Rumors are swirling today regarding a possible big shakeup at the ATF involving top management and agents down-line. One source suggests that the first phase of the shakeup may be underway as early as today.
In addition, other sources allege that as part of the shakeup, the DOJ may be looking at the elimination of the ATF entirely, assigning its function to the FBI.
These possibilities are in direct response to the monumental, historic scandal engulfing the DOJ, the ATF, the FBI, DHS, the State Department, and several other federal agencies. Project Gunwalker, or Operation Fast and Furious, has exploded onto the national stage as perhaps the biggest government scandal in U.S. history on the strength of its sheer scope and breadth, and its ‘unintended consequence’ of the murder of hundreds of Mexican citizens and at least one U.S. citizen–Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.
The website CleanUpATF, which served as the earliest indication of deep corruption within the agency leading to citizen journalist Mike Vanderboegh’s first article which broke the story of the scandal, is abuzz with speculation, some of which is coming from ATF insiders, indicating that the agency is under the gun and is slated for major change at the top.
One agent stated the following:
Word is leaking out of HQ this week, to us plain old agents in the field that our new Acting Director is in fact planning on making some personnel moves very shortly. The Acting Director has told the 5th floor jerk off’s that the management of ATF will look entirely different by January 1 and has said in so many words that most will be gone. Mr. Jones is not too impressed with what he has seen and been told thus far by the 5th floor executives. Jones is telling people close to him at DOJ and at the OUSA in Minnesota that he can’t believe some of the people are in the positions they are in and that the agency is in worse shape than he was led to believe. Looks like Mr. Jones is scouting out available talent within and outside the agency but is finding it difficult to get firm commitments from people because of the politically charged atmosphere surrounding Fast and Furious and the rejuvenation of the gun control debate that this scandal has created. Nobody wants to get tagged with it on their resume.
The ‘Mr. Jones’ mentioned in the statement above is the new Acting Director of the ATF, B. Todd Jones, who also serves as the U.S. Attorney for the Minnesota district.
Further, the agent went on to note the political risk the scandal poses for the Administration as it faces an upcoming election:
As it was explained to me by a staffer in my Democratic Congressmen’s Office, the worry from the political people at DOJ, the White House and the DNC is that as election day comes closer and closer, if things with Fast and Furious aren’t promptly addressed, Republicans not only will have the poor economy and high unemployment to slam over the heads of Democrats, but the gun control issue as well, which puts several swing states into play that Obama carried in the last election. In the initial planning for reelection gun control wasn’t even considered as being an issue, but Fast and Furious has changed all that. So much so, that polling and focus groups are now being used by the Democrats to gauge public opinion regarding Fast and Furious, ATF and gun control issues. Not surprisingly, it seems that most of America has never heard of Operation Fast and Furious and has no idea who or what ATF is or does. Gun control on the other hand is very different; Americans have very strong opinions in that area even if they have never heard of scandal or ATF.
Regarding the possibility that the ATF may be eliminated and its function transfered to the FBI, another source at CleanUpATF had this to say:
There is word from multiple congressional and ATF sources that a white paper is floating around DOJ, outlining the essential dismantling of ATF, at least the firing of 450 agents, in light of Operation Fast and Furious.
At least one source believes that such a possibility has been in the works for quite some time and has nothing to do with Gunwalker.
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