Forget what we said earlier, about ATF Acting Head (case) Kenneth Melson going gently into that good night. Apparently, he’s circled the wagons, barricaded himself in his bunker, and put out a call to Ava Braun. That’s right, campers. The embattled head of the Agency Most Likely To Commit A Crime In The Name Of Justice is standing firm. Kind of like a captain, going down with his ship, only in the ATF version, Melson is the one with his hand on the scupper plug helping the ship to go down around him.
In fairness to ass clowns everywhere, Melson’s leaving will do little to save the ATF from a continued trip to the woodshed. Nope. The poster boy for How to Mismanage Agencies and Alienate Politicians won’t save his beloved agency by sticking around, nor will he save his career by hanging tough. So ya gotta wonder, what’s the friggin’ point?
We’ve seen this all before, a million times. If memory serves, we saw this just last week, when noted perv. and now-former Representative Andrew “I have a fascination with my own” Weiner (D-NY) enrolled in the political version of the five stages of hospice, namely Denial – Weasel Words – Admission of Guilt (sort of) – Refusal to Resign (with a side of “I’ll get help for my ‘problem’ so this thing will all go away”) – and finally Resignation (followed by the inevitable book deal and CNN show offer). These things just about always turn out the same way. Name a disgraced politician or political appointee: Ensign. Spitzer. Blagojevich. Lee. Massa. Sanford. Craig. Foley. They all got caught, lied, squirmed, resisted, and ultimately got the ol’ heave-ho. (Okay. So Vitter, Frank and Clinton survived. No rule of thumb is perfect.)
But what does this mean for the ATF?
If you know anything about politics, you learn quickly in Patronage 101, that there are certain rules to the game of “taking one for the team.” Essentially, it’s a matter of leverage. If you are being asked/told to take your place under the bus instead of on it, either they have to have something on you (to get you to take your medicine quietly) or you have to have something on them (to minimize the damage or salvage your career). In the case of an agency head, unless you have a LOT of skeletons in your closet (i.e.: the stuff that prison time is made of) the head honchos probably won’t have a lot of luck keeping you from singing like a canary, once you’re out the door. If they DO have you by the short n’ curlies, you’re ass is grass, and they be ridin’ the lawn tractor. On the flip side, if you’ve got the goods on them (and what quasi-spy org wouldn’t [illegally] use their own agency resources to try and dig up some dirt on the bosses), you can avoid the heat, using the threat of Mutually-Assured Destruction to quell their thirst for your head on a pike.
I’m really not sure what’s going on in this case. But here’s what I suspect. Melson is as clueless about politics as he is about running the ATF. Unless he’s got something more on Obama & Co. than “Oh yeah? Well they MADE me do it!”, he’s toast. Conversely, unless the ObamaNation has the goods on Melson, past the “he’s the guy that ordered this, and it goes no higher, so let’s throw him to the dogs,” then they’d be wise to consider how they are gonna stop their newly-minted stool pigeon from singin’ the blues better than Billie Holliday.
For my money, I think Melson just doesn’t want to acknowledge that his career is over. I think he bought off on the idea that the higher-ups would cover for him, and he’s in shock, kinda like Danny DeVito’s character, when they haul him out to the interrogation cabin in the woods in L.A. Confidential.
The curious thing to see is going to be what happens after Melson’s been run outta town on a rail. I suspect that, in exchange for some limited immunity from self-incrimination, Issa and the Boys ’round the Congressional sub-committee will be willing to listen to him spill the beans on just what Napolitano, Holder, Emmanuel and Obama knew, as well as when they knew it. And ordered it. THEN we’ll have some fireworks worthy of any Fourth of July festival seen since the late 1700s.
Keep in mind, while Melson’s presence has been ‘requested’ by Issa’s committee, the Justice Department has not yet granted him permission to testify. The ability to prevent Melson from testifying in front of Congress magically ends the minute they fire him or he resigns. Yet Barack and his Buddies are pressing Melson to resign. Either they know something we don’t know (a distinct possibility) or they just don’t get how the game is played outside of Mrs. O’Leary’s home court.
Stay tuned. This is getting interesting.
Oh, and if you wanna read something truly funny on Project Gunrunner, click here.