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Operation Castaway: ATF Trafficked Guns to Honduran Criminal Gangs

Kurt Nimmo
Thursday, July 14, 2011

Evidence indicates that the ATF not only provided weapons to Mexican drug cartels and gangs but also trafficked guns to criminal gangs in Honduras, including the murderous MS-13, or Mara Salvatrucha, known to work with the Sinaloa drug cartel.

Sinaloa, the largest drug trafficking organization operating in Mexico, has worked closely with Wacovia Bank. Last March, the bank revealed in court it had laundered nearly $400 million through a network of exchange houses, or casas de cambio, between 2004 and 2007.

MS-13 is known for it brutality, including the murder of 28 Hondurans when gang members sprayed a bus with automatic gunfire in 2004.

New revelations about the federal operation – dubbed Castaway – came to light after Republican Rep. Gus Bilirakis sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder and acting ATF Director Ken Melson.

“In recent days, it has come to light that the ATF and DOJ have participated in the act of ‘gun walking’ beyond the acts conducted within the scope of ‘Operation Fast and Furious,’” Bilirakis wrote to Holder and Melson.

The story broke on July 6 when journalists Mike Vanderboegh and David Codrea ran a story on Operation Castaway in The Examiner.

“Virginia O’Brien, Special Agent in Charge at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Tampa Field Division, ran a gun-running investigation that was walking guns to Honduras using the techniques and tactics identical to Fast and Furious, it was reported to these correspondents this evening via private correspondence from a proven credible source,” the journalists wrote.

The ATF did not respond to the story when it was posted on July 6. The information also found its way to Chairman Darrell Issa of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and Ranking Senate Judiciary Committee Member Charles Grassley.

The corporate media has yet to give Operation Castaway the coverage so far afforded to Operation Fast & Furious.

Media Matters, the propaganda operation funded by the globalist George Soros, claims reportage on the growing scandal is some sort of right-wing conspiracy and defends the mendacity of government bureaucrats who have made excuses for the illegal operations.

Obama has said AG Holder was not aware of Fast & Furious, so it is safe to assume the Holder and the Justice Department will claim they know nothing about Operation Castaway as well.

As noted by Joseph Alan Sanchez writing for on Tuesday, the U.S. has shipped weapons south of the border for over a decade.

“For at least a decade now, covert operation specialist Celerino ‘Cele’ Castillo III has been telling the world that the U.S. has been shipping guns south of the border on a regular basis as a sidebar to revelations of drug running from South America into North America. And now in the summer of 2011, the BATF is under fire for observing the sale and distribution of machine guns into Mexico. Congressional testimony in recent months is revealing a calculated plan called Operation Fast and Furious,” writes Sanchez.

Adding weight to Castillo’s accusation, one of the kingpins of the infamous Los Zetas drug running gang, Rejón Aguilar, told Mexican federal police earlier this month that the group purchased its weapons directly from U.S. government officials.

For his truth telling efforts and his Iran Contra whistleblowing, Castillo was convicted in 2008 on federal charges of dealing firearms without a license in a case marked by numerous irregularities and peculiar coincidences that raised the specter of a frame-up.

Despite the denials, congressional Republicans believe the Fast & Furious scandal reaches the highest levels of the Justice Department.

They have asked the attorney general’s office to turn over a sweeping trove of emails, documents and other material to determine Washington’s role in the “reckless” operation that allowed U.S. semiautomatic weapons to flow to Mexican drug cartels, according to the Los Angeles Times.

It should be obvious by now that the ATF is a renegade federal agency. Hearings should be held immediately calling for its decertification and the systematic disarming of its agents.

“Let’s transform them back into the stamp clerks (suitable for affixing labels on wine and whiskey bottles) that they once were. Then the only harm they can inflict on the body politic would be paper cuts,” writes Charles Heller, Executive Director of Jews For The Preservation of Firearms Ownership.

“Take away their badges. Badges are symbols of honor from a country as great as ours. BATFE Agents can carry business cards, like any other overpaid, tax consuming, foot dragging bureaucrat. Let’s convert these morally challenged individuals from jackboots to fur boots, or at least gumshoes without guns,” Heller concludes.

In addition to providing weapons to violent drug cartels favored by bankers, the Fast & Furious operation was cooked up to make it appear Americans legally selling firearms are engaged in criminal activity.

Democrats have wasted little time blaming the Second Amendment for the violence spawned by Mexican drug cartels and gangs using weapons provided by the U.S. government.

In June, Ranking Member of the House Oversight Committee, Elijah Cummings, tried to affix blame on law-abiding Americans.

His effort, however, was doomed to failure – at least in the “rightwing” media singled out by Media Matters and its patron, George Soros – when news of the complicity of the Obama administration, the Justice Department, and a renegade ATF hit the streets.

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