Here’s another chapter in the “you don’t piss off President Obama” guide book. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) is trying to fire an agent who helped publicize the agency’s role in “Project Gunrunner” (A.K.A Fast and Furious) which allowed thousands of guns to cross the U.S. border and fall into the hands of Mexican drug gangs.
The agent, Vince Cefalu, who has spoken out about the ATF’s so-called “Project Gunrunner” scandal, says he was served with termination papers just last week.
“Project Gunrunner” (A.K.A Fast and Furious)Was a project of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Fireworks In late 2009, the ATF was alerted to suspicious buys at seven gun shops in the Phoenix area. Suspicious because the buyers paid cash, sometimes brought in paper bags. And they purchased classic “weapons of choice” used by Mexican drug traffickers – semi-automatic versions of military type rifles and pistols. According to news reports several gun shops wanted to stop the questionable sales, but Bureau encouraged them to continue.
ATF managers allegedly made a controversial decision: allow most of the weapons on the streets. The idea, they said, was to gather intelligence and see where the guns ended up. Insiders say it’s a dangerous tactic called letting the guns, “walk.” Yes, that’s right, the US government decided–in order to fight the Mexican Drug Cartels, we should arm them and let them keep their weapons once they were used in committing crimes (kind of the same thing we do with the Palestinian terror groups such as Fatah).
The House Oversight committee reported that some of these guns were used in crimes. For example, two of the approximately 2,000 guns that ATF let criminals walk away with were found at the murder scene of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in December 2010.
Agent Cefalu was a key figure in letting the public know about this idiotic program.
“Aside from Jay Dobyns, I don’t know of anyone that’s been more vocal about ATF mismanagement than me,” said Cefalu, a senior special agent based in Dublin, Calif. “That’s why this is happening.” Dobyns, an ATF special agent based in Tucson, has appeared several times on Fox News to discuss the scandal.
Cefalu first told FoxNews.com about the ATF’s embattled anti-gun smuggling operation in December, before the first reports on the story appeared in February. “Simply put, we knowingly let hundreds of guns and dozens of identified bad guys go across the border,” Cefalu said at the time.
Cefalu was on Fox News this morning to report that last week, after 24 years of service he
was forced to turn in his gun and badge. He can appeal but will be on “paid administrative leave” during the process.
Cefalu’s dismissal follows a string of allegations that the ATF retaliates against whistleblowers. When the Project Gunrunner scandal broke, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, wrote the ATF that an agent who had been giving his staff members information about the scandal had been “allegedly accused… of misconduct” by the agent’s boss for talking with Grassley’s staffers
And two days before Cefalu was served with termination papers, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, sent a letter to the ATF warning officials not to retaliate against whistleblowers.
ATF spokesman Drew Wade denied in a statement to FoxNews.com that the bureau is retaliating, but he declined to comment about Cefalu’s case. “ATF will not comment on specific, ongoing personnel matters. It is illegal to use disciplinary actions to retaliate against employees, and ATF does not engage in such improper reprisals.”
The ATF’s termination letter to Cefalu, obtained by FoxNews.com, makes no mention of Cefalu’s role in the latest scandal.
“You think they would just come out and say that?” Cefalu said.
The letter claimed that Cefalu showed a lack of candor about a 2005 operation that he led. If their claim is true, its funny that there was no disciplinary action for six years, but once he let people know about project Gunrunner, coincidentally he was terminated.
In the 2005 case, local police wanted to wiretap a suspect to gather evidence, but Cefalu objected, saying it would be illegal to use wiretaps until all other options for gathering evidence had been tried.
Cefalu was then removed from the case. But he continued to speak out and file internal complaints about what he viewed as illegal ATF wiretapping. And that’s when his life became difficult.
So it seems that Cefalu is being fired is because he is one of those “do-gooders.” Oh wait, he is an ATF agent…he is supposed to be a “do-gooder.”
Another ATF agent, who requested to remain anonymous but who has provided accurate information on the Project Gunrunner case to FoxNews.com in the past, discussed what he knew about Cefalu.
“Common knowledge in the agency is that Cefalu outed an illegal wiretap quite some time ago, and he has been in the crosshairs since,” the agent told FoxNews.com. “My impression of him is that he has probably ruffled lots of feathers and delicate egos in his time. He is very direct and honest.”
But this agent said he’d “prefer that to a ‘go along to get along’ type.”
“We don’t avoid or learn from mistakes if we just lie to each other about how we never do anything wrong — which is pretty much standard operating procedure from what I have seen of our HQ people,” the agent said.
It sounds to this observer that Vince Cefalu is the type of person we need in government service. Well..except in the Obama administration the believes silent compliance is the correct way to operate because every decision made by this administration is a perfect one. I am sure that House Oversight Committee Chair, Darrell Issa will work to correct this wrong.