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Fast and Furious: Post-Election, Golden Parachutes Deployed

Grindler is not the only DOJ official who has apparently been forced out. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has reportedly fired three officials and demoted two, while another has been transferred:

According to credible ATF sources, officials heavily involved in Operation Fast and Furious and named as partially responsible for the program's failure by Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz and the House Oversight Committee have been stripped of their government security clearances while some have been fired, demoted, and transferred. Criminal charges are also reportedly pending. Former ATF Special Agent in Charge of the Phoenix Field Division Bill Newell, former ATF Special Agent in Charge of Operations in the West Bill McMahon and former Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Phoenix Field Division George Gillett have been fired while former Assistant Special Agent in Charge Jim Needles and Field Supervisor David Voth have been demoted. Hope McAllister, the lead case agent for Fast and Furious, has been put on leave and transferred out of Phoenix according to reports.

Stunningly, all are expected to keep their retirement benefits, despite the fact that their actions played a role in at least 300 murders in Mexico, the murders of Border Patrol BORTAC officer Brian Terry and ICE Special Agent Jaime Zapata, and the critical wounding of ICE Special Agent Victor Avila.

Townhall's Katie Pavlich suggests that some of those involved face the possibility of criminal charges, though there is little reason to suspect that such charges will ever come to pass.

Individuals will quietly accept a transfer, demotion, or termination if those represent a lesser punishment than they might face in a criminal court. Terminations with full retirement benefits -- and the very real possibility of quick and lucrative reemployment with Obama administration donors, as at least one of those fired has already found -- are nothing less than golden parachutes, and those resigning, being fired, being demoted, or being reassigned are not going to come forward with the truth unless compelled by force of law.

Only the credible possibility of felony criminal charges and significant prison sentences might compel those responsible for Fast and Furious to break their silence.

Attorney General Eric Holder was found in civil and criminal contempt of Congress for his continued deception and refusal to turn over thousands of documents, and Obama-appointed District of Columbia U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen has failed to press charges in the six months since the contempt vote.

The rich and powerful have decided to protect their own. Consequences for weapons smuggling, and the hundreds of murders they facilitated, are for little people.