Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Night of the Short Knives: "Scratch one flattop." Melson transferred to a rubber room job at DOJ, Burke forced to resign.

Japanese light carrier Shoho, Battle of the Coral Sea, 6 May 1942.

Meanwhile, American warplanes located the Moresby invasion force (again), sinking the light carrier Shoho. "Scratch one flattop," radioed Lieutenant Commander Robert Dixon, leader of the Lexington-based dive bombers that sent Shoho to the bottom. It marked the first time during World War II that U.S. naval forces sank a major Japanese combatant. -- In From the Cold.

So, it figures that the biggest day in the Gunwalker Scandal so far would happen on the morning I'm out selling some stuff to raise some more legal fees. This started with a tip early this morning first to David Codrea and then to me that Melson's office had been cleaned out over the weekend and he was being transferred to a rubber room job at DOJ to keep him safely on the payroll and minimize his motivations to really lay the whole thing out for the Congress.

Away from my computer, I used my Boost Mobile ghetto phone to alert several news folks to the event and they immediately set to work verifying -- which they did and more.

"Get outta here and over to your rubber room before you get ME transferred to TSA!"

I think David was still able to scoop them here: Breaking: Sources claim Melson out at ATF.

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Acting Director Kenneth E. Melson has been transferred from ATF to a position at the Justice Department, sources say.

One source speaking on condition of confidentiality informed this reporter that Melson was called to Attorney General Eric Holder's office on Friday and that his office was cleared out over the weekend.

Codrea also later added a statement from Darrell Issa:

While the reckless disregard for safety that took place in Operation Fast and Furious certainly merits changes within the Department of Justice, the Oversight and Government Reform Committee will continue its investigation to ensure that blame isn’t offloaded on just a few individuals for a matter that involved much higher levels of the Justice Department. There are still many questions to be answered about what happened in Operation Fast and Furious and who else bears responsibility, but these changes are warranted and offer an opportunity for the Justice Department to explain the role other officials and offices played in the infamous efforts to allow weapons to flow to Mexican drug cartels. I also remain very concerned by Acting Director Melson’s statement that the Department of Justice is managing its response in a manner intended to protect its political appointees. Senator Grassley and I will continue to press the Department of Justice for answers in order to ensure that a reckless effort like Fast and Furious does not take place again.

Moments after that confirmation, I learned by cell phone that Dennis Burke, Napolitano's protege and U.S. Attorney in Phoenix, had been forced to resign and his equally-culpable assistant Hurley had been laterally transferred to the civil side from the criminal. After David, a number of news outlets started hitting the Net with the story, and more details.

Janet Napolitano's protege lickspittle, Dennis Burke, is out of the Gunwalking business.

William LaJeunnesse at FOX: "ATF Director Reassigned; U.S. Attorney Out Amid 'Fast and Furious' Uproar."

Acting ATF Director Kenneth Melson has been reassigned to a lesser post in the Justice Department and the U.S. attorney for Arizona was also pushed out Tuesday as fallout from Operation Fast and Furious reached new heights.

Melson's step down from his role as head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to the position of senior adviser on forensic science in the Department of Justice's Office of Legal Programs is effective by close of business Tuesday, administration officials announced. U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota B. Todd Jones will replace Melson.

U.S. Attorney for Arizona Dennis Burke, one of the officials closely tied to Fast and Furious, is also a casualty in a shakeup tied to the botched gun-running program. Burke was on the hot seat last week with congressional investigators and, according to several sources, got physically sick during questioning and could not finish his session.

The purge of those responsible for the firearms trafficking scandal continued as new documents reveal a deeper involvement of federal agencies beyond ATF.

In Phoenix, Assistant U.S. Attorney Emory Hurley, who oversaw Fast and Furious on a day-to-day basis, was reassigned from the criminal to civil division. Also in Phoenix, three out of the four whistleblowers involved in the case have been reassigned to new positions outside Arizona. Two are headed to Florida, one to South Carolina.

Hurley's reassignment came after three ATF supervisors responsible for the operation were promoted. William G. McMahon, a former deputy director of operations, took over the Office of Professional Responsibility. Field supervisors William D. Newell and David Voth also moved up despite heavy criticism. . .

According to the Justice Department, Jones will take over ATF in place of Melson beginning Wednesday, and will continue to serve as a U.S. attorney. A permanent replacement at ATF would need to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

"As a seasoned prosecutor and former military judge advocate, U.S. Attorney Jones is a demonstrated leader who brings a wealth of experience to this position," Holder said. "I have great confidence that he will be a strong and steady influence guiding ATF in fulfilling its mission of combating violent crime by enforcing federal criminal laws and regulations in the firearms and explosives industries."

Without mentioning either Melson or Burke's role in the Fast and Furious fiasco, Holder also praised the two for their "dedication" and "commitment" to the Department of Justice.

Simultaneously, Sharyl Attkisson at CBS reported "Gunwalker scandal: ATF director out of top job."

LA Times: "Kenneth Melson, who oversaw ATF's Fast and Furious, steps down."

Katie Pavlich over at Town Hall picked up on the story as well, "ATF 'Shakeup' Over Operation Fast and Furious." She reported:

I contacted the Obama DOJ press office earlier this morning to ask if this was a promotion for Melson and was told "I don't have anyone who can answer your question at this time." I was then was told someone would be contacting me later this afternoon about the issue. There is a strong possibility Melson is being promoted, either for helping the Obama Adminstration to implement more gun control regulations or as a way to get him to shut up after giving testimony to the House Oversight Committee, rather than punishing him for his involvement in the lethal scandal, afterall, three agents who were the brains behind Fast and Furious were promoted just two weeks ago.

The man waiting in the wings to fill Melson's position at ATF is Andrew Traver. Traver is an anti-Second Amendment, anti-gun Chicago zealot who helped fake the following "news story" about "semi-automatic" weapons.

I too thought Traver was next in line, but apparently the Obamanoids have decided that he is too radioactive. The FOX affiliate in MN has this to say about him.

Who is B. Todd Jones?

Jones has served as U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota under two presidential administrations. He first served from 1998 to 2001 and was nominated again in 2009 by President Obama.

During his several years as a federal prosecutor, Jones conducted grand jury investigations and has been the lead trial lawyer in many federal prosecutions involving drug trafficking, firearms, financial fraud and violent crime.

Following admission to the Minnesota bar, Jones went on active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps, where he served as both a trial defense counsel and prosecutor in a number of courts martial proceedings. Jones received his B.A. from Macalester College in 1979 and his J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1983.

All of these events amount to is a "Night of the Short Knives." This is another "modified limited hangout." Burke is the only one who is finished as an employee of DOJ. The rest are being shuffled around to facilitate the cover-up, which at the moment is pretty uncovered.

By the time I got home and got the computer fired I had a number of congratulatory messages. The one I laughed the hardest at was Pete's from over at Western Rifle Shooters. He sent the following:

"Scratch One Flattop. Well done, gentlemen. . . Keep hammering."

Of course I understood the reference.

And I assure you, we will keep hammering. From Issa's statement, I'd say he's going to keep hammering, too.


Anonymous said...

Keep giving 'em hell, sir, until they've had all the hell they can take.

WarriorClass III said...

Keep it up until these traitors are swinging from the end of a rope!

Good work Mike!


Aiken Patriot said...

These dim bureaucrats have sold their souls to follow the orders and hopefully curry favor of their "superiors." Now they are finding they can be discarded in a minute. They are faced with a final choice - live with the embarassment and dishonor of your demotion, keep your mouth shut and be allowed to continue to suck from the public trough through your old age; or stand up, keep your integrity and be a man. I think each of them made his choice long ago and deserves what he gets. But - this is going a lot higher before it's over.

Anonymous said...

Bravo Pete!


Anonymous said...

That's one heck of an opinion of Melson, photo-shopping his head on a woman's body. Then again, perhaps choosing one willing to wear a "permanent pearl necklace" to move gov't promoted suppressive and illegal activities into actionable results is necessary.

Anonymous said...

Does this mean Melson is now free to talk to Issa?

He has been removed and has nothing to lose now, turn him and get him to spill his guts.

That will assure more heads roll.

Anonymous said...

Dutchman6, This is FO49.
Fire for effect.

Scott J said...

Congrats to you and David.

David said...

I think Melson is simply a career bureaucrat who knows how to negotiate a deal. Go testify a little bit and scare them, and then get yourself another gig in the .gov where you can coast to retirement. In return, he'll shut his pie hole and testify no more.

Anonymous said...

Not really a flattop, just a very bad rake-over - but your point still stands.

In that rubber room, he will have plenty of time to pull out the rest of his few remaining hair strands.