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Imagine that...

 ATFE manages to have bad ideas, poorly thought out and more poorly executed, regardless of who is in the White House.  

Stunning news (not) - Republican political appointees in the law enforcement field share some traits with Democrat appointees in the law enforcement field.

Bubbles are bubbles.

Meet Operation Wide Receiver:

WASHINGTON (AP) — A second Bush administration gun-trafficking investigation has surfaced using the same controversial tactic for which congressional Republicans have been criticizing the Obama administration.

The tactic, called "gun walking," is already under investigation by the Justice Department's inspector general and by congressional Republicans, who have criticized the administration of Democratic President Barack Obama for letting it happen in an operation called "Fast and Furious".

Emails obtained by The Associated Press show how in a 2007 investigation in Phoenix, agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives — depending on Mexican authorities to follow up — let guns "walk" across the border in an effort to identify higher-ups in gun networks. Justice Department policy has long required that illicit arms shipments be intercepted whenever possible.

More here, at the AP.  

Mebbe in addition to breaking up the winning teams in Tucson and Phoenix, the other common thread is... ATFE.  Mebbe there's a corporate culture that needs a relook and a radical restructure. 



 Dude...remember Obama did this to not disrupt the drug trade, but to discredit gun owners (and especially manufacturers)  in the US (that would be you in the former case, John).

In any case, having worked closely with federal law enforcement for two yaears, I can tell you that cops only acknowledge two kinds of people: other cops...and perps. If you are not a cop you are a (potential or proven) perp. Period. Their frighteningly virulent contempt for "civilians" (that would be you) is total. 

Sorry to burst your bubble, but it's the truth. The cops are your friend only as long as they think you're 100% unquestioniningly supportive of them.
Um, I know that Panther.  I was a cop once.  That is one reason I'm not a cop.  I'm just pointing it out to others, in re (which most of this readership knows) that the ATFE has been suffering from Bad Idea Syndrome for some time.
I gotta go with Panther on this one.

The 2007 program is being trotted out like an excuse a petulant teenager would use:  "Well, everyone ELSE is doing it!"

There is an entire website devoted to whistle blowing reports by BATFE agents which give a very good understanding of exactly how far off the reservation the whole outfit seems to be.  Lots of good folks there, but some not so much.
 John, this is just my opinion.   You have written a good piece. It is neither Republican, nor  Democrat. The important thing is you are trying to get to the real facts and not just perceptions or opinions. It has been my experience, on all levels, local, state and federal,  I have seen both good and bad on all levels.. John, you raised the issue of “Bad  Idea Syndrome”, I believe we are looking at a pandemic level.

John (NTA), your analogy of the petulant teenager, the teenager may be saying what the cop is doing. Therefore, the teenager has an accurate assessment of the cop's actions. It seems to me, when all is said and done,  your last paragraph hits it. At some point, the individual agents must be held accountable for their actions. We live in a society, where each group wants to be legally protected from the consequences of their own behavior. If these agents want respect, do it  the old fashioned way, earn it by their own actions. But this concept holds true for the *whole* chain of command.
When John said "Operation Wide Reciever," I thought he was talking about a project by Andrew Sullivan...
In my recent experiences with local LEOs (who I wish had been Peace Officers), I have had my bad opinion of Those People confirmed.

The readers of my blog (all one or two of you) might recall my post about getting thwacked upside the head and knocked down by a random stranger.

What was more annoying than that, and still cankerously rankles on my consciousness, is my experience of the badge- bearers who responded to my complaint.  

The first responder, a Deputy whom I will call "Debby", was polite enough at first, but then began to exhibit control-freak tendencies and treat me more like the perp than the victim and complaining witness.. Yes, she used the phrase "officer safety" and I had no doubt she considered it to be the most important thing in the world.

A day later, I called the number she gave me, as I thought I had discovered the plastic soda bottle used to thwack me upside the head.  I got to talk to a Defective, err, Detective, whose whole appearance and demeanor were both more mean and nasty than those of the guy who knocked me down.

Eff 'em all.
Bad Casey!  Sit!  Stay!

“ATF agents observed this vehicle [carrying guns] commit to the border and reach the Mexican side until it could no longer be seen,” Carroll wrote in a Sept. 28, 2007 email. “We, the ATF … did not get a response from the Mexican side until 20 minutes later, who then informed us that they did not see the vehicle cross. For the first time we are working hand in hand with the GOM [Government of Mexico] and providing them with what they want and this is what we get!”

The following day, ATF Acting Director for Field Operation William Hoover was demanding information on the strategy.

“Have we discussed the strategy with the U.S. Attorney’s Office re letting the guns walk? Do we have this approval in writing? Have we discussed and thought thru the consequences of same?” Hoover wrote to Newell and Carroll. “Are we tracking south of the border? Same re U.S. Attorney’s Office. Did we find out why they missed the hand-off of the vehicle? What are the expected outcomes?

“I do not want any firearms to go south until further notice,” Hoover wrote on Oct 5. “I expect a full briefing paper on my desk Tuesday morning from SAC Newell with every question answered.”

On Oct. 6, 2007, Newell wrote in an email, “I’m so frustrated with this whole mess I’m shutting the case down and any further attempts to do something similar. We’re done trying to pursue new and innovative initiatives – it’s not worth the hassle.”

The AP claim that the Bush-era Wide Receiver and Obama-era Fast and Furious were “using the same controversial tactic” is deceptive, verging upon being a fabrication. The differences between the botched Bush-era interdiction effort that was Wide Receiver and the blatant gun-running of Obama’s Fast and Furious are something that we’ve discussed previously, but the ABC News article provides even more details that highlight just how different the operations were.
 To become head of BATFE you have to be a certified "Good Idea Fairy."

I used to think highly of the Police, but they have become arrogant, self-centered and they are obnoxious to a free society. They are one group of Civilians that really need someone to put them in their place and make sure they stay there.
Alfred Hitchcock famously said, "I don't hate the police, but I _am_ afraid of them."  I used to agree with him in both of those sentiments.  These days, not so much.
P.s. I seem to be in a dossier at the local pigsty as a "cop-hater."  I like to go out for walks by myself late at night, and that seems to be strongly disapproved of around here.  I am afraid that when  [deleted]'s Coarsest accosted me, I tended to say exactly what I thought, always a danger when one has a touch of the "A".  I will say this for them; they never laid a finger on me, possibly because of some faint remaining trace of a conscience which told them they were in the wrong, and I wasn't.

Funny thing: The times I have met cops, and was actually in the wrong, and we both knew it, the cop was unfailingly polite.