ATF Caught Using Felons, Teens, and the Mentally Handicapped to Systematically “Manufacture” Gun Crimes

Charles C. W. Cooke, writing at National Review, describes the latest appalling ATF scandal:

Since the president was reelected in November of last year, a good deal of poison has been poured into Washington’s grimy alphabet soup. Among the departments that have become embroiled in scandal are the IRS, the DOJ, the DOE, the EPA, the NSA, the USDA, and, of course, the ATF. This week, the lattermost is back in the news — and for good reason.

The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) is probably best known these days for the failure of its disastrous Fast and Furious scheme — a botched initiative that aimed to give American guns to Mexican cartels first and to ask questions later. Under pressure, the administration was quick to imply that the mistake was an aberration. But a watchdog report, published last week by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, suggests that the caprice, carelessness, and downright incompetence that marked the disaster was no accident. In fact, that it is endemic in the ATF.

After a bungled sting attracted the suspicion of the Milwaukee press earlier this year, reporters started to examine similar enterprises in the rest of the country. What they found astonished them. Among the tactics they discovered ATF agents employing were using mentally disabled Americans to help run unnecessary sting operations; establishing agency-run “fronts” in “safe zones” such as schools and churches; providing alcohol, drugs, and sexual invitations to minors; destroying property and then expecting the owners to pick up the tab; and hiring felons to sell guns to legal purchasers. Worse, perhaps, in a wide range of cases, undercover agents specifically instructed individuals to behave in a certain manner — and then arrested and imprisoned them for doing so. This is government at its worst. And it appears to be standard operating procedure.

As with Fast and Furious, the primary objective of the ATF’s stings seems not to be to fight a known threat but instead to manufacture crime. Across the country, the agency has set up shops in which it attempts to facilitate or to encourage illegal behavior, and it has drafted citizens into the scheme without telling them that they were involved. It is fishing — nonchalantly, haphazardly, even illegally. And the consequences can go hang.

Some of the stories are heartrending. Tony Bruner, a convicted felon with an IQ of 50, was hired in Wichita to work at “Bandit Trading,” a fake store that agents had established as a front. Bruner didn’t realize that he was working for the ATF — he thought he had finally found a steady job. But the agents knew how valuable Bruner could be to them, recognizing immediately that he was disabled (or “slow-headed,” in one agent’s unlovely phrase) and that he would therefore be easy to manipulate. Having established his trust, agents asked Bruner to find guns for them, which he agreed to do…

The Journal Sentinel investigation is worth reading in its entirety. Some of the low-lights:

■ Agents in several cities opened undercover gun- and drug-buying operations in safe zones near churches and schools, allowed juveniles to come in and play video games and teens to smoke marijuana, and provided alcohol to underage youths. In Portland, attorneys for three teens who were charged said a female agent dressed provocatively, flirted with the boys and encouraged them to bring drugs and weapons to the store to sell.

■ As they did in Milwaukee, agents in other cities offered sky-high prices for guns, leading suspects to buy firearms at stores and turn around and sell them to undercover agents for a quick profit. In other stings, agents ran fake pawnshops and readily bought stolen items, such as electronics and bikes — no questions asked — spurring burglaries and theft. In Atlanta, agents bought guns that had been stolen just hours earlier, several ripped off from police cars…

■ Agents pressed suspects for specific firearms that could fetch tougher penalties in court. They allowed felons to walk out of the stores armed with guns. In Wichita, agents suggested a felon take a shotgun, saw it off and bring it back — and provided instructions on how to do it. The sawed-off gun allowed them to charge the man with a more serious crime.

Perhaps House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa could open up a formal inquiry into the almost unbelievable misbehavior of the ATF.

That is, if it doesn’t impact the 42 other investigations he’s “working on”.

Doug Ross @ Journal

Wherein I go nuclear on the mentally defective, traitorous Leftists who have now become pro-war hawks for reasons of principle, not politics

After reading today’s headline story on Larwyn’s Linx — illustrating the stunning transformation of long-time anti-war Democrat Nancy Pelosi into a pro-war hawk vis a vis Syria — I turned to Twitter to express my, eh, concerns.




















Doug Ross @ Journal

MULTIPLE REPORTS: Scores of Mentally Ill, Institutionalized Patients Coaxed Into Voting for Obama

Crackpot Preppers

And I mean the truly mentally ill and incapacitated, not just run-of-the-mill Democrats.

…I was not prepared for a conversation I had at Thanksgiving dinner with my brother-in-law, Henry, who has lived most of his life in a home for the mentally disabled and although now in his 40s, has the intelligence level of a 6-year-old.

“Obama saved me,” he said to me out of the blue.

“What do you mean?”

“I voted for him for president and now he’s saving me.”

I was taken aback by these words, since Henry had no idea who Obama was, or what a president might be, and would be unable to fill out a registration form let alone get to the polling place by himself.

So I asked him how he knew that and how he had registered and cast his vote. In halting, impeded speech he told me that the people who take care of him at the home filled out “the papers” to register him to vote, told him how Obama cared for him, even taught him the Obama chants, and then took him to the polling place to vote. They did the same for all of the mentally disabled patients in their care, approximately 60 in all.

Had today’s report been the only such example, one could probably chalk it up to hyperbole. But there are others:

The father of a mentally handicapped woman claims his daughter and others were “carted off” to a North Carolina polling site last week and “coaxed” into voting for President Obama by workers of the group home where she stays — a claim the owner of the home disputes and that apparently has not yet triggered an investigation by election officials.

The father, Cecil Pearson, said his daughter – who is 40 but has the “mentality … of a 7-year-old” – was “brainwashed the night before” and then taken to a Roanoke Rapids polling site on Friday to vote. He said his daughter told him what happened when he picked her up on Sunday.

“They brought her a piece of paper and they indicated which block to check,” Pearson [said,] “She voted for Barack Obama and was coaxed into doing that.” He claimed “more than four” people were brought to the site.

Including this one:

Jimmy Green’s stepdaughter had never voted before. The 57-year-old is mentally disabled, and Green said she doesn’t understand the concept of casting a ballot.

But this week, she called her parents to say she had voted for President Obama. The care home in Fayetteville where she lives registered its residents to vote and drove them to the polls, Green said…

“My concern is that somebody told her who to vote for,” he said. “She didn’t even know there’s two different parties.”

Such an orchestrated, systematized process to corrupt the voting process begs the question: are there any Democrats left who possess virtue and integrity?

Hat tip: R.S.



Doug Ross @ Journal