Inside Fast and Furious

Mexicans kept in dark about U.S. schemes

By Victor Thorn

On June 28, Melanie Wilcox of the Center for Media and Public Policy, an investigative journalism operation at The Heritage Foundation, provided this AMERICAN FREE PRESS reporter a succinct overview of Operation Fast and Furious, which peaked in September 2009 with funding from the Obama “stimulus package.”

“[Officials at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, BATFE] instructed gun dealers in Phoenix to sell weapons to buyers, even if gun dealers suspected that purchasers might be affiliated with Mexican drug cartels [and/or] did not have any form of identification,” Ms. Wilcox told this reporter.

From 2009 to 2011, approximately 3,000 Mexican residents were slain with these weapons. One of these guns was also used in the killing of United States Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.

If the scandal stopped there, it would already be egregious enough. But in August the Sinaloa drug cartel’s logistics coordinator, Jesus Vicente Zambada Niebla, stepped forward, while being held in custody, to claim that elements within the United States government deliberately provided these guns to his superiors in exchange for information that would help them to detain or murder rival gang-members.

In an explosive August 9 article on the conservative news website “The Blaze,” investigator Jason Howerton wrote: “The Sinaloa cartel was allegedly permitted to traffic massive amounts of drugs across the U.S. border from 2004 to 2009—during both Fast and Furious and Bush-era gunrunning operations—as long as the intel kept coming.”

Niebla isn’t the only one making these assertions. In July, a spokesman for Mexico’s state government in Chihuahua, Guillermo Terrazas Villaneuva, implicated the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and other clandestine organizations.

“[They] don’t fight drug traffickers,” said Villaneuva. “[They] try to manage the drug trade. It’s like pest control companies, they only control. If you finish off the pests, you’re out of a job. If they finish the drug business, they finish their job.”

Drugs are a huge business. The U.S. narcotics market alone is valued at some $60 billion.

To date, Mexican drug wars have resulted in an estimated 55,000 fatalities. It’s hard to say whether these high-stakes gambits could be more violent or profitable.

Howerton described in his expose how the Sinaloa cartel transported illegal drugs into America via Boeing 747 cargo planes, submarines, container ships, speedboats, fishing vessels, buses, railcars, tractor trailers and automobiles.

Bolstering charges that the U.S. government worked with the Sinaloa cartel are claims made by Niebla that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) had granted him full immunity for his services. Although denied by Eric Holder’s Department of Justice (DoJ), U.S. officials do admit that Niebla may have been a paid informant. Even more damning, in court documents the DoJ confessed to possessing “classified materials” that could not be released due to matters of national security.

This point is vital in terms of understanding why Obama took such extreme measures in blocking congressional investigators from seeing thousands of top-secret documents. If there were nothing to hide, why not exemplify being “the most transparent president in history”?

Interestingly, court records pertaining to Niebla’s case reveal that many of the smuggled drugs went directly to Chicago, Obama’s home base. Chicago is notorious for mob operations, dating back to Al Capone. Could the U.S. government-Sinaloa cartel agreement be another example of Chicago’s famous “pay-for-play” style of dirty politics?

Also illustrating how ill conceived this operation was, the BATFE failed to implant e-trace tracking chips into the weapons they were supposed to somehow follow. BATFE officials failed to notify Mexican government officials of their plans, to seek any type of assistance from that country’s law enforcement agents or to even inform their own liaison about the gun program at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City. Law-abiding BATFE personnel reacted with extreme anger when drug dealers they’d arrested were subsequently released because of their status as Federal Bureau of Investigation informants.

Mexican Attorney General Marisela Morales only discovered this bloody operation after it hit the airwaves. “At no time did we know, or were we made aware, that there might have been arms trafficking permitted,” Morales told reporters.


What Did AG Know & When?

• Exoneration of Eric Holder an insult to the American people

By Victor Thorn

On September 19, the Department of Justice Inspector (DoJ) General Michael E. Horowitz released a 471-page report that exonerated Attorney General Eric Holder of any blame or even knowledge of the lethal Operation Fast and Furious. When asked during a September 20 interview about this, talk show host Daniel Ott of the popular Edge Television Broadcast told AMERICAN FREE PRESS: “This ruling was a blunt force instrument of government in plain view. Holder is now so emboldened that he knows he can get away with anything.”

Ott further explained: “When you’re in charge of an organization, you’re supposed to take responsibility. But this report delegated all blame to lower-level flunkies. Why Holder wasn’t held accountable is inexplicable, unless you accept that Barack Obama is protecting him. After Holder refused to prosecute the Black Panthers, it became clear that this is a race-based administration.” (Obama and Holder are both part black; Early in the Obama administration, Holder refused to prosecute members of the New Black Panthers organization for voter intimidation in Philadelphia during the 2008 presidential election)

“With Fast and Furious, I believe Holder was carrying out behind-closed-door orders,” said Ott. “This operation was supposed to create gun anarchy across the southern border, like a Pearl Harbor or 9-11. Fortunately, the lock broke and they [BATFE and DoJ] got exposed. That’s when the cover-up began.”

Holder’s repeated denials—that he knew nothing of running guns across the border—constitute an arrogant exercise in semantics: legal parsing of words, something Bill Clinton mastered.

Despite claims that he didn’t learn of any Fast and Furious tactics until February 2011, the attorney general had received six National Drug Intelligence Center memos in 2010 that directly mentioned Fast and Furious. Not surprisingly, Holder punted, testifying before Congress that he never received or reviewed these documents.

And then there were e-mails exchanged in October 2010 between Holder’s closest subordinates Jason Weinstein and James Trusty that specifically mention Fast and Furious. Holder contends that the term “Fast and Furious” didn’t actually refer to Fast and Furious, but instead to another “gunwalking” operation known as “Wide Receiver” that was begun under the Bush administration in 2006.

But Holder’s apparent knowledge of these programs extends back even further in time. On March 24, 2009, at a White House press conference, Deputy Attorney General David Ogden highlighted how the Obama administration intended to spend $10 million in stimulus money to fortify its “Project Gunrunner.” On April 2, 2009, Holder referenced this same “Project Gunrunner” during a speech in Cuernavaca, Mexico.

On September 19, Horowitz cited the Obama administration’s interference, telling the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee, “The White House and [National Security staff member] Kevin O’Reilly’s unwillingness to speak with us made it impossible for us to pursue that angle of the case.” In other words, no one could tie the cover-up to Obama.

O’Reilly—who corresponded closely with Arizona BATFE agents—was reassigned from the White House to Iraq after the scandal broke.

In a June 8 column for American Thinker, M. Catharine Evans seconded Ott’s assertion that racial protectionism derailed the Fast and Furious hearings. “[Holder] lied, denied and acted smug while his posse, Representatives [Maxine] Waters, [Barbara] Lee and [John] Conyers held the race line,” she wrote. As Ott relayed to AFP, “These individuals [all black] racially paralyzed anyone from making a judgment.”

Hillary Trilogy

Bloody Hands: Bush I, Bush II, Bill & Hillary

Top political families complicit in decades of high-level crime involving drug trade, gunrunning

By Victor Thorn

During a September 17 interview with Mexico’s Univision, Barack Hussein Obama continued lying about a “gunwalking” scheme that boomeranged. “Fast and Furious was a field-initiated program begun under the previous administration,” he told the Spanish-language network.

This was only partially correct, however. Fast and Furious officially started in September 2009 under his presidency. President George W. Bush ran his own, smaller versions of this supposed sting operation, known as Project Gunrunner and Operation Wide Receiver. Gunrunner was launched in Laredo, Texas in 2005, while the short-lived Wide Receiver, begun in 2006, functioned primarily as a gun-tracing operation rather than a physical transportation of arms.

The Bush crime family is certainly no stranger to running weapons abroad. During the Iran-Contra scandal, George H.W. Bush assembled a sordid cast of former Bay of Pigs operatives to ferry guns into Nicaragua to support the Contras. Once their transport planes were emptied, loads of cocaine were flown into locales such as Mena, Arkansas, where the Clintons provided a safe haven.

Even earlier under Operation Zapata, the elder Bush served as an integral part of preparing Cubans for an invasion against Fidel Castro’s forces. According to Paul Kangas in a 1991 article for The Realist magazine: “Bush was working with the now-famous CIA agent Felix Rodriguez, recruiting right-wing Cuban exiles for the invasion of Cuba. It was Bush’s CIA job to organize the Cuban community in Miami for the invasion.”

Bush also had direct involvement in the Operation 40 assassination program and other covert projects where he recruited a host of criminals such as David Atlee Phillips, E. Howard Hunt, Ted Shackley and Richard Armitage, all of whom would later be implicated in scandals such as “Golden Triangle” heroin trafficking during the Vietnam War, the RFK assassination, Watergate, Iran-Contra and opium production in Afghanistan.

Victor Thorn

Victor Thorn is a hard-hitting researcher, journalist and author of over 50 books.