One of the whistleblowers who brought the massive “Gun Walker” scandal to light, ATF Special Agent Vince Cefalu, was terminated after a thirty-year career last week… the day after House Oversight chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) sent a warning letter to the Bureau, demanding a promise that there would be no retaliatory firings of whistleblowers.
Ironically, one of the reasons given for Cefalu’s termination was “a lack of candor.” He was previously turned into a desk ornament for daring to become a “vocal critic” of an illegal wiretap. Since he spoke up about Gun Walker, he spent most of his time “changing batteries or filling cars with gas.” He has described “Operation Fast and Furious,” designed to flood Mexico with American guns, as a violation of the law, maintaining “there was no intent to follow the guns… this never had a chance of succeeding.”
It doesn’t sound like Cefalu suffers from a lack of candor. Perhaps he’s recalcitrant by the boisterous standards of the ATF, where things are rowdy due to all the alcohol and tobacco.
Meanwhile, the Washington Post – so helpful to the Administration at key moments in the Gun Walker saga – ran an astonishing editorial this week, in which they tried to finger the gun-rights lobby as the true culprit behind this rogue ATF operation. The Post mourned the “reductions in the ATF’s meager budget” and restricted “ability to share information with other law enforcement agencies” brought about by the NRA and certain lawmakers, who are “concerned to the point of paranoia about the erosion of the constitutional right to keep and bear arms.”
You know what is demonstrably not paranoia? The fear that you’ll be walking down a street in Mexico and get blown away by a gun supplied by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. In fact, you might not even have to travel to Mexico to get killed by this program, as over 150 people already have. The ABC affiliate in Phoenix claims to have “uncovered new information showing weapons linked to that case and strategy are turning up in crimes in Valley neighborhoods.” U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry was killed with Gun Walker weapons on American soil.
Somehow, the Washington Post’s editors thought it would be a good idea to float the notion that all this happened because gun-rights zelots “tied the bureau’s hands,” and left them without the resources to track all the guns they were throwing across the border.
“We may never know whether the bureau would have launched the Fast and Furious operation had it had other, more effective tools at its disposal,” pontificates the Post. “Those who would clobber the bureau for possible mistakes should look in the mirror and accept some responsibility for its failings.”
Seriously, I am not making this up. Follow the link and read the editorial.
Perhaps not coincidentally, House Democrats Elijah Cummings (D-MD) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) have decided to hold their own Gun Walker hearings, at which “several gun control advocates” will speak.
We may soon learn if the Washington Post editors are free-range clueless, or if they were privy to a strategy memo about the evolving Gun Walker pushback… which will seek to blame citizens concerned about their Constitutional rights for the deadly actions of a rogue Administration and its political operatives at the ATF. One way or the other, it seems clear that Plan A – “ignore the scandal and hope it blows over” has come to an unhappy end.
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