Gunrunner: ATF head threatens potential Fast and Furious whistleblowers with retaliation
In the wake of the Fast and Furious scandal which led to the deaths of hundreds of Mexicans and two Americans Todd Jones was brought into the ATF as acting head of the embattled agency under the premise that he would reform the ATF. Apparently his idea of reforming the agency is actually helping the ATF hide its involvement in the deadly scandal because he released a video to his agents entitled “Choices and Consequences” which certainly sounds threatening to anyone in the agency who thinks about blowing the whistle on this deadly scandal.
Here is part of what he said in the video:
Choices and consequences means simply that if you make poor choices, that if you don’t abide by the rules, that if you don’t respect the chain of command, if you don’t find the appropriate way to raise your concerns to your leadership, there will be consequences
Is this a warning to potential whistleblowers? Many ATF agents feel this is the case:
ATF officials in Washington and rank-and-file agents told the Washington Guardian that the tape was interpreted by many as a warning not to pursue the path of the Arizona agents who went outside the agency in 2011 and reported concerns to Congress about the bungled Fast and Furious gun probe that let semiautomatic weapons flow to Mexican drug gangs
Todd Jones is denying that intimidation against whistleblowers was what he had on his mind, but Charles Grassley agrees with the agents and shares their concerns about this video:
It ought to be a wake-up signal for everybody in Congress who wants to do their job of constitutional oversight,” Grassley told Sinclair Broadcast, which reported the story with the Washington Guardian. “You can’t put up with agency heads like this having this attitude.”
“It is outrageous that a leader of a major organization of any department, particularly law enforcement, would have the temerity to make those sort of comments
Attorney Steve Kohn also finds this video troubling:
This video will cause a chilling effect,” said Steve Kohn, an attorney who has represented some of the government’s most famous whistleblowers and started the National Whistleblower Center to advocate on behalf of government and corporate workers who report wrongdoing
Kohn said Jones’ specific use of words in the context of the video clearly misleads workers into believing they legally can’t go to Congress, outside inspectors general and the Office of Special Counsel to report wrongdoing.
“There are many cases that say whistleblowers can ignore the chain of command. In fact, under the Whistleblower Protection Act, you may lose protection if you only report to your first line supervisor, and going outside chain is a way to get protection,” Kohn said. “Also, the WPA says that ‘any disclosure’ is protected, not just disclosures made in the ‘appropriate way.’
Sen. Chuck Grassley and Rep. Darrell Issa today urged the acting director of the
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) to clarify his
remarks to employees about reporting concerns within the agency. Grassley and
Issa expressed concern that the remarks are likely to chill whistleblowers from
reporting legitimate problems and undermine a necessary function for making
improvements. The concern is significant because whistleblowers recently put
their careers on the line to expose the operational tactics in Operation Fast
and Furious that might have led to the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.
Grassley and Issa wrote to Jones, stating that the essence of whistleblowing is
reporting problems outside of an employee’s chain of command, and whistleblowers
were instrumental in exposing the shortcomings of the government’s botched
gun-walking operation, Fast and Furious. Grassley and Issa wrote to Jones, “Your
ominous message – which could be interpreted as a threat – is likely to have a
major chilling effect on ATF employees exercising their rights to contact
Congress. Therefore, it needs to be clarified.”
Grassley and Issa also
wrote, “On numerous occasions, we have stressed to ATF and the Department of
Justice the importance of protecting whistleblower disclosures and preventing
retaliation against whistleblowers
There is no doubt in my mind that the Obama regime is actively involved in a coverup of major proportions, and this video is part of the coverup and a warning to all those in the agency not to let their consciences get the better of them–to take one for Barack Obama’s team–and there is no doubt in my mind that if we ever learn all the facts in this case it will go down as the greatest and most infamous scandal in the history of the United States to date.