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Gunrunner: ATF head threatens potential Fast and Furious whistleblowers with retaliation

July 19, 2012

  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.’

   Darrell Issa has sent a letter to Todd Jones asking for clarification on his statement, the full text of which can be read here:

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.

16 Comments leave one →
  1. LD Jackson permalink
    July 19, 2012 8:41 pm

    It walks like a duck, etc. This certainly sounds like a warning to me.


    • July 19, 2012 10:13 pm

      Yes it does Larry, this regime has been caught in the middle of a coverup and I can only hope that someday justice is served.


    • July 23, 2012 11:19 am

      From what I read, it sounds like a threat, and I don’t like it.


      • July 23, 2012 9:26 pm

        It sure does, doesn’t it?


      • lou222 permalink
        July 24, 2012 1:12 pm

        TGY, I don’t think either side is “honest” anymore. What have we put into office and what are they going to do to us? That they can get away with this type of threat and the media not send up a red flag on this tells me someone is getting paid to NOT do it. Can you pinpoint when the Government took control and the American people lost it? I wish I could.
        Steve, thanks for lengthening out the “recent comments” area, might help when we can’t check here as often as we would like.


      • July 24, 2012 7:13 pm

        No problem Lou, I thought I had already done it after you made the request but when I was making changes I realized it had slipped my mind. I lie it also because it makes it easier to keep up with the most recent comments.


  2. July 19, 2012 8:52 pm

    What good is the WBA if supervisors can make such threats with impunity. This guy needs to be hauled in front of Congress.


  3. lou222 permalink
    July 19, 2012 9:46 pm

    There seems to be no protection, does there? Why would anyone want to stick their neck out and ruin their life? Well, that is what they will have to deal with, so imagine the administration figures they have things under control. Is it right and legal? Probably not in both cases, but when has that stopped Obama and his “people” from threats and dirty dealing? The more I hear about him/them the more I can’t stand the thought of 4 more years. They are bullies that have power, that is a dangerous combination.


    • July 19, 2012 10:21 pm

      Obama feels as if he is above the law and who can blame him? He hasn’t been held accountable for his actions so he will keep pushing the envelope further and unless someone steps up and calls him out on his actions he will continue to do so.
      I have had trouble supporting Romney but when you see things like this it just helps to get me in Romney’s corner.


  4. donchute permalink
    July 20, 2012 1:19 am

    Forget these do nothing hearings…Hang the Treasonous Perps Sooner than later! the mere thought of 4 more years of Obamanation, without having to worry about re-election is just very Chilling…


  5. bunkerville permalink
    July 20, 2012 3:15 pm

    Glad you had a link inside to the video. I saw Issa on with Greta las night. Chilling.



  2. ATF head threatens anyone thinking about whistle blowing -Video « BUNKERVILLE | God, Guns and Guts Comrades!

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