Fast And Furious Revisited

Sharyl Attkisson had a story this morning on her Full Measure news show about Operation Fast and Furious and BATFE Senior Agent John Dodson. Since it isn’t syndicated in all markets, I have embedded it below.

As I watched her interview with Agent Dodson, I was struck by a few things. First, Dodson is a brave and ethical man. He is still with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives despite all the crap thrown his way by his own agency. He has been transferred 11 times in the six years since he blew the whistle on Operation Fast and Furious. It is obvious that the powers that be in BATFE – who just happened to be in positions of power six years ago – want him gone. Dodson has gone into some detail about his experiences in his own book over the scandal.

Second, I am aghast that the Department of Justice under President Trump and AG Sessions has not seen fit to release all the documents sought by the House Oversight and Government Affairs Committee. I have to hope that the reason the documents haven’t been released is because the issue hasn’t been brought before Sessions himself. If I remember it correctly, Jeff Sessions and his staff were some of the first people approached by the late Mike Vanderboegh regarding the gunwalking.

Third, the Deep State exists. There are still people in positions of power who are working tirelessly to retaliate against whistleblowers like John Dodson and to continue submerging the truth about Project Gunwalker aka Fast and Furious. Until these people are rooted out and dismissed, I doubt the full truth will ever be known.

Earlier this month, the House Oversight and Government Affairs Committee released another report which dealt with the obstruction of Congress by the DOJ with regards to Operation Fast and Furious. The report concluded that there were failures (1) to provide answers to the Terry family, (2) there was a failure to objectively gather the facts, (3) there was a significant lack of respect for Congressional oversight, and (4) that former Attorney General Eric Holder’s priorities were politics and spin.

John Dodson On His New Book

BATFE Senior Agent John Dodson was interviewed about his new book and Operation Fast and Furious on Cam & Company on Monday. It is an interesting interview which touched upon not only Fast and Furious but the culture within BATFE that led to using developmentally disabled individuals as middlemen.

I just picked up a copy of his book The Unarmed Truth: My Fight to Blow the Whistle and Expose Fast and Furious at my local Sam’s Club. I am looking forward to reading it between now and the New Year.

I’m glad to see it on the shelves at Sam’s Club because this means both the book and the scandal will get more exposure. I spoke with one of the product demonstrators at Sam’s who noticed the book in my cart. She was shocked when I told her the story behind Fast and Furious as she had never heard anything about it in the news.

It is a good interview and it flows right along. I suggest listening to the whole thing.

No Retaliation Against Whistleblowers? Sure There Wasn’t

William LaJeunesse of FoxNews reports today on the lives of those brave ATF agents who stood up and told the truth. He compares it with what happened to managers like Newell, Voth, McMahon, and Melson. It isn’t pretty.

The managers either got promotions or supposedly lateral transfers with paid moving expenses plus the cost of living bonus that comes with being assigned to Washington, DC and headquarters. The agents?

  • Agent Larry Alt took a transfer to Florida and has unresolved retaliation claims against the ATF.
  • Agent Pete Forcelli was demoted to a desk job. Forcelli is a respected investigator, with years as a detective with the New York City Police Department. He has requested an internal investigation to address the retaliation against him.
  • Agent James Casa also took a transfer to Florida.
  • Agent Carlos Canino, once the deputy attache in Mexico City, was moved to Tucson.
  • Agent Jose Wall, formerly assigned to Tijuana, was moved to Phoenix.
  • Agent Darren Gil, formerly the attache to Mexico, retired.

Perhaps the most courageous of all the whistleblowers is Senior Agent John Dodson. He was the first to come out publicly, the first to agree to have his name mentioned, and the first to go on-air with Sharyl Attkisson of CBS without a hidden identity. As might be expected given the management culture of ATF, Dodson’s life since then has been hell.

Dodson was told he was toxic and could no longer work in Phoenix. With sole custody of two teenagers and under water on his house mortgage, Dodson found himself with no place to be and nowhere to go.

A supervisor suggested he’d be treated fairly at an office in South Carolina. Wanting to keep his job, protect his pension and pay the mortgage, Dodson had no other choice. He and his family now live in a small apartment, facing financial troubles, still labeled persona non grata by the very agency he carries a badge for, and regularly assaulted by leaks from “ATF sources at headquarters.”

This was after he moved his family from Virginia to take the Phoenix position. Before his transfer to South Carolina, managers openly retaliated against Dodson by giving him the worst duty and even going so far as to turn off his building badge.

If there was a fund to help Agent Dodson get through this period, I’d donate in a heartbeat. If there isn’t a fund, there should be one. Moreover, in an entirely just world, Bill Newell and David Voth would be Federal inmates and their assets sold so as to compensate the victims of Project Gunwalker.

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