"It's deja vu all over again." -- Yogi Berra.
In February 1993, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (before they tacked on Explosives to the moniker) was in a world of PR trouble. Sexual harassment lawsuits and racial discrimination complaints abounded. Senators and Congressmen were asking uncomfortable questions. The agency needed a big raid to divert attention from their own internal troubles. Then somebody in Dallas had a bright idea.
Their bright idea got four ATF agents killed that day plus five Davidians.
This is how it ended 51 days later, with 80 dead Davidians, including babies.
That was then, this is now.
Now the ATF is in trouble again -- even worse trouble, really -- in the Project Gunwalker scandal, and word is out on the street -- a rumor only, but whispered by folks in a position to find out -- that the agency is about to go back to the old playbook.
This just in over the electronic transom:
Scuttlebutt is there's gonna be a big ATF enforcement/operations story dropped Monday or Tuesday, to try and divert attention away from what's been increasing interest in the murder of the Border Patrol agent and other issues of embarrassment to ATF.
This is not about ATF's announcement that there will be an announcement about the importation of shotguns (see: http://blog.princelaw.com/2011/1/20/atf-to-issue-new-ruling-on-monday-regarding-new-restrictions-on-shotgun-importation). Good thing I have my 2 Saiga 12s and a bunch of drum magazines. Like what's the difference between a 12 gauge Streetsweeper with an 18" barrel designed to be fired from the shoulder (classified by ATF as a Destructive Device), and a 12 gauge Saiga with an 18" barrel designed to be fired from the shoulder and equipped with a 20-round drum magazine (classified by ATF as a Title I firearm)? Answer: The Saiga holds 8 more rounds than the Streetsweeper.
The story on Monday or Tuesday is going to be about a lotta bad guys getting arrested by ATF, to try and uplift ATF's image.
I'd like to think that the people who run this agency are not historical amnesiacs.
I'd like to think that the agency has a longer institutional memory than that of a fruit fly convention.
I'd like to think that the ATF management is not once more offering up their young agents' lives on the altar of political expediency and bureaucratic desperation.
I'd like to think that no innocents will be killed in order to divert attention away from a scandal that the United States Senate has already noticed.
I'd like to think that these taxpayer supported criminals of the ATF's upper management are not really so stupid as to think that other people won't notice that this is just kabuki theater played for the television cameras with automatic weapons and other people's lives.
I'd like to think that.
But it is not the way to bet.
These people are desperate bureaucrats who have committed criminal acts and who will do anything to divert attention from their own felonies.
There is a special place in hell for such people.
Let's hope this is just another unfounded rumor.
But, again, that's not the way to bet.