From David Codrea and Mike Vanderboegh writing at Examiner and Sipsey Street Irregulars we learn how Operation Gunwalker (or Fast and Furious) was no botched sting operation.
In a letter dated June 1, 2010, then Phoenix ATF Group VII supervisor David Voth instructed a Federal Firearms Licensee in Arizona as follows:
Per Section 925(a)(1) of the Gun Control Act (GCA) exempts law enforcement agencies from the transportation, shipment, receipt, or importation controls of the GCA when firearms are to be used for the official business of the agency.
Please accept this letter in lieu of completing an ATF Form 4473 for the purchase of four (4) CAI, Model Draco, 7.62×39 mm pistols, by Special Agent John Dodson. These aforementioned pistols will be used by Special Agent Dodson in furtherance of the performance of his official duties. In addition, Special Agent Dodson has not been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence. If you have any questions, you may contact me at telephone number 602-605-6501.
ATF Group Supervisor
Phoenix Group VII
In the lower left-hand margin of the one-page letter is the hand-written notation:
“Paid Cash” is underlined.
The existence of this letter provided to these reporters by a previously reliable source familiar with the Fast and Furious investigation, coupled with interviews of other sources across the country which put it into context, provides startling proof that the Federal government did not merely “lose track” of weapons purchased by “straw buyers” under surveillance by the ATF and destined for the Mexican drug cartels. In an undercover operation ordered by Fast and Furious supervisor David Voth, the U.S. government purchased firearms with taxpayer money from licensed firearms dealers, instructed them to conduct the sales “off the books,” and used an ATF agent, John Dodson, to deliver them directly to people that Dodson believed were conducting them across the border.
They go further to discuss how Dodson was almost surely set up to keep him from becoming a whistle-blower for the illegal operation. This isn’t news. But what is certainly news is how the news treated this revelation. Bob Owens followed up this story with analysis of his own, and then remarks concerning a Fox News article on the same subject in one of the comments:
Fox News pretty much lifted their article part and parcel from Codrea and Vanderboegh, and should be considered plagiarists. No link to either of their sites, and Sispsey Street was only mentioned in passing; the Examiner not at all.
David Codrea and Mike Vanderboegh have been out front on this scandal ever since it broke. In fact, they helped to break it. Their contacts beat any other in the main stream media. Yet as Owens notes, there isn’t even a single link to Sipsey Street Irregulars or Examiner. The failure properly to source simply propagates, with The Daily Mail sourcing Fox News.
For a period of time Matt Drudge had a link to the Fox News article as his headline. This, my friends, is stolen traffic. Fox News stole the content investigated and written by Codrea and Vanderboegh and posted it as their own.
This is shameful in professional journalism. Fox News owes David and Mike an apology and explanation.
One final note concerns the explanation by Voth of how the Gun Control Act allowed exemption from its stipulations for LEOs. One commenter remarks at Owens’ post:
Using agency funds (taxpayers’ money) to buy the weapons to be transferred to the cartels means that the operation has, prima facie, violated U.S. Code Title 18, Part 1, chap. 96, section 1960-61, defining the use of federal funds to illegally obtain and/or transfer controlled substances and/or items to unauthorized third parties.
To do this within the law (as in a drug transaction) requires a bench warrant from a state or federal court. The buying or selling has to be done in a controlled manner, the item(s) must never be out of law enforcement control (meaning they at least must be tracked), and they cannot cross state lines or national boundaries without proper notification of authorities on the “receiving end”.
“Fast & Furious” and “Gunwalker” have, on the face of it, violated all of the above provisions.
The argument that the exemptions were intended to allow the trafficking of weapons across national borders is ridiculous in the superlative. Of course, this won’t fly anywhere, not in court or even with the court of public opinion. Also note how Voth failed to mention the Arms Export Control Act.