Fast & Furious: Illegal restraint
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is outrageously preventing publication of a book about its “Fast & Furious” fiasco — allowing illegal U.S. gun purchases, then failing to track those guns to Mexican drug cartels — by that scandal's first public whistleblower.
Significantly, strange political bedfellows are supporting Special Agent James Dodson in this “First Amendment showdown,” The Washington Times reports. Representing him in a formal protest, the American Civil Liberties Union is effectively siding with the scandal's two leading congressional investigators, U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif. — who co-wrote the book's foreword.
And making the ATF's refusal to let Mr. Dodson publish all the more suspect is its weak rationale — a joke, really — for that decision.
The problem, says the ATF, isn't that the book would make public information that's classified, sensitive or harmful to law-enforcement operations. Rather, the ATF claims publication would have “a negative impact on morale” in the Arizona office — where the ill-advised “gun-walking” scheme was set in motion — and “a detrimental effect” on the ATF's relations with the FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration.
Too bad. That's the Justice Department's problem.
The ATF's reasoning and its illegal attempt to restrain Jim Dodson's right to publish are clear indications that the Obama administration remains determined to cover up the full Fast & Furious truth.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- The Chevy Volt: Short-circuited (again)
- Fayette County Fair: More than rides & shows
- Payments in lieu of taxes: It’s worth a try in Kittanning
- Saturday essay: Beds of surprises
- Pittsburgh Laurels & Lances
- Digitized medical records: They’ve become an unsecured threat