Wednesday, September 14, 2016

ATF Milwaukee Sting Operation a Comedy of Errors, Ignorance, and Bureaucratic Malpractice

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has done the entire country a service on its expose of ATF incompetence, malevolence, and unconcern for citizens and their rights.  The Department of Justice released a 200 page report on the investigation that the Journal Sentinel instigated. Here is a short synopsis of what they have found:

The sting was originally targeted at aging motorcyclists who sold insufficiently taxed cigarettes.  But the motorcyclists were too smart, so they shifted to inner city guns, with permission from HQ, but then changed the location without permission.

The ATF spent about $200,000 to convict some low level criminals with tactics that reek of entrapment.

The ATF attempted to bring in the FBI. Once the FBI saw the setup, they left after three weeks.

Much like gun "buy backs" the ATF overpaid for guns, causing people to legally buy guns and re-sell them to the ATF for a profit.

The ATF refused to pay their bills.  When the landlord asked for payment, they threatened him.  The landlord sued.  The ATF eventually settled for $25,000.

 When the ATF left, after nine months, they left behind sensitive paperwork with infomant names and phone numbers.

Finally, an ATF agent's pistol and an automatic rifle were stolen from a vehicle near the shop.  They have never been recovered. That was the event that triggered the end of the operation.

In other towns in Portland, Oregon, Wichita, Kansas, and Pensacola, Florida, there were similar operations with little to show for their actions.

The case has resulted in reforms being implemented.  As a retired career bureucrat, I feel qualified to say that such reforms may work for a while, but the effects gradually fade.

A recent article summed up the operations, based on a 112 page report released by the Justice Department's Office of the Inspector General.

The article by the Journal Sentinel is well worth reading.

Link to Article

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.
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C. S. P. Schofield said...

Regardless of the rights and wrongs of gun control, the ATF has a long history of incompetence, grandstanding, arrogance, and failure that makes Ringing Brothers' Clown College look like the FBI by comparison. Anyone serious about Gun Control and in possession of a full set of wits would be working to disband the embarrassment.

Anonymous said...

The "Reforming" is the problem!
Disbanding entirely is the solution. There is no reason FOR an ATF in the first place.
Power over alcohol itself was given in the specific and then REVOKED in the specific, at the highest form of law, the Supreme Law, the Constitution itself.
Power over tobacco is nonexistent, yet the last year my grandfather grew it, the price per pound was the same as it was when he started farming it almost thirty years before - and he ended farming it because the "farm bill" impositions made it almost impossible, alongside next to unprofitable to do so. Where is the damn authority to usurp farmers decisions about their own land???
ANd then Firearms. Umm we ALL have inalienable, inherent, individual, disconnected from military service, enumerated and even Supreme Court admitted RIGHT to possess them, to own them, to sell them, to trade them, to loan them, to carry them, to use them in self defense! Yes, ALL of those arms we can bear are matters of our own individual choice to have or not.

So no matter how you slice it up - the ATF has no reason to exist....beyond an open face conspiracy to violate the rights of the people.

Here is the answer. We already see the USDA taking over some of the tobacco control. We have already witnessed fast and furious and pathetic sting debacles like this example here. The FBI already has the 'background check" duties so WTF? What is the purpose of any of it? Oh I know, it is something to tie things up in court, to arrange for this case or that case to shut the door on US forcing further admissions by government, especially the judiciary. It is no more than a bully used to intimidate. So here is what has to happen. Yes, it IS this simple.

A new President comes in and says, bye bye now. He, or she, just refused to "re-form" the ATF as part of his cabinet. No President is bound to have, much less operate or honor the last President's cabinet. He, or she, is empowered to form their own. And here is how it goes. During the "First Hundred Days" the last president's cabinet operates on something of an autopilot, you know, while the "transition teams" do the takeover and reformation. All that has to happen is for ssssaaaayyyyy a President Trump to decide to NOT form the ATF and in a hundred days, it goes defunct. It is a rudderless do nothing entity that congress may well decide to fund but that can take no action for or against anyone because enforcement is part of the executive branch, not the legislative or judicial branch. Without the President giving directions, that 'ATF' entity sets dead in the water. Then, it is shown as absolute government waste because it is producing nothing, a reaming of taxpayer dollars for no reason. So what happens then? Ahh, the Congress snatches that money and spends it elsewhere. Or the executive does so.

What do you do with the people, is the cry we hear next. Well, that border needs some new patrolmen, right? Send em there! If they choose not to go, sorry about their luck. All cabinet workers serve at the pleasure of the Executive - period. Sure, unions might not like that, their legislature biatches and their lobbyist bosses might not like it, but that is the separation of powers at work. Tough titty but the milk was good said the mother. Try another.

Legislatures do not get to impose a cabinet position upon a President, Period. And that is the simpleest most ironic part. To dismantle and end the ATF (along with its abuses) all that a new President has to not do. Just refuse to re- form the dang thing. Let it die on its vine like the roughage it is. Let it rot right there, unpicked, unharvested.