Troubling Information

On Wednesday, Judicial Watch posted an article about one of the guns used in the Paris terrorist attack. According to law enforcement sources, the gun was illegally purchased in Phoenix, Arizona. The obvious question is how did it get from Phoenix to Paris.

The article reports:

A Report of Investigation (ROI) filed by a case agent in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (ATF) tracked the gun used in the Paris attacks to a Phoenix gun owner who sold it illegally, “off book,” Judicial Watch’s law enforcement sources confirm. Federal agents tracing the firearm also found the Phoenix gun owner to be in possession of an unregistered fully automatic weapon, according to law enforcement officials with firsthand knowledge of the investigation.

The investigative follow up of the Paris weapon consisted of tracking a paper trail using a 4473 form, which documents a gun’s ownership history by, among other things, using serial numbers. The Phoenix gun owner that the weapon was traced back to was found to have at least two federal firearms violations—for selling one weapon illegally and possessing an unregistered automatic—but no enforcement or prosecutorial action was taken against the individual. Instead, ATF leaders went out of their way to keep the information under the radar and ensure that the gun owner’s identity was “kept quiet,” according to law enforcement sources involved with the case. “Agents were told, in the process of taking the fully auto, not to anger the seller to prevent him from going public,” a veteran law enforcement official told Judicial Watch.

It’s not clear if the agency, which is responsible for cracking down on the illegal use and trafficking of firearms, did this because the individual was involved in the Fast and Furious gun-running scheme. An ATF spokesman, Corey Ray, at the agency’s Washington D.C. headquarters told Judicial Watch that “no firearms used in the Paris attacks have been traced” by the agency. When asked about the ROI report linking the weapon used in Paris to Phoenix, Ray said “I’m not familiar with the report you’re referencing.” Judicial Watch also tried contacting the Phoenix ATF office, but multiple calls were not returned.

The gun was probably sold as part of ‘Fast and Furious,’ which is troubling enough, but I want to know how you get a gun from Phoenix to Paris in this age of airline security. Was it packed in the person’s checked luggage or did he manage to get it through the metal detectors? Did it go from the United States to France or from Mexico to France? How did the gun get into France, which has very strict gun laws? It would be very interesting to trace the journey of the gun from Phoenix to Paris. It is also interesting to note that this story is based on law enforcement leaks. The people who are charged with enforcing our laws have reached the point where they are so frustrated with the unequal enforcement of the laws that they are speaking out.

Policies Have Consequences

From the beginning of the Obama Administration, one of the goals of the administration has been to remove guns from the hands of ordinary citizens. I don’t believe this goal has ever been stated in those exact words, but if you look at some of the laws attempted and the executive actions taken, that is the goal. One of the early attempts at convincing Americans that guns were really awful was the “Fast and Furious” program. We still don’t have all of the details of the program–there are ongoing legal battles to obtain information about the program, but basically we sold guns to criminals in the hopes that the crimes committed by the people who bought them would sour Americans on the idea of buying or selling guns. The program was discovered and shut down, but the consequences remain.

Fox News posted the following today:

A .50-caliber rifle found at Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s hideout in Mexico was funneled through the gun-smuggling investigation known as Fast and Furious, sources confirmed Tuesday to Fox News.

A .50-caliber is a massive rifle that can stop a car or, as it was intended, take down a helicopter.

After the raid on Jan. 8 in the city of Los Mochis that killed five of his men and wounded one Mexican marine, officials found a number of weapons inside the house where Guzman was staying, including the rifle, officials said.

When agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives checked serial numbers of the eight weapons found in his possession, they found one of the two .50-caliber weapons traced back to the ATF program, sources said.

Federal officials told Fox News they are not sure how many of the weapons seized from Guzman’s house actually originated in the U.S. and where they were purchased, but are investigating.

Out of the roughly 2,000 weapons sold through Fast and Furious, 34 were .50-caliber rifles that can take down a helicopter, according to officials.

If you are unfamiliar with Fast and Furious, please use the search engine on this site to learn about the program. It was one of the nastiest plans of the Obama Administration.

The article at Fox News concludes:

The operation allowed criminals to buy guns in Phoenix-area shops with the intention of tracking them once they made their way into Mexico.

The operation became a major distraction for the Obama administration as Republicans in Congress conducted a series of inquiries into how the Justice Department allowed such an operation to happen.

Former Attorney General Eric Holder was held in contempt after he refused to divulge documents for a congressional investigation into the matter.

This is the third time a weapon from the Fast and Furious program has been found at a high-profile Mexican crime scene. 

Following The Money In San Bernardino

Fox News is reporting today that two weeks before he killed his co-workers, a $28,500 deposit was made into the bank account of the San Bernardino shooter. In the days before the shooting, $10,000 of that money was withdrawn as cash and there were three transfers of $5,000 that appear to be to his mother.

The article reports:

The loan and large cash withdrawal were described to Fox News by the source as “significant evidence of pre-meditation,” and further undercut the premise that an argument at the Christmas party on Dec. 2 led to the shooting. 

Fox News is also told that investigators are exploring whether the $10,000 cash withdrawal was used to reimburse Enrique Marquez, the man who bought the two semiautomatic rifles used in the San Bernardino shootings. Marquez is now reportedly answering investigators’ questions.

“Right now our major concern at the FBI, the ATF, and the JTTF (Joint Terrorism Task Force) is determining how those firearms, the rifles in particular, got from Marquez to Farook and to Malik,”  assistant special agent in charge with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, John D’Angelo, told reporters in California Monday.

At the same news conference,  authorities said the weapons were all legally purchased in California between 2007 and 2012.

The article brings up the issue of whether or not the $10,000 cash withdrawal should have triggered reporting requirements. Deposits over $10,000 need to be reported, but I am not sure about withdrawals.

It is interesting to me that the weapons were said to have been legally purchased before California passed stricter gun control laws. If they were purchased legally before the law was passed, how was the sale of those weapons legal? Who brought the shooter and the person with the guns together?

The fact that the shooter rented the SUV two days before the attack is also an indication that this was a premeditated attack.

The thing we need to remember when dealing with terrorists is that they are not stupid. The people recruiting (not the people who are planning to be killed) understand our laws and know how to get around them. They are also very patient. They are willing to take a year or two to plan an operation before carrying it out. As Americans, we live in a society where the microwave takes too long. We need to understand that protecting our people and preserving our country is going to be a long-term struggle and we need to be prepared for it.

Amoral vs. Immoral

According to the ConstitutionCenter.org:

If there is a lesson in all of this it is that our Constitution is neither a self-actuating nor a self-correcting document. It requires the constant attention and devotion of all citizens. There is a story, often told, that upon exiting the Constitutional Convention Benjamin Franklin was approached by a group of citizens asking what sort of government the delegates had created. His answer was: “A republic, if you can keep it.” The brevity of that response should not cause us to under-value its essential meaning: democratic republics are not merely founded upon the consent of the people, they are also absolutely dependent upon the active and informed involvement of the people for their continued good health.

Somehow we have not done as good a job of keeping our republic as we might have. The recent election was a ray of hope, but we have a long way to go to get back to the government our Founding Fathers envisioned.

Fox News is reporting:

The Justice Department released nearly 65,000 pages of subpoenaed documents related to the DOJ’s botched gunrunning sting, after a federal judge overruled the Obama administration’s decision to withhold the records by invoking executive privilege. The program, which targeted Mexican gun cartels, came under scrutiny after weapons involved in the operation were connected to the killing of U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry in 2010.

“Issa and his idiot cronies never gave a damn about this when all that was happening was that thousands of Mexicans were being killed with guns from our country,” Holder wrote to members of his staff in April 2011, after Issa threatened to subpoena a Federal Firearms Licensee witness to testify on the investigation. “All they want to do — in reality — is cripple ATF and suck up to the gun lobby,” he continued, referring to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the branch of the Justice Department that was in charge of the gunrunning operation.

“Politics at its worst — maybe the media will get it,” Holder’s email added.

It is obvious from that statement that Eric Holder did not believe he had done anything wrong. There is no acknowledgement that running guns to Mexico might be illegal or immoral.

According to the dictionary:

amoral – lacking a moral sense; unconcerned with the rightness or wrongness of something

immoral – not conforming to accepted standards of morality

Somehow we have morphed from the representative republic created by the U.S. Constitution to a country ruled by a bunch of elite political class who can no longer distinguish between right and wrong. If we do not remedy this situation in 2016, we will lose our republic.

Also, please note that the documents released were released on the eve of the election in the hopes that no one would pay attention to them.