Bush Administration

The United States and North Korea

I originally published this post approximately three years ago. With North Korea in the news again concerning its nuclear ambitions, I think it is important to understand the background.

As soon as President George W. Bush took office in 2001, Secretary of State Colin Powell stated that he was going to continue the actions of the Clinton administration. Quickly, Vice President Dick Cheney and other neo-cons in the Bush White House worked to silence Powell and reverse the steps that the Clinton Administration took to freeze nuclear weapons production in North Korea.

I believe the way that the US-North Korea relationship has been played out in the media has been ridiculously superficial. Secondly, the American public has been led to believe that everything started with President Clinton. He is portrayed as a hero or a villain, depending upon your point of view. As usual, I think that the real picture is far more complex.

It appears that North Korea’s nuclear plans date back to the late fifties and early ’60s. Being a very small and somewhat paranoid country, North Korea began to send scientists to the Soviet Union right at the end of the Korean War. They did not believe that when push came to shove the Soviet Union would stand up for them. The Cuban Missile Crisis reinforced that belief. The Soviet Union, their ally, backed down when the US show of force and imposed a blockade around Cuba. North Korea thought that Russia would do the same if squeezed by the US. Also, in 1965, the US, Japan and South Korean signed a diplomacy agreement. This served to further isolate the paranoid country. North Korea fired up the first of its two nuclear reactors in 1967. (more…)

By |2013-04-02T21:00:05-04:00April 2nd, 2013|Bush Administration, North Korea|4 Comments

Fast and Furious, Hernandez case

AR-15 rifle

Fast and Furious was one of several cases in which the ATF allowed guns to walk into Mexico with the idea that they would follow the flow of guns and be able to capture the big fish. The Hernandez case, which took place in mid-2007, is another case in which guns were allowed to be purchased in United States and then agents followed those guns into Mexico. Then we lost the trail.

From Minority House Report:

On September 26 and 27, 2007, Phoenix ATF agents conducted nonstop surveillance on Hernandez and another associate, Carlos Morales. ATF had information that these subjects were in possession of approximately 19 firearms (including assault rifles and pistols) and were planning a firearm smuggling trip into Mexico. The surveillance operation was coordinated with Tucson I Field Office and the ATF Mexico Country Attaché. The plan, agreed to by all parties and authorized by the Phoenix SAC, was to follow these subjects to the border crossing in Nogales, Arizona while being in constant communication with an ATF MCO [Mexico Country Office] agent who would be in constant contact with a Mexican law enforcement counterpart at the port of entry and authorized to make a stop of the suspects’ vehicle as it entered into Mexico.

On September 27, 2007, at approximately 10:00 pm, while the Phoenix agents, an MCO agent and Mexican counterparts were simultaneously on the phone, the suspects’ vehicle crossed into Mexico. ATF agents observed the vehicle commit to the border and reach the Mexican side until it could no longer be seen. The ATF MCO did not get a response from the Mexican authorities until 20 minutes later when they informed the MCO that they did not see the vehicle cross.

The report goes on to say – The Committee has not received any documents indicating that ATF-Phoenix
agents were able to successfully coordinate with Mexican law enforcement to interdict firearms in the Hernandez case. During the course of the investigation, Hernandez and his co-conspirators purchased more than 200 firearms.
They were later arrested and tried.

By |2012-06-29T01:31:30-04:00June 28th, 2012|Bush Administration, Obama administration, Party Politics|Comments Off on Fast and Furious, Hernandez case

Fast and Furious, Part Two

Barrett 50 Cal - this is a serious weapon

Today, like to continue my commentary on Fast and Furious, the gun walking operation by the ATF. In 2006, the ATF started their first in a series of gun walking operations. This operation was called “Operation Wide Receiver.” The idea that this operation was totally different from Fast and Furious is simply wrong.

From WaPo:

But it turns out there was another gun operation run by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives years before, using the same tactics of allowing guns to flow illegally onto U.S. streets and into Mexico. This operation was conducted under the Bush administration’s Justice Department.

Dubbed “Operation Wide Receiver,” the case was run out of Tucson between 2006 and 2007 and involved hundreds of guns that were purchased by small-time buyers who transferred them to middle men who then passed them up the chain and into Mexico.

ATF’s new acting director, B. Todd Jones, when asked by The Washington Post, said that Operation Wide Receiver was launched out of ATF’s Phoenix division — the same field office that oversaw Fast and Furious. ATF has said that Fast and Furious was an attempt to track more than 2,000 firearms and link them to Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel.

(more…)

By |2012-06-29T01:28:06-04:00June 28th, 2012|Bush Administration, Obama administration, Party Politics|Comments Off on Fast and Furious, Part Two
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