Perhaps Stephen Paddock was a “lone wolf” who somehow “snapped.” But his arsenal, designed for a small terrorist army, and his “secret life” have led to speculation he was part of a gun-running and bomb-making operation similar to the federal ATF ‘Fast and Furious’ gun-walking scandal in the early Obama Administration. In this case, however, the targets were Islamists, not Mexican drug traffickers.
By Cliff Kincaid l October 10, 2017
Why is there no motive for the Vegas massacre? Why did Stephen Paddock have a secret life?
It is terrible to contemplate, but the possibility that Stephen Paddock was an undercover federal operative or informant cannot be ruled out. He may have been either set up or used by ISIS and/or a federal agency in a scheme that backfired.
The feds may have thought they were going to catch ISIS in the act of preparing a major terrorist attack. ISIS terrorists may have thought Paddock was one of them but realized at the last minute that it was a set-up. So, they claimed him as one of their own.
Perhaps he did convert to Islam after trying to get local Jihadists to buy his weapons. Or perhaps they thought he did, and he used his “conversion” to convince them he was one of them.
In short, Paddock may have approached potential terrorists with offers of weapons and bomb-making material. Or they may have approached him.
Those of us who have been around Washington D.C. for a while know that the FBI has been rocked by scandals of all kinds and a series of failures, ranging from Ruby Ridge to Waco to 9/11. Because these scandals involve death, stonewalling, and cover-up, the agencies cannot be trusted to investigate themselves.
For someone with even elementary knowledge of government incompetence and corruption, it doesn’t take a lot of imagination to consider the possibility that Paddock was a government informant or operative in a scheme that backfired.
We can anticipate there will be obligatory denials.
Reports indicate that the materials found in Paddock’s car included 1,600 rounds of ammunition, fertilizer that could be used to make explosives, and 50 pounds of the explosive substance Tannerite. He had 23 weapons in the hotel room and had reportedly bought 33 guns in the past year. This guy was the perfect operative to be used in undercover stings. He had everything they needed to carry out major terrorist acts.
Paddock was a one-stop-shop for terrorists. He had the guns and the bombs. He was a one-man Weather Underground.
WND reporter Leo Hohmann reports that Paddock “not only worked directly for the government for nearly a decade but then worked another year-and-a-half for federal weapons contractor Lockheed Martin.” In addition to Lockheed Martin, he worked for the USPS, IRS, and DOD. What this means is that he would have been known to the feds and could have been recruited by them. He could have been told he could atone for his bank-robbing father.
Perhaps he was a “lone wolf” who somehow “snapped.” But his arsenal, designed for a small terrorist army, and his “secret life,” have led to speculation Paddock was part of a gun-running and bomb-making operation similar to the federal ATF Fast and Furious gun-walking scandal in the early Obama Administration. In this case, however, the targets were Islamists, not Mexican drug traffickers.
The Fast and Furious scandal involved the U.S. sending weapons to Mexico that were used by drug cartels to murder a federal border agent, Brian Terry. What if Paddock was part of another such operation, launched under former President Obama, to infiltrate alleged terrorists? President Trump’s new FBI director, Christopher Wray, has only been on the job for about two months, and may not have been able to review or stop it – had such a program been underway, it likely would have been known to former Director James Comey.
If the FBI had been able to stop the massacre, breaking into the hotel room at the last moment before the carnage, the Bureau would have looked like heroes in the eyes of the public. It would have managed to achieve some good publicity after the debacles involving Director Comey, the Hillary email scandal, and Russia-gate.
But something went dramatically wrong. Either way, if he was an operative or not, he was able to assemble a small arsenal of weapons in a hotel room. Didn’t anybody notice? Or was he being protected by authorities who thought they were going to nab members of a terrorist cell?
All the facts are not in, but we know that one analysis of FBI undercover “sting” operations found they are now used in two of every three prosecutions involving people suspected of supporting ISIS, the Islamic State. A June 7, 2016 Obama-era New York Times article, ‘FBI Steps Up Use of Stings in ISIS Cases,’ reveals, “…agents have helped people suspected of being extremists acquire weapons, scope out bombing targets and find the best routes to Syria to join the Islamic State, records show.”
You can see how dangerous this can be. These operations involve federal agents actually participating in the planning of terrorist acts and acquiring weapons.
What if Paddock, under government orders, set up his machine gun nest in the Mandalay Bay, hoping to entice some ISIS terrorists into the room and “catch them in the act.” Perhaps he thought the feds would burst in at any moment to stop it. Perhaps he had converted to the Islamist cause. In any case, in assembling this arsenal, he could easily have worked with others to make it all happen. Who were those others? That’s the big question.
One theory, therefore, is that the FBI blew it. They didn’t get there in time.
The New York Times indicated, “At least 40 agencies use covert operatives to investigate everything from tax cheating and welfare fraud to Supreme Court demonstrations.”
Paddock’s recruitment by the FBI or another federal agency would have been a closely-guarded secret. His family and girlfriend would not have known about it. They would claim ignorance of his “secret life.”
These are difficult matters to consider. Perhaps that is why the White House is pandering to the “gun control” crowd with talk of banning so-called “bump stocks” for semi-automatics. This is how Washington avoids the topic of corruption in federal agencies. This will become a “bipartisan” feel-good moment.
Whether the Vegas massacre was a federal sting operation gone bad, like Fast and Furious, we may never know. But many unanswered questions remain.
We don’t have all the pieces of the puzzle and, if something like this did happen, there will be great resistance to knowing and understanding the facts. But the involvement of the FBI and other federal agencies in the ongoing “investigation” means that they will take command and control and be in a position to engineer a cover-up regarding any ties Paddock may have had with them.
This is how the Swamp works.
They will leave the puzzle in scattered pieces, to be assembled by courageous journalists and political leaders independent of the Swamp. That is, if there are any left.
Cliff Kincaid is the President of America’s Survival, a public policy organization and author of numerous books covering the United Nations and national security issues. He is also a contributor to SFPPR News & Analysis, of the conservative-online-journalism center at the Washington-based Selous Foundation for Public Policy Research.