Friday, June 24, 2011

"Gun Walker" Fall Guy Refuses To Fall

"Gun Walker" Fall Guy Refuses To Fall
This could get interesting.
by John Hayward

The fall guy designated to short-circuit Rep. Darrell Issa’s investigation of the “Gun Walker” outrage, acting ATF director Ken Melson, has noticed the open grave yawning at his feet, and apparently doesn’t feel like jumping in.

According to the L.A. Times, Melson is “strongly resisting pressure to step down,” and is “reportedly eager to testify to Congress about the extent of his and other officials’ involvement in the operation.”

Wow. This is how regimes crumble: one guy refusing to fall on his sword.

Issa’s House Oversight committee would love to get some testimony from Melson, but the Justice Department has thus far refused to allow him to testify.

Of course not! The Justice Department is all about keeping people from giving sworn testimony. That’s one of their core functions.

Senator Charles Grassley of the Judiciary Committee would also like a word with Melson, and made it clear that even if he tenders his resignation, “it would be, by no means, the end of our inquiry.”

Melson, installed as head of the ATF by President Barack Obama in April 2009, was crucial to overseeing “Operation Fast and Furious,” which saw the ATF putting over 1,700 guns into the hands of Mexican drug cartels. The cartels proceeded to use them to murder over 150 Mexicans, including a high-profile lawyer whose brother was the attorney general of Chihuahua, and U.S. Border Patron Agent Brian Terry. Few observers of the exploding scandal seriously believe Melson dreamed up the operation, however.

The more likely suspects are Attorney General Eric Holder and/or Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano… and the trail might not end with them. The best way to follow that trail is to obtain testimony from Ken Melson.

His apparent willingness to provide that testimony has so terrified the Obama Administration that they actually shopped a sloppy hit piece on Darrell Issa around to their media auxiliaries, until the loyal operatives at the Washington Post finally agreed to run it. The piece Obama’s people planted at the Post tried to allege Issa knew about “Operation Fast and Furious” all along, without a single shred of evidence.

That’s an act of desperation from an Administration that knows it can rely on the media to protect its interests, if they can find any plausible way to do so. When they’re floating implausible stories, which no paper except the Post would stoop to running, you know they’re scared. They really need Ken Melson to take the hit he doesn’t seem willing to absorb.
Trouble for Holder: ATF Director Eager to Testify About Operation Fast and Furious
By Katie Pavlich

ATF Director Kenneth Melson, who was heavily involved in Operation Fast and Furious, doesn't look like he's willing to fall on his sword for Attorney General Eric Holder and President Obama just yet. In fact, Melson is ready to testify in front of the House Oversight Committee where Rep. Darrell Issa will ask him who above him ordered the operation within the Justice Department. Eric Holder should be very, very worried.

Rumors have been swirling around Washington all week that Melson would resign, yet it is now Friday and no resignation has been made.

The acting director of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is strongly resisting pressure to step down because of growing controversy over the agency's surveillance program that allowed U.S. guns to flow unchecked into Mexico, according to several federal sources in Washington.

Kenneth E. Melson, who has run the bureau for two years, is reportedly eager to testify to Congress about the extent of his and other officials' involvement in the operation, code-named Fast and Furious.

Melson does not want to be "the fall guy" for the program, under which ATF agents allowed straw purchasers to acquire more than 1,700 AK-47s and other high-powered rifles from Arizona gun dealers, the sources said. The idea was to track the guns to drug cartel leaders. But that goal proved elusive, and the guns turned up at shootings in Mexico, as well as at the slaying in Arizona of a U.S. Border Patrol agent in December.

"He is saying he won't go," said one source close to the situation, who asked for anonymity because high-level discussions with Melson remained fluid. "He has told them, 'I'm not going to be the fall guy on this.' "

Not surprisingly, the Justice Department is stonewalling his testimony.

Melson has an open invitation to appear on Capitol Hill. So far, he has not been given Justice Department approval to appear before Congress.

Between the Obama Justice Department submitting 900 pages of black, redacted material to Rep. Issa and now the DOJ stalling to give Melson permission to testify, there is no question the authorization of Operation Fast and Furious goes much higher up in the department than Holder wants us to know about.


To read more on Operation Fast and Furious, click here.

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