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Darrell Issa Was Briefed on ‘Fast and Furious’ in April 2010, But Raised No Objections

Right wing opportunists suddenly notice problems
Politics • Views: 22,279

I’m still waiting to see if the “Fast and Furious” scandal, in which ATF agents reportedly allowed guns to be transported across the border into Mexico, is a real scandal or yet another fake right wing outrage, but I’m currently leaning toward the latter option.

And here’s one reason why. Last year, the main Republican pushing this story, Darrell Issa, was given a “highly specific” briefing on the program by ATF officials — yet he raised no objections.

A chief Republican critic of a controversial U.S. anti-gun-trafficking operation was briefed on ATF’s “Fast and Furious” program last year and did not express any opposition, sources familiar with the classified briefing said Tuesday.

Rep. Darrell Issa (Calif.), who has repeatedly called for top Justice Department officials to be held accountable for the now-defunct operation, was given highly specific information about it at an April 2010 briefing, the sources said. Members of his staff also attended the session, which Issa and two other Republican congressmen had requested.

Fast and Furious targeted Mexican gun traffickers but was linked to the killing of a U.S. law enforcement officer. Republicans in Congress have criticized the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives over its handling of the operation, with Issa calling it “felony-stupid bad judgment” during a hearing last week in which he grilled a Justice Department official.

At the briefing last year, bureau officials laid out for Issa and other members of Congress from both parties details of several ATF investigations, including Fast and Furious, the sources said. For that program, the briefing covered how many guns had been bought by “straw purchasers,’’ the types of guns and how much money had been spent, said one source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the briefing was not public.

“All of the things [Issa] has been screaming about, he was briefed on,’’ said one source familiar with the session.

I think it’s clear that this program didn’t work out very well. But the outrage expressed by the right wing seems highly opportunistic.

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236 comments

1 freetoken  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 2:24:36pm

"Opportunistic" indeed. Issa and the rest of the far right is desperate to find some scandal to move the conversation off of the tough decisions Congress must bear onto how bad/evil/anti-American is the Obama administration.

2 goddamnedfrank  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 2:26:29pm

Issa is such an opportunistic little douche nozzle.

But Issa raised no objections to the program at the April 2010 briefing, sources said. They said Issa and Reps. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and John L. Mica (R-Fla.) had written a letter to Melson in February seeking a briefing about ATF’s efforts to combat gun- and drug-related violence along the Mexican border.

"Oh, that thing you briefed me about in minute detail that I didn't object to at the time, I retroactively object to it."

3 Buck  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 2:27:06pm
said one source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity

Really? I don't think you would normally accept that sort of source.

In my opinion, however even if true, it only makes Rep. Darrell Issa guilty of "felony stupid" as well. The DOJ should release the documents requested, and include any documentation they have about briefings to congress.

4 Charles Johnson  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 2:28:18pm

re: #3 Buck

Really? I don't think you would normally accept that sort of source.

In my opinion, however even if true, it only makes Rep. Darrell Issa guilty of "felony stupid" as well. The DOJ should release the documents requested, and include any documentation they have about briefings to congress.

But then again, Buck, you've enthusiastically promoted absolutely EVERY right wing fake outrage for the past 3 years. So I wouldn't expect you to do anything else with this one.

5 Killgore Trout  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 2:29:59pm

re: #3 Buck

Really? I don't think you would normally accept that sort of source.

In my opinion, however even if true, it only makes Rep. Darrell Issa guilty of "felony stupid" as well. The DOJ should release the documents requested, and include any documentation they have about briefings to congress.

How much you wanna bet he calls off the investigation before it gets to him?

6 freetoken  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 2:30:11pm

OT already -

Downstairs Lidane posted a good story about the new Texastan SBOE chair. That story links to just one issue, and posts only the first part of a series of vids on Youtube.

Here is the second video in the series of Cargill:

6:00 touches on science standards, brings up evolution, talking point on "micro" evolution (and even that she screws up)

7:32 "Don't look at blogs - it's like putting poison in your brain".

7 Buck  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 2:30:23pm

re: #4 Charles

Of course that is an exaggeration...

Not every one.

8 OhCrapIHaveACrushOnSarahPalin  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 2:31:11pm

re: #3 Buck

n my opinion, however even if true, it only makes Rep. Darrell Issa guilty of "felony stupid" as well.

His dumb constituents are even more stupid than he is, since they keep him in office.

9 goddamnedfrank  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 2:32:11pm

re: #3 Buck

In my opinion, however even if true, it only makes Rep. Darrell Issa guilty of "felony stupid" as well.

Actually, it makes him a hypocrite and a liar on top of everything else.

10 Charles Johnson  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 2:32:21pm

By the way, Buck, if you had bothered to read the article before trying to cast doubt on its veracity, you would have discovered that Issa's office confirmed to the Washington Post that they had received this briefing.

11 Stanghazi  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 2:32:37pm

re: #8 OhCrapIHaveACrushOnSarahPalin

His dumb constituents are even more stupid than he is, since they keep him in office.

I used to live in his district. I used to call his office weekly, he didn't give a shit for any Dem's.

12 freetoken  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 2:34:32pm

Apologize to keep going OT... but I have to run and want to dump this before I go:

Here's the third video in that series:

around 00:30 GAPS IN THE FOSSIL RECORD!!

Sigh... the new head of the Texastan SBOE... out with the old, in with the... old.

13 Buck  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 2:34:40pm

re: #10 Charles

I saw that, but acknowledging an ATF briefing on “weapons smuggling by criminal cartels” is not the same thing. However I said very clearly it would make Rep. Darrell Issa guilty of "felony stupid" as well.

14 Charles Johnson  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 2:35:39pm

re: #13 Buck

I saw that, but acknowledging an ATF briefing on “weapons smuggling by criminal cartels” is not the same thing. However I said very clearly it would make Rep. Darrell Issa guilty of "felony stupid" as well.

Oh really? You saw that, but still tried to pretend there was doubt about it?

Typical.

15 lgffan  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 2:38:09pm

Irrespective of political leanings, I think it is somewhat scandalous for our ATF agents to be selling guns to bad people. Especially if this is the issue Jon Stewart discussed last week or so on his show. Radio shack batteries in a gps attached to the guns so they could be tracked. A bad plan, gone bad is what it looked like to me. But something this stupid could have been done with Bush I, Clinton, Bush II or Obama in office. We should be angry with the ATF for this bone-head non-plan. Just imho and just sayin'. Whoever is in charge needs to mea culpa and let's get moving forward - enough BS from DC.

16 Buck  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 2:38:30pm

re: #14 Charles

The doubt is about if it detailed "Fast and Furious". AND then ( I point out again) if true it makes him guilty as well. So be it. It does not mean there is no scandal.

17 Sol Berdinowitz  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 2:38:53pm

Arizona police used to regularly arrange shipments of drugs into the USA to trace the routes to get to the heads of the organizations on our side of the border.

SOP

Outrageous outrage. Kneejerk reaction to anything to do with dark skinned folks

18 Buck  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 2:40:07pm

It is almost 5pm and a Friday night.

I have to go.

Have a good weekend everyone.

19 albusteve  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 2:41:03pm

this is one really messed up operation...and now this revelation...seems to me that Issa has as much explaining to do as anybody...I would just like to see an honest timeline of what happened and who was responsible...I don't care about heads rolling, but a thorough investigation is certainly called for...why the hell can't this all be explained in 2 hours?

20 makeitstop  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 2:41:12pm

Issa = a Torquemada in search of an inquisition.

And a douche, too, for that matter.

21 Charles Johnson  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 2:42:37pm

re: #17 ralphieboy

Arizona police used to regularly arrange shipments of drugs into the USA to trace the routes to get to the heads of the organizations on our side of the border.

SOP

Outrageous outrage. Kneejerk reaction to anything to do with dark skinned folks

Absolutely right. This operation may have been botched, but the concept is nothing new, and it's used every day by law enforcement.

22 Jeff In Ohio  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 2:44:28pm

What's the outrage? Isn't the ATA allowed to allow people to exercise their 2nd Amendment rights? Or is that just the Tea Bagger ATA? What's wrong with facilitating freedom? Guns don't kill people, pencils do.

23 KingKenrod  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 2:45:34pm

Issa probably doesn't have any problem with Mexican drug gangs killing each other with American weapons. This only became an issue when a US border agent got killed.

24 makeitstop  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 2:45:51pm

OT: James Murdoch could face criminal charges on both sides of the Atlantic

Say hello to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

25 freetoken  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 2:47:38pm

Put the Cargill stuff in a Page:

New Texastan SBOE Chair Barbara Cargill on her Creationist Agenda

I only covered the evolution part. She continues on with history ... I'll let someone else dive into that.

26 darthstar  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 2:49:46pm

Well, that took less time than I expected. Nothing shuts Issa up faster than saying, "You knew about this!" I'll bet he sits down faster than Mike Huckabee at a cake walk.

27 goddamnedfrank  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 2:50:14pm

re: #15 lgffan

Radio shack batteries in a gps attached to the guns so they could be tracked.

That didn't work, so no weapons were sent into the field with the jerry rigged tracking devices. Of course the outrage would have reached epic level levels of dumbshittery had the ATF attached CIA burst transmitters to rifles destined for commercial sale. The real sin was attempting to track and staunch the straw black market at all, however the conservatives can't say that so we have this retroactive second guessing of the methods as a surrogate.

28 albusteve  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 2:50:21pm

re: #23 KingKenrod

Issa probably doesn't have any problem with Mexican drug gangs killing each other with American weapons. This only became an issue when a US border agent got killed.

well yeah...trouble is that so many innocent folks have been slaughtered and dumping 2000+ high powered weapons into that market makes no sense at all...there have to be better ways to track down the killers at large

29 A Man for all Seasons  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 2:51:14pm

re: #23 KingKenrod

Issa probably doesn't have any problem with Mexican drug gangs killing each other with American weapons. This only became an issue when a US border agent got killed.


I'd say that is a bridge to far King

30 A Man for all Seasons  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 2:53:07pm

re: #28 albusteve

well yeah...trouble is that so many innocent folks have been slaughtered and dumping 2000+ high powered weapons into that market makes no sense at all...there have to be better ways to track down the killers at large

I agree Steve What about old fashion police work?

31 Killgore Trout  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 2:55:08pm

Ok, now it's starting to become clear. The article doesn't explain what it means by the term "Straw Purchasers"

In the context of United States federal gun laws, a straw purchase is defined as any purchase from a dealer holding a Federal Firearms License where the buyer conducting the transaction is acting as a proxy for another person. The law does not distinguish between someone who is purchasing on behalf of a person who legally cannot purchase or possess a firearm, and one who is not.


So in other words the operation was selling guns legally to see where they ended up. The Republican outrage seems to be the result that legally sold guns in the US are ending up with Mexican Drug gangs. It seems they don't like the outcome of the investigation and want to damage the operation.

32 goddamnedfrank  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 2:55:30pm

re: #29 HoosierHoops

I'd say that is a bridge to far King

Not really, he's right on:

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) wouldn't let ATF agents testifying before his House Oversight Committee hearing Wednesday on the controversial Project Gunrunner say how weak U.S. gun laws were making it difficult for them to catch criminals smuggling assault weapons to Mexican drug cartels.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) asked one of the agents if weak gun laws made their prosecutions difficult.

"One of you in your testimonies called these laws to prosecute 'toothless.' Could explain to me -- why are existing straw purchase laws 'toothless'?" Maloney asked.

Issa butted in to say that their ATF agent's opinions on U.S. gun laws would not be "considered valid testimony."

"I want to caution the witnesses that the scope of this, your testimony here is limited, and that it's not about proposed legislation and the like and under House rules would not fall within the scope of this," Issa said. "So, anecdotally you can have opinions but ultimately it would not be considered valid testimony.

33 Summer Seale  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 2:55:40pm

I'm not really sure why there should be any outrage any more than, say, a drug operation gone bad...which happens all the time.

You know: DEA agents posing as drug suppliers to sell to drug street gangs to try to catch the whole gang. Sure, they provide drugs for a short time, but with the intent of catching all the criminals.

Sometimes they screw up, or things go bad, but we don't shut down all their covert methods because of it, do we?

A lot of "field operations" fall under this category, and we dont shut down all covert ops, do we? I mean, remember Johnny "Mike" Spann? The first guy to die in Afghanistan in a prison uprising? That was an operation that went bad, and he died, but we didn't have outrage in the US government because of it. We tried to figure out what went wrong and modified our operations since then.

Not sure how this is entirely different. Maybe I don't know the whole story, though, but it seems really stupid to me to have all this outrage over what we know we have to sometimes do in covert operations to catch whole gangs and drug kingpins....

But there I go again, thinking rationally and logically and without using any N-words and calls for public hangings.

34 albusteve  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 2:56:40pm

I have to give the Mexican feds credit for not backing down from the cartels even tho taking them on is dangerous in the extreme...something about the wealthy, power mad kingpins makes them stand and fight it out once in a while and when they do they get wacked pretty good...machismo....even the Mexican Navy has put their squids on the ground to fight...it's going to take years but the bad guys will lose

35 Killgore Trout  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 2:57:39pm

re: #28 albusteve

well yeah...trouble is that so many innocent folks have been slaughtered and dumping 2000+ high powered weapons into that market makes no sense at all...there have to be better ways to track down the killers at large

From what I can tell the guns were sold legally and would have been purchased anyways, regardless of who was selling them. Those murders would not have been prevented but they do provide proof that the drug gangs are buying guns legally in the US.

36 A Man for all Seasons  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 2:57:48pm

Did you guys see the crop circle Bicycles at the Tour of France? It was completely awesome.. Tractors were doing the turning wheels....Never seen anything like it in my life.. Enjoy my lizards...
[Link: www.sbnation.com...]

37 Charles Johnson  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 2:58:23pm

re: #33 Summer

What's different about this story is that the right wing sees an opportunity to attack the Obama administration.

38 goddamnedfrank  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 2:59:07pm

re: #28 albusteve

well yeah...trouble is that so many innocent folks have been slaughtered and dumping 2000+ high powered weapons into that market makes no sense at all...there have to be better ways to track down the killers at large

The Reagan and Bush Sr. administrations dumped 300,000 hand grenades into Central and South America and nobody batted an eye.

39 albusteve  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 2:59:13pm

re: #30 HoosierHoops

I agree Steve What about old fashion police work?

so much corruption that police work gets paid for by the cartels....corruption is rampant and likely goes all th way to the top of the govt....vast sums of money to spend...remember Pablo Escobar?

40 Usually refered to as anyways  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 2:59:22pm

/ Guns don't kill people.

41 darthstar  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 3:00:21pm

re: #34 albusteve

even the Mexican Navy has put their squids on the ground to fight.


Holy shit! And to think I didn't believe you!

42 darthstar  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 3:00:59pm

re: #37 Charles

What's different about this story is that the right wing sees an opportunity to attack the Obama administration.

Sunlight has the same affect on them.

43 Decatur Deb  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 3:01:23pm

re: #39 albusteve

so much corruption that police work gets paid for by the cartels...corruption is rampant and likely goes all th way to the top of the govt...vast sums of money to spend...remember Pablo Escobar?

So why not mount another punitive expedition. The 101st Airborne isn't corrupt. Oh...they're busy? ..Never mind.

44 ProGunLiberal  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 3:01:43pm

OT, but my family just came to the conclusion after hearing about Qaddafi's speech (the one where he talks about liberating Scotland) that Qaddafi must think that Braveheart is a documentary on current conditions there.

45 albusteve  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 3:01:51pm

re: #31 Killgore Trout

Ok, now it's starting to become clear. The article doesn't explain what it means by the term "Straw Purchasers"


So in other words the operation was selling guns legally to see where they ended up. The Republican outrage seems to be the result that legally sold guns in the US are ending up with Mexican Drug gangs. It seems they don't like the outcome of the investigation and want to damage the operation.

not legal...no checks, and armsful at a time...I read where the dealers were flabbergasted that the ATF wanted them to sell in this way....just cash for as many guns as they wanted

46 darthstar  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 3:01:59pm

re: #42 darthstar

Sunlight has the same affect effect on them.


shit...had it right before double-guessing myself.

47 Obdicut  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 3:02:02pm

re: #16 Buck

The doubt is about if it detailed "Fast and Furious". AND then ( I point out again) if true it makes him guilty as well. So be it. It does not mean there is no scandal.

Guilty of what?

48 Obdicut  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 3:04:02pm

re: #45 albusteve

I read where the dealers were flabbergasted that the ATF wanted them to sell in this way

Really, Steve? Where'd you read that?

49 A Man for all Seasons  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 3:05:39pm

re: #39 albusteve

so much corruption that police work gets paid for by the cartels...corruption is rampant and likely goes all th way to the top of the govt...vast sums of money to spend...remember Pablo Escobar?

I was speaking of American Law enforcement..
I kind of understand what being LEO in Mexico is all about..
Here is 5 grand a month..take it or will kill your family and friends and you'll watch...

50 albusteve  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 3:05:44pm

re: #48 Obdicut

Really, Steve? Where'd you read that?

how should I know...that was two weeks ago

51 Obdicut  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 3:07:40pm

re: #50 albusteve

how should I know...that was two weeks ago

So dealers normally object to being paid in cash, or what?

52 Summer Seale  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 3:08:35pm

re: #37 Charles

What's different about this story is that the right wing sees an opportunity to attack the Obama administration.

Exactly. What's different about this story is that a bunch of fuckwits are screaming for insane reasons.

Then again, I really don't expect anything else from a party that sees science as a vast conspiracy against Jayzus to convince us all that we're spawns of Satan, the world isn't 6,000 years old, that we evolved from Evil Monkeys, that the Green movement is just another "religion" trying to take away our "Guns and Wimmins and Truuhks", that we should all be forced at gunpoint to listen to Fundamentalist Christian sermons and "history", that we should all be living in a "Fag-Free Christian Nation", that Jews are "Christ Killers" and all Muslims are "Terrerrists", that "brown people" should be held without charge if they aren't carrying papers on them and put in camps until their papers can be verified, that Obama is literally the Anti-Christ, that "the Rapture" is not only real but just around the corner, that there are swathes of creeping Shari'a laws engulfing our entire legal system, that slaves actually didn't think slavery was so bad, that we should return to Jim Crow laws, and that Obama wasn't born in Hawaii.

No, I really don't expect much more from such batshit insane fucking retards. They're violent motherfucking assholes, they're sick in the head, they don't live in the real world, most of them have no understanding or education beyond "tha Baaahhhhbel", and to make matters worse, they probably don't even know how many branches of government we have when questioned in a poll.

But, there I go again, being honest and truthful...silly me... =)

53 albusteve  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 3:08:48pm

re: #49 HoosierHoops

I was speaking of American Law enforcement..
I kind of understand what being LEO in Mexico is all about..
Here is 5 grand a month..take it or will kill your family and friends and you'll watch...

yup...it takes a lot of courage to not back down from stuff like that

54 goddamnedfrank  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 3:09:44pm

re: #45 albusteve

not legal...no checks, and armsful at a time...I read where the dealers were flabbergasted that the ATF wanted them to sell in this way...just cash for as many guns as they wanted

Yes legal, yes checks. You don't appear to understand what a straw purchase is. The initial buyers absolutely had to have passed DROS for the sales to go through. These kinds of multiple purchases also require ATF form 3310.4 (PDF file) that the buyer must fill out, which normally leads to follow up phone calls, interviews and scrutiny, but in these cases there was an attempt to follow the buyers and guns clandestinely. That last part is what didn't pan out so well.

55 albusteve  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 3:10:01pm

re: #51 Obdicut

So dealers normally object to being paid in cash, or what?

it's not the money, it's the waiver of background checks and the volume sold

56 RadicalModerate  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 3:10:27pm

re: #38 goddamnedfrank

The Reagan and Bush Sr. administrations dumped 300,000 hand grenades into Central and South America and nobody batted an eye.

So, let me get this straight.
In Afghanistan, the group (mujadeens/AlQaeda) that we funded and armed turned around and used those weapons against us.
Now, we find out in Central America, the weapons we provided to what turned out to be a far worse group than the ones we were supposedly fighting against, have found their way to ... you get the picture.

57 Gus  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 3:10:42pm

What a dick.

58 albusteve  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 3:11:41pm

re: #54 goddamnedfrank

Yes legal, yes checks. You don't appear to understand what a straw purchase is. The initial buyers absolutely had to have passed DROS for the sales to go through. These kinds of multiple purchases also require ATF form 3310.4 (PDF file) that the buyer must fill out, which normally leads to follow up phone calls, interviews and scrutiny, but in these cases there was an attempt to follow the buyers and guns clandestinely. That last part is what didn't pan out so well.

I do, I simply passing on what I read...the dealers were not properly set up in advance, just told to deal the guns

59 goddamnedfrank  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 3:12:46pm

re: #58 albusteve

I do, I simply passing on what I read...the dealers were not properly set up in advance, just told to deal the guns

You can't even provide a link to what you read, you're running on raw unsupported assertion at this point.

60 A Man for all Seasons  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 3:13:24pm

re: #56 RadicalModerate

So, let me get this straight.
In Afghanistan, the group (mujadeens/AlQaeda) that we funded and armed turned around and used those weapons against us.
Now, we find out in Central America, the weapons we provided to what turned out to be a far worse group than the ones we were supposedly fighting against, have found their way to ... you get the picture.

It's like sending guns to Germany during WW2 and trying to figure out who the bad guys were getting them...
DUH.
Pretty lame police work

61 Killgore Trout  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 3:13:30pm

re: #48 Obdicut

It's tough finding non Fox sources for this story.....
Gunrunning scandal uncovered at the ATF

In late 2009, ATF was alerted to suspicious buys at seven gun shops in the Phoenix area. Suspicious because the buyers paid cash, sometimes brought in paper bags. And they purchased classic "weapons of choice" used by Mexican drug traffickers - semi-automatic versions of military type rifles and pistols.

Sources tell CBS News several gun shops wanted to stop the questionable sales, but ATF encouraged them to continue.

Jaime Avila was one of the suspicious buyers. ATF put him in its suspect database in January of 2010. For the next year, ATF watched as Avila and other suspects bought huge quantities of weapons supposedly for "personal use." They included 575 AK-47 type semi-automatic rifles.

ATF managers allegedly made a controversial decision: allow most of the weapons on the streets.


It seems the sales were not technically illegal but suspicious.

62 Obdicut  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 3:13:37pm

re: #55 albusteve

it's not the money, it's the waiver of background checks and the volume sold

Do you have any source for saying background checks were waived?

And dealers really dislike selling a lot of guns all of a sudden?

63 albusteve  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 3:14:30pm

re: #59 goddamnedfrank

You can't even provide a link to what you read, you're running on raw unsupported assertion at this point.

true enough...that's what your scroll wheel is for...the dealers were not identified or given a location, so it's all anecdotal

64 Political Atheist  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 3:15:14pm

My conclusion is the buck stops with the acting head of the ATF. I'd like to know if Holder and or Sec State Hilary Clinton was briefed given the risks to our law enforcement relationship with Mexico.

After reading most of what I could find on the 'net, I really still object to the poor execution of a plan like this. Letting guns go out like that is (to me at least) far more dangerous than bugging cars and phones. Far more perilous to be trying something like that in another country. Far more risky than drones and humans on the ground blending in.

Mexico has no interest in GOP talking points but has no small level of outrage.

I see their reaction as entirely legitimate.
Foreign Minister Patricia Espinosa says those in the ATF that are to blame for the illegal gun-running operation should punished to the fullest extent of the law.

Mexican lawmakers have condemned the US 'Operation Fast and Furious,' which purportedly allows gun smuggling in order to track weapons to Mexican drug lords.

65 ProGunLiberal  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 3:17:23pm

re: #64 Rightwingconspirator

I decided to do a look-up of the program. It started as a pilot program in Laredo, TX in 2005, and went National the next year.

The program started under Bush. I wonder if the Fox News idiots know this.

66 Obdicut  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 3:17:39pm

re: #61 Killgore Trout

Also from that article:


Hours after Agent Terry was gunned down, ATF finally arrested Avila. They've since indicted 34 suspected gunrunners in the same group. But the indictment makes no mention of Terry's murder, and no one is charged in his death.

It kind of sounds like this operation got exposed in the middle of it.

67 goddamnedfrank  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 3:18:09pm

re: #62 Obdicut

Do you have any source for saying background checks were waived?

Of course he doesn't. Background checks are never waived. Steve apparently doesn't understand that in a straw purchase the initial buyer is always legally qualified to purchase firearms, it's the secondary undocumented transferee (whether they're qualified to have guns or not) that makes it a straw sale. This is why the ATF agent that Issa attempted to hush up called the laws "toothless."

68 Obdicut  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 3:19:34pm

The funniest part of this is going to be the sudden love that the Tea Party and Fox has for Mexico.

69 A Man for all Seasons  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 3:21:04pm

re: #65 ProLifeLiberal

I decided to do a look-up of the program. It started as a pilot program in Laredo, TX in 2005, and went National the next year.

The program started under Bush. I wonder if the Fox News idiots know this.

Dude..You are so lucky to be home for the summer.. It was 108 yesterday...We are melting here!

70 Obdicut  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 3:21:39pm

Heh, and the Wiki article on this is written from a, shall we say, biased viewpoint.

71 RadicalModerate  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 3:21:43pm

re: #68 Obdicut

The funniest part of this is going to be the sudden love that the Tea Party and Fox has for Mexico.

As long as those Mexicans stay south of the border, they will love them to no end.

72 Political Atheist  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 3:22:40pm

re: #38 goddamnedfrank

The Reagan and Bush Sr. administrations dumped 300,000 hand grenades into Central and South America and nobody batted an eye.

From your article-
The administrations of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush sent 300,000 hand grenades to friendly regimes in Central America to fight leftist insurgents in the civil wars of the 1980s and early 1990s, according to declassified military data obtained through the Freedom of Information Act by the Federation of American Scientists.

So Reagan should not have sent weapons to allies? I disagree on both counts. Our Presidents have that power and have used it regularly. Presidents of both parties. Do you you worry about the weapons Clinton greenlit to be sent by Iran to Muslims during the Serbian conflict?

73 ProGunLiberal  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 3:22:50pm

re: #69 HoosierHoops

Holy Shit. I'm glad to be here.

74 RadicalModerate  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 3:23:45pm

re: #69 HoosierHoops

Dude..You are so lucky to be home for the summer.. It was 108 yesterday...We are melting here!

I guess we're lucky here. It only got to 106 in Dallas today.

75 Political Atheist  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 3:23:50pm

re: #65 ProLifeLiberal

Are you saying weapons went to Mexico when Bush's people ran it? Or was it the same program without that feature?

76 Obdicut  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 3:24:09pm

re: #64 Rightwingconspirator

Well, the thing is that we know that there's a huge number of guns that move south. If the ATF had seized every single one of these gun shipments, would it have had an actual effect on gun violence in Mexico, or would they just have used other weapons in the same crimes? I really doubt that a Mexican gangster who wanted to whack the chief of police would find himself unable to do it if he couldn't get his hands on a .50 caliber.

I've always held that gun control in the US of the 'keep the guns of the streets' kind is futile, because so many guns are out there already. It's hard to imagine that these particular sales made up a large percentage of all the guns entering Mexico.

77 albusteve  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 3:24:36pm

re: #67 goddamnedfrank

Of course he doesn't. Background checks are never waived. Steve apparently doesn't understand that in a straw purchase the initial buyer is always legally qualified to purchase firearms, it's the secondary undocumented transferee (whether they're qualified to have guns or not) that makes it a straw sale. This is why the ATF agent that Issa attempted to hush up called the laws "toothless."

LOL!
I believe checks were waived as was the transfer across the border....the gist of the entire operation

78 Obdicut  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 3:25:41pm

re: #77 albusteve

LOL!
I believe checks were waived as was the transfer across the border...the gist of the entire operation

Why do you believe that checks were waived?

Do you get the whole point of a straw buyer is that it's a legal sale?

79 ProGunLiberal  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 3:27:00pm

re: #75 Rightwingconspirator

On itself (Project Gunrunner), no.

However, there have been operations similar to this dating to 2008. (Operations Too Hot to Handle and Wide Reciever, among others).

Clearly, the ATF way overstepped something, and probably needs to be reformed or purged.

80 A Man for all Seasons  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 3:27:18pm

re: #74 RadicalModerate

I guess we're lucky here. It only got to 106 in Dallas today.

I'm running down to Dallas this winter to check out the house that Jerry built...
I have never been in this kind of heat before..

81 goddamnedfrank  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 3:27:49pm

re: #77 albusteve

LOL!
I believe checks were waived as was the transfer across the border...the gist of the entire operation

No checks were waived, nobody declared guns crossing the border, they were smuggled. You're clearly going believe what you want, even though it flies in the face of all common sense.

82 ProGunLiberal  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 3:29:45pm

re: #80 HoosierHoops

Stay in Norman!

83 goddamnedfrank  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 3:30:17pm

re: #72 Rightwingconspirator

From your article-
The administrations of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush sent 300,000 hand grenades to friendly regimes in Central America to fight leftist insurgents in the civil wars of the 1980s and early 1990s, according to declassified military data obtained through the Freedom of Information Act by the Federation of American Scientists.

So Reagan should not have sent weapons to allies? I disagree on both counts. Our Presidents have that power and have used it regularly. Presidents of both parties. Do you you worry about the weapons Clinton greenlit to be sent by Iran to Muslims during the Serbian conflict?

Big supporter of the Nicaraguan Death Squads are you?

84 Killgore Trout  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 3:31:16pm

re: #66 Obdicut

Also from that article:

It kind of sounds like this operation got exposed in the middle of it.

Kind of but it seems like the investigation played out and the rounded up almost 40 people who were buying guns legally and handing them over to criminal gangs. Had they not let the investigation play out all they'd have is suspicions that wouldn't hold up in court.

85 Killgore Trout  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 3:32:35pm

re: #64 Rightwingconspirator

I can see how the Mexican government would not be happy about this but they've been complaining for a long time that Americans guns have been fueling violence in their country.

86 albusteve  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 3:35:04pm

re: #81 goddamnedfrank

No checks were waived, nobody declared guns crossing the border, they were smuggled. You're clearly going believe what you want, even though it flies in the face of all common sense.

yes, I know they were allowed to be smuggled....I admit 'waived' is not the correct term regarding the checks....what I gathered from the brief interview with the dealers was that the background check results were irrelevant, dismissed in favor of the investigation

87 Obdicut  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 3:35:40pm

re: #84 Killgore Trout

Yep. Unfortunately, they can't point out the people they saved by doing so. There's a dead US agent and that's going to make people basically assert that Obama and Holder might as well have killed him themselves.

I am nonplussed about programs like this. To me, they're an arcane factor of an untenable situation-- the drug war, which we have no way of winning. Operations like this have very real risks, but so does any style of enforcement. That guy could have been shot by one of the straw-bought guns during an attempt to seize the guns in a smuggling raid, too.

There's no actual solution to the traffic except to improve circumstances in Mexico, which would require reformation or our drug laws and Mexico successfully winning its fight against corruption in government.

88 Obdicut  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 3:37:14pm

re: #86 albusteve

yes, I know they were allowed to be smuggled...I admit 'waived' is not the correct term regarding the checks...what I gathered from the brief interview with the dealers was that the background check results were irrelevant, dismissed in favor of the investigation

I still don't think you get that the point of the straw purchasers was that they were making fully legal buys under US gun sale regulations.

That's why the ATF called our laws 'toothless'.

89 Political Atheist  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 3:37:44pm

re: #76 Obdicut
I do not think for a second these guns were a big %. Nor does that matter, especially as it was apparently without the consent of law enforcement in Mexico.

Getting guns off the streets is a well worthwhile effort to reduce them, with the knowledge it can not be 100% successful. I'd rather not make the perfect the enemy of the good in this instance.

We also know many of the weapons come from the global arms market. Weapons from the US and of course the AK's made in any number of places. Heavier weapons re also a huge problem, and those are coming into Mexico like the grenades, from the south. There is no RPG/Grenade store in Texas or anywhere else in the US.

I do not see the fact the GOP is running away with this to be great reason to make the opposite error-Minimize this to take heat off the administration. Ignore the GOP crap and take a hard look at what went wrong. Then let's see if the acting ATF director should keep that job, see if he or his successor would be the best available person to move forward.

90 A Man for all Seasons  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 3:38:36pm

re: #82 ProLifeLiberal

Stay in Norman!

I pretty much love it here.. Great College town..Ton's of sports and politics, food and music...
Look forward to seeing you at the Dem HQ when you get back...We are doing Applebee's lunches with really good speakers once a week..Don't worry.. I'll buy...
There is an Indiana School playing football this year at OU.. I need a student tickets source..:)
Ball State is coming here.. We call that school Testicle tech in Indiana

91 Political Atheist  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 3:38:55pm

re: #79 ProLifeLiberal

Clearly, the ATF way overstepped something, and probably needs to be reformed or purged.

QFT

92 albusteve  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 3:40:23pm

re: #89 Rightwingconspirator

I do not think for a second these guns were a big %. Nor does that matter, especially as it was apparently without the consent of law enforcement in Mexico.

Getting guns off the streets is a well worthwhile effort to reduce them, with the knowledge it can not be 100% successful. I'd rather not make the perfect the enemy of the good in this instance.

We also know many of the weapons come from the global arms market. Weapons from the US and of course the AK's made in any number of places. Heavier weapons re also a huge problem, and those are coming into Mexico like the grenades, from the south. There is no RPG/Grenade store in Texas or anywhere else in the US.

I do not see the fact the GOP is running away with this to be great reason to make the opposite error-Minimize this to take heat off the administration. Ignore the GOP crap and take a hard look at what went wrong. Then let's see if the acting ATF director should keep that job, see if he or his successor would be the best available person to move forward.

agreed, but not likely

93 Political Atheist  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 3:41:26pm

re: #83 goddamnedfrank

Big supporter of the Nicaraguan Death Squads are you?

With a stretch like that you must be a huge fan of silly putty.

94 Obdicut  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 3:42:29pm

re: #89 Rightwingconspirator

I do not think for a second these guns were a big %. Nor does that matter, especially as it was apparently without the consent of law enforcement in Mexico.

Er, I think it rather does matter in the case of "Would the people shot in Mexico still have wound up dead?"


Getting guns off the streets is a well worthwhile effort to reduce them, with the knowledge it can not be 100% successful. I'd rather not make the perfect the enemy of the good in this instance.

The goal of this program was to roll up the straw buyer networks. I mean, unless you think there was some other goal, this was a program that was meant to (and now, has) end in indictments.


I do not see the fact the GOP is running away with this to be great reason to make the opposite error-Minimize this to take heat off the administration. Ignore the GOP crap and take a hard look at what went wrong. Then let's see if the acting ATF director should keep that job, see if he or his successor would be the best available person to move forward.

Um, I make children's toys. I have zero capability of analyzing large-scale crimefighting operations. I think all the undercover crap we do is scary as fuck, but cops seem to use it a lot. I don't like the entire aspect of the drug war and think that by decriminalizing drug use we could actually start fighting back effectively. That's the root of the problem.

Other than that, are programs like this an unnecessary risk? I don't know, and I don't have the competence to make that judgement. Surely they are a huge risk; but would the 42 indictments being handed down have happened if we had intercepted the guns?

I don't know.

95 albusteve  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 3:42:57pm

re: #90 HoosierHoops

I pretty much love it here.. Great College town..Ton's of sports and politics, food and music...
Look forward to seeing you at the Dem HQ when you get back...We are doing Applebee's lunches with really good speakers once a week..Don't worry.. I'll buy...
There is an Indiana School playing football this year at OU.. I need a student tickets source..:)
Ball State is coming here.. We call that school Testicle tech in Indiana

my boy has been down in Lauderdale for almost four years now at dental school....he really misses his undergrad days in Ann Arbor, breezing through his classes and groovin on all the big time sports and other activities

96 Obdicut  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 3:44:31pm

re: #93 Rightwingconspirator

With a stretch like that you must be a huge fan of silly putty.

Well the allies we had in Central America at that time were mostly right-wing reactionary types that did suppress their own populations violently. I can't really think of any good guys we supported down there.

97 Killgore Trout  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 3:44:42pm

re: #87 Obdicut


There's no actual solution to the traffic except to improve circumstances in Mexico, which would require reformation or our drug laws and Mexico successfully winning its fight against corruption in government.


Mexico is only half of the problem. It's our guns streaming across the border that's the other half of the problem. Our drug laws are another factor. The only reason these gangs exist is because of our arcane drugs laws and our insatiable appetite for drugs. Legalizing marijuana here in the states would probably put a lot of these gangs out of business.

98 ProGunLiberal  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 3:48:40pm

I should be able to get to make another Libya Page today.

However, I feel like Just Cause 2 right now.

99 Political Atheist  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 3:48:59pm

re: #94 Obdicut

It's pretty easy to imagine better ways of getting after the straw buyers. Like just making multiple gun purchasers prove to still have possession, especially in problem areas. Do that a while and see how easy it is to find straw buyers.

Heck forget imagining here is a link to real straw buyer arrests. Let's replicate those on a larger scale. As a gun guy I sure want them out of the business.

100 A Man for all Seasons  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 3:49:12pm

re: #95 albusteve

my boy has been down in Lauderdale for almost four years now at dental school...he really misses his undergrad days in Ann Arbor, breezing through his classes and groovin on all the big time sports and other activities

College is great.. I spent 2 years at a Junior college.. Then 4 years at Sonoma State.. 2 Years paid for by the US government

101 albusteve  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 3:49:22pm

re: #97 Killgore Trout

Mexico is only half of the problem. It's our guns streaming across the border that's the other half of the problem. Our drug laws are another factor. The only reason these gangs exist is because of our arcane drugs laws and our insatiable appetite for drugs. Legalizing marijuana here in the states would probably put a lot of these gangs out of business.

too many people still think of pot as the great gateway drug...smoke a joint and the next thing, you're shooting heroin...a fallacy, but the pot busting business is a multi billion dollar racket...the scam of the century

102 Obdicut  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 3:49:37pm

re: #97 Killgore Trout

It would hurt them a lot, give them less cash to play around with, certainly. They'd still be able to smuggle the harder stuff, but it'd take a lot of cash out of their pockets.

Mexico's corruption makes it difficult to know what would happen for sure, since in many places local gangs control the economy beyond the drug trade, as well. They own whole towns down there. The Federal government in Mexico is fighting back-- just indicted a bunch of mayors, I think, for being basically pawns of the drug kingpins. But if they got to concentrate on a weakened bunch of gangs that had just lost their marijuana money, they'd have a lot more oomph.

It's all speculation, we seem pretty far from marijuana decriminalization. Personally I think that's a bigger failing on Holder's part than this is-- but I don't have any grounds for wanting him kicked out because of it.

103 Decatur Deb  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 3:52:17pm

re: #102 Obdicut

It would hurt them a lot, give them less cash to play around with, certainly. They'd still be able to smuggle the harder stuff, but it'd take a lot of cash out of their pockets. ...snip

Legalize all use and treat abuse as a medical problem. Keep stiff penalties for illegal importation. All risk/no profit/no enterprise.

104 albusteve  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 3:53:55pm

re: #100 HoosierHoops

College is great.. I spent 2 years at a Junior college.. Then 4 years at Sonoma State.. 2 Years paid for by the US government

both my kids had primo college experiences...cost me a fortune, so I'm glad for that...but they lined up their interests, pursued them with vigor and kicked ass...my daughter helped produce this vid I want to pimp again...she is deep into community...

105 Political Atheist  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 3:54:03pm

re: #96 Obdicut

Yes we had, and still have some pretty bad governments that we support. It's called geopolitics. We send F-16's to Saudi. Remember the angst about Am,erican tanks in Egypt? Boy that sure dried up fast as that military helped end the violence.

So, hand wringing about Reagan and similar policies then strike me as ad hoc arguments. Or worse, in some cases (not you or GDF) hypocritical. I'd love to live where or when we can only support nations as kind and gentle to it's people as the United States. But that is not going to be in my lifetime or yours.

106 Obdicut  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 3:54:19pm

re: #99 Rightwingconspirator

It's pretty easy to imagine better ways of getting after the straw buyers. Like just making multiple gun purchasers prove to still have possession, especially in problem areas. Do that a while and see how easy it is to find straw buyers.

Wouldn't the straw purchasers just move to a different area?

From one of the links in your google search there:

- Whether ATF agents would have had probable cause to arrest straw buyers before guns moved south. A Justice official and testimony from ATF agents conflict as to whether agents were authorized to make such arrests.


And:

Cunningham laid out the legal hurdles federal agents had to overcome in order to seize guns. For instance, none of the gun sales was illegal when they were made, even when someone would come in day after day and buy dozens of weapons.

In Arizona, nearly anyone can walk into a gun store and buy as many rifles as he wants without having to report it to the federal government. Buyers must pass a federal background check and sign a form declaring they are purchasing the guns on their own, not for someone else.

The decision to sell dozens of rifles to the same customer day after day is up to gun dealers.

Under Arizona and federal law, it is also legal for buyers to transfer the weapons to another individual within the state.

Cunningham said guns can be seized only if the purchaser is a known felon or if the agents had evidence the gun was involved in a crime or that it would be used in a future crime.

Agents built their cases for gun trafficking using wiretaps, informants and surveillance.

In February, the Arizona U.S. Attorney's Office and the Phoenix ATF announced that more than 20 people had been indicted and that agents had seized hundreds of weapons as part of Operation Fast and Furious.

None of those arrested was a significant cartel figure. But the charges, some involving conspiracy, drugs and smuggling, were far more severe than those for the typical straw buyer.

So they were going for bigger charges against straw buyers since it's very hard for them to use existing laws to combat straw buyers.

107 Decatur Deb  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 3:54:57pm

re: #104 albusteve

both my kids had primo college experiences...cost me a fortune, so I'm glad for that...but they lined up their interests, pursued them with vigor and kicked ass...my daughter helped produce this vid I want to pimp again...she is deep into community...

[Video]

Her vid was the daily feature on the Doonesbury site a couple weeks ago.

108 Obdicut  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 3:55:44pm

re: #105 Rightwingconspirator

Yes we had, and still have some pretty bad governments that we support. It's called geopolitics. We send F-16's to Saudi. Remember the angst about Am,erican tanks in Egypt? Boy that sure dried up fast as that military helped end the violence.

So, hand wringing about Reagan and similar policies then strike me as ad hoc arguments. Or worse, in some cases (not you or GDF) hypocritical. I'd love to live where or when we can only support nations as kind and gentle to it's people as the United States. But that is not going to be in my lifetime or yours.

My only point was that the US proving arms to people we know are evil shitheads isn't really anything new. At least in this case we were doing so out of an actual attempt to get arrests on bad guys.

109 Political Atheist  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 3:58:08pm

re: #106 Obdicut

I'd love to see stronger measures against straw buys. Some legislation to help ATF is in order. Or states can help, California has long restricted multiple sales, even little single shot .22 caliber pistols made for Olympic target shooting.

None of that excuses ATF on this incident IMO.

110 Obdicut  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 4:02:45pm

re: #109 Rightwingconspirator

I'd love to see stronger measures against straw buys. Some legislation to help ATF is in order. Or states can help, California has long restricted multiple sales, even little single shot .22 caliber pistols made for Olympic target shooting.

None of that excuses ATF on this incident IMO.

Opinion about whether this was the right thing to do was obviously widely divided at the ATF as well. It's never good when you've got people involved in an operation they don't fully support. I'll certainly grant that.

But the fact that the ATF were pursuing larger charges does at least make sense. Were they doing all they could to stop those guns entering Mexico? No.

Are any of those people they indicted running guns into Mexico now? No. And if they have good cases, they won't for awhile.

Is it better to stop the crime as it occurs whenever you can, or arrest the criminals? I don't know, personally. It seems an incredibly complex and difficult question, and I'm really not ready to judge anyone for it. I'd much rather talk about attacking the problem at the root of it.

111 Political Atheist  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 4:02:45pm

re: #94 Obdicut

We are in agreement about legalizing cannabis, but Mexico runs all kinds of drugs I think we would not dare make legal.

Other than that, are programs like this an unnecessary risk? I don't know, and I don't have the competence to make that judgement. Surely they are a huge risk; but would the 42 indictments being handed down have happened if we had intercepted the guns?

I don't know.

Feel free to take the actual results into consideration. 42 indictments for thousands of guns let loose? I do not like that math.

112 RadicalModerate  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 4:03:13pm

re: #103 Decatur Deb

Legalize and tax all use and treat abuse as a medical problem. Keep stiff penalties for illegal importation. All risk/no profit/no enterprise.

Fixed for you. The end-user, even with the tax in place would be much cheaper than buying off the street. Said tax revenue could be specifically earmarked toward treatment programs and inner-city infrastructure rebuilding.

The only losers in this proposition would be the "private" prison industry, some law enforcement agencies who use the forfeiture statutes as their own private piggy bank, and of course the drug gangs/cartels who have their source of income cut out from under them.

113 SanFranciscoZionist  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 4:03:41pm

In happier news, the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem finally got off their collective ass and issued Khaled Abu Toameh a visa, after weeks of kerfuffling and bizarreness. (We, who follow Mr. Abu Toameh on Facebook have been utterly baffled by this whole thing.)

114 albusteve  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 4:06:31pm

re: #107 Decatur Deb

Her vid was the daily feature on the Doonesbury site a couple weeks ago.

yeah, it made NPR, and Roger Ebert called it the very best city vid dub as yet made...pretty cool...my daughter is the bride at the lobby of her GR Art Museum, right after the pillow fight

115 Obdicut  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 4:07:00pm

re: #111 Rightwingconspirator


We are in agreement about legalizing cannabis, but Mexico runs all kinds of drugs I think we would not dare make legal.

I'd dare make the use and consumption of pretty much any drug without instant harmful side effects of an anti-social nature decriminalized-- still possibly not legal, but treated medically and not criminally. Busting people for being heroin users is like shoveling back the tide; they're not going to stop being heroin addicts unless you treat it.

I'd like to fully decriminalize marijuana, including recreational sales, and to turn most hard drugs (with the exceptions of stuff like meth and PCP) into yet another medical problem. I'm not saying it'd be easy-- meth is a monster-- but it's better than what we've got.

Feel free to take the actual results into consideration. 42 indictments for thousands of guns let loose? I do not like that math.

Why not? As far as number of indictments after an investigation goes, that seems like a lot.

116 Political Atheist  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 4:07:06pm

re: #85 Killgore Trout

Yes, and working that outrage just like the GOP worked theirs. Fast and furious with the facts I mean. Arms smuggling is a slippery grape issue. Stop Texas straw buys and a new market opens up for the rest of the black market to fill.

Again I want to say the buck stops at ATF. It's not a great moment for Holder either (who I have a few bones to pick with) but I seriously hold Obama blameless on this one.

117 Decatur Deb  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 4:07:27pm

re: #112 RadicalModerate

Fixed for you. The end-user, even with the tax in place would be much cheaper than buying off the street. Said tax revenue could be specifically earmarked toward treatment programs and inner-city infrastructure rebuilding.

The only losers in this proposition would be the "private" prison industry, some law enforcement agencies who use the forfeiture statutes as their own private piggy bank, and of course the drug gangs/cartels who have their source of income cut out from under them.

Taxing profit might be a good development for recreational stuff like MJ. Hard stuff should be free under medical control. (Yeah-I want Obamacare to push heroin. Might as well get that nontroversy going.)

118 Decatur Deb  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 4:08:27pm

re: #114 albusteve

yeah, it made NPR, and Roger Ebert called it the very best city vid dub as yet made...pretty cool...my daughter is the bride at the lobby of her GR Art Museum, right after the pillow fight

Cool. I was wondering if they had incorporated a real wedding party.

119 albusteve  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 4:09:11pm

re: #111 Rightwingconspirator

We are in agreement about legalizing cannabis, but Mexico runs all kinds of drugs I think we would not dare make legal.

Feel free to take the actual results into consideration. 42 indictments for thousands of guns let loose? I do not like that math.

it's a epic failure and cost the life of a BP agent...people have died as a result of this stupidity, the wrong people

120 Political Atheist  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 4:11:01pm

re: #115 Obdicut

Why not? As far as number of indictments after an investigation goes, that seems like a lot.


The sheer lethality of that many guns is why not. I'm a little surprised we disagree there.

121 Decatur Deb  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 4:11:32pm

re: #115 Obdicut

I'd dare make the use and consumption of pretty much any drug without instant harmful side effects of an anti-social nature decriminalized-- still possibly not legal, but treated medically and not criminally. Busting people for being heroin users is like shoveling back the tide; they're not going to stop being heroin addicts unless you treat it.

I'd like to fully decriminalize marijuana, including recreational sales, and to turn most hard drugs (with the exceptions of stuff like meth and PCP) into yet another medical problem. I'm not saying it'd be easy-- meth is a monster-- but it's better than what we've got.

Why not? As far as number of indictments after an investigation goes, that seems like a lot.

The more dangerous it is, the faster it should be brought into the legal medical arena. It's BS that I could have a month's supply of Oxycontin in two hours, paid for by my insurance, and some kid gets his life wrecked for a street buy.

122 Killgore Trout  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 4:13:01pm

re: #116 Rightwingconspirator

Yes, and working that outrage just like the GOP worked theirs. Fast and furious with the facts I mean. Arms smuggling is a slippery grape issue. Stop Texas straw buys and a new market opens up for the rest of the black market to fill.

Again I want to say the buck stops at ATF. It's not a great moment for Holder either (who I have a few bones to pick with) but I seriously hold Obama blameless on this one.

Straw buys, gun show loopholes, banning slaes to people on terrorist watch lists or with serious mental health issues are all common sense gun control measures that will be very difficult if not impossible to pass. The NRA and Republicans will never allow them to pass.

123 albusteve  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 4:14:17pm

re: #118 Decatur Deb

Cool. I was wondering if they had incorporated a real wedding party.

no, every bit is fake...these kids worked their asses off on this vid...it started when Time magazine ripped Grand Rapids as a dying city because their population declined a bit...the mayor went nuts, challenged the editors to actually visit the city and went ahead with this video...they tied up downtown 7 times to rehearse the thing and everybody was behind it...

124 Political Atheist  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 4:15:07pm

re: #122 Killgore Trout

The same was said of handgun registration at one time, an d countless other measures that did pass especially at state level. This incident may help.

125 Political Atheist  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 4:16:41pm

re: #121 Decatur Deb

Legal medical arena? As soon as a doctor says no to a dangerous level of use you have a black market again. Unless I misunderstood what you mean?

126 Killgore Trout  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 4:17:27pm

re: #124 Rightwingconspirator

The same was said of handgun registration at one time, an d countless other measures that did pass especially at state level. This incident may help.

Maybe if the Republicans lose the House something might get through. We can only hope.

127 albusteve  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 4:18:18pm

re: #122 Killgore Trout

Straw buys, gun show loopholes, banning slaes to people on terrorist watch lists or with serious mental health issues are all common sense gun control measures that will be very difficult if not impossible to pass. The NRA and Republicans will never allow them to pass.

I disagree...none of those issues infringes on the 2nd and most gun owners know that to protect themselves they need to abide by those types of restrictions...the NRA is stubborn but they don't vote

128 Killgore Trout  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 4:18:41pm

Well, At least now I bothered to learn about the scandal. I still think the outrage is fairly bogus and certainly overblown but I least know I'm informed on the topic.

129 William Barnett-Lewis  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 4:23:05pm

re: #124 Rightwingconspirator

The same was said of handgun registration at one time, an d countless other measures that did pass especially at state level. This incident may help.

After watching the aftermath of the AWB of 1994, I'd say there will not be any further restrictions at the federal level or in at least 40 of the states for over a generation. The NRA fear machine and the memory of all the seats the Dems lost (everyone who lost was a yes vote IIRC) will ensure that.

You'd have better luck trying to pass a modern version of the Militia Act of 1792 and require every adult citizen to own a firearm.

For good bad or indifferent, there will only be loosing of firearms law for the foreseeable future.

130 Decatur Deb  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 4:23:32pm

re: #125 Rightwingconspirator

Legal medical arena? As soon as a doctor says no to a dangerous level of use you have a black market again. Unless I misunderstood what you mean?

I mean drug docs should be treating the addiction as the disease with their best judgment, but not as restrictively as the British tried. Some junkies who demanded elevated access would certainly OD, but they wouldn't be replaced by profit-driven street recruiting. The number of direct and secondary (crime) problems would probably fall. If that doesn't work, adjust it or try something else. What we're doing is stupid.

131 goddamnedfrank  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 4:24:10pm

re: #127 albusteve

I disagree...none of those issues infringes on the 2nd and most gun owners know that to protect themselves they need to abide by those types of restrictions...the NRA is stubborn but they don't vote

That's like saying the AARP doesn't vote, while technically true it ignores the huge amount of influence over voters and lobbying power they wield.

NRA Opposes Bill Banning Terror Watch List Suspects From Buying Guns

132 albusteve  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 4:24:29pm

re: #128 Killgore Trout

Well, At least now I bothered to learn about the scandal. I still think the outrage is fairly bogus and certainly overblown but I least know I'm informed on the topic.

I pay no attention to any outrage...most of the time the counter rage is far more intense than the original cause for outrage...a stupid circle jerk

133 albusteve  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 4:25:33pm

re: #131 goddamnedfrank

That's like saying the AARP doesn't vote, while technically true it ignores the huge amount of influence over voters and lobbying power they wield.

NRA Opposes Bill Banning Terror Watch List Suspects From Buying Guns

twas a passing comment...I do not underestimate the lobby power of the NRA

134 goddamnedfrank  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 4:26:07pm

re: #129 wlewisiii

After watching the aftermath of the AWB of 1994, I'd say there will not be any further restrictions at the federal level or in at least 40 of the states for over a generation. The NRA fear machine and the memory of all the seats the Dems lost (everyone who lost was a yes vote IIRC) will ensure that.

You'd have better luck trying to pass a modern version of the Militia Act of 1792 and require every adult citizen to own a firearm.

For good bad or indifferent, there will only be loosing of firearms law for the foreseeable future.

If the Republicans ever retake the Senate and Presidency I wouldn't put it past them to try and repeal the 1986 machine gun ban.

135 William Barnett-Lewis  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 4:29:41pm

re: #134 goddamnedfrank

If the Republicans ever retake the Senate and Presidency I wouldn't put it past them to try and repeal the 1986 machine gun ban.

Oh, reopening the registry is a minimum. I expect a basic repeal of everything the GCA of 68. I think that the NFA of 34 would be safe if only because Scalia twisted the ruling in Heller to avoid declaring it invalid.

The right forgets, though, that they aren't the only ones who buy guns.

136 RadicalModerate  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 4:31:50pm

re: #117 Decatur Deb

Taxing profit might be a good development for recreational stuff like MJ. Hard stuff should be free under medical control. (Yeah-I want Obamacare to push heroin. Might as well get that nontroversy going.)

For me, it would have to be under strict medical control, as part of a program to get the users off of the stuff. Heroin and other similar synthetic opoids are very, very nasty in the fact that even used properly, have the potential to kill the user. Non-addictive drugs would be under regulated release, but freely available.

The only one I'd approve of straight retail marketing would be marijuana-family drugs. It would be subject to many of the same regulations as tobacco and alcohol products - no sales to minors (but without the ridiculous zoning laws that beer/wine/liquor have).

137 Obdicut  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 4:31:54pm

re: #120 Rightwingconspirator

The sheer lethality of that many guns is why not. I'm a little surprised we disagree there.

Well, like I said, I don't think catching all these guns would have reduced the guns in Mexico significantly or prevented any of the shooting deaths.

138 Decatur Deb  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 4:34:34pm

re: #135 wlewisiii

Oh, reopening the registry is a minimum. I expect a basic repeal of everything the GCA of 68. I think that the NFA of 34 would be safe if only because Scalia twisted the ruling in Heller to avoid declaring it invalid.

The right forgets, though, that they aren't the only ones who buy guns.

Yeah--but they're the only ones who can afford the good ammo. An M2 burns through about $2,500 per minute. Don't even think about a Vulcan:

139 goddamnedfrank  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 4:35:31pm

It's a done deal:

The Pentagon announced Friday that it is suspending its "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy of banning openly gay servicemen and women.

The Army Times reports that the Department of Defense will comply with a Ninth Circuit ruling earlier this week that ordered the military to halt the policy.

140 Killgore Trout  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 4:36:01pm

Bollywood clip of the day

141 albusteve  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 4:36:02pm

re: #138 Decatur Deb

Yeah--but they're the only ones who can afford the good ammo. An M2 burns through about $2,500 per minute. Don't even think about a Vulcan:

[Video]

petty change for the Zetas

142 Political Atheist  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 4:36:27pm

re: #131 goddamnedfrank
Let's see why the NRA opposes this. It's fair to show the point of view right?
[Link: www.nraila.org...]

A few things caught my eye in particular.
Objections to the Bills

As the name suggests, the “watchlist” is not limited to people guilty of “terrorism”1 or who are suspected of other acts serious enough to warrant their arrest. It broadly includes people “known or reasonably suspected to be or have been engaged in conduct constituting, in preparation for, in aid of, or related to terrorism,”2 including those only “being preliminarily investigated to determine whether they have links to terrorism” and those “for whom the FBI does not have an open terrorism investigation.”3
A person accused of serious wrongdoing has the right to know what he has been accused of, to offer evidence in his defense, and to be judged by a jury. A constitutionally protected right cannot be taken away on the basis of a secretive or unsubstantiated accusation. A judge should be allowed to consider evidence which may support the innocence of the accused.

S. 34 and H.R. 1506 are aimed primarily at law-abiding American gun owners. Ninety-five percent of watchlisted persons are already prohibited from acquiring firearms in the U.S., because they are not U.S. citizens or legal resident aliens.

NICS already checks the relevant portion of the watchlist, and denies firearms to watchlisted persons who are prohibited from possessing firearms. Tellingly, S. 34’s and H.R. 1506’s sponsors could not name a single gun crime committed by a watchlisted person who purchased a firearm after passing a NICS check. (See below.)

There would be an enormous potential for abuse, if the FBI were given arbitrary power over a constitutionally-protected right. This would be true even if the FBI had an unblemished record where civil rights are concerned.

143 Decatur Deb  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 4:37:29pm

re: #141 albusteve

petty change for the Zetas

With their dedication to free enterprise and gun ownership, I consider them "the Right".

144 albusteve  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 4:40:40pm

man it's hot down in ABQ...over 100deg again
I've never experienced such a long heat wave

145 Amory Blaine  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 4:44:51pm

re: #103 Decatur Deb

Legalize all use and treat abuse as a medical problem. Keep stiff penalties for illegal importation. All risk/no profit/no enterprise.

Oh no. I'm against all forms of protectionism. If pot farmers can't compete....

//

146 Decatur Deb  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 4:46:50pm

re: #145 Amory Blaine

Oh no. I'm against all forms of protectionism. If pot farmers can't compete...

//

"They're stealin' our herbs!!"

147 Cannadian Club Akbar  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 4:47:13pm

If we were to legalize weed, which crop would be pushed to the side to make room for pot?

148 Decatur Deb  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 4:47:45pm

re: #147 Cannadian Club Akbar

If we were to legalize weed, which crop would be pushed to the side to make room for pot?

Kudzu

149 Political Atheist  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 4:48:27pm

re: #134 goddamnedfrank

If the Republicans ever retake the Senate and Presidency I wouldn't put it past them to try and repeal the 1986 machine gun ban.

If the Dems ever get all three I'd not be surprised to see serious effort to reduce/make irrelevant the whole second amendment. Reducing/removing our rights in the name of public safety.

But then how helpful is this kind of speculative concern?

150 Obdicut  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 4:50:21pm

re: #147 Cannadian Club Akbar

If we were to legalize weed, which crop would be pushed to the side to make room for pot?

I don't know how to break it to you, but there's plenty of pot actually already being grown.

But just to be fitting: tobacco.

151 Political Atheist  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 4:50:46pm

re: #147 Cannadian Club Akbar

If we were to legalize weed, which crop would be pushed to the side to make room for pot?

Pothos (Devils Ivy) the most common indoor plant. :-)

152 Obdicut  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 4:50:52pm

re: #149 Rightwingconspirator

If the Dems ever get all three I'd not be surprised to see serious effort to reduce/make irrelevant the whole second amendment. Reducing/removing our rights in the name of public safety.

But then how helpful is this kind of speculative concern?

Why would you think that, given that when the Democrats did have all three, they did absolutely nothing of the sort?

153 albusteve  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 4:51:01pm

re: #149 Rightwingconspirator

If the Dems ever get all three I'd not be surprised to see serious effort to reduce/make irrelevant the whole second amendment. Reducing/removing our rights in the name of public safety.

But then how helpful is this kind of speculative concern?

it fuels the pseudo intellectuals...they make up a scenario then wail in complaint to something that doesn't exist

154 albusteve  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 4:52:33pm

re: #152 Obdicut

Why would you think that, given that when the Democrats did have all three, they did absolutely nothing of the sort?

times change, very little is constant

155 Cannadian Club Akbar  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 4:53:45pm

re: #150 Obdicut

I don't know how to break it to you, but there's plenty of pot actually already being grown.

But just to be fitting: tobacco.

I think most tobacco farms don't have the right climate for good weed. Summers aren't long enough from what I know.

156 wrenchwench  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 4:55:08pm

re: #155 Cannadian Club Akbar

I think most tobacco farms don't have the right climate for good weed. Summers aren't long enough from what I know.

That's crazy. Summers are shorter in North Carolina than they are in Northern California? I don't think so.

157 Obdicut  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 4:55:24pm

re: #155 Cannadian Club Akbar

I think most tobacco farms don't have the right climate for good weed. Summers aren't long enough from what I know.

Nah, I was being facetious. Seriously, marijuana is a very easy crop to grow. It gets grown in random places all over California. I don't think it'd have to displace anything, especially since hemp would be an excellent biofuel.

158 albusteve  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 4:55:48pm

re: #155 Cannadian Club Akbar

I think most tobacco farms don't have the right climate for good weed. Summers aren't long enough from what I know.

yes they do...ideal in fact

159 RadicalModerate  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 4:56:09pm

Wow, this is just messed up. Even though they were legally married last year, because one of the spouses visa is expiring, he is subject to deportation.
Reason - DOMA does not allow granting of residence status to same-sex spouses, even though that same right is automatically granted to other married couples - in fact, he is not permitted to even apply for a green card.

Gay couples seek green cards despite likelihood of refusal

In the Alex Benshimol case referenced in the story, his deportation hearing is on July 13.

160 Cannadian Club Akbar  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 4:56:36pm

re: #156 wrenchwench

That's crazy. Summers are shorter in North Carolina than they are in Northern California? I don't think so.

I don't recall ever smoking kick ass bud from either spot. Snow doesn't help.

161 Decatur Deb  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 4:57:37pm

re: #155 Cannadian Club Akbar

I think most tobacco farms don't have the right climate for good weed. Summers aren't long enough from what I know.

KY was a major producer in the 70s, might still be. The Kentucky Blue was shit, however, and I don't mean that in a good way.

162 Obdicut  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 4:57:52pm

re: #160 Cannadian Club Akbar

I don't recall ever smoking kick ass bud from either spot. Snow doesn't help.

Northern California is one of the most prolific pot-growing places in the US.

Little town called Humboldt is one of the more famed locales.

163 Cannadian Club Akbar  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 4:58:45pm

re: #162 Obdicut

Northern California is one of the most prolific pot-growing places in the US.

Little town called Humboldt is one of the more famed locales.


What do they do when it gets cold?

164 albusteve  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 4:59:07pm

re: #160 Cannadian Club Akbar

I don't recall ever smoking kick ass bud from either spot. Snow doesn't help.

north CA is perfect for growing pot, below a certain altitude...world class stuff...climate is almost irrelevant

165 Decatur Deb  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 4:59:25pm

BBIAM (Forwards screen caps to DEA.)

166 Political Atheist  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 4:59:59pm

re: #152 Obdicut

It's not the same political environment these days. Since California state Democrats in the legislature try this regularly, (with some success) my concern has merit at least IMO. Right or wrong, my other point about using "concern" to just get in a cheap dig seems kinda light weight as far as arguing politics goes. That is more what I'm trying to point out.

167 Cannadian Club Akbar  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 5:00:17pm

re: #161 Decatur Deb

KY was a major producer in the 70s, might still be. The Kentucky Blue was shit, however, and I don't mean that in a good way.

We had Gainesville Green and Bud from Arcadia in the '80's. Would floor you.:)

168 Obdicut  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 5:00:17pm

re: #163 Cannadian Club Akbar

What do they do when it gets cold?

The same thing they do in Kansas with the wheat; not attempt to grow it in the winter. Or they do hydroponics.

169 albusteve  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 5:00:17pm

re: #163 Cannadian Club Akbar

What do they do when it gets cold?

sit back and smoke pot, listen to the Stones and plan

170 wrenchwench  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 5:00:22pm

re: #163 Cannadian Club Akbar

What do they do when it gets cold?

Harvest.

171 Killgore Trout  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 5:01:16pm

re: #147 Cannadian Club Akbar

If we were to legalize weed, which crop would be pushed to the side to make room for pot?

Lawns.

172 Cannadian Club Akbar  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 5:02:50pm

Florida: 12 month of growing weed.:)

173 albusteve  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 5:03:34pm

re: #168 Obdicut

The same thing they do in Kansas with the wheat; not attempt to grow it in the winter. Or they do hydroponics.

never heard of winter wheat?

174 Cannadian Club Akbar  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 5:04:28pm

brb

175 albusteve  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 5:05:30pm

time out

176 RadicalModerate  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 5:07:09pm

By the way, I've been periodically monitoring the comments on the FoxNation site regarding the Holder/"Fast and Furious" story downstairs.
It appears that the moderators are starting to remove comments. However, the ones that are getting deleted are ones that actually are talking about facts of the investigation. The racist comments and death threats?

Those are untouched.

177 Cannadian Club Akbar  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 5:08:02pm

re: #176 RadicalModerate

By the way, I've been periodically monitoring the comments on the FoxNation site regarding the Holder/"Fast and Furious" story downstairs.
It appears that the moderators are starting to remove comments. However, the ones that are getting deleted are ones that actually are talking about facts of the investigation. The racist comments and death threats?

Those are untouched.

Josey Whales still there?

178 wrenchwench  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 5:08:03pm

Here's a fascinating article from September, 2010, on the subject of stopping the flow of guns to Mexico.

[...]

In a sweeping operation aimed at uncovering “straw buyers” blamed for funneling high-powered guns to Mexican drug cartels, federal agents have arrested dozens of Arizonans and seized a large amount of weapons.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives says its successful investigation is just the beginning of ramped-up efforts to stop the illegal export of American weapons and is aimed at nailing the middle men who buy weapons on behalf of others for use in major crimes.

[...]

In a 3-month span, more than 80 ATF agents linked 141 guns from crime scenes in Mexico to buyers in Arizona and made 66 arrests.

“We have a huge problem here,” Dennis Burke, U.S. attorney for Arizona, said Friday as he stood near a table piled high with dozens of high-powered weapons seized during the operation. “We have now become the gun locker of the Mexican drug cartels,” Burke said.

Last year, 100 agents flooded the Houston area in a similar operation that resulted in the seizure of about 600 weapons.

Agents worked the newest operation in Arizona and New Mexico from May until early August as part of the ATF’s Gun Runner Impact Team. It seized about 1,300 weapons and more than 71,000 rounds of ammunition.

[...]

...Melson also said Friday that the agency received $37.5 million permanently to operate similar teams in several cities around the country, including Sierra Vista in southeastern Arizona.

Teams of ten ATF agents will target gun trafficking in Atlanta, Dallas, Las Vegas, Oklahoma City, and Brownsville, Texas. “This is not the end of it,” Melson said.

Sierra Vista, a city of about 40,000 less than twenty miles from the Mexican border, was chosen because of its location between two border checkpoints and the Sinaloa cartel’s activity there, Melson said, although the presence of cartel members hardly makes Sierra Vista unique. “The cartels have a presence in cities all over the U.S.,” he said.

The permanent ATF gun-trafficking operations will not be the size and scope of the concerted efforts in Houston and Phoenix, but the investigative techniques will be similar.

[...]

Emphases added.

179 RadicalModerate  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 5:09:54pm

re: #177 Cannadian Club Akbar

Josey Whales still there?

And still posting.

180 Killgore Trout  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 5:11:46pm

For the gamers...
BioShock Infinite: 15 Minutes of Gameplay Footage

181 Cannadian Club Akbar  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 5:13:25pm

re: #180 Killgore Trout

For the gamers...
BioShock Infinite: 15 Minutes of Gameplay Footage

[Video]

question: when does SWTOR come out? (might not be the correct initials)
My friend's son was asking.

182 Political Atheist  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 5:13:33pm

re: #178 wrenchwench

"Although the effort was deemed a success, agents admit there is no reliable way to track the number of weapons from the U.S. being used in Mexico’s ongoing drug war."

Was this as a result of Fast & Furious? Maybe not. I think this was just tracking from serial numbers at Mexican crime scenes. Which if correct would indicate how arrests can be made without risky gambits like letting guns walk. Interesting article to say the least.

183 wrenchwench  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 5:16:58pm

re: #182 Rightwingconspirator

"Although the effort was deemed a success, agents admit there is no reliable way to track the number of weapons from the U.S. being used in Mexico’s ongoing drug war."

Was this as a result of Fast & Furious? Maybe not. I think this was just tracking from serial numbers at Mexican crime scenes. Which if correct would indicate how arrests can be made without risky gambits like letting guns walk. Interesting article to say the least.

They never call it F&F in that article, but it sounds pretty similar. They ID the buyers at the time of purchase, then track back when they find a gun at a crime scene. The guns have to get to the crime scene somehow.

184 blueraven  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 5:19:08pm

re: #64 Rightwingconspirator

My conclusion is the buck stops with the acting head of the ATF. I'd like to know if Holder and or Sec State Hilary Clinton was briefed given the risks to our law enforcement relationship with Mexico.

After reading most of what I could find on the 'net, I really still object to the poor execution of a plan like this. Letting guns go out like that is (to me at least) far more dangerous than bugging cars and phones. Far more perilous to be trying something like that in another country. Far more risky than drones and humans on the ground blending in.

Mexico has no interest in GOP talking points but has no small level of outrage.

I see their reaction as entirely legitimate.
Foreign Minister Patricia Espinosa says those in the ATF that are to blame for the illegal gun-running operation should punished to the fullest extent of the law.

Mexican lawmakers have condemned the US 'Operation Fast and Furious,' which purportedly allows gun smuggling in order to track weapons to Mexican drug lords.

Maybe if we had a real director instead of an acting head of the agency, things wouldnt be so effed up.

Ever since this position has become subject to confirmation by the Senate in 2006, not one nominee has been confirmed. The gun lobby has made sure of this. So we go from one acting director to the next.

185 Political Atheist  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 5:19:59pm

re: #183 wrenchwench

They never call it F&F in that article, but it sounds pretty similar. They ID the buyers at the time of purchase, then track back when they find a gun at a crime scene. The guns have to get to the crime scene somehow.

Normal smuggling would get them there. All they would have to do is run the serial numbers from all the guns at crime scenes the Mexicans are willing to share. Then go "visit" the straw buyer. Since this happens a lot, who needs the "let guns walk" part of F&F? Unless the Mexican gov is reluctant to share the gun data, which would kinda undermine their complaints.

186 Killgore Trout  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 5:20:42pm

re: #181 Cannadian Club Akbar

question: when does SWTOR come out? (might not be the correct initials)
My friend's son was asking.

Hm, never heard of it. I'm not much of a gamer these days but somebody here might know.

187 Gepetto  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 5:21:09pm

re: #178 wrenchwench

It seems strange to me that this all went on, and Issa was briefed , almost a year before AG Holder had any knowlege of this, especially with all the border/immigration issues in Arizona during that time span.

"at a May 3, 2011 Judiciary Committee hearing, Attorney General Holder, under questioning by Issa, testified that he had “probably” only learned about Operation Fast and Furious in “the last few weeks.”

188 Cannadian Club Akbar  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 5:22:19pm

re: #186 Killgore Trout

Hm, never heard of it. I'm not much of a gamer these days but somebody here might know.

some star wars game

189 wrenchwench  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 5:23:18pm

re: #185 Rightwingconspirator

Normal smuggling would get them there. All they would have to do is run the serial numbers from all the guns at crime scenes the Mexicans are willing to share. Then go "visit" the straw buyer. Since this happens a lot, who needs the "let guns walk" part of F&F? Unless the Mexican gov is reluctant to share the gun data, which would kinda undermine their complaints.

I think "let the guns walk" and "normal smuggling" are the same thing. Am I wrong?

190 Political Atheist  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 5:23:54pm

re: #184 blueraven

What is the difference in their authority? If this guy is not good why did Obama pick him to serve at all? It's quite possible a confirmed director would have done the same. Sorry I just do not see shifting blame for F&F onto the GOP much at all. Blame Issa for not objecting, (best case for blaming the GOP in part right there not the appointment/confirmation thing) blame them for the exaggerated outrage. That much I agree with in full.

191 wrenchwench  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 5:25:17pm

re: #187 Gepetto

It seems strange to me that this all went on, and Issa was briefed , almost a year before AG Holder had any knowlege of this, especially with all the border/immigration issues in Arizona during that time span.

"at a May 3, 2011 Judiciary Committee hearing, Attorney General Holder, under questioning by Issa, testified that he had “probably” only learned about Operation Fast and Furious in “the last few weeks.”

It sounds like lots of operations were going on, and only some people at the ATF were calling one of them "Fast and Furious".

192 Political Atheist  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 5:25:20pm

re: #189 wrenchwench

Normal smuggling is a straw buy and an illegal transport to Mexico without ATF's knowledge or help. "Letting guns walk" is strictly a part of F&F trying to reduce regular smuggling.

193 wrenchwench  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 5:28:57pm

re: #192 Rightwingconspirator

Normal smuggling is a straw buy and an illegal transport to Mexico without ATF's knowledge or help. "Letting guns walk" is strictly a part of F&F trying to reduce regular smuggling.

Trying to reduce regular smuggling by allowing some known smugglers to do some known smuggling, hoping to catch more straw buyers by letting their guns go through. Is that it?

194 Stanghazi  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 5:29:16pm

re: #167 Cannadian Club Akbar

We had Gainesville Green and Bud from Arcadia in the '80's. Would floor you.:)

Gainesville Green!!!!

195 Cannadian Club Akbar  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 5:30:07pm

re: #194 Stanley Sea

Gainesville Green!!!

this is why I love you!!!!!

196 blueraven  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 5:30:55pm

re: #190 Rightwingconspirator

What is the difference in their authority? If this guy is not good why did Obama pick him to serve at all? It's quite possible a confirmed director would have done the same. Sorry I just do not see shifting blame for F&F onto the GOP much at all. Blame Issa for not objecting, (best case for blaming the GOP in part right there not the appointment/confirmation thing) blame them for the exaggerated outrage. That much I agree with in full.

Nobody wants this position because of the confirmation process. The NRA is against the agency. Are you seriously saying that a trained ATF agent with years of experience might not be a better fit?

Congress changed the law in 2006 to require that directors of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives receive Senate confirmation. Since then, there has been no confirmed director. All have been acting. During the George W. Bush administration, ATF's acting director was a commuter: Michael Sullivan was trying to run the agency, while also serving as the U.S. attorney in Boston.

The Obama White House did not nominate a director, Andrew Traver, until 23 months into the administration. Officials say a major problem was finding someone who would take the job. Several people, who were approached, said they did not want to get caught up in a confirmation process that would be long and tortured, these officials say. Others said even if they could get confirmed, they thought being ATF director would be a career-killer, given that the agency's powers are constantly in danger of being reduced in the face of aggressive lobbying by the National Rifle Association, administration officials say.

Traver, a career agent and chief of the agency's Chicago office, was quickly opposed by the NRA, dooming his prospects for confirmation.

So yes, there is some blame for the GOP who keep putting holds on every single nominee.

197 blueraven  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 5:32:55pm

re: #196 blueraven

Nobody wants this position because of the confirmation process. The NRA is against the agency. Are you seriously saying that a trained ATF agent with years of experience might not be a better fit?

So yes, there is some blame for the GOP who keep putting holds on every single nominee.

ooops forgot the link

[Link: firstread.msnbc.msn.com...]

198 Cannadian Club Akbar  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 5:33:09pm

I hate trying to blog while on the phone with a half drunk friend. Sheesh.

199 OhCrapIHaveACrushOnSarahPalin  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 5:34:22pm

re: #153 albusteve

it fuels the pseudo intellectuals...they make up a scenario then wail in complaint to something that doesn't exist

Sounds a lot like the rw's sniffling about everyone coming for their precious guns.

200 albusteve  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 5:36:02pm

re: #199 OhCrapIHaveACrushOnSarahPalin

Sounds a lot like the rw's sniffling about everyone coming for their precious guns.

I wouldn't know...I pay equal attention to both right and left, which is very little

201 Political Atheist  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 5:36:06pm

re: #193 wrenchwench

Trying to reduce regular smuggling by allowing some known smugglers to do some known smuggling, hoping to catch more straw buyers by letting their guns go through. Is that it?

That's when ATF deliberately lets them go. On the other hand we have serial number traceable guns at Mexican crime scenes, no matter how they got there, with or without ATF involvement.

My point is we need not let any guns go, we can enforce the law just by tracing guns that were straw bought anyway. Without ATF "help". Heck even ATF was terribly divided about this program. Need I say more?

202 blueraven  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 5:40:59pm

re: #201 Rightwingconspirator

That's when ATF deliberately lets them go. On the other hand we have serial number traceable guns at Mexican crime scenes, no matter how they got there, with or without ATF involvement.

My point is we need not let any guns go, we can enforce the law just by tracing guns that were straw bought anyway. Without ATF "help". Heck even ATF was terribly divided about this program. Need I say more?

Yes the ATF is an agency without leaders. Its fucked up. This is true.

203 wrenchwench  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 5:43:06pm

re: #201 Rightwingconspirator

That's when ATF deliberately lets them go. On the other hand we have serial number traceable guns at Mexican crime scenes, no matter how they got there, with or without ATF involvement.

My point is we need not let any guns go, we can enforce the law just by tracing guns that were straw bought anyway. Without ATF "help". Heck even ATF was terribly divided about this program. Need I say more?

There need to be more checks on vehicles leaving the US to enter Mexico. They only started doing this about two years ago, netting tons of money and guns. But it hampers legitimate commerce on the border.

204 Political Atheist  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 5:46:46pm

re: #196 blueraven

Good points there, I must say.
"Congress changed the law in 2006 to require that directors of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives receive Senate confirmation."

Time to change that back to a straight appointment hopefully coupled with recommendations by the ATF itself. Let's see if some top agents/executives there want the job.

205 goddamnedfrank  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 5:55:20pm

re: #149 Rightwingconspirator

If the Dems ever get all three I'd not be surprised to see serious effort to reduce/make irrelevant the whole second amendment.

Funny how that didn't happen when they had all three as recently as two years ago.

206 Political Atheist  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 6:36:37pm

re: #205 goddamnedfrank

You overlooked my question.

207 Political Atheist  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 6:41:50pm

re: #205 goddamnedfrank

I answered that to Obdicut, but I'll give you an additional answer.
[Link: www.ontheissues.org...]

208 Obdicut  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 6:57:16pm

re: #207 Rightwingconspirator

I answered that to Obdicut, but I'll give you an additional answer.
[Link: www.ontheissues.org...]

You didn't, actually. Or rather, your explanation didn't make any sense.

You're saying that things have changed so much since the Democrats held all 3-- like, 2 years ago-- that now you think they'd attempt to largely suspend the 2nd?

What on earth makes you think that? The Democrats aren't really focusing on gun control at even a minimal level.

209 jvic  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 7:07:01pm

1. A particular thank-you to the commenters who provided hyperlinks. It's not their fault that my head hurts after reading this thread.

2. I infer that the NRA et al are concerned that the feds plan to use the straw sales issue as a pretext to de facto restrict the number of guns individuals can buy for personal use.

3. If Issa is acting in good faith, it sounds like the simplest recourse is for him to turn the investigation over to someone who did not attend the ATFE briefing in question. Alternatively, Issa might ask a retired figure with bipartisan credibility--Colin Powell and William Perry come immediately to mind--to review the briefing on behalf of the public.

210 Political Atheist  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 7:59:26pm

re: #208 Obdicut

You are still missing the main point I was trying to make. Why is that?

211 Gepetto  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 8:14:36pm

re: #208 Obdicut

What on earth makes you think that? The Democrats aren't really focusing on gun control at even a minimal level.

Your text to link...

wrong.

212 Political Atheist  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 8:23:03pm

re: #211 Gepetto

Nice catch. Thx!

213 Dancing along the light of day  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 8:31:12pm

The currnet right wing, is WAY to opportunistic.

214 OhCrapIHaveACrushOnSarahPalin  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 9:47:19pm

re: #211 Gepetto

Your text to link...

wrong.

Vague article.

Better source?

215 Gepetto  Fri, Jul 8, 2011 10:32:39pm

re: #214 OhCrapIHaveACrushOnSarahPalin

Vague article.

Better source?

Not vague at all if you can read with comprehension. There are plenty of sources, but this article is certainly enough to show the Dems are indeed focusing on gun control.

216 Obdicut  Sat, Jul 9, 2011 3:02:39am

re: #210 Rightwingconspirator

You are still missing the main point I was trying to make. Why is that?

Because I don't understand it. You said that if the Democrats had the Senate, the House, and the Presidency, you were worried about them making serious inroads on the 2nd.

I'm asking why you think that, since they didn't do that when they did have those just two years ago, and nothing appears to have changed that much since then.

217 Obdicut  Sat, Jul 9, 2011 3:04:31am

re: #211 Gepetto

Your text to link...

wrong.

Okay. They're making a nod to gun control at the most minimal level. I was wrong.

They're not doing anything remotely serious about gun control.

218 RogueOne  Sat, Jul 9, 2011 3:33:42am

Issa claims the Wapo story is bunk:

[Link: old.news.yahoo.com...]

and he makes a good point:


“They seem to be drastically shifting their stories, even if the story they’re telling now is just another lie,” Hill said. “For months, they’ve been asserting that they had no knowledge that this was ever happening. Now, it seems like they’re radically trying to change that and assert that not only were they aware of this, but that they were telling members of Congress all about this.”

How could it be possible that neither Holder knew about it:

[Link: www.theblaze.com...]

Asked in May when he learned of Operation “Fast and Furious” and “Project Gunrunner,” Holder claimed he ‘probably’ learned of it ‘over the last few weeks.’

Or the president:

[Link: blog.mysanantonio.com...]

Under fire for an operation that allowed smuggling of U.S. weapons across the nation’s border with Mexico, President Obama said in an interview that neither he nor Attorney General Eric Holder authorized the controversial “Operation Fast and Furious.”

and yet the congress had been briefed on all the gory details and didn't object? The story isn't close to plausible. Once the debt limit fight is over I would expect this story to take up most of the airtime on the cable new stations. We have 2 dead federal agents, at least 1500 guns put out on the streets illegally, and an unknown number of dead civilians. People are going to lose their jobs over this and some need to be going to jail.

219 Obdicut  Sat, Jul 9, 2011 5:05:07am

re: #218 RogueOne

and yet the congress had been briefed on all the gory details and didn't object?

Er, well, Congress and Holder are two different groups, you know. It's entirely possible to brief one without briefing the other.

There's also what it means to learn of the program. Is the program letting straw purchasers buy the guns-- something that has been done forever-- or is it letting the guns cross the border, purposefully not interdicting them so we can see where they wind up?

220 Gepetto  Sat, Jul 9, 2011 7:56:46am

re: #219 Obdicut

Er, well, Congress and Holder are two different groups, you know. It's entirely possible to brief one without briefing the other.

I have to conclude you actually believe that.
What is the basis for your belief that AG Holder and Congress hold equivalent spaces on the org chart? He's the Attorney General. These programs are directly under his purview and control. Here's the DHS page detailing the announcement of project Gunrunner by Holder's own Deputy AG, David Ogden. Ogden himself also mentions the 10 million in stimulus funds given to the DoJ's ATF to seed this project.

Ogden Press Briefing

221 Obdicut  Sat, Jul 9, 2011 8:00:39am

re: #220 Gepetto


What is the basis for your belief that AG Holder and Congress hold equivalent spaces on the org chart?

I don't have such a belief.

He's the Attorney General. These programs are directly under his purview and control. Here's the DHS page detailing the announcement of project Gunrunner by Holder's own Deputy AG, David Ogden. Ogden himself also mentions the 10 million in stimulus funds given to the DoJ's ATF to seed this project.

Project Gunrunner isn't Fast and Furious, is it, though?

I think Holder only said that he didn't know about Fast and Furious.

The Blaze is really not a good source of information, you know.

222 Gepetto  Sat, Jul 9, 2011 8:25:09am

re: #221 Obdicut

I don't have such a belief.

Project Gunrunner isn't Fast and Furious, is it, though?

I think Holder only said that he didn't know about Fast and Furious.

The Blaze is really not a good source of information, you know.

Fast and Furious is part of Gunrunner. are you being deliberately obtuse here? Why do you persist in your theory that AG Holder is unaware of programs he should absolutely be aware of, or somehow duped by his underlings?

and what is the Blaze? do you have a link? My source is the DHS website.

223 Obdicut  Sat, Jul 9, 2011 8:46:34am

re: #222 Gepetto

Fast and Furious is part of Gunrunner. are you being deliberately obtuse here?

Why do you feel the need to argue in such an unpleasant way? Do you actually think it bolsters your position at all?

I assumed Fast and Furious was part of Gunrunner. I'm still not entirely sure what Fast and Furious actually corresponds to-- the purposeful non-interdiction of the guns in order to track them, the particular subset of strawman sales, or what. I assume that it's the former, but I don't really know. So, if it was a subset, it'd be rather easy to have knowledge of the larger program, but not of the subsidiary one.

Anyway, my point about The Blaze is I can't actually find a quote from Holder saying that he didn't know about Gunrunner from any other source. The actual quote is "HOLDER: I’m not sure of the exact date but I probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks." Yet the Blaze says he was saying he didn't know about Gunrunner.

I don't have any particular affection for Holder, given his hide-bound stance on the drug war, and wouldn't care if he resigned at all. But to hold his feet to the fire for an operation of a rather conventional sort-- undercover agents letting crimes pass by so that they can follow the chain-- is pretty damn odd.

Not to mention that the GOP is attempting to make noise about this while denying that the straw sales themselves are a problem. A lot of the reporting on this, like on Fox, has claimed the sales were illegal. They weren't. That's the whole point.

224 Political Atheist  Sat, Jul 9, 2011 10:09:39am

re: #216 Obdicut

Wow. You missed it huge. My main point was the sheer futility of using worried about what the other side might do in the future as a cheap shot. I even have a post up there explaining exactly that, yet you are stuck on the far lesser point, which is a mere difference of opinion on what the left/Dems might do with gun control in the future.

Please look at the last line in my #149 & #166

225 Obdicut  Sat, Jul 9, 2011 10:37:23am

re: #224 Rightwingconspirator

Wow. You missed it huge. My main point was the sheer futility of using worried about what the other side might do in the future as a cheap shot.

Er, you do think that there is rational fears that can be had of the other side, right?

like it's perfectly rational to think that the Democrats may attempt to reduce the maximum allowable clip size, right?

226 Obdicut  Sat, Jul 9, 2011 10:37:38am

re: #225 Obdicut

Heh. No clue how that bold got there. Sorry.

227 Political Atheist  Sat, Jul 9, 2011 11:05:23am

re: #225 Obdicut

Er, you do think that there is rational fears that can be had of the other side, right?

Sure, but when they get exaggerated to underpin a cheap partisan shot I object. My mistake was subtlety. Rather than confront the cheap shot directly, I made an opposite example to illustrate. But you and Frank missed the point. I am an anti partisan. I find the hard core partisans to be doing more harm than good. GDF has self declared as such, and I'm likely to post in opposition to that given cheap shot after cheap shot. You have seen me do that more than twice.

228 Gepetto  Sat, Jul 9, 2011 2:04:58pm

re: #223 Obdicut

Not to mention that the GOP is attempting to make noise about this while denying that the straw sales themselves are a problem. A lot of the reporting on this, like on Fox, has claimed the sales were illegal. They weren't. That's the whole point.

well, there is a problem with fuzzy definitions here, and its not on you. Straw sales ARE indeed illegal, on a federal level. the problem is that a straw sale is where someone pays for a firearm but has someone else go to the gun store and do the paperwork. a straw sale is not purchasing a firearm, doing the paperwork and then selling it later, that would be properly termed a private sale. To add further chaos, it appears the ATF asked the dealers to go ahead with multiple gun purchases, and purchases that seemed "shady" enough (although legal) that the dealers alerted the ATF. Most of the media has missed the very real problems coming to light about how easily the guns made it across the border (which goes back on HomeSec), and, then how easily they vanished from ATF/DoJ tracking. they fell right off the screen, and neither explanation for that is particularly attractive--either the guns were lost through incompetence, or the tracking mission was purposely abandoned.

229 Obdicut  Sat, Jul 9, 2011 6:24:07pm

re: #228 Gepetto

well, there is a problem with fuzzy definitions here, and its not on you. Straw sales ARE indeed illegal, on a federal level./blockquote>

No, you don't get it. A straw sale means a legal buy, followed by giving the gun to someone else. The buy itself is legal; it's doing it demonstrably on behalf os someone else, and providing it to them.

It's like providing alcohol to a minor. Me buying the alcohol is just fine. It's giving it to the minor that's the problem.


To add further chaos, it appears the ATF asked the dealers to go ahead with multiple gun purchases, and purchases that seemed "shady" enough (although legal) that the dealers alerted the ATF.

Which makes sense, when trying to build a case against people. What is different about this than the DEA letting drugs go past them to see where they wind up?

Most of the media has missed the very real problems coming to light about how easily the guns made it across the border (which goes back on HomeSec), and, then how easily they vanished from ATF/DoJ tracking. they fell right off the screen, and neither explanation for that is particularly attractive--either the guns were lost through incompetence, or the tracking mission was purposely abandoned.

Those are the only two options? Why?

230 Gepetto  Sat, Jul 9, 2011 8:28:26pm

re: #229 Obdicut

your definition is not the federal definition of a straw sale, or purchase.
a straw purchase is purchasing a firearm using an intermediary for the purpose of obfuscating the actual intended possessor from the DROS and background check. The straw is the person physically in the gun shop and buying the firearm (with money provided by the person wishing to stay off the radar). the straw is the person who is filling out the paperwork and background check info.

Your alcohol analogy would be more apt if the minor gave you the money to buy it for him. but, in both instances, the purchase -for another- is illegal. Its an important difference. difficult to prove, to be sure. it comes down to how the money changes hands and intent.

purchasing with your money and for yourself, then making a personal transfer to someone else at some point in the future is legal, but there is a grey area about recording the sale and having your purchaser provide paperwork and ID info if you are a private citizen. thats one of the places where the loopholes start.

as to your other question, the "seeing where it winds up" part seems to have been left out, blown off or mismanaged here. not a good thing.

231 Obdicut  Sat, Jul 9, 2011 9:01:09pm

re: #230 Gepetto

your definition is not the federal definition of a straw sale, or purchase.
a straw purchase is purchasing a firearm using an intermediary for the purpose of obfuscating the actual intended possessor from the DROS and background check. The straw is the person physically in the gun shop and buying the firearm (with money provided by the person wishing to stay off the radar). the straw is the person who is filling out the paperwork and background check info.

Your alcohol analogy would be more apt if the minor gave you the money to buy it for him. but, in both instances, the purchase -for another- is illegal. Its an important difference. difficult to prove, to be sure. it comes down to how the money changes hands and intent.

Yep. Like I said, the actual buys are legal. I have no idea if you're intentionally missing that point or you just want to insist that buying with the intention to give to someone else is illegal-- which it is, but, as the ATF guys pointed out, our laws to go after it are relatively toothless.

purchasing with your money and for yourself, then making a personal transfer to someone else at some point in the future is legal, but there is a grey area about recording the sale and having your purchaser provide paperwork and ID info if you are a private citizen. thats one of the places where the loopholes start.

Yes, yes there is. In Arizona, for example, the person has to know that the receiver is an illegal receiver for it to be a crime. They don't have to do any background check. check it out, it's fun.

[Link: en.wikipedia.org...]

So, if the straw buyer had just one legal intermediary, it'd technically be a completely legal buy by Arizona law.

A straw sale is a violation of federal law if done by someone with a FFL, but that only applies to dealers, not to private sellers. So once the guns were sold to these guys, they could turn around and sell them as long as the people they were selling to were legal residents of Arizona.

Other states have very similar laws; private sellers are largely unregulated.

So, your insistence that all straw sales are illegal is incorrect; under Federal law, it applies only to FFL holders, not to private citizens. Under Arizona law, those private citizens do not half to do a background check on the people they sell to, just to ascertain that they have an Arizona drivers license.

In other words, because of the weak regulatory laws, this is the kind of thing that the ATF might take risks in order to build solid cases against.

And finally: do you have experience in setting up large arms-control policing operations? I don't think I'm capable of judging their performance here competent or incompetent. Having an agent dead from one of the guns is obviously terrible, but is it really likely that without these particular shipments of guns, those people that agent was fighting wouldn't have been armed?

232 Gepetto  Sat, Jul 9, 2011 9:42:04pm

re: #231 Obdicut

we're talking about dealers phoning in the background checks, and the ATF allowed firearm purchases by buyers that could not own a firearm legally. In doing this the ATF directly allowed and promoted the illegal sale of firearms. this is the testimony of several ATF whistleblowers. we are not talking about private sales.

anytime you make a dealer purchase with someone else's money with the intent of avoiding having that someone else getting the gun without his/her name on the paperwork, that is a straw sale. it is NEVER legal.

233 Obdicut  Sun, Jul 10, 2011 2:54:47am

re: #232 Gepetto

we're talking about dealers phoning in the background checks, and the ATF allowed firearm purchases by buyers that could not own a firearm legally.

No, we're not. That didn't happen. We're talking about straw buys. I thought you were at least aware of that-- now you're saying that the ATF allowed purchasers by buyers that couldn't own firearms legally. That's not the case.

Where are you getting that from?

In doing this the ATF directly allowed and promoted the illegal sale of firearms. this is the testimony of several ATF whistleblowers. we are not talking about private sales.

You're confusing the transaction between the dealer and the straw buyer and the straw buyer and who they deliver the guns to.


anytime you make a dealer purchase with someone else's money with the intent of avoiding having that someone else getting the gun without his/her name on the paperwork, that is a straw sale. it is NEVER legal.

Under federal law, right, it's lying on form 4473. But in order to prove that intent, I have no idea what they want to do. Is someone buying five guns and then later selling those five guns lying, if he intended to sell? If he sold them all in the same state he bought them, in a state like Arizona with permissive gun laws, I really don't think so. It seems that there's no precise limit where the reselling of guns stops being a hobby and starts being a business; it's up to the discretion of the ATF.

So, again, in Arizona, buying a gun and then reselling it to someone else if you could credibly claim you didn't plan on selling it to that specific person, is not illegal. The illegality comes with quantity-- which is I would think why the ATF wanted the dealers to sell them stuff in large quantities, so that they could build the case against them.

Again: I totally agree the ATF was letting criminal activities pass by. To me, this is a normal way that police build a case against people, but documenting their commission of crimes, in order to build the case for conspiracy and the rest of the federal violations.

You are paying attention to the ATF guys saying that our straw buy laws are toothless, right?

234 shreck  Sun, Jul 10, 2011 5:38:31am

Video purported to be from 2009.

235 Gepetto  Sun, Jul 10, 2011 8:49:38am

re: #233 Obdicut

here. this is amazing. and see how the folks at the houston chronicle charaterize the strawbuys, and why they were illegal from the start.

texas guns mexican murders

plus i looked at your wikilink, did you? it never is considered a straw buy unless it involves a dealer and paperwork and falsehood.

236 Obdicut  Sun, Jul 10, 2011 12:44:04pm

re: #235 Gepetto

here. this is amazing. and see how the folks at the houston chronicle charaterize the strawbuys, and why they were illegal from the start.

texas guns mexican murders

plus i looked at your wikilink, did you? it never is considered a straw buy unless it involves a dealer and paperwork and falsehood.

Dude. I know that strawbuys are illegal. If you buy a gun from a dealer and intend to be buying it for someone else, that's illegal. I already goddamn covered that.

I'm pointing out what the ATF guys are-- the weakness of the laws available to go after that, given that intrastate private commerce in guns is a lot less regulated.

So, are you just dropping this allegation, by the way?


we're talking about dealers phoning in the background checks, and the ATF allowed firearm purchases by buyers that could not own a firearm legally.

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 Frank says:

You wouldn't know a revolution if it bit you on the dick. -- In response to a young crowd member continually shouting "Revolution" between songs at a late 60's gig. The gig was at Middle Earth in Indianapolis, Indiana.