Down Range: January 2012
SOA, GOA, DOJ, ATF
Surreal experience today. Took an hour for lunch, and while munching on red beans and rice, I remembered I had the season-ending episode of FX’s Sons of Anarchy on the TiVo. So I engage the box and start watching the cliffhanger. If you haven’t seen that episode yet, stop reading now. Spoiler alert:
Short version, the motorcycle gang Sons of Anarchy, aka Samcro, has gotten into business with the extraordinarily violent Galindo drug cartel, running guns to the cartel one way and muling Galindo drugs back to Charming, the town where Samcro is based. Unbeknownst to Jax Teller, the club’s VP, one of the club’s members (Juice) has been turned and is helping the feds in a big RICO sting that will net Samcro, the Mexican drug cartel, and a group of Real IRA terrorists. As the RICO task force is saddling up to scoop up all the bad guys, Romeo, the cartel’s rep, and Luis, his right-hand man, drive up to the LE muster area and tell the AUSA running the RICO operation that they are secretly working with the CIA, and that the RICO investigation is off. That is jaw-dropping enough, but then Romeo and Luis later flash their CIA creds to Jax, and tell Jax that Samcro has to keep doing the guns-and-drug runs because the government needs the money to complete an IRA gun buy! Romeo tells Jax that if he does not come through with the IRA deal, Romeo will restart the RICO deal and crush Samcro.
Later that day, I got an email from Gun Owners of America. GOA summarized some upcoming investigations into the gunrunning scandal known as Fast and Furious. Under the program, thousands of guns purchased with federal tax dollars were allowed to “walk” into Mexico, at which point they disappeared into the hands of violent drug cartels.
And now it seems the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is involved in an enormous, multi-million dollar money laundering scheme aimed, like Fast and Furious, at Mexican drug cartels. One former DEA official expressed frustration to the New York Times, noting that, “My rule was that if we are going to launder money, we better show results. Otherwise, the DEA could wind up being the largest money launderer in the business, and that money results in violence and deaths.”
This news infuriated Rep. Darrell Issa, the chairman of the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee, who announced that his investigation will be expanding to include the activities of the DEA “money-running” scandal.
In a blistering letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, Rep. Issa takes Holder to task for arming drug cartels with thousands of firearms, and bankrolling their operations with millions of American taxpayer dollars — perhaps, even hundreds of millions of dollars.
Does Holder have a guy like Romeo on speed dial? Wouldn’t surprise me. GT