June 29, 2012
Obama Donor Who Helped Enact Assault-Weapons Ban Ran Fast & Furious
Executive privilege for a reason — everything points to Obama policy. Go straight to CNS News and read the whole thing.
(CNSNews.com) — Dennis K. Burke, who as a lawyer for the Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee in the 1990s was a key player behind the enactment of the 1994 assault-weapons ban, and who then went on to become Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano’s chief of staff, and contributor to Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential primary campaign, and a member of Obama’s transition team focusing on immigration issues, ended up in the Obama administration as the U.S. attorney in Arizona responsible for overseeing Operation Fast and Furious.
When Obama nominated Burke to be U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona, Burke told the Arizona Capitol Times he believed he understood what the president and his attorney general wanted him to do.
“There’s clearly been direction provided already by President Obama and Attorney General Holder as to what they want to be doing, and this is an office that is at the center of the issues of border enforcement,” said Burke. . . . After Obama was elected in November 2008, Burke joined his presidential transition team, serving on the Immigration Policy Working Group.
Eight days before Obama’s inauguration, on Jan. 12, 2009 — while Burke was working on the transition team — Obama met with Mexican President Felipe Calderon at the Mexican Cultural Institute in Washington, D.C. At that meeting, Obama “pledged” to take action to stop the flow of guns from the United States to Mexico.
Obama also decided to put Burke’s old boss, incoming Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, in a leadership role in making the gun-trafficking problem a top priority.
“President-elect Obama expressed support for efforts in the border states in both the United States and Mexico to eradicate drug-related violence and stop the flow of guns and cash,” incoming White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said in a statement at the time. “He told President Calderón that he intends to ask the Secretary of Homeland Security to lead an effort to increase information sharing to strengthen those efforts. He pledged to take more effective action from the United States to stem the flow of arms from the United States to Mexico.”
When Napolitano became Homeland Security secretary, Burke moved from the Obama transition team to become her senior adviser. On Feb. 25, 2009, a little more than a month after Obama had made his “pledge” to Calderon, Napolitano testified in the House Homeland Security Committee. She stressed that stopping the flow of guns to Mexico was a top priority of the Obama administration and key focus of her work.
Responding to a question about violence on the border, Napolitano said the administration was going to work with the Mexican government on the issue. Then she said: “Secondly, it is looking at, government-wide, at what we can do to stop the southbound export of weaponry, particularly assault-type weapons and grenades that are being used in that drug war.”
Napolitano further noted that drug cartels were targeting Mexican government officials and law enforcement officers, and that, given the seriousness of the threat, Obama’s national security adviser, the attorney general, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and Customs (of which the Border Patrol is part) would all be working on the issue.
“I’ve met with the attorney general of Mexico and the ambassador already,” said Napolitano during the February 2009 hearing. “One of the things that I particularly am focused on is southbound traffic in guns, particularly assault weapons, and cash that are being used to funnel and fund these very, very violent cartels.”
What the documents say that Attorney General Holder wouldn’t:
US Attorney for the District of Arizona Dennis Burke was in full agreement with the investigative strategy of allowing the transfer of firearms to continue
A January 8, 2010 memo (PDF) from the ATF Phoenix Field Division Office on Operation Fast and Furious noting the involvement of US Attorney for the District of Arizona Dennis Burke who was in “full agreement with the current investigative strategy.” The memo states that “currently our strategy is to allow the transfer of firearms to continue to take place … in order to further the investigation and allow for the identification of additional co-conspirators who would continue to operate and illegally traffic firearms to Mexican [Drug Trafficking Organizations].”
There are two dead U.S. federal agents (Brian Terry and Jamie Zapata) out of a scheme to advance gun control.