After damning emails surfaced last week that indicated that ATF HMFIC, Kenneth Melson was able to sit at his desk in D.C. and monitor weapons purchases in Arizona, the administration looks to be cutting its losses in the wake of the revelation of the ATF's gun-smuggling operation.
The Justice Department is expected to oust the head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, according to people familiar with the matter, amid a troubled federal antitrafficking operation that has grown into the agency's biggest scandal in nearly two decades.
Moves toward the replacement of Kenneth Melson, acting ATF director since April 2009, could begin next week, although the precise sequence of events remains to be decided, these people said.
The shakeup shows the extent of the political damage caused by the gun-trafficking operation called Fast and Furious, which used tactics that allowed suspected smugglers to buy large numbers of firearms. Growing controversy over the program has paralyzed a long-beleaguered agency buffeted by partisan battles.
"Political damage" is a relative term as it would appear that many in the legacy media are unaware of this rogue operation that is under the jurisdiction of the Department of Justice or simply believe it to be a tad too unseemly to cover.
A couple of exit questions: 1) Do we even know if Gunrunner/Fast and Furious has been shut down? Seriously. The question needs to be asked. Intuitively, one would think someone had the sense to pull the plug on this once it went public but in all the reading we have done on this subject, there has not been a definitive declaration that yea verily, ATF gave a cease and desist order...
... and 2) The Mexican government has been strangely silent on this. What did they know and when did they know it? Were they actively participating in this or did they not have a clue? Either way, now that they are in the know, why aren't they saying anything? Are they being leveraged into silence by the administration with the promise of more goodies down the road in the form of aid or passage of comprehensive immigration reform?
OK, that was more than two but you get the point.