(SALEM, Ore.) - New information indicates that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder's actions are squarely behind the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) operation known as "Fast and Furious", which orchestrated the delivery of almost 2,000 weapons to Mexican drug cartels.
Holder openly proclaimed his connection to the operation in April 2009 during a publicized speech in Mexico, then told a Congressional Committee in May 2011, "I probably heard of Fast and Furious the first time in the last few weeks."
The ATF weapons smuggling ring involved the arrest of several government officials with the city of Columbus, New Mexico including the mayor and police chief, but that is all.
They were apparently known from the beginning and the weapons deals with 'straw buyers' were videotaped. Smuggled U.S. weapons from this operation, described as mostly semi automatic versions of military weapons like the AK-47, were found to be used in the shooting deaths of two U.S. federal agents.
The new information, which is not really new at all, proves that Holder had to be aware of the U.S. government weapons smuggling operation planned and implemented by federal agents from ATF which he denied to Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) less than two months ago, as detailed below.
Background on Fast and Furious 'Gunrunner' Operation
As we have reported with the help of our Photojournalist Robert Plumlee, who is a former CIA asset, we know that around 1,800 weapons were funneled through the Chaparral Gun Store in Chaparral, New Mexico, and into the hands of the murderous cartels. As referenced, the gun shop was directly tied to the mayor, police chief and city council of Columbus, New Mexico, a town famous for the Pancho Villa border raids a century before.
Weapons from the ATF Gunrunner or Gunwalker scheme as it came to be known, were recovered from the desert where U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry died in a shootout with cartel members. A U.S. gun that allegedly was smuggled into Mexico from Dallas, Texas, was used to murder an Immigration Customs Enforcement Agent named Jaime Zapata.
Considering how big of a problems guns and violence already are in Mexico, it should be a mystery how this U.S. / Mexico weapons smuggling program was ever launched, and according to Holder's earlier testimony, included in our report, Feds Call Meeting with Journalist Who Reported Human Remains and Cartel Weapon Build up with U.S. Ties, it is a mystery.
This is official sworn testimony from Holder, the video is transcribed.
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa grills Attorney General Eric Holder over Failure and tragedy of 'Operation Fast and Furious'
Issa: "When did you first know about the program, Fast and the Furious? To the best of your knowledge what date?"
Holder: "I'm not sure of the exact date but I probably heard of Fast and Furious the first time in the last few weeks."
Issa: "How about the head of the Criminal Dept. Lanny Brewer, did he authorize it?"
Holder: "I'm not sure whether or not Mr. Brewer authorized it, you have to understand in which the department operations, although there are operations this one has gotten a great deal of publicity".
Issa: "Yeah there are dead Americans as a result of this failed and reckless program. so I would say that it hasn't gotten enough attention, has it Mr. Attorney General?"
Holder: "Not exactly, there is an investigation that is underway You'll have to look at that to see what exactly in regard to..."
Issa: "But Mr. Attorney General..."
Holder: "...I take very seriously, the allegation..."
Issa: "Mr. Attorney General, do you take seriously... Mr. Attorney General, do you take, take seriously a subpoena signed by the Clerk of the House?"
Holder: "Of course".
Issa: "Mr. Attorney General, isn't it true that those cases that will go to trial in June... We have very limited time, sorry, those cases are basically a bunch of meth addicts who did the buying, that you do not have what this program was supposed to produce, you don't have the kingpins, you don't have the places it went, what you have are the people you already had on videotape many, many months before indictments were brought, isn't this true?"
Holder: "There are cases that are important that we are tying to bring that we want to try successfully and they are part of a scheme they are part of a scheme. You can't look at an individual case as an individual matter and think it's unimportant because small cases lead to larger ones."
Issa: "We're looking at you, straw purchasers, we're looking at you, and you're key people who knew or should have known about this, and whether or not your judgment was consistent with good practices and whether or not, instead, the Justice Dept. is basically guilty of allowing weapons to kill Americans and Mexicans. So will you agree to cooperate with that investigation both on the House and Senate side?"
Holder: "We'll certainly cooperate with all of the investigations but I take great exception to what you just said; the notion that somehow or another, this Justice Dept. is responsible for those deaths that you mentioned, uh... that assertion's offensive. and I want to tell you that..."
Issa: "What if it's accurate?"
Holder: "...it is the policy of the Justice Dept. to make sure that we do all that we can to protect law enforcement agents, it is one of the reasons we have tried to look at a whole variety of methods and techniques we can use to protect the lives of law enforcement agents, it is something this country is not focused enough on."
Issa: "What am I gonna tell Agent Terry's mother about how he died at the end of a gun that was videotaped as it was sold to a straw purchaser fully intending and expecting it to end up in the hands of drug cartels?"
Holder: "Well, one; you know we'll have to see exactly what happened with regards to the guns that are at issue there. And... (pause) I've attended funerals you know. it's something that, you know it isn't theoretical, this is not political, it is extremely real for me as Attorney General..."
Issa: "It is for us too" .
An article published Friday, 8 July 2011, The Stimulation of Murder, by Investor's Business Daily, explained that A.G. Holder was, in spite of his denial, fully aware of the ATF's gun-running to Mexico operations, to the point that it was fully disclosed in President Barack Obama's Stimulus Bill.
"Right there in the stimulus bill that no one in Congress bothered to read is $10 million for Project Gunrunner (aka Operation Fast and Furious), which resulted in the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and increased drug cartel violence", the article stated.
Attorney General Eric Holder's direct denial of knowledge of this as shown above, to Congress, could and possibly should be his downfall. Rather than relying on the blog article, I simply copied the words and dropped them into Google. Lo and behold, Holder's 2009 speech in Mexico from the Dept. of Justice...
Attorney General Eric Holder at the Mexico/United States Arms Trafficking Conference in CUERNAVACA, MEXICO Thursday, April 2, 2009
Last week, our administration launched a major new effort to break the backs of the cartels. My department is committing 100 new ATF personnel to the Southwest border in the next 100 days to supplement our ongoing Project Gunrunner, DEA is adding 16 new positions on the border, as well as mobile enforcement teams, and the FBI is creating a new intelligence group focusing on kidnapping and extortion. DHS is making similar commitments, as Secretary Napolitano will detail.
But as today’s conference has emphasized, the problem of arms trafficking will not be stopped at the border alone. Rather, as our experts emphasized, this is a problem that must be met as part of a comprehensive attack against the cartels – an attack in depth, on both sides of the border, that focuses on the leadership and assets of the cartel...
As if the information isn't bad enough, one of our reporters who has spent the last three years working on the border, gathering information on the narco cartels, Robert 'Tosh' Plumlee; blew the whistle on the gun walking operation known as, Fast and Furious by filing numerous reports to federal agencies and local law enforcement in May 2009 about these guns walking across the border. These reports were some seven plus months before Brian Terry's death in December 2010. Mr. Plumlee also reported a number of alleged bodies buried in the desert on the U.S. side of the border that officials in New Mexico, for whatever reasons, refuse to investigate. These bodies, mostly skeletal remains, have been fully photographed and documented with a GPS (Global Positioning System) located by Mr. Plumlee.
Also, as revealed in our recent reports, there are major stores in Mexico of what Robert Plumlee refers to as, 'high impact weapons' which include anti-aircraft guns, rocket propelled grenade launchers and mortars. These weapons are of U.S. origin, they are ample and they include the latest and most deadly, the same high tech weaponry currently deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. While not fully tallied, there are reported sites where thousands and thousands of these weapons exist, along with 'knock-off' Mexican army uniforms.
He made note of these weapons storage areas while accompanying a recently disclosed U.S./Mexican joint military force that has been battling the cartels south of the U.S. border since 2009. Even reports about this task force were vehemently denied by Mexico, and then later corroborated by a Wikileaks cable.
Not only are we dealing with official, approved U.S. government weapons smuggling programs, undisclosed U.S./Mexican military anti-narco operations, and hardcore lies from the very top of the U.S. governmental structure; it also seems that there is an overriding motivator for destabilizing the U.S. southern border, and in essence extending the need for both the U.S. and Mexican 'wars on drugs'.
Many may ask, why now... why this? What possible reason would justify shipping weapons to 'trace' in Mexico that have no navigational or homing devices? For those who don't know, more than 40,000 people have been murdered in Mexico since the launch of Calderon's drug war.
This is not to say that the Mexican President is not sincere. In fact by most accounts, Calderon is truly trying to help his country that does have a history of corruption, gain the upper hand over the cartels and end the rampant crime.
As we suggested in the article, Is Los Zetas Military Cartel Planning a Bloody Revolution in Mexico?, the push is on for control of Mexico and Los Zetas, a cartel that began three years ago when its founders split away from the Mexican Army Special Forces, 'Los Zetas', is moving toward a full-scale revolution. Robert Plumlee believes the outcome of the 2012 Mexican elections will determine that outcome. Either way, the end results do not look good, particularly with major supplies of brand new U.S. weapons in the Zetas' control.
Special Agent Jaime Zapata was shot and killed outside of Mexico City, Mexico.
He and another agent assigned to the United States Embassy and were traveling between Mexico City and Monterrey when they were forced off the road by 10 members of a Mexican drug cartel. The agents were in an armored vehicle with diplomatic plates and identified themselves as diplomats.
The cartel members opened fire on them, fatally wounding Agent Zapata and wounding the second agent.
Several members of the drug cartel were apprehended in Mexico and face charges in connection with Special Agent Zapata's murder.
Special Agent Zapata had served with ICE for four years and had previously served with the United States Border Patrol for just under one year. He is survived by his parents and four brothers, two of whom also serve as federal agents. Source: ODMP Remembers;...
Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was shot and killed near Rio Rico, Arizona, while attempting to apprehend a group of armed subjects. The suspects had been preying on illegal immigrants with the intent to rob them.
Agent Terry and several other agents were attempting to arrest the group when shots were exchanged between the suspects and agents. Agent Terry was struck in the pelvis by a round fired by a suspect armed with an AK-47.
The wounded agent was flown to a hospital where he succumbed early the following morning.
Four members of the group were taken into custody and at least one suspect remains at large.
Agent Terry was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and had served with the United States Border Patrol for 3.5 years. He had previously served as a police officer with the Lincoln Park, Michigan, Police Department. He is survived by his parents, brother, two sisters, five nieces, and one nephew.Officer Down Memorial Page
Los Zetas does not want the drug war to end. They are known for entering drug rehab facilities in Mexico and killing every single person in the building. The end of the drug war would lead to legalization of marijuana as a health treatment on a federal level and this move would devastate the current U.S. pharmaceutical industry. This is the industry that by all logic, would least benefit from an end to the drug wars. This is very likely why Eric Holder reversed the federal government's position last week on state laws over medical marijuana. He says the feds are going to increasingly bust medical cannabis users and program, regardless of state law, as federal law never made any real concessions.
With the government refocusing enforcing laws against sick people who use marijuana, and delivering deadly weapons to Mexico, one of our writers has been causing significant problems for one of the nation's top pharmaceutical companies.
Our writer Marianne Skolek, who lost her daughter to an Oxycontin-related respiratory failure, has been a thorn in the side of Purdue Pharmaceuticals for years, writing articles that continually expose the practices of this company that has been exposed for very serious criminal behavior.
Aided by Marianne's testimony, along with that of others who lost family members to Oxycontin, two U.S. Attorneys convicted several top level Purdue executives for falsely advertising the drug as both non-lethal and non-addictive. That may stand as one of the most outrageous claims ever made by a supposedly legitimate U.S. business.
The connection is that long before Eric Holder was lying to Congress over the U.S. role in Border Patrol and Immigration Customs Enforcement agent's deaths tied to U.S. supplied weapons in Mexico, he was one of a lawyer for Purdue, at this dark point in their business history.
In the article, Eric Holder negotiated an OxyContin settlement in West Virginia - working for Purdue Pharma!, Ms. Skolek reveals how Holder not only shielded Purdue over falsely advertising the drug Oxycontin which has led to tens of thousands of related deaths, but also how his actions in arranging a settlement actually allowed the drug to become the epidemic it is. That is serious.
In 2001, West Virginia Attorney General Darrell McGraw Jr., filed a civil case against Purdue Pharma alleging that the privately held pharmaceutical company had engaged in "coercive and deceptive" marketing of OxyContin. He alleged that Purdue used misleading advertisements and had promoted the inappropriate use of OxyContin for minor pain. His lawsuit further stated that Purdue had offered doctors free trips to “pain management” seminars where the firm pitched the drug as safe and effective for treating minor pain – without mentioning the drug was supposed to be used only for severe pain and easily abused.
McGraw also alleged that Purdue had told “pharmacists that they can get in trouble if they do not fill prescriptions, even if they believe someone may be an abuser of the drug.”
The lawsuit was a big worry to Purdue because they had a lot to lose financially, and that is why they turned to Eric Holder, an attorney with Covington and Burling in Washington, D.C.
As Marianne wrote in her article:
The morning the case was to go to trial, in November 2004, Holder helped negotiate a settlement. Working in the judge’s chambers in West Virginia, he put together an agreement under which the firm would have to pay $10 million over four years into drug abuse and education programs in West Virginia -- and Purdue Pharma would not have to admit any wrongdoing!Eric Holder managed to keep the criminal activity of Purdue Pharma quiet since there would be no trial and no documents or testimony to be made public. Did Holder's "hands in the pockets of Purdue Pharma" allow this epidemic of OxyContin death and addiction throughout the country to perpetuate? Many people think it did .
It seems clear that there are competing factions in the U.S. government and while there are positive motivations in some cases, there are other motivations that are highly detrimental to the future of both countries. Holder seems to be at the center of this.
There are reports of cartels financing U.S. politicians who have ties to the pharmaceutical industry. There are extremely solid reports of caches of large amounts of weapons that are too vast to have "fallen off the back of a truck".
What is lacking is a direct trail on the campaign contributions. It seems AG Holder has demonstrated for the record that he is not willing to tell the truth when under direct examination, and also that he prefers to see companies like Purdue avoid legal responsibility. I don't know what could be more significant when dealing with a lighted fuse situation like the border wars raging along the border that divides the United States and Mexico.