Friday, January 18, 2013

Points To Ponder

I was wasting my time browsing obama's list of executive actions that he is using to gut the Second Amendment "keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people."

Two points:

#11 on the list is "Nominate an ATF director"

Wait just a minute there, sparky. obama is the President. As such, he is the person who nominates the ATF director. So in essence, barry is issuing an executive order to himself to do his job.

In the words of my old pal Bugs Bunny, "What a maroon."

The second observation involves an executive action that obama didn't include on the list. I've taken the liberty of adding it for him.

#24 - Stop supplying weapons to Mexican drug cartels.


Old NFO said...

Both good ones, and agreed...

Anonymous said...

I would like to side with you on these points, but there are two problems with your statements:
1 The president did nominate a person, but it was blocked by Republican Congressmen by the request of the NRA lobby. I suspect Obama wants to have his appoinment approved by congress.

2 Until the excutive order is lifted, (put in place by BO), we don't really know for certain this is true. Some of the early reports have been found to be unreliable. Also, this project started under Bush in 2006.
Without an appointed head of ATF, I can't see how you can blame BO directly.
Like I said, I'd like to agree with you, but it isn't accurate.

CenTexTim said...

NFO - Thanks.

Anon - First of all, thanks for the feedback. I appreciate the civil tone of your comments. It's nice to know that there are still people out there who can disagree in a reasonable manner. Now for my response (in two parts because Blogger limits the length of comments).

Yes, obama did nominate a person (Andrew Traver) in 2010 and again in 2011 as director of the ATF. Yes, the NRA opposed Traver, but as the article you cited states, ""Both times, Traver's nomination languished in the Senate." The Senate is controlled by democrats, so the nomination was not "blocked by Republican Congressmen".

Granted, that may be hair-splitting. But the fact remains that it is the president who nominates the director of the ATF. Obama has not nominated anyone since 2011, until his nomination of Todd Jones two days ago. So his executive action #11 is merely obama doing what he has failed to do for the last couple of years. In other words, he's finally doing his job.

(BTW - the original link in the post to the list of executive actions no longer works. Here's an updated one.)

CenTexTim said...

Part Two:

As for Fast and Furious, there are substantial differences between the Bush administration's program (Operation Wide Receiver) and the obama administration's Fast and Furious.

Wide Receiver was conducted with the knowledge and cooperation of the Mexican government. The obama administration's program was kept secret from the Mexicans. From the source you cited:

"Under the previous Operation Wide Receiver, there had been a formal ATF contract with the cooperating gun dealer and efforts were made to involve the ATF Mexico City Office (MCO) and Mexican law enforcement. Under Operation Fast and Furious, at (special agent in charge of ATF's Phoenix field division) Newell's insistence the cooperating gun dealers did not have contracts with ATF, and MCO and Mexican police were left in the dark."

"Attorney General of Mexico Marisela Morales, well-liked by US law enforcement, said, in reference to Fast and Furious, 'At no time did we know or were we made aware that there might have been arms trafficking permitted. In no way would we have allowed it, because it is an attack on the safety of Mexicans.' "

Again, from the source you provided, Wide Receiver resulted in approximately 450 guns being 'lost' in Mexico. Fast and Furious involved over 2000 'lost' weapons, of which about 650 have been recovered. There is no mention of Wide Receiver weapons being traced to crimes (although it would be naive to believe none of them have been used in criminal activity). There are reports of Fast and Furious weapons being found at around 170 crime scenes in Mexico, with estimates that they are linked to over 200 deaths in Mexico, including possibly that of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent Jaime Zapata. In addition, Fast and Furious weapons were used in the murder of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in Arizona.

As for not holding obama directly responsible, I believe that the person in charge is always responsible. That may be more of a philosophical positino than a legal one, but I come from a military background where a commander was always held responsible for the actions of those under him.

Over the past two years, various investigations have been conducted and reports issued regarding F&F. As one might expect, the findings fall along party lines. The DOJ investigated itself and assorted lower level functionaries have been scapegoated. What I find telling in all this is below (again, from your source).

On July 26 (2011), special agent Newell testified to Congress that he had been in communication with White House National Security staffer Kevin O'Reilly by phone and email between July 2010 and February 2011 about the Fast and Furious case.[89] On the same day, a second joint staff report was released by the Republicans.[52] Within days of Newell's testimony, O'Reilly was transferred to the position of senior director of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Programs in Iraq, where he was then unavailable for questioning by Congressional investigators.

In October (2011), documents showing that Attorney General Holder's office had been sent briefings on Fast and Furious as early as July 2010, prompted questions about his May statement that he wasn't sure of the exact date, but had known about it for only a few weeks. The briefings were from the National Drug Intelligence Center and Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer. The Justice Department said that those briefings were about a different case started before Holder became Attorney General, and that while he had known about Fast and Furious, he didn't know the details of the tactics being used.

Call me a cynic, but I find it hard to believe that O'Reilly's transfer was coincidental, and that Breuer (or others) never discussed F&F with Holder.

Anonymous said...

Yes, you are a cynic