Fast and Furious update: Ken Melson’s secret testimony.

The sound that you’re hearing is the muttered “Uh-oh” of a plethora of staffers at the Justice Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, & Explosives.  Of particular interest is the letter that Oversight Chair Darrell Issa and Judiciary Ranking Member (for now) Chuck Grassley sent to Attorney General (for now) Eric Holder regarding Melson’s testimony… but we’ll get that in a moment.

For those coming in late: Issa and Grassley are investigating the horrifically botched Fast & Furious program that Justice/BATFE had put together, starting in late 2009.  F&F was this ingenious method by which the federal government ended up knowingly and deliberately permitted illegally-resold firearms to be supplied to Mexican narco-terrorists; said narco-terrorists then proceeded to use those guns to shoot various hostages, Mexican civilians and police officers, at least one US Border Agent… as you can imagine, the Mexican government is not exactly pleased about any of this, which is why elements within said government are currently muttering about extradition treaties.  This is where Kenneth Melson comes in: he is the Acting Director of BATFE, and was apparently picked to be the duly-assigned sacrificial lamb in this particular drama.

Only, it turns out that Melson doesn’t actually believe in any of that dulce et decorum est pro Duce mori stuff; so he grabbed a lawyer and started talking to Issa & Grassley – on July 4th, no less. Continue reading Fast and Furious update: Ken Melson’s secret testimony.

Kenneth Melson’s Fast & Furious Firing?


Word is out that Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms acting head Kenneth Melson is going to be sacrificed some time this week over Operation Fast & Furious:

The shakeup shows the extent of the political damage caused by the gun-trafficking operation called Fast and Furious, which used tactics that allowed suspected smugglers to buy large numbers of firearms. Growing controversy over the program has paralyzed a long-beleaguered agency buffeted by partisan battles. The ATF has been without a Senate-confirmed director since 2006, with both the Bush and Obama administrations unable to overcome opposition from gun-rights groups to win approval of nominees[*].

The Wall Street Journal sort of gets it wrong, there: the problem was not that smugglers were allowed to buy guns.  It was that they were allowed to then smuggle themThe evidence is pretty damning that higher-ups in both BATF and the Department of Justice were looking to trace drug-trafficking networks in Mexico by seeing which gangs ended up with federally-supplied firearms… and if you think that that strategy looks incredibly pernicious when just written out that way, well, I used the word ‘damning’ for a reason.  Particularly since the federal strategy in this case led to Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry being murdered by someone using one of the tracked firearms.

Continue reading Kenneth Melson’s Fast & Furious Firing?