Josh Gerstein, writing at Polico asks: "Could controversy kill the ATF?"
The unfolding scandal over a gunrunning investigation allegedly botched by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives could do what years of criticism of the long-beleaguered agency never quite accomplished — result in its demise.
That, at least, is the view of some former ATF employees and advocates on both sides of the gun control debate who have watched the agency struggle to contain the damage from an operation intended to trace the traffic of illegal guns to Mexico that has reignited the harsh criticism often directed at the ATF in the past.
The agency, which moved from the Treasury Department to the Justice Department in 2003, has been without a permanent director for nearly five years. Nominees offered by Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama have languished without approval from the Senate after drawing strong opposition from the National Rifle Association, which for years has been the agency’s loudest critic.
Now, with ATF Acting Director Kenneth Melson hobbled by the scandal over Operation Fast and Furious and by indications he’s at odds with senior Justice Department officials, many are saying a breakup of the storied agency could just be a matter of time.
“I think something like that is likely to happen,” said Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. “Unless they take some action to give it a director, it’s inevitable it’s going to have to get to that stage. It cannot continue the way it’s going now. … Right now, ATF is so weak it’s amazing.” . . .
“I point the finger at Congress. You made it confirmable, so confirm somebody. If not, restructure it. … If this structure doesn’t work, let’s get a structure that does,” Helmke said.
Now folks, when rabid anti-gunners like Helmke get around to accepting the ATF's demise, you've got to ask yourself why. The answer? They are protecting the larger mission -- both the Obama administration and the gun control mission. This scandal is so bad, they know they'll have to give up something. But they also know that the firearm laws of the United States are NOT going to be repealed anytime soon.
As a matter of fact, these schmucks -- both the gun confiscationists and the guilty Gunwalker conspirators -- NEED you to think that this is about the ATF. The more folks focus on the tree of the ATF, the less they're worried about the larger forest of their naked attempt to subvert the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.
And it is not just Helmke:
Some experts said the ATF, a successor to Treasury’s Prohibition Unit that once counted crimefighter Eliot Ness among its ranks, has outlived its usefulness.
“Even the name of the organization, it’s from the black-and-white movie era,” said Jim Kessler of Third Way, a centrist Democratic group. “I don’t think it should exist. The investigations should be subsumed within the FBI, and the licensing could be done by Treasury, which is a tax-collecting agency.”
Oh, right. Let's give it to the FBI, the same agency that we now know did its best to cover-up the circumstances of Brian Terry's murder by letting go three men apprehended at the murder scene and the same agency who had a cartel gunrunner as a paid informant WITHOUT telling the ATF. The same agency that has always been a lot more competent at avoiding punishment for their own fatal misdeeds, including the killing of Vicki Weaver and the immolation of 80 Davidian men, women and children. Yeah, THAT FBI.
Worse, the secret political policemen of DHS are waiting in the wings for the gun control mission.
But right now, it is to the advantage of the guilty parties at the top echelon of the Gunwalker conspirators at FBI, DEA. State, the NSC and White House for everybody to believe that this is strictly an ATF scandal.
By focusing on the tool, they hope you'll miss the fingerprints of the hand that wielded it.
Mike, the idiot in Chief is still trying to get gun control passed.
It is close to time, so we all need to prepare.
Interesting, I recall reading somewhere (might have been Shirer's "Rise and Fall of the Third Reich") that a common lamentation among Germans when they were exposed to the true nature of the Nazi system was, "If only the Fuhrer knew."
It never dawned on them that the evil they were witnessing was happening BECAUSE of the Fuhrer and not in spite of him; that it was a reflection of the evil emanating from the man at the top.
Seems to be a common viewpoint in societies governed by a cult of personality: evil and injustice cannot possibly be linked to the Leader. He must not know about it, otherwise he would have rectified it; Lord knows, the Fuhrer can do no wrong.
Well stated Mike! This is exactly what is happening.
it would also give them the chance to sacrifice it wholesale.
and then institute something even worse.
Agree 100%. Obama, Clinton, Napolitano were in it from the beginning. Hell, even Holder knew more than 2 years ago, and that's easily provable.
Motivation? AWB and worse.
When can we start calling for impeachment?
I point out to everyone I talk to about Gun-Walker that this in all probability was a plan by the people in the Administration to circumvent the Second Amendment and reinstate some kind of Assault Weapons Ban.
Whats Fast & Furious is how quickly the chickens have come home to roost.
It is delicious and gratifying on the highest order watching these acts of tyranny and treason unfold.
I think what is to come will make what is known now seem like a fart in a mitten.
"Interesting, I recall reading somewhere (might have been Shirer's "Rise and Fall of the Third Reich") that a common lamentation among Germans when they were exposed to the true nature of the Nazi system was, "If only the Fuhrer knew." "
Similar phenomenon a few years later when inmates in the Gulag cried when they heard of Joe Stalin's death. Their imprisonment at hard labor in inhuman conditions was an obvious mistake that Uncle Joe would have corrected if he only knew.
Mike - you (& Dave C - among others) have done a masterful job in exposing this whole deal - BUT I think you have made one mistake: To wit: calling this abomination a 'scandal'. It is not a scandal - it is blatant, overt criminal activity, probably (easily) rising to the level of 'high crimes and misdemeanors'.
As we all know, allowing the 'opposition' to define the terms - scandal vice crime, we have allowed them to shape the direction of both the ongoing congressional investigations as well as the discourse revolving around it.
THANK YOU. (other than that minor little glitch - but hey I still call a 'magazine' a magazine and not a clip!)
I agree with Dennis. This has been the plan all along. Inflate the numbers and institute a new and improved AWB. Now with Obummer trying to slip in gun control by executive order, we have learned what under the radar means. I too ask, when can we ask for and get impeachment. Let's face it, Biden might be a idiot, but he's not the same caliber scum as obummer and company.
note to self.. file under
.."more reasons to become gun owner"
.."more proof of our governments criminal tyranny exposed"
.."more Big Bang of Stupidity...wait..wait..don't tell me who authorized this absurdity"
Fair enough Mike. Than for the protection of the Constitution ATF needs to be shut down because of the political landscape that can use such an agency for an act of Treason.
Allow the employees of that agency ATF to sue every penny out of the elitist that were behind it because there acts of Treason cost them their jobs.
If the elitist of Gun Walker (F&F) are not brought to justice and ATF ended or just becoming a very small federal agency called "AT". Then we have some of the most solid proof that we have a government that does not work for the American people.
The more I look at this and the players involved, the more I come to realize that this is a global conspiracy to undermine our Second Amendment. In so doing, they can usher into being international gun control under the guise of the UNSAT and CIFTA.
American gun owners are really the only bulwark against a global government. Our constitution stands in the way of their progress. To rid us of our constitution, they need a pretense to rid us of our guns.
Stand tall, stand firm.
" Motivation? AWB and worse."
No. This was a direct assault on the constitution, meaning the rights of all citizens, by way of the second amendment.
The means of the assault was the second amendment this time but the ultimate target is ALL of your freedom, your dreams and aspirations, and everything you ever dreamed you might possess. Double ditto for you kids.
The proper reaction is anger. The proper response is resistance which is no longer passive.
I think sacrificing ATF is more like grasping at straws: they can't think of anything better to do. But if it is sacrificed, the party won't end there. It will only be starting.
Obama's "under the radar" comment is a red flag here, he needs to answer, under oath, what he meant by that, if it related to the ATF and gunwalker, and what he knew about gunwalker and when.
Yeah, he'll lie, but when secondary witnesses and documentation come out, it will have been perjury.
Speaking of the FBI ... you get your mail yet?
Mike there’s something about these ATF scandals that in my opinion people have missed.
I believe these operations are a covert operation to destabilize Central and South America as well as Mexico using the drug cartels.
When we first learned of fast and furious we thought it was about blaming US gun rights for Mexico’s problems but now we have castaway doing to central and South America what F&F is doing to Mexico; destabilization.
The real question is why?
I believe the end game is to strengthen IMF control over the region
Blaming the US 2A maybe just a fringe benefit for the Elite in Washington to go along with the plan
About the only thing that can be done with ATF now is install a director with a track record of turning around a corrupt LE agency into a professional one. Sadly, few of these exist, even at the city police chief level. He need not be pro-gun (boy! wouldn't that shake up some folks) but he should not be anti-gun either -- that'd be like making David Duke director of the civil rights division. ATF's mission should target illegal weapons, gunrunning, terrorism and, at the lowest level, FFL compliance inspections.
It'd be a very different world with ATF's FFL compliance unit publishing "best practices" documents for FFLs, working with them to stop straw-buys (like the NSSF program), spot gang members, etc.
Getting the FFLs goodwill would help compliance and fighting crime. That would free staff to go after the druggies, gunrunners, nutjobs and felons with guns.
Yeah, I bet you can't hold your breath that long either.
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