Monday, June 20, 2011

Melson refuses to throw himself under the bus. An "oh, shit" moment for the White House. The loud creaking sound is WaPo finally covering Gunwalker

Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer finally reads an inconvenient Gunwalker Scandal story in the Washington Post. "дерьмо!" ("Shit!")

First, from FOX: "ATF Director Getting the Boot?"

Meanwhile, Pravda reporters Jerry Markon and Sari Horwitz, assisted by Anne E. Kornblut and Darth Breuer's favorite lap-dog journalist James V. Grimaldi write this evening: "Obama’s nominee for ATF chief to meet with Justice Department officials."

President Obama’s nominee to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is scheduled to meet with senior Justice Department officials Tuesday amid growing pressure on the agency’s leadership over a controversial gun-trafficking operation.

Andrew Traver, who runs the ATF’s Chicago office, is arriving in Washington as political fallout is continuing from the agency’s “Fast and Furious” operation, which targeted Mexican gun traffickers but has been linked to the killing of a U.S. law enforcement officer. Republicans in Congress have criticized the ATF’s handling of the investigation.

One U.S. official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations, said Traver may be offered the ATF’s top job on an acting basis at a meeting Tuesday with Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. CNN reported Monday that the current acting director, Kenneth E. Melson, is expected to resign under pressure.

But law enforcement and other sources said Melson has told associates that he believes he has done nothing wrong. Officials said the White House is watching the situation warily and is concerned about the ATF but has not asked for Melson’s resignation. (Emphasis supplied, MBV)

OK, folks, the remarkable thing about this story is that it is in Pravda on the Potomac. This represents a huge "Oh, shit!" moment for the White House. Melson has been selected as the goat. Melson refuses to be the goat, and says he "has done nothing wrong." More likely what he's saying is, "I did everything you anal sphincters ordered me to and I'm not throwing myself under the bus for you."

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette op-ed columnist Jack Kelly, writing today at To The Point News, says "GUNWALKER SHOULD RESULT IN FAST AND FURIOUS PROSECUTION OF OBAMA OFFICIALS," concluding "Gunwalker should result in a fast and furious perp walk for a number of Obama officials. The more the merrier." Here is the piece, in part. I will have a couple more comments afterward.

Officer Terry's death put an end to an operation in which ATF deliberately permitted the transfer of more than 2,000 weapons -- enough to equip two infantry battalions -- to Mexican drug gangs. These included .50 caliber sniper rifles, and are thought to have been used in the shootings of 150 Mexican soldiers and policemen.

That operation's been called "Project Gunwalker" (because ATF permitted the guns to "walk" across the border), and Operation "Fast and Furious," after its code name. Its ostensible purpose was to gather evidence that might lead to the arrest of Mexican drug kingpins.

Gunwalker was a dangerous reversal of longstanding policy, ATF Agent Olindo Casa told the House Committee on Oversight and Government Operations June 15.

"From the time I started as an ATF special agent...we do not let guns walk, absolutely positively not," he said. "If ever there were a case (where) we would do that, there better be a really good explanation why we did not grab that gun when we could."

Street agents were appalled, Mr. Casa and three other ATF whistleblowers told the Oversight Committee.

"I cannot begin to think of how the risk of having guns fall into the hands of known criminals could possibly advance any legitimate law enforcement interest," said Agent John Dodson.

Assistant Attorney General Robert Weich told Sen. Charles Grassley, R-IA, that ATF did not knowingly allow the sale of assault weapons to straw purchasers.

Mr. Weich wouldn't be lying if Gunwalker were a rogue operation no one in Washington knew about. But the chairman of the Oversight Committee, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-CA, obtained emails which indicate the acting director of ATF and his deputy received weekly briefings on Gunwalker. The director, Kenneth Melson, had watched a live feed of a straw purchase.

Who else in Washington knew about Gunwalker? Whose idea was it in the first place?

The House Oversight Committee would like answers to those questions. But ATF has resisted supplying documents subpoenaed by the committee. Footdragging continued even after Mr. Issa threatened Mr. Melson with a citation for contempt of Congress.

Mr. Issa described Gunwalker as "felony stupid." Surveillance stopped at the border, and there was no coordination with Mexican authorities, it is hard to see how it could ever have resulted in prosecutions of Mexican drug lords. Here is the committee report including the testimony of the agents.

Gunwalker was so stupid some suspect its real purpose was to build support for gun control.

"Success was measured not by the number of criminals being incarcerated, but by the number of weapons transiting the border and the violence those weapons caused," notes Bob Owens of Pajamas Media. This makes sense, he said, only if Gunwalker "was designed from the outset to arm Mexican narco-terrorists."

Further, says Owens, "At the same time they were damning gun dealers in public, the administration was secretly forcing them to provide weapons to the cartels, by the armful and without oversight. More than one gun industry insider suggests that the administration extorted cooperation and silence from these gun shops. As the ATF has the power to summarily shut dealers down for the most minor of offenses, that is very, very possible."

"More than 90 percent of the guns recovered in Mexico come from the United States, many from gun shops that line our border," President Obama said in 2009.

That isn't true. In 2008, Mexico asked ATF to trace 7,200 of nearly 30,000 firearms it seized at crime scenes. Only 4,000 could be traced. Of these, 3,400 -- less than 12 percent of the arms seized in Mexico that year -- came from the U.S.

Drug cartels get most of their weapons from stockpiles in Central America left over from conflicts in the region, the general commanding U.S. Southern Command told a Senate committee in April.

The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday (6/18) Attorney General Eric Holder is likely to fire Mr. Melson in the hopes this will put an end to Mr. Issa's investigation. But if Gunwalker's primary purpose was political, odds are it did not originate with ATF.

"The paper trail created by the program renders ridiculous Holder's claims not to have authorized Fast and Furious," said Mark Tapscott of the Washington Examiner.

Gunwalker should result in a fast and furious perp walk for a number of Obama officials. The more the merrier.

Jack Kelly is a former Marine and Green Beret and a former deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force in the Reagan administration. He is national security writer for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

"The more the merrier" is what the White House is worried spitless about. How to finesse Melson? He has the power to blow Eric Holder out of office and, at least, make Obama a one-term President. It is too late to take him on a walk down to Fort Marcy Park. What to do? Thanks to the publicity generated by the "Black Wednesday" hearing, there are millions more people this week who know about the Gunwalker Scandal than there were last week. It is not going away. There will be more hearings. There are already grumblings about a special prosecutor in the halls of Congress. What to do? Obama must be asking himself.

What to do?

The thing is, Melson is asking himself that question too. The answer will be found when The Gunwalker Man quits running and whose door he will be standing in front of when he does.

My bet?

The only way he gives himself cover from a special prosecutor is to tell everything to Issa under oath and go for complete Ollie North immunity. Film at eleven, boys and girls. Film at eleven.


Dennis308 said...

If he did "nothing wrong" and was "Only Following Orders" he needs to tell who gave him those orders, was it Brewer, was it Holder, Was it both of them, or was it maybe someone Higher?

He needs to make his move quickly before something tragic happens to him. Obumer, Holder and Brewer will not let this lose-end stay lose for long. Hell, Travers is Ambitious enough to make sure the "Job Gets Done" on Melson himself.(just to get his Colors)


Anonymous said...

He sounds like a prime accident candidate to me, although I have respect for the ability of these people to cover their actions.

They would have thought this matter out.

Mark Matis said...

You say "It is too late to take him on a walk down to Fort Marcy Park."

What would make ANYONE believe that, given the Media's predilections and the current AG? Or do you REALLY believe that anyone would investigate his death more thoroughly than they did for the late Mr. Foster?

Robert Fowler said...

"More than one gun industry insider suggests that the administration extorted cooperation and silence from these gun shops. As the ATF has the power to summarily shut dealers down for the most minor of offenses, that is very, very possible.""

It's more than possible. When I got my FFL years ago, I was told the ATF can come in anytime they want, without a warrant and inspect my business and my records. Failure to comply is grounds for losing my license. For the ATF to coerce these shop owners to comply is no big stretch.

tsiya said...

None of this happened without Obama's knowledge and approval and he may even be the one who hatched the plan.
We may never prove it but I will never doubt it.

Anonymous said...

Who was the ATF/DoJ official who said "In order to make an omelette you have to scramble some eggs" to an agent questioning F&F?

Dale Martin said...

Mike, That's "Guvno" and in this case "Guvno Pirogu" (Lit> "Shit Pirogi" or in our new national language, "Taco de Mierdas") That is, "Hell of a shitty deal"


Anonymous said...

I got three words for you, "Vince Foster." [/JoeBiden]