Not content with undermining and destroying the Second Amendment, the ATF is now targeting the first by trying to hush up whistleblower Jon Dodson’s book on Fast and Furious:
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is blocking the main whistleblower in the Fast and Furious case from publishing a book for pay, claiming his retelling of the Mexico “gun-walking” scandal will hurt morale inside the embattled law enforcement agency, according to documents obtained by The Washington Times.
ATF’s dispute with Special Agent John Dodson is setting up a First Amendment showdown that is poised to bring together liberal groups like the American Civil Liberties Union and conservatives in Congress who have championed Mr. Dodson’s protection as a whistleblower.
The way the ATF is trying to do this is by claiming it’s employment outside the agency, and simply rejecting it.
Documents show that one of Mr. Dodson’s supervisors in Arizona, Assistant Special Agent in Charge Carlos Canino, rejected his request July 19 and was backed in the decision by the agent in charge of the office, Thomas G. Atteberry, four days later.
Supervisors ultimately don’t make those decisions in the fedgov. Requests for outside employment will go up at least to the level of an “agent in charge” of an office, station, or area of operations.
Their rejection made no claims that the book would release sensitive or classified information or compromise ongoing law enforcement proceedings.
Rather, the supervisors offered a different reason for their decision. “This would have a negative impact on morale in the Phoenix [Field Division] and would have a detrimental effect on our relationships with DEA and FBI.”
Given that Canino also testified in front of congress, I’m not sure what his personal opinion on the book would be, but he’s probably also being pressured from above.
The ATF general counsel’s office subsequently sanctioned the decision, all but killing the book project.
“An employee’s supervisory chain may disapprove any outside employment request for any reason, at any supervisory level,” ATF attorney Greg Serres wrote Mr. Dodson on Aug. 29, underlining the word “any” for emphasis. “The Office of Chief Counsel cannot approve outside employment requests in lieu of the supervisory chain’s disapproval.
“Therefore, your request to engage in outside employment is denied,” he said.
Again, to write a book, which will net a paycheck when published, is something that can be denied. The idea behind this (for other agencies) is that it limits corruption and allows for a CYA by employees as they can show that other income isn’t from being crooked, and it allows managers to determine if an outside job will take too much time and interest away from the employee’s duties.
This, however, is just saying “don’t tell the truth because it’ll hurt our feelings” at best, but more “don’t tell the truth because the ATF is a destructive, corrupt, tyrannical agency”.
And here the story begins to get the basics of Fast and Furious wrong:
In all, ATF officials permitted more than 1,700 semi-automatic weapons to flow through the hands of straw buyers for the Mexican cartels, with many crossing the border.
Senior ATF officials hoped to trace the guns to crimes, then make a bigger case against the Mexican drug lords. The strategy, however, backfired when hundreds of the weapons began showing up at crime scenes on both sides of the border, including at the December 2010 murder of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.
The strategy didn’t backfire. In testimony to congress, the operation was described to send guns south so they would be found at crime scenes. That was the whole plan.
The Mexican authorities didn’t know, and Darren Gil, ATF attache in Mexico, didn’t know. No one in Mexico, whether US or Mexican authorities, knew about the plan to send guns south. There was no way to interdict the guns, and there was no way to make a case against the cartels. This is one of the things that left the investigators on Oversight and Reform shocked (even a Democrat or two, before their party line programming kicks in).
The story goes on with a couple more huge lies from the ATF.
The ATF, under new director B. Todd Jones, says it has imposed sweeping procedures to ensure gun-walking doesn’t occur in future cases.
That’s a joke. Todd Jones was one of the architects of Fast and Furious.
The book dispute with Mr. Dodson, however, is not the first First Amendment controversy to erupt in the aftermath of the scandal.
Last year, Mr. Jones raised alarm in Congress and inside his own agency when he released a videotaped message that warned agencies that there would be “consequences” if agents blew the whistle on wrongdoing outside their chain of command.
The message led to claims that whistleblowing would be chilled, and ATF subsequently clarified Mr. Jones‘ remarks to emphasize that the agency would not interfere with legitimate whistleblowing activities.
Note the key word there “legitimate”. They’ll decide what’s “legitimate” and what’s not. And what’s “legitimate” and what’s not is defined as what helps the Obama administration versus hurts it.
The ATF will retaliate. They already have against most of the whistleblowers, and they will continue to do so.