It is now being reported that the Director of the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives, Kenneth Melson, will leave his BATFE post and join the Department of Justice (DOJ) staff. The continuation of “business as usual” in Washington DC reaffirms accountability in federal agencies is hard to come by.
Both DOJ and BAFTE played major roles in the “gun walking” program that left at least one federal agent murdered and a number of other deaths south of the border in Mexico. The Brouhaha eventually led to the suspension of “Fast and Furious,” but after months of investigations, no one has been fired from either agency.
The DOJ announced the appointment of ATF Acting Director Melson to become Senior Advisor on forensic science in the Office of Legal Policy (OLP). “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,” said Attorney General Eric Holder. “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.”
This comes after a July 4 meeting between ATF front-man Melson and Congressional investigators revealed the DOJ has actively engaged in a “cover-up” and “remain silent” campaign concerning the controversial firearm program that allowed U.S. weapons to cross into Mexico and in to the hands of criminals.
The hush, hush meeting revealed a couple of things, first, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder knew a lot more about this operation than he has previously admitted and Melson will not be the Obama Administration fall guy.
This investigation began when senior Republican Congressional lawmakers embarked on a quest to find out why Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was murdered in December of last year with a gun that traced back to an ATF program. However, Agent Terry’s family and lawmakers were met with roadblocks from ATF leaders.
That all changed with the Fourth of July meeting between lawmakers and investigators when Melson exposed that it was the Department of Justice (DOJ) who effectively silenced ATF leaders.
The secret meeting also produced admissions that ATF “made many mistakes” with the notorious gun walking program “Fast and Furious.” In fact, Melson’s private attorney, Richard Cullen, a former federal prosecutor was present at the July 4 meeting with investigators to protect the acting director.
As Congressional investigators collect data and build a case, ATF decided to insulate key “Fast and Furious” players in their Washington DC headquarters. Melson’s move to DOJ completes the trifecta.
Earlier this month ATF announced three key players in the Arizona ill-fated “gun-walking” program would accept promotions and move to ATF’s DC headquarters.
It’s especially ironic that William McMahon, who testified at a recent hearing that plenty of mistakes were made and failed to report those mistakes to his supervisors, will now be in charge of ATF’s ethics department. His official title, Deputy Assistant Director of ATF’s Office of Professional Responsibility and Security Operations will solidify his unaccountability.
William Newell will also make the trip to DC for his promotion to Special Assistant to the Assistant Director for ATF’s Office of Management. And finally, Arizona’s “Fast and Furious” ground supervisor, David Voth heads to Washington DC and will oversee ATF’s Tobacco Division as Branch Chief.
As the country approaches the 10-year anniversary of 9/11, America and her enemies now recognize that agencies like the DOJ, FBI, DEA and ATF are not sharing intelligence and continue to put intra-agency politics ahead of national security.
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