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Saturday, July 9, 2011

Project Gunrunner Funded by Stimulus Funds

It's now coming out that tens of millions of dollars from the Stimulus Bill went toward ATF's Project Gunrunner beginning in early 2009. Operation Fast and Furious was subsequently born and thousands of guns were allowed to 'walk' into Mexico. One Border Patrol agent and one ICE agent are dead as a result of that operation in general and specifically, guns given to drug cartels in particular. This is important for many reasons but one is that on May 3rd, while testifying at a Senate Judiciary committee hearing, Attorney General Eric Holder said the first time he'd heard of Fast and Furious was a 'few weeks' earlier. Since he testified two months earlier on the subject, we will extend him the courtesy of allowing a 'few weeks' to equal eight weeks.

Again, here is the exchange between Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Holder from May 3rd. The relevant portion to this post comes very early:

That was Eric Holder in sworn testimony, where lie = perjury. In that context, take a look at this article from Investors Business Daily, h/t Sipsey Street:
The ATF's gun-running disaster was funded in the stimulus bill. Think about all the criminal and drug cartel jobs saved or created. And our attorney general once bragged to a Mexican audience about implementing it.

This could be, no pun intended, the proverbial smoking gun in a growing administration scandal that deserves as much mainstream media attention as Iran-Contra or Watergate.

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.

Right there in the "shovel ready" stimulus, no black humor intended, is a provision for $40 million for "state and local law enforcement assistance" along our border with Mexico and in high drug-trafficking areas, "of which $10 million shall be transferred to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, salaries and expenses for the ATF Project Gunrunner."

Attorney General Eric Holder's "I know nothing" imitation of TV's Sgt. Schultz has evaporated with the discovery of an April 2, 2009, speech to authorities in Cuernavaca, Mexico, in which he took Gunrunner credit for himself and the rest of the Obama administration.

Holder told the audience: "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."

So which administration official put the Gunrunner money in the stimulus? Which congressman insisted on this deadliest of earmarks?
That last part is bolded for a reason. Whoever earmarked this money for ATF should either express outrage or demonstrates complicity with their silence at this point.

Eric Holder bragged about Project Gunrunner in 2009 while in Mexico, one year and eleven months prior to the generous application of a 'few weeks' equalling 'eight weeks.' Project Gunrunner was a program that operated under the auspices of being a gun interdiction effort; Fast and Furious was its nefarious offspring. While this video from then Deputy Attorney General David Ogden just a 'few days' prior to Holder's speech in Mexico does not show that Holder knew about Fast and Furious, it does get us a whole lot closer because it shows that Holder knew about the shot in the arm given to Project Gunrunner. If Holder knew about Fast and Furious as early as March, 2009 he would have difficulty applying the 'few weeks' argument to when he first heard about it. By my calculations, we'd be looking at approximately 100 weeks. Even Holder would have a tough time calling that 'a few.'

Perhaps a much larger issue is what the rest of the $787 Billion Stimulus Bill includes. If a mere tens of millions went to Project Gunrunner, what did all the rest of the money really go to?

Was the term 'shovel-ready' actually meant to be a sick, twisted and macabre effort?

Too early to tell but Americans should be choking on the irony, nonetheless.

h/t Sipsey Street

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