June 18, 2011

ATF GUNRUNNING SCANDAL UPDATE: “The Wall Street Journal reported last night that the political fallout from Operation Fast and Furious has the White House looking for a fast and furious way out. The acting head of the ATF, Kenneth Melson, will likely lose his job, perhaps as early as next week, the WSJ’s sources say, in what looks like an effort to contain the damage.”

That won’t be enough, for a scandal that some are calling “worse than Iran-Contra.” “The effort to get rid of Melson looks like an attempt to appease the House, but it’s not likely to work. Had the White House provided more cooperation with Darrell Issa on this and other investigations, a Melson resignation might have sufficed. Instead of cooperating, Melson and Attorney General Eric Holder stonewalled the Oversight Committee for weeks, and when they finally turned over the documents subpoenaed by Issa, the heavy redactions prompted Issa to tell the the DoJ’s Assistant Attorney General that he ‘should be ashamed’ of its conduct in an investigation into the death of one of its Border Patrol agents. . . . Issa now will go after the DoJ for its conduct in the investigation, because Holder and Weich have certainly acted as if they have something to hide. And the sudden desire to throw Melson under the bus seems to indicate that the White House would like to end this probe rather quickly, too. At this point, even a resignation by Weich wouldn’t slow Issa’s probe.”

Bonus quote: “Allowing loads of weapons that we knew to be destined for criminals, this was the plan. It was so mandated.” –Special Agent John Dodson ATF Phoenix Field Division. I retain my suspicions about the connection between a secret ATF operation that allowed thousands of weapons to go from U.S. gunshops to Mexican crime scenes, and a public gun-control campaign by the Obama Administration that stressed the need to limit gun sales in the United States because weapons from U.S. gun shops were turning up at Mexican crime scenes. Call me cynical, but this is an awfully convenient juxtaposition.

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