Last month, Jim covered “Project Gunrunner” – the controversial effort by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to smuggle traceable firearms into the Mexican black gun market in order to track down gunrunning kingpins.
The secret ATF effort, called Project Gunrunner, backfired when border patrol agent Brian Terry was shot and killed by one of those very guns.
According to a press release issued last Thursday (April 21st) by the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bare Arms (CCRKBA), the Justice Department and the ATF appear to be “stalling” after receiving Congressional inquiries about the secret project.
According to CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb:
“The Justice Department’s reaction to a threatened contempt proceeding by Congressman Darrell Issa is that his letter is ‘being reviewed.’ President Obama promised to give Americans a transparent administration when he took office, but the only thing transparent about this scandal is the administration’s obvious effort to ignore the investigation until it goes away.”
One thing that is very clear about the Project Gunrunner controversy is that it is far from going away.
In February of this year, Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa called for an explanation from the ATF and from Attorney General Eric Holder. In the same month, Gun Owners of America began calling for hearings in the U.S. House of Representatives over the revelations about the operation.
In March, the Center for Public Integrity and CBS news released damning evidence from a government whistle-blower that the ATF was in fact allowing the smuggling of firearms across the border.
At then end of March, Representative Darrell Issa of California launched his own investigation into the illegal trafficking of over 1,700 guns by the ATF into Mexico. This move is significant, because such an investigation could potentially uncover further actions by the ATF to artificially inflate statistics about gunrunning operations across the Mexican border.
This month, in response to the ATF’s refusal to directly respond in detail to inquiries by elected officials, the CCRKBA is calling for the resignation of ATF Director Kenneth Melson. At issue is Congressman Issa’s subpoena for ATF Gunrunner documents on March 31st. Both Issa and Senator Charles Grassley report that the ATF continues to stonewall two ongoing congressional investigations.
According to Gottlieb:
“If the administration has nothing to hide, the White House would immediately order the Justice Department and ATF to open their files to the Capitol Hill investigations. You can bet the White House press corps would be demanding that if there were a Bush, rather than an Obama, in the Oval Office. We’re waiting for the White House to tell us that ‘this isn’t Watergate’, and they would be right. Nobody got killed because of Watergate. The geniuses who allowed Gunrunner to get out of control can’t say that.”
Gottlieb is calling on President Obama to intervene and demand that the ATF release all documents related to Project or Operation Gunrunner, which ultimately led to the death of a U.S. Border Patrol agent.
If the ATF continues to stall, and the White House fails to take a stance on the issue, one thing that is for certain is that this is likely to become one of the hottest issues during upcoming presidential election, particularly if there is evidence that proves the President had knowledge of the ongoing Gunrunner operation.Originally published on TopSecretWriters.com