So at the same time ATF was directing these gun stores to continue making illegal sales to straw purchasers, they were purposefully leaking these gun stores names to the WaPo as sources of crime guns.
Yep. I predicted that back at page one of this thread back in March. DeSaye probably saw himself in a hopeless position when the ATF first approached him. If he didn't cooperate with the ATF, he could expect all sorts of harassment. If he did, he'd likely be the scapegoat when it all went bad.
Even if it's proven that they were just following orders from an agency that can shut them down, their reputation will be severely tarnished.