I've written before about the scandal surrounding Operation Gunrunner, an attempt by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to track firearms destined for criminals in Mexico. It's resulted in hundreds, perhaps thousands of firearms being allowed to reach their destination, causing death and injury to heaven knows how many innocent persons - and some of the weapons involved are implicated in the death of a US Border patrol agent last year.
It looks as if the evidence provided by a few courageous low-level ATF operatives is having an effect at last. The Los Angeles Times reports:
A key leader in the federal law enforcement operation suspected of allowing high-powered assault weapons to fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartels is now cooperating with congressional investigators, providing a crucial new window into the controversial operation known as Project Gunrunner.
George Gillett Jr., assistant special agent in charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' field office in Phoenix, has met with congressional investigators and is expected to provide crucial information about how dozens of U.S. guns may have been transported with the ATF's knowledge into Mexico. Agents say Gillett provided much of the day-to-day oversight of the Gunrunner operation.
Two guns involved in the operation were found at the scene of a shootout in southern Arizona in December in which U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer Brian Terry was killed, prompting at least three inquiries on Capitol Hill.
. . .
Several ATF agents who objected to the gun transfers but were rebuffed by their supervisors already have provided extensive information to Congress and in interviews with The Times.
Gillett, who supervised the group running the Arizona component of Project Gunrunner, known as "Fast and Furious," initially dismissed those concerns and previously ordered ATF agents to avoid all communications with whistle-blowers who were cooperating with the congressional inquiries, several agents said in interviews.
Now, though, Gillett is talking. In a letter Friday to ATF management, Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, disclosed that Gillett was cooperating with a congressional inquiry and had participated in two preliminary meetings with investigators.
There's more at the link.
Shakespeare (The Tempest, Act 1, Scene 2) claimed that rats instinctively leave a sinking ship. Dare one hope that this is happening to the ATF at last?