See if you can detect the common thread of this Department of Justice report:
ATF: “In November 2009, an ATF Director of Industry Operations (DIO) who holds a Top Secret security clearance was on temporary assignment. According to the IAD report of investigation, the DIO solicited consensual sex with anonymous partners and modified a hotel room door to facilitate sexual play. In addition, the DIO removed smoke detectors from the hotel room and inadvertently caused damage to the hotel’s centralized fire detection system. When the hotel supervisor contacted the local police, the DIO admitted the conduct and told local police this type of conduct was not an isolated incident for him and had occurred in the past. The DIO pled guilty to one count of misdemeanor “fire prevention interference.””
DEA: “We found that a Regional Director, an Acting Assistant Regional Director (AARD), and a Group Supervisor failed to report through their chain of command or to the DEA OPR repeated allegations of DEA Special Agents (SA) patronizing prostitutes and frequenting a brothel while in an overseas posting, treating these allegations as local management issues. It was also alleged that one of the subjects in the supervisors’ group assaulted a prostitute following a payment dispute.”
DEA: “During a series of interviews the DEA OPR conducted from 2009 through 2010, former host-country police officers alleged that several DEA agents, consisting of an Assistant Regional Director (ARD), an Assistant Special Agent in Charge (ASAC), six Supervisory Special Agents (SSA), and two line Special Agents formerly assigned to the an overseas office, solicited prostitutes and engaged in other serious misconduct while in the country…. The foreign officer allegedly arranged “sex parties” with prostitutes funded by the local drug cartels for these DEA agents at their government-leased quarters, over a period of several years. …Ultimately, 7 of the 10 agents admitted attending parties with prostitutes while they were stationed. The DEA imposed penalties ranging from a 2-day suspension to a 10-day suspension. One of the line agents was cleared of all wrongdoing.”
USMS: “A USMS supervisor failed to promptly report allegations that a Deputy U.S. Marshal (DUSM) solicited prostitutes while on an extradition mission in Bangkok, Thailand. According to the case file, the supervisor learned about the allegations when the DUSM’s colleague reported the matter to management. At that time, the supervisor met with the DUSM; the DUSM admitted the misconduct and received an oral admonishment.”
ATF Director Todd Jones, who is resigning at the end of the month, angered Democrats last week when he backed down from a controversial plan to ban certain types of armor-piercing ammunition for AR-15 rifles amid pressure from Republicans and gun rights groups.
The bullet ban was handled “sloppily,” Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) said Friday, but he is hoping to revive the plan under the new ATF director.
…which would be an excellent reason to hold off on a new BATFE director until Barack Obama can find one that thinks that the US Constitution needs to be followed instead of evaded. Which will probably be ‘never,’ but that’s fine: BATFE is one of those unholy amalgamations of various programs that have been epoxied together and called a bureau. Break it up into its constituent parts, hand over the relevant ones to other agencies, and let the carcass of the rest bloat in the sun, is what I say.
NOTICE TO THOSE COMMENTING ON THE ARMOR PIERCING AMMUNITION EXEMPTION FRAMEWORK
Thank you for your interest in ATF’s proposed framework for determining whether certain projectiles are “primarily intended for sporting purposes” within the meaning of 18 U.S.C. 921(a)(17)(C). The informal comment period will close on Monday, March 16, 2015. ATF has already received more than 80,000 comments, which will be made publicly available as soon as practicable.
Although ATF endeavored to create a proposal that reflected a good faith interpretation of the law and balanced the interests of law enforcement, industry, and sportsmen, the vast majority of the comments received to date are critical of the framework, and include issues that deserve further study. Accordingly, ATF will not at this time seek to issue a final framework. After the close of the comment period, ATF will process the comments received, further evaluate the issues raised therein, and provide additional open and transparent process (for example, through additional proposals and opportunities for comment) before proceeding with any framework.
Free translation: Yeah, great, you people still have email accounts and each others’ phone numbers. We’re just going to go wait patiently over there for a couple of years and see then if you’re paying attention. Which you probably will be.
Gotta love government bureaucrats… What’s that? ‘Says who?’ Well, I don’t like to preach on religion here, so…
An independent Justice Department watchdog is probing allegations that President Barack Obama’s nominee to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, B. Todd Jones, improperly retaliated against a whistle-blower while working in his current job as a federal prosecutor in Minnesota.
Carolyn N. Lerner, the head of the Office of Special Counsel, wrote in an April 12 letter to Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., and ranking Republican Charles E. Grassley of Iowa that her office has launched an investigation into allegations that Jones retaliated against a subordinate while working as the U.S. attorney in Minnesota, a position he has held since August 2009. Jones has worked simultaneously as the ATF’s acting director since August 2011.
The below is not the entire Univision Operation Fast & Furious expose: it’s merely about ten minutes of it. Ten very graphic, very infuriating, and very embarrassing ten minutes of it. Don’t watch it if you have a physical/mental problem with seeing people being murdered on-screen, and for real:
It’s a useful primer for what happened: which is to say, Mexican drug cartels decided to buy guns from US shops and the US government (ATF Special Agent William Newell* is mentioned by name, but he’s not the only one caught up in this mess) decided to not only let them; they decided to track illegal gun sales by waiting to see when and where guns known to have been sold illegally showed up at Mexican crime scenes.
To give a quick background: Operation Fast & Furious, of course, was an incredibly botched government program where federal law enforcement agencies handed over firearms willy-nilly to Mexican narco-terrorists and then lost track of the weapons… no, really, that’s what they did, and the next person who comes up with a legitimate and/or sane reason for them doing that will be the first. As you might imagine, Congressional watchdogs – Republican ones; the Democrats are largely hiding from this one – are a bit perturbed about this, not least because it turns out that the Justice Department gave out patently false information when asked about it the first time. Which is to say, DoJ denied that it handed over firearms willy-nilly to Mexican narco-terrorists and then lost track of the weapons.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, R-Texas, was sending a letter to President Obama on Tuesday arguing that Holder cannot investigate himself, and requesting the president instruct the Department of Justice to appoint a special counsel.
The question is whether Holder committed perjury during a Judiciary Committee hearing on May 3.
If you read my post earlier today on the subject, you already know what happened: but in case you didn’t, the gist is that Attorney General Eric Holder claimed back in May to have only first heard of Fast & Furious at most a few weeks earlier. Unfortunately for Holder, documents have surfaced apparently showing that Holder had been briefed on the subject back in 2010 (which Holder’s spokesmen are currently denying: their claim is the risible one that the Attorney General doesn’t read all the memos sent to him by his assistant Attorney Generals). Holder then claimed that he misspoke, which leads to this epic sentence:
[House Oversight Chair Darrell] Issa told Fox News on Tuesday morning that Holder saying he didn’t understand the question rather than he didn’t know of the program is not a successful defense to perjury.
Permit me to summarize this CBS video on Operation Fast & Furious*:
Eric Holder: I only heard about Operation Fast & Furious after it blew up in 2011!
CBS: Here’s a list of memos that shows that you were briefed on Operation Fast & Furious, starting in July.
Eric Holder: Oh. That Operation Fast & Furious. Yeah. Um. I, err, misspoke . Didn’t know the details.
(Via The Sundries Shack) Let me summarize this LA Times article: Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was murdered in December 2010 by Mexican narco-terrorists. Agents of the BAFTE* investigating the shooting almost immediately discovered that some of the guns seized at the scene of the murder were guns that were supposedly being tracked by a joint BATFE/Department of Justice program called Fast & Furious; this program was deliberately allowing and encouraging guns to be sold to people who would illegally resell them to criminal enterprises. However, this extraordinarily awkward detail was not in fact mentioned to Senator Grassley, who (with Rep. Darrell Issa) is investigating Fast & Furious** – and apparently deliberately. Instead, BATFE claimed that no F&F guns were used in the shooting.
Let me highlight this point. BATFE knew that there F&F guns were sold to the people who murdered Agent Terry, because they found those guns there on the scene. But the bullets that killed Agent Terry did not come from those guns, thus giving what BATFE thought was a possible out: after all, they weren’t actually used, right? Just bought, brought along, brandished, and available: which is also a perfectly-viable definition of ‘used,’ but one that BATFE decided not to highlight, for obvious reasons. This novel use of the word ‘used’ was and is a patently nitwit notion, of course: the government’s culpability in Terry’s death was already set in stone when the first gun went off. But it was about the only notion that BATFE and DoJ has to work with. The American electorate gets really intense when a government screw-up gets its own people killed, you see. Continue reading Fast & Furious update: BATFE emails show stonewalling.
Back-talking the Chair of the House Oversight Committee and the Ranking Member (for now) of the Senate Judiciary Committee is not a viable long-term survival strategy. Particularly when you’re intimately involved in a burgeoning government scandal involving permitting and encouraging guns to be illegally resold to Mexican narco-terrorist organizations. Doubly so when the people that you’re back-talking have top-level government officials who are already pointing fingers and naming names.
Triply so when you yourself, Ronald Weich, can in fact be best described as part of the firewall between your boss (Attorney General Eric Holder) and one heck of a political scandal. Or possibly ‘cannon fodder.’