Tuesday, August 30, 2011

ATF's Melson is no longer ATF

Ken Melson, acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was reassigned to a new job in the Justice Department today.

The Washington Post is among those reporting the move comes amid a federal gunrunning probe where ATF agents allowed guns to walk into the hands of Mexican cartels. The U.S. attorney in Phoenix is also out of a job.

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) was one of the early advocates of pushing the probe. In an emailed statement, Grassley has this response to today's move:

“Today’s announcement is an admission by the Obama administration that serious mistakes were made in Operation Fast and Furious, and is a step in the right direction that they are continuing to limit any further damage that people involved in this disastrous strategy can do.
 “There’s a lot of blame to go around. As our investigation moves forward, and we get to the bottom of this policy, I wouldn’t be surprised to see more fall out beyond the resignations and new assignments announced today.
 “The Justice Department and the ATF have yet to answer a majority of the questions and still must produce many of the documents Congressman Issa and I have asked for.  We’re looking for a full accounting from the Justice Department as to who knew what and when, so we can be sure that this ill-advised strategy never happens again.”

CBS News also has a detailed account of today's Melson resignation including the text of a Melson memo announcing his job change.

The Fast and Furious scandal, aka Gunwalker, first came to national attention through the work bloggers David Codrea and Mike Vanderboegh. They persisted in advancing the story when the mainstream media wouldn't touch it. We blogged about Codrea and Vanderbeogh's role in breaking the scandal back in February.

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