Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Codrea: A journalist's guide to 'Project Gunwalker'

In the exceedingly unlikely event that a professional journalist finds this post:

Go here.  Read.
The following is a summary and time line of articles appearing on the Sipsey Street Irregulars blog and Gun Rights Examiner, reflecting original reporting on the developing "Project Gunwalker" story by Mike Vanderboegh and myself. That's the purposely ironic name I assigned it, a parody of the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive's "Project Gunrunner," and it refers to allegations by whistleblowing ATF insiders that:
  • ATF management was allowing potentially hundreds of semiautomatic firearms to be walked across the Mexican border in order to pad statistics used to further budget and power objectives.
  • Mexican authorities were kept in the dark, and protests that they should be informed were overridden, first by the Phoenix ATF office, and ultimately by higher-ups in Washington, DC.
  • A gun used in this operation was involved in a December 2010 incident in which a Border Patrol agent was killed.
The original allegations were posted on Vanderboegh and I, who have a history going back years of documenting allegations posted there, and pressing for congressional hearings to investigate the claims, were both contacted independently by various ATF insiders claiming to have corroborating information and documentation. Mike vetted his sources and I used my contacts to help validate that my informant was who he represented himself to be. Mike and I did what we could throughout our separate and coordinated investigations to test and corroborate what was being told. We also had a small circle of behind-the-scenes consultants, including firearms designer Len Savage, and a few other knowledgeable advisors, all with contacts and informed insights of their own, and all of whom have earned our trust over the years.

What follows is a gift-wrapped timeline going back to the end of December.

Observe, learn, and make amends for not noticing a screamingly easy story for over a month.  You should be doing this shit, not a couple of gun rights bloggers.  The joke is starting to go around that if we had today's quality of reporting back at the time of Watergate, Nixon would never have hopped on the helicopter.

Take your pick.  Are you a journalist, or a urinealist?

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