Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A Bright and Shining Lie. The Canonization of Saint Eliot Ness. B. Todd Jones thinks rebranding the ATF will solve its problems and make us all forget about Ruby Ridge, Waco and the Gunwalker Scandal.

Ness remarried in 1939, to illustrator Evaline Michelow. The Nesses moved to Washington, D.C. in 1942 where he worked for the federal government, directing the battle against prostitution in communities surrounding military bases, where venereal disease was a serious problem. Later he made a number of forays into the corporate world, all of which failed from his lack of business acumen. In 1944, he left to become chairman of the Diebold Corporation, a security safe company based in Ohio. After his second divorce and third marriage, he ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Cleveland in 1947, after which he was expelled from Diebold. In the aftermath, Ness began drinking more heavily and spending his free time in bars telling (often exaggerated) stories of his law enforcement career. He also spent himself into debt. Ness was forced into taking various odd jobs to earn a living, including as an electronics parts wholesaler, a clerk in a bookstore, and selling frozen hamburger patties to restaurants. By 1953, he came to work for an upstart company called Guaranty Paper Corporation, which specialized in watermarking legal and official documents to prevent counterfeiting. Ness was offered a job because of his expertise in law enforcement. The company soon moved from Cleveland to the quiet rural town of Coudersport, Pennsylvania, where operating costs were lower. He made a decent income from GPC and moved with his wife and adopted son into a modest rental house. Once again, he enjoyed going to local bars and regaling amazed audiences with his tales of crime fighting. He collapsed and died at his home of a massive heart attack on May 16, 1957, at the age of 54. Collaborating with Oscar Fraley in his last years, he co-wrote the book The Untouchables, which was published a month after his death.[11] This book, among others about the Untouchables by Oscar Fraley, was heavily spiced with fiction including fictional characters and events to make the books more appealing to a general audience. -- Wikipedia.
Eliot Ness, patron saint of the ATF.
From the Wall Street Journal: "Firearms Bureau Struggles to Define Its Role."
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives brings fewer than a hundred alcohol and tobacco cases a year. It now plays second fiddle to the Federal Bureau of Investigation on explosives. And its skill at catching firearms violators is in doubt after the flawed probe known as Fast and Furious.
No wonder the agency's boss is looking to reinvent it, and maybe even change its name.
The ATF is a Washington oddity, stitched together in the 1970s from units going back to the age of Prohibition. Gun-rights supporters are wary of it, yet they are also loath to see firearms regulation move to the FBI.
So the ATF survives, and acting director B. Todd Jones has to figure out what to do with it. "We're the entity that everyone loves to hate," said the 55-year-old former Marine.
Mr. Jones, who doubles as the U.S. attorney in Minneapolis, said he sees a "sweet spot" for the agency in tackling violent crime, particularly in some big cities like Philadelphia that have seen an increase in murders and drug-related shootings.
Hence an idea discussed by top ATF officials: ditching the agency's anachronistic seven-word name and rebranding it the Violent Crime Bureau. Mr. Jones confirms the discussions, but cautions it isn't easy because the change would require congressional approval. The bigger point, he says, is to improve the morale and professionalism of agents who often grumble about being overshadowed by the FBI.
Since taking over last year as the ATF's fifth acting director in six years, Mr. Jones has tightened controls over undercover probes and confidential informants. New chiefs are in place in 16 field offices. And he consulted a historian to dig up proud moments in the agency's past. Legendary lawman Eliot Ness worked for an ATF predecessor known as the Bureau of Prohibition, leading his team of "untouchables" against the distilleries that made Al Capone rich.
"Legendary lawman" indeed. As the Wikipedia citation quoted above indicates, much of the "legend" came from the failed old drunkard's own mouth. Yet it is certain that Ness is now, and always has been, the patron saint of the gun cops of the ATF. His birthday, 19 April, is celebrated with ATF award dinners and golf tournaments, and the story circulated after the fiery end of the Davidians at the hands of the FBI that the Fibbies had chosen Ness' birthday to repay the Mount Carmel residents with interest (about twenty to one) for the four dead ATF agents killed in the 28 February raid that began the standoff. (While Mt. Carmel was still burning, the FBI raised a flag with four stars and "ATF" emblazoned on it. A pretty birthday picture it was for the Eliot Ness fans of the ATF.)
But, hey, B. Todd, go ahead and try to rebuild your agency around a bright and shining lie that owes more of its currency to Hollywood than to history, and by all means, rename it the "Violent Crime Bureau." The Davidians wouldn't quarrel with that name, nor would the thousands of Mexican victims of the Gunwalker Scandal. Violent crime, from the crippling of Kenyon Ballew up through the murder of Brian Terry, is what the ATF has facilitated or committed itself. Good choice, B. Todd.
A present from the FBI to the ATF on the birthday of Eliot Ness, 19 April 1993.


Ike said...

Just like the attempt to name the ATF building in Washington after Eliot Ness, ATF would now like to identify themselves as "The Untouchables". That must not the case. The American People must hold ATF accountable for their deeds.

tom said...

Hell, I won't forget what they've done and tried to do to Len, nor them running a 22 year never had a trace small dealer friend near me out of business for paperwork violations SINCE they've become DOJ and there were no violations but the FFL was in his late 70s and they made it abundantly clear that it wasn't worth him bothering to fight, as they'd out-lawyer him. DOJ or Treasury, it's still the same idiots and scumbags and they are still playing good cop-bad cop with the lards of Fairfax.

I'm going to dislike them as an agency as long as they are dis-likable.

Anonymous said...

The BATFE sure thought these were high points in their history when they committed them..




You can call a turd anything but shit still stinks the same.

Yank lll

Frederick H Watkins said...

"The Violent Crime" bureau sure does highlight their specialty in an Orwellian kind of way.

SWIFT said...

@tom, ,,I'm going to hate them so long as I breathe. Murder has no statute of limitations with me. Give them a new name? For shit sake, you cannot smokescreen past murderous behavior with cosmetics. If B. Tod Jones, a former Marine, retained any honor at all, he would have appointed a team to go after any and all wrong-doers within the agency. Even if he gutted the whole group, just as they deserve, so what? Americans would be safer. Screw B. Tod Jones!

Anonymous said...

Sure, name it after a guy who grew to hate himself and his job so much he put a 1911 in his mouth and killed himself. Fits the BATFE like a glove.

Anonymous said...

Our Pres. is a fictional character, but he had to write his own books. Oops, sorry Mr. Ayres.

Anonymous said...

Violent Crime Bureau, huh? Well, I'd say that fits perfectly with the renaming of government departments to ironic, 1984-ish names.

Anonymous said...

"We're the entity that everyone loves to hate," - naaah, most people love to hate them, but not everyone. That special spot is reserved for the IRS. But the ATF is a close second.

Anonymous said...

I think the appropriate word is hate, not dislike, and it now extends far beyond simply this agency.

They know this and don't care that we know that they know we know. This is a VERY clear indicator of their intentions. An unmistakable indicator.

The American people have been declared potential enemies of the American people, potential enemies of the security and power of the state, which is supposed to reside with the people.

They are the state and they want to rule over all things, in spite of the people and completely against the constitution and bill of rights, modified to their desires by the judges that they appoint and who now full serve their interests and not the people's.

You only need that which they wish you to have and they can now take anything they want from you, including your life, without consequences. The media will cover for them, will construct and produce their defences and will gatekeep all things negative and all truthful information.

Some people still think that this is simply an accident, that will soon be corrected, by someone......else....

Anonymous said...

Don't forget Kenyon Ballew.

David Forward said...

You can change the name of the pile to "Fragrant Steaming Pile of Bovine Excrement" to make it sound more acceptable, but it doesn't change it's basic composition from that of pure bullshit.


Anonymous said...

Let us not forget the MOVE raid.

In 1985, the group [MOVE] made national news when police dropped a bomb on the Osage house from a helicopter in an attempt to end an armed standoff. The explosion ignited a fire in which 11 people died, including five children and the group's leader, John Africa. Only two occupants survived, Ramona, an adult and Birdie, a child. In addition, 60 homes were destroyed as the entire block burned.

Anonymous said...

A while back when one of the Rockefeller clan remarked that " maybe it would have been better if the internet had never been invented " , for him and his kind that`s probably true. Now with blog`s like this one , it`s all coming out. All the phony media created hero`s , all the two faced lying politician`s, the government sanctioned murder`s, everything. Thank God for alternative media. The Genie is out of the bottle. And thank you Mr. V. for having the cahoonas to do what your doing.

shovelDriver said...

Here's an idea: Publicity.

Whenever anyone has an interaction with the ATF, or FBI, or . . ., publish the agents' names. They are required to identify themselves and everyone should require them to follow standard law enforcement practice and "remove the ID from the wallet, please", then record the info thereon.

After all, as they keep telling us, "If they're doing nothing wrong" they should have no problem with having their name (and badge number) associated publicly with their activities.

Dedicated_Dad said...

Are you saying that the ATF has been less than honest about their history?

I'm Shocked...

SHOCKED I tell you!


Dedicated_Dad said...

Ike: How are they *NOT* "The Untouchables"?

Seems to me they've continued to get away with every filthy, criminal thing they've ever done!

Tell me what has ever "touched" them?

Anonymous said...

Perhaps they can retain the letters BAFT&E by simply using some 'truth in rebranding'

"Bureau of Aholes, Fwits, Tyrants & Ejits" just about fits the bill - though VCB does have a ring to it too.

"Violent Criminal Bstards"

There - it has gone Global!

DownUnder III

Anonymous said...

V-C-B => Venereal C*** (insert your own choice of 4 letter body part, male or female) Bureau.

B Woodman

genoasage said...

A more realistic name would be, "The Robert Stack Building."