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Monday, July 23, 2012

ATF Threatens Whistleblowers, Dishonors the Sacrifice of Brian Terry and Jaime Zapata

ATF Acting Director Todd Jones wants people within his agency to keep their concerns and complaints within the ATF, and not take them outside of the agency.  Use the chain of command, otherwise there will be consequences.  That was the message from Jones in a "changecast" video posted on the agency web site on July 9, 2012.

Any organization runs well when it's chain of command is used effectively.  But this one-dimensional assessment must also be considered in light of organizational culture, or the "unwritten rules" about how people should behave within the organization.  When the culture is one of fear and retaliation up and down the chain of command, a message from the top that says, "... if you don't find the appropriate way to raise your concerns to your leadership, there will be consequences. ..."* leads to supervisors covering up and inferiors clamming up under threat of retaliation.

The ATF has this kind of culture.  Truth is, most law enforcement agencies do.  But the ATF, and by extension, the U.S. Department of Justice, has a much bigger problem now because the lid to Pandora's box got blown open with the revelation of Operation Fast and Furious.  U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has blatantly stonewalled and dragged his feet to prevent more information from getting out, to the degree that he has been held in Contempt of Congress.

Congress is seeking documents known to exist that relate to the trafficking of weapons into the hands of Mexican drug cartels, some of which were subsequently used to shoot U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry on December 14, 2010, who died the next day.  In another similar operation in Texas, weapons walked into Mexico were alleged to be used to kill ICE agent Jaime Zapata and injure ICE agent Victor Avila.  I've posted a current update on their story here.  Of course, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano has stated that she does not know if walked U.S. weapons were used in the murder of Zapata.

So with the threat of more F&F information coming out, ATF Acting Director Todd Jones issued his "changecast" on July 9 that included *the above quote.  Ranking Senate Judiciary Committee member Charles E. Grassley and House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa sent a letter to Todd saying, “Your ominous message – which could be interpreted as a threat – is likely to have a major chilling effect on ATF employees exercising their rights to contact Congress.”

Grassley also posted a copy of the "changecast" on his YouTube channel, with the following commentary:
A video message from ATF Acting Director Todd Jones on July 9, 2012, to ATF staff presents a disturbing message to potential whistleblowers in the agency...the essence of whistleblowing is reporting problems outside of an employee's chain of command, and whistleblowers were instrumental in exposing the shortcomings of Operation Fast and Furious.
When is Eric Holder, Janet Napolitano, and the Obama administration going to stop their WAR ON TRUTH?  Probably never.  They have one-track minds that are bent on creating a socialist state.  I believe we are on the verge, potentially at least, of losing America.


Brian Terry Foundation here. Please help!

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