A jar of slippery eels.
Yesterday's post elicited a number of comments from current and former federal government employees.
From an experienced ATF field agent:
To further point out:
"Prosecutor-led multi-agency task forces" - Unlike HIDTA (DEA), JTTF (FBI), OCDETF (Multi Agency), etc., the Strike Forces are run by DOJ directly. (Emphasis supplied, MBV.) Funds and operations trickle through the various agencies but it is the only entity which has lawyers (not cops/agents) making day to day investigative decisions. (Emphasis supplied, MBV.)
"High volume trafficking investigations in which over an extended period ATF cannot reasonably determine where or to whom such firearms are being trafficked" & "The controlled movement of firearms, ammunition, explosives, explosives devices, and/or components or non-functional 'props' of such items across the U.S.-Mexico border from the United States shall be coordinated with and approved in advance by Bureau headquarters" - How do we have a document which clearly defines and mandates a strategy that both ATF and DOJ have categorically denied was ever practiced? (Emphasis supplied, MBV.)
Furthermore, Holder just testified (under oath) to the Senate Judiciary committee that "we should never allow guns in an uncontrolled fashion to cross the border, or actually to leave any investigation in an uncontrolled way," and "Uncontrolled distribution of guns connected to any kind of investigation that we are doing is something that is not consistent with the policies that I (inaudible) followed in the Department of Justice."
So, according to the Attorney General himself, this new strategy is in direct violation of a long standing DOJ policy.
From a retired member of the intelligence community:
Your best yet. You have written about "Rosetta Stones" when documents surfaced in this scandal before but this really is the Holy Grail of Rosetta Stones. How stupid of the ATF to leak this document to Isikoff. . . Few PR challenges have to be answered by leaking policy documents. . . Chait (if that is who wrote it and/or leaked it) just shot his agency, the DOJ and the Obama administration in the head. The bullet just arrived several months late is all. That's no small trick, to get several targets with one shot.
From a current government employee:
There's no doubt this report can unravel Project Gunrunner/Gunwalker. Just get the Congress to demand some analyses using the performance measures that were required to be institutionalized. I don't see any way to credibly cover them up---i.e., "Are you telling me, Mr. Melson, that ATF has no records of the serial numbers and descriptions of the Project Gunrunner firearms that would enable any other law enforcement agency, domestic or foreign, to identify them in its own data bases as crime guns?" But getting the Congress to ask such questions in a forum in which perjury is an issue is a whole other jar of slippery electric eels.
And that is the billion dollar question, isn't it? Will the Congresscritters act on the damning information contained in this internal ATF report? Word is that Grassley, Issa and even Lamar Smith are serious about fighting this out to the bitter end to get to the truth. We shall see.
*LATER: I received a complaint from the fellow I characterize as "old spook" in the headline. This retired employee of the Christians In Action takes exception at the moniker "old spook" and wishes that I had rather referred to him as "an experienced gentleman adventurer of unconventional mien." As this will not fit in the space allotted for the title, this asterisk will have to do.