Gunwalker: ATF head to tell all?

Posted by: Phineas on June 28, 2011 at 2:01 pm

**Posted by Phineas

Well, this could get very interesting. Instead of resigning in disgrace and going away quietly so that everything could be swept under the carpet, Acting ATF Director Ken Melson has agreed to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee in a deal between Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Charles Grassley (R-IA):

The head of the embattled federal agency that combats gun trafficking has agreed to talk with Senate investigators, a potentially important breakthrough as Congress tries to determine whether higher-ups in the Obama administration knew about a controversial sting that let assault weapons flow across the border into Mexico’s drug wars.

The testimony — expected next month from Kenneth Melson, the acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives — was brokered as part of a deal between Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and the committee’s top Republican, Iowa’s Charles Grassley. Grassley and his fellow Republicans were given full access to ATF documents, Melson, and other key witnesses; and in return, Grassley agreed to release three Obama administration nominees he had been blocking, according to correspondence obtained by Newsweek and The Daily Beast.

So, is Melson the new John Dean, or is this a prelude to being the fall-guy? At Pajamas Media, Bob Owens considers five possibilities:

  1. Melson falls on his sword.
  2. Melson implicates the head of the DoJ Criminal Division, who signed off on a Gunwalker wiretap.
  3. Melson implicates Attorney General Holder, himself.
  4. Melson also names Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano.
  5. Melson does the “full Dean” and implicates Obama.

For various reasons, Bob considers numbers two and three the most likely, leading to the resignation or even impeachment of the officials involved. Be sure to read the piece to find out why. Going a step further, Howard Nemerov makes a plausible argument that Holder and other officials could be charged as accessories before and after the fact to federal crimes.

Regardless, Melson’s forthcoming testimony promises some summer fireworks.

RELATED: Background on Gunwalker.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

RSS feed for comments on this post.


12 Responses to “Gunwalker: ATF head to tell all?”


  1. arcman46 says:

    What we know about this is that it’s pretty much a sure bet that Holder is involved. If it comes out that Obama is involved, I sure as heck would watch my back.

  2. Iva Biggin says:

    “We’re working on gun control under the radar” (obonzo to Sarah Brady). “GunWalker” was simply a means of demonstrating that U.S guns were fueling Mexican violence so he would appear justified in banning all semi-auto firearms in the U.S. The deaths of a few Border Patrol agents would be an acceptable means to an end.

  3. cmblake6 says:

    Is #5 too much to pray for?

  4. pagar says:

    Might want to keep this one in mind.


    “adding that the Oklahoma City Bombing appears to have been an earlier and far, far uglier version of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms’ “Operation: Fast and Furious,” an affair involving many of the same key players.”

  5. Marilyn says:

    At Pajamas Media, Bob Owens considers five possibilities:

    Bob forgot one possibility: Melson never testifies because he ties his own hands behind his back, ties a rope around his neck, hangs himself, then shoots himself in the back of the head with a 12-gauge shotgun. It will be another “worst case of suicide ever…”:-w

  6. mike191 says:

    Why allow any more unaccountable Obama henchmen to carry on tyranny against this Nation. Moreover, Mellon appears before the Leahy run committee that will never allow the truth to emerge.

  7. milquetoast says:

    Another possibility:
    6. Melson is just negotiating/holding out for a bigger payoff. Sweeten the deal enough and he’ll claim it was all him all along. Look for him to be appointed to some no-work, high-pay position: special ambassador to Mexico for gun law cooperation or something.

  8. Sleuth says:

    Think about this: I just read that allowing the guns to go South is a Foreign Policy decision – which requires the Sec. State & the Pres to agree! Or is ATF deciding to destablize a friendly foreign government without them?

  9. Chris in NC says:

    6. Melson winds up dead in an unfortunate auto accident or fall from a balcony or something. Obama will kill this dude before he can testify if there’s anything that will point back to him.

  10. Drew the Infidel says:

    Correction: BATFE is the embattled federal agency that promotes gun trafficking, not combats it.

  11. Kate says:

    I also have to question Leahy and this committee hearing behind closed doors….call me a skeptic, but I see a brazen “no problem” about to be rendered using some backroom deal making.

    If they were given a full hearing in public all documents published and names named in the light of day THAT would answer my questions about the necessity of Gunwalker.

    …..mysterious death of Melson would be too consistent with the regular democratic way to get rid of whistleblowers.