Melson to depart ATF after Gunwalker hearings

posted at 9:20 am on June 21, 2011 by Jazz Shaw

As Ed predicted last week, CNN is now reporting that Kenneth Melson is expected to exit stage left at the ATF. But how will he be hitting the road and who would be his replacement?

Kenneth Melson, acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, is expected to resign under pressure, perhaps in the next day or two, in the wake of the controversy over Operation Fast and Furious, two senior federal law enforcement sources said Monday.

In the operation, straw buyers were allowed to purchase illegally large numbers of weapons, some of which ended up in the hands of cartels in Mexico.

And who is the president looking at to replace him? CNN claims that Eric Holder is already on his way to talk to Andrew Traver, the Chicago ATF bureau chief who had already been roundly rejected when Obama tried to put him in charge. Traver’s record as a pro gun control, anti second amendment activist put off nearly everyone.

In a case this outlandish, which Darrell Issa already referred to as “Felony stupid,” I am immediately reminded of an episode from season seven of The West Wing. In it, Toby is discovered to have leaked classified intelligence to the press, seeking to promote his own personal agenda. He attempts to turn in his resignation and the president responds by saying, “I can’t accept your resignation. I have to fire you.”

The Obama administration has wandered into a bear trap here, and while I don’t expect him to be taking policy advice from the pages of Hot Air, the sad part is that he has a clear path out of this mess if he can summon the will to act quickly and forcefully with integrity. First, he needs to take a page from Jed Bartlett’s playbook. Don’t accept Melson’s resignation. Fire him, and do it in a very public fashion. (While he’s at it, he could fire Holder as well, but I doubt we’ll see that.)

Next, lend the full support of the White House to complete, public hearings into this mess, identify all of the individuals responsible, and give the family of Brian Terry front row seats. Let them be satisfied that justice has been done.

And finally, abandon any thoughts of taking another shot at putting Traver in as the head of the ATF. Begin a new search and vetting process to locate a seasoned authority who is just as interested in protecting the rights of lawful gun owners as they are in keeping weapons out of the hands of the bad guys. It wouldn’t be nearly as much of a trick as some of the gun grabbing crowd might imagine, since I don’t know a single responsible gun owner who favors giving guns to convicted violent felons or gang members.

If Obama could manage to do those things, he would earn the respect of many, and I would be among the first to step forward and congratulate him for demonstrating the leadership required in this type of crisis. Will he choose the difficult but necessary path of integrity, or will he enable a coverup and try to brush this off as an anomaly? As always, hope for the best but prepare for the worst.

EDIT: “Jed” not “Jeb” from the West Wing. Also, the original graphic on the main page broke. It’s fixed now.

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Comments

If we get the senate and WH back and keep the congress, if some of Obama’s people don’t go to jail,I will never vote republican again.

BruceB on June 21, 2011 at 12:04 PM

Will he choose the difficult but necessary path of integrity, or will he enable a coverup and try to brush this off as an anomaly?

You’re joking, right?

PackerBronco on June 21, 2011 at 12:17 PM

*coughValerieJarrettcough*

Vyce on June 21, 2011 at 10:22 AM

Yup…

… The meeting with Holder, Jarrett, Hillary, Soros, Cass Sunstein, Samantha Powers, et al most likely took place whilst Obowma was out on the links.

Anything to keep Obowma from being involved, not just for deniability, but for fear he would screw it up…

Remember that picture of the ‘Situation Room’ when Osama bin Laden was killed…?

… That is a picture of a Presidency by committee.

Seven Percent Solution on June 21, 2011 at 12:22 PM

Crr6 must be taking summer law courses….

Bishop on June 21, 2011 at 10:05 AM

Is that what they call it these days?

CurtZHP on June 21, 2011 at 11:11 AM

Perhaps she too is being wined and dined by a prince with a castle and Lamborghini?

slickwillie2001 on June 21, 2011 at 11:34 AM

Maybe this will work: Parasites!!!

Chip on June 21, 2011 at 11:45 AM

Actually she did some drive-by posting last night on the Headline thread about Fareed Zakaria’s hatred of the Constitution and the Electoral College. That thread has since been moved off the front page.

Del Dolemonte on June 21, 2011 at 12:25 PM

What’s his new job, assistant mayor of Chicago?

This has got to go all the way to the WH. There is no way Obama didn’t know and approve – If he says otherwise, impeach for ineptness and endangering America and its constitution 92cd amendment)Then dump the shadow government czars and staffs and start cleaning out the federal agencies which are the real incubators of socialism.

Don L on June 21, 2011 at 12:26 PM

A modest proposal to track and arrest recipients of firearms suddenly escalates into a program to arm the cartels with weapons easily identified as purchased in America. At the same time, noises are being made that dealers within a 100 miles of the border must be audited, regulated, and perhaps a serious curtailment of FFLs be implemented.
By the same agency that is arming the drug cartels.
We are talking about serious crimes here.

pat on June 21, 2011 at 12:36 PM

“Illegally large”???
I think its “illegally large” when ONE straw buyer is allowed to purchase ONE weapon.

Seriously, what’s it take to become a Journalist these days????

KMC1 on June 21, 2011 at 12:48 PM

Yup…

… The meeting with Holder, Jarrett, Hillary, Soros, Cass Sunstein, Samantha Powers, et al most likely took place whilst Obowma was out on the links.

Anything to keep Obowma from being involved, not just for deniability, but for fear he would screw it up…

Remember that picture of the ‘Situation Room’ when Osama bin Laden was killed…?

… That is a picture of a Presidency by committee.

Seven Percent Solution on June 21, 2011 at 12:22 PM

There are no dictators, only front men for the oligarchy.

fossten on June 21, 2011 at 12:51 PM

I have a better idea:

Fire Traver.

Ryan Anthony on June 21, 2011 at 1:00 PM

Melson to depart ATF after Gunwalker hearings

Waiting until after the hearings to resign enables him to claim executive privilege when he refuses to answer questions.

agmartin on June 21, 2011 at 1:09 PM

There’s no effing way Obama, Holder and Napolitano didn’t approve this illegal meatheaded debacle.

Basilsbest on June 21, 2011 at 1:09 PM

[posted earlier]

Great point made over at market-ticker.org

Under 18 USC Section 2,…

(a) Whoever commits an offense against the United States or aids, abets, counsels, commands, induces or procures its commission, is punishable as a principal.

(b) Whoever willfully causes an act to be done which if directly performed by him or another would be an offense against the United States, is punishable as a principal.

…Melson is punishable as a principle in the crime since he knowingly provided weapons to individuals/groups who then used those weapons in the commission of a crime against the United States.

In other words, Melson needs to be brought up on charges of MURDER, not dismissed from office…

dominigan on June 21, 2011 at 1:10 PM

ATF = Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms

BobMbx on June 21, 2011 at 11:58 AM
——————————————
That would be the Moonshine, Cigarettes and Guns Bureaucracy,

better suited to be a convenience store than part of the feral government.

Insert witty screen name here on June 21, 2011 at 1:16 PM

Those of you who claim that this operation was incredibly stupid are deliberately ignoring the crease in Obama’s trousers. Shame on you.

Basilsbest on June 21, 2011 at 1:17 PM

Crr6

Actually she did some drive-by posting last night on the Headline thread about Fareed Zakaria’s hatred of the Constitution and the Electoral College. That thread has since been moved off the front page.

Del Dolemonte on June 21, 2011 at 12:25 PM

Bummer, I never get to talk to my little ‘Kid sister’ any more.

Chip on June 21, 2011 at 1:27 PM

Hoping DRUDGE starts beating this like a drum in 5… 4… 3…

…and Beck squeezes it into his remaining FNC shows.

petefrt on June 21, 2011 at 1:28 PM

Or hatched up by Axelrod? Rahmbo? Dollar to donut says at least one of those three.

petefrt on June 21, 2011 at 10:45 AM

I could very well be proven wrong, but I kind of doubt Axelrod or Rahm would be involved with this. Axelrod is a hack and Rahm is a disgusting human, but I think they’re both probably too crafty to come up with a policy this stupid or insidious, as they’d be at least smart enough to know how devastating it would be (politically) if it blew up in the Administration’s face. Which is has.

No, if a senior aide had a hand in this, I’d say it was Jarrett. She’s both sinister and stupid enough to think it was a good idea.

Dems are horrible liars when caught.

teke184 on June 21, 2011 at 11:03 AM

That’s because the media so rarely calls them out on their lies, their BS skills (to get themselves out of the situation) have regressed and atrophied.

Vyce on June 21, 2011 at 1:32 PM

“[Obama]has a clear path out of this mess if he can summon the will to act quickly and forcefully with integrity.”

You can’t be serious.

novaculus on June 21, 2011 at 1:45 PM

“and give the family of Brian Terry front row seats.”

What’s with this? I this supposed to provide some sort of closure by Obama? He extended the same “courtesy” to Paul Ryan not so long ago . . .

tpitman on June 21, 2011 at 1:50 PM

I’d say it was Jarrett. She’s both sinister and stupid enough to think it was a good idea.

Vyce on June 21, 2011 at 1:32 PM

Cracked me up. But you may have just convinced me.

petefrt on June 21, 2011 at 1:58 PM

I’d say it was Jarrett. She’s both sinister and stupid enough to think it was a good idea.

Vyce on June 21, 2011 at 1:32 PM

Cracked me up. But you may have just convinced me.

petefrt on June 21, 2011 at 1:58 PM

Absolutely. She is little Bammie’s brain, such as it is. More than that, she probably drives him to stay on the job and run again in 2012. By now, he has to hate the first real job he has ever had.

slickwillie2001 on June 21, 2011 at 2:20 PM

And Obama ‘stays above the fray’:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYgoaRNN9c4

mrt721 on June 21, 2011 at 2:53 PM

Congress should go after every one at the atf and doj with the same ferocity that the doj has have gone after the us military troops when they “broken ROE”. The DOJ and atf got an AMERICAN killed. There is no excuse, bottom line its obamas fault. He is the head law enforcement officer.

This obama admin is just the worst thing to happen in the past 235 years.

ColdWarrior57 on June 21, 2011 at 4:19 PM

Seriously, all snark aside, can anyone name a single instance in which President Obama chose integrity over other options or put integrity first when it was even just a little difficult to do so?

deepdiver on June 21, 2011 at 4:19 PM

Let the investigations continue until the top guy is found. It is not this guy I can tell you that much.

clement on June 21, 2011 at 5:26 PM

but 2000+ guns, some of which wind up at murder scenes?
rbj on June 21, 2011 at 9:32 AM

Correction
“but 2000+ guns, HOPING they wind up at murder/Crime scenes?”

If they didn’t show up at a murder/Crime scene they had no idea where they went!
Felony Stupid is an understatement.

DSchoen on June 21, 2011 at 6:43 PM

Again the question, -why isn’t the entire Mexican government bouncing off walls over this? Why the silence, -hundreds of their citizens have been murdered through the cartels’ collusion with ATF?

Does their silence mean that they are in on it somehow?

slickwillie2001 on June 21, 2011 at 9:23 PM