Here, you are urged and encouraged to run your mouths about something important.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Texas Senator John Cornyn Taking Notice of Fast and Furious

Last week, Texas senator John Cornyn sent Eric Holder a letter demanding answers relative to concerns that there may have been a Fast and Furious style operation in Texas - in addition to Phoenix. This week, it was announced that three of the most suspect individuals at ATF - Supervisor William McMahon, William Newell, and David Voth - are getting promotions. Both McMahon and Newell testified in front of the House Oversight Committee on July 26th, with Newell looking particularly bad. Voth's very damaging e-mails were made public several months ago.

It appears that these promotions are so egregious on their face that Cornyn is taking notice. Via the Washington Times:
A senior Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday described as “inconceivable” a Justice Department decision to promote key Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) personnel who oversaw the controversial “Fast and Furious” weapons investigation that allowed hundreds of guns to be walked into Mexico to new positions in Washington.

Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, who last week demanded that Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. immediately brief his office regarding the “scope and details of any past or present ATF gun-walking programs” in his state, said until Mr. Holder and the department “come clean” on the gun-walking investigation, “it is inconceivable to reward those who spearheaded this disastrous operation with cushy desks in Washington.”

The ATF has promoted three key supervisors of a controversial sting operation that allowed firearms to be illegally trafficked across the U.S. border into Mexico.
The over-the-top nature of these promotions may lead to suspicions about motive when it comes to the DOJ decision to grant them. Rewarding bad behavior or poor performance may be in the eye of the beholder. Were these guys rewarded for not revealing the truth to investigators? Time will tell but here is a list of who was promoted to what and why - according to acting ATF Director Kenneth Melson:
Mr. McMahon, who told a House committee he shared responsibility for “mistakes that were made” in the Fast and Furious operation, was promoted Sunday to deputy assistant director of the ATF's Office of Professional Responsibility and Security Operations — which investigates suspected misconduct by employees.

Mr. Newell, former ATF special agent in charge of the Phoenix field division who steadfastly defended the program in his committee testimony, was named as special assistant to the assistant director of the agency’s Office of Management in Washington.

Mr. Voth, ATF Group VII Strike Force supervisor who oversaw day-to-day operations of the Fast and Furious investigation, was moved to Washington to become branch chief for the ATF’s tobacco division.

In an agency-wide memo, Acting ATF Director Kenneth E. Melson said the agents were promoted because of “the skills and abilities they have demonstrated throughout their careers.”
It would appear that ATF leadership as well as the DOJ, which obviously approved these promotions given the attention this case is already getting, is thumbing its nose at Congress.

h/t Sipsey Street

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