Wenino: Obama not responsible for Bush operation

2014-02-08T11:45:00Z Wenino: Obama not responsible for Bush operation Casper Star-Tribune Online
February 08, 2014 11:45 am


Barton York challenges me with his letter, "It's Wrong to compare Fast and Furious" (Jan. 28), writing, "Here are easily verifiable facts" juxtaposing Operation Wide Receiver with Operation Fast and Furious.

Most of the "facts" that Barton listed are not factual.

Operation Wide Receiver and Operation Fast and Furious were both "gunwalking" operations, 2006-2007 and 2009-2010, respectively. So to be precise, what actually started when George W. Bush was president was the practice of "gunwalking" by some Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents in Arizona. Both operations were run out of the same ATF Phoenix field division and both were directed by the same special-agent-in-charge. Both used visual and electronic surveillance and both lost track of guns that were allowed to "walk" into Mexico. Barton's claim that Fast & Furious "made no effort to track them whatsoever" is not factual.

Barton claimed that Wide Receiver involved less than 300 firearms, only 12 were never recovered, that 1,400 arrest were made and "most importantly" no casualties were ever reported. According to a Department of Justice report, Wide Receiver actually involved 474 guns, only 64 were recovered, 410 were lost, no arrests were made and one of those guns was found at the scene where 18 people were killed..."guns were sold and not accounted for and likely are in Mexico killing people."

The 1,400 gun smuggler arrests that Barton wants to credit to Wide Receiver had absolutely nothing to do with that operation - they actually involved 12,000 firearms and were the result of the much larger, multi-state ATF operation known as Project Gunrunner that did not allow guns to "walk" as Wide Receiver did.

Barton suggests that I may have been misled and possibly caught up in the "it's all Bush's fault" hysteria. I don't know where Barton got his "facts," but maybe he has been misled and possibly caught up in the hysteria of wanting to believe and repeat any and every unsubstantiated accusation against Barack Obama. How can Obama be responsible for something that started when Bush was president?


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(12) Comments

  1. WillDoe
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    WillDoe - February 09, 2014 7:13 pm
    1) I would love to see some kind of source for the numbers given for lost and recovered guns.
    2) This is important. Operation Wide Receiver was run like a law enforcement operation. Guns were tracked to the border and then the Mexican authorities were notified and the tracking of weapons was handed off to their law enforcement. Mexico being Mexico... this failed. The main point, however, is that attempts were made to follow the weaons.
    On the other hand, during Fast And Furious the guns crossed the border and the BATF failed to notify Mexican law enforcement. Unless the DOJ employees Harry Potter or psychics to track the weapons, this is obviously not going to work. There is no way that it could possibly work, and those running the program should have been held responsible for such criminal negligence. Instead, a few got reassigned, Holder turned over a bunch of blacked out documents, and Obama covered for everyone by invoking Executive Privilege.
    If you like Obama then that's fine. You should however be able to still see reality.
    There is a great deal of difference in the two operations.
    One failed but was still run like a law enforcement sting is supposed to work. The other program could never work due to a lack of communication with law enforcement in Mexico. Is it any wonder why the current DOJ is held in contempt by so many Americans, and why the Obama Administration is trusted by so few?
  2. Patrol Agent
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    Patrol Agent - February 09, 2014 1:31 pm
    Fast & Furious was a DoJ sanctioned operation under the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) program (On Holder's watch). OCDETF is a major component of DoJ and is located within Main Justice. The top OCDETF manager is a "senior executive service" level position, the highest rank in federal civil service.
    The process for obtaining OCDETF approval and funding is quite rigorous, requiring a very detailed written proposal. In the case of F&F, the proposal was written by special agent(s) in the ATF Phoenix, AZ field office.
    Once the document is written, it goes through an ATF in-house approval process, which includes approval signatures from the group supervisor for the originating agent(s), the assistant special agent in charge, the deputy special agent in charge, and finally the Special Agent in charge (SAC), William Newell, in the case of F&F.
    Once the SAC signed his approval, the document moves to the Office of the U.S. Attorney for Arizona, William Burke for F&F. All U.S. Attorney offices have in-house panels of career prosecutors that study the proposals to see if they meet with the OCDETF guidelines. Once this panel was satisfied, they referred it to Burke for his approval and signature.
    The next step in the process is for the document to be sent to the regional OCDETF office, which are supervised by career, supervisory prosecutors. They convene a meeting of all of the OCDETF member federal law enforcement agencies, of which there are nine. The designated OCDETF regional coordinators are senior career special agents, with extensive law enforcement experience. They vette the proposal through their individual agencies to ensure their aren't any conflicts. Once this is accomplished, the document moves to OCDETF Main Justice, where yet another panel will review the proposal in detail. It isn't unusual for the proposing special agent(s) to be summoned before the panel for in person explanations.
    We know in the case of F&F it was approved and funded, because it ran for some eighteen months.
    How could it have been approved, if they had written about the actual tactics they implemented - letting guns walk? So they either lied in the proposal or ALL of the reviewing and approving never happened, which I seriously doubt.
    The same Mr. Burke is currently a partner in a security consulting firm (GSIS360), with the former national chief of the U.S. Border Patrol and the former director of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), David Aguilar. They don’t mention in Burke’s corporate bios he was the former U.S. Attorney for Arizona and I think we all know why. They simply say Burke is a former high ranking advisor to DHS.

    Think they might be getting some nice, juicy, federal contracts!
  3. Report Abuse
    - February 09, 2014 12:55 pm
    Sorry, you have it wrong. Supply me some evidence. l just read the newspapers.
  4. rigrat
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    rigrat - February 09, 2014 11:21 am
    Stop sniveling about the Dems and Obama,the other side is no better.
  5. TexTopCat
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    TexTopCat - February 09, 2014 8:29 am
    I am sure that Bush did not do everything that many of us would have liked. If 9/11 would not have happened, his presidency would have been different and we would be in a different country. However, IMHO, the only cure for the ATF problems is for it to be down sized. Some of the requirements like NICS should be transferred to other agencies and FFL over-site and law enforcement should be transferred to FBI. All of the people involved in the F&F planning and coverup should never receive another government pay check and most of them probably should be in jail.
  6. happy greek
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    happy greek - February 09, 2014 8:14 am
    Dino, Dino, Dino- After five years of this administration, You and other Dems take no responsibility for their actions. Remember how his trillion dollar jobs plan would fix everything and it did nothing. A trillion dollars down the tube. If Obama can't fix something in five years, it says something about his problem solving. And don't give me this it is congress fault. He had both houses the first tow years and he has gotten the same cooperation from Repubs as Bush did from the Dems.
  7. Dime Covers Three
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    Dime Covers Three - February 09, 2014 7:00 am
    So what and where are your sources Dino? This administration has done everything in its power to hide facts. If Barry has nothing to hide and this is indeed the Bush administration's fault I am sure he'd be posting the documents on the net, or at least leaking them through some anonymous source.
  8. dd ric
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    dd ric - February 09, 2014 6:53 am
    bb183 IS the loyal Fox newser. Responding to Dinos letter,I'd say it's obvious mistakes were made by the ATF&E,but so what,this is America, and gun and bullets are some Americans God-Given Constitutional Rights,and the NRA bulletheads demand that their rights are more important that over-the-border shady gun-running incidents.People in the US think they can "stand their ground",here the "castle doctrine" and maybe the 2 agents in this F&F were doing something they should have avoided,but again,the US has been a warmonger since the Pilgrims, and it's NOT turning around,because mankind loves war on any scale. ddric
  9. Report Abuse
    - February 08, 2014 8:33 pm
    Another loyal Fox News listener. Must be to be able to quote and relate what they say.
  10. happy greek
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    happy greek - February 08, 2014 4:10 pm
    It was started by the Bush administration, but Obama continued the program and the Obama justice department refused to hand over documents and Obama exercised executive privelidge to to prevent handing over those documents, WHY? Why did Lois lerner invoke the 5th if she had not done something criminal with the IRS probe?
  11. rigrat
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    rigrat - February 08, 2014 3:57 pm
    You got it.
  12. Completely Fed Up
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    Completely Fed Up - February 08, 2014 12:06 pm
    Thing is, Wyoming is a place where Faux Nooze and the likes of Limbaugh and O' Reilley (sp? who cares?) are taken at face value ... and where memories are short. Ever wonder why the country has turned into a steaming pile of manure? Just look around you, and listen.
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