5 years, 9 months ago
The Daily Beast is reporting that a deal has been brokered between Congress and the administration concerning testimony in the Project Gunrunner scandal (and illegalities).
The head of the embattled federal agency that combats gun trafficking has agreed to talk with Senate investigators, a potentially important breakthrough as Congress tries to determine whether higher-ups in the Obama administration knew about a controversial sting that let assault weapons flow across the border into Mexico’s drug wars.
The testimony—expected next month from Kenneth Melson, the acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives—was brokered as part of a deal between Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and the committee’s top Republican, Iowa’s Charles Grassley. Grassley and his fellow Republicans were given full access to ATF documents, Melson, and other key witnesses; and in return, Grassley agreed to release three Obama administration nominees he had been blocking, according to correspondence obtained by NEWSWEEK and THE DAILY BEAST.
Grassley had been fighting to get full access for months. He finally got it with a letter Leahy wrote to Attorney General Eric Holder requesting access for both his staff and Grassley’s investigators to the evidence and witnesses in the gun-sting investigation. In return, Grassley agreed to let proceed the nominations of Jim Cole to be deputy attorney general, Lisa Monaco to be assistant attorney general for national security, and Virginia Seitz to be head of the Office of Legal Counsel, the letter shows.
So in order to get access to investigate the various illegalities and corruption involved with Project Gunrunner, Senator Grassley had to agree to open the floor for nominations from the same adminstration who gave us Kenneth Melson at ATF and Eric Holder at Justice, and who wants to give us Andrew Traver at ATF, so that they can fill the ranks of the executive branch of government with more people who would presumably do more of the same kind of thing (note that David Codrea finds Traver’s fingerprints on Project Gunrunner). We simply cannot have any confidence at all in this administration’s nominees.
We’re pulling weeds in a very sick and dying garden, and the time has come for a complete overhaul as called for by the Beaufort Observer. They’re right. Sometimes an organization becomes so corrupt that it’s no longer effective simply to revamp it from within. It must be dismantled from without. This post by Vincent Cefalu seems to indicate a very ailing organization, with maladies that cannot be treated with a few medicines, even if those medicines include a new director. If that new director is Andrew Traver, we will have gone from bad to worse.
As we move forward with this investigation, the corruption will become ever more manifest, and the ATF should be expected to body slam whistleblowers and participants in its own demise. This all just gets worse and worse.
UPDATE: Make sure to check out what Congressman Issa says he found out on his recent trip to Mexico. This operation could never have succeeded, and the folks at ATF knew it, all the way to the top. Not only does the ATF not have any jurisdictional authority in Mexico, the Mexican authorities were intentionally uncooperative. The scandal deepens even further.