Tuesday, February 8, 2011

DOJ Stonewalls Grassley On Project Gunwalker

Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich has responded to the letters sent by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) concerning "Project Gunwalker" according to an AP report in the Arizona Republic. In essence, he denies everything and tells Grassley to have the whistle-blowers give their information to him.
The U.S. Justice Department denied a claim made to lawmakers that two guns sold in purchases sanctioned by federal firearms agents were later used in a shootout that left a Border Patrol agent dead near the Arizona-Mexico border.

Assistant U.S. Attorney General Ronald Weich said in a letter obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press that the claim that firearms agents sanctioned or knowingly allowed the sale of assault weapons to straw buyers who then brought them to Mexico is false. Such a claim was made about guns used by bandits in the Dec. 14 fatal shooting of Border Patrol agent Brian A. Terry.
Thanks to David Codrea the letter is now available on Scribd. As David notes in his National Gun Rights Examiner column, ATF has "lawyered up".

Mike at Sipsey Street Irregulars obtained a copy of the letter. He asked his contacts for their opinions of it. One of his contacts had this to say about it.
I'm on my way to (REDACTED), but quickly:

1. Denial of the allegation in absolute terms is intended to stop this from going anywhere.
2. Being pleased to Dog & Pony show "what's working well with our program" while obviating all the negative possibilities is the usual plan for ANY kind of Congressional testimony. In other words, controlling the agenda.
3. In case #2 isn't clear, DOJ is clear about saying any OTHER questions about Project Gunrunner are not on the table is out and out stonewalling. It also means that if any such questions are asked, DOJ will refuse to answer them.
. . . But this is standard coverup material that even a boy of 8 would laugh at. Entirely predictable, however; DOJ wants to stop this in its tracks before it fucks up Foreign Relations.

The Mexicans may get bought off or promised to be bought off; and may be exercising "leverage" about this to get political power or concessions or both from Uncle Sam. Gonna be vicious politics, but we already knew that.
If one reads the forum postings by disgruntled ATF agents at CleanUpATF.org, you get the feeling that ATF is in much more trouble on this matter (and others) than the media and DOJ would have you believe.  Here are a couple posts from just yesterday that cast extreme doubt on assertions in the letter from Asst. AG Weich:
After the Tucson shooting which killed 6, wounded Congresswoman Gabriel Giffords and dozens of others; within hours investigators at all levels of law enforcement publicly discussed the crime, the suspect, the motive, the timeline and the weapon used in graphic detail on national media outlets.

This was an ongoing and complex criminal investigation being lead by the FBI, was it not? We can assume that the investigation is still ongoing.

So why all the secrecy and information lockdown on Agent Terry's murder? What is different about the two events short of the event itself? Why is one event so openly detailed and the other is so cloaked in secrecy?

Could it be that the difference is ATF and the FBI have dirty fingers in the Terry homicide and they don't in the Tucson shooting investigation? Could it be that attorneys are telling investigators to not say ANYTHING? These are not an unfair questions.

Go to Webster's and look up the definition of "coverup". There should be a picture of the ATF seal next to it. Also look up "retaliation", "mismanagement", "blind defense of crimes". Pictures of ATF's various "repeat offenders" (I stole that perfect description from Onesparkz, below) should be next to those also.

The "true believer" mentality of some ATF managers and more critically the corrupt defense ATF's attorneys routinely prove agency bosses should be examined in this probe. Some ATF managers willingness to lie about their ill deeds and ATF's attorneys eagerness to ignore and protect their clients lies and crimes should be closely examined in the Senate probe. ATF attorneys have long shown their willingness to simply disregard the facts of allegations and counter attack the accuser. The Gillett retaliation is one small and single example of ATF managements "above the law" means and methods of handling ATF's business. Ken Melson and crew do not run ATF, the risk averse and liability frightened attorneys do.

ATF has long known the corrupt nature of Gillett and have continually defended him, protected him, ignored his crimes, promoted him, and left him in position to carry on his bad acts.

Melson, Hoover, Chait and crew are so shell shocked they can't use the washroom without first speaking to counsel to get a determination from the attorneys if it is OK.

The public who pays the salaries of these people with their taxes and who trust and expect ATF to administer a federal law enforcement agency to the very highest standards needs and deserves to know the truth. Why the deception at ATF?

Because the truth of how ATF is managed is appalling, disgusting, sickening, etc. Look up those definitions too. Those are the descriptions used by ATF field agents who work for these unethical and immoral "leaders". ATF and people who work for it, the public who it serves, the industry it monitors and regulates all deserve much better than what we are getting.

As the historical truth on all of these people and their management tactics is further uncovered the tolerance and support of their conduct is going to shock the taxpayers and Congress.
And the second post:
Another point for Senator Grassley to examine. This is telling.

The ATF Phoenix Field Division management staff has perfected the unethical and probably illegal habit of hiding their investigations from all eyes that they don't want on their failed work by classifying them "6e Grand Jury Protected". This is done by simply clicking the "6e" box in Nforce and what this does is prevent anyone not on the 6e list from examining or accessing the investigative reports, etc.

"6e" are the Grand Jury Rules of Secrecy and they are continually abused by Newell and Gillett to prevent others from examining or questioning their failures. I believe that abuse of the 6e rule is considered Contempt of Court and can be charged as a crime.

Gillett has become so abusive of this process (with Newell's support) that he routinely locks out headquarters personell, intelligence officers and staff, and even his own investigating agents. He only opens the case files to the people he personally approves or trusts. He treats ATF investigations as if he owns them personally and no one else has the right to see them without his blessing.

What cases has Gillette classified 6e over his tenure as a supervisor? What cases has he instuctucted his subordinates to classfy as 6e? How many of these case have actually involved the Grand Jury?

What have Newell and Gillett been hiding all these years?
The use of the grand jury secrecy rules is a very effective means to prevent Congressional investigators from finding out the truth. As detailed on the Internet last fall, grand jury proceedings can be perverted by prosecutors to such an extent that attorneys can't even publicly discuss their own amicus briefs.

DOJ, ATF, and those involved need to remember that it wasn't the Watergate break-in that destroyed Richard Nixon. It was the cover-up.

UPDATE: Interesting post by "Doc Holladay" on CUATF this morning. "Doc" is one of the moderators there and is a frequent poster.  He asks some very pertinent questions about the stonewalling of Senator Grassley.
Did our Director seriously Lawyer up? Why do Mueller and Napalitano respond directly to Congress when challenged, BUT ATFs Director hides behind a misleading half response crafted by some hack DOJ attorney? This is bad. We will be dissecting Mr. Melsons (or in this case, Mr. Weichs response)shortly. Was there some point of national security Senator Grassley was requesting? I wonder if Melson, Hoover, Chait, McMahon or even our Intel Guru DAD Martin were even monitoring this case since there was so much controversy over Newells actions? Surely they were reviewing N Force at least monthly and being briefed. They were weren't they?

1 comment:

  1. That's fine, if ATF wants to stonewall, we can skip straight to dissolving the Bureau. They should be anyway, but...