Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Acting Director Kenneth Melson, who has been in hot water with the Justice Department for trying to talk to Congress about the disastrous Fast and Furious operation, has been transferred to another post within DOJ, according to reports.
Melson’s transfer – ATF is part of DOJ – and other similar actions taken toward those who participated in Fast and Furious raises questions about whether Justice is trying to buy people’s silence by landing them in cushy positions within the government.
Given the lengths to which DOJ is going to hide information, it begs the question of what Attorney General Eric Holder knew about the fiasco and whether President Obama himself was in any way involved.
But the mainstream media has done little to investigate the matter which – I’m convinced – would have attracted teams of reporters from major news outlets were Republicans running the country, particularly if a name like “Dick Cheney” were in the mix.
Melson helped run Fast and Furious, which transferred weapons to Mexican drug dealers in an effort to track them but ended up being used in killings, including the deaths of U.S. agents.
Early this summer, Melson resisted pressure from Justice Department officials to step down and effectively become the fall guy for the botched operation.
Though the Justice Department tried to keep him from talking to Congress, he agreed to be deposed the weekend of July 4th by congressional investigators with his own attorney present – not one provided by the Justice Department, which would have been standard procedure.
Melson claimed that the Justice Department had been attempting to keep him from cooperating with congressional investigators and that it was trying to protect political appointees by concealing documents showing their intimate involvement in Fast and Furious.
Justice has already acted to promote several officials who know details about Fact and Furious.
Three ATF supervisors responsible for the operation. William G. McMahon, a former deputy director of operations, took over the Office of Professional Responsibility. Field supervisors William D. Newell and David Voth, also moved up despite heavy criticism.
In Phoenix, Assistant U.S. Attorney Emory Hurley, who oversaw Fast and Furious on a day-to-day basis, was reassigned from the criminal to civil division. His boss, U.S. Attorney for Arizona Dennis Burke, was on the hot seat last week and spoke to congressional investigators. According to multiple sources, he got physically sick during questioning and could not finish his session.
Also in Phoenix, three out of the four whistleblowers involved in the case have been reassigned to new positions outside Arizona. Two are headed to Florida, one to South Carolina.
CBS News is reporting that Melson will assume the DOJ position of senior advisor, Office of Legal Programs.