Breaking: Melson being bounced out of ATF?

posted at 12:05 pm on August 30, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Ken Melson may be out of a job as the acting head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.  CBS News reports that Melson will get “moved out” of ATF to a desk in the Department of Justice, just weeks after he defied the DoJ and testified to Congress (via Dave Workman and Mad Saint Jack on Twitter):

Sources say ATF Acting Director Kenneth Melson is being moved out of the top job at the Bureau. It’s not yet publicly known where he would go, but sources inside the Justice Department believe one option is a transfer to a position at Department of Justice headquarters. The Justice Department had no immediate comment, and did not confirm the move.

Melson’s move would be another in a number of high-level personnel shifts, as the Inspector General continues investigating the so-called gunwalker scandal at the Justice Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

The LA Times reported that Melson would resign, an act he specifically rejected in July:

Kenneth E. Melson, under fire in connection with the controversial Fast and Furious gun-trafficking investigation, will announce today that he is stepping down as acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Sources tell The Times that Melson was to share the news in a conference call at 11:30 a.m. EDT with supervisors at the bureau’s field offices.

But there may be a reason that Melson changed his mind:

An investigation by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, chaired by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), uncovered emails that showed Melson was regularly briefed on the botched operation.

From the CBS News report, however, it sounds as if the action isn’t coming from Melson’s own volition.  And that raises a question about whether the administration is retaliating against Melson for his Congressional testimony.  Tina Korbe noted four potential takeaways from Melson’s secret testimony as suggested in a letter from Darrell Issa and Charles Grassley to Eric Holder immediately afterward:

  • The ATF isn’t the only agency to bear some responsibility for the botched operation that sent guns to Mexico. The Federal Bureau of Investigations and the Drug Enforcement Agency seem to have possessed information that could have had a material impact on Fast and Furious (i.e. info that could have eliminated or reduced the ostensible ‘need’ for the operation in the first place). Or, as the letter puts it, “We have very real indications from several sources that some of the gun trafficking ‘higher-ups’ that the ATF sought to identify were already known to other agencies and may even have been paid as informants.”
  • Taxpayer money was likely used to finance the gunrunning. “The evidence we have gathered raises the disturbing possibility that the Justice Department not only allowed criminals to smuggle weapons but that taxpayer dollars from other agencies may have financed those engaging in such activities.”
  • Senior ATF officials would have preferred to cooperate with Congressional inquiries — but “Department of Justice officials directed them not to respond and took full control of replying to briefing and document requests from Congress.”
  • Melson was at no point asked to resign.

If the “resignation” follows this quickly after Melson spilled the beans, then the Inspector General may have a new issue to investigate.

Update: Reuters correspondent Jeremy Polofsky reports that Melson will be replaced by B. Todd Jones, US Attorney for Minnesota.  Jones created little controversy in his second term in that position.  This MPR profile is one of the few news reports about Jones I could find.

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Melson will get “moved out” of ATF to a desk in the basement Department of Justice

PatriotRider on August 30, 2011 at 12:08 PM

Will still be at DOJ so they can tape his mouth shut and keep him from implicating Holder and/or Obama.

michaelo on August 30, 2011 at 12:09 PM

Taxpayer money was likely used to finance the gunrunning. “The evidence we have gathered raises the disturbing possibility that the Justice Department not only allowed criminals to smuggle weapons but that taxpayer dollars from other agencies may have financed those engaging in such activities.”

This is a little confusing… Gun runners on the black market make millions from illegal weapon sells. We didn’t even make any money at all??? We lost money on it??? Only the govt could be this dumb!

jeffn21 on August 30, 2011 at 12:09 PM

Keep talking Mr. Melson, just keep talking.

Knucklehead on August 30, 2011 at 12:10 PM

Oh what a tangled web we weave……..

sandee on August 30, 2011 at 12:11 PM

Hope this races Melson’s engines enough for him to blow the DOJ cover-up sky high.

petefrt on August 30, 2011 at 12:11 PM

Now we know what those million dollar Canadian buses were really for.

forest on August 30, 2011 at 12:12 PM

I see a “heart attack”in his future.

docflash on August 30, 2011 at 12:12 PM

The cover up will be bummas Watergate??????

Col.John Wm. Reed on August 30, 2011 at 12:12 PM

So if he joins DOJ, Holder can just claim that he can’t be questioned anymore for “security” reasons?

sandee on August 30, 2011 at 12:13 PM

Transparency the Chicago way.

a capella on August 30, 2011 at 12:14 PM

Mr. Melson: Don’t visit any federal parks in Virginia…bad things can happen there.

d1carter on August 30, 2011 at 12:15 PM

Nothing to see here, MoveOn now…

Freelancer on August 30, 2011 at 12:15 PM

Next they’ll be ‘air-brushing’ him out of ‘group’ photographs.

[Yeah, yeah...I know they'll be using Photoshop.]

CPT. Charles on August 30, 2011 at 12:15 PM

I see a “heart attack”in his future.

docflash on August 30, 2011 at 12:12 PM

Or a trip to Marcy Park.

Knucklehead on August 30, 2011 at 12:16 PM

Cripe

cmsinaz on August 30, 2011 at 12:17 PM

A desk job at DOJ?

That has to be the ultimate, in humiliating. It’s as if, he’s the boy who got caught hurling spit balls, and now has to sit by the teachers desk, so he/she can keep their eye on them.

Two choices now. Is he resigning , rather than face that humiliation, or is he resigning because that was one of his choices? Desk job, or quit?

I hope Issa, and the IG nail these a-holes to the wall with this.

capejasmine on August 30, 2011 at 12:17 PM

If he is innocent in this scandal, why doesn’t Obama order the DOJ to cooperate fully with the investigation?

Why won’t he appoint an independent investigator on the case?

As the old saw postulates: If you haven’t done anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about?

Chip on August 30, 2011 at 12:17 PM

I hope his life insurance premiums are paid up.

carbon_footprint on August 30, 2011 at 12:18 PM

So let me get this straight….

He’s leaving the ATF, is under investigation, and is taking a position with the DOJ?

Isn’t the DOJ the investigative arm which should be looking into gun-runner? Am I missing something here?

BacaDog on August 30, 2011 at 12:18 PM

Ot: dear leader campaigning at the vfw convention…..more promises that will expire in short order

cmsinaz on August 30, 2011 at 12:18 PM

Issa better get cracking on this

cmsinaz on August 30, 2011 at 12:19 PM

Will still be at DOJ so they can tape his mouth shut and keep him from implicating Holder and/or Obama.

michaelo on August 30, 2011 at 12:09 PM

Not sure that’s the case. They couldn’t keep him from testifying before as long as he paid for his own legal defense. I’d guess, as mentioned above, he has some dirty fingerprints indicating prior knowlege, he would just as soon not have come to light. That will be Hollder’s leverage on him.

a capella on August 30, 2011 at 12:19 PM

I see a disappearing act in the future

ConservativePartyNow on August 30, 2011 at 12:20 PM

So, this means that the violence in Mexico is… an inside job?!?! Ron Paul !11!

abobo on August 30, 2011 at 12:22 PM

He’s lucky, actually. Vince Foster didn’t get off so easily.

UltimateBob on August 30, 2011 at 12:24 PM

Firearms from the ATF’s Operation Fast and Furious weapons trafficking investigation turned up at the scenes of at least 11 violent crimes in the U.S., as well as at a Border Patrol agent’s slaying in southern Arizona last year, the Justice Department has acknowledged to Congress.

There’s a morgues-worth of corpses made with 0bama’s “operation fast and furious” guns, and he needs to be held accountable for each and every one.

This is a huge story, and the conservative movement needs to keep it in the spotlight. The coverup is already underway with a complicit MSM, it’s up to all of us to make sure justice is done.

Rebar on August 30, 2011 at 12:24 PM

Ot: dear leader campaigning at the vfw convention…..more promises that will expire in short order

cmsinaz on August 30, 2011 at 12:18 PM

I think he’s at the American Foreign Legion. Last I heard, he was blowing off the VFW.

UltimateBob on August 30, 2011 at 12:25 PM

I think he’s at the American Foreign Legion. Last I heard, he was blowing off the VFW.

UltimateBob on August 30, 2011 at 12:25 PM

Right you are. The VFW is meeting in Texas….

sandee on August 30, 2011 at 12:28 PM

Thanks UB, I stand corrected

cmsinaz on August 30, 2011 at 12:28 PM

UNTIL Holder is gone, we should not rest!

SDarchitect on August 30, 2011 at 12:31 PM

And it’s not even a Saturday night…

Vashta.Nerada on August 30, 2011 at 12:31 PM

Issa better get cracking on this

cmsinaz on August 30, 2011 at 12:19 PM

I fear he’s slow-walking this thing for maximum 2012 impact. But in my mind he needs to go full-bore right now.

flyfisher on August 30, 2011 at 12:31 PM

In other news:

NM gun smuggling case gets bigger

NMRN123 on August 30, 2011 at 12:32 PM

One of the best editorials on the Walkergate scandal:

Gunwalker and the Foundation of Liberty
The lives of the individuals harmed by Gunwalker mean nothing to statists.

It all comes down to this: Is there an inalienable right to self-defense? If there is, each man has indisputable, inestimable value, value that he may rightly preserve even if the life of another man is forfeit.
If a right to self-defense actually exists, it is in a very real sense the highest law of the land and all lesser laws must pay it deference. It fundamentally defines the social contract, the nature of the relationship between man and the state.

But if there is no such inalienable right, the entire nature of the social contract is changed. Each man’s worth is measured solely by his utility to the state, and as such the value of his life rides a roller coaster not unlike the stock market: dependent not only upon the preferences of the party in power but upon the whims of its political leaders and the permanent bureaucratic class.

Irony abounds in that England, the cradle of the common law and of our doctrine of self-defense, has utterly done away with even a government-condescended privilege to self-preservation.

NMRN123 on August 30, 2011 at 12:35 PM

Agree flyfisher….

cmsinaz on August 30, 2011 at 12:36 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 30, 2011 at 12:37 PM

Obama’s administration and DoJ retaliating against Melson? Ya think?

RebeccaH on August 30, 2011 at 12:38 PM

you guys come up with really cool names for your fake scandals.
 
crr6 on July 10, 2011 at 1:24 PM

rogerb on August 30, 2011 at 12:39 PM

Remember this is lawyer-talk:

Melson at no point was asked to resign.

This means Melson was told that if he did not accept a transfer, he would have to resign or be fired. You see?–he was not “asked to resign.” The lawyers will also say this was “voluntary” (since Melson made a “choice” to take a job rather than lose all his income).

G. Charles on August 30, 2011 at 12:39 PM

Del Dolemonte on August 30, 2011 at 12:37 PM

 
Ha.

rogerb on August 30, 2011 at 12:39 PM

Vashta.Nerada on August 30, 2011 at 12:31 PM

I see what you did there. :)

Knucklehead on August 30, 2011 at 12:41 PM

Isn’t the DOJ the investigative arm which should be looking into gun-runner? Am I missing something here?

BacaDog on August 30, 2011 at 12:18 PM

Rest assured that investigation is being run by folks in Main Justice who are “firewalled” off from other Justice officials and are working under the direction of one of Eric Holder’s “trustys”.

Outlander on August 30, 2011 at 12:43 PM

And it’s not even a Saturday night…

Vashta.Nerada on August 30, 2011 at 12:31 PM

ha!

flyfisher on August 30, 2011 at 12:44 PM

They will put him at a desk in the basement with a can of roach spray, AFTER taking his red stapler away.

mechkiller_k on August 30, 2011 at 12:52 PM

American Foreign Legion? Is that like the American Legion but for foreigners?

marinetbryant on August 30, 2011 at 12:58 PM

Latest info on twitter says DOJ sources are saying Burke the AG in AZ is resigning.

So 4 people have lateral moves within DOJ to desk jobs and the AG directly involved now leaving.

This is all just damage control attempts and hoping to silence them in a no responsibility job.

Can’t wait for the next hearing on this.

CommentGuy on August 30, 2011 at 12:59 PM

Issa Statement on Resignation of Arizona U.S. Attorney, Reassignment of ATF Director

(WASHINGTON) House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) today released the following statement regarding Department of Justice personnel changes involving Arizona U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke, ATF Acting Director Kenneth Melson, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Emory Hurley:

“While the reckless disregard for safety that took place in Operation Fast and Furious certainly merits changes within the Department of Justice, the Oversight and Government Reform Committee will continue its investigation to ensure that blame isn’t offloaded on just a few individuals for a matter that involved much higher levels of the Justice Department. There are still many questions to be answered about what happened in Operation Fast and Furious and who else bears responsibility, but these changes are warranted and offer an opportunity for the Justice Department to explain the role other officials and offices played in the infamous efforts to allow weapons to flow to Mexican drug cartels. I also remain very concerned by Acting Director Melson’s statement that the Department of Justice is managing its response in a manner intended to protect its political appointees. Senator Grassley and I will continue to press the Department of Justice for answers in order to ensure that a reckless effort like Fast and Furious does not take place again.”

CommentGuy on August 30, 2011 at 1:03 PM

NMRN123 on August 30, 2011 at 12:32 PM

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – The Columbus gun smuggling case might be linked to a national case.

The mayor, police chief and a trustee have all pled guilty to running guns to the Juarez drug cartel “La Linea”.

At a hearing for police Chief Angelo Vega on Thursday, it was revealed that six of those weapons may be connected to “Operation Fast and Furious”.

WTF? The Columbus guns were derived from Fast and Furious guns which the ATF lost? A multimarketing and distribution effort?

a capella on August 30, 2011 at 1:04 PM

This is all just damage control attempts and hoping to silence them in a no responsibility job.

CommentGuy on August 30, 2011 at 12:59 PM

Yep. Creates a visual of Holder squatting in a bunker, eyes closed shut, fingers in ears, hoping the next incoming round is off target.

a capella on August 30, 2011 at 1:07 PM

A few have come close, but most are missing the key here:

By removing him from a position subject to Congressional oversight into the DOJ, 0bama and Holder can claim executive privilege, equal powers/separation of branches protection and prevent Melson from testifying to Congress.

Everyone wins, including Melson…

Well, everyone wins but Issa and the regular citizens peasants of America.

LegendHasIt on August 30, 2011 at 1:07 PM

And it’s not even a Saturday night…

Vashta.Nerada on August 30, 2011 at 12:31 PM

My first thought.

Chip on August 30, 2011 at 1:08 PM

In the meanwhile the Rs are afraid to be called “racists” if they do their jobs and expose the thugs in the WH and at Justice.

2012 can’t come soon enough.

Eunuchs are in charge of thugs.

Schadenfreude on August 30, 2011 at 1:11 PM

MORE BLAH BLAH….

….until Issa gets the stones to go after Holder or they start articles of Impeachment this is a non-story.

PappyD61 on August 30, 2011 at 1:13 PM

I want to know what his new salary is before I count this as a humiliating demotion.

PattyJ on August 30, 2011 at 1:13 PM

Melson’s new office will be a padded cell right next to Holder’s office. 24/7 cameras will be installed for Melson’s ‘security’.

Taxpayer money? Just look at the Porkulus Bill – LINE ITEM – $6 MILLION designated for the ATF – Project Gunrunner Program.

As for Holder’s IG ‘conducting an investigation’. BULL SHIT! Holder told Issa back on May 3rd there would be an investigation. How long is that going to take, until January 2013 when Barry and Company get kicked out of office?

And just guess WHO is has been moved to the NUMBER TWO spot at ATF in their Internal Investigations Division? Why none other than the ATF agent who ran Gunrunner/Fast and Furious out of the ATF Phoenix office.

How convenient!

Hey Eric! Simple question: WHO authorized Fast and Furious?

GarandFan on August 30, 2011 at 1:14 PM

May Rudy Giuliani take over the AG job in 2013, and may he go after the guilty. Such thugs haven’t ruled the land, evah.

Schadenfreude on August 30, 2011 at 1:15 PM

MORE BLAH BLAH….

….until Issa gets the stones to go after Holder or they start articles of Impeachment this is a non-story.

PappyD61 on August 30, 2011 at 1:13 PM

Until a new president is in place, the Senate is R, a new AG goes after these goons, it’s mostly all a “non-story”. These are thugs of the first degree.

Obama will promise all people the oxygen they breathe, before Nov. 2012.

Hopefully they won’t be so dumb for a 2nd round.

Schadenfreude on August 30, 2011 at 1:17 PM

Issa’s statement isn’t too encouraging.I’m afraid this is the end of any meaningful investigations.

sandee on August 30, 2011 at 1:18 PM

Melson steps down *****alert

cmsinaz on August 30, 2011 at 1:24 PM

Issa’s statement isn’t too encouraging.I’m afraid this is the end of any meaningful investigations.

sandee on August 30, 2011 at 1:18 PM

I’ve never been convinced he would do what needs to be done. A few of those former prosecutors on his committee probably would, but I’m just not sure about Issa. I hope he surprises me.

flyfisher on August 30, 2011 at 1:26 PM

Hey Eric! Simple question: WHO authorized Fast and Furious?

GarandFan on August 30, 2011 at 1:14 PM

You would think that if Obama or Holder are innocent in this scandal, they would be anxious to have it resolved, wouldn’t you?

Obama could order full cooperation with the investigation at the stroke of a pen.

Why doesn’t he do that?

Chip on August 30, 2011 at 1:27 PM

Meanwhile, DOJ officials will continue to meet twice a week to practice their Sgt. Schultz line (“I know nothing”) and their other stock line, “I had no direct or indirect knowledge of the events in question.”

BuckeyeSam on August 30, 2011 at 1:29 PM

is already underway with a complicit MSM, it’s up to all of us to make sure justice is done.

Rebar on August 30, 2011 at 12:24 PM

I also recall Greta Van Susteran standing in front of a table of evil US made weapons spouting this ATF crap all over FoX News, so the MSM ain’t alone in this crap.

orbitalair on August 30, 2011 at 1:35 PM

Ed you forgot in your summary.

State Dept. The State Dept (under Hillary Clinton) controls what gets exported. If you are exporting weapons (even semi auto ones) you need a license from them per ITAR docs.

Furthermore, anyone breaking these rules is INDIVIDUALLY responsible, i.e. no hiding behind a corporate logo, or federal agency.

Exporting weapons WITHOUT a LICENSE is a big no no.

What did they know, and when did they know it?

orbitalair on August 30, 2011 at 1:40 PM

It’s not just Acting Director Melson: U.S. Attorney for Arizona Dennis Burke, another key player in Fast and Furious, is resigning today as well.

Someone is clearing house over this, that’s for certain.

ExUrbanKevin on August 30, 2011 at 1:44 PM

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0811/62320.html

Kenneth Melson, the bureau’s acting director, on Wednesday will move to the Office of Legal Policy, where he will be a senior adviser on forensic science, the department said

Lateral promotion to keep him on and show their “gratitude” without having him dismissed or fired.

They’re too proud of him and his actions getting those guns into the hands of violent criminals to let him go.

gekkobear on August 30, 2011 at 1:46 PM

It will be interesting to hear what Cam & Co (NRA News on Patriot XM/Sirius radio) will say about this tonight. He has been on top of this more than anyone else in the media, from the beginning.

LegendHasIt on August 30, 2011 at 1:55 PM

Department of Justice Announces New Acting Director of ATF and Senior Advisor in the Office of Legal Policy

WASHINGTON – The Department of Justice today announced the appointments of U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota B. Todd Jones to serve as Acting Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and ATF Acting Director Kenneth 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.”

Jones will continue to serve in the capacity of U.S. Attorney when he assumes the role of ATF acting director on Aug. 31, 2011.

A veteran of the Justice Department, Jones has served as U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota under two presidential administrations. He first served from 1998 to 2001. He was nominated again in 2009 by President Obama and has been in that role since being confirmed that year.

In 2009, the Attorney General appointed him to serve as chair of the Attorney General Advisory Committee (AGAC), a group of U.S. Attorneys appointed to advise the Attorney General on policy, management and operational issues affecting U.S. Attorneys’ Offices throughout the country. Jones previously served as a member, vice chair and chair of the AGAC from 1999 to 2001.

During his several years as a federal prosecutor, Jones conducted grand jury investigations and has been the lead trial lawyer in many federal prosecutions involving drug trafficking, firearms, financial fraud and violent crime.

Throughout his career, Jones has served as a partner with Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi (2001-2009); a partner with Greene Espel, PLLP (2001; 1994-1997); First Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota (1997-1998); and Assistant U.S. Attorney (1992-1994).

Following admission to the Minnesota bar, Jones went on active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps, where he served as both a trial defense counsel and prosecutor in a number of courts martial proceedings.

Jones received his B.A. from Macalester College in 1979 and his J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1983.

Melson will join OLP on Aug. 31, 2011, in his new role as senior advisor where he will focus on issues relating to policy development in forensic science.

“Ken brings decades of experience at the department and extensive knowledge in forensic science to his new role and I know he will be a valuable contributor on these issues,” said Attorney General Holder. “As he moves into this new role, I want to thank Ken for his dedication to the department over the last three decades.”

He is a past president and distinguished fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, and currently participates on behalf of the department on the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board. He has been an adjunct professor at George Washington University for almost 30 years teaching both law and forensic science courses.

Melson was appointed acting director of ATF in 2009. Prior to that, he was director of the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys and served several years in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Melson received his B.A. from Denison University in 1970 and his J.D. from George Washington University in 1973.

CommentGuy on August 30, 2011 at 1:56 PM

May Rudy Giuliani take over the AG job in 2013, and may he go after the guilty. Such thugs haven’t ruled the land, evah.

Schadenfreude on August 30, 2011 at 1:15 PM

Rudy’s a gun grabber too. Why the hell would he eat his own?

fossten on August 30, 2011 at 1:57 PM

Statement of Attorney General Eric Holder on the Resignation of U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona Dennis Burke

WASHINGTON – Attorney General Eric Holder issued the following statement today on the resignation of U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona Dennis Burke:

“United States Attorney Dennis Burke has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney’s office, first as a line prosecutor over a decade ago and more recently as United States Attorney.

“Under his leadership, the office has made great progress in its pursuit of justice with the creation of special units focusing on civil rights enforcement and rule of law, as well as more robust outreach to key communities, particularly in Indian Country. The office’s quick response to the devastating shootings in January that claimed the lives of several people and critically injured Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was crucial in arresting and charging the alleged shooter.

“I am grateful to Dennis for his dedication and service to the Department of Justice over these many years and commend his decision to place the interests of the U.S. Attorney’s office above all else.”

CommentGuy on August 30, 2011 at 1:58 PM

“I am grateful to Dennis for his dedication and service to the Department of Justice over these many years and commend his decision to place the interests of the U.S. Attorney’s office above all else.”

CommentGuy on August 30, 2011 at 1:58 PM

Under the bus…..

sandee on August 30, 2011 at 2:07 PM

Burke Resignation Letter (pdf file)

CommentGuy on August 30, 2011 at 2:13 PM

http://media2.abc15.com/html/pdf/dbletter.pdf

CommentGuy on August 30, 2011 at 2:14 PM

I figured heads would roll for this scandal. It’s interesting that the first head to roll would be the person who testified to Congress rather than stonewalling.

Why, you’d almost think Obama and Holder were trying to cover something up!!

tom on August 30, 2011 at 2:22 PM

Taxpayer money was likely used to finance the gunrunning. “The evidence we have gathered raises the disturbing possibility that the Justice Department not only allowed criminals to smuggle weapons but that taxpayer dollars from other agencies may have financed those engaging in such activities.”

This is a little confusing… Gun runners on the black market make millions from illegal weapon sells. We didn’t even make any money at all??? We lost money on it??? Only the govt could be this dumb!

jeffn21 on August 30, 2011 at 12:09 PM

The government has been documented as unable to run a successful brothel. That’s right: only the government can lose money on hookers and liquor.

tom on August 30, 2011 at 2:25 PM

Titanic Deck Chairs………..hopefully with similar results

CommentGuy on August 30, 2011 at 2:35 PM

Wasn’t it reported last week that many of these agents that were part of the Op got pay raises recently?

RMCS_USN on August 30, 2011 at 2:36 PM

Found the LA Times article. They were promoted.

RMCS_USN on August 30, 2011 at 2:40 PM

is already underway with a complicit MSM, it’s up to all of us to make sure justice is done.

Rebar on August 30, 2011 at 12:24 PM

I also recall Greta Van Susteran standing in front of a table of evil US made weapons spouting this ATF crap all over FoX News, so the MSM ain’t alone in this crap.

orbitalair on August 30, 2011 at 1:35 PM

Absolutely. Greta has been especially negligent in carrying BATF water on this plot to subvert the Second Amendment. She gave the fake ’90%’ story full coverage the first time WaPo pumped it up, and then inexplicably after the story had been debunked, a few months later WaPo revived the story without any changes. Greta dutifully covered WaPo’s zombie story that second time as well. In both cases she covered the story without having anyone on to point out the massive defects with the ’90%’ nonsense.

Fox News is as dirty on this story as the rest of the media.

slickwillie2001 on August 30, 2011 at 2:50 PM

This is much bigger and “badder” than Watergate, the only difference in players, and it is huge…Obama—Nixon…
Nixon’s actions didn’t get anyone killed…

right2bright on August 30, 2011 at 2:55 PM

Fox News is as dirty on this story as the rest of the media.

slickwillie2001 on August 30, 2011 at 2:50 PM

As good as Greta is, never forget that she is a liberal…I remember her national “debut”, the OJ trial…as big of liberal as ever.
I think she is great, and keeps it under control…but still, the DNA of a liberal.

right2bright on August 30, 2011 at 2:57 PM

I can see it now…

‘Director Melson I want to introduce you to your new partner… Agent Mulder…’

ajacksonian on August 30, 2011 at 3:20 PM

Arizona US Attorney resigns and ATF acting director is reassigned

That and more breaking details

CommentGuy on August 30, 2011 at 3:32 PM

Story link

CommentGuy on August 30, 2011 at 3:34 PM

Toss this onto the pile of injustice with Waco and Ruby Ridge.

orbitalair on August 30, 2011 at 3:41 PM

Stay away from Marcy Park Mr. Melson.

And don’t take any sailboat rides on the Potomac.

And don’t check into any DC area hospitals.

Oh yeah, stay outa small planes.

Keep the shades drawn and the lights off.

Get two Rottweilers.

Buy an automatic shotgun.

Install cameras and motion alarms.

Then leave town on a bus, and change buses often.

Akzed on August 30, 2011 at 3:41 PM

The Holder/Obama folks have win this round.

They needed a way to keep Melson under their thumbs and get him out of ATF. He has 2 years to go for his federal retirement (the best medical insurance and cost of living adjustments). If they fired him outright or asked for his resignation, he would spill the beans. This way he will get his retirement if he keeps quiet for the next two years.

Corky Boyd on August 30, 2011 at 4:50 PM

Does the DOJ have Rubber rooms like teachers go to.

seven on August 30, 2011 at 6:18 PM

Akzed on August 30, 2011 at 3:41 PM

I like your thinking, only Hillary is not President…

PS, only 89 comments all day…no one cares anymore.

orbitalair on August 30, 2011 at 7:00 PM

Melson had an administrative position with the DOJ before he agreed to take on the Acting Directorship of the BATFE. He is going back home to a career position. Ditching the DOJ lawyers and giving his statement to the committee without notifying Holder made him an obvious liability to the coverup campaign.

Interesting story on Burke, who ran the op from the US Attorney’s office in Phoenix. Apparently he had his turn before the committee’s investigators over the weekend and word is he became “physically ill” and could not complete his testimony. Now he has resigned?

And Hurley, Burke’s assistant who did the day to day supervision of the op is being transferred to Civil Division, haven’t heard yet where they are going to stash him.

Issa and the committee are doing a good job so far, methodically advancing the investigation and keeping their cards close to their vests. This scandal is going to bring down Eric Holder and could go much higher. The last thing they should do is rush and discredit themselves. Just keep on uncovering the evidence piece by piece and building the pressure and finally someone who knows it all will flip.

novaculus on August 30, 2011 at 10:15 PM

Does Holder think Melson to be untrustworthy and that’s the reason for being reassigned to a desk nearby?…

Gohawgs on August 31, 2011 at 12:56 AM