ATF Training Manual – Threatens Firing Squads for Leakers

Editor’s Note – As if the tone of incivility were not bad enough in DC, and America endures the zero tolerance on kids with toy guns or a Pop-Tart gets chewed into the form of a gun, leave it to the Obama Administration to make threats to its agents if they leak information

Not just any threat – threats of facing firing squads are in their training manuals should an agent leak sensitive secrets.

Sacrebleu! ATF threatens French-style firing squad for agents who leak secrets

By Kellan Howell – The Washington Times

After months of anguished debate over mass shootings, gun control and Second Amendment rights, the Justice Department finds itself on the defensive after a training manual surfaced that suggests federal agents could face a firing squad for leaking government secrets.

A photo in the online manual for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives — complete with a photo of a turn-of-the-century firing squad — was obtained by The Washington Times from a concerned federal law enforcement official, and it immediately drew protests from watchdogs who said it showed a lack of sensitivity to gun violence and the continuing hostile environment toward whistleblowers.

FiringSquads

Stephen Kohn, executive director of the National Whistleblower Center, said the DOJ has forgotten about the protections of the First Amendment, which covers leaks to the media, and that the photo could scare its employees into self-censorship.

The photo “would have a chilling affect on legitimate speech. And some of the rhetoric used against whistleblowers could be construed as inciting to violence because they’ve turned up the rhetoric,” Mr. Kohn said.

Justice Department officials said the photo was included as a joke and that they were unaware it was viewed as offensive by agents. They plan to remove the entry, but not until the government shutdown is ended and federal officials return to work, said Richard Marianos, the special agent in charge of the Washington division of ATF.

The photo was embedded in the annual Introduction to National Security Information online course for the ATF, the main federal law enforcement agency investigating gun violence and illegal gun trafficking.

Richard Roberts, a public information officer for the International Union of Police Associations, said his opinion is that the photo is nothing more than a humorous attempt to underscore a serious point.

“During many years of law enforcement experience, I can attest to the fact that law enforcement personnel often use gallows humor as a release from the grim realities of the profession,” he said.

But watchdogs raised immediate concerned that the image may have an unintended chilling effect on DOJ employees, as the agency has often been criticized for its handling of whistleblowers.

While the DOJ may be making light of a serious policy, Mr. Kohn said the photo was hypocritical, unconstitutional and unprofessional.

“The government leaks information all the time and they get away with it,” Mr. Kohn said. “They don’t go after leaks that they support. The government leaks, and when it is officially condoned they do not investigate or prosecute.”

A major incident that Mr. Kohn referenced was the case of former U.S. Attorney Richard Convertino, who was removed from his position in Michigan by the DOJ after the DOJ leaked negative information about him.

“It significantly harmed his reputation, turned out not to be true, and we filed a privacy act lawsuit in 2003 and we are still fighting with the Justice Department to try to find out who the source of that leak was,” Mr. Kohn said. “They have used well over $1 million of taxpayer resources to cover up a DOJ employee who violated the law when he leaked information to defame a whistleblower and that’s one of the biggest problems with this whole campaign against leaks.”

Mr. Kohn said the DOJ has forgotten about the protections of the First Amendment, which covers leaks to the media. There is also Supreme Court precedent in the case of Pickering v. Board of Education which established the constitutional right of public employees to provide information to the news media, he said.

“This is a campaign to silence and intimidate whistleblowers and what is the most troubling part of this aggressive campaign, is that the justice department has completely ignored the first amendment,” Mr. Kohn said.

A law enforcement official told The Washington Times that the training materials were assembled for ATF and that the photo appears on a slide deck that was put together by contractors in 2007. The photo has been included in the manual since March 2008.

ATF will be reviewing the materials in the training documents. It’s the latest controversy for the law enforcement agency, which has suffered significant repercussions from the ill-conceived Fast and Furious operation that knowingly allowed semiautomatic weapons to flow across the U.S. border and into Mexico’s violent drug wars.

Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter

Biden's 'Dog and Pony' Show and the Executive Pen

Editor’s Note – As Joe Biden and his ‘task force’ crew conduct their dog and pony show on gun violence, it is clear to most in America that there are foregone conclusions already in place – executive conclusions. The fact that the NRA will be interviewed tomorrow is just a singularly large “dog act” in the process. You can suffice it to say though, that the ‘Executive Pen’ will be in frequent use soon after along with a major legislative push. Here is what Joe Biden said yesterday:

“The president is going to act,” said Biden, giving some comments to the press before a meeting with victims of gun violence. “There are executives orders, there’s executive action that can be taken. We haven’t decided what that is yet. But we’re compiling it all with the help of the attorney general and the rest of the cabinet members as well as legislative action that we believe is required.”

In fact, before the Sandy Hook incident, several other Executive Orders and legislation forced down our throats gives us clues as to what is ahead. Even in the PPACA (Obama Care) Law, the NRA successfully had language added to help prevent the gun control issue from becoming a health care issue. We ask why would anything to do with the Second Amendment be in that law? Here is what is reported by the Blaze:

The Washington Post first reported on Dec. 30 about the presence of this controversial wording. Under a section with the headline “Protection of Second Amendment Gun Rights,” the NRA-advocated wording is nestled deep within the law. The Post called the inclusion, “a largely overlooked but significant challenge to a movement in American medicine to treat firearms as a matter of public health.”

As the outlet also noted, it was in the final stretch of the debate over Obama’s health care legislation that the NRA successfully pushed to insert this language. Below, see the portions of the Affordable Care Act that include mentions of firearms and the parameters through which doctors must operate in questioning patients (read the entire health care bill here):

We can already see where the pen has been used to make it especially onerous for gun dealers in southern border states. When the Federal Government does not enforce the laws equally, we have tyranny. Why is it legal to use executive powers in only four states to control private business that is not exacted on the other 46 states and territories? Read the following article and consider the “equal protection clause” in the 14th amendment.

Judges look favorably on Obama gun reporting rule

By David Ingram – Reuters

(Reuters) – A federal appeals court signaled on Wednesday it was prepared to uphold a regulation designed to detect the sale of semi-automatic rifles to Mexican drug cartels, one of the few gun control measures put forward so far by the Obama administration.

Gun retailers and manufacturers, including a trade group based in Newtown, Connecticut, scene of the December 14 school massacre, say the rule is burdensome and violates federal law.

It requires stores in the four U.S. states bordering Mexico to send a notice to federal law enforcement whenever someone buys two or more of rifles during any five-day period.

The measure applies only to high-caliber, semi-automatic rifles that can use a detachable magazine.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), which regulates gun sales, adopted the rule in 2011 amid rising cartel violence and at the urging of gun control groups for President Barack Obama to act.

Thousands of firearms are thought to cross the border illegally into Mexico each year, and semi-automatic rifles with detachable magazines are a favorite of drug traffickers, the ATF said in a report last year.

Mexican authorities recovered more than 68,000 U.S.-sourced guns from 2007 to 2011, the ATF said.

The rule applies to retailers in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas who, perhaps without realizing it, could be sources for those firearms.

Gun stores “have to create a new system to keep track of that,” Richard Gardiner, a lawyer for retailers Foothills Firearms LLC and J&G Sales Ltd, told the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Federal law does not allow law enforcement to require that system, he said, calling it burdensome because store workers do not always know which of the guns they sell are covered.

COURT DOUBTS BURDEN

The court’s three judges, though, repeatedly doubted whether the rule creates much additional work.

“I don’t remember the record containing any evidence of confusion,” said Judge Harry Edwards.

ATF has a special phone number for retailers to call if they have questions, such as whether the rule covers a particular rifle, but few people have called, government lawyer Michael Raab told the court.

“Any dealer worth his salt” should know whether most guns he sells fit the criteria, Raab said, echoing the wording of a lower court judge.

Gardiner responded that evidence of the rule’s burden is unnecessary because it is a government overreach.

The court is expected to decide within the next few months.

Gun rights advocates have also argued that the ATF measure could lead to a federal database of guns, which they fear would infringe on their rights. Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives have tried to cut off money to enforce the regulation.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation, a trade group for gunmakers and a plaintiff in the lawsuit, is based in Newtown, where gunman Adam Lanza killed his mother, 20 children and six school employees before shooting himself in one of the worst U.S. school shootings.

Lower court judges in Texas and Washington have upheld the ATF rule, which is an example of steps Obama can take outside the proposed gun control laws he is expected to send to Congress this month.

The case is National Shooting Sports Foundation Inc, et al, v. B. Todd Jones, U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, No. 12-5009.

5 named in Fast and Furious – Time for Holder to go

Editorial Note – With information and testimony in hand, there appears to be enough evidence to move forward on at least five individuals; from the field office in Phoenix, all the way up to top management in DC – imagine how many more heads will roll when it all comes out regarding the cover-up. Once again, SUA calls for the resignation of Eric Holder at DoJ. His contempt alone is grounds for dismissal.

What happens next is unknown, but like all such scandals, the truth will eventually emerge. When it does, likely long past the election in November, and regardless of who wins, those responsible must receive the maximum penalties. Why? Because not only were crimes committed, a message needs to be sent to all future office holders and their appointees -political ideology cannot interfere with the proper administration of any office. Strict adherence to the oath and our rule-of-law system must be upheld.

SUA has one question about the report written by the LA Times – Why is it, that when Congress acts in a way that implicates the current executive administration, they feel the need to make sure the reader knows it is a Republican led investigation, but when the same administration speaks to budget delays – Congress is considered to be a monolithic entity. We know the answer of course – Democrats cannot be held to account for what they do in Congress.

The narrative always blames the Republicans, and hides the Democrats. Excellent “editorial reporting” LA Times.

Two more reports are set to come out as well. Stay tuned!

Exclusive: Five ATF officials found responsible for Fast and Furious

By Richard A. Serrano – LA Times

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista), chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, co-authored a report finding that five senior ATF officials were responsible for the Fast and Furious operation. (Tim Sloan / AFP/Getty Images / December 7, 2011)
WASHINGTON — Republican congressional investigators have concluded that five senior ATF officials — from the special agent-in-charge of the Phoenix field office to the top man in the bureau’s Washington headquarters — are collectively responsible for the failed Fast and Furious gun-tracking operation that was “marred by missteps, poor judgments and inherently reckless strategy.”

The investigators, in a final report likely to be released later this week, also unearthed new evidence that agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in Phoenix initially sought to hide from the Mexican government the crucial information that two Fast and Furious firearms were recovered after the brother of a Mexican state attorney general was killed there.

According to a copy of the report obtained Monday by The Times, the investigators said their findings are “the best information available as of now” about the flawed gun operation that last month led to Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. being found in contempt of Congress for failing to turn over subpoenaed documents.

Two more final reports, they said, will deal with “the devastating failure of supervision and leadership” at the Department of Justice and an “unprecedented obstruction of the [congressional] investigation by the highest levels of the Justice Department, including the attorney general himself.”

The first report did allege some Justice Department involvement, however, notably that Kenneth E. Melson, then acting ATF director, was made into a “scapegoat” for Fast and Furious after he told congressional Republicans his Justice Department supervisors  “were doing more damage control than anything” else once Fast and Furious became public.

“My view is that the whole matter of the department’s response in this case was a disaster,” Melson told the investigators.

Fast and Furious, which allowed some 2,500 illegal gun sales in Arizona with the hope that agents would track the weapons to Mexican drug cartels, began in fall 2009 and was halted after U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed in December 2010. By then, most of the weapons had been lost, and two were recovered at the scene of his slaying.

The five ATF managers, since moved to other positions, have either defended Fast and Furious in congressional testimony or refused to discuss it. They could not be reached for comment Monday. At the Justice Department, senior officials, including Holder, have steadfastly maintained that Fast and Furious was confined to the Arizona border region and that Washington was never aware of the flawed tactics.

The joint staff report, authored by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista), chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, was highly critical of the ATF supervisors.

They found that William Newell, the special agent-in-charge in Phoenix, exhibited “repeatedly risky” management and “consistently pushed the envelope of permissible investigative techniques.” The report said “he had been reprimanded … before for crossing the line, but under a new administration and a new attorney general he reverted back to the use of risky gunwalking tactics.”

His boss, Deputy Assistant Director for Field Operations William McMahon, “rubber stamped critical documents that came across his desk without reading them,” the report alleged. “In McMahon’s view it was not his job to ask any questions about what was going on in the field.”

They added that McMahon gave “false testimony” to Congress about signing applications for wiretap intercepts in Fast and Furious.

His supervisor, Mark Chait, assistant director for field operations, “played a surprisingly passive role during the operation,” the report said. “He failed to provide oversight that his experience should have dictated and his position required.”

Above Chait was Deputy Director William Hoover, who the report said ordered an exit strategy to scuttle Fast and Furious but never followed through: “Hoover was derelict in his duty to ensure that public safety was not jeopardized.”

And they said Melson, a longtime career Justice official, “often stayed above the fray” instead of bringing Fast and Furious to an “end sooner.”

But, the investigators said, ATF agents said that they were hamstrung by federal prosecutors in Arizona from  obtaining criminal charges for illegal gun sales, and that Melson “even offered to travel to Phoenix to write the indictments himself. Still, he never ordered it be shut down.”

In the November 2010 slaying in Mexico of Mario Gonzalez, the brother of Patricia Gonzalez, then attorney general for the state of Chihuahua, two of 16 weapons were traced back to Fast and Furious after they were recovered from a shootout with Mexican police.

But 10 days later, ATF Agent Tonya English urged Agent Hope MacAllister and their supervisor, David J. Voth, to keep it under wraps. “My thought is not to release any information,” she told them in an email.

When Patricia Gonzalez later learned that two of the guns had been illegally obtained under Fast and Furious, she was outraged. “The basic ineptitude of these officials [who ordered the Fast and Furious operation] caused the death of my brother and surely thousands more victims,” she said.

The following month, Agent Terry was killed south of Tucson. Voth emailed back, “Ugh … things will most likely get ugly.”

Fast & Furiously – Holder must go!

Editor’s Note – Eric Holder must resign! Simply, fast, and furiously!

Gun-tracking operation caught top suspect, then let him go

Federal agents stopped the main target of the ill-fated Operation Fast and Furious in May 2010. After they questioned him, he disappeared back into Mexico, and the program went on to spiral out of control.

Manuel Fabian Celis-Acosta (March 18, 2012)

By Richard A. Serrano, Washington Bureau (LA Times)

Seven months after federal agents began the ill-fated Fast and Furious gun-tracking operation, they stumbled upon their main suspect in a remote Arizona outpost on the Mexican border, driving an old BMW with 74 rounds of ammunition and nine cellphones hidden inside.
Detained for questioning that day in May 2010, Manuel Fabian Celis-Acosta described to agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives his close association with a top Mexican drug cartel member, according to documents obtained this weekend by the Times/Tribune Washington Bureau.

The top Fast and Furious investigator, Special Agent Hope MacAllister, scribbled her phone number on a $10 bill after he pledged to cooperate and keep in touch with investigators.

Then Celis-Acosta disappeared into Mexico. He never called.

Had they arrested him red-handed trying to smuggle ammunition into Mexico, Fast and Furious might have ended quickly. Instead, the program dragged on for another eight months, spiraling out of control.

Celis-Acosta continued slipping back and forth across the border, authorities say, illegally purchasing more U.S. weapons and financing others. He was not arrested until February 2011, a month after Fast and Furious closed down.

The operation, run by the ATF’s Phoenix field office, allowed illegal gun purchases in Arizona in hopes of tracking the weapons to Mexican drug cartel leaders. Instead, about 1,700 guns vanished, and scores turned up at crime scenes in Mexico. Two were found south of Tucson where U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry was shot to death in December 2010.

Why ATF agents did not arrest Celis-Acosta immediately is not clear. He was their prime suspect and the subject of secret wiretaps approved by the Justice Department.

“Due to the fact that the criminal case is still ongoing in the courts, and the inspector general’s office is still investigating, we cannot comment about this,” ATF chief spokesman Drew Wade said.

Other law enforcement officials, speaking anonymously because of ongoing investigations, acknowledged it was a crucial blunder in a deeply flawed program. “I don’t know why they didn’t arrest him,” one said. “They certainly could have.”

But, another argued, agents may have viewed Celis-Acosta as a possible conduit to the cartels. “He was cooperating and talking a lot and giving up a lot,” he said. “From an investigative standpoint, that’s pretty good information you’re getting. Maybe he can hook you into even bigger fish.”

Fast and Furious, which is under investigation by the Justice Department’s inspector general, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista) and Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), began Oct. 31, 2009. From the start, Celis-Acosta, 24, was the main target, according to internal ATF documents that have not been publicly released. An ATF flow chart listed him at the top of more than two dozen individuals involved in the gun-smuggling ring.

The documents state that Celis-Acosta led the smuggling ring and that he was paid from drug proceeds to illegally acquire firearms for cartels. He carried a permanent U.S. resident card, a Social Security number and an Arizona driver’s license. He moved easily between homes in Mexico and Phoenix. Eventually arrested by U.S. marshals at a relative’s home in El Paso, he pleaded not guilty to gun-smuggling charges as one of 19 Fast and Furious defendants. None of the 19 has gone to trial.

According to an ATF “Report of Investigation,” prepared by MacAllister, authorized by her supervisor, David J. Voth, and reviewed by William D. Newell, then the ATF special agent in charge in Arizona, U.S. authorities stopped Celis-Acosta as he headed south through the border town of Lukeville, Ariz.

The document said an ammunition magazine containing 74 rounds was hidden in a spare tire, and the phones in the dash. In the trunk of the 2002 BMW 754i was a ledger referring to money given to “Killer” and a list of firearms.

Celis-Acosta first said he did not know the ammunition was inside. He said a friend’s mother bought the BMW “with a credit card.”

MacAllister was called to the scene, and Celis-Acosta began to open up. He admitted he knew “a lot about firearms.” He conceded he was en route to a birthday party for “Chendi,” a close associate who he said was a Mexican cartel member and “right-hand man” to Joaquin “Chapo” Guzman, head of the Sinaloa cartel.

Celis-Acosta said Chendi moved 6,000 pounds of marijuana a week into the U.S., terrorized Mexican police, wore a $15,000 wristwatch and lived in a home with “a lot of gold” inside and a landing strip outside.

MacAllister checked with the Drug Enforcement Administration and learned Chendi — real name Claudio Jamie Badilla — was a “large-scale marijuana and multi-kilogram cocaine trafficker.”

MacAllister asked Celis-Acosta whether he “would be willing to cooperate.” When he said yes, they confiscated the ammunition and let him go.

Do the right thing – face retaliation? DoJ Whistleblowers

Editorial Note – Hollywood thrillers often comprised of witness protection programs, Congressional hearings, dead bodies, missing weapons, trafficking in RPG’s and grenades, money laundering, corrupt attorneys and nefarious relationships, fires, lies under oath. They make the old Perry Mason television shows look like child’s play when it comes to Fast and Furious. Whistleblowers do the right thing and all they get are threats of death and career destruction, harassment, and much more. Justice and truth have a new definition in the Department of Justice and body counts continue to climb.

The ‘thin blue line’ now separates not only the public from the criminals, but now, its the line between fellow judicial employees.

Retaliation has always been a problem when doing the right thing, but when you have an agency that no longer operates under the rule-of-law, its the rule-of-man that is in control. When these people pick and choose which laws to enforce, or make them up as they go along, or worse; allegedly commit the crimes themselves, is it surprising retaliation occurs. The current Department of Justice under Eric Holder is an embarrassing example of the later. This is what they call Homeland Security? Read the following two articles on just what that means:

Dangerous and deadly-ATF retaliates

Anthony Martin, Conservative Examiner

In response to whistleblowers and reporters who have revealed significant corruption within the agency, the ATF has apparently undertaken a systematic effort to retaliate against anyone who has shone the light on the agency’s illegal activity, particularly with regard to Operation Fast and Furious, also known as Project Gunwalker. Within the last 24 hours information has come to light indicating a dangerous and deadly pattern on the part of ATF supervisors to punish agents who talk and to intimidate reporters who put the pressure on Congress to reign in an agency that is obviously out of control.

According to veteran ATF agents who post at the site CleanUpATF.org, agency supervisors have retaliated against whistleblower agents in a variety of ways. First, supervisors have made it clear that their goal is to fire such agents. Working under such a threat is in itself a heavy load to bear. Second, supervisors have attempted to frame whistleblower agents for crimes they did not commit. And third, supervisors have refused to grant added protection to whistleblowers whose cover was blown once they went public, leaving them vulnerable to death threats and actions aimed at killing them and their families.

One whistleblower, Peter Forcelli, had to be reassigned to protect him from retaliation by the Phoenix field office once he testified before Congress. John Dodson, the agent who became the face of the whistleblowers due to his now-infamous interviews on CBS and Fox News, has suffered having his name dragged through the mud, along with various and sundry other actions to make him pay for his ‘crime’ of going public.

And then, there is the case of agent Jay Dobyns, a decorated 25-year veteran of the ATF who was singularly responsible for infiltrating and exposing criminal activity associated with the gang ‘Hell’s Angels.’ Dobyns was one of the agents who spoke out about the corruption within the ATF.

At the conclusion of Dobyns’ undercover work in 2008, he began receiving credible death threats associated with his work in putting behind bars the most notorious of the Hell’s Angels. It so happened that Dobyns worked out of the Phoenix field division office, and his immediate supervisors were William Newell, George Gillett, and William McMahon, all of whom have been identified as the alleged key perpetrators of the Fast and Furious scheme.

Dobyns took all of the threats directly to Phoenix Field Division Special Agent in Charge William Newell, who proceeded to do absolutely nothing. All of the threats aimed directly at Dobyns and his family were ignored by the supervisory team in Phoenix.

Then, Dobyns’ house was set on fire at 3 A.M. while his wife, son, and daughter were asleep inside. There was strong evidence that members of the Hell’s Angels were responsible, but once again, Newell refused to investigate. Instead, Newell allowed at least one member of his supervisory team, along with other agents in the Phoenix office, to attempt to frame Dobyns himself for the fire.

According to a report filed by Katie Pavlich on October 21, 2011, Newell and others in the Phoenix office ‘conspired to destroy and fabricate evidence’ in order to ‘prove’ that Agent Dobyns had set his own house on fire with his entire family inside.

Further, Pavlich asserts that the attempt to destroy Agent Dobyns was a ‘test run’ for William Newell who was already anticipating the lengths to which he would have to go in order to perpetrate and then cover up the Gunwalker scheme.

The dangerous and deadly scheming of ATF supervisors against agents who dare tell the truth has spilled over to include reporters. Yesterday Mike Vanderboegh reported this intriguing piece of information concerning a suspicious series of events that happened to him.

Although there is no proof as of yet, this stunt has ‘federal agents’ written all over it.

Behind the Scenes, the Cover-up Games Continue.

Sipsey Street Irregulars

“If they can’t kill you. . . they’ll make you crazy.” Keep the whistleblowers in your prayers.

A week ago Friday, I decided to have some new business cards made up at Staples. Dropping off the image, I was told that they would be ready Saturday morning. So, after I left the AGCA gun show early to visit with my daughter Zoe before she returned to college, about mid-day on the way home I stopped by to pick them up.

I observed to the counter guy that it looked like the whole order wasn’t there. He told me that someone had asked to see the order earlier representing himself as my “business partner” and had taken a few, saying that I wouldn’t mind.

Uh, huh. Of course, I have no business partner and no one knew that I had ordered the cards but me and Staples. The description of the “guy in a suit and sunglasses” was sufficiently vague and I had to get going to see my daughter off so I didn’t immediately demand to see the manager and the surveillance tapes. In retrospect, David Codrea, among others, has beat me up about this and he and they are probably right.

In any case, there are a couple of explanations for this latest nudge of the elbow from the secret police, one more innocent than the other. The least threatening one is that some gestapoman either got bored enough (or was told) to “count coup” on me to rattle my cage. The other is that they were looking for “evidence” to plant somewhere later on somebody — at a crime scene or on a dead criminal for example.

Paranoia comes easy when you have real and powerful enemies, but I learned in the 90s that you can’t succumb to it for if you do they have won already. It is in the enemies’ interest to make the opposition paranoid. I know, I do it myself back at them. Just ask Ramsey A. Bear. All’s fair on the cold war battlefield we play on.

So, the only immediate countermeasure I took was to tell some trusted friends about it. All of them took me to task, especially David, for missed opportunities to turn it around, and I will be exploring some possibilities of that today with Staples and the local police. It was David who insisted last week that I write about it, however, and thus I am doing so now.

I suppose I am guilty of nonchalance with stuff like this. After all, it has been happening to me off and one since the 90s. I no longer watch for multi-car tails — that sort of thing is so 20th Century — and always assume everything about me is known to the servants of the Federal Leviathan. That way you just don’t have to worry about it and you can have much more fun than they do.

(I actually can’t wait for the next administration to get here so I can get a real FOIA document dump on me so I can check my entire multi-agency Stasi file. It should be very instructive.)

However, there is no doubt that this kind of crap has an effect on people unused to being on the receiving end, especially many of my sources and especially the whistleblowers. Folks will call me, and immediately get a ring-back from “Restricted Number” after they hang up, usually with a female voice asking pardon for a wrong number. Black bag jobs on homes and businesses with no alarms going off and video surveillance mysteriously interrupted or missing are commonplace, often with something taken or a familiar object placed in some manner that cannot be accidental, just to let the victim know that they were there.

The Lone Wold Trading Company, for example, according to federal sources familiar with the incident, was broken into and 30 firearms were taken without the alarm being tripped. ATF supervisor Hope MacAllister later told owner Andre Howard, according to those same federal sources, that the ever vigilant ATF video surveillance system didn’t recover the images of the intruders because the system was, she claimed, turned off at the end of the business day and restarted every morning. “Howard didn’t believe it,” said one source, “and he shouldn’t. None of the thirty firearms stolen that night have ever been traced in the system.” They just . . . disappeared.

The ATF whistleblowers, to a man, are under constant pressure from their supervisors and some, but not all, of their fellow agents. This has effects on their lives, their relationships, their health — all of which it is designed to do by the Gunwalker plotters. “If they can’t kill you,” said one federal source, “they’ll make you crazy. And if they can’t make you crazy, they’ll make your life a living hell.”

Think of this, too. Y’all think that this has been going on far too long already, with the ten months since the death of Brian Terry and the first report of the whistleblowers. Well, the whistleblowers like John Dodson, had been fighting in that trench for almost a year before YOU ever heard about it. And they are fighting there still, largely alone, isolated, subject to all the fears that you would have about safety, family, economic security, etc.

Keep them in your prayers, folks. And don’t forget to write your Congresscritters to demand something better for them while they wait, still twisting in the wind, for them to call the Gunwalker plotters to the bar of justice. For only then can they get on with their lives after having done a great service for their country.