The Mystery of Barack Obama (Barry Soetoro) Continues


While Barack Obama aka Barry Soetoro tries to divert attention to Romney’s great wealth, the mystery of Barack Obama continues. Obama needs to be “open and transparent,” as he promised to be 4 years ago. The non-Fox media has given him a pass long enough because he is half-black and liberal. The non-Fox media needs to wake up, get off their hind ends, and do a job of investigative reporting.

The Mystery Of Barack Obama Continues

By Steve Baldwin for the Western Center for Journalism

obama 1 dreams of my father The Mystery of Barack Obama ContinuesMost Americans don’t realize we have elected a president whom we know very little about.


Researchers have discovered that Obama’s autobiographical books are little more than PR stunts, as they have little to do with the actual events of his life. The fact is we know less about President Obama than perhaps any other president in American history and much of this is due to actual efforts to hide his record. This should concern all Americans.

A nation-wide network of researchers has sprung up to attempt to fill in the blanks, but at every opportunity Obama’s high-priced lawyers have built walls around various records or simply made them disappear. It is estimated that Obama’s legal team has now spent well over $1.4 million dollars blocking access to documents every American should have access to. The question is why would he spend so much money to do this?

The president who campaigned for a more “open government” and “full disclosure” will not unseal his medical records, his school records, his birth records or his passport records. He will not release his Harvard records, his Columbia College records, or his Occidental College records—he will not even release his Columbia College thesis. All his legislative records from the Illinois State Senate are missing and he claims his scheduling records during those State Senate years are lost as well. In addition, no one can find his school records for the elite K-12 college prep school, Punahou School, he attended in Hawaii.

What is he hiding? Well, for starters, some of these records will shed light on his citizenship and birth.

For example, Obama’s application to Punahou School – now mysteriously missing – would likely contain a birth certificate. And, obama 2 scott and barry 3rd grade 1969 punahou school in hawaii The Mystery of Barack Obama Continuesaccording to attorney Gary Kreep, “his Occidental College records are important as they may show he attended there as a foreign exchange student.” Indeed, Obama used his Indonesian name “Barry Soetoro” while attending Occidental. Kreep has filed lawsuits challenging Obama’s eligibility to be president and as part of his lawsuit he requested Obama’s records from Occidental. However, Obama’s lawyers quickly moved to stop Occidental from honoring this request.

Furthermore, now that at least three document authentication experts have declared the scanned “Certificate of Live Birth” Obama’s campaign team gave to a pro-Obama website to be an obvious phony; we know that he is hiding something here as well.

Over 49 separate law suits have been filed on the eligibility/birth certificate issue alone, with several of the suits making it all the way the United States Supreme Court, only to be denied a full hearing.

obama 3 saudi prince al walid bin talah The Mystery of Barack Obama Continues

Pictured: Saudi Prince Al-Walid bin Talah

What’s more, there are questions about how he paid for his Harvard Law School education since, despite a claim by Michele Obama, no one has produced any evidence that he received student loans. The Obamas will not release any student loan details despite repeated requests from the Chicago Tribune. However, it appears that his Harvard education may have been paid for by a foreign source. Khalid Al-Mansour, an advisor to Saudi prince Al-Walid bin Talah, told Manhattan Borough president, Percy Sutton, that he was raising money for Obama’s Harvard tuition. Incidentally, Prince Tala is the largest donor to CAIR, a Muslim group declared by the U.S. Government in 2007 as an unindicted co-conspirator in a terrorist financing trial. At least three of CAIR’s leaders have been indicted for terrorist activities. Al-Mansour’s admission opens up speculation as to whether Muslim interests have assisted Obama’s career in the hope he would eventually be in a position someday to promote their interests.

More recently, it was discovered that Obama’s Selective Service card may have been doctored. Federal law requires all American males to register for the Selective Service (the draft) in case a major war broke out. Blogger Debbie Schlussel has discovered solid evidence that Obama’s Selective Service registration form was submitted not when he was younger as required, but rather in 2008 and then altered to look older. Indeed, the forgers forgot to alter the “Document Location Number” which shows that it is clearly a 2008 form. This is fraud and it’s a felony and Schlussel’s allegations are backed up by Stephen Coffman, a former high-ranking Federal agent. Moreover, the document shows a September 4th, 1980 date and the location of the transaction as Hawaii, but at that time Obama was thousands of miles away attending Occidental College in Los Angeles.

The real reason why Obama probably did not submit this form as a teenager is that he assumed his Kenyan or Indonesian citizenship exempted him from this requirement. But clearly, as he grew older and entered politics, he saw that any documents revealing a foreign birth – Selective Service registration, birth certificate, school applications, etc – would be problematic if he ran for the presidency. Thus, it is not a coincidence that every document which contains information about his birth or citizenship is either missing, sealed, or has been altered.

Indeed, everywhere one looks into Obama’s background, we find sealed records, scrubbed websites, altered documents, deception and unanswered questions. Can anyone imagine for a second if John McCain or George Bush had blocked access to his school, medical, and birth records? It would have been headlines in their case,  but as with everything else concerning Obama, the media has given him a pass on this.

Of all these marvels, the latest mystery and probably most perplexing is that of Obama’s social security number. It appears that Obama has multiple identities in term of possessing numerous social security numbers. Orly Taitz, an attorney who has filed numerous suits against Obama regarding his eligibility to serve as president, appears to have been the first to discover this. In her suit, representing a number of military officers who are refusing to serve under an ineligible commander in chief, she hired private investigator Neil Sankey to conduct research on Obama’s prior addresses and Social Society numbers. Using Intelius, Lexis Nexis, Choice Point and other public records, Sankey found around 25 Social Security numbers connected with Obama’s name.

However, it may not be as many as 25, since Sankey also searched using closely related names such as: “Barak Obama,” “Batock Obama,” “Barok Obama,” and “Barrack Obama.” There may very well be some Kenyans living in America with the same last name and a similar first name. In any case, I will exclude these records for the purpose of this research and focus only on names spelled exactly like his name. Moreover, we can verify many of the Social Security numbers as valid since they’re connected to addresses at which we know Obama resided. Needless to say, there are also a slew of address and social security numbers connected to addresses in states that Obama has no known connection to.

In Obama’s home state, Illinois, Sankey tracked down 16 different addresses for a Barack Obama or a Barack H. Obama, of which all are addresses he was known to have lived at. Two Social Security numbers appear for these addresses, one beginning with 042 and one starting 364.

In California, where Obama attended Occidental College, there are six addresses listed for him, all within easy driving distance of the college. However, there are three Social Security numbers connected to these addresses, 537 and two others, each beginning with 999.

There are no addresses listed in New York where he attended Columbia University, but there is one listed for him in nearby Jackson, NJ, with a Social Security number beginning with 485.

obama 4 713 hart senate office building The Mystery of Barack Obama Continues

713 Hart Senate Office Building

In Massachusetts – where Obama attended Harvard Law School – we find three addresses, all using the 042 Social Security number. After Obama was elected to the United States Senate in 2005, he moved into an apartment at 300 Massachusetts Ave NW; the Social Security number attached to that address is the 042 one. Yet, three years later, Obama used a different Social Security number for an address listed as: 713 Hart Senate Office Building. This was the address of his United States Senate office. This Social Security number began with 282 and was verified by the government in 2008.

This mystery grows even stranger as other addresses and Social Security numbers for Barack Obama appear in a dozen other states not known to be connected to him. Again, I am excluding those records names not spelled exactly like his name.

  • Tennessee, one address with a Social Security number beginning with 427
  • Colorado, one address, with a Social Security number beginning with 456.
  • Utah, two addresses, with two Social Security numbers beginning with 901 and 799.
  • Missouri has one address and one Social Security number beginning with 999.
  • Florida has two addresses listed for his him, three if you count one listed as “Barry Obama.” One is connected to a Social Security number beginning with 762.
  • In Georgia there are three addresses listed for him, all with different Social Security numbers: 579, 420, and 423.
  • In Texas there are four different addresses listed for him, one is connected to Social Security number 675.
  • There are two addresses listed for Barack Obama in Oregon and one address listed for him in  the states of Wisconsin, Michigan, South Carolina, and Pennsylvania.

All told, there are 49 addresses and 16 different Social Security numbers listed for a person whose name is spelled “Barack Obama.” In some cases, the middle initial “H” is listed. If you were to expand the search to include closely related names such as: “Barac,” “Barak,” and “Barrack” Obama, you would find more than a dozen additional addresses and Social Security numbers.

Finally, the one Social Security number Obama most frequently used, the one beginning with 042, is a number issued in Connecticut sometime during 1976-1977, yet there is no record of Obama ever living or working in Connecticut. Indeed, during this time period Obama would have been 15-16 years old and living in Hawaii at the time.

obama 5 ann stanley and madelyn dunham The Mystery of Barack Obama Continues

Ann, Stanley and Madelyn Dunham

Nevertheless, all this mystery surrounding Obama appears to be a generational thing. Researchers have discovered nearly a dozen aliases, at least two different Social Security numbers, and upwards of over 99 separate addresses for Ann Dunham, his mother. We do know she worked for the ultra liberal Ford Foundation but we also know she may have earned some income from pornographic poses, as evidenced by photos recently discovered by some researchers—how embarrassing. The only thing researchers are able to find out about Obama’s mother is the fact she made porn. I’m sure that’s a first for presidential mothers.

But we also know that Obama’s mother and grandparents associated with Communist Party leaders such as Frank Marshall Davis, a man who, according to Obama’s book, Dreams from my Father, was his main mentor during much of his Hawaiian boyhood (although Obama tried to disguise his identity in his book). During the Cold War, Davis was named by congressional investigators as a key member of a secretive pro-Soviet networked that existed in Hawaii at that time.

obama 6 communist party leader frank marshall davis The Mystery of Barack Obama Continues

Communist Party leader, Frank Marshall Davis

The lack of documents regarding Obama also extends to his mother and to his grandparents. Indeed, researchers have been unable to find marriage licenses for his mother’s two marriages, assuming she was ever legally married. Ditto goes for the marriage license for Ann’s parents. They cannot find birth certificates for her, her parents, or for even for her grandparents. Even more so, despite Obama’s boast of his grandfather’s military service, there’s no record of that either. For reasons no one knows, much of Obama’s life, his mother’s life and his grandparent’s life has been erased from the records as if they never existed.

But why would someone obtain so many Social Security numbers? According to investigators, those who create additional Social Society numbers are typically engaged in criminal activities such as Social Security fraud, tax fraud, real estate fraud, campaign

obama 7 barrack obama and his granmother madeline dunham The Mystery of Barack Obama Continues

Barrack Obama and his Grandmother, Madelyn Dunham.

“Madeline Dunham was a volunteer at the Oahu Circuit Court probate department and had access to the Social Security numbers of deceased people.

contributions fraud, voter fraud and so on. While the private investigator who compiled this list says multiple social security numbers does not automatically prove there’s criminal activity involved, he states that “having said that, I have personally experienced many, many cases where such information has led to subsequent exposure of fraud, deception, money laundering and other crimes.“What is interesting to note is that Obama’s grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, was a volunteer at the Oahu Circuit Court probate department and had access to the Social Security numbers of deceased people.

It is clear that more research needs to be done on this issue. The Western Center for Journalism

( http://www.westernjournalism.com) is inviting readers to join the search for the truth. If you have any information about any of the addresses listed, they would love to hear from you. To find a complete list of all the addresses and Social Security numbers listed in the public record for Obama and family, please go to the Western Center for Journalism.

Job 36:18

(Job 36:18)

Don’t Let a Bribe

Don’t let a bribe

Turn you aside;

Where God’s concerned,

You cannot hide.

 

(Job 36:18)

Be Careful

Be careful that

Wealth won’t entice

You; don’t let bribes

Turn you aside.

The Mystery of Barack Obama Continues


While Obama tries to divert attention to Romney’s wealth (Obama is worth $10M, as is David Axelrod, his campaign advisor), the mystery of Barack Obama continues. Obama needs to be “open and transparent,” as he promised to be 4 years ago. The non-Fox media needs to wake up, get off their hind ends, and do a job of investigative reporting.

The Mystery Of Barack Obama Continues

By Steve Baldwin for the Western Center for Journalism

obama 1 dreams of my father The Mystery of Barack Obama ContinuesMost Americans don’t realize we have elected a president whom we know very little about.


Researchers have discovered that Obama’s autobiographical books are little more than PR stunts, as they have little to do with the actual events of his life. The fact is we know less about President Obama than perhaps any other president in American history and much of this is due to actual efforts to hide his record. This should concern all Americans.

A nation-wide network of researchers has sprung up to attempt to fill in the blanks, but at every opportunity Obama’s high-priced lawyers have built walls around various records or simply made them disappear. It is estimated that Obama’s legal team has now spent well over $1.4 million dollars blocking access to documents every American should have access to. The question is why would he spend so much money to do this?

The president who campaigned for a more “open government” and “full disclosure” will not unseal his medical records, his school records, his birth records or his passport records. He will not release his Harvard records, his Columbia College records, or his Occidental College records—he will not even release his Columbia College thesis. All his legislative records from the Illinois State Senate are missing and he claims his scheduling records during those State Senate years are lost as well. In addition, no one can find his school records for the elite K-12 college prep school, Punahou School, he attended in Hawaii.

What is he hiding? Well, for starters, some of these records will shed light on his citizenship and birth.

For example, Obama’s application to Punahou School – now mysteriously missing – would likely contain a birth certificate. And, obama 2 scott and barry 3rd grade 1969 punahou school in hawaii The Mystery of Barack Obama Continuesaccording to attorney Gary Kreep, “his Occidental College records are important as they may show he attended there as a foreign exchange student.” Indeed, Obama used his Indonesian name “Barry Soetoro” while attending Occidental. Kreep has filed lawsuits challenging Obama’s eligibility to be president and as part of his lawsuit he requested Obama’s records from Occidental. However, Obama’s lawyers quickly moved to stop Occidental from honoring this request.

Furthermore, now that at least three document authentication experts have declared the scanned “Certificate of Live Birth” Obama’s campaign team gave to a pro-Obama website to be an obvious phony; we know that he is hiding something here as well.

Over 49 separate law suits have been filed on the eligibility/birth certificate issue alone, with several of the suits making it all the way the United States Supreme Court, only to be denied a full hearing.

obama 3 saudi prince al walid bin talah The Mystery of Barack Obama Continues

Pictured: Saudi Prince Al-Walid bin Talah

What’s more, there are questions about how he paid for his Harvard Law School education since, despite a claim by Michele Obama, no one has produced any evidence that he received student loans. The Obamas will not release any student loan details despite repeated requests from the Chicago Tribune. However, it appears that his Harvard education may have been paid for by a foreign source. Khalid Al-Mansour, an advisor to Saudi prince Al-Walid bin Talah, told Manhattan Borough president, Percy Sutton, that he was raising money for Obama’s Harvard tuition. Incidentally, Prince Tala is the largest donor to CAIR, a Muslim group declared by the U.S. Government in 2007 as an unindicted co-conspirator in a terrorist financing trial. At least three of CAIR’s leaders have been indicted for terrorist activities. Al-Mansour’s admission opens up speculation as to whether Muslim interests have assisted Obama’s career in the hope he would eventually be in a position someday to promote their interests.

More recently, it was discovered that Obama’s Selective Service card may have been doctored. Federal law requires all American males to register for the Selective Service (the draft) in case a major war broke out. Blogger Debbie Schlussel has discovered solid evidence that Obama’s Selective Service registration form was submitted not when he was younger as required, but rather in 2008 and then altered to look older. Indeed, the forgers forgot to alter the “Document Location Number” which shows that it is clearly a 2008 form. This is fraud and it’s a felony and Schlussel’s allegations are backed up by Stephen Coffman, a former high-ranking Federal agent. Moreover, the document shows a September 4th, 1980 date and the location of the transaction as Hawaii, but at that time Obama was thousands of miles away attending Occidental College in Los Angeles.

The real reason why Obama probably did not submit this form as a teenager is that he assumed his Kenyan or Indonesian citizenship exempted him from this requirement. But clearly, as he grew older and entered politics, he saw that any documents revealing a foreign birth – Selective Service registration, birth certificate, school applications, etc – would be problematic if he ran for the presidency. Thus, it is not a coincidence that every document which contains information about his birth or citizenship is either missing, sealed, or has been altered.

Indeed, everywhere one looks into Obama’s background, we find sealed records, scrubbed websites, altered documents, deception and unanswered questions. Can anyone imagine for a second if John McCain or George Bush had blocked access to his school, medical, and birth records? It would have been headlines in their case,  but as with everything else concerning Obama, the media has given him a pass on this.

Of all these marvels, the latest mystery and probably most perplexing is that of Obama’s social security number. It appears that Obama has multiple identities in term of possessing numerous social security numbers. Orly Taitz, an attorney who has filed numerous suits against Obama regarding his eligibility to serve as president, appears to have been the first to discover this. In her suit, representing a number of military officers who are refusing to serve under an ineligible commander in chief, she hired private investigator Neil Sankey to conduct research on Obama’s prior addresses and Social Society numbers. Using Intelius, Lexis Nexis, Choice Point and other public records, Sankey found around 25 Social Security numbers connected with Obama’s name.

However, it may not be as many as 25, since Sankey also searched using closely related names such as: “Barak Obama,” “Batock Obama,” “Barok Obama,” and “Barrack Obama.” There may very well be some Kenyans living in America with the same last name and a similar first name. In any case, I will exclude these records for the purpose of this research and focus only on names spelled exactly like his name. Moreover, we can verify many of the Social Security numbers as valid since they’re connected to addresses at which we know Obama resided. Needless to say, there are also a slew of address and social security numbers connected to addresses in states that Obama has no known connection to.

In Obama’s home state, Illinois, Sankey tracked down 16 different addresses for a Barack Obama or a Barack H. Obama, of which all are addresses he was known to have lived at. Two Social Security numbers appear for these addresses, one beginning with 042 and one starting 364.

In California, where Obama attended Occidental College, there are six addresses listed for him, all within easy driving distance of the college. However, there are three Social Security numbers connected to these addresses, 537 and two others, each beginning with 999.

There are no addresses listed in New York where he attended Columbia University, but there is one listed for him in nearby Jackson, NJ, with a Social Security number beginning with 485.

obama 4 713 hart senate office building The Mystery of Barack Obama Continues

713 Hart Senate Office Building

In Massachusetts – where Obama attended Harvard Law School – we find three addresses, all using the 042 Social Security number. After Obama was elected to the United States Senate in 2005, he moved into an apartment at 300 Massachusetts Ave NW; the Social Security number attached to that address is the 042 one. Yet, three years later, Obama used a different Social Security number for an address listed as: 713 Hart Senate Office Building. This was the address of his United States Senate office. This Social Security number began with 282 and was verified by the government in 2008.

This mystery grows even stranger as other addresses and Social Security numbers for Barack Obama appear in a dozen other states not known to be connected to him. Again, I am excluding those records names not spelled exactly like his name.

  • Tennessee, one address with a Social Security number beginning with 427
  • Colorado, one address, with a Social Security number beginning with 456.
  • Utah, two addresses, with two Social Security numbers beginning with 901 and 799.
  • Missouri has one address and one Social Security number beginning with 999.
  • Florida has two addresses listed for his him, three if you count one listed as “Barry Obama.” One is connected to a Social Security number beginning with 762.
  • In Georgia there are three addresses listed for him, all with different Social Security numbers: 579, 420, and 423.
  • In Texas there are four different addresses listed for him, one is connected to Social Security number 675.
  • There are two addresses listed for Barack Obama in Oregon and one address listed for him in  the states of Wisconsin, Michigan, South Carolina, and Pennsylvania.

All told, there are 49 addresses and 16 different Social Security numbers listed for a person whose name is spelled “Barack Obama.” In some cases, the middle initial “H” is listed. If you were to expand the search to include closely related names such as: “Barac,” “Barak,” and “Barrack” Obama, you would find more than a dozen additional addresses and Social Security numbers.

Finally, the one Social Security number Obama most frequently used, the one beginning with 042, is a number issued in Connecticut sometime during 1976-1977, yet there is no record of Obama ever living or working in Connecticut. Indeed, during this time period Obama would have been 15-16 years old and living in Hawaii at the time.

obama 5 ann stanley and madelyn dunham The Mystery of Barack Obama Continues

Ann, Stanley and Madelyn Dunham

Nevertheless, all this mystery surrounding Obama appears to be a generational thing. Researchers have discovered nearly a dozen aliases, at least two different Social Security numbers, and upwards of over 99 separate addresses for Ann Dunham, his mother. We do know she worked for the ultra liberal Ford Foundation but we also know she may have earned some income from pornographic poses, as evidenced by photos recently discovered by some researchers—how embarrassing. The only thing researchers are able to find out about Obama’s mother is the fact she made porn. I’m sure that’s a first for presidential mothers.

But we also know that Obama’s mother and grandparents associated with Communist Party leaders such as Frank Marshall Davis, a man who, according to Obama’s book, Dreams from my Father, was his main mentor during much of his Hawaiian boyhood (although Obama tried to disguise his identity in his book). During the Cold War, Davis was named by congressional investigators as a key member of a secretive pro-Soviet networked that existed in Hawaii at that time.

obama 6 communist party leader frank marshall davis The Mystery of Barack Obama Continues

Communist Party leader, Frank Marshall Davis

The lack of documents regarding Obama also extends to his mother and to his grandparents. Indeed, researchers have been unable to find marriage licenses for his mother’s two marriages, assuming she was ever legally married. Ditto goes for the marriage license for Ann’s parents. They cannot find birth certificates for her, her parents, or for even for her grandparents. Even more so, despite Obama’s boast of his grandfather’s military service, there’s no record of that either. For reasons no one knows, much of Obama’s life, his mother’s life and his grandparent’s life has been erased from the records as if they never existed.

But why would someone obtain so many Social Security numbers? According to investigators, those who create additional Social Society numbers are typically engaged in criminal activities such as Social Security fraud, tax fraud, real estate fraud, campaign

obama 7 barrack obama and his granmother madeline dunham The Mystery of Barack Obama Continues

Barrack Obama and his Grandmother, Madelyn Dunham.

“Madeline Dunham was a volunteer at the Oahu Circuit Court probate department and had access to the Social Security numbers of deceased people.

contributions fraud, voter fraud and so on. While the private investigator who compiled this list says multiple social security numbers does not automatically prove there’s criminal activity involved, he states that “having said that, I have personally experienced many, many cases where such information has led to subsequent exposure of fraud, deception, money laundering and other crimes.“What is interesting to note is that Obama’s grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, was a volunteer at the Oahu Circuit Court probate department and had access to the Social Security numbers of deceased people.

It is clear that more research needs to be done on this issue. The Western Center for Journalism

( http://www.westernjournalism.com) is inviting readers to join the search for the truth. If you have any information about any of the addresses listed, they would love to hear from you. To find a complete list of all the addresses and Social Security numbers listed in the public record for Obama and family, please go to the Western Center for Journalism.

August 10: Creation

August 10

Creation

610.
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
–Genesis 1:1-2

611.
When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him,
and the son of man that you care for him?
–Psalm 8:3-4
612.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.
–John 1:1-2

University of Nevada, Reno: Academics

Academics

University of Nevada, Reno is ranked 181st amongst national universities nationwide as a Tier 1 University by U.S. News & World Report. Internationally, it is ranked among the world’s top 500 universities.
Bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs are offered through:
Colleges
College of Agriculture, Biotechnology, and Natural Resources
College of Business Administration
College of Education
College of Engineering
College of Human and Community Sciences
College of Liberal Arts
College of Science
University of Nevada Cooperative Extension
National Judicial College
Schools
Donald W. Reynolds School of Journalism
Graduate School
Mackay School of Earth Sciences and Engineering
Orvis School of Nursing
Nevada School of the Arts
School of Medicine
School of Public Health
School of Social Work
School of Social Research and Justice Studies

Aug. 9: Caesars Entertainment Corporation (formerly Harrah’s Entertainment)

Caesars Entertainment Corporation (formerly Harrah’s Entertainment from 1995 to 2010) is an American public gaming corporation that owns and operates over 50 casinos, hotels, and seven golf courses under several brands. The company, based in Paradise, Nevada, is the largest gaming company in the world, with annual revenues of $8.9 billion (2010). Caesars is owned by Hamlet Holdings, a joint venture of Apollo Global Management and Texas Pacific Group, with Blackstone Group holding a minority stake.
The name change from “Harrah’s Entertainment Inc.” to “Caesars Entertainment Corporation” was made official on November 23, 2010. Harrah’s remains a key brand in the company. On November 5, 2010, Harrah’s announced an initial public offering of 31,250,000 shares but retracted this offering on November 19.

Virginia and Truckee Railroad

Virginia and Truckee Railroad
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Reporting mark VT
Locale Nevada
Dates of operation 1870–present
Track gauge 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) (standard gauge)
Headquarters Virginia City, Nevada
Engine No. 18, Baldwin 2-8-2 built in October 1914. Photo at Tunnel #4, 2011.
Virginia & Truckee Railroad Right of Way, Reno, Nevada Historical Marker No. 248. This grade was constructed in 1871, and in use until 1950.[1]

The Virginia and Truckee Railroad (reporting mark VT) was built to serve the Comstock Lode mining communities of northwestern Nevada. At its height, the railroad’s route ran from Reno south to Carson City, Nevada. In Carson City, the mainline split into two branches. One branch continued south to Minden, while the other branch traveled east to Virginia City. The first section constructed from Virginia City to Carson City was constructed commencing in 1869 to haul ore, lumber and supplies for the Comstock Lode.
The railroad was abandoned in 1950 after years of declining revenue. Much of the rail infrastructure was pulled up and sold, along with the remaining locomotives and railcars. In the 1970s, with public interest in historic railroads on the rise, the old lines were rebuilt by private investors, with an eye towards re-opening the lines.
Today, the privately-owned Virginia & Truckee Railroad Company operates as a heritage railroad, headquartered in Virginia City. The Virginia & Truckee Railroad owns and uses the service mark “Queen of the Short Lines.” The V&T Railroad runs up to 7 trains per day, many in steam behind locomotive #29, a 2-8-0 Consolidation, or an ex-US Army GE 80 ton diesel from Virginia City from Memorial Day until the end of October each year.
The public Nevada Commission for the Reconstruction of the V&T Railway has rebuilt the line from Gold Hill (connection with the current V&T Railroad) to Carson City, running the first train over the line in 68 years on 14 August 2009.[2] The Commission acquired a 1914 2-8-2 steam locomotive (The McCloud no. 18), which had been in use by the Sierra Railroad, out of Oakdale, California on special lunch and dinner trains. When the no. 18 arrived on the V&T, boiler problems were discovered, and the locomotive awaited repair at the Virginia and Truckee shops in Virginia City. She went to Hollywood for the filming of Water for Elephants. She returned after her scenes were filmed and finally had her first revenue run on July 24, 2010. Cars and locomotives from the original railroad are on display at the Nevada State Railroad Museum in Carson City, at the Comstock History Center on C Street in Virginia City, at the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento and at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania in Strasburg.
In order to ascend the mountain to Virginia City it was necessary to build an enormous trestle. Popular Nevada mythology says Crown Point Trestle was considered to be such a feat of engineering that it is featured on the Nevada State Seal. This myth is mentioned by Lucius Beebe.[3]
Former Nevada State Archivist Guy Rocha debunks this myth on the state’s Myth-a-Month page, pointing out that the state seal predates the trestle and shows a viaduct, not a trestle.[4]
Contents [hide]
1 History
1.1 The Comstock Lode
1.2 Early years
1.3 Expansion and prosperity
1.4 Decline of the railroad
2 Historic equipment
2.1 Historic designations
3 Restoring the line
4 Current equipment
4.1 Steam locomotives
4.2 Diesel locomotives
4.3 Motor cars
4.4 Passenger cars
5 See also
6 Bibliography
7 References
8 External links
[edit]History

[edit]The Comstock Lode
Gold was discovered in Nevada (then western Utah Territory) in the spring of 1850, by a company of Mormon emigrants on their way to the California Gold Rush. While these early travelers only lingered in Nevada until they could cross the Sierras, prospectors were soon permanently camping in the area around what is now Virginia City.[5]:12 In 1859, gold was found in outcroppings in the hills and canyons just outside Virginia City. Among the gold ore in these outcroppings were bluish chunks of silver ore which, initially overlooked in favor of the gold, were soon found to be quite valuable.[5]:12 This was the first of the silver from what came to be called the Comstock Lode.
Numerous mills soon appeared along the Carson River to process the ore from the Comstock Lode. Many of these mills were built with loans from the Bank of California, whose Nevada agent, William Sharon, would foreclose upon the mills when their owners defaulted on loan payments. Thus, the bank gradually came into possession of many important ore-processing facilities. Sharon, along with business partners Darius Ogden Mills and William Ralston[6]:8, formed the bank-owned Union Mill & Mining Company to process the ore from the mills that had been foreclosed.[5]:12
Initially, the Comstock Lode was a boon for the Virginia City area, as the city grew to over 20,000 persons, and was among the largest and wealthiest cities in the West.[5]:12 Soon, however, the costs to transport Comstock ore to the mills from points on the Lode further and further away became so great that many mines were closed and only the higher quality ores were worth processing.[5]:13 William Sharon took note of this, and realized that a cheap form of transportation between the mines, the mills, and the cities would allow all mines on the Lode to be profitable.
[edit]Early years
Sharon envisioned a railroad to run from Virginia City, down through Gold Hill where the first of the Comstock Lode was mined, passing the mills along the river, ending up at the state capital, Carson City.[5]:13 When finished, this route would cover 21 miles and descend 1,600 feet of elevation. The section between Virginia City and the Carson river involved fourteen miles of track at a 2.2% grade.[6]:10 The ceremonial first spike was driven on September 28, 1869, with the remainder of the route being finished just over a month later, on November 12.[5]:13
The same day, V&T Engine no. 1, an H.J. Booth 2-6-0, pulled the first revenue train for the company from Carson City to Gold Hill.[6]:32 Nicknamed the Lyon, engine #1 was one of three 2-6-0’s purchased from Booth by the fledgling railroad, along with engines #2, the Ormsby[6]:14 and #3, the Storey.[6]:15 Lyon would finally arrive in Virginia City on January 28, 1870, completing the initially planned route.[6]:11 The railroad had cost $1,750,000 to build, not including the cost of rolling stock or buildings.[5]:14 The V&T ran up to 40 trains per day at the height of the Big Bonanza. Still primarily a freight railroad, there were 361 freight cars in use at the peak of the V&T’s operations, which carried over 40,000 tons of freight per month, including 13 tons of silver ore.[5]:14 This was in contrast to a mere 10 passenger cars.[5]:23
[edit]Expansion and prosperity
In late 1871, a line extension to Reno was begun, to connect the V&T line with the Central Pacific Railroad. This would allow through train service between Virginia City and San Francisco.[6]:12 Construction began with track being installed starting at the Reno end of the line.[6]:101 The first train to run end-to-end from Virginia City to Reno took place on August 24, 1872,[6]:11 pulled appropriately by the newest V&T locomotive, No.11, the Reno.[5]:14 This milestone marked the completion of the Virginia and Truckee Railroad. By 1873, as more rich silver deposits were discovered, the railroad was earning a profit of over $100,000 per month,[6]:11 and paying $15,000 per month in dividends to investors.[5]:23
In 1880, the V&T built a 3′ gauge railroad called the Carson & Colorado. The railroad never did reach the state of Colorado, its aim was to head to the southern part of California, and eventually to the Colorado River where new mining claims were being struck. These never did pan out, and by 1891 those claim sites were all but forgotten.[5]:23 A liability to the V&T, the “slim princess” was sold to the Southern Pacific in 1900. The words of Ogden Mills, “Either we built this line 300 miles too short or 300 years to early” reflected V&T’s attitude towards the railroad.
Shortly after the sale of the C&C, however, silver was discovered at Tonopah, (Nevada)Arizona. The C&C became prosperous for the Southern Pacific, as wagon trains would run for miles through the desert to reach the narrow-gauge line, which would then carry it back to the V&T at Carson City.[5]:23 Because of the break of gauge between the C&C and V&T, the Tonopah ore had to be unloaded from the narrow-gauge cars and into the standard gauge cars. Southern Pacific officials did not like this arrangement, so in 1904 they converted the narrow-gauge line to standard gauge, now renamed the Nevada & California Railroad.[5]:23 In addition, the Southern Pacific offered to buy the Virginia & Truckee, but the V&T officials set their price too high. Instead, the Southern Pacific built their own line from a branch on the former C&C, 28 miles to connect with their own main line, thus bypassing the V&T entirely.[5]:23
The corporate headquarters of the V&T was moved from Virginia City to Carson City in 1900. In 1904, the corporation changed its name to the Virginia and Truckee Railway.[5]:24 In response to agricultural and cattle ranch concerns, the V&T built a short branch line to Minden, NV, about 26 miles south of Carson City, in 1906. This branch line brought in increased freight traffic; as a result the V&T purchased 3 new ten-wheelers from Baldwin: No.25, 26, and 27, in 1905, 1907, and 1913 respectively.[5]:24
[edit]Decline of the railroad
1924 saw the first year with no profit for the railroad.[5]:27 Mining revenue had dropped off to very low levels, though revenue from the Minden line continued to flow. Passenger revenue was on a steady decline, due to the increased use of the automobile on the ever-expanding highway system in the US.[5]:27
The sole owner of the railroad in 1933 was Ogden Livingston Mills, grandson of original co-founder Darius Ogden Mills.[5]:31 He personally paid the deficits in the railroad’s operating costs as a nod to the past and his family’s involvement in the early days of Virginia City.[5]:31 Mills died in 1937, and the following year, as the railroad went into receivership, the V&T management began plans to cease operations of the railroad.[5]:31 The decline of the V&T began in 1938 when the Virginia City branch was torn up. the railroad, at the time of its closure, had 3 locomotives to use. An Alco 2-8-0 called the 2nd #5, two Baldwin 4-6-0s # 26 & #27. The #26 was originally was scheduled to haul the last train, but after making its run on May 1, 1950 and put away into the single locomotive shed for the night, caught fire. Loco #26 was a total loss. Loco #27 was heavily serviced to make her usable and on May 30, 1950, the #27 pulled the last train of the V&T. Many experts consider it fitting since the #27 was the last new locomotive purchased by the V&T.
[edit]Historic equipment

The Virginia and Truckee’s locomotives and other equipment appeared in numerous Westerns over the years since the railroad operated otherwise obsolete equipment well into the “cinema age.” Many of these pieces have been restored, and are currently on display at museums throughout the country.[7] In addition, an operating 5/8-scale replica of the V&T locomotive, Reno, has been running on the Washington Park and Zoo Railway since 1959.[8]
No. Name Type Builder C/N Built Remarks
1
Lyon[9]
2-6-0
H.J. Booth


Replica under construction in Mason City, IA.
11
Reno[10]
4-4-0
Baldwin
2816
1872
On display at Old Tucson Studios, although heavily damaged in the 1995 studio fire.
12
Genoa[11]
4-4-0
Baldwin
3090
1873
On display at the California State Railroad Museum
13
Empire[12]
2-6-0
Baldwin
3091
1873
On display at the California State Railroad Museum
18
Dayton[13]
4-4-0
CP’s Sacramento shops
Sac 6
1873
On display at the Comstock History Center at Virginia City, Nevada.
20
Tahoe[14]
2-6-0
Baldwin
3687
1875
On display at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania.
21
J.W.Bowker[15]
2-4-0
Baldwin
3689
1875
On display at the California State Railroad Museum.
22
Inyo[16]
4-4-0
Baldwin
3693
1875
Operational, on display at the Nevada State Railroad Museum.
25 (2nd)
Unnamed[17]
4-6-0
Baldwin
25016
1905
Operational at the Nevada State Railroad Museum.
27
Unnamed[18]
4-6-0
Baldwin
39453
1913
On display at the Nevada State Railroad Museum.
[edit]Historic designations
National Register of Historic Places #NPS–04001198[19] — Virginia and Truckee Railroad Engine No. 27 (also known as Baldwin Locomotive Works #39435)
National Register of Historic Places #NPS–73002245 — Virginia and Truckee RR. Engines No. 18, The Dayton; and No. 22, The Inyo
National Register of Historic Places #NPS–77001508 — Virginia and Truckee Railroad Shops
National Register of Historic Places #NPS–98001208 — Virginia and Truckee Railroad Depot, Carson City
This section requires expansion. (May 2008)
[edit]Restoring the line

Officials with the Commission held a “silver spike” ceremony January 3, 2006, in Carson City to commemorate the completion of two miles of track near Gold Hill. The construction, completed in September 2005, is part of an effort to restore the V&T’s mainline from Virginia City to Carson City for operations. Then Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev), who was instrumental in securing $10 million in federal funding for the project, and Nevada Lieutenant Governor Lorraine Hunt, who secured an additional $1 million in state funding for the project, both spoke at the ceremony.
It is estimated that completion of the line from Gold Hill to Carson City will cost in excess of $55 million, and it is hoped that the line, which was originally abandoned in 1938, will be completed and operational once again in 2012.[20][21]
On August 14, 2009 the ceremonial first run from Virginia City to Mound House (Mistakingly referred to as “Carson City Eastgate” in official material) occurred for VIPs. On the 15th and 16th the line opened to the public. Funds raised from these runs will be used to pay for the tracks through the Carson River Canyon, and will continue throughout the fall, every Saturday from August 22 through October 31. The runs will use the V&T Railroad’s equipment (such as steam locomotive #29) and not that of the V&T Railway (owned by the Commission). Ticket price is set at $48.
The railroad is currently building up its collection, acquiring passenger cars from the nations museums & other private owners.
In May 2010, an ALCO S-4 was acquired from Montana in operable condition. It has been numbered D-2 (the number was previously used for a leased 44-tonner).
On July 24, 2010, the No. 18 steam locomotive was brought on-line for revenue service. The locomotive had recently come back from Hollywood, appearing in the movie Water for Elephants.
In December 2010, an ex-CB&Q railcar was trucked into Virginia City. It was to be operational in time for the 2011 season, but is still undergoing restoration work.
As of June 2011, No. 29 is once again down for maintenance. In her absence, D-1 has been fitted with a rare Hancock 4700 air whistle to keep the familiar sound of a whistle around, though some return riders believe it was due to sound complaints, as her old horn, a Nathan 3-chime horn, was very loud & could be heard all over town, echoeing off the canyon walls.
[edit]Current equipment

This section does not cite any references or sources. (October 2011)

This section may contain original research. Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding references. Statements consisting only of original research may be removed. (October 2011)
The following is a list of the locomotives currently owned by the reborn V&T.
[edit]Steam locomotives
No. 18: Ex-McCloud River Railroad No. 18. Baldwin 2-8-2 built in October 1914. Leased by the commission to the V&T Railroad. Operable.
No. 29: Ex-Longview, Portland and Northern Railway No. 680. Baldwin 2-8-0 built in October 1916. Acquired by V&T in 1977. Restored 2001-2008. Named “Robert C. Gray”. Operational
No. 30: Ex-Southern Pacific No. 1251. Built at SP Sacramento Shops in November 1919. On display in Stockton, California from 1957-1984. Arrived in Virginia City in July 1984. Inoperable & partially dismantled. Funds are short to restore the locomotive to operation & is stored in a siding awaiting funding.
No. 8: Ex-Feather River Short Line No.8, née Hobart Southern. Stored operable in Gold Hill, with no plans to return to service on the V&T in the near future. Baldwin 2-6-2 built in 1907.
[edit]Diesel locomotives
D-1: Ex-US Army No. 1694. General Electric 80-ton switcher built in 1953. Arrived in 2003. Operable & in daily service. Formerly fitted with a Nathan-AirChime Ltd. 3-chime horn, but was later replaced by a Hancock air whistle.
D-2: Ex-PPL Montana No. 101. ALCO S-4 built in 1951. Arrived in May 2010. Operable.
[edit]Motor cars
M-1: Ex-Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad No. 507, later No. 9507. Built by Edwards Rail Car Company in 1926. Arrived in December 2010. Under restoration.
[edit]Passenger cars
No. 25: Combination Car. Ex-San Francisco and North Pacific Railroad No. 37, later Northwestern Pacific Railroad No. 37. Arrived in 1975. Used as the Virginia City Ticket Office. Built in 1888 by Harlan & Hollingsworth.
No. 50: Ex-Western Pacific Railroad bay-window caboose. Built in 1916. Entered service in 1977. Operable & in daily use.
No. 55: Ex-WP Box Car. Converted into an open-air gondola. Built in 1916. Entered service in 1977. Operable & in daily use.
No. 54: Ex-WP Box Car. Converted into a tunnel car, but capable of carrying passengers. Possibly built in 1916. Last used in passenger service in 2001. It is, however, still used on the Labor Day & Civil War trains. Serviceable.
No. 100: Ex-Bangor & Aroostook parlor car No. 100. Named “Ardelle Mae”, unofficially “Reno”. Built in 1907 by American Car & Foundry. Stored on the runaround track at Virginia City Monday-Wednesday.
No. 101: Ex-Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad coach. Built by Pullman Company in 1914. Named “Gold Hill”. Arrived in July 2008 & entered service in May 2009. Serviceable.
No. 102: Ex-DL&W coach. Built in 1914 by Pullman. Named “Silver City”. Entered service in May 2009. Serviceable.
No. 103: Ex-DL&W coach. Built by Pullman in 1917. Named “Carson City”. Entered service in September 2010. Serviceable.
No. 104: Ex-SP coach No. 1165. Built in 1909 by Pullman. From Tehachapi, California. Under restoration.
[edit]See also

List of heritage railways
[edit]Bibliography

Steamcars To The Comstock, Lucius Beebe & Charles Clegg, Howell-North, 1957
Railroads of Nevada and Eastern California, Vol. 1 The Northern Roads, David F. Myrick, Howell-North, 1962
Rebirth of the Virginia & Truckee R. R., Ted Wurm, May-Murdoch Publications, 1992
The Silver Short Line, Ted Wurm & Harre Demoro, Virginia & Truckee RR, 1983
Virginia & Truckee: A Story of Virginia City and Comstock Times, Lucius Beebe & Charles Clegg, Howell-North, 1949
Virginia & Truckee, The Bonanza Road, Mallory Hope Ferrell, Hundman Publishing, 1999
Official Guidebook of the Virginia & Truckee, Stephen E. Drew, Virginia & Truckee Railroad, 2011
[edit]References

^ Nevada Historical Marker No. 248
^ “Virginia & Truckee reopens”, TRAINS Magazine: 13, November, retrieved 2009-11-28
^ Lohse, Jim. “Popular Nevada and V&T Myths: Comstock Silver and the Civil War, State Seal”. Train Arts. Retrieved 2009-11-23.
^ Rocha, Guy. “Myth #8: The “Trestle” on the State Seal”. Nevada State Library and Archives. Retrieved 2009-11-23.
^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w Wurm, Ted (1992). Rebirth of the Virginia & Truckee R.R.. May-Murdock Publications. ISBN 0-932916-16-3.
^ a b c d e f g h i j Koenig, Karl R. (1980). Virginia & Truckee Locomotives. Chatham Publishing Company. ISBN 0-89685-102-8.
^ “V & T Locomotive Roster”. Nevada State Railroad Museum. Retrieved 2006-03-12.
^ Haight, Abby (June 21, 2009). “Oregon No. 1 chugs through its golden anniversary party”. The Oregonian (Portland, Oregon): p. B3. Retrieved May 3, 2011.
^ [1]
^ Reno
^ Genoa
^ Empire
^ Dayton
^ Tahoe
^ J.W.Bowker
^ Inyo
^ Unnamed
^ Unnamed
^ #NPS–04001198
^ “V&T Railroad project marks milestone”. Reno Gazette-Journal. Retrieved 2006-01-06.
^ “Voters reject tax for Virginia & Truckee project”. Trains. 2008-11-06. Retrieved 2008-11-06.

ATF gunwalking scandal

ATF gunwalking scandal

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

During Operation Fast and Furious, dozens of semiautomatic AK-variants might be purchased in one day.[1]

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) ran a series of “gunwalking” sting operations[2][3] between 2006[4] and 2011.[2][5] This was done under the umbrella of Project Gunrunner, a project intended to stem the flow of firearms intoMexico by interdicting straw purchasers and gun traffickers within the United States.[6]Gun walking” or “letting guns walk” was a tactic whereby the ATF “purposely allowed licensed firearms dealers to sell weapons to illegal straw buyers, hoping to track the guns to Mexican drug cartel leaders.”[7] The stated goal of allowing these purchases was to continue to track the firearms as they were transferred to higher-level traffickers and key figures in Mexican cartels, with the expectation that this would lead to their arrests and the dismantling of the cartels.[8][9] The tactic was questioned during the operations by a number of people, including ATF field agents and cooperating licensed gun dealers.[10][11][12][13][14] Operation Fast and Furious, by far the largest “gunwalking” probe, monitored the sale of over 2,000 firearms, of which nearly 700 were recovered as of October 20, 2011.[15] A number of straw purchasers have been arrested and indicted; however, as of October 2011, none of the targeted high-level cartel figures have been arrested.[7]

According to a Mexican legislator, firearms trafficked by smugglers under the watch of the ATF have been found at crime scenes in Mexico, including scenes involving the death or wounding of at least 150 Mexican civilians — a statistic “which could not be independently confirmed” and the official did not say how it was calculated.[16] Guns tracked by the ATF have been found at crime scenes on both sides of the Mexico–United States border, and the scene of the death of at least one U.S. federal agent, Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. The “gunwalking” operations became public in the aftermath of Terry’s murder.[2] Dissenting ATF agents came forward to Congress in response.[17][18] As investigations have continued, the operations have become increasingly controversial in both countries, and diplomatic relations have been damaged as a result.[2]

In June 2012, an investigation by Fortune magazine concluded that the ATF never intentionally allowed guns to fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartels.[19] Agents interviewed during the six-month Fortune magazine investigation repeatedly asserted that only one isolated incident of “gunwalking” ever occurred, and was performed independently by ATF Agent John Dodson (who later appeared on CBS News as a whistleblower to denounce the gunwalking scandal) as part of an unauthorized solo action outside of the larger Fast and Furious operation.[19]

Contents

[hide]

[edit]Background

Further information: Project Gunrunner and Mexican Drug War

ATF “gunwalking” operations were, in part, a response to longstanding criticism of the bureau for focusing on relatively minor gun violations while failing to target high-level gun smuggling figures.[20] U.S. firearms laws currently govern the possession and transfer of firearms and provide penalties for the violation of such laws. “Gun trafficking”, although not defined by statute, essentially includes the movement or diversion of firearms from legal to illegal markets.[21]:Summary A 2009 GAO report on efforts to combat arms trafficking to Mexico notes that straw purchasing is not in itself illegal, although it is illegal to provide false information in connection with a purchase.[22] Four federal statutes govern U.S. commerce of firearms domestically and internationally. Many states supplement these federal statutes and have firearms laws of their own that are stricter. For example, some states require permits to obtain firearms and impose a waiting period for firearm transfers. Domestic commerce and importations into the United States are generally regulated under the National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA) and the Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA). The exportation of firearms from the United States is regulated by the Arms Export Control Act of 1976 and, to a lesser extent, the Export Administration Regulations (EAR).[21]:3 Defendants are often prosecuted and convicted under provisions of statutes such as the GCA that make it unlawful for certain persons to be in possession of firearms, govern the transaction process of obtaining firearms (e.g., straw purchases), and contain penalties for the use of a firearm in a crime of violence or a drug trafficking crime, or penalties for knowingly or fraudulently smuggling goods that would be contrary to U.S. law and regulation.[21]:18

In a 2012 case in San Juan, Texas, under existing 1968 Gun Control Act provisions on straw purchasing (Title 18 United States Code, Section 924(a)(1)(A)), straw purchaser Taisa Garcia received 33 months and buyer Marco Villalobos received 46 months, plus two years supervision after release.[23] In another Texas gun trafficking case, Oscar Bravo Hernandez received a sentence of 84 months for buying and sending to Mexico at least 55 firearms from a ring of nine straw purchasers who received sentences from 51 months for the most involved down to three years probation for the least involved.[24]

According to twenty-year ATF veteran Jay Wachtel, letting guns “walk” has been a practice done in a controlled manner that involved surveillance and eventual seizure of the weapons. “The idea was that you would follow it long enough until you were sure you had enough probable cause” to initiate an arrest, Wachtel said.[1] According to ATF field agents involved in Operation Fast and Furious, a part of Project Gunrunner, “ATF agents were trained to interdict guns and prevent criminals from obtaining them” and not to allow guns to walk and then disappear.[11] ATF agents assigned to Phoenix from other districts to work on Fast and Furious were critical of the operation.[25]

[edit]Operations

There have been allegations of “gunwalking” in at least 10 cities in five states.[26] The most widely known and controversial operations took place in Arizona under the ATF’s Phoenix, Arizona field division.

[edit]2006–2008: Operation Wide Receiver and other probes

[edit]Operation Wide Receiver

The suspicious sale of AR-15s led to Operation Wide Receiver.[27]

The first known ATF “gunwalking” operation to Mexican drug cartels, named Operation Wide Receiver, began in early 2006 and ran into late 2007. Licensed dealer Mike Detty of Mad Dawg Global informed the ATF of a suspicious gun purchase that took place in February 2006 in Tucson, Arizona. In March he was hired as a confidential informant working with the ATF’s Tucson office, part of their Phoenix, Arizona field division.[27]With the use of surveillance equipment, ATF agents monitored additional sales by Detty to straw purchasers. With assurance from ATF “that Mexican officials would be conducting surveillance or interdictions when guns got to the other side of the border”,[12]Detty would sell a total of about 450 guns during the operation.[26] These included AR-15s, semi-automatic AK-pattern rifles, and Colt .38s. The majority of the guns were eventually lost as they moved into Mexico.[7][27][28][29]

At the time, under the Bush administration Department of Justice (DOJ), no arrests or indictments were made. After President Barack Obama took office in 2009, the DOJ reviewed Wide Receiver and found that guns had been allowed into the hands of suspected gun traffickers. Indictments began in 2010, over three years after Wide Receiver concluded. As of October 4, 2011, nine people had been charged with making false statements in acquisition of firearms and illicit transfer, shipment or delivery of firearms.[20] As of November, charges against one defendant had been dropped; five of them had pled guilty, and one had been sentenced to one year and one day in prison. Two of them remained fugitives.[27]

[edit]The Hernandez Case

Another, smaller probe occurred in 2007 under the same ATF Phoenix field division. The Fidel Hernandez case began when the ATF identified Mexican suspects who bought weapons from a Phoenix gun shop over a span of several months. The probe ultimately involved over 200 guns, a dozen of which were lost in Mexico. On September 27, 2007, ATF agents saw the original suspects buying weapons at the same store and followed them toward the Mexican border. The ATF informed the Mexican government when the suspects successfully crossed the border, but Mexican law enforcement were unable to track them.[4][10] Less than two weeks later, on October 6, William Newell, then ATF’s Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the Phoenix field division, shut down the operation at the behest of William Hoover, ATF’s assistant director for the office of field operations.[30] No charges were filed. Newell, who was Phoenix ATF SAC from June 2006 to May 2011, would later play a major role in Operation Fast and Furious.[4][12]

The Hernandez case was referenced in a briefing paper prepared for Attorney General Michael Mukasey prior to his meeting with the Mexican Attorney General Medina Mora on November 16, 2007. The paper stated, “ATF has recently worked jointly with Mexico on the first-ever attempt to have a controlled delivery of weapons being smuggled into Mexico by a major arms trafficker” and that “the first attempts at this controlled delivery have not been successful.” The paper also stated, “ATF would like to expand the possibility of such joint investigations and controlled deliveries — since only then will it be possible to investigate an entire smuggling network, rather than arresting simply a single smuggler.”[31]

[edit]The Medrano Case

The 2008 Alejandro Medrano case involved both ATF SAC William Newell and cooperating Tucson gun dealer Mike Detty of Operation Wide Receiver. ATF Phoenix allowed about 100 guns to be taken into Mexico over the objections of ICE personnel who became aware of the case. Phoenix ATF SAC Newell acknowledged to ICE “that letting guns cross the border was part of ATF’s plan”. In August 2010, Medrano was sentenced to 46 months, his associate Hernan Ramos received 50 months and their fellow conspirators received prison terms from 14 to 30 months, but the target, a Sinaloa Cartel kingpin nicknamed “Rambo”, remained untouched inside Mexico.[32]

[edit]2009–2011: Operation Fast and Furious

On October 26, 2009, a teleconference was held at the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. to discuss U.S. strategy for combating Mexican drug cartels. Participating in the meeting were Deputy Attorney General David W. OgdenAssistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer, ATF Director Kenneth E. MelsonDrug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Administrator Michele Leonhart,Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Robert Mueller and the top federal prosecutors in the Southwestern border states. They decided on a strategy to identify and eliminate entire arms trafficking networks rather than low-level buyers.[3][33][34] Those at the meeting did not suggest using the “gunwalking” tactic, but ATF supervisors would soon use it in an attempt to achieve the desired goals.[35] The effort, beginning in November, would come to be called Operation Fast and Furious for the successful film franchise, because some of the suspects under investigation operated out of an auto repair store and street raced.[3]

The strategy of targeting high-level individuals, which was already ATF policy, would be implemented by Bill Newell, special agent in charge of ATF’s Phoenix field division. In order to accomplish it, the office decided to monitor suspicious firearms purchases which federal prosecutors had determined lacked sufficient evidence for prosecution, as laid out in a January 2010 briefing paper. This was said to be allowed under ATF regulations and given legal backing by U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona Dennis K. Burke. It was additionally approved and funded by a Justice Department task force.[3] However, long-standing DOJ and ATF policy has required arms shipments to be intercepted.[4][5]

In November 2009, the Phoenix office’s Group VII, which would be the lead investigative group in Fast and Furious, began to follow a prolific gun trafficker. He had bought 34 firearms in 24 days, and he and his associates bought 212 more in the next month. The case soon grew to over two dozen straw purchasers, the most prolific of which would ultimately buy more than 600 weapons.[3][5][36]

The tactic of letting guns walk, rather than interdicting them and arresting the buyers, led to controversy within the ATF.[5][37] As the case continued, several members of Group VII, including John Dodson and Olindo Casa, became increasingly upset at the tactic of allowing guns to walk. Their standard Project Gunrunner training was to follow the straw purchasers to the hand-off to the cartel buyers, then arrest both parties and seize the guns. But according to Dodson, they watched guns being bought illegally and stashed on a daily basis, while their supervisors, including David Voth and Hope MacAllister, prevented the agents from intervening.[3]

However, other accounts of the operation insist that ATF agents were prevented from intervening not by ATF officials, but rather by federal prosecutors with the Attorney General’s office, who were unsure of whether the agents had sufficient evidence to arrest suspected straw-buyers.[19] According to some reports, many agents insisted they were prevented from making arrests because prosecutors were unwilling to engage in what could become a potentially contentious political battle over Second Amendment rights during an election year, particularly given the difficult nature of prosecuting straw buyers, and the weak penalties associated with it, even if successful.[19] Instead, prosecutors instructed ATF agents not to make arrests, but rather continue collecting evidence in order to build a stronger case. One tactic proposed for doing so was a wiretap of suspected straw-buyers, in an attempt to link the suspects to criminal activities taking place on the Mexican side of the border.[19]

By June 2010, suspects had purchased 1,608 firearms at a cost of over US$1 million at Phoenix-area gun shops. At that time, the ATF was also aware of 179 of those weapons being found at crime scenes in Mexico, and 130 in the United States.[8] As guns traced to Fast and Furious began turning up at violent crime scenes in Mexico, ATF agents stationed there also voiced opposition.[3]

On the evening of December 14, 2010, U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry and others were patrolling Peck Canyon, Santa Cruz County, Arizona, 11 miles from the Mexican border. The group came across five suspected illegal immigrants. When they fired non-lethal beanbag guns, the suspects responded with their own weapons, leading to a firefight. Terry was shot and killed; four of the suspects were arrested and two AK-pattern rifles were found nearby. The rifles were traced to Fast and Furious within hours of the shooting, but the bullet that killed Terry was too badly damaged to be conclusively linked to either gun.[3]

After hearing of the incident, Dodson reached out to ATF headquarters, ATF’s chief counsel, the ATF ethics section and the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General, none of whom immediately responded. He and other agents then contacted SenatorChuck Grassley of Iowa (R–IA), ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, who would become a major figure in the investigation of “gunwalking.” At the same time, information began leaking to various bloggers and Web sites.[3]

FN Five-seveNs were among the weapons allowed to walk.[38]

On January 25, 2011, Burke announced the first details of the case to become officially public, marking the end of Operation Fast and Furious. At a news conference in Phoenix, he reported a 53-count indictment of 20 suspects for buying hundreds of guns intended for illegal export between September 2009 and December 2010. Newell, who was at the conference, called Fast and Furious a “phenomenal case,” while denying that guns had been deliberately allowed to walk into Mexico.[3][12]

Altogether, 2,020 firearms were bought by straw purchasers during Fast and Furious.[3]These included AK-47 variants, Barrett .50 caliber sniper rifles, .38 caliber revolvers, andFN Five-sevens.[38] As of October 20, 2011, 389 had been recovered in the US and 276 had been recovered in Mexico. The rest remained on the streets, unaccounted for.[15]Most of the guns went to the Sinaloa Cartel, while others made their way to El Teo andLa Familia.[2][28]

Although most weapons were purchased by suspects under investigation by the program, there have been reports of at least one instance of ATF agents being directly involved in the transfer of weapons. On April 13th, 2010, ATF Agent John Dodson, with assistance from Agents Casa and Alt, directed a cooperating straw purchaser to give three guns to Isaiah Fernandez, a suspected gun trafficker, and had taped the conversations without prosecutor approval.[19] After being instructed by his superiors to obtain approval from prosecutors (albeit retroactively), Dodson’s proposal was later rejected by his immediate superior David Voth, although he later received permission from Voth’s supervisor after submitting a written proposal for the program. On June 1st, 2010, Dodson used $2,500 of ATF funds to purchase six AK Draco pistols from local gun dealers, which he then gave to Mr. Fernandez, who reimbursed him for the expense of the guns, plus $700 for his assistance.[19] Two days later, Agent Dodson went on a scheduled vacation without interdicting the weapons. As a result, the weapons were never recovered, no arrests were ever made, and the case was closed without charges being filed.[19]

[edit]Aftermath and reaction

[edit]Fate of walked guns

Since the end of Operation Fast and Furious, related firearms have continued to be discovered in criminal hands. As reported in September 2011, the Mexican government stated that an undisclosed number of guns found at about 170 crime scenes were linked to Fast and Furious.[39] U.S. Representative Darrell Issa (R–CA–49) estimated that more than 200 Mexicans were killed by guns linked to the operation.[40] Reflecting on the operation, Attorney General Eric Holder said that the United States government is “…losing the battle to stop the flow of illegal guns to Mexico,”[41] and that the effects of Operation Fast and Furious will most likely continue to be felt for years, as more walked guns appear at Mexican crime scenes.[42]

In April 2011, a large cache of weapons, 40 traced to Fast and Furious but also including military-grade weapons difficult to obtain legally in the US such as an anti-aircraft machine gun and grenade launcher, was found in the home of Jose Antonio Torres Marrufo, a prominent Sinaloa Cartel member, in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. Torres Marrufo was indicted, but evaded law enforcement for a brief time.[43][44] Finally, on February 4, 2012 Marrufo was arrested by the Mexican Police.[45]

On May 29, 2011 four Mexican Federal Police helicopters attacked a cartel compound, where they were met with heavy fire, including from a .50 caliber rifle. According to a report from the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, this rifle is likely linked to Fast and Furious.[2]

There have been questions raised over a possible connection between Fast and Furious and the death of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent Jaime Zapata on February 15, 2011.[46][47] The gun used to kill Zapata was purchased by Otilio Osorio in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, Texas[48] (outside the area of responsibility for the ATF Phoenix field division[49] which conducted Fast and Furious), and then smuggled into Mexico. Congressional investigators have stated that Osorio was known by the ATF to be a straw purchaser months before he purchased the gun used to kill Zapata, leading them to question ATF surveillance tactics[48] and to suspect a Texas-based operation similar to Fast and Furious.[50] In addition to Otilio Osorio, a Texas-based drug and gun trafficker, Manuel Barba, was involved trafficking another of the guns recovered in the Zapata shooting. The timeline of this case, called “Baytown Crew”, shows guns were allowed to walk during surveillance that began June 7, 2010. On August 20, 2010 Barba received a rifle later recovered in the Zapata ambush and sent it with nine others to Mexico. The warrant for Barba’s arrest was issued February 14, 2011, the day before Zapata was shot.[51] On January 30, 2012, Barba, who claimed to be working with Los Zetas in illegally exporting at least 44 weapons purchased through straw buyers, was sentenced to 100 months in prison.[52]

[edit]Investigations and fallout

In the U.S. Congress, Representative Darrell Issa (R–CA–49), chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and Senator Chuck Grassley (R–IA), ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, have been investigating “gunwalking” operations.[53] On January 27, 2011, Grassley wrote a letter to ATF Acting Director Kenneth E. Melson requesting information about the ATF-sanctioned sale of hundreds of firearms to straw purchasers. The letter mentioned a number of allegations that walked guns were used in the fight that killed Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.[54] A second letter from Grassley on January 31 accused the ATF of targeting whistleblowers.[55]

On February 4, Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich wrote a letter to Grassley in response to statements by the U.S. Attorney for the District of ArizonaDennis K. Burke and others. Weich said claims “…that (the) ATF ‘sanctioned’ or otherwise knowingly allowed the sale of assault weapons to a straw purchaser who then transported them to Mexico [are] false. ATF makes every effort to interdict weapons that have been purchased illegally and prevent their transportation to Mexico.”[56][57] Also in February, Attorney General Eric Holder requested that the Department of Justice‘s Inspector General begin an investigation of Fast and Furious.[58]

On March 23, President Barack Obama appeared on Univision and spoke about the “gunwalking” controversy. He said that neither he nor Attorney General Holder authorized Fast and Furious. He also stated, “There may be a situation here in which a serious mistake was made, and if that’s the case then we’ll find out and we’ll hold somebody accountable.”[59]

On May 3, Attorney General Holder testified to the House Judiciary Committee that he did not know who approved Fast and Furious, but that it was being investigated. He also stated that he “probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks,” a claim which would later be questioned[60][61][62] as explained below.

In June, ATF Agent Vince Cefalu, who helped to publicize Fast and Furious, was served with termination papers, in a move by the agency he described as politically motivated retaliation. He had been at odds with ATF management since he filed a complaint over tactics in an unrelated case in 2005. The ATF denied that the firing was retaliation, and Cefalu’s termination letter noted that he leaked documents to the Internet and showed a “lack of candor” in other operations.[63]

On June 14, 2011, a preliminary joint staff report was released by Representative Issa and Senator Grassley.[11] Among the findings: agents were told to stand down rather than interdict weapons, they complained about the strategy and were ignored, and Fast and Furious led to increased violence and death in Mexico.[64] Agents were panicked, certain that “someone was going to die.”[65]

Representative Issa continued to hold hearings in June and July where ATF officials based in Phoenix and Mexico, and at headquarters in Washington, testified before the committee.[66] ATF agent John Dodson stated that he and other agents were ordered to observe the activities of gun smugglers but not to intervene. He testified:[67][68]

Over the course of the next 10 months that I was involved in this operation, we monitored as they purchased hand guns, AK-47 variants, and .50 caliber rifles almost daily. Rather than conduct any enforcement actions, we took notes, we recorded observations, we tracked movements of these individuals for a short time after their purchases, but nothing more. Knowing all the while, just days after these purchases, the guns that we saw these individuals buy would begin turning up at crime scenes in the United States and Mexico, we still did nothing. …
I cannot begin to think of how the risk of letting guns fall into the hands of known criminals could possibly advance any legitimate law enforcement interest.

A second joint staff report was released by the Republicans on July 26.[38]

In August, three important Fast and Furious supervisors were transferred to new management positions at ATF headquarters in Washington: William Newell and David Voth, field supervisors who oversaw the program from Phoenix, and William McMahon, an ATF deputy director of operations. The transfers were initially reported as promotions by the Los Angeles Times, but the ATF stated that they did not receive raises or take on greater responsibilities.[53][69] In late August, it was announced that ATF Director Melson had been reassigned to the Justice Department, and U.S. Attorney Burke announced his resignation after being questioned by Congressional investigators earlier that month.[70]

In October, documents showing that Attorney General Holder’s office had been sent briefings on Fast and Furious as early as July 2010, prompted questions about his May statement that he wasn’t sure of the exact date, but had known about it for only a few weeks. The briefings were from the National Drug Intelligence Center and Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer. The Justice Department said that those briefings were about a different case started before Holder became Attorney General, and that while he had known about Fast and Furious, he didn’t know the details of the tactics being used.[62]

On November 8, Holder stated for the first time in Congressional testimony that “gunwalking” was used in Fast and Furious. He remarked that the tactic is unacceptable, and that the operation was “flawed in its concept and flawed in its execution.” He further stated that his office had inaccurately described the program in previous letters sent to Congress, but that this was unintentional. Reiterating previous testimony, he said that he and other top officials had been unaware that the “gunwalking” tactic was being used. Holder stated that his staff had not showed him memos about the program, noting, “There is nothing in any of those memos that indicates any of those inappropriate tactics that are of concern. Those things were not brought to my attention, and my staff, I think, made the correct decision in that regard.”[60][71][72]

In December, documents showed that some ATF agents discussed using Fast and Furious to provide anecdotal cases to support controversial new rules about gun sales. The regulation, called Demand Letter 3, would require 8,500 firearms dealers in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas that “have a significant number of crime guns traced back to them from Mexico” to report multiple rifle sales.[73]

Investigations by Congress and the DOJ Inspector General continued into 2012. In January, Patrick Cunningham, who was the criminal division chief at the Phoenix office of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona and has since resigned, asserted his innocence and his constitutional right against self-incrimination to avoid testifying.[74] Cunningham worked directly under Burke during Fast and Furious. He was subpoenaed because of the role he might have played in the operation, and in the letter sent from the DOJ to Senator Grassley in February 2011 that claimed the ATF did not allow weapons to be trafficked to Mexico.[75]

On January 31, Democrats on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee released a report titled, “Fatally Flawed: Five Years of Gunwalking in Arizona”.[32] The report concluded that there was no evidence of involvement by high-ranking appointees at the Justice Department in “gunwalking.” Rather, Operation Fast and Furious was just one of four such operations conducted over five years during the Bush and Obama administrations, and was only “the latest in a series of fatally flawed operations run by ATF agents in Phoenix and the Arizona U.S. Attorney’s Office.”[76]

In May, it was reported that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General had begun to investigate Fast and Furious, with a report expected in October. The DHS had Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents assigned to the operation after becoming involved in late 2009.[77]

On June 7, 2012, under the threat of being held in contempt of Congress for not turning over additional requested documents, Attorney General Holder appeared at his seventh Congressional hearing, where he continued to deny knowledge of “gunwalking” by high-level officials. By then, the Justice Department had turned over more than 7,000 pages of documents.[78] During the June 12, 2012 Senate hearing, Eric Holder stated, “If you want to talk about Fast and Furious, I’m the Attorney General that put an end to the misguided tactics that were used in Fast and Furious. An Attorney General who I suppose you would hold in higher regard was briefed on these kinds of tactics in an operation called Wide Receiver and did nothing to stop them — nothing. Three hundred guns, at least, walked in that instance.” Holder cited a briefing paper on “Wide Receiver”, later clarified to be about the Fidel Hernandez case, prepared for Holder’s predecessor, U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey in 2007. The Attorney General’s office further explained, “As Attorney General Holder also noted in his testimony, and as we have set forth in prior correspondence and testimony, he took measures and instituted a series of important reforms designed to ensure that the inappropriate tactics used in Fast and Furious, Wide Receiver, Hernandez, and other matters about which the Department has informed Congress are not repeated.”[31]

On June 20, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee voted along party lines to recommend that Holder be held in contempt. At issue were 1,300 pages of documents that had not been turned over to Congress by the DOJ. Earlier that day, President Obama had invoked executive privilege over those documents, marking the first time the privilege has been asserted during his presidency.[79][80] Mr. Issa contends that the Obama executive privilege claim is a cover-up or an obstruction to the congressional probe. Mr. Issa said the department has identified “140,000 pages of documents and communications responsive to the committee’s subpoena.”[81]

On Thursday, June 28, 2012, Holder became the first sitting member of the Cabinet of the United States to be held in criminalcontempt of Congress by the House of Representatives for refusing to disclose internal Justice Department documents in response to a subpoena. The vote was 255-67 in favor, with 17 Democrats voting yes and a large number of Democrats walking off the floor in protest and refusing to vote. A civil contempt measure was also voted on and passed, 258-95. The civil contempt vote allows theHouse Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to go to court with a civil lawsuit to look into the US Justice Department’s refusal to turn over some of the subpoenaed documents and to test Obama’s assertion of executive privilege. Holder dismissed the votes as “the regrettable culmination of what became a misguided — and politically motivated — investigation during an election year,” and the White House called it “political theater rather than legitimate congressional oversight.”[82][83]

The National Rifle Association pressured members of both parties to vote in favor of contempt, with the vote counting toward the organization’s annual scorecard. The 17 Democrats who voted for criminal contempt, which included the most endangered incumbents in conservative districts, had all previously received an “A” grade from the NRA and risked losing the endorsement of the organization when seeking re-election in November. All but two of the Democrats who voted for the contempt charge have received campaign contributions from the NRA during the past two election cycles.[84] In a June 20, 2012 letter to committee chairmen Issa and Cummings,[85] the NRA stated their rationale for supporting the contempt resolution by saying, “The reason we support the contempt resolution is the same reason we first called for Attorney General Holder’s resignation more than a year ago: the Department’s obstruction of congressional oversight of a program that cost lives in support of an anti-gun agenda.” Representative Issa, the NRA and other conservatives have asserted that Operation Fast and Furious began as part of an anti-gun agenda to promote additional gun laws. This tenuous assertion is undermined because documents that refer to changing gun regulations come far after the inception of Fast and Furious.[86][87][88][89]

On July 9, 2012, an indictment charging five men, including four fugitives, in the death of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was unsealed. The FBI offered a reward of $250,000 per fugitive for information leading to their arrests. The indictment, originally handed up on November 7, 2011, charges Manuel Osorio-Arellanes, Jesus Rosario Favela-Astorga, Ivan Soto-Barraza, Heraclio Osorio-Arellanes and Lionel Portillo-Meza with first-degree murder, second-degree murder, and other crimes.[90][91]

On July 31, the first part of a new three-part report, Fast and Furious: The Anatomy of a Failed Operation,[92] was released by Republican lawmakers. The report singled out five ATF supervisors for responsibility in Fast and Furious, all of whom had been previously reassigned. The report also said that Fast and Furious resulted from a change in strategy by the Obama Administration. The Justice Department was dismissive of the report, saying that it contained “distortions” and “debunked conspiracy theories,” and that “gunwalking” tactics dated back to 2006.[93] DOJ spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler, while critical of the report, did credit it for acknowledging that the idea for “gun walking” — allowing illegal sales of weapons on the border — originated under the Republican administration before Eric Holder took office in 2009. Schmaler noted that Holder moved swiftly to replace the ATF’s management and instill reforms.[94] On the same day, ATF Deputy Director William Hoover, who was one of the five blamed in the Congressional report, officially retired.[95]

[edit]Mexican reaction

In October 2011, Mexican officials and politicians reacted with anger at the revelation that U.S. agents in charge of an earlier secret gun-tracking program known as Operation Wide Receiver allowed guns to be smuggled into Mexico just as they had under Operation Fast and Furious. In discussions in Mexico’s Senate about how to respond to the revelations about Operation Wide Receiver, one senator said, “We can no longer tolerate what is occurring. There must be condemnation from the state.”[96]

The Office of the General Prosecutor in Mexico is seeking the extradition of six citizens of the United States implicated with smuggling weapons.[97] Three of the requested citizens for extradition are from Madera, California, while the other three are from the state of Texas.[98] The current Attorney General of Mexico, Marisela Morales, said the PGR will search “to the end” in order to clarify what happened in Fast and Furious.[99]

Operation Wide Receiver involved several failed attempts at coordinating with Mexican law enforcement in the apprehension of suspected arms traffickers, with Mexican authorities in one instance saying they didn’t see the vehicle cross the border.[32] Details of Operation Fast and Furious were not shared with Mexican government officials and they were deliberately kept out of the loop after related firearms began to be found at crime scenes and in criminal arsenals in 2010. The U.S. Embassy in Mexico and ATF office in Mexico were also kept in the dark. According to Attorney General Morales, the Mexican government was told about the undercover program in January 2011, but they were not provided details at the time. Darren Gil, the acting ATF attache in Mexico City, and others noted that the reason Mexican authorities were not informed was the widespread corruption among officials in Mexico.[100] Mexican politicians expressed widespread anger at the operations as information developed in 2011.[101] Mexican officials stated in September that the US government still had not briefed them on what went wrong nor had they apologized.[100]

Mexican Senator Arturo Escobar stated, “We can no longer tolerate what is occurring. There must be condemnation from the state,” and that the Mexican Senate condemned the actions of the ATF.[101][102]

Jorge Carlos Ramírez Marín, president of the Chamber of Deputies of Mexico from the Institutional Revolutionary Party, said “This is a serious violation of international law. What happens if next time they need to introduce trained assassins or nuclear weapons?”[103]

Attorney General of Mexico Marisela Morales, well-liked by US law enforcement, said, in reference to Fast and Furious, “At no time did we know or were we made aware that there might have been arms trafficking permitted. In no way would we have allowed it, because it is an attack on the safety of Mexicans.” In addition, she expressed that allowing weapons to “walk” would represent a “betrayal” of Mexico.[100]

Chihuahua state prosecutor Patricia Gonzalez, who had worked closely with the US for years, said, “The basic ineptitude of these officials [who ordered the Fast and Furious operation] caused the death of my brother and surely thousands more victims.” Her brother, Mario, had been kidnapped, tortured and killed by cartel hit men in fall 2010. Later, two AK-47 rifles found among the several weapons recovered after a gunfight between police and cartel members were traced to the Fast and Furious program.[2][100]

Some Mexican officials were more circumspect. For example, Mexican Congressman Humberto Benítez Treviño, a former attorney general, called Fast and Furious “a bad business that got out of hand.”[100] He had also characterized it as “an undercover program that wasn’t properly controlled.”[103]

Like many politicians, Mexican pundits across the political spectrum expressed anger at news of the operations. La Jornada, a left-leaning newspaper, asked “US: ally or enemy?”[104] The paper also argued that the Mérida Initiative should be immediately suspended. A right-leaning paper accused the US of violating Mexican sovereignty.[101]

Manuel J. Jauregui of the Reforma newspaper wrote, “In sum, the gringo (American) government has been sending weapons to Mexico in a premeditated and systematic manner, knowing that their destinations were Mexican criminal organizations.”[101]

[edit]See also

[edit]References

  1. a b Arrillaga, Pauline (July 30, 2011). “What Led to ‘Project Gunwalker’?”. ABC News. Retrieved October 24, 2011.
  2. a b c d e f g Jonsson, Patrik. “How Mexican killers got US guns from ‘Fast and Furious’ operation”. The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved October 16, 2011.
  3. a b c d e f g h i j k Horwitz, Sari (July 27, 2011). “A gunrunning sting gone fatally wrong”The Washington Post. Retrieved October 23, 2011.
  4. a b c d “AP Exclusive: Second Bush-Era Gun-Smuggling Probe”. Associated Press. October 14, 2011. Retrieved December 8, 2011.
  5. a b c d Savage, Charlie (July 26, 2011). “Agent Who Supervised Gun-Trafficking Operation Testifies on His Failings”New York Times. Retrieved October 16, 2011.
  6. ^ “ATF Fact Sheet – Project Gunrunner”. ATF. Retrieved October 16, 2011.
  7. a b c Serrano, Richard (October 3, 2011). “Emails show top Justice Department officials knew of ATF gun program”Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 16, 2011.
  8. a b “Congress starting ATF “gunwalker scandal” probe”. CBS News. Retrieved October 24, 2011.
  9. ^ Attkisson, Sharyl. “Attorney General Holder subpoenaed for documents in ATF Gunwalker Fast and Furious case”. CBS News. Retrieved October 24, 2011.
  10. a b Jason Ryan, “Documents Highlight Bush-Era Incident Pre-Dating ‘Fast and Furious’“, ABC News, October 14, 2011.
  11. a b c The Department of Justice’s Operation Fast and Furious: Accounts of ATF Agents, JOINT STAFF REPORT, Prepared for Rep. Darrell E. Issa and Senator Charles E. Grassley, 112th Congress, June 14, 2011.
  12. a b c d Steller, Tim (October 12, 2011). “Newell’s role, Mexico’s participation and more on ATF’s Tucson operation”. Arizona Daily Star. Retrieved October 24, 2011.
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  14. ^ Letter from Senator Charles Grasseley to Attorney General Eric Holder, Apr 13, 2011, on e-mails between “Cooperating FFL” and ATF David Voth.
  15. a b Yost, Pete. “2007 Justice memo mentioned gun-walking probe”. Yahoo! News. Retrieved June 20, 2012.
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[edit]External links

Casino

In modern English, a casino is a facility which houses and accommodates certain types of gambling activities. Casinos are most commonly built near or combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shopping, cruise ships or other tourist attractions. There is much debate over whether or not the social and economic consequences of casino gambling outweigh the initial revenue that may be generated. In the United States, many states are grappling with high unemployment and budget deficits and are now turning to legalizing casinos, often in places that are not tourist destinations. Some casinos are also known for hosting live entertainment events, such as stand-up comedy, concerts, and sporting events. Use of the word in the past, and modern use in some countries, does not necessarily involve gambling.

~Wikipedia