Bombshell: DOJ Considering Elimination of ATF

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    Oct 01, 2011 1:34 PM GMT
    More fall out from Operation Fast and Furious. Pretty remarkable - of course it's still just an attempt to paper over a growing scandal that by next year could threaten this Administration. Watergate didn't have casualties. Operation Fast and Furious and Operation Gunwalker do - close to a hundred with Mexico - a supposed ally also demanding answers.

    http://townhall.com/columnists/katiepavlich/2011/09/30/bombshell_doj_considering_elimination_of_atf/page/full/preview

    Multiple sources, including sources from ATF, DOJ and Congressional offices have said there is a white paper circulating within the Department of Justice, outlining the essential elimination of ATF. According to sources, the paper outlines the firing of at least 450 ATF agents in an effort to conduct damage control as Operation Fast and Furious gets uglier and as election day 2012 gets closer. ATF agents wouldn’t be reassigned to other positions, just simply let go. Current duties of ATF, including the enforcement of explosives and gun laws, would be transferred to other agencies, possibly the FBI and the DEA. According to a congressional source, there have been rumblings about the elimination of ATF for quite sometime, but the move would require major political capital to actually happen.

    “It’s a serious white paper being circulated, how far they’d get with it I don’t know,” a confidential source said.

    After a town hall meeting about Operation Fast and Furious in Tucson, Ariz. on Monday, ATF Whistleblower Vince Cefalu, who has been key in exposing details about Operation Fast and Furious, confirmed the elimination of ATF has been circulating as a serious idea for sometime now and that a white paper outlining the plan does exist.

    Sounds great right? Eliminating ATF? But there is more to this story. Remember, low level ATF field agents, like ATF whistleblower John Dodson, were uncomfortable conducting Operation Fast and Furious from the beginning, but were told by high level officials within ATF that if they had a problem with the operation, they could find a job elsewhere.

    “Allowing loads of weapons that we knew to be destined for criminals, this was the plan. It was so mandated,” ATF Whistleblower John Dodson said in testimony on Capitol Hill on June 15, 2011.

    In fact, not only were the ATF agents forced to carry out the operation, they were told to go against what they had been taught in training.

    “This operation, which in my opinion endangered the American public, was orchestrated in conjunction with Assistant U.S. Attorney Emory Hurley. [Emory Hurley is the same Assistant U.S. Attorney who previously prevented agents from using some of the common and accepted law enforcement techniques that are employed elsewhere in the United States to investigate and prosecute gun crimes.] I have read documents that indicate that his boss, U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke, also agreed with the direction of the case,” Special Agent Peter Forcelli said in testimony on Capitol hill on June 15, 2011.

    “I recall my first days at the ATF academy, where it was drilled into us as new agents that under no circumstances would any firearms, in any investigation, leave the control of ATF. Instructors stressed that even if a weapon was lost “by accident,” the agent was still subject to termination,” former ATF Attaché to Mexico Darren D. Gil said in testimony on June 15, 2011.

    ATF field agents weren’t the problem with Operation Fast and Furious, high ranking officials within ATF and the Department of Justice were and still are. DOJ would eliminate ATF only to take the heat off of the Obama Administration. By eliminating the bureau, it makes it seem like DOJ is taking Operation Fast and Furious so seriously, they decided to “clear out the corruption, clean house,” however, it would only be a distraction away from the people at the top of the investigation. In fact, evidence shows the DOJ has been stonewalling the Oversight Committee investigation into the operation to protect Obama political appointees.
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    Oct 01, 2011 2:27 PM GMT
    And you know what they say about the coverup after the crime...

    http://www.politico.com/blogs/joshgerstein/0911/White_House_sends_Hill_Fast__Furious_docs_but_withholds_some.html

    White House sends Hill Fast & Furious docs, but withholds some

    The White House sent another installment of documents to Congress on Friday detailing White House staffers' knowledge about the controversial "Operation Fast & Furious" gunrunning probe run by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives.

    However, the chief counsel to President Barack Obama, Kathryn Ruemmler, indicated that the White House was withholding an unspecified number of internal e-mails exchanged among three National Security Staff aides.

    "These internal NSS emails are not included in the enclosed documents because the [Executive Office of the President] has significant confidentiality interests in its internal communications," Ruemmler wrote in a letter to House Oversight & Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa). The letter, posted here, was obtained Friday by POLITICO.

    The latest batch of 102 pages of records partially duplicated information previously sent to Congress and didn't appear to include any smoking guns showing that White House officials were aware that the operation involved allowing hundreds or thousands of guns to flow essentially unimpeded from the U.S. to Mexican drug cartels.
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    Oct 03, 2011 1:52 PM GMT
    http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/furiously_unraveling_f6fpYY4OXSJg62rFIrFiUI#ixzz1ZhBbGiFw

    Gun scandal still growing

    The joke goes that anything named “Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms” ought to be a convenience store instead of an arm of the federal government, but what’s going on in Washington these days with the embattled agency is no laughing matter.

    Hardly a week passes now without some revelation about the Obama administration’s complicity in what may yet turn out to be one of the worst and most lethal scandals in American history: Operation Fast and Furious.
    In a classic Friday document dump -- a sure sign of an administration with something to hide -- the feds released to congressional investigators a month’s worth of e-mail correspondence in the summer of 2010 between Bill Newell, then head ATF agent in Phoenix, and his friend Kevin O’Reilly, a former White House national-security staffer for North American affairs.

    What do you know? Among the e-mails was a photograph of a powerful Barrett .50-caliber rifle that had been illegally purchased in Tucson and recovered in Sonora, Mexico, raising the possibility of a second “gunwalking” program, this one called “Wide Receiver.”

    Like Fast and Furious, the ATF-supervised scheme that saw thousands of weapons “walk” across the Mexican border for reasons no one in the Justice Department has yet satisfactorily explained, Wide Receiver was apparently a joint operation that also included the Drug Enforcement Administration, the FBI, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the IRS and the US Attorney’s office.

    It’s likely there have been others, in such states as Florida and Indiana.
    While the back-channel e-mails don’t explicitly discuss Fast and Furious, they do show the White House’s intense interest in the ATF’s and other federal agencies’ activities in Arizona. In one message, O’Reilly asks Newell whether he can share some information with other officials. “Sure, just don’t want ATF HQ to find out, especially since this is what they should be doing (briefing you)!” comes the reply.
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    Oct 03, 2011 2:52 PM GMT
    Please... your obsession with this is hilarious. Were you this exercised by Iran/Contra?
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    Oct 03, 2011 2:58 PM GMT
    Christian73 saidPlease... your obsession with this is hilarious. Were you this exercised by Iran/Contra?


    Yep, move along, nothing to see here. icon_rolleyes.gif

    So lemme get this straight - you have no problems with the Obama Administration directly selling and authorizing the sale of guns to drug dealers/criminals with those guns now having killed at least 80 people? And you don't think that the fallout that would include the dismantling of the ATF to be newsworthy?
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    Oct 06, 2011 1:54 PM GMT
    http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-atf-personnel-20111005,0,6002965.story

    ATF officials reassigned in latest Fast and Furious fallout

    Two top supervisors at ATF headquarters in Washington -- the deputy director and the assistant director for all field operations -- have been reassigned as the beleaguered agency attempts to remake itself amid the fallout from a failed gun-tracking operation along the Southwest border called Fast and Furious, according to two sources briefed on the changes.

    William J. Hoover, the No. 2 man at ATF, will become special agent-in-charge of the agency's Washington field office, while Mark Chait, who ran all of the field investigations around the country, is being reassigned as head of the Baltimore field office.

    Thomas Brandon, who was sent to Phoenix to run the field office there and help it recover from the repercussions of Fast and Furious, will be taking Hoover's spot as deputy director.

    The new assignments, along with other job changes, were announced today by Todd Jones, the U.S. attorney in Minneapolis who was named acting head of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives this year. He succeeded ATF chief Kenneth Melson, who was reassigned to a lower-level position in the Justice Department.

    Hoover had broad supervision over Fast and Furious, was given routine updates on the "gun walking" operation, and grew concerned over the number of firearms getting into Mexico without any U.S. indictments on this side of the border.

    He tried to get it shut down six months after it began in the fall of 2009. But he failed, and the program continued until January of this year. During that time, a U.S. Border Patrol agent was killed in Arizona and two Fast and Furious weapons were recovered at the scene.