Just when you thought there couldn’t possibly be anymore twists to the Gunrunner/Fast and Furious saga, it appears that a new batch o’ sidewinders has crawled out from under a rock in the arms to Mexico game. Not to be outdone by the stooges at Justice, it looks like the State Department has set up shop and has opened for business. Their primary customer you ask? None other than Mexico’s Zetas cartel.
This from PJM:
Phil Jordan, a former CIA operative and one-time leader of U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s El Paso Intelligence Center, claims that the Obama administration is running guns to the violent Zetas cartel through the direct commercial sale of military grade weapons:
Jordan, who served as director of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s El Paso Intelligence Center in 1995, said the Zetas have shipped large amounts of weapons purchased in the Dallas area through El Paso.
Robert “Tosh” Plumlee, a former CIA contract pilot, told the Times he supported Jordan’s allegations, adding that the Zetas have reportedly bought property in the Columbus, N.M., border region to stash weapons and other contraband.
“From the intel, it appears that a company was set up in Mexico to purchase weapons through the U.S. Direct Commercial Sales Program, and that the company may have had a direct link to the Zetas.”
I’ll give you three guesses (and the first two don’t count) as to just who runs U.S. Direct.
The U.S. Direct Commercial Sales program is run from the U.S. State Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls. It regulates and licenses private U.S. companies’ overseas sales of weapons and other defense materials, defense services, and military training. This does not include the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program, which authorized sales to foreign governments.
Oh, but wait it gets better (or worse, dependin’), From the El Paso Times:
A federal law enforcement agency in El Paso said it has no information about the allegations that the Zetas are smuggling weapons through El Paso.
“They are purchasing weapons in the Dallas area and are flying them to El Paso, and then they are taking them across the border into Juárez,” said Jordan, a law enforcement consultant and former DEA official who still has contacts in the law enforcement community.
Jordan said the Zetas were flying weapons caches out of the Alliance Airport in Fort Worth, and after they arrive in the El Paso vicinity, the Zetas smuggled them into Juárez.
“What’s ironic is that the DEA also uses the Alliance Airport for some of its operations,” Jordan said. “The Zetas were working out of a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood in the Dallas area to smuggle the weapons to the border.”
The DEA has its Aviation Operations Center at Alliance.
This outfit makes BATFE look like a bunch of lilac water wearing greenhorns:
Under the Direct Commercial Sales program, the U.S. State Department regulates and licenses businesses to sell weapons and defense services and training for export. Last year, according to U.S. statistics, the program was used to provide Mexico $416.5 million worth of weapons and equipment, including military-grade weaponry.
The program is different from the U.S. Foreign Military Sales program, which operates on a government-to-government basis.
Plumlee said military-grade weapons were found in a Juárez warehouse two years ago, and some of them were moved later to a ranch elsewhere in Juárez. Arms stash houses have also been reported in places across the border from Columbus and Antelope Wells, N.M.
“They’ve found anti-aircraft weapons and hand grenades from the Vietnam War era,” Plumlee said. Other weapons found include grenade launchers, assault rifles, handguns and military gear including night-vision goggles and body armor.
“The information about the arms trafficking was provided to our U.S. authorities long before the ‘Columbus 11′ investigation began,” said Plumlee, referring to recent indictments accusing several Columbus city officials of arms trafficking in conjunction with alleged accomplices in El Paso and Chaparral, NM.
We’re gonna need more rope, and a bigger posse boys.
(h/t: Crawfish’s Claw)