And so listen closely to Darren Gil, who recently retired as ATF's top man in Mexico, primarily over 'Gunwalker' related considerations. Specifically: he says he was locked out from knowledge of the 'walking guns' project, which aside from all the other sinister things about that political stunt, certainly puts every ATF agent in Mexico at considerable risk, as Mexico itself finds out that ATF has been letting guns 'walk' across the border and find their way to the very people that all of these officious entities (and oh, but they are) are ostensibly trying to prevent getting hold of them. It's not hard to see how those on the ground in Mexico might take umbrage to thus being hung out to dry.
Gil retired from ATF in December, in part over his objections to Fast and Furious and the way it was handled. He says he's speaking out because nobody else in charge has stepped up to explain that ATF agents in Mexico were never part of it. Yet they're now facing threats of prosecution from some Mexican politicians.
"The (Mexican) government's looking at (ATF agents) potentially bringing weapons into their country, which in many cases is an act of war." Gil says by not explaining that ATF agents in Mexico weren't part of Fast and Furious, ATF executives are putting the agents in danger. "They're leaving my guys out in Mexico alone, and they're not doing the right thing."
What's most striking about Gil's statements here, though, is his clear and candid testimony that knowledge of all this went up--way, way up--past the corrupt management of ATF itself and on into the Department of Justice (and by implication almost certainly State as well).
"Is the director aware of this," Gil asked the supervisor. Gil says his supervisor answered "Yes, the director's aware of it. Not only is the director aware of it, D.O.J.'s aware of it... Department of Justice was aware of it."
Gil goes on to say senior Justice official Lanny Breuer and several of his deputies visited Mexico amid the controversy last summer, and spoke to ATF staff generally about a big trafficking case that they claimed was "getting good results." Gil says Melson, ATF's Acting Director, also visited Mexico City. Gil's Deputy Attache and his Analyst questioned Melson about the case that surrounding all the weapons showing up in Mexico. "His response was 'it's a good case, it's still going on,'" recalls Gil, "and we'll close it down as soon as we possibly can."
This stuff is at the level of "either they didn't know due to incompetence, or they did know and are now covering it up"; the longer the stonewalling occurs now, the more egg on their frowning mugs. (Couldn't happen to a more swell bunch of fellas, seriously.)
For this, Gil certainly gets the Brass Nads Award for the week, a distinction recently held by whistleblowing ATF agent John Dodson, who first went on camera regarding the 'Gunwalker' scandal.
It also deserves mention that, of all parties, CBS News has really stepped up to the plate and given 'Gunwalker' a voice. I don't imagine that reporter Sharyl Attkisson is too popular inside the Beltway right about now; once she got engaged in the story, she has pursued it, and is doing a much better job than anyone could have expected from a mainstream news source.
And let us never forget the efforts of Mike Vanderboegh and David Codrea, without whom none of this would have seen the light of day. Thank you, gentlemen. The Establishment may yet be able to make this whole thing go away; appealing to one segment of a corrupt system to effectively police another segment of the same corrupt system does not have a lot of hope for any more than whitewashy success. But your dogged efforts still remind us that, despite all the threats and aggression that the Establishment can muster in its attempt to intimidate us all into quiet compliance ("nothing to see here, peasant"), there will always be some people willing to resist.
That message will get through--has already gotten through--to those who need to hear it most.
Stock up on popcorn; with a little luck, we just might get to watch an intramural finger-pointing match.
A brief recap of my own posts on 'Gunwalker':