ATF Death Watch 66: Obama Fires Acting ATF Director Melson

The Obama administration has fired acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (and Really Big Fires). OK, moved him laterally. “Melson shared the news in a conference call at 11:30 a.m. EDT with supervisors at the bureau’s field offices,” chicagotribune.com reports, ”Telling them that he will be moving back to the Department of Justice to serve as a senior advisor with the Office of Legal Programs. His resignation will take effect at 5 p.m. EDT. And the new guy is . . .

Attorney Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. announced that B. Todd Jones, the U.S. Attorney in Minneapolis, will replace Melson as acting director, effective Wednesday.

Although Eric made no mention of cleaning up the ATF, America’s top lawyer reckons Jones is Da Man! usatoday.com:

“As a seasoned prosecutor and former military judge advocate, Jones is a demonstrated leader who brings a wealth of experience to this position,” Holder said. “I have great confidence that he will be a strong and steady influence guiding ATF in fulfilling its mission of combating violent crime by violating enforcing federal criminal laws and regulations in the firearms and explosives industries.”

Hey! What happened to alcohol and tobacco? Anyway, Eric saved a few kind words for the man who watched straw-purchasers buy firearms for the Sinaloa cartel. (Melson’s mob set up a live-link from a participating gun dealer to the boss’s DC lair.) Back to the Trib:

“Ken brings decades of experience at the department and extensive knowledge in forensic science to his new role and I know he will be a valuable contributor on these issues,” Holder said. “As he moves into this new role, I want to thank Ken for his dedication to the department over the last three decades.”

Rumor has it the Obama administration will stick with Chicago ATF Bureau Chief Andrew Traver as their choice for Melson’s full-time replacement. Provided, of course, the ATF EVER gets a full-time director. And Traver never heard a word about Operation Fast and Furious before the illegal government-sponsored gun running program came to light. And Holder lasts long enough to put Traver in the ATF hot seat.

According to Fox News, it’s all change at the ATF and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, as Big O’s Boyz struggle to keep a lid on the festering Gunwalker Scandal, in which drug thugs used ATF-enabled guns to murder U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.

In Phoenix, Assistant U.S. Attorney Emory Hurley, who oversaw Fast and Furious on a day-to-day basis, was reassigned from the criminal to civil division. His boss, U.S. Attorney for Arizona Dennis Burke, was on the hot seat last week and spoke to congressional investigators. According to multiple sources, he got physically sick during questioning and could not finish his session.

Hey Burke, welcome to my world. And speaking of revolting, the mainstream media’s continuing to perpetuate the idea that operation Fast and Furious was an f-up, rather than a concerted, multi-agency effort to arm the Sinaloa cartel against Los Zetas, with the full knowledge and cooperation of the Mexican government.

But the chase for guns and cartel leaders soon hit a dead end. The ATF was attempting to follow each of the weapons as they were moved from the straw men who bought them illegally at gun shops to what officials expected would be cartel higher-ups in the U.S., who would move them to Mexico.

The agency, which didn’t have the resources to follow so many weapons, soon lost track of many of them. When officials did follow them to the next level, the buyers of the guns often turned out to be Mexicans living legally in the U.S. and not cartel honchos.

Although that’s what the Obama administration would have taxpayers believe, it’s so far from the truth it’s not in the same blogosphere. Incompetence, no. A willing participant in an black bag job to shore up a violent and corrupt Mexican govenment? Si!

In fact, Melson’s reassignment represents an attempt to shut him up. Can you say “protect my pension and I’ll keep stum about how the ATF worked with the FBI, DHS, CPB, ICE, CIA, State and White House to arm our bad guys”? Yes folks, the coverup continues.

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About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

15 Responses to ATF Death Watch 66: Obama Fires Acting ATF Director Melson

  1. Apparently Burke’s testimony got to him because he’s resigning as well.

    The heads, they are a-rollin’.

  2. avatarAndrew Snyder says:

    Holder is moving Melson into the DoJ! Hmm smells like Holder is trying to keep a potential leak close at hand. Anyone want to take bets on Melsons life expectancy?

    Also, this made the big read center top of page story over at the drudge report. The comments there show that everyone knows Holders behind this. The only ones fooled are Holder, Obama, and the die hard democrates who will believe them no matter what.

  3. avatarMike says:

    If the outing of Valarie Plame (a non crime) rated a Special Prosecutor then this rogue operation rates one too! Get those letters and emails going into your representatives! No justice, no peace!

    • avatarpsmcd says:

      If you don’t see the iceberg beneath the Plame outing I recommend you stay away from politics.

    • avatarrichard40 says:

      Definitely agree that this is much worse than valarie plame. If that one deserved a special prosecutor, this one definitely does. Actually this is even worse than watergate in many ways, after all nobody died in watergate.

  4. avatarRalph says:

    Maybe POTUS can find a job for Melson at the Department of Transportation. Nobody knows more about cutting through that cross-border red tape than our boy Ken.

  5. avatarTexan says:

    I liked Melson better when he “wasn’t going to be the fall guy…” Methinks his bank accounts (among others) need to be checked for any recent additions.

  6. avatarBrad Kozak says:

    Nice image, but I was hoping for something more in this vein.

  7. avatarGS650G says:

    How about we (not they) we lock him up in a Mexican jail?

  8. They’re saying Traver is clean on this? Riiiight.

    Go back through the Gunwalker emails. In most of them, the ATF managers on the cc: line were redacted before the committee released them (presumably by ATF or DOJ before the committee got them, but with no independent release from DOJ you can’t prove that). On at least one of that long string of reply-alls, they missed redacting Traver. As Director-designee he’s been in the loop continuously, and that’s just one indicator.

  9. avatarteapartydoc says:

    If Giuliani really wanted to help the country, he would be angling for a way to get named prosecutor on this, instead of angling for the vice-presidency. If he did it, though, he might even have a chance at the top spot.

  10. avatarNorman Klature says:

    Just like the ending of ‘Rising Sun’ – the baddy Japanese exec gets a lifetime window office in HQ….

  11. avatarrichard40 says:

    Notice he didn’t fire Melson, just safely hid him out of view. If he fired him, Melson would have started singing to the committee.

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