Received this email last night from CPT Jonathan Tuttle. Please draw the attention of your Senators and Congresscritters to it.
To locate, go to http://www.nfaoa.org/resources.html then to the section entitled LETTERS BY MEMBERS OF CONGRESS REGARDING ATF MISMANAGEMENT. Click on the "+" symbol and the section will open; the letter and a writeup about it are is the first item.
Former Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Jim Lightfoot urges ATF oversight hearings
In a letter dated November 20, 2010, former Rep. Jim Lightfoot (R-Iowa) welcomed incoming freshmen to the House of Representatives (click here to read it), and urged them to support ATF oversight hearings.
As a former Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Treasury, Postal Service and General Government, Committee on Appropriations, Rep. Lightfoot had responsibility for approving ATF's budget and gained insights into ATF operations. At one Subcommittee hearing in 1996, Rep. Lightfoot heard testimony about issues regarding ATF's classifications of certain AOWs as Curio & Relic firearms (click here to read it); it was the first detailed testimony before the Congress about any NFA Curios & Relic firearms since the NFA was amended under Title II of the Gun Control Act of 1968, effective November 1, 1968.
In his November 20, 2010, letter, Rep. Lightfoot urged incoming freshman members:
"[G]overnment agencies all suffer from the 'Blackbird Syndrome.' That's where several hundred Blackbired as sitting on a telephone wire and then suddenly one of them takes off. No one knows where that one bird is headed but the entire flock takes off behind him.
Agencies work the same way. They watch each other like a Hawk (Blackbird).
Pick one or two agencies for the 'Mr. Clean' treatment. Go after them in high profile. You will be surprised how many other agencies will start to clean up their acts.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) would be a good place to start. It is one of the smaller agencies, therefore completing the audits and investigations will take less time. It is an agency that has drifted for nearly 6 years without a permanent Director.
ATF was recently featured on CNN regarding an agent who blew the whistle on an illegal wiretap and was rewarded wtih exile to an office with nothing to do for two years.
One of their Special Agents in Charge (SAC) was found by a local reporter to be driving a brand new Cadillas with all the bells and whistles plus a police package. His punishment was to move him to DC Headquarters with a promotion.
Check the millions of dollars paid out in settlements to employees as well as the huge backlog of employee complaints being ignored. Compare this to other larger agencies and you will be shocked at the level of abuse and waste.
Bottom line, it is your responsibility and obligation to make these agencies accoutable to yoy and, by extension through yu, to me the taxpayer.
Demanding accountability is where you can make the biggest difference in the shortest amount of time.
It hasn't been done for years. Focus and cut, change Washington not the other way around."
Rep. Lightfoot has other advice -- "Just because an agency head is sitting across from you in a hearing room do not assume he/she is always telling the truth. As Ronald Reagan once said, 'trust, but verify.'"