By Jeff Knox
What did he know, when did he know it, and what has he done about it? Was ATF Director Appointee, B. Todd Jones, involved in the inception of the felony stupid program known as Fast and Furious? What has he done regarding the scandal in the year and a half that he has been Acting Director? What specific actions does he intend to take to focus ATF enforcement efforts on violent criminals and reduce the incidence of prosecution of unwitting technical violations by regular gun owners? . . .
The Judiciary Committee of the US Senate is scheduled to begin hearings on the confirmation of B. Todd Jones as Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Tuesday, June 11. Jones has served as the Acting Director of the agency since September of 2011 when, then-Acting Director, Ken Melson transferred to a new post in the wake of the Fast and Furious scandal.
Fast and Furious should be at the center of this upcoming hearing, and Jones’ involvement in that scandal has never been fully investigated. About the time of Jones’ appointment to the Acting Director post, The Firearms Coalition uncovered a document that suggested that Jones might have been involved in the strategy meeting that originally conceived the ill-conceived operation. Information about that meeting was very sketchy, and to our knowledge, has never been fully exposed. The meeting in question was a gathering of the Attorney General’s Southwest Border Strategy Group which took place shortly before Fast and Furious began.
The group was put together to devise strategies to rectify shortcomings disclosed in a scathing report from the DOJ’s Office of the Inspector General. The OIG report was extremely critical of ATF for arresting only low-level participants in Mexican drug cartel gun smuggling operations, and called for the agency to adopt strategies and tactics to produce arrests further up the criminal food chain. Fast and Furious was devised in direct response to that OIG report.
That being the case, the meeting of the AG’s Southwest Border Strategy Group which occurred just after the OIG report and just before the initiation of Operation Fast and Furious should be of particular interest to anyone trying to understand how Fast and Furious came into being. Unfortunately, information about that meeting has been extremely limited and what information has come out has been heavily redacted. But back in September of 2011 The Firearms Coalition found evidence that B. Todd Jones was a participant in that critical Southwest Border Strategy Group meeting.
Though the roster of participants in attendance at that meeting was redacted, someone failed to conceal a mention that the Chairman of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee was in attendance. At that time, the Chairman of the AG’s Advisory Committee was Eric Holders close friend and confidant, B. Todd Jones. Jones resigned that position about the same time that he was appointed by Holder to temporarily head up the ATF.
Now with the Senate Judiciary Committee taking up the question of whether or not B. Todd Jones should be confirmed as permanent Director of ATF, the questions about that critical meeting of the AG’s Southwest Border Strategy Group, and Jones’s involvement in it, must be answered. He also needs to answer questions about his actions since becoming Acting Director of the agency, regarding policy changes, discipline of those involved, and treatment of whistleblowers. We would also like to hear Mr. Jones’ ideas for focusing the activities of ATF on real criminals rather than going after regular gun owners.
We encourage everyone to contact the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee with requests that they get answers to these questions. The Capitol Switchboard number is 202-224-3121. The operator can then connect you to the office you request.
This post originally appeared at jpfo.org and is reprinted here with permission.