State Production on Terry FOIA Lawsuit Leaves Key Questions Unanswered

What about standing up to those who set up gunwalking to Mexico by enforcing existing International Traffic in Arms Regulatons? (Hillary Clinton/Facebook photo)

U.S.A. –(Ammoland.com)- Information continues to trickle out resulting from a lawsuit trying to ascertain what the State Department under Hillary Clinton knew and did at the time about Operation Fast and Furious “gunwalking.” State’s Freedom of Information Act Litigation and Appeals section submitted a 120-page new production of documents on Friday.

A FOIA request was filed two years ago by attorney Stephen Stamboulieh on behalf of this correspondent and Kent Terry, brother of slain Border patrol Agent Brian Terry. The purpose was to explore areas that have been left largely untouched by official inquiries from the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, the Senate Judiciary Committee, and the Department of Justice Office of Inspector General.

Of particular interest:

Did State under Hillary Clinton turn a deliberate blind eye to Arms Export Control Act violations or did it sanction “gunwalking” to Mexico? The law doesn’t apply only to those doing the “gunwalking,” but also to those who “induce” or “willfully cause” offenses.

Why did the Obama administration’s White House Counsel go to extraordinary lengths to shield its National Security Council North American Affairs Director Kevin O’Reilly– the man ATF’s Phoenix Special Agent in Charge sent related information to with the instruction “You didn’t get this from me” – from House Oversight scrutiny?

No one else is asking these questions, yet they could go to the heart of both the question of crimes and the question of cover-ups.

Stonewalling and withholding of information required a lawsuit to be filed. State’s initial response pointed to more concealment of information and avoidance of the issues. A subsequent production, reported here in July, revealed internal State discussion on Arms Export Control Act legality of Fast and Furious, and showed O’Reilly included in communications for expanding border state gun reporting requirements (something implemented by the Obama administration).

Friday’s production continues with the trickling of some related information buried inside nonresponsive and unrelated documents. It nonetheless offers new insights that appear to corroborate and justify our instincts and our questions. You just have to scroll through it and hunt for what’s relevant.

The first “hit” is a March 2011 letter for the Secretary (Hillary) giving an overview on Fast and Furious and the “allegations” of “gunwalking” which later were borne out. Of significance is the claim by the Mexican government that “it had no knowledge that weapons were being smuggled into Mexico under any program.” That fits with information told by whistleblowers to me and colleague Mike Vanderboegh over two months earlier that:

“The ATF office in Mexico was denied permission to share this information with their Mexican counterparts. Believing this was wrong, they went over the heads of the Phoenix office and requested permission directly from headquarters in DC. The higher-ups sided with the Phoenix decision to withhold the information from Mexican authorities.”

As a side note, it’s more than a little ironic the State memo makes a point to emphasize “The nexus of concerns about weapons underscores the traditionally strong Mexican nationalist sentiment and hyper-sensitivity to any perceived infringement of Mexican sovereignty.” Tell that to the officials making sure the U.S. keeps its border open to service their goals.

Next in relevance is a “decontrolled confidential” document titled “Operation Fast and Furious: Separating Myth from Fact.” Unfortunately, that will remain a mystery for now, as many sections have been redacted in their entirety.

The production then goes through multiple pages of completely unrelated information until page 36, where we see that Fast and Furious provided “easy fodder for anti-U.S. rhetoric during political campaigns,” and significantly, that, per the Mexican government, “U.S. agencies never operate in Mexico on their own.”

The next “hit” is on page 40, part of the “P Classified Daily Activity Report” for August 1, 2012, in response to House Oversight’s first fast and Furious report:

“DOJ spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler said the report ‘reiterates many of the distortions and now-debunked conspiracy theories that Rep. Issa has been advancing for a year and a half, including the fiction that the flawed tactics used in Fast and Furious were somehow the brainchild of the current administration as opposed to the reality that the pattern of flawed tactics dates back to 2006 and the prior administration.”

That’s classic Holder flunky-speak. Schmaler is the functionary that coordinated DOJ talking points with Media Matters, even going so far as to pitch ideas. She also provided cover for her boss after he was found to be in contempt of Congress, calling a request for the District of Columbia Bar to investigate that as “specious and frivolous.”

So it’s no surprise she was also a leading voice in attempting to conflate Operation Fast and Furious with earlier efforts, such as Operation Wide Receiver. The big difference: Per Mike Detty, the confidential informant at the heart of Wide Receiver:

“It had nothing to do with Bush or even DOJ.”

Back to the State Department production, page 56 has a December 2011 reply letter to Rep. Connie Mack’s inquiry (see page 59) asking about State’s knowledge of Fast and Furious, and correctly pointing out that without authorization, ATF “appears to have violated” International Traffic in Arms Regulations.

“As Secretary Clinton testified on October 27, no records have been identified indicating Department knowledge of the operation prior to the release of public reports.”

If true, ATF/DOJ officials went rogue and violated ITAR. If not true…

Each “willful violation” upon conviction “shall” result in up to a million dollar fine and long term imprisonment, and U.S. Code further includes provisions for “principals” who “induce” or “willfully cause” offenses, so presumably those who did not physically walk guns but nonetheless induced lawbreaking could be in for a world of hurt if caught.

So even if Clinton had been kept in the dark (and that has not been definitively established), the question remains why State did not pursue violations by DOJ – and who was involved in making (ordering) that outcome.

The production then goes though pages of nothing relevant until page 79, when it outlines talking points to give the media “if pressed on ‘Fast and Furious.’” Unsurprisingly, there’s nothing there not written to provide self-serving cover for the media to parrot.

It picks up on topic again on page 92, again basically repeating administration media talking points. Still, one assurance stands out:

“In accordance with Mexican Law, the U.S. Government does not carry out law enforcement operations in Mexico. That is a job for Mexican authorities.”

That makes fair the question “Why let guns walk? Assuming everyone else was being truthful, why was there no coordination with State or with Mexican authorities?”

Page 112 brings up a name tied in with gunwalking, then-Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer. It also points to an ATF-monitored grenade operation out of Yuma where the target under intermittent surveillance crossed the Mexican border without being detained or followed, and also a “second case” involving 250 firearms smuggled into the country.

Other names surface in the production, Gary Grindler, formerly Lanny Breuer’s deputy and then Eric Holder’s chief of staff, and Cheryl Mills, “deputy White House Counsel for President Bill Clinton … Senior Adviser and Counsel for Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign [and] Counselor and Chief of Staff to Hillary Clinton during her whole tenure as United States Secretary of State.”

That may be interesting, but it’s not unexpected that team players are going to be involved in team activities, and the focus needs to remain where it has been since the initial FOIA request was filed:

What did Hillary know and when did she know it? If she found out about Fast and Furious after the fact, why have DOJ/ATF principals been allowed to skate without ITAR scrutiny? And when is someone at House Oversight or Senate Judiciary going to subpoena Kevin O’Reilly and find out what his tie-in was – under oath?


About David Codrea:David Codrea

David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating / defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament.

In addition to being a field editor/columnist at GUNS Magazine and associate editor for Oath Keepers, he blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.

  • 23 thoughts on “State Production on Terry FOIA Lawsuit Leaves Key Questions Unanswered

    1. Patrol Agent

      There is no Statute of Limitations on murder charges, which have not been, and never will be filed. There most definitely is respecting other crimes, and prosecutions, perjury to mention just one.

    2. Sanctioned and funded by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), a major crime fighting program of DoJ.

      OCDETF guidelines require SECSTATE be briefed and authorization be requested if operation is international in scope.

      There are nine federal law enforcement agencies that are members of OCDETF. The U.S. Attorney for AZ would have shared the ATF written proposal with the agent representatives for these agencies. Their approval would be required.

      So where is the written proposal? Was there ever a proposal?

      Why didn’t Rep. Issa have the two former OCDETF Directors during the time began and ended get called to testify? This would have been a golden opportunity to ask them to produce the written proposal, with all of the agency signatures, if there was one. They could explain why the guidelines weren’t followed, and who told them to ignore the guidelines.

    3. I have always questioned why Kevin O’Reilly got a pass from testifying before Rep. Issa committee? The White House rushed him off to Baghdad on some special mission and said he wasn’t available.

      My theory is that O’Reilly and others in the White House came up with the original plan to do Fast & Furious. O’Reilly had served in an overseas assignment with the former special agent in charge of the Phoenix ATF Office. He knew the guy was hungry for advancement, so they targeted him to spearhead the operation.

      They picked the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) , a major crime fighting component of the DoJ, to sanction and fund Fast and Furious.

      The OCDETF program had to directors spanning the beginning and end of the operation. I always was suspicious as to why Rep. Issa never had them come before his committee. Wouldn’t seem natural to have them testify to how F&F was approved, and produce the required written proposal for the operation.

      Unless Rep. Issa was being controlled by Deep State and they wanted to protect these two men. Both of them still live and work as attorneys in the Washington metropolitan area. One was the former Deputy U.S.Attorney for D.C. during Obama’s term.

      O’Reilly last I checked was the number two at the U.S Embassy in Panama.

      In addition to the required written proposal, the OCDETF Guidlines have a section on “sensitive issues,” among them is running an investigation that is international in scope. Certainly F&F would have considered sensitive, in that they intended to allow guns to be smuggled across an international border.

      So if Hillary was briefed on F&F before the DoJ approval, who made the decision to not tell her, and at what level of the Obama administration? Why didn’t we hear anything about Hillary being outraged at DoJ for going around her, if you believe she didn’t know before hand.

      Oh, and the OCDETF has nine member federal law enforcement agencies that should have each been briefed on F&F prior to the proposal going up to D.C. for a final review and approval? So how could former FBI Director Muller not have known about F&F?

    4. All these weak minded, fools who are driven by power and money, seek and need attention to fuel their egos. Those that control this world. Pick their pawns to do their biding, they belong to a secret society and are influenced and given a wide range of power to deceive and manipulate the masses of sheep who are blinded by their power. God has intervened, and now has the dark side screaming biting and going mad as if they all had holly water sprayed in their face. we must continue to support our President and not let all those that want to do away with the Constitution and our way of life and harm those that believe in God and all good things in this world. Hold on to your guns and your good intentions to preserve our good way of life and never be influenced by their evil ways. God has a plan for us all.

    5. Regarding “justice” as it is sometimes known, and the criminal fiasco that was, is and will forever remain Operation Fast and Furious, how many of the guilty parties are now, or soon will be shielded by The Statute of Limitations?

      1. I don’t believe there is a statute of limitation for murder/conspiracy to cover up what resulted in the murder of Terry. I’m no lawyer, but there certainly was a conspiracy, as well as a murder of a federal agent.

    6. Speaking of the “Ninety Percent” meme.. this newest load of guilt reconfirms that
      ninety percent of what government and/or media have told us about Fast and Furious/Gunwalker is false

      Nonety percent of the guilty will never see justice.

      I’d say “there oughtta be a law”, but, as clearly shown above, there already are many of them, any one of which, if enforced, would have ninety percent of the guilty in orange jumpsuits and looking out at life between grey steel bars.

      I really think trying, convicting, and sending ninety percent of these dirtbags off to that fun little tropical resort hidden away along the sounth coast of Cuba would be the best medicine for our nation. OH, and plenty of the lying media hacks helped enable and cover up this stuff, so they need to join their pals in their new home.

      Then we will get to see how the rats eat each other up when in close quarters……

    7. Stick it to Holder, he is low enough on the totem pole that a conviction might cause the snowball to roll down hill. He still has a contempt charge hanging over his burr head. This Cheryl Mills has her hands in a lot of cookie jars in the swamp and she needs to be interrogated. Treat some of these crooks like Mueller is treating Trump supporters. Turn about is fair play.

    8. People often ask my why I need so many guns. I point to political figures like the Clintons and world events like those happening in socialist utopias lie Venezuela to give them a hint.

    9. these rats got to go…we better take back at a state level our cities. look at the communist states. we are logistically surrounded.. Canada to the north is an EU controlled puppet state. To the south Mexico, communist. so how do we win. the EU through the UN IS CONTROLLING ammunition and guns, the EU LAWS CONTROL our transportation, also. our state level schools are controlled by communistic Unions so they own our kids. Socialists,Communist pigs, they are baiting us. The EU is forming an 11 nation army talked about on, 01 July 2018. Bill de Blasio the COMMIE Sandinistas, PIG. Is the type to open a back doors to enter. traitors like the mayor in Chicago, Rahm Emanuel already asked for the UN, to come on US soil. George Soros can corrupt any MEDIA and elections through CHICOMS. Leaving these communists in our schools and in state leadership positions, is like leaving RATS IN THE BREAD BOX. they poop everywhere and devour the resources that do not belong to them… they  breed like rats. If Clinton runs, if she is even allowed to run, this should be the match that ignites the civil war. Democrats WILL HAVE FELONS IN PRISONS, MIGRANTS, ILLEGALS, NO ID VOTERS, DEAD PEOPLE and UNIONS TO VOTE. The Democrats did the same thing in Nevada, during early voting, dead people, multiple votes ILLEGALS influenced by the unions in Las Vegas stole the whole states vote. people like this communist, socialist, Clinton, Harris, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and DeLeon need to be removed or the voting problem had better be fixed SOON!

    10. Every time I read about this and other law breaking that our so-called leaders have engaged in, my blood boils. But, still nothing is being done, the swamp is just patiently waiting and causing diversion and division to hide behind and within. Nobody is going to be tried much less convicted. The news media is hand in glove with these evil people, I would have said crooks, but I would tend to trust a crook more than I could ever trust our acronymic justice departments of any flavor. Heck they are still running for office, receiving millions in donations or payoffs, out in public without a worry in the world. Kudos to you Mr. Codrea for carrying on the fight, even with all the walls being placed in front of you and those like you.

    11. You would think,Trumps DOJ shit shouldn’t be hard to get from DOJ,Fucking wrong.Sessions was Trumps first an worst mistake.He is part of the swamp that needs drained along with McCain and that bunch.So that is why it takes so long or you never get nothing out of the DOJ.They are as bad as the democrats

    12. It’s time the entire country stood up and demanded she got to wear orange jumpsuits in a gated, guarded government community where only the cops have guns, with free room and board, free health care, and a guaranteed job making license plates for the rest of her life.

      1. @Fed, hiLIARy is a special person so justice is not going to happen to her. The Clintoons are special because they have money, lots of money. They used their positions in government and the Clinton Foundation (a Canadian charity) to make money in amounts that every elitist on the planet admires.
        If justice is to be applied to hiLIARy, the people have to do it themselves. The problem with that is that the Secret Service stands between us and her. That leaves her poor health which seems to have evaporated.
        I am hoping for the ravages of old age. A stroke denying her the ability to speak would be perfect!

        1. Old Marine >>> Wild Bill
          I wish I could apply the ” OSAGE SOLUTION : to her and Hubby. That would be true Justice.
          Oldmarine

      1. Don’t execute her until we get the names of everybody else involved! Or we could simply execute the top ten tiers of the “o”boy/clinton state department and DoJ. Tempting…tempting.

    13. This is part of why the Deep State crooks wanted Hillary to win so badly – they knew she had been involved in so many illegal acts that she was easy to blackmail and control. She has been involved in illegal operations and cover ups all of the way since the 80s when her and Bubba were covering up the drugs being flown in by the cia to Mena. She has her hands in Fast and Furious, Benghazi, running guns to syria and Libyan terrorists, shady energy deals with russia, stealing money for Haitian earthquake victims, and lots of bizarre deaths involving people she knew like Vince foster and Seth rich.

      1. Perhaps arranging a visit to a cia “black site” for enhanced interrogation would bring some answers. Pick any of the names mentioned in the article for the test subject.

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