February 3, 2011
What started out as an internet rumor in a forum for disgruntled ATF employees over problems with the ATF operation “Project Gunrunner” has now been picked up by Republican Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa and maybe on its way to becoming a full blown scandal.
In a January 27, 2011 letter to Kenneth Melson Acting Director of the ATF, Senator Grassley said that members of the Senate Judiciary Committee had received numerous allegations that the ATF sanctioned the sale of hundreds of weapons to suspected straw purchasers who then allegedly transported those weapons throughout the southwest border and into Mexico.
Grassley said in his letter; I am specifically writing you concerning an ATF operation called “Project Gunrunner”. There are serious concerns that the ATF may have become careless, if not negligent, in implementing the Gunrunner strategy.
One of those Allegations, is that an individual was allowed to make a cash purchase of three firearms in Glendale, Arizona on January 16, 2010. Two of those firearms were later alleged to have been used in the murder of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry on December 14, 2010.
On January 31, 2011 Grassley wrote a second letter to Acting ATF Director Melson this time excoriating him on the conduct of Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the ATF’s Phoenix office over the questioning of one of the individuals that had spoken to Senators Grassley’s Staff concerning “Project Gunrunner”
Grassley informed the Director that Whistleblowers are some of the most patriotic people I know.
He further reminded the Director that obstructing a Congressional investigation is a crime. Additionally, denying or interfering with employees’ right to furnish information to Congress is also against the law. Federal officials who deny or interfere with employees’ rights to furnish information to Congress are not entitled to have their salaries paid by taxpayers’ dollars. Finally, ATF personnel have Constitutional rights to express their concerns to Congress under the first amendment.
When the story first came to light it was thought to be hoax, but second amendment writer David Codrea decided to investigate the claims; what he found was some startling revelations.
The guns in question were said to be from Tucson and Phoenix cases and were “Walked” to Mexico without the knowledge of the Mexican government.
However as the story progressed Sources came forward and were willing to provide testimony and documentation supporting the original accusations provided they received Whistle Blower Protection. That’s what prompted contact with Staffers of Senator Grassley and others in the Senate Judicial Committee.
Jeff Knox another respected second amendment writer has also picked up the story and is asking the questions, did the ATF smuggle guns to Mexico to justify its budget and could this be the end of the ATF if the link to the border agent’s death are true?
The ATF has a history of corruption and abuse. The memory of Ruby Ridge and WACO is still in the hearts and minds of many Americans and if this latest scandal is proven to be true then its time for Congress to make a decision on the future of this rogue agency.
Links of interest…
This article was posted: Thursday, February 3, 2011 at 12:40 pm