Sunday, December 26, 2010

ATF to be cannibalized? From, factual tidbits and speculations about destroying the agency to save the agenda.

Once upon a scandal, the BATF Air Force idea got sent to the boneyard. Now, maybe, it will be the entire agency. Don't celebrate, though, because if it is it will only be in furtherance of the anti-firearm Federale agenda.

Most of you, gentle readers, are familiar by now with the dissident ATF agent site known as

Here are some interesting discussions between ATF agents from that site, beginning with a link to this video about the terminal stupidity of banning certain Airsoft guns, and commentary upon it.

Just an observation by a former ATF agent:

Word on the street is another agency in DOJ is making sure this video is floating around Congress during the current budget discussions. And the rumor is they are currently considering taking away your firearms jurisdiction too after seeing this and are taking into account the fall-out after the recent ATF Gun Runner fiasco. All that hard, dangerous, dedicated work by ATF street agents targeting the most dangerous "worst of the worst" criminals over the years for the agency wasted.


Good job am sure he gave himself a big bonus this year.

Merry Christmas ATF

One agency using another agency's foibles to sandbag them in Congress? Say it ain't so, Herr Mueller. To which another agent, Noreaster, responded to moderator Doc Holliday:

Heard from some buddies over the last couple days that we are now in big trouble in the explosives field. Here is the basic story I heard: The federal Office of Management and Budget filed a report looking to cut out our explosives work and claims we just duplicate what the FBI does except for our regulatory work, and also said we should have our money taken away for NIBIN, state and local training and PCS moves. I also heard Chait sent a memo to the SACs in the last few days saying we need to start cutting NRT, SRT, travel, conferences, office supplies, cars, hiring, the new Glocks, and all state and local training.

Allegedly our huge new explosives building in Alabama has no money to operate and no people to run it, so Melson and Hoover are quietly looking to deal it away to the FBI or Homeland Security before we get caught in a scandal by the OIG or the media. Long time boot licker and Friend of Billy, Joe Riehl, the guy who for years been the point man in gutting our explosives jurisdiction, has been given marching orders to help cover up things in Alabama, was made acting chief of the facility and as a reward, he has been promised the new senior executive job in Quantico at TEDAC, and he has been heard in the halls of HQ telling people ATF "owes him" for doing the bidding of Chait, Boxler, Martin, Carter, Domenech, Hoover and Melson for years on explosives.

Martin thinks he is a real funny guy telling people in HQ that we can pay for explosives by turning the Alabama center into a bed and breakfast, or selling pies. It would not be so funny if Martin didn't have a record for selling us out and taking care of his classmates like Riehl.

Can anyone out there confirm any or all of this?

(MBV NOTE: I can.

The ATF National Explosives Training Center in Huntsville is one of the items I have had on my "dream list of Congressional oversight committee hearing subjects." Hadn't mentioned it because I didn't want to warn Holder, Traver and Company that it was in our cross-hairs, but since the CleanUp guys mention it. . .

Birmingham area ATF agents are quite well informed about this scandal ready to break and gossip about it frequently where little birdies flit from tree to tree. But, since it is now out on CleanUp, perhaps some enterprising reporter can begin digging. Not the long-since-tamed Birmingham News of course, whose crime reporter Carol Robinson used to be married to an ATF agent (or so I'm told) and who depends on friendly relations with the Feds for story tips, but perhaps CNN or FOX Atlanta? I can tell you that SOMEONE at some point will discover this story simply because it is so juicy. Film at Eleven.)

Later, Doc Holliday replied:

Its true.Our leaders don't think past their own immediate personal gain. They have mismanaged virtually every aspect and every directorate through Waste, Fraud and Abuse, Gross mismanagement with virtually no accountability. They have and continue to personally prosper while vital programs and public safety suffer. We have Congress' attention and will continue to press the media to challenge the illegal, unethical and corrupt practices that are happening right before our eyes. Hopefully it won't be too little, too late.

CPT Jonathan Tuttle comments:

My take:

When OMB, etc. gets its claws into what it regards as duplication of explosives by federal LE, somebody's budget (i.e., ATF's) WILL get cut in this environment as the Congress looks to reduce Government spending. What on Earth does anybody THINK will happen when the Congress finally moves on cutting budgets? We've got a Continuing Resolution until March 1st. That means all Federal agencies get to operate on the same funding level as last year, and no assurance that funds won't be cut for the REST of the fiscal year 2011.

Cling and die, ATF, because that's what's fixing to happen.

If won't be the FBI that takes the hit. It will be ATF. ATF has been leaderless for some 6 years now, and "Acting" or "Deputy" Directors don't get a full seat at the table because they command no juice. This is not peculiar to ATF --- it happens to ANY federal agency that is unfortunate enough not to have a permanent Director. ATF retains its hostility to the FBI, and the sentiment is fully returned --- quite the spectacle, and an embarrassing one that the Department of Justice will be glad to resolve.

ATF's "explosives" component is in more than mortal danger of being eliminated from that alone, and it is likely to be eased out of existence by (1) the blatant hostilities about turf, so far essentially unresolved, between ATF and the FBI, and (2) Congressional and Department of Justice OIG disgust over the failure of ATF and the FBI to work something out, in a mutually hostile "dance" that has been orchestrated on both sides for several years now. Even publishing a Justice OIG report didn't help. Oh well, cling and die.

It seems likely that Appropriations will refuse to fund the "explosives" component of ATF, which means that all those ATF personnel may eat shit and die --- because if positions are ELIMINATED, there's no appeal or recourse beyond whatever the usual severance arrangements are.

ATF management has brought this upon itself. It is the fault of management, MANAGEMENT, people who are paid lots of money to supposedly know better than to allow this stuff to get out of hand, but who have nothing better to do than pursue their own personal interests and bureaucratic games than to act in the best interests of the taxpayers and of the loyal street agents who are more than horrified at what they are watching, powerless to get MANAGEMENT to do anything about it. The ATF street agents can't in fairness be blamed --- they are the football team that gets sent out to do a job, and they do it, they are not by definition managers by any stretch of the imagination, NOR SHOULD THEY BE. Management owes them their backing and to watch their backs, and MANAGEMENT has utterly failed to do that. It is MANAGEMENT that has screwed this pooch. There is nobody else to blame.

But whatever will the Obamanoids do with ATF's functions if they do divide it in order to short-circuit investigation into the many looming scandals?

Later, CPT Jonathan Tuttle advised me:

Based on the attached article, it is fairly easy to trace the recent Federal Register notice to May 2010 and Obama's meeting with the Mexican President. ATF certainly knows better than to publish illegal regulations, and I don't think ATF is behind this --- the latest demon in the White House menangerie is one Cass Sunstein, Esq., a law professor who has been directing the boneheaded policies emitting therefrom. . .

From what I've been reading on CleanUpATF lately, the prospect of budget cuts there loom, if not a reorganization.

Consider the October 2009 audit report by the Department of Justice Inspector General (see about the horrific situation with explosives jurisdiction. It won't take much for OMB to chop ATF out of that chunk of pie. It wouldn't take much to put Alcohol back at Treasury where it belongs, and Tobacco to FDA given the fact that tobacco is a drug. I think there are two possibilities for Firearms: (1) the Department of Homeland Security, given the domestic focus, or (2) (REDACTED'S) take, which is to Customs & Border Protection (CBP) because of the importation and ITAR aspects. I am less certain about that.

So, breaking up ATF preemptively allows the Obamanoids to duck responsibility for the scandals by saying, "See, we've cleaned it up by getting rid of the offending agency." Heck, they will even try to claim credit for it as a "cost-cutting" measure.

Doing so will also assign the agents and the mission to DHS, where Big Sis has always wanted more bully boys to put on the street. Just peachy. A win-win for the Federal Leviathan, making future misadventures more likely, and hence, civil war a certainty.

Therefore, when they tell you ATF is no more, don't celebrate and don't relax.

Rather, increase your vigilance and preparations.

For Leviathan -- having learned no lessons at all and with its appetite for our liberty and property undiminished -- will still be advancing, flying a different battle flag perhaps, but advancing nonetheless.



Mark Matis said...

Oh, come now, Mike! They would NEVER do that! I mean, EVERY ONE OF THEM has sworn an oath to "...preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution...", and by re-arranging the deck chairs like this they will undoubtedly rethink their past transgressions and vow to return to the straight-and-narrow path where Constitutional rights and governmental limits are truly respected. And as far as their reassignment to DHS, just look at the outstanding job currently being performed by TSA under the same leadership. I mean, just HOW MUCH BETTER could an organization aspire to than to be a kid sister to TSA?

Loren said...

It sounds like a lack of directer might have been a deliberate thing, to wait until it's ripe enough you can tackle it without trouble. Mayhap getting rid of ATF has been a plan for a while now?

Defender said...

The FDA is indeed already taking over regulation of tobacco as a drug. Then I guess coffee, chocolate, pizza and candy canes are "drugs," too. They cause mood changes.
ATF always was a Frankenstein's creature put together from the sweepings of other agencies.
"Dedicated street agents dealing with the worst of the worst." They really believe they're heroes.
And the worst of the worst of whom? Licensed hoop-jumping businessmen who file lawsuits and shut down when they lose? Oooohh. Scary guys.

Scott J said...

Ancient curse: may you live in interesting times.

The pieces on the chessboard, they keep a changing but the game remains the same.

Bad Cyborg said...

Sorry, but nothing in this piece is at all surprising. Typical DC behavior.

One question, though, for everyone.

Is there any practical reason why DHS could not be grown into that civilian security force BHO talked about in the summer of 08? You remember? The one that was to be as large, well equipped and funded as DOD? And, other than funding, what if any part would Congress have to authorize? Could it not be started by executive order?

Bad Cyborg X

Toastrider said...

You know who I wish would stop farting around in the minor leagues?

Jim Metrock.

That crazy son of a bitch has spent the last year poking the state government in the eye over ethics and gifts (in particular, tickets to football games). Seems like small potatoes, but the man is making a good point and the reactions have been gratifying.

I'd just love to see him start poking the ATF in the eye. Publicly.

Anonymous said...

Here is my take on this.
A rat is most dangerous when cornered.
The ATF is a cornered rat if this is correct. When a Rat is cornered it shows it's teeth and attacks. Expect them to do the same. They will try and make some raid to justify their pay checks.
It will be splashed all over the propaganda channels and will insure fed funding of this UNCONSTITUTIONAL group of thugs.

Anonymous said...

I'm not at all happy about the prospects of the "F" part being assigned to DHS. That dept. already has enough of its tentacles into our formerly private lives without knowing who owns most of what's been produced since 1968 (because, yes, I believe that all of the 4473s have been scanned and computerized). This makes Big Sis, or whoever controls that rogue agency, that much more dangerous. Times appear to be on the path toward getting a bit more interesting.

Then again, a new agency in charge means that it'll take some time to understand the data (assuming that no one who's P.O.'d about ATF going away sabotages the data from within - and wouldn't THAT be interesting!) and integrate it, so those in ATF's sights may have a bit of a respite. Time will tell.