Homeland Security

Fast and Furious: Cartel, Middle East and OIG

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“Misdirection is the key element. We can create a space where we give them something to look at to take their mind away from what they really should be seeing.” 

“The greater the intellect, the more ease in its misdirection.”

These two quotes by Chris Conti and David Mamet, respectively, suggest both the construct and reasoning associated with what Rep. Darrell Issa and Sen. Charles Grassley described as “… and obstruction to their investigation of the Department of Justice.”

Rep. Issa, in an April interview this year, discussed “…why senior Justice Department officials in his [President Obama’s] administration lied to Congress… Was he [President Obama] protecting the failed gun-walking operation or the cover-up?”

{mosads}The Administration’s narrative to date (similar – almost identical – to both the IRS and VA scandals) has been Fast and Furious was an ill-advised operation to trace guns going to the senior levels of the Sinaloa Cartel, hatched and executed by officials acting on their own in some office sufficiently distant from Washington, D.C. 

A plausible albeit effete explanation that could deflect both Congress’ and the public’s attention from what, perhaps, was a much more complex operation involving, ultimately, the Middle East and U.S. Ambassador to Libya, John Christopher Stevens.

Weapons and other military-related equipment were, indeed, run to the Sinaloa Cartel repeatedly. M-16s, AR-15s, AK-47s, 1911 Colt 45s, grenade launchers, grenades, Kevlar vests and Night Vision Goggles (NVGs) were reported to the Department of Justice Office of Inspector General in 2012 as having been a part of weapons and equipment ran across the border as part of Fast and Furious. 

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee was notified of the same late September 2013.

Separately, on at least three occasions, starting in September 2010 and continuing into the early part of 2011, weapons were also secreted through Lukeville, AZ into Mexico. Once in Mexico, the weapons were transported southward along Route 2 to Caborca, Mexico, where the runners stated they were met by both a U.S. national and a person of Middle Eastern descent.

Of note, a Moroccan General Directorate of Territorial Surveillance (DGST) Commander reported on October 16, 2010 he had intercepted Fast and Furious-linked weapons which were en route to rebels in Algeria.

From an article in WND on December 27, 2016 we, perhaps, unearth what any attempted misdirection and obfuscation surrounding Fast and Furious intended to conceal: However, since 2011 WND has reported that documents released by Judicial Watch and Wikileaks showed Clinton’s State Department engineering the clandestine transfer of weapons from Libya to Syria that ended up in the hands of terrorist groups aligned with ISIS and al-Qaida. In May 2015, WND reported Judicial Watch made public more than 100 pages of previously classified Department of Defense and Department of State documents implicating the Obama administration in a cover-up to obscure the role Clinton and the State Department played in the rise of ISIS.

The documents, obtained by Judicial Watch in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, provide evidence that U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens was involved in shipping weapons from Benghazi to support the al-Qaida- affiliated militias fighting the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria, effectively arming the Sunni jihadists who morphed into ISIS.

A Defense Intelligence Agency document made public by Wikileaks included an inventory of weapons that closely matches the inventory listed in the Department of Justice criminal case against arms dealer Marc Turi:

The weapons shipped from Syria during late-August 2012 were Sniper rifles, RPG’s and 125mm and 155mm Howitzers. The numbers for each weapon were estimated to be: 500 Sniper rifles, 100 RPG launchers with 300 total rounds, and approximately 400 Howitzers.

The heavily redacted document does not disclose who was shipping the weapons.

Andrew C. McCarthy, former Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, tied Clinton’s 2014 comment to John Podesta regarding the FSA [Free Syrian Army] to a weapons shipment from Benghazi to Turkey for eventual transit to Syria that occurred just days before the Benghazi attack. 

McCarthy noted the September 2012 weapons shipment was coordinated by Belhaj, ‘an al-Qaeda-affiliated jihadist with whom Stevens had consulted during the uprising against Qadhafi.’

McCarthy further noted the September 2012 shipment of weapons had been arranged by Marc Turi, a professional arms dealer who had been indicted by federal prosecutors in Phoenix for supplying arms to Libyan “rebels” during the 2010-2011 war.

McCarthy commented the Obama administration dropped [on October 4, 2016] the criminal case one day before a court-ordered deadline to disclose information about its efforts to arm Muslim rebels.

‘Turi’s lawyers had explained his defense to the court: His arms shipments, destined for the Libyan rebels and channeled through Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, were part of a U.S.-authorized effort,’ McCarthy wrote. ‘Turi further asserts that the Obama administration was subsequently complicit in the shipment of weapons from Libya to ‘rebels’ in Syria, who are fighting the Assad regime.’

Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano, in an interview with WND, insisted the DOJ was forced to drop the Turi prosecution because federal prosecutors were convinced his defense would expose Clinton’s secret arms running to the radical al-Qaida- affiliated militia in Libya in 2011.

An interview of Turi by Fox News intelligence correspondent Catherine Herridge and Fox News senior executive producer Pamela Browne led Napolitano to review emails to and from State Department and congressional officials during the years when Clinton was secretary of state.

Napolitano concluded it’s ‘beyond a reasonable doubt and to a moral certainty’ that Hillary had conducted a ‘secret war’ shipping arms to Libya illegally in 2011.

Clinton knew she would never get a declaration of war from Congress or authorization under the war powers resolution enacted over President Nixon’s veto in 1973, he asserted.

‘So, Secretary Clinton persuaded Obama to use CIA intelligence assets who would be exempted from the war powers resolution even if they wore military fatigues in Libya.’

Napolitano explained that to use intelligence assets under the war powers resolution, Clinton needed the cooperation and informal consent of the ‘Congress within the Congress,’ referring to the House Committee on Intelligence and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, which are sworn to secrecy.

‘The result is the president of the United States, the secretary of state and about two dozen people in the House and Senate, including the leadership of both parties in both houses, can authorize a clandestine war using CIA assets,’ he said.

‘And this is exactly what President Obama and Secretary Clinton did.’ Having obtained the authorization of the House and Senate intelligence committees, Clinton began a secret gun-running operation to Libya, using a provision in the United Nations-imposed arms embargo on Libya that allowed the foreign minister of participating countries to grant an exception to the embargo, Napolitano said.

Also of note and reported on Dec.16 and 19 of this year are the shocking and suspect deaths of both the Russian Ambassador to Turkey, Andrey Karlov, and the NATO Chief Auditor Yves Chandelon.

Ambassador Karlov was assassinated on the 16th by a Turkish Counter Riot police officer and Chandelon allegedly committed suicide on the 19 th . Both men were reported to have specific knowledge of the U.S arm shipments into Syria and Chandelon is reported to have discovered U.S. involvement in funding what eventually became ISIS. Chief Auditor Chandelon’s family is urging authorities to investigate for murder, saying Yves had been complaining of threatening phone calls in the week preceding his death. They also offer he was left-handed yet the gun in evidence, which was unregistered and not one of the three he owned and registered to him, was found in his right hand.

The above, coupled with both personal experiences and what Border Patrol Agent and USMC veteran Brian Terry uncovered and had perpetrated upon him and his belongings, sufficiently calls into doubt the U.S. government’s reluctant accounting and/or denials to date regarding Fast and Furious, Benghazi and arm shipments into Syria. The Administration has thwarted progress in any investigation. 

Sadly, the “Congress within the Congress” appears to have done the same.

Intrepid OIG agents in the southwest have recently taken a second look at the once closed Fast and Furious investigation. They realize the political and career risks which will emanate from D.C. should and when they proceed, but their apparent belief that Fast and Furious could not have been affected without inherent government corruption seemingly is serving as their moral compass. God speed!

Matthew Smith-Meck is researcher and expert on the Fast and Furious program and a retired Marine officer.

The views expressed by Contributors are their own and are not the views of The Hill.








Tags Border Charles Grassley Department of Justice DOJ Fast and Furious Grassley Issa Obama

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