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Original Fast and Furious Source Says ATF Still Squandering Resources, Padding Numbers

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Look for Obama to spout nonsense about beefing up ATF in his State of the Union speech that makes no mention of Fast and Furious, or about ongoing bureau waste, abuse corruption and fraud.

Part of Obama’s executive action overreach on guns involves an increased role for ATF. In order to make that happen, his 2017 budget “include[s] funding for 200 new ATF agents and investigators.”

They just don‘t have enough money. Before that the excuse was they just didn’t have a permanent director.  That the corruption and incompetence continued and expanded under the “management” of B. Todd Jones, and that those responsible for Operation Fast and Furious “gun walking” to Mexico all managed to skate on any meaningful consequences for actions that resulted in untold numbers of dead human beings, is not a concern for those whose primary interest was stonewalling and cover-up.

To get an idea how adding more tasks and personnel to ATF’s bailiwick, it would help to take a look at how they handle existing responsibilities and resources, and for that, a voice from the past has reemerged to give us an insider’s glimpse at bureau ineptitude: A forum comment poster on Clean Up ATF, a website run by whistleblowers opposed to agency waste, abuse, corruption and fraud, known only by the screen name “1desertrat.”

Really?  An anonymous observer with a code name?  That’s who I’m relying on for credible intel?

Yes—because this guy has proven his reliability. His was the first post picked up by my colleague Mike Vanderboegh that led to our investigation of Fast and Furious, its tie-in to the murder of Brian Terry, and to everything that was subsequently revealed about it, leading to multiple Congressional inquiries, an Office of Inspector General investigation, contempt of Congress charges against Eric Holder, and more. From Mike’s original report:

“1desertrat” Posted this on 22 December 2010:

Word is that curious George Gillett the Phoenix ASAC stepped on it again. Allegedly he has approved more than 500 AR-15 type rifles from Tucson and Phoenix cases to be “walked” to Mexico. Appears that ATF may be one of the largest suppliers of assault rifles to the Mexican cartels! One of these rifles is rumored to have been linked to the recent killing of a Border Patrol Officer in Nogales, AZ. Can anyone confirm this information?

We went on to do that, as this chronicle of our efforts to investigate and call attention to the story documents.

While investigating, it turned out some other people were also interested in 1desertrat: Acting Director Kenneth Melson and Chief Counsel Stephen R. Rubenstein. As revealed in yet another exclusive report the establishment media ignored, they were interested in identifying and outing him so they could intimidate/retaliate over fabricated Orders and Standards of Conduct violations, and potentially much more. They wanted to shut him down and cover things up.

So yeah, when he speaks, I’m inclined to listen. He’s earned it.  And he’s started speaking again.

“You could hire 2-3 local cops for the cost of one agent and impact crime more,” he stated in a Dec. 19 post on “padding numbers” (the very motive first given for Fast and Furious making sure U.S. guns would be found at Mexican crime scenes). “If the world knew that the average agent makes $120K to do only a couple of simple cases a year or none at all (PA0/Project Officers/Program Managers/Dog Handlers, Tech, Intel, etc.) … and the useless supervisors are making upwards of $150k to poorly duplicate what the local cops are doing, there might be some blow back.”

He offered further insights in a Jan. 4 post, recounting the story of special agents paying “crazy high prices” to get exploitable meth “tweakers” to saw off an old shotgun, and to make PVC and metal “pipe bombs” containing a bit of powder, but “mostly underwear, socks and miscellaneous laundry as space filler. The idiots figured they could stretch their gun powder budgets and maximize profit by using small amounts of powder and more laundry.

“So, the moral of the story and others like Fast and Furious, if you need some numbers to justify something, just go out and create your own criminals and crimes,” 1desertrat concluded. “Hold a press conference and convince everyone how you are making the community safer.”

Nothing about ATF operations suggests any of that is about to change, so in effect, Obama’s addition of new personnel is unlikely to have any effect on the culture they operate in.  But that doesn’t matter, since it’s all part of an illusion to manipulate low-information, emotion-driven voters. They’re the ones who have been conned into believing Fast and Furious was merely a “botched sting,” and who will never hear of people like 1desertrat, or know what hasn’t been told to them because it doesn’t advance an agenda.



David Codrea blogs at The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance (, and is a field editor/columnist for GUNS Magazine. Named “Journalist of the Year” in 2011 by the Second Amendment Foundation for his groundbreaking work on the “Fast and Furious” ATF “gunwalking” scandal, he is a frequent event speaker and guest on national radio and television programs.



  1. Ah, yes. If only we had 200 more BATFE employees that never go away. America could be completely free of gun violence. Right.

    Why does this remind me of those thousands of new IRS employees hired under Obamacare? And why does the solution to every ‘problem’ in America add exponentially to the Federal Leviathan?

    The equation is simple: more government = less freedom. Too bad most Americans don’t get it.

    And thanks for the reminder about, David. I need to get back to checking in on it again.

  2. Buying votes through expanding government employees. Buying loyalty with paychecks. High morals and ethics are not in the HR vetting and their oath is but a formality. Is anyone surprised?

  3. Why the lack of support for Ammon Bundy and those standing tall in Burns?
    I am disappointed to say the least.

    1. I agree, they are calling attention to the problem, at potential risk to themselves. OathKeepers should at least be putting out supportive messages. (I haven’t checked for about a week, maybe they have). If they were not armed they would be ignored and removed. We should at least be pointing this out in public messages. I have gone back and forth in my support of them, but I believe they are doing the right thing and I support them.

  4. ANY GOVERNMENT AGENCY that is found to be CREATING more problems than they are solving needs to be….ABOLISHED!!!!


  6. bernie & hilary choppin up a tree….

    makin kindlin outta liberty….

    tis marx they consecrate

    whilst spewing bile & hate,

    & together they spawn children of the state….

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