ATF director not planning to take fall for Fast & Furious gunrunner program

Kenneth E. Melson, the acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) a.k.a. ATF, is resisting suggestions he step down and take the fall for the Fast & Furious gun-walking program centered in Arizona. Bigger names must be involved.

Wasn’t Melson supposed to resign days ago? Think again. From the LA Times.

Melson does not want to be “the fall guy” for the program, under which ATF agents allowed straw purchasers to acquire more than 1,700 AK-47s and other high-powered rifles from Arizona gun dealers, the sources said. …

“He is saying he won’t go,” said one source close to the situation, who asked for anonymity because high-level discussions with Melson remained fluid. “He has told them, ‘I’m not going to be the fall guy on this.’ ”

Added a second source, who also requested anonymity: “He’s resisting. He does not want to go.”

Melson has an open invitation to appear on Capitol Hill. So far, he has not been given Justice Department approval to appear before Congress.

Why won’t he step down and hypothetically end this for the Obama administration? Well, maybe it’s because he knew about the program and was not the administration staffer to encourage and approve the program.

Think bigger fish baby… and grab some popcorn while you’re at it.

Don’t be surprised if you hear names – notable names – like Holder, Napolitano and other White House staffers who knew about and encouraged this program.

Related and breaking: Murder of the brother of a Mexican state attorney general last fall linked to ATF-released guns.

This is looking more and more like a planned effort to create a huge problem where one barely existed. This will be about pushing forward the anti-gun political agenda. I’m resistant to what I would call conspiracy theories concerning the infamous, non-existent UN gun treaty but don’t be surprised if Fast & Furious was one of the “under the radar” programs President Obama was referring to back in March. From the Washington Post on April 11, with my emphasis in bold.

On March 30, the 30th anniversary of the assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan, Jim Brady, who sustained a debilitating head wound in the attack, and his wife, Sarah, came to Capitol Hill to push for a ban on the controversial “large magazines.” Brady, for whom the law requiring background checks on handgun purchasers is named, then met with White House press secretary Jay Carney. During the meeting, President Obama dropped in and, according to Sarah Brady, brought up the issue of gun control, “to fill us in that it was very much on his agenda,” she said.

“I just want you to know that we are working on it,” Brady recalled the president telling them. “We have to go through a few processes, but under the radar.”

In the meeting, she said, Obama discussed how records get into the system and what can be done about firearms retailers. Her husband specifically brought up the proposed ban on large magazine clips, and she noted that even former vice president Dick Cheney had suggested that some restrictions on the clips might make sense.

“He just laughed,” Sarah Brady said approvingly of the president. Both she and her husband, she emphasized, had absolute confidence that the president was committed to regulation.

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Steve McGough

Steve's a part-time conservative blogger. Steve grew up in Connecticut and has lived in Washington, D.C. and the Bahamas. He resides in Connecticut, where he’s comfortable six months of the year.


  1. TomL on June 24, 2011 at 8:30 am

    Melson is an Acting Director which means you have title only and make no real important decisions. Holder and Napolitano are going to fall on this. Whomever was the highest up to give final approval needs to do jail time.

  2. Marilyn on June 24, 2011 at 8:45 am

    I hope Melson holds his ground.? Whoever came up with this stupid plan and authorized it must take responsiblity.?? these guns wern’t free, follow the money.

  3. GdavidH on June 24, 2011 at 9:53 am

    “Melson has an open invitation to appear on Capitol Hill. So far, he has not been given Justice Department approval to appear before Congress.”

    Why is approval required to be a “whistleblower”. If he will name names and throw his bosses under the bus he needs protection, not approval.

  4. Tim-in-Alabama on June 24, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    The acting director should not be made to fall on his sword because of Bumpy Barry Obama and Derelict Holder’s dumb and life-taking bad decisions. Besides, he can’t fall on his sword even if he wanted to because edged weapons aren’t included in the bureau name and acronym.


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