|July 08, 2011, 18:17||#1|
FALaholic #: 1244
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Middle Tennessee
ATF Director Says Holder Obstructing 'Fast and Furious' Probe
The Justice Department is obstructing the congressional investigation of a U.S. law enforcement operation intended to crack down on major weapons traffickers on the Southwest border, according to the embattled leader of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Ken Melson, the acting director of the ATF, lobbed the accusation when he sneaked in for an interview with congressional investigators on July 4, two days ahead of his scheduled interview with the inspector general about the operation known as "Fast and Furious," Fox News has learned.
"If his account is accurate, then ATF leadership appears to have been effectively muzzled while the DOJ sent over false denials and buried its head in the sand," Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said in a letter Tuesday to Attorney General Eric Holder. "That approach distorted the truth and obstructed our investigation."
The Justice Department is reportedly looking to oust Melson, who has been acting ATF director since April 2009, as the agency deals with its biggest scandal in nearly two decades. Andrew Traver, who was tapped in November by President Obama to become the permanent ATF director, could be named as acting director until the Senate acts on his nomination, sources have said.
Continue reading at Foxnews.com
Yesterday, Acting ATF Director Kenneth Melson answered questions from Rep. Darrell Issa and Senator Charles Grassley surrounding Operation Fast and Furious. Melson voluntarily participated in the interview and appeared with personal counsel, meaning although the Justice Department has prohibited Melson to testify before Congress on behalf of the DOJ about the scandal, he can in fact come forward with information as an individual informant outside of the DOJ and separate from DOJ interests.
In a letter sent to Attorney General Eric Holder, Issa and Grassley expressed disappointment in the DOJ limiting and controlling Melson's communication and interaction with Congress surrounding the scandal but called the information Melson presented yesterday "extremely helpful," to the investigation.
Melson revealed the scope of Operation Fast and Furious reaches far beyond ATF and the Justice Department. He said the FBI, DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) and other agencies were heavily involved.
From time to time the tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of patriots and tyrants.
One day, in the not too distant future, good men and women like those that serve in Iraq, will decide that the United States isn't worth fighting for and the blame will be squarely on the shoulders of the DemocRat Party.