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I am a consultant and analyst with eight years of military law enforcement experience, six years of analytical experience covering Latin America, and over seven years of analytical experience covering Mexican TCOs and border violence issues. This blog is designed to inform readers about current border violence issues and provide analysis on those issues, as well as detailed focus on specific border topics. By applying my knowledge and experience through this blog, I hope to separate the wheat from the chaff...that is, dispel rumors propagated by sensationalist media reporting, explain in layman's terms what is going on with Mexican TCOs, and most importantly, WHY violence is happening along the US-Mexico border.

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February 25, 2011

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Sylvia, while I wholeheartedly agree with your statement to CBS concerning the raids, myself I’ll take it even further and suggest that the raids in fact are little more than an attempt at distraction from the real story. The real story is of a federal agency, and an administration, so caught up in appeasing the Mexican government, and of pumping the American public so full of propaganda about a ‘’River of iron’’ flowing into Mexico (that has now been learned they themselves created ) that through not only their negligence but of the arrogance and contempt for the concept of right over wrong, were instrumental in the death of at least one federal officer. This is the real story of the day, and of the cover-up which was put in place before the agent was even laid to rest, and which continues today.
Yes, here is the story which I would like to see your thoughts. I know in the past here you have been quite vocal and supportive of the ATF, and their desire for more powers and funding, so it would be interesting for me to know if that support still exists today, after these dastardly deeds have come to light?

Fred

@Fred - I'm incredibly disappointed that an ATF sting operation like that went bad. I posited the question to my Twitter followers a few days ago, what's the difference between a drug sting operation and a weapons sting operation, because both contraband items are allowed to "walk" as an intrinsic part of a sting, and both kill people. The best answer I got was that drug users choose to use drugs, and some end up dead. Those that die from guns that "walk" don't have that choice. I understand the intention behind it. The ATF is being criticized by both the US government and the NRA for going after the "little guy" - the straw buyers - and not doing enough to go after the ring leaders. This was the method the ATF chose to try and do that. Tragically, it didn't work out the way they intended. But I hope no one uses that scandal to say Agent Terry's death could have been prevented; he would have been killed just the same with a weapon obtained elsewhere.

Silvia:

It seems to me that sale and tracking of contraband tobacco and alcohol may be a good law enforcement technique, but allowing the sale of contraband firearms, explosives or atomic weapons is probably a bad idea - with deadly consequences.

Sylvia: If you aren't monitoring this site, perhaps you should......

From: CleanUp ATF, http://www.cleanupatf.org/

"Well the word from Phoenix is that the SAIC Newell wanted to be able to track where these guns were going in Mexico. As such, the analysts have made pretty charts with lines showing where these guns have turned up. I am not sure how that stems the flow of guns South, especially considering these guns usually get recovered alongside dead bodies.

Fox News about a year ago did a good report to disprove the myth that most of the crime guns recovered in Mexico came from the US. This report was based upon evidence they obtained in part from ATF trace reports. However, with the recent flooding of guns being “walked” to Mexico by ATF (intended to be future crime guns) there is statistical evidence to demonstrate an escalated flow of guns going South from the US. The solution…….(Part I) take “data” to Congress to get more money, Agents and stuff to battle the flow of guns to Mexico….but actually spend it “wherever” .

(Part II) Mr. Newell takes his nice charts and graphs and establishes himself as the “expert” SAIC on guns going South (after all, he is on the border…right?). Next, he gets himself selected for the attaché position in Mexico (which he was politicking for all along). End result is that he now gets out from under an upside down home loan (thanks to the Government relocation buyback program) and an all expense paid vacation to Mexico. Couple of years socking away big bucks in Mexico (with no expenses) and he will be ready to head back to D.C.

I guess the moral of the story is that there really is an objective to ATF management’s actions. Unfortunately the objectives usually have nothing to do with the best interest of the Government or the public."

I can understand the logic behind your statement, but only if the statement were to be changed to read that agent Terry ’could have’ been killed instead of ‘’ would have ‘’ been killed. ‘’ Would have ’’ is prophetic , where as he was killed with a weapon the ATF allowed to be walked is apparent fact. I am of course in agreement with your twitting friends assessment concerning the difference between waking dope as opposed to guns, and it is that foreseeable difference which through arrogance and contempt the ATF and this administration ignored , that in fact lead to the death of this Border Patrol Agent.

Thanks Sylvia,

Fred

Sylvia:

As best I can determine, the indictments resulting from ATF's Operations "Fast and Furious", and "Too Hot To Handle" only charged the straw purchasers. I didn't see any subsequent gun traffickers (smugglers) charged. If ATF is being criticized for only busting the straw buyers, maybe the criticism is justified?

I previously posted the "Fast and Furious" indictment links. Here are the "Too Hot to Handle" links:

http://www.justice.gov/usao/az/press_releases/2011/US_v_Resa_Indictment.pdf

http://www.justice.gov/usao/az/press_releases/2011/US_v_Zapata_Indictment.pdf

http://www.justice.gov/usao/az/press_releases/2011/US_v_Macedo_Indictment.pdf

http://www.justice.gov/usao/az/press_releases/2011/US_v_Beltran-Bermudez_Indictment.pdf

http://www.justice.gov/usao/az/press_releases/2011/US_v_Large_Indictment.pdf

Sylvia,
You were certainly correct about hearing from the "Anti-ATF", Pro Gun yahoos. They just can't keep their keyboards quiet. If I wanted to read that stupid tripe I'd look elsewhere, please make use of your comment filter.
Other than that I appreciate all you do to keep us informed and especially the links you provide.
Thanks, Bill

The only anti-ATF comments I see posted here were sourced from ATF employees....

Up until now, the posts have been well thought out, accurate, well-mannered and civil, and have refrained from personal attacks.

ATF: Gun in US agent's death traced to Texas man

http://www.elpasotimes.com/nationworld/ci_17504432

Michael (last post) ...

One thing we can say for certain - there are three guys who live in a suburb of Dallas who must be feeling pretty lousy right now. It's gotta' be a bad feeling to think that a gun you once owned was subsequently used to kill an American agent.

It's surprising that the Zeta's do not remove the serial numbers on the weapons they obtain.

P.

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