Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The ATF scandal grows - and now the FBI has one, too!

Last month I wrote about the growing controversy about the alleged actions of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in Arizona. Today it was reported that a US Senator is following up on the issue.

A U.S. senator is examining a claim that two guns sold in purchases sanctioned by federal firearms agents were later used in a December shootout that left a Border Patrol agent dead near the Arizona-Mexico border.

. . .

[Senator] Grassley said in a letter Thursday that a buyer purchased three assault rifles with cash more than a year ago in Glendale, Ariz., and two of those guns were used in the shootout in Arizona.

"These extremely serious allegations were accompanied by detailed documentation which appears to lend credibility to the claims and partially corroborates them," Grassley wrote.

In the follow-up letter to Melson, Grassley said an ATF manager in Phoenix questioned an agent who answered questions posed by Grassley staffers about the agency's initiative to reduce the flow of firearms to Mexico.

The manager accused the agent of misconduct for his contacts with the judiciary committee, Grassley said.

There's more at the link.

The report about the manager reprimanding an agent because he provided information to a Senate investigation rings true . . . and suggests that the allegations against the ATF are probably correct. I'd say it's a sure sign of a guilty conscience - one trying desperately to cover up its guilt!

In another report today, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) alleges widespread and systematic misconduct by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in illegally monitoring private communications.

EFF has uncovered widespread violations stemming from FBI intelligence investigations from 2001 - 2008. In a report released today, EFF documents alarming trends in the Bureau’s intelligence investigation practices, suggesting that FBI intelligence investigations have compromised the civil liberties of American citizens far more frequently, and to a greater extent, than was previously assumed.

. . .

EFF's report stems from analysis of nearly 2,500 pages of FBI documents, consisting of reports of FBI intelligence violations made to the Intelligence Oversight Board - an independent, civilian intelligence-monitoring board that reports to the President on the legality of foreign and domestic intelligence operations. The documents constitute the most complete picture of post-9/11 FBI intelligence abuses available to the public. Our earlier analysis of the documents showed the FBI's arbitrary disclosure practices.

Again, there's more at the link.

I'm sure many of us are familiar with allegations of misconduct (up to and including criminal conduct) in local and state law enforcement agencies. However, the growing number of allegations of similar flaws in Federal agencies is very disturbing. Our national law enforcement bodies have for decades prided themselves on a greater professionalism, a greater sense of responsibility, than smaller agencies. Has that now gone to the wall? And what can Congress and the Senate do to restore faith in these bodies? Oversight of the Federal government is their responsibility, after all!


1 comment:

tpmoney said...

What can they do to restore faith? Absolutely nothing, other than clean house and prove over a very long time that they are worthy of trust once again. This is a lesson that I was taught as a child, once you break someone's trust, the only way to get it back is to work twice as hard for a very long time, until they decide you are once again trustworthy.