Monday, January 31, 2011

ATF execs' ululations of agony -- Not-so-instant Karma at the tipping point of the perpetual scandal that is ATF -- and David Olofson's revenge.

An ululation (aka ololuge or ololygmos) is a long, wavering, high-pitched sound resembling the howl of a dog or wolf with a trilling quality. It is produced by emitting a high pitched loud voice accompanied with a rapid movement of the tongue and the uvula. The term ululation is an onomatopoeic word derived from Latin. It is produced by moving the tongue, rapidly, from left to right repetitively in the mouth while producing a sharp sound. -- Wikipedia.

"The Three Amigos" at the Knob Creek Machine Gun Shoot. From left to right: David Codrea, Len Savage and an old fat guy with a cane.


It has been a long day.

When I got home this evening I received this from someone in the government:

Congratulations on staging a fine opera. I know I don't know all of what it took to pull it off, and can't imagine it, but have some notions of the difficulties. It worked because the right stuff aligned.

There's gonna be a lot of sore pussies at ATF --- not only is a week pretty short notice for a briefing, the prospect of getting salaries withheld for lying will get some attention, and ATF may try and lie anyway. But I doubt it will work, because I doubt the ATF Special Agents will go along with it, and there's no way to fool them.

Lying to Congress is as serious as it gets --- Congress could and would cut off funding for all of ATF, if that sort of thing persisted after the rattling of perjury sabers.

I noticed there are different versions of the Mexican press story, some short, some abridged; no telling what's up with that, but at this point that is a detail.

I sent the letters to a Washington Post reporter tonight. . .(REDACTED) . . .

Again, congratulations.

I was not the only recipient. It also went to the two other amigos pictured above, and for good reason. This was a group effort in applied karma.

I'll tell you flat out, I've been grinning like a chimp, to use my Grandpa Vanderboegh's phrase, since I got the Grassley letters this morning and posted them, scooping everybody including the Associated Press. So too, I suspect, have the other two amigos. So too are a lot of people, both within and without the government. This day has been a long time coming.

Today was a textbook case of not-so-instant Karma at the tipping point of the perpetual scandal that is ATF. And I'll be darned if I don't enjoy the screaming coming from the fifth floor. Waldo and others report that there are a number of people in ATF HQ, Main Justice and even the White House who are ululating in agony and thrashing around like their hair was on fire. Or perhaps it is only their pants.

I also heard early this evening from an experienced lobbyist well connected to the new Congress. That there will be ATF oversight hearings -- dealing with not only the death of Brian Terry and the Project Gunwalker scandal but with the whole panoply of ATF scandals mentioned in these pages over the past two years -- is said to be a bet-the-farm certainty.

And there is so much to look into. Let's count a few:

** Project Gunwalker and the death of Brian Terry (and the coverup of the circumstances of same) as well as the failure to apprise the Mexican government over the objections of ATF's own Mexico City attache.

** The framing and incarceration of David Olofson highlighting the scandal that is the lack of ATF standard testing procedures and regulatory transparency.

** The "economic Wacos" perpetrated by the ATF on people who had the gall to testify against them as expert witnesses in court or just because the agency didn't like their political opinions, epitomized by the case of Len Savage, including (but not limited to) regulatory harassment, knowing use of unreliable snitches, physical threats and intimidation, corrupt and unethical ex parte communications with federal judges.

** The profligate waste of taxpayer dollars in pursuit of an agenda, including most spectacularly the estimated more than a million dollars spent chasing a stuffed child's toy by the name of Ramsey A. Bear for almost two years, who a well-placed NFATCA snitch told them was an associate of Len Savage.

** The scandal that is the NFRTR, which the ATF always testifies under oath in prosecutions is accurate when they know damn well it is not. Such serial perjuries have sent more than one innocent man to jail over the years.

** The South Korean Garand rifle case, where the ATF persuaded the State Department to halt the importation of collector rifles based on a deliberately contrived report that such rifles were the preferred weapon of gang-bangers, even though they knew this wasn't the case and that such rifles were being sold by the federal government itself to marksmen and collectors through the Civilian Marksmanship Program.

** The systematic victimization of their own street agents who either ran afoul of out-of-control supervisors or who were trying to blow the whistle on agency mistakes. The website is full of such incidents which up until now have been pooh-poohed by the agency and largely ignored by the press.

** The abuse, in the above attacks on street agents, of the EEOC process and the hired "legal experts" used to skew the process in the agency's favor.

** The gang of recidivist criminals that is the ATF Chief Counsel's Office, who throughout the cases above and others, never fail to sacrifice law and justice on the twin demi-god altars of their own anti-firearm agenda and personal internal power over the clueless directors as they come and go. It is the CCO which really runs the agency and is responsible for its current scandalous nadir.

David Olofson and family in a photo taken at the federal prison where he was incarcerated after being framed by ATF Agent Jody Keeku.

Those are a few of the scandals waiting to be ripped open under oath. There are others. Which brings me back to The Three Amigos.

We each first met the others at that Knob Creek Machine Gun Shoot which now seems like ancient history, though it was but a couple of years ago. David was by then an experienced firearm columnist and blogger. Len was legend in the firearms design and Class III community. I was a pissed off scribbler with a notorious past of waging cold war against federal bureaucracy in the furtherance of liberty. I remember sitting on the grass underneath a tree and talking with them about the case which excited our mutual contempt and outrage -- the framing of David Olofson.

David had loaned a semi-auto rifle to a young man who later would prove to have been an ATF snitch. Conveniently, when the young man took it to the range (without David being present), it malfunctioned after a couple hundred rounds and began to double or triple uncontrollably, firing out-of-battery, a dangerous condition. Jody Keeku, the ATF agent in charge of the case, sent the rifle to the Firearms Technology Branch in West Virginia for testing. They found it to be a malfunctioning semi-auto rifle, not a machine gun. Keeku told them to retest it using soft-primer ammunition. Told what to find, the FTB guys "found" it to be an automatic weapon and Olofson was charged with transferring a full-auto weapon in violation of the National Firearms Act of 1934.

David Olofson was represented by a federal public defender who, in my opinion (and he may sue me if he likes), was certainly ineffective and incompetent and possibly bought by the prosecution.

Len had been called late to the case as an expert witness. The judge, at the insistence of the ATF, refused to allow Len to even disassemble the weapon, let alone test it.

Not surprisingly, David Olofson was sent to federal prison.

Thus it was the Olofson case which brought me off the sidelines and the three of us together. The Three Amigos (I forget who used the term first, probably David) were more the "Three Guys Walking In The Same General Direction Over A Rickety Bridge," especially at first. Each of us had sources and strengths that complimented the others. Yet, our actions were by no means perfectly coordinated. Not hardly. As the inevitable point man, I often did and said things that made the others blanch in disagreement, usually after the fact. There were things that Len, as both an expert witness and subject of ATF court action, could not and would not tell me. There were other times when both he and David chided me for jumping on a fact or issue too hard. Len's cautions to me were famous and sometimes painful, again, usually after the fact. David's also. Along the way between then and now we Three Amigos added other members of what I have called "the willing coalition of Lilliputians" until we number in the dozens. We don't agree with one another on everything. Some, especially the street agents of the ATF, would say that they disagree with me on most things.

But there were certain things that we all agreed upon -- simple justice, the truth, the antiseptic quality of sunlight and the venality of the agenda-driven snake pit that was the Chief Counsel's Office. In every injustice perpetrated by the ATF hierarchy, there -- for those who looked close enough -- were the fingerprints of the CCO. Keeku could not have done what she did without the willing assistance of the CCO. The CCO directed the "economic Wacos" against Len Savage and others. The CCO perverted the EEOC process to attack street agent whistleblowers.

And added to this was the keen insight of Pete at WRSA, who was also underneath that tree that day in Kentucky: that no one, and I mean, NO ONE, really likes crooked lawyers, not even their own spouses and/or mistresses.

So we set out, we Three Amigos, simply sharing information, not wholly trusting one another then but united in common cause exemplified by the Olofson injustice. Gradually we built a very complete understanding of how the CCO machine worked and came to understand that its overweening arrogance was its fundamental weakness.

They were arrogant because no one of either political party had ever held them to account. They were above the law. They, in their own minds, WERE the law. So as bad as the Project Gunwalker scandal and the death of BPA Terry is, it is merely the latest expression of the corrupt practices of the senior executives and, especially, the Chief Counsel's Office of the ATF.

When they are called to testify under oath in the near future, they could all benefit from the profound wisdom expressed by the great American philosopher Frank Zappa in 1965.

Do you love it?
Do you hate it?
There it is,
The way you made it.

And to Jody Keeku, wherever she now is, I would add, "How do you like David Olofson's revenge?"

Mike Vanderboegh
The alleged leader of a merry band of Three Percenters

LATER: The Miami Herald and the Associated Press finally, officially, notice Project Gunwalker.


Kurt "45superman" Hofmann said...

Mike, the work you guys did to get this out in the sunlight is . . . beyond my ability to describe its magnificent nobility and vastness.

Thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

oldsmobile98 said...

Good work, sir.

Justice for R.A. Bear!

I'm looking forward to seeing him testify on TV.

fireplaceguy said...

Congratulations to all of you. My own feeble effort to get the gunwalker story picked up is all the lesson I need in how difficult it is to get corruption investigated by any members or sycophants of a corrupt government.

I welcome the hearings, and am delighted they'll happen just as the Obamamachine revs up on gun control. The cynic in me worries that the hearings will end up being conservative candy. As in, they feed us a few sweet treats while continuing to fiddle as Rome burns.

Savor the victory, but keep preparing.

Anonymous said...

Well you three amigos did some fine work. This will either end so well for the good guys that matt bracken could write a book about it or it'll get covered up and nobody will get any peace or justice. If that happens well its just another on the list. I think lots of folks are sharpening their pitchforks for when the list just gets too big.

strandediniowa said...

Once in a while our Senator does something right.

Thank you Mike, and to David and Len for taking the lead.

All of the NRA lobbyists and generalisimo apologists did not accomplish more than what you guys did. I hope the Senate doesn't squander and waste this opportunity.

Thank you again.

Taylor H said...

Their sins have found them out.

Anonymous said...

So, if this is the straw that breaks BATFE's back... And the hated bureau goes away... The firearms and explosives enforcement will not disappear but will surely go to Homeland Security.

See how you like THAT in a couple of years. I'm not looking forward to dealing with a department devised from the ground up totally for the political and social engineering ends that BATFE was warped into serving since 1968 or so- And as good as your intentions were in this, you might want to consider the possibility that you have just been played.

Reg T said...


Thank you, and David Codrea, for doing what has needed to be done for so many years now. And please pass on my thanks to the brave agents at BATF who - no matter their motivation, personal, to clean up ATF, or because it is the right thing to do - are risking so much to come forward.

We are all proud of you, Mike. Let us pray that there is major cleaning and reconstruction at BATF, and that there will be some long-overdue reparations for David Olofson, Len Savage, and so many others whose lives were damaged or destroyed by scum like Jody Keeku and the tyrants in the CCO.

Being interested in the history of government excess and abuse of its own citizens, someday I would love to see a photo rogue's gallery of some of these monsters, like Jody Keeku, Judge Charles Clevert, Jr, et al. I'm sure some of us would enjoy seeing one hundred of them, but even just a few would be nice.

Scott J said...

Mike, I pray you keep the Dogtown Rangers on high alert for awhile.

The goblins WILL try to get even.

And if you find yourself in need of a ride to DC for the hearings let me know. I'll make the necessary schedule adjustments.

Anonymous said...

Excellent work, Mr. Dutchman and company.

But as fireplace said, hopefully this won't be a circus, all show and no substance.


Defender said...

Link sent to the executive editor of the local rag. Even if AP waters this down to an ATF cheerleading session, HE'LL know. We'll see what shows up in his little (and shrinking) paper.
Also, the local rogue roving TV reporter who was a Pulitzer nominee and isn't afraid to investigate ANYTHING.

EJR914 said...

Great read, Mike. I can't wait for the hearings.

Great work to all of you for getting this the proper coverage that it deserved.

WarriorClass said...

Well done!

The thugs may try to scurry to the DHS, but no other government agency has done more to publicly discredit themselves than DHS. Nothing as satisfying as the rats running to another sinking ship.

I suggest to the threepers to keep the heat on their reps to push this along to the finish line.


F B Caver said...

Excellent news.
I think I've read every post you've made here since Sipsey Street began a couple of years back. I've not always agreed with you, But I've enjoyed them.

Now at last, I know who the faces on the photo are (at first I thought you were in the centre - I hope I don't offend either you of Len with that!)

I'm even more eager to buy a copy of Absolved now.

Congratulations and thanks

Anonymous said...

This is indeed a battle won, but I have to agree with Anon. We cant yet see where this will lead. I see BATFU breaking up on the rocks but I see its people and mission simply being rescued by DHS. The Pirate crew that is created, to continue with the metephor, is an unknown but I dont see them giving up the burning looting and raping.
There are many possible outcomes but the overall picture is in shadow
We are on the edge looking into darkness.


Anonymous said...

President Andrew Jackson closed down the national bank, too. It didn't last.

You don't eradicate kudzu in an area by hand pruning, you eradicate it by eliminating each and every last little viable scrap until you have a complete and total 100% extermination.

Reforming politics is makework for true-believer socialists. A stoic would study that claim very closely to determine if it was actually true.

MamaLiberty said...

Watching and hoping from Wyoming.

Good job, everyone who participated.

Now, watch your backs.

rah45 said...


Thank you and all others who participated who made this possible. I have no idea how difficult this was, but I am certain that it is something I could never have done.

Again, thanks, from the bottom of my heart.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 8:19 writes: "I'm not looking forward to dealing with a department devised from the ground up totally for the political and social engineering ends that BATFE was warped into serving since 1968 or so-"

A government bureau to regulate the use, possession, and transfer of alcohol, tobacco, firearms, and explosives exists purely for political and social engineering ends. 100% of it. All of it. The bureau wasn't warped in 1968, it was expanded.

Are you claiming that the original job of the BATFE was to make sure moonshine in commerce doesn't contain lead, firearm barrels meet pressure design standards, and explosives are packed safely when they are transported on roads -- but as long as the regulated objects are manufactured as advertised they could care less who has them? That claim doesn't match the historical record of any government's efforts at gun control, including America's. The first use of gun control in America was to disarm blacks after the civil war, so they would remain partially enslaved.

Joanofarc said...

God bless both of you for sticking your neck out for all of us!!!