NPR reports on the expanding cloud of fallout from the Gun Walker scandal:
The Justice Department’s inspector general has opened an investigation into possible retaliation against a whistle-blowing agent at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, according to two people briefed on the inquiry.
Watchdogs are examining whether anyone at the Justice Department improperly released internal correspondence to try to smear ATF agent John Dodson, who told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee last month that he repeatedly warned supervisors about what he called a reckless law enforcement operation known as “Fast and Furious.”
Why would the Justice Department (whose name is increasingly ironic in the Age of Obama) risk a full meltdown by retaliating against ATF agent Dodson? Because he says things like this to Congressional committees:
Simply put, during this operation … we, the ATF, failed to fulfill one of our most fundamental obligations: to caretake the public trust [and], in part, to keep guns out of the hands of criminals.
Senator Chuck Grassley of the Judiciary Committee and his partner in the House, Rep. Darrell Issa, are not amused.
“I’ve warned the administration several times not to retaliate against the whistle-blowers who speak to Congress,” Grassley wrote in an email to NPR Thursday. “Unfortunately, there are indications that the administration leaked Privacy Act protected documents to the press in an effort to discredit Mr. Dodson with half-truths even though those documents had been withheld from Congress. It’s a very serious matter that should be thoroughly investigated.”
“Unsurprisingly, this administration yet again acted recklessly by pursuing the personal destruction of their own agent,” Issa said in an emailed statement. “This time, they’ve attempted and failed to smear a patriotic ATF agent even though Senator Grassley and I warned them not to retaliate against whistleblowers.”
Democrats responded to these revelations by calling for a crackdown… on law-abiding citizens.
Congressional Democrats say new scrutiny on the ATF demonstrates the weakness of U.S. gun laws and the federal government’s need for more power to stop the flow of illegal weapons. Earlier this month, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) introduced a bill that would create a new gun-trafficking statute with higher criminal penalties.
You can see their point. When a rogue government agency launches a political operation that ends up killing both foreign citizens and Americans, and a deeply corrupt Justice Department tries to cover the whole thing up with smokescreens and retaliation against whistleblowers, the obvious solution is to give the government more power.
Representative Issa, the House Oversight dentist who has been drilling into the Gun Walker abscess, wants the Justice Department to rinse, spit, and get ready for its next root canal. He appeared on Fox News to offer a look ahead:
There’s an old saying that the cover-up can be worse than the crime. That’s not true of Gun Walker, which is so awful that Washington is having a tough time making it worse… but they’re trying.
Update: Bob Owens at Pajamas Media says you ain’t seen nothing yet. A former CIA operative is claiming the Obama Administration sold military grade weapons – including grenade launchers – to the ultra-violent Zetas drug cartel, using a program run out of the State Department. The program in question is supposed to sell military weapons to other governments, not individual purchasers, much less a drug cartel.
If that report holds up, not even Eric Holder will be a good enough firewall to protect the White House. The head of the Justice Department can’t be the fall guy for a program carried out by the State Department.