Gunwalker: “What did he know and when did he know it?” UPDATE: ATF armed Sinaloa cartel?

Posted by: Phineas on July 27, 2011 at 1:01 pm

**Posted by Phineas

Oh, my. I think the fuse has been lit on blowing this fiasco wide open, and the spark is headed right for the White House:

At a lengthy hearing on ATF’s controversial gunwalking operation today, a key ATF manager told Congress he discussed the case with a White House National Security staffer as early as September 2010. The communications were between ATF Special Agent in Charge of the Phoenix office, Bill Newell, and White House National Security Director for North America Kevin O’Reilly. Newell said the two are longtime friends. The content of what Newell shared with O’Reilly is unclear and wasn’t fully explored at the hearing.

It’s the first time anyone has publicly stated that a White House official had any familiarity with ATF’s operation Fast and Furious, which allowed thousands of weapons to fall into the hands of suspected traffickers for Mexican drug cartels in an attempt to gain intelligence. It’s unknown as to whether O’Reilly shared information with anybody else at the White House.

Congressional investigators obtained an email from Newell to O’Reilly in September of last year in which Newell began with the words: “you didn’t get this from me.”

“What does that mean,” one member of Congress asked Newell, ” ‘you didn’t get this from me?’ “

“Obviously he was a friend of mine,” Newell replied, “and I shouldn’t have been sending that to him.”

Newell told Congress that O’Reilly had asked him for information.

So now we are certain that someone senior at the White House knew about Operation Fast and Furious (aka “Gunwalker”) in late 2010, yet as late as this last spring, Holder and Obama were claiming they had learned of it only much later.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder told Issa that he did not learn about Fast and Furious until this spring. President Obama said that Holder told him he would not have allowed guns to go into Mexico.

Hmmm… We’ve already established that it’s about as likely as the Sun rising in the West that Holder didn’t know, but what about Obama? If this org chart (PDF) is still accurate (1), then NSC staffers with regional responsibilities report to the Deputy National Security Adviser, who reports to the National Security Adviser, who reports to… the President of the United States.

Very suggestive, but not proof-positive.

As Ed Morrissey asks, why did O’Reilly want to know, and why did Newell feel compelled to say “You didn’t get this from me?”

Either O’reilly was attending a meeting of peers and wanted to be brought up to speed — it is in his purview, after all, but then why the “cloak and dagger” stuff? — or was he briefing those above him? And how high did the briefing go?

Let’s keep in mind that this debacle has cost the lives of at least one US federal agent and roughly 150 Mexican civilians, federal agents, and soldiers. Agencies of the US government supplied weapons to criminal cartels that threaten the stability of our large southern neighbor and then lost track of nearly 2,000 of those guns. It is a monument to gross stupidity and incompetence — and very possibly criminal, what Rep. Darrell Issa has called “felony stupid.”

With the revelation that people on the President’s national security staff knew about Gunwalker, it’s about time for subpoenas.

(1) While O’Reilly’s office doesn’t appear on this org chart, I think it’s reasonable to assume that, whether it’s new or renamed from “Western Hemisphere Affairs,” he too would report to the Deputy NSA.

UPDATE: “The ATF armed the Sinaloa Cartel. It’s disgusting.”

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

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12 Responses to “Gunwalker: “What did he know and when did he know it?” UPDATE: ATF armed Sinaloa cartel?”


  1. JoeHaisley says:

    OH I HOPE SO!!!:d

  2. Marilyn says:

    Oh, my. I think the fuse has been lit on blowing this fiasco wide open, and the spark is headed right for the White House:

    From your keyboard to God’s widescreen monitor…

  3. Carlos says:

    Anyone with more than one active brain cell has to know that, if it hasn’t already happened, it is only a matter of time before at least one of the weapons sold in this scam is going to be used in a murder (or multiple murder) of (an) “innocent” civilians here in the United States, probably in Texas or Californicate.

    Of course, they will only be po’ folk so it will matter little to The Chosen Won and his deputy chief clown Holder, except there will be that many fewer votes for Duh-1 next year.

    In the meantime, I know in my own mind Obhammud is no less guilty than Mr. Nixon for his coverup, except that in my own mind, where Nixon was kept out of the loop as long as possible Obhammud has been in the middle of it. He has no “plausible deniability.”

    There is no justice in this country if the President (and Holder) is not charged with being an accessory to murder but is allowed to walk. The law, like God, is supposed to be no respecter of persons.

  4. Iva Biggin says:

    Guaranteed that obama and holder colluded on this matter. The entire purpose of the plan was to undermine the Second Ammendment. Any other explanation is pure B.S.

  5. baseballguy says:

    Light fuse. Step away. Boom.

    I love the smell of burning administrations in the morning, the afternoon, or even the evening.

  6. bob jones says:

    There are also stories and reports out on our government arming drug gangs in Miami and Chicago and other Latin American countries. Obvious felonies and treason. No resignations, firings, impeachment and prison is required for these extraordinarily heinous crimes against America and Mexico.

  7. PE says:

    If a tree falls in a forest and the MSM doesn’t report it, will the public know?

  8. Phineas says:

    The original linked report is from CBS, who’ve been covering this from the beginning. Also, Gunwalker is starting to make the LA Times, and one link is from the (albeit Democrat-sympathetic) Seattle paper. It’s taken time, but this is finally bubbling into the mainstream.

  9. Carlos says:

    By this time in the Watergate scandal Democraps were calling for a special prosecutor, impeachment and resignation, and that was almost before “Deep Throat” was even heard of, and with a lot less to suggest Nixon had any knowledge of the burglary at all (which, as it turns out, he didn’t until much later).

    I am willing to give the LAT and Seattle PI the benefit of the doubt, and assume their reporters have been busy chasing down leads to some oil spill on Snoqualmie Pass or illegal foresting around Saint Helens. But I fear that this will be old news to them by next Tuesday and they’ll move on.

    All in the interest of keeping both their readers informed and up-to-date, of course.

  10. captaingrumpy says:

    The Democrats will defend each other until the last drop of YOUR blood.