U.S. Rep. Elijah "Bloody Hands" Cummings -- so called because he had control of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee prior to the 2010 elections and never held an oversight hearing that might have addressed ATF management problems and short-circuited the Gunwalker Scandal -- is holding something of a hoplophobe indoor garden party tomorrow.
Channing Turner at Main Justice called this hopped-up advertisement for gun control a "minority hearing." It is not, for Cummings doesn't have the authority to call a formal hearing on his own.
U.S. Rep. Elijah "Bloody Hands" Cummings
Dave Workman calls it a "forum" or “briefing.”
The quintessential hoplophobic collectivist creep Senator Chuck Schumer will be there.
Arturo Cervantes, listed by the Minority witness list as "Mexico Ministry of Health," is supposed to be there as well.
Dr Arturo Cervantes on right in 2009, when he was head of the Road Traffic Accident Prevention Centre in Mexico City.
Dr. Cervantes will no doubt give stirring expert testimony on how Project Gunwalker firearms disrupt Mexican traffic patterns. That is his specialty, I believe.
There of course will also be the usual firearm confiscationist suspects:
Colby Goodman, Author of “U.S. Firearms Trafficking to Mexico: New Data and Insights Illuminate Key Trends and Challenges.” Readers of Kurt Hofmann's St. Louis Gun Examiner column will recall his story on Mr. Goodman from 2 May, "Author of study quoted by anti-gun groups changes story, implicates 'Gunwalker.'" I'm sure vigorous questioning by old Bloody Hands will elicit the changing story that Kurt wrote of.
Paul Helmke, retiring president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, will be there, up for his last swan song before leaving the Brady Bunch for parts as yet unknown.
Thomas Mahoney, Assistant State’s Attorney Supervisor, Gang Prosecution Unit, Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. Mahoney is a buddy of Andrew Traver, the notoriously anti-firearm Chicago SAC of ATF who the Obamanoids wish to become the replacement for Ken "Gunwalker Man" Melson. Mahoney served on the same Joyce Foundation/IACP "Gun Violence Summit Advisory Group."
Eric Olson, Senior Associate, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. He has already given us a look at what his testimony will be -- here is what he had to tell the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Peace Corps, and Narcotics Affairs in May of this year.
And what hoplophobe fun fest would be complete without Kristen Rand, Legislative Director of the Violence Policy Center?
More interesting to me, and certain to be Bloody Hands star witness is Michael R. Bouchard, former Assistant Director Field Operations, ATF. "Look! Look! We've got an ATF witness, too!"
The ATF street agents I talk to are not that impressed with Mr. Bouchard's agency career. One said, "Yeah, he was a coward who wouldn't come forward when Truscott was stealing the silverware during the anonymous whistleblower thing. He sat as the Director's ass't like former SAC Vanessa McLemore. He's a disgrace and should shut the fuck up. He was the former ADFO who ignored threats to Dobyns."
The Washington Times reported his bio in January of 2004:
A veteran agent for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has been named to head the ATF’s Office of Field Operations, where he will oversee regulatory and criminal enforcement for 23 field divisions throughout the country.
Michael R. Bouchard, who supervised the ATF’s investigation and apprehension of Washington snipers John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo, will also be responsible for oversight of ATF personnel who inspect federally licensed firearms and explosives dealers and manufacturers, and for all criminal investigators focusing on illegal firearms and explosives matters, arson, violent gangs, and alcohol and tobacco diversion.
He will also oversee the resource deployment of the ATF’s National Response Teams, which respond to major arsons and bombings nationwide.
Mr. Bouchard was formerly the deputy assistant director for the ATF’s Strategic Intelligence and Information division.
Mr. Bouchard began his career as a police officer and detective in Connecticut in 1979, moving to the ATF in 1987, where he has served in numerous positions at its headquarters and across the country. He headed the ATF field division in Baltimore, where he was responsible for criminal and regulatory enforcement issues in Maryland and Delaware. He also served as resident agent in charge of the Boston field division, where he handled the investigation into one of the largest arson-for-profit fires in the history of Massachusetts.
As head of the ATF’s Resource Management Branch, he also oversaw the logistics for the Oklahoma City bombing deployment and all church fires in the middle to late 1990s. He headed the Arson Enforcement Branch, served as chief of the Arson and Explosives Programs Division and as director of the Youth Crime Gun Interdiction Initiative.
As a member of the National Response Team, Mr. Bouchard supervised the ATF’s efforts at several major incidents, including the September 11 attacks on the Pentagon.
A native of Connecticut, Mr. Bouchard received a bachelor’s degree in fire-arson investigation from the University of New Haven in Connecticut; and a master’s degree in national-security strategy from the National War College in Washington.
He also serves on the arson and explosives committee with the International Association of Police Chiefs, and previously served on committees with the National Fire Protection Association and the International Association of Arson Investigators.
That was as high as he was going to rise in the ATF heirarchy. As CNS News
reported in March 2006, Bouchard was called on the carpet by Congress to explain why the ATF got involved in some "gun show stings" that went badly wrong.
But it was the Truscott scandal which did in Bouchard's career. As Dan Eggen reported in Pravda-on-the-Potomac in February 2007: "ATF Officials Who Challenged Director Moved to Lower Posts."
Two senior officials at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives who opposed many questionable management and spending decisions by the agency's former director are being moved to lower-ranking positions effective Thursday, officials said.
Deputy Director Edgar A. Domenech, who also served as acting director last year, is being moved out of ATF headquarters to lead the agency's Washington field office. The assistant director for field operations, Michael Bouchard, will become an assistant to Michael J. Sullivan, a U.S. attorney who is temporarily running ATF.
The transfers are widely seen within ATF as demotions. They come seven months after the sudden departure of Carl J. Truscott, the former director, who clashed with Domenech and other senior executives over spending and management practices.
An inspector general's report issued after his departure showed that Truscott -- who previously served as head of President Bush's security detail at the Secret Service -- engaged in a wide-ranging pattern of questionable expenditures on a new ATF headquarters, personal security and other items. The report also said that he violated ethics rules by forcing employees to help his nephew prepare a high school video project.
Domenech took over for Truscott after he resigned and reversed a decision to include a costly engraved quotation from Bush's speech to Congress after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks at the new headquarters entrance.
ATF spokeswoman Sheree Mixell characterized the moves as routine and said "both are important positions."
Domenech and Bouchard could not be reached to comment last week.
The new deputy director will be Ronnie A. Carter, a 27-year ATF veteran, who has headed the agency's Dallas office since 2002. Bouchard's replacement is William J. Hoover, a 20-year veteran. Hoover headed the Boston office for about three years before taking over the Washington office in January 2006.
Bouchard decided to retire immediately after his demotion.
He has always been good for a comment or two since then, whenever Pravda wants a quotable quote to back up a pro-gun control story by "reporters" James V. Grimaldi and the forgiven plagiarist Sari Horwitz, such as this one in October of last year: "ATF's oversight limited in face of gun lobby."
"We were always given just enough food and water to survive," said Michael Bouchard, former ATF assistant director for field operations. "We could barely just keep going. The ATF could never get that strong, because the gun lobby would get too concerned."
Of course, from the Democrats' point of view, Bouchard has also said some very inconvenient things about Gunwalker. For example:
Defenders of the agency questioned whether Melson is about to become a sacrificial lamb for decisions made higher up in the Justice Department, the ATF’s parent.
“If anybody thinks the ATF is calling the shots on this, they’re wrong,” said Michael Bouchard, the ATF’s assistant director for field operations from 2004 until his retirement in 2007. “For ATF top officials to take all the hits on this is totally unfair.”
I'm sure Bloody Hands will be eager to explore THAT sentiment.
The best news on this not-hearing? A spokesman at the Minority staff on the Committee told me sadly that it will not be on C-SPAN. I'm sure that Sari Horwitz will cover it anyway.