suggest that.

They actually were running a southbound operations in Santa Teresa when I lived in El Paso. Some people complained. They'd ask you if you had anything to declare, guns, ammunition, money in excess of 10k, etc.

There really isn't any 4th amendment rights when it comes to border searches. There is a clear border nexus when you are waiting in line for 20 minutes on a road that goes nowhere except the outbound lane at a POE. You were absolutely going to cross, and there is no serious material change that would take place between the search point at the border itself. Agents can search without suspicion.

But of course that didn't stop people from complaining about it.

Yeah I actually didn't realize that until someone else just mentioned the I-10 checkstops and I looked it up. Legal or not, I suspect that if that practise was greatly expanded (which it would have to be in order to be effective), the outcry would be deafening.


I mean they are already permanent checkpoints in a lot of places...
 
2012-06-27 05:48:31 PM

birchman: Emory Hurley, the assistant U.S. Attorney in Phoenix overseeing the Fast and Furious case, told the agents they lacked probable cause for arrests, according to ATF records. Hurley's judgment reflected accepted policy at the U.S. Attorney's Office in Arizona. "[P]urchasing multiple long guns in Arizona is lawful," Patrick Cunningham, the U.S. Attorney's then-criminal chief in Arizona would later write. "Transferring them to another is lawful and even sale or barter of the guns to another is lawful unless the United States can prove by clear and convincing evidence that the firearm is intended to be used to commit a crime."


What they used to do was follow the buyer to the handoff. When they stopped doing that, then they didn't have the evidence. Why they stopped doing that is what the investigation was supposed to have learned.
 
2012-06-27 05:50:52 PM

paygun: All they had to do was disallow the sales,


Under what charge?

paygun: arrest the straw purchasers


Under what charge?

paygun: pull the dealer's license


Under what charge?

paygun: deny the background check


For what?


These were young people with no criminal record that were perfectly within their rights to be making these purchases. Denial of these purchases would have been the NRA's wet dream and a denial of their second amendment rights, not to mention the fuel it would add to the "Obama gun grabbing conspiracy".
 
2012-06-27 05:50:59 PM

dittybopper: Smackledorfer: I'm not saying you are wrong (as again, I don't know firearms laws), but I'm not inclined to immediately declare the ATF a bunch of liars for saying if they went after them for the paperwork it wouldn't come to anything.

I am inclined to call the person who wrote the article a liar:

FTFA: No federal statute outlaws firearms trafficking,

The federal statute that forbids trafficking in firearms:

18 U.S.C. § 922 : US Code - Section 922: Unlawful acts
(a) It shall be unlawful -
(1) for any person -
(A) except a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, or
licensed dealer, to engage in the business of importing,
manufacturing, or dealing in firearms, or in the course of such
business to ship, transport, or receive any firearm in
interstate or foreign commerce;


"Interstate" is a VERY key word in that law - if you read the article, the straw purchasers bought the guns in AZ, then SOLD them while STILL in AZ, meaning THIS law likely wouldn't apply.
 
2012-06-27 05:51:39 PM

rtaylor92: I think that pisses me off more than anything particularly because I don't get my news from any one particular source and a lot of it comes from my commute, listening to NPR. I didn't know the facts of the case but I at least thought I understood how we had somehow sold guns to Mexican cartels but lost track of them. Until a few hours ago, I was certain I had that much right.


Thank you. I don't understand why more people aren't outraged that narrative that was trumpeted all over the media is that the US government, through ATF agents sold guns for cash to known to cartel members is false.

Instead, the real story appears to be the ATF trying to stop it, but failing. And all they do is watch and observe. And apparently that's what we should be outraged about?

And there even seems to be posters, in this thread, who still are under the former impression.
 
2012-06-27 05:51:41 PM

apoptotic: Smackledorfer: apoptotic: Not to even mention that if you want to actually catch the guns before they leave the country you'd have to search vehicles before they cross the border, and people tend to get all 4th Amendment-y if you suggest that.

They actually were running a southbound operations in Santa Teresa when I lived in El Paso. Some people complained. They'd ask you if you had anything to declare, guns, ammunition, money in excess of 10k, etc.

There really isn't any 4th amendment rights when it comes to border searches. There is a clear border nexus when you are waiting in line for 20 minutes on a road that goes nowhere except the outbound lane at a POE. You were absolutely going to cross, and there is no serious material change that would take place between the search point at the border itself. Agents can search without suspicion.

But of course that didn't stop people from complaining about it.

Yeah I actually didn't realize that until someone else just mentioned the I-10 checkstops and I looked it up. Legal or not, I suspect that if that practise was greatly expanded (which it would have to be in order to be effective), the outcry would be deafening.


The southbound ops I was referring to are actually right on the border. The I-10 checkpoints are on the highway running parallel to the border (and while I-10 is far from the border at some points, it is visible from the border in many places as well, with the checkpoint set up at a strategic bottleneck where people who might walk to the highway and get picked up couldn't easily sneak around if transporting an alien). The checkpoint authority is separate from the border search authority.

My bad if I was unclear.
 
2012-06-27 05:53:07 PM

paygun: birchman: Emory Hurley, the assistant U.S. Attorney in Phoenix overseeing the Fast and Furious case, told the agents they lacked probable cause for arrests, according to ATF records. Hurley's judgment reflected accepted policy at the U.S. Attorney's Office in Arizona. "[P]urchasing multiple long guns in Arizona is lawful," Patrick Cunningham, the U.S. Attorney's then-criminal chief in Arizona would later write. "Transferring them to another is lawful and even sale or barter of the guns to another is lawful unless the United States can prove by clear and convincing evidence that the firearm is intended to be used to commit a crime."

What they used to do was follow the buyer to the handoff. When they stopped doing that, then they didn't have the evidence. Why they stopped doing that is what the investigation was supposed to have learned.


That still isn't enough evidence though, even if they follow them there and watch the whole thing. Read it again, that isn't a crime.
 
2012-06-27 05:53:57 PM

birchman: paygun: All they had to do was disallow the sales,

Under what charge?

paygun: arrest the straw purchasers

Under what charge?

paygun: pull the dealer's license

Under what charge?

paygun: deny the background check

For what?


These were young people with no criminal record that were perfectly within their rights to be making these purchases. Denial of these purchases would have been the NRA's wet dream and a denial of their second amendment rights, not to mention the fuel it would add to the "Obama gun grabbing conspiracy".


Its funny that Paygun is rabidly accusing others of being against civil rights for trying to point out the reality of how gun laws and border patrolling works, while at the same time apparently he wants cops to just do whatever they want without a warrant.
 
2012-06-27 05:54:31 PM

birchman: Under what charge?


Because they were straw purchases. If they refused to gather evidence that showed that they were straw purchases, then we're back around to the conspiracy theory that when they explicitly told agents not to gather evidence, they actually meant what they said.

Even Holder himself has claimed that this happened and that it was wrong. Is Holder in on the conspiracy to make himself look bad?
 
2012-06-27 05:54:39 PM

Esc7: And there even seems to be posters, in this thread, who still are under the former impression.


And, sadly, still will be when they leave I imagine.
 
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