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Old September 30, 2011, 06:09 PM   #1
PawPaw
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DOJ to eliminate ATF?

Mods, if this is in the wrong forum, fell free to adjust as needed.

That's what Townhall.com is reporting. Evidently, there's a white paper report circulating to eliminate ATF. Not downsize, eliminate.

LINKY!
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Old September 30, 2011, 06:25 PM   #2
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I’ve said this before. Four hundred and fifty jobs does not a bureau make.

It sounds more like they getting ready to do a 450 job, house-cleaning / blame shifting / attention diverting cover up.
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Old September 30, 2011, 08:54 PM   #3
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Atf, fams, usps...

I've said a few times that this recent event shows that ATF needs to go.
The major criminal investigations or related federal crimes(arson, explosives, tobacco fraud, firearms theft, etc) can be handled by the FBI, US Secret Service, ICE, IRS, etc.
President Obama(in the time he has left, ) should also scrap the FAMS(air marshals) and the outdated US Postal Service(USPS).

ATF needs to go!
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Old September 30, 2011, 09:16 PM   #4
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If DOJ under Holder is convinced that ATF is an obstacle to zero's reelection, then ATF is in dire straits.

At least until after the election.
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Old September 30, 2011, 09:33 PM   #5
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This is the Chicago way, so I am surprised by none of it. The guy at the head of the table (be it the mayor of Chicago, or now the President of the USA) is NEVER wrong. Someone will always fall on his sword well before the trouble gets to the head guy or anyone important like Eric Holder. I am sure at the very least Eric Holder should be resigning if not prosecuted for this but I think we will see CC in Illinois before we see Eric Holder in a jail cell. Seriously though, why Can't and Havn't we rolled the ATF and DEA into each other yet? It seems most drug busts(at least on the TV) by the DEA also involve illegal guns and vise verse. DATFEA (D-at-fe-uh) Drug, Alcahol, Tobacco, Fire arms and Explosives Agency.
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Old September 30, 2011, 10:04 PM   #6
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Call me when we the people fire the DOJ and then I will get excited..
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Old September 30, 2011, 10:06 PM   #7
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Before I decide whether this is good or bad, there are some very important questions that need to be answered:

Who are the 450 employees that will be fired and what are their jobs specifically?

Who will not be fired, what are their jobs, and where will they be after this is done?

If ATF is eliminated, how does that affect Federal laws which delegate enforcement and regulatory powers to ATF?

If the above mentioned powers are transferred to other agencies, which agencies will receive which powers?

What, if any, safeguards will be implemented to ensure that an incident like F&F does not occur again?

I suspect, however, that I'll never get answers to all those questions, and I probably won't like the ones I do get.
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Old October 4, 2011, 03:26 PM   #8
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No Heroes; ATF special agents, FBI...

In the non fiction book No Heroes, about the start of the elite HRT(hostage rescue team), the FBI author(who founded & ran HRT) wrote about offering a FBI special agent job to a ATF agent who assisted him on a federal investigation.
It seems to me that the DoJ & FBI could absorb some of the ATF bomb, ballistics, K9, arson, etc specialists with few major conflicts.
Latterial transfers or switching agencies are common for US government employees(GS scale) so why couldn't an entire federal agency be cut?
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Old October 4, 2011, 03:51 PM   #9
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As Ms. Pavlich writes,
Quote:
ATF field agents weren’t the problem with Operation Fast and Furious, high ranking officials within ATF and the Department of Justice were and still are.
Now, I know a few ATF agents who would love to see their operations folded into the FBI. The ATF is a notoriously hostile working environment, with multiple human-resources related lawsuits pending at any given moment.

However, simply laying them off doesn't fix anything, and it just puts good folks out on the streets. Then there's this:

Quote:
If ATF is eliminated, how does that affect Federal laws which delegate enforcement and regulatory powers to ATF? If the above mentioned powers are transferred to other agencies, which agencies will receive which powers?
Migrating policies, procedures, training, and manpower to a different branch would be an administrative nightmare.
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Old October 4, 2011, 04:06 PM   #10
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I 2nd the cover up notion.

Get rid of the people and fix it so they cant testify on Fast and Furious;say it's under national security guise or something like it,

I have a dislike and disgust for our current government and what they are doing to America FAR more than I can type on this wonderful forum though!
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Old October 4, 2011, 09:16 PM   #11
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The problem with ATF is that there manager are idiots. Waco is a prime example of how to botch an operation. Fast and Furious continues to show the incompetentance of the senior ATF management.

The one Arson investigator I met was a female agent who was more intrested in spending time with a sharp local cop than investigating the burning of a local AME church. After botching the investigation she was promoted to a supervisory position.

The old adage mess up and move up is rampant in the ATF.

The top quailty ATF agents I have worked with become so frustrated that they leave or get fired for some frivolious charge.
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Old October 4, 2011, 09:43 PM   #12
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Incompetence? Hardly. The "incompetence" they choose to display is artfully and most intentionally unveiled to dissuade the media and public from digging any deeper.
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Old October 5, 2011, 07:03 AM   #13
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Since 1950 several new departments have been established including the Dep't of Homeland Security: This one added tens of thousands of new federal jobs and federal contract employees.

Some in congress whine about the growth of government: Then they vote to establish a new federal department or agency. When is the last time a federal agency was eliminated? Look at this list of federal agencies and departments. Few , if any, are ever going away.


http://www.usa.gov/directory/federal/index.shtml
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Old October 5, 2011, 10:49 AM   #14
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One of the problems with the suggestion that other agencies could take over the duties of the ATF is that other agencies won't. Some agencies, it has been suggested, have managed to avoid taking on responsibilities for things that are difficult or something. The thing is, the federal government, or in this case, federal law enforcement, is not a monolith. There are competing agencies, numerous pressures which are different for different agencies and so on. And then there are all the state and local agencies on the ground, too. Sometimes it even sounds like there is a good argument for disolving the United States.
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Old October 5, 2011, 01:16 PM   #15
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Quote:
Sometimes it even sounds like there is a good argument for disolving the United States.
You might be on to something. Cut all the federal agencies give the responsibility back to the states then rebuild the federal agencies we actually need.
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Old October 5, 2011, 01:47 PM   #16
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Actually, someone suggested breaking up the United States something like 50 years ago, although I don't know why and I doubt they were serious. Perhaps we could dissolve the state governments. Might be an even better idea.

Of course, nothing came out of thin air or from the Lady of the Lake. There was a need, so something was done. More often than not, there may be a need but nothing was done. There has always been a time before we had something, either at the local, state or national level. Yet arguments rarely begin by tracing the evolution of the institution or practice in question from the beginning. Usually, the fiercest critics generally only want to undo the last thing, taking it back to when everything was perfect, which was never all that long ago and something just before the way it is now, if you follow me.

In the world of guns, we even tried getting along without an army for a while. After the revolution, the Continental Army was disbanded. The founding fathers distrusted standing armies so they had them sit down--I mean stand down. The militia was what we were supposed to rely on and rely on it they did. But I imagine it didn't work the way they wanted, so they begat an army.
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Old October 5, 2011, 02:32 PM   #17
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Quote:
Some in congress whine about the growth of government: Then they vote to establish a new federal department or agency. When is the last time a federal agency was eliminated?
Depends on how the question is phrased. Eliminated altogether? Admittedly not very often. Merged with another agency, sometimes after being split apart? More often than you might think.

Probably the best-known example was the merger of the Department of War and the Department of the Navy into the Department of Defense in 1949.

Other examples? The Interstate Commerce Commission was split apart in 1995 and its various functions parceled out to several other transportation-related agencies. The Department of the Interior is somewhat of a conglomerate of agencies that used to be independent, and it's also taken over various superfluous tertiary functions from other agencies after mismanagement or neglect. The Office of Thrift Supervision is scheduled to disappear into the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency 2 weeks from today on Oct 19th. FWIW although they regulate banking rather than prosecuting criminals, the relationship between the OTS and OCC is somewhat similar to the ATF and FBI; they're supposed to enforce different parts of the same basic group of laws, but their jurisdictions overlap in some cases.

Food for thought.
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Old October 6, 2011, 07:56 AM   #18
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Quote:
Some agencies, it has been suggested, have managed to avoid taking on responsibilities for things that are difficult or something.
Agreed and if the agencies would just follow the laws that are in place and not circumvent them then life would be good and the discussion about "Project Gun Runner" wouldn't be on the table.
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Old October 6, 2011, 08:38 AM   #19
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One of the best examples of agencies being moved around is the ATF itself and one of the best known federal law enforcement agents was Elliot Ness. The ATF was created to enforce the Prohibition Act and was part of the IRS. It was later transferred to the Deptment of Justice and went through some name changes. Then it went back to the Treasury Department and finally became the BATF. Now it's part of the Department of Homeland Security. It continues to evolve.
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Old October 6, 2011, 07:49 PM   #20
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ATF was not part of the Justice Department until recent times. It was a separate Bureau under the IRS until the early 1970's when it became it's own agency. After 9/11, at least part of it, Firearms & Explosives were transferred to Homeland Security which is under the Justice Department. I am not positive, but I believe the regulatory & tax elements remain with the Treasury.

Succinctly, Congress writes the laws & then assigns regulatory & enfocement authority to an agency. Congress can change the assignment anytime it wants & could shift Firearms & Explosives to the FBI if it so desired. The problem with a switch is that the receiving agency will want the authority, but may reject the empolyees. This could be of concern as the BATFE agents would need to meet FBI hiring standards before they would be accepted as Special Agents. They would probably have to go through another application process & meet FBI hiring standards to be transferred.

Another transfer problem reared it's ugly head when the old Bureau of Narcotics & Dangerous Drugs, a Treasury Agency, was disolved & became DEA under the Justice Department. This resulted in DEA having jurisdiction in the US, but Customs had jurisdiction over smuggling. Just like in Fast & Furious, DEA wanted to follow the load from the border, but Customs would seize it for the stats.
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Old October 7, 2011, 01:34 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TJH3781
This could be of concern as the BATFE agents would need to meet FBI hiring standards before they would be accepted as Special Agents.
Gee, that'd be awful if ATF agents were held to a higher standard.

If one does a little objective research and puts their own preconceived, pro-gun/anti-gun, pro-gov/anti-gov notions aside; one will find that the ATF has the most undertrained, incompetent employes of any of the alphabet agencies.

Just look at the recent Fast and Furious debacle. Not once, has any member of the ATF put up a logical explanation for its inception. Of course that stands to reason since there isn't one.
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Old October 7, 2011, 02:46 PM   #22
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In short, some agencies have to do the dirty work while others get the good press. J. Edgar Hoover liked things that way.
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Old October 7, 2011, 04:49 PM   #23
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older CNN news story; ATF...

I posted a few forum messages about 10-12 mo ago online about CNN's report of the DoJ/ATF's fraud/waste/abuse.
The news network spoke to active ATF special agent who filed formal complaints & acted as a whistle-blower.
The DoJ & ATF quickly cut this veteran agent off at the knees.
The non fiction book; Under And Alone is another good example of how the ATF & other US govt agencies(DEA, US Atty's Office, AG's office, etc) corkscrew into the ground.
The book was written by a former SF(special forces) soldier & SE Asia combat veteran who worked as a undercover agent in the large Mongols biker gang.

ClydeFrog
ps; One of the points the CNN report showed is how the DoJ/ATF agency had more formal complaints than both the FBI & DEA(both larger by manpower) combined.
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