To start, for those who didn’t get to see the hearings on June 15th, here are videos of the hearings courtesey of the House Oversight and Reform Committee’s youtube channel (be warned, volume may be VERY loud):
“ATF served Special Agent Vince Cefalu with termination paperwork today.”
Gun Rights Examiner reported on Cefalu in May of last year–He was the agent assigned to do nothing because he came forward to complain about ATF mismanagement.
To put a face with a name:
Cefalu was the subject of a CNN story in May of 2010.
He said ATF managers turned against him after he reported in 2005 what he said was an illegal wiretap plan in a racketeering case. Records show ATF disputes his claims of the planned illegal wiretap. But he said that started a series of retaliatory measures that ended up in 2007 with him in a desk job. His only negative evaluation, he said, was the year after he criticized the planned wiretap.
“Had I not exposed some unethical, potentially criminal clearly outside policy conduct and actions by law enforcement that I was working with, none of this would have happened,” Cefalu said. “I would still be working in the field.”
Jay Dobyns, meanwhile, is this high-profile guy:
He infiltrated some bad biker gangs (including Hells Angels, Mongols, AB, MS-13) and after sending several of them to prison, was subsequently threatened by the gangs. His family was threatened and his house was burned down. “Some law enforcement sources” even blamed him for setting fire to his own house, and there are plenty of folks skeptical about him in general. He’s written a book, filed suit against the ATF for not protecting him, and generally has made enemies of the govt and biker gangs. Quite the character. But here at least, even being a character doesn’t change the ATF’s actions.
But then, nothing’s really a surprise with the ATF. They’ve been a good ol’ boys club of unaccountable bureaucrats for a while, tasked with regulating Constitutionally protected goods and private property.
Now to our next character, ATF Director Kenneth Melson:
Recent news suggested that ATF Director Kenneth Melson was about to resign. The same day, Sipsey Street said that wasn’t the case. Fastforward to today and Kenneth Melson is refusing to step down. Looks like Issa’s staffer was right:
A spokesman for House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa told The Daily Caller the congressman expects his investigations into the Justice Department’s gun walking programs to point to a much higher political appointee than acting ATF director Kenneth Melson.
So Melson’s standing pat. From the LA Times story:
“He is saying he won’t go,” said one source close to the situation, who asked for anonymity because high-level discussions with Melson remained fluid. “He has told them, ‘I’m not going to be the fall guy on this.’ “
ATF’s Fast and Furious and Operation Gunwalker go much higher than the ATF.
One more face – Congressman Issa, the congressman who was running the House Oversight committee, and was stonewalled by the DOJ to begin with, by being given page upon page of “redacted” files related to the ATF’s Fast and Furious project:
He’s now going to Mexico to find out what’s happening down there, as a prominent Mexican attorney was just killed with guns walked by the ATF. That may well turn up a lot more info on what’s happened, as well as Melson talking in the next few weeks.
The only question left is exactly why/how did people above the ATF director come to the conclusion that guns should be smuggled by the US government in order to undermine the security of the nation, creating an artificial crisis and demand for crackdown on citizen rights. And above the ATF director, there really aren’t that many people left.
There’s just the guy who called the US “a nation of cowards” and supported a total ban on guns in DC, nationwide registration, and was instrumental in the paramilitary assault on Elian Gonzalez’ home and the other guy who told John Lott “I don’t believe that people should be able to own guns.”
Remember, Eric Holder authorized this:
The basis was that one or more of the members of the household had a concealed carry permit, or else had owned guns – that a member of the household had gone through state background checks, training, and paid fees to be able to carry a firearm for personal safety – jumping through legal hoops to ensure his own 2nd Amendment rights. So BORTAC team of operators, the equivalent of a federal SWAT team, stormed the house, on the basis that someone who went out of his way to be a law-abiding citizen had a firearm (BORTAC was the same type of group that murdered BPA Terry was part of many years later – but chasing rip crews rather than 6 year-olds).
It seems like Holder has spent his whole career trying to ruin the lives of hispanic people, firearms owners, and Border Patrol Agents. But this ain’t over by a long shot.
I probably won’t be posting much for a couple weeks – there are fish that need catching, and I’m sure there will be a lot of news in the next couple weeks if Melson talks. Like I said over at JawaReport: David Codrea and Mike Vanderboegh are names you need to remember. They’re the Woodward and Bernstein of Gunwalker. For those of you who want to keep up on it, you may want to hit up their blogs and of course check back here for updates, too – JBH may well run with some more politics, economics, or a Gunwalker take of his own. In a couple weeks I’ll probably have another big update to catch up on all the happenings of this story, then some economics posts and a palate-cleansing hot chick or two.