This week, the Bereau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms promoted three of the officials responsible for Operation Fast and Furious:
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.
I asked ATF whistleblower Vince Cefalu what he thought of the promotions, and whether or not it was standard practice to promote ATF officials after a catastrophic operational failure. I even asked if he had heard of another instance where a federal law enforcement officer or manager was promoted after leading an operation that lost firearms which were subsequently used in the shootings of multiple federal agents.
His responses (via email) were as cutting as you might expect from a loyal agent recently fired by the Obama administration for attempting to clean up entrenched corruption:
First: why did they leave out FF ASAC George Gillette? He is one of the most corrupt and culpable guys in that operation. He was transferred to HQ as the liaison to the U.S. Marshals, which is normally a GS (General Schedule) 13 or 14 job. He is filling it as a GS 15?
None of the other three were actually promoted.
They were all placed in protected positions which shields them from public view. The assistant to the assistant director position was created under former Acting Director Mike Sullivan to shield corrupt and exposed managers so as to keep their grade and benefits.
No other law enforcement organization would make any of these moves while a congressional and OIG investigation was still ongoing. They should be in admin positions or on the beach [suspended], since potential criminal charges loom until they are cleared.
McMahon in charge of IA [Internal Affairs, a more common functional name for Office of Professional Responsibility and Security Operations]. S***, that’s like putting [Charles] Manson in charge of sharp objects.
IA has long been the Gestapo arm of our corrupt leadership, and now the very man who allowed Fast and Furious to continue is in charge?
This is appalling.
Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) was infuriated when he heard that the Gunwalker conspirators were being protectively cloaked for their apparent crimes on behalf of the administration. Is the Department of Justice attempting to impose omertà so that these key figures don’t testify about what they know of those who authorized Operation Fast and Furious?