ATF promotes three Fast & Furious supervisors

posted at 10:45 am on August 16, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

The outcome of  the ATF’s Operation Fast and Furious has been a diplomatic crisis, embarrassment for the ATF and the Department of Justice, thousands of weapons in the hands of the drug cartels and gangs in the US, and, oh yeah — a dead Border Patrol agent.  Congress has issued subpoenas, the acting head of the ATF has had to defy the DoJ to testify to a Senate committee, and the stink has reached the White House.  So what would any good government bureaucracy do?  Send heads rolling?

Not exactly (via Newsalert):

The ATF has promoted three key supervisors of a controversial sting operation that allowed firearms to be illegally trafficked across the U.S. border into Mexico.

Well, it’s not like these three were involved in the failures of Fast and Furious … right?  Wrong:

All three have been heavily criticized for pushing the program forward even as it became apparent that it was out of control. At least 2,000 guns were lost and many turned up at crime scenes in Mexico and two at the killing of a U.S. Border Patrol agent in Arizona.

The three supervisors have been given new management positions at the agency’s headquarters in Washington. They are William G. McMahon, who was the ATF’s deputy director of operations in the West, where the illegal trafficking program was focused, and William D. Newell and David Voth, both field supervisors who oversaw the program out of the agency’s Phoenix office.

But they’re protesting their roles in the failures, right? Er …

McMahon and Newell have acknowledged making serious mistakes in the program, which was dubbed Operation Fast and Furious.

“I share responsibility for mistakes that were made,” McMahon testified to a House committee three weeks ago. “The advantage of hindsight, the benefit of a thorough review of the case, clearly points me to things that I would have done differently.”

Things that I would have done differently.  Hmmm … you mean, like not allowing illegally-purchased weapons to cross the border by the thousands?  Perhaps listening to those agents who warned that this would result in disaster?  Maybe not punishing those whistleblowers who brought your “mistakes” to light?

Well, now they can do things differently with more pay and more responsibility.  Only in government would three supervisors who botched their jobs so badly that people died would get promoted so that they can maybe avoid getting people killed in the future.

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So, uhhh….they’re all being moved to DC, within reach of other key people.

I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but…

bloghooligan on August 16, 2011 at 10:48 AM

This stinks! Wonder how the hearings are going with the F&F hearings? Probably not too well because holder and company are not all that helpful!
L

letget on August 16, 2011 at 10:50 AM

Probably not so willing to testify honestly about the organization -and who told who to do what- any longer…

BKeyser on August 16, 2011 at 10:50 AM

bloghooligan on August 16, 2011 at 10:48 AM

Or they are being promoted for their political loyalty as an example to others.

gh on August 16, 2011 at 10:51 AM

This is the way Chicago mobsters operate.

faraway on August 16, 2011 at 10:51 AM

More:
DEA admits it was in on it.

U.S. Attorney’s Office Rejects Family of Murdered Border Patrol Agent as Crime Victims.

This is going to bring down most, if not all, of the 0bama regime.

Rebar on August 16, 2011 at 10:54 AM

They’ll be living in a safe house under a Witness Protection Program. Just to avoid any further embarrassing testimony

a capella on August 16, 2011 at 10:54 AM

This is how a thugocracy works. I wonder what Issa has up his sleeve?

tarpon on August 16, 2011 at 10:56 AM

Why not. No one is going to do anything about what they did.

SouthernGent on August 16, 2011 at 10:56 AM

My heart is heavy for the family of the dead Border Patrol agent. I have a friend whose son is a Border Patrol agent.
It very well could have been her son.

So much for giving your life for your government. What kind of government are these border agents representing anyway?

manateespirit on August 16, 2011 at 10:56 AM

Jefferson, Tree of Liberty, natural manure.

Ron Paul keeps talking about taking out the Fed, the IRS, or other departments. He’s already a nitwit in a number of ways, but if this whole ordeal(frankly, if Ruby Ridge and Waco weren’t sufficient) isn’t enough to put dismantling the ATF at the top of his list, he’s even more blind than I would have ever imagined.

MadisonConservative on August 16, 2011 at 10:56 AM

I understand what the Obama Administration is thinking (I think), but that is a very dangerous game.

One person has a secret. Two people have a secret, because if one spills, the other will know frow where the spill came.

Three people… there is no secret between three people.

JohnGalt23 on August 16, 2011 at 10:58 AM

More:
DEA admits it was in on it.

U.S. Attorney’s Office Rejects Family of Murdered Border Patrol Agent as Crime Victims.

This is going to bring down most, if not all, of the 0bama regime.

Rebar on August 16, 2011 at 10:54 AM

I guess we should be grateful it wasn’t dozens of women and children killed by these domestic terrorists this time around.

MadisonConservative on August 16, 2011 at 10:58 AM

Munchausen by government.

Jim Treacher on August 16, 2011 at 10:59 AM

So its both a political and a legalistic promotion to help forestall resolution?

AH_C on August 16, 2011 at 10:59 AM

An intelligent observer is hard-pressed to come up with a reason not to conclude that Operation Fast and Furious operated exactly as intended and produced results beneficial to this Administration’s goals. Most probably, by providing an excuse for more federal restrictions on gun sales and an expansion of powers by the ATF.

Socratease on August 16, 2011 at 11:01 AM

Disgusting.

AZCoyote on August 16, 2011 at 11:02 AM

bloghooligan on August 16, 2011 at 10:48 AM

If I were them, I’d avoid any trips to Fort Marcy Park.

teke184 on August 16, 2011 at 11:03 AM

MSM journalist are stupid.There are millions of dollars laying on the table if 1 or 2 had the brains to do a Woodward/Bernstein Watergate type investigation on this.The books to be written,the talk show circuit, and high dollar speeches.Are you listening Ed?

docflash on August 16, 2011 at 11:04 AM

They deserved promotions: they didn’t implicate Holder.

burt on August 16, 2011 at 11:04 AM

The names of the gun stores and their owners that were involved, which were cooperating w/ATF, were leaked to WaPo.

That tells you the reason for this whole fiasco.

The couple [Jim and Sarah Brady] reportedly were meeting with press secretary, Jay Carney, when, according to Sarah Brady, the President came in. She said the President told her he wanted to talk about gun control and “fill us in that it was very much on his agenda.”

She went on to say Obama told her, “I just want you to know that we are working on it. We have to go through a few processes, but under the radar.”

Akzed on August 16, 2011 at 11:05 AM

So, uhhh….they’re all being moved to DC, within reach of other key people.

I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but…

bloghooligan on August 16, 2011 at 10:48 AM

I think Michael Corleone said it best, “keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.”

itsspideyman on August 16, 2011 at 11:06 AM

I once had a government job at TxDOT. That technique of promoting someone you wanted gone out of your group was common. Typically it was the incompetents that were sent packing to their new digs.

I only recall two scenarios for the “victims”. They rose to a level they couldn’t possibly function at and hid away until retirement or they asked for a lateral transfer to someplace they could function and hid away until retirement.

With the budget crunch many of these folks have been turned out in their 50s with pensions.

DanMan on August 16, 2011 at 11:06 AM

Wow, promoted eh? Promotions based on their stellar job performance? You betya.
I am really steamed this morning about Obama campaigning in taxpayer funded luxury and now this.
Audacity never fit someone as well as it fits Obama.

ORconservative on August 16, 2011 at 11:08 AM

It’s the Chicago way.

rrpjr on August 16, 2011 at 11:08 AM

I will add that I didn’t include you Ed as one of the stupid.

docflash on August 16, 2011 at 11:12 AM

Typical government – screw up bad enough, and you get promoted.

Never knew that someone so low in the management chain could okay the blatant violation of another nation’s laws and border.

GarandFan on August 16, 2011 at 11:13 AM

I have no idea, but I do know that you guys come up with really cool names for your fake scandals.

crr6 on July 10, 2011 at 1:24 PM

Del Dolemonte on August 16, 2011 at 11:14 AM

This isn’t new.

The ATF always promotes its worst people.

See Waco, Ruby Ridge.

fossten on August 16, 2011 at 11:15 AM

More corruption. Promote people to keep them quiet.

tx2654 on August 16, 2011 at 11:19 AM

Curious that there would be an attack on one of the lead investigators of the Walkergate scandal:

(heritage.org) New York Times Story on Rep. Issa Riddled With Factual Errors

A lengthy article in today’s New York Times about Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) contains at least five major factual errors, including one that the undermines the central premise of the story, the congressman’s office asserted in a high-profile showdown with the Grey Lady.

NMRN123 on August 16, 2011 at 11:19 AM

OT to this particular scandal, but definitely having to do with Holder’s DOJ:

Every Single One: The Politicized Hiring of Eric Holder’s Special Litigation Section

All 23 new hires to the Justice Department’s Special Litigation office have far-left resumes — which were only released following a PJM lawsuit.

http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/every-single-one-the-politicized-hiring-of-eric-holders-special-litigation-section/

Del Dolemonte on August 16, 2011 at 11:21 AM

FBI ‘survivalist’ profiling memo surfaces at Puyallup gun show

Reportedly distributed recently to surplus store operators in Colorado by the FBI’s office in Denver, the handout asks surplus retailers to watch for people buying the following:
Make bulk purchase of items to include:

Weatherproofed ammunition or match containers

Meals Ready to Eat

Night Vision Devices; night flashlights; gas masks

High capacity magazines

Bi-pods or tri-pods for rifles

If one reads the very fine print at the bottom of the handout, it appears this thing has been around since 2007. At least, that’s the year during which the Bureau of Justice Assistance appears to have provided grant funding to pay for it.

What gun rights activists and others find objectionable are instructions to store owners:

Require valid ID from all new customers.

Keep records of purchases.

Talk to customers, ask questions, and listen to and observe their responses.

Watch for people and actions that are out of place.

Make note of suspicious statements, people, and /or vehicles.
If something seems wrong, notify law enforcement authorities.

So, why is it surfacing now? Why was it ever produced in the first place?

Let’s turn this around: Would the FBI please disclose the extent of its involvement in Operation Fast and Furious? Questions are now being raised about that, and this column wrote about potential problems more than a month ago.

NMRN123 on August 16, 2011 at 11:28 AM

My guess is they know they are on the way out. So when it comes time to “retire” to “spend time with the family”, they have already been awarded a better pension based on their new position.

Paleoconservatarian on August 16, 2011 at 11:32 AM

Those who get their news from the MSM have never heard of “Fast & Furious”, except as regards to the action movie franchise.

Ward Cleaver on August 16, 2011 at 11:32 AM

NMRN123 on August 16, 2011 at 11:28 AM

It’s not just the ATF & FBI:

ATF, ICE, DEA, IRS and White House Implicated in Gunwalker Scandal

During today’s Oversight hearing, the Former ATF Special Agent in Charge of the Phoenix Field Division admitted to the Congressional Committee that the Internal Revenue Service, Drug Enforcement Agency, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agencies all knew about—and participated in—Operation Fast and Furious. Does William Newell’s testimony blow the Gunwalker scandal wide open and threaten to topple the Obama administration?

Akzed on August 16, 2011 at 11:36 AM

McMahon was promoted Sunday to deputy assistant director of the ATF’s Office of Professional Responsibility and Security Operations — the division that investigates misconduct by employees and other problems.

Issa has his work cut out for him.

Vince on August 16, 2011 at 11:38 AM

Holder didn’t want to pay long distance charges for those 3am “You better watch your step” phone calls to these guys.

Bishop on August 16, 2011 at 11:40 AM

If there was anything to these specious allegations they would never have been promoted, right? The fact that they were promoted just proves the story is nothing, yes? Nothing to see here…move along.

Extrafishy on August 16, 2011 at 11:45 AM

Akzed on August 16, 2011 at 11:36 AM
++++++++++++++++++++++++++
WDTPKAWDHKI?

Are we to believe that an ‘op’ of this magnitude was unknown to the highest levels of our government?

Are we to believe that is was just ‘a coincidence’ that this ‘Op’ swung into operation just as Barry’s Bunglers wanted to prove the ‘90%’ lie and use it as a pretext to diminish the 2nd amendment?

NMRN123 on August 16, 2011 at 11:48 AM

Del Dolemonte on August 16, 2011 at 11:14 AM

Wow. She has definitely earned a label that rhymes with punt.

MadisonConservative on August 16, 2011 at 11:55 AM

An intelligent observer is hard-pressed to come up with a reason not to conclude that Operation Fast and Furious operated exactly as intended and produced results beneficial to this Administration’s goals. Most probably, by providing an excuse for more federal restrictions on gun sales and an expansion of powers by the ATF.

Socratease on August 16, 2011 at 11:01 AM

Bingo.

Check out how authoritarian regimes work all over the world and across the decades. They create an event to justify crackdowns, new laws, and special powers for the government. Heck, the BBC TV “MI-5″ Homeland Security series last week played a 5 year old episode that had that exact plot line. Obama and Holder just think us rubes will never catch on to their ways.

in_awe on August 16, 2011 at 12:00 PM

Issa has his work cut out for him.

Vince on August 16, 2011 at 11:38 AM

Issa is a big flop.

rrpjr on August 16, 2011 at 12:09 PM

Holder’s now got them on piano-wire leashes, they’ve been ‘promoted’ to 24-hour video surveillance.

If they’re even seen walking in the general direction of one of Issa’s staffers half a gig of kiddie porn will magically appear on their personal laptop and their perp walk will be on the front page of all the Obama house organs (NYT, etc.)

No, I’m not into conspiracies, really I’m not…

JEM on August 16, 2011 at 12:12 PM

This is how it works in government bureaucracies, screw up – move up.

Dr Evil on August 16, 2011 at 12:44 PM

How else would you buy silence from the employee and prevent him from whistleblowing, other than giving him cement shoes and send him for a walk in Potomac?

anikol on August 16, 2011 at 12:44 PM

Bribery.

Big John on August 16, 2011 at 12:55 PM

Akzed on August 16, 2011 at 11:36 AM

I can’t shake the feeling that Napolitano/DHS had a hand in it too.

Shay on August 16, 2011 at 12:57 PM

It’s the old saying:
“Keep your friends close, and potential snitches closer.”

mrt721 on August 16, 2011 at 1:10 PM

I have no idea, but I do know that you guys come up with really cool names for your fake scandals.

crr6 on July 10, 2011 at 1:24 PM

Del Dolemonte on August 16, 2011 at 11:14 AM

FIFY

Mangy Scot on August 16, 2011 at 1:12 PM

The ATF : Alcohol is legal, Tobacco is legal, Firearms are legal and protected by the 2nd amendment. That AFT not so much.

Why does this organization even exist. It seems as though it is an agency seeking a mission, and not finding one.

Dasher on August 16, 2011 at 1:15 PM

What would we do without the ATF?

It spends its time harrassing mom and pop gun stores about record-keeping regulatory requirements (i.e. paperwork) and going after moonshiners in East Tn (like Popcorn Sutton who killed himself before he would have gone to prison), Va and NC.

I certainly feel safer knowing that it is hard at work.

The 3 supervisors need to be promoted to our Southern boarder and given M-16s, Remington 870s and 1911s (45 acp) so that they can enforce the Constitution they took an oath to protect and defend.

Not to $175,000 per year jobs in a DC office.

Talk about an organization whose purpose has jumped the shark.

molonlabe28 on August 16, 2011 at 1:20 PM

Del Dolemonte on August 16, 2011 at 11:14 AM

Wow. She has definitely earned a label that rhymes with punt.

MadisonConservative on August 16, 2011 at 11:55 AM

Now now, let’s be CIVIL here!

Not surprising, after all the Left said Billy Clintoon’s Felony Perjury was a Fake Scandal too.

Del Dolemonte on August 16, 2011 at 1:26 PM

Payoff.

mbs on August 16, 2011 at 1:52 PM

This is going to bring down most, if not all, of the 0bama regime.

Rebar on August 16, 2011 at 10:54 AM

No, it won’t. Maybe if he were a Republican there would be some accountability for this insanity, but his fan club in the media has smothered this important story.

joewm315 on August 16, 2011 at 2:00 PM

Vince Foster, gentlemen, Vince Foster.

sgtstogie on August 16, 2011 at 2:05 PM

OT, but gun related:

Victims Share ‘Gun-Free’ Horrors at Aug. 6 Nat’l Self-Defense Conference

Two women, victims of gun violence in gun-free zones, opened the Aug. 6 National Self-Defense Conference in Washington organized by Students for Concealed Carry on Campus and the Second Amendment Foundation.

NMRN123 on August 16, 2011 at 2:18 PM

Pay offs to keep their mouths shut.

It’s not like everyone involved in F&F won’t automatically receive a Presidential Pardon anyway.

Roy Rogers on August 16, 2011 at 2:56 PM

Keep your mouth shut and be rewarded. Speak truth and get fired.

Snake307 on August 16, 2011 at 3:20 PM

Bring them to DC to make sure they coordinate their stories right…

And remember that promotions are competative: just imagine how bad the people are they beat out for these positions.

ajacksonian on August 16, 2011 at 3:36 PM

Picnic in Fort Mercy Park!…

mojo on August 16, 2011 at 4:32 PM

We need a Woodward and Bernstein to blow the freaking lid off this thing. This stinks all the way up to the Oval Office.

infidel4life on August 16, 2011 at 5:43 PM

IMO these promotions are a kind of bribe to keep them quite.

I recall a video of senator Obama recommending a scheme resembling closely “fast and furious” as something that should be done. I can’t find it but maybe someone here has the link (if it still exists).

Chessplayer on August 17, 2011 at 1:19 PM