"Project Gunrunner" -- Scandal at the ATF
GeorgiaGunOwners | Feb 24, 2011
***** FOLLOW-UP 02-26-2011 *****
CBS News brings 'Project Gunrunner' scandal to the public
February 24th, 2011 11:54 am ET
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Last night the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric brought the ATF’s “Project Gunrunner” scandal, that involves the death of a U.S. Federal Agent, to the attention of the general public.
“Project Gunrunner” was an ATF operation supposedly designed to reduce the number of U.S. guns illegally smuggled into Mexico. The allegations now are that the ATF deliberately allowed thousands of guns into Mexico either to track the flow of guns or, as some believe, to artifically inflate the number of number of guns smuggled from the U.S. to Mexico to provide a reason to increase the ATF’s budget.
Whatever the reason, the consequences are clear: Two of the smuggled “Project Gunrunner” guns were involved in the murder of a U.S Federal Agent. On December 14, 2010, U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed in a shootout in Arizona close to the Mexican border. Two of the rifles found at the scene were traced to purchases made by an alleged gunrunner the ATF had under investigation. The allegations are that the ATF could have stopped these weapons from leaving the country, but chose not to do so.
This connection between the ATF operation and the death of Agent Terry was largley unknown until National Gun Rights Examiner David Codrea and RKBA activist Mike Vanderboegh started investigating and reporting on the ATF operation shortly after Terry’s murder. Codrea and Vanderboegh developed sources inside and outside the ATF who laid out the details of the ATF operation and the controversy the decision to allow the guns to “walk” into Mexico created within the agency. Codrea and Vanderboegh have dubbed their investigation “Project Gunwalker” as a play on the official ATF operation name.
Codrea’s and Vanderboegh’s "Project Gunwalker" work brought the allegations to the attention of U.S. Senate Judiciary member Sen. Charles E. Grassley, who has launched his own investigation into the ATF’s operations.
Now, with the CBS news article, this story had moved beyond the circles of gun rights activists into the mainstream. None of this would have happened had it not been for the work of Codrea and Vanderboegh and the information provided to them by their sources who did not want to see the actions of the ATF covered up.
For a complete timeline and more information on Codrea’s and Vanderboegh’s investigation, including links to documents and letters, read Codrea’s article “A journalist’s guide to ‘Project Gunwalker."
Mexico responds to CBS News investigation
Posted by Sharyl Attkisson
Agent Brian Terry was shot and killed in December 2010.
Last night our CBS News investigation reported on ATF's Project Gunrunner and allegations that it included a secret operation near the border that intentionally allowed thousands of assault rifles and other weapons to hit the streets.
Will Media Matters apologize to Gun Owners of America's Larry Pratt?
February 24th, 2011 11:11 am CT
Vindicated. After months of endless hard work, disdainful dismissals (some from ostensible gun rights advocates), and the like-pulling-teeth effort of getting "Authorized Journalists" to realize that there really is a (gargantuan) story here, National Gun Rights Examiner David Codrea, and Sipsey Street Irregulars' Mike Vanderboegh, along with a few courageous, honorable whistleblowers within the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, have shepherded the "Project Gunwalker" story to the mainstream, with CBS Evening News having run a major story on the topic last night.
Actually, there is one more name that needs to be mentioned here. Gun Owners of America executive director Larry Pratt has, it is now revealed, quietly played a pivotal advisory and facilitative role in bringing the disinfectant power of sunlight to bear on the sordid mess of "Project Gunwalker."
That role became more visible Tuesday, when he appeared on FOX News, to be interviewed by Megyn Kelly, about opposition to President Obama's nomination of rabidly anti-gun Andrew Traver to be the next BATFE director. During that interview, Mr. Pratt suggested that the reason Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) has indefinitely postponed Traver's confirmation hearings is that the administration has no desire to allow any senior BATFE officials to be put on the stand, under oath, where they could (and would) be asked some very uncomfortable questions about "Project Gunwalker"
The far-left (they call it "progressive") Media Matters took outraged exception to Mr. Pratt's having the temerity to raise such a taboo subject:
Pratt and the GOA have been advancing the accusation that "the ATF is actually helping to move illegal guns across the border."
By way of countering this accusation, Media Matters simply parroted the Department of Justice denial, as if no further examination were needed. They continue:
Pratt's accusation distracts from the role American-bought guns play in fueling cartel violence, and to discredit efforts by the ATF to clamp down on the southward flow of firearms. More then 65,000 guns recovered by Mexican law enforcement have been traced to the United States, so to suggest that American law enforcement -- and not Mexican cartels -- are behind this widespread trend is not only pure fantasy, but deeply dishonest.
Oh, please--again with the "[m]ore than 65,000 guns"? We've covered that--it's a bogus number. In fact, if we are to believe a study, funded by the virulently anti-gun Joyce Foundation, and intended to bolster the arguments (such as they are) for blocking importation of so-called "assault weapons," the number of Mexican "crime guns" recovered and traced back to the U.S. commercial gun market--over four years--is less than 3,000.
But wait a second--if 500 guns represents "17% the total guns recovered" . . . then that total is fewer than 3,000 guns, and this is over a period of four years--for an average of not quite 750 per year.
And now consider this, from the CBS Evening News story:
On the phone, one Project Gunrunner source (who didn't want to be identified) told us just how many guns flooded the black market under ATF's watchful eye. "The numbers are over 2,500 on that case by the way. That's how many guns were sold - including some 50-calibers they let walk."
That's from one case, and amounts to over 83% of the number of recovered Mexican "crime guns" the Joyce Foundation study claims to have been traced back to the U.S. market over the last four years.
Media Matters accuses Pratt of "espousing conspiracy theories," when he talks about the BATFE's latest (and very possibly largest) scandal. In light of last night's CBS News story, one cannot help but wonder if MM will either apologize to Mr. Pratt, or call Katie Couric and Sharyl Attkisson "right-wing conspiracy theorists."