The Merida Initiative is the, and was the, basis for the 2008 HR-6028 Bill which specifically funded "Project Gunrunner."
Darrell Issa pretends he has never heard of Project Gunrunner, yet in 2008 he specifically voted to fund Project Gunrunner.
Apparently, there is more than just a huge connection between Merida Initiative and Project Gunrunner whereby Project Gunrunner funding, per HR-6028, is directly enveloped into the Merida Initiative.
In October 2007, President Bush and Mexico's President Calderon announced the Mérida Initiative, is a Billions of dollar aid package to support President Calderón's war on drugs by, among other things, sending military grade weapons and helicopters to Mexico. Project Gunrunner was Legislated into the Merida Initiative through HR-6028 in 2008. After ample Congressional debate on conditionality and appropriations, the US Congress approved the initiative in HR-6028 without any strings attached.
1) Rep. Darrell Issa voted "yes" specifically to Fund: "Project Gunrunner" in June 2008.Merida is kind of like an octopus as Merida has many tentacles that go through many different areas of US security departments.
2) In January 2008: ATF went to Congress and asked Congress to Fund Project Gunrunner for 3 years.
3) In 2008, HR-6028 combined "Project Gunrunner" with the "Merida Initiative" also known as the "Merida Program."
4) The Title of the Bill HR-6028 is:
Assistance for Mexico and Central America for Anti-Drug Programs (Merida Program)
5) A SubSection of the Bill HR-6028 is Titled: PROJECT GUNRUNNER INITIATIVE
6) Among other things, Project Gunrunner is directly funded through Merida Initiative
7) In 2007 the Congress held hearings on Merida Initiative
8) Merida Initiative is complicated because it is an initiative that crosses through: Homeland Security, Secretary of State, ATF, FBI & DoJ.
The notion that Darrell Issa had never heard of Project Gunrunner is bullsh!t since Issa voted "yes" to specifically fund Project Gunrunner in 2008.
The 2007 Merida Initiative, along with Project Gunrunner, signed into law by President Bush in June 2008, not only allowed guns to walk into Mexico but also provided for America to send all kinds of military grade weapons, helicopters & training to and for Mexico.
ATF ASKS CONGRESS TO FUND PROJECT GUNRUNNER FOR 3 YEARS
On January 16, 2008, William Hoover at the ATF briefed the House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Relations and stated Project Gunrunner a.k.a. "Merida initiative" was to be funded between 2008-2010
ATF Expands Efforts to Combat Illegal Flow of Firearms Into Mexico
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives(ATF) plans to add additional staff members, including 35 special agents and 15 industry operations investigators, to the southwest border and deploy eTrace technology in nine U.S. consulates in Mexico in an effort to stem the illegal flow of firearms to Mexico as part of Project Gunrunner ATF Acting Director Michael J. Sullivan and Director ArthurDoty of the El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC) today announced.
ATF is also part of the Administration’s recently announced “Merida initiative.” This initiative is a comprehensive U.S. strategy to address drug smuggling, firearms trafficking, and increasing violence in Mexico and Central America.
To address the overwhelming increase of violence and firearms trafficking along the Southwest border ATF has initiated “Project Gunrunner”, a comprehensive strategy that incorporates ATF’s expertise and resources to attack the problem both domestically and internationally.
I would like to conclude by again stating that ATF has developed and is actively implementing our “Project Gunrunner” initiative which is modeled upon our border successes over the years, and that is designed to actively disrupt, deter and dismantle the criminal enterprises and infrastructures seeking to ensure a continued and viable supply of U.S. sourced firearms for criminal purposes to Mexico, but which is also designed to address and eliminate the actual sources of the firearms and ammunition that have become so readily available for criminal purposes in both Mexico and in the U.S.
~Assistant ATF Director William Hoover to Congress in January 2008
CONGRESSIONAL ACTIONS ON MERIDA INITIATIVE & PROJECT GUNRUNNER
In December 2007, Congress held meetings meetings to debate and discuss funding for the Merida Initiative:
The legislative process to pass the authorization of the Merida Initiative began after President Bush submitted his supplemental request of $45.9 billion to the U.S. Congress on October 22, 2007.HR-6028 Bill Language
~Sen Dick Lugar; December 21, 2007
On June 10 2008, Rep. Darrell Issa Voted "YES" to Fund Project Gunrunner via HR 6028.
2008: HR 6028Notice in HR 6028 "Project Gunrunner" is dubbed "initiative" and then the Bill discusses "Mérida Initiative." The Mérida Initiative and Project Gunrunner were President George Bush's brainchildren that Congress: debated, passed and was signed into law
Assistance for Mexico and Central America for AntiDrug Programs (Merida Program)
Bill Passed - House (311 - 106) Yea
Title 1: SEC. 101. FINDINGS
Congress finds the following:
(9) On October 22, 2007, the United States and Mexico issued a joint statement announcing the Merida Initiative, a program to fight illicit narcotics trafficking and criminal organizations throughout the Western Hemisphere.
SEC. 402. REDUCTION OF SOUTHBOUND FLOW OF ILLEGAL WEAPONS.
a) Sense of Congress- It is the sense of Congress that--
(5) On January 16, 2008, ATF announced that it will add 25 special agents and 15 inspectors to their Project Gunrunner along the Southwest Border. And, the ATF Budget request for fiscal year 2009 includes funding for another 12 inspectors;
(b) PROJECT GUNRUNNER INITIATIVE.—
(1) IN GENERAL.—The Attorney General shall dedicate and expand the resources provided for the Project Gunrunner initiative (hereafter in this subsection referred to as the ‘‘initiative’’) of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives to identify, investigate, and prosecute individuals involved in the trafficking of firearms across the United States-Mexico border.
(2) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.—
To carry out this subsection, there are authorized to be appropriated to the Attorney General $9,500,000 for each of the fiscal years 2008 through 2010.
... and yet Darrell Issa pretends he never heard a thing about Project Gunrunner.
LACK OF OVERSIGHT ON MERIDA
One of the biggest problems with Meridia Initiative is that Congress passed it without mandating oversight on the progress of Merida. In June 2009, Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick wrote HR 3239 which would have mandated Homeland Security provide Congress with updates and progress of Merida --
HR 3239: Mandated Homeland Security report to Congress regarding the Merida Initiative's effects on: (1) border security; (2) border violence; (3) the illicit flow of arms, bulk cash, human trafficking and smuggling, and illegal narcotics across the U.S.-Mexico border; and (4) cooperation between DHS officials and agencies and their foreign counterparts participating in the Merida Initiative. Defines "Merida Initiative" as the program announced by the United States and Mexico on October 22, 2007, to fight illicit narcotics trafficking and criminal organizations throughout the Western Hemisphere.JUNE 2011:
In June 2011, Rep. Darrell Issa got pissed off when the Washington Post printed a story that Darrell Issa had been briefed on Project Gunrunner in 2010 and his staffer, Frederick Hill told the Daily Caller.
Hill said there was a briefing that Issa attended back in April 2010 on a similar subject.
“There were questions at the time about the number of U.S. weapons that were ending up at Mexican crime scenes,” he said. “Basically, [it was about] the efforts of the ATF to stop cartels from doing this.”But wait Fred Hill! Your boss, Darrell Issa, Voted to FUND "Project Gunrunner" in 2008 -- where was his concern then?
Did gun walking or Operation Fast and Furious come up at that briefing at all? Hill says “they certainly did not.”
Was Darrell Issa in a coma in December 2007 when Congress was debating Merida?
Was Darrell Issa in a coma in January 2008 when ATF met with Congress to ask for funding specifically for Project Gunrunner?
Did Darrell Issa fail to read the Bill he signed that specifically talked about funding Project Gunrunner?
In 2006 the DEA and ATF had already launched similar 'projects' in their effort to reduce organized crime domestically and in foreign countries:
(2005) Foreign-deployed Advisory and Support Team (FAST),Notice the term FAST was first used as an acronym in reducing gun smuggling and drug smuggling in 2005. The DEA first piloted FAST in Afghanistan and Iraq and then the AFT picked up FAST to use in the Southwest border and in Mexico.
Electronic Trace Submission System, and
RECENT FRIGHTWING UPROAR OVER 2nd AMENDMENT:
In December 2007, the Mexican Armed Forced addressed the Second Amendment issue to Congress. The Secretaria de la Defense Nacional, Mexican Armed Forces official told Congress:
``the [Mexican] military does not want to be involved in law enforcement any more than it has to, but it has no choice, regular police cannot compete with Ak-47s and grenade launchers. We understand your Second Amendment, but along the border states thousands of gun shows occur a year, and little is done to make sure that those guns stay in the U.S.''Yesterday, Rush Limpballs said:
You know the purpose of Fast and Furious, one of the purposes was, to get those guns across the border in the hands of Mexican drug cartels, have crimes committed, and then say we gotta do something about the Second Amendment.I guess old Limpballs thinks President Bush was in on the plot to get rid of the 2nd Amendment with his Operation Wide Receiver & other Gunrunner operations that went down under the Bush Administration.
I guess Darrell Issa is also part of the plot to get rid of the 2nd Amendment as Darrell Issa vote yes to specifically fund the Project Gunrunner operations (plural) in 2008.
My questions: Why hasn't anyone in the media connected Project Gunrunner to Darrell Issa's yes vote to fund Project Gunrunner and why hasn't anyone in the media connected Project Gunrunner to Merida Initiative?