The name will ring a bell to bloggers who covered the Obama administration’s bizarre handling of the Honduran affair, two years ago. In the summer of 2009, the Honduran government chose to depose their out-of-control President Zelaya when he tried to go full-Chavez on them in an unconstitutional bid to essentially make himself el-Presidente for life. It shouldn’t have even been a question for a pro-American, pro-Democracy administration to support the Honduran government during that crisis. Once the facts of the situation were laid out, it was a no-brainer. But the Obama State Department took Zelayas‘ side in the dispute, calling the ouster a “coup”, and punishing the pro-American Honduran government for what they did. The pro-Zelaya side marched under the Communist flag, and included Chavez, Castro, Ortega, (all of the Socialist countries in the region) and the United States government. Their attempt to force the reinstatement of Zelaya ultimately failed, but the shocking episode marked the first time in my life I had ever regarded my own country as one of the “bad guys” on the world stage.
Restrepo, the National Security Council’s top man for Latin America, was one of the figures behind the U.S. Honduras policy. Hiding behind the curtain was the Puppetmaster, himself.
Mary O’Grady of the WSJ passed along this tidbit about Restrepo’s participation in a delegation sent to Tegucigalpa to negotiate a compromise:
Participants in those talks say Dan Restrepo, senior director for Western Hemisphere affairs at the National Security Council, let slip that the U.S. interest had to do with American politics. The Republicans, he said, were using the administration’s support for Mr. Zelaya, an ally of Venezuelan Hugo Chávez, against the Democrats. It’s not going to work, Mr. Restrepo is said to have informed the other negotiators, because “we have the power” and would be keeping it for a long time.
It can’t have been comforting for Hondurans to learn that while their country was living a monumental crisis, fueled by U.S. policy, Mr. Restrepo’s concern was his party’s power. For the record, an NSC spokesman says “Mr. Restrepo didn’t say that.” But my sources are more plausible considering what has transpired since.
Prior to moving to the National Security Council, Restrepo was the director of the Americas Project at the Center for American Progress (CAP), the Soros funded liberal think tank, whose President and Chief Executive Officer is John Podesta…
He also appears to be part of the brain trust behind the Obama administration’s gunwalker fiasco.
Late last Friday, CBS News and the Los Angeles Times reported that Restrepo and two other officials, were in on ATF memos from the Gunwalker operation known as “Fast and Furious.”
As Investors Business Daily notes:
That blows apart White House claims that it had no idea the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was encouraging frontmen for Mexico’s cartels to buy weapons from U.S. gun dealers — to “trace” them afterward.
Some 2,000 U.S. guns were sold in Gunwalker but simply disappeared — until they turned up at massacres in Mexico and at the murder scenes of U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agent Jaime Zapata.
But outgoing ATF acting director Ken Melson and others who’ve been the fall guys in this scandal darkly hint that their orders came from the White House, and domestic critics think Gunwalker can only be explained as a White House bid to boost support for gun control. Restrepo’s involvement distinctly raises both possibilities.
Restrepo is a political operative whose interests are more domestic than Latin American. As a result, he’s botched every Latin American operation he’s had his hand in, appeasing enemies and blaming the U.S. (see O’ Grady story mentioned, above.)
You can read the litany of offenses at IBD.
The ATF’s Tampa Field Division and the Department of Justice’s Middle District of Florida ran an operation known as ‘Operation Castaway which trafficked arms to criminal gangs in Honduras.
The goal of the Gunwalking operations was to pin Mexico’s drug war not on Hugo Chavez’s trafficker allies, but on gun dealers from the U.S.
From the Center for Security Policy on the Soros, Restrepo and drug trafficking connection during the Honduran affair:
An extremely influential figure in Restrepo’s life is Center for American Progress’ strongman George Soros, who is an advocate for the legalization of illicit drugs. In fact, Soros is a member of the board of the “Drug Policy Alliance,” a non-profit organization with the principal goal of ending the American “War on Drugs.” As a side – note, George Soros financially contributed to the political campaign of Barack Obama, together with four other family members – daughter Jennifer, sons Jonathan and Robert and wife Susan. He has also financially supported John Kerry, Howard Dean, Hillary Clinton, Tom Daschle, Charles Schumer, Joseph Biden, Patrick Leahy and Barbara Boxer. Soros also funded Al Gore for President.
Colombia, Peru, and Bolivia are the region’s main producers of drugs, especially cocaine, and Mexico has become a major drug transit country and an important supplier of methamphetamine to the United States. In recent years, Honduras and other Central American nations have become major transshipment points for Colombian cocaine, particularly as Mexico’s government cracks down on cartels. So it is not surprising that one of Soros’ main interests would be to try to convince Latin American leaders that the U.S. Government’s war on drugs is wrong. Remember, he wants to legalize drugs. To this end, he is actively pushing to move away from the use of national and global law enforcement resources against the drug trade. He is also fiercely opposed to Plan Colombia. To achieve this goal, he has purchased the services of several former Latin American government officials to campaign to end the war on drugs.
Actually, in October 13, 2008, then Honduran President Manuel Zelaya said at a Soros – funded Latin American Commission on Drugs and Democracy conference held in Tegucigalpa: “Drug use ought to be legalized as a way to combat violence.” He proposed creating a regional counternarcotics plan that would displace the US-led efforts in Colombia and Mexico. It was in this conference that Soros presented his plan for a paradigm shift within democracies to accommodate legalization. A few weeks later Zelaya appeared with Soros at a U.N. Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean conference in the Dominican Republic openly calling for the legalization of drugs – supposedly to reduce violence. 
Many have been asking, what is behind Soros’ obsession with drug legalization? Does he have clients in his hedge funds that have links to illegal activities? Soros has categorically denied receiving money from drug cartels or any criminal network, but the fact remains, however, that at least some of his financial operations have been based offshore, in banking and financial centers that are widely reported to be considered conducive to money laundering. The Soros fund is based in the Netherlands Antilles, a self-governing federation of five Caribbean islands. A CIA factbook describes the region as “a transshipment point for South American drugs bound for the U.S. and Europe; and a money-laundering center.” In fact, Soros’ partner, Peter Lewis, considered by the Washington Post as “one of the country’s 10 most generous philanthropists,” was arrested in 2000 in New Zealand for “importing” drugs, including hashish and marijuana. 
Soros and Lewis together founded “America Coming Together”, a political organization designed to defeat George W. Bush in the 2004 presidential election. Both have helped bankroll a campaign to legalize marijuana, featuring a public relations effort that falsifies the dangerous nature of marijuana and presents it as “medicine.” Since 1991, Lewis has contributed $5 million to the ACLU to fight drug laws, and has made large contributions to drug “legalization” campaigns in Arizona, Nevada, California, Oregon, Utah, Florida, Maine, and Massachusetts. 
While it is often difficult in determining the exact motivating factors in driving an administrations’ foreign policy, these connections are interesting to consider. That the Obama Administration chooses to go along with Zelaya, who violated the Honduran Constitution and is a protégé of Chavez and would therefore employ all the same anti- American policies, appears to be working against our own national security interests. Certainly, without Zelaya in power Chavez has lost, for now, another country to the forces of democracy.
Sipsey Street Irregulars has more on Restrepo.