The heat on the ATF just got hotter.
Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) just released letters sent from his office to Kenneth Melson, Deputy Director of ATF, regarding allegations of misconduct in Operation Gunrunner. The biggest allegation is that ATF facilitated the smuggling of 500 semi-automatic rifles into Mexico without the Mexicans’ knowledge. Further, it is alleged that one of these rifles was used in the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.
Grassley’s second letter, which he copied to Attorney General Eric Holder, concerns retaliation taken by Asst SAC George Gillette of the Phoenix Field Division against one possible whistle blower. Under Federal law, whistle blowers within an agency are protected from retaliation.
I think the last thing ATF wants are Congressional hearings into their agency and their actions. However, I don’t think they are going to get their wish.
UPDATE: The political news website Politico has picked up the story. It will be interesting to see where it goes from there.
UPDATE II: Now it is really starting to get interesting. The story has been picked up by the AP and the Miami Herald. It will be hard to keep this bottled up now.
UPDATE III: I was right. Instapundit just linked to it from the Minneapolis Star Tribune.