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Tipsheet

Acting ATF Head Notorious for Whistleblower Intimidation to Testify Tuesday

Acting ATF Director Todd B. Jones, who has been nominated to serve as ATF Director by President Obama, will testify Tuesday on Capitol Hill during a scheduled confirmation hearing.


As a reminder, Jones is notorious for whistleblower intimidation and has quietly embraced the "shut up or be punished" culture inside ATF when it comes to agents exposing corruption and scandals like Operation Fast and Furious. Jones' style came under direct fire last year when he warned agents against "jumping their chain of command" when dealing with problems inside the bureau.

 “… if you make poor choices, that if you don’t abide by the rules, that if you don't respect the chain of command, if you don’t find the appropriate way to raise your concerns to your leadership, there will be consequences. …”

"Disciplinary process."

Jones' words also raised the eyebrows of ATF whistleblowers.

 ATF whistleblowers Jay Dobyns and Vince Cefalu are also hitting back against Jones' remarks. Both Dobyns and Cefalu, agents with more than 20 years of experience in the bureau, expressed concerns about unethical behavior to their superiors and nothing was done. Cefalu founded CleanUpATF.org back in 2009 in order to give ATF agents across the country an anonymous place to expose corruption within ATF without fear of retaliation. His website is where Operation Fast and Furious was first exposed. Dobyns worked undercover for two years within the Hells Angel gang, risking his life for ATF, and is now being punished by the bureau for speaking out against supervisors who ignored death threats against himself and his family.

"Many ATF agents have confronted the corruption and abuses for years. We provided documentary evidence to the Attorney General, Office of the Inspector General, Office of Special Counsel and members of Congress in writing. We were ignored until people died. We are still being ignored by Mr. Jones and a handful of his executive staff. Most, if not all of the agency's failures could have and should have been prevented. It's a sad day for the future of a great bureau," Cefalu tells Townhall.

"Look, it is a historically established, unassailable fact, repeatedly validated ad nauseum, that the senior management of ATF is corrupt, and that it is official Bureau policy to viciously smear and ultimately annihilate any "field"-level employee who does not put his head down and toe the company line. This latest video from B. Todd is just a natural, entirely consistent cog in ATF's continuum of ruling through fear and intimidation, even in the face of direct Congressional warnings prohibiting such conduct. ATF's repressive, lawless, self-serving management culture is imprinted in the agency's DNA," an administrator wrote on CleanUpATF.org.
When Jones was nominated by Obama earlier this year, Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa called it a "slap in the face." Obama nominated Jones as part of his 23 executive actions on gun control.

"Acting Director Jones was at the helm of ATF as many troubling problems from the fallout of Operation Fast and Furious festered,” said Issa.  “His specific decisions on a number of Fast and Furious related issues raise concerns about his judgment and ability to lead the agency.  While I continue to believe that ATF needs to have a Senate confirmed Director, President Obama has a responsibility to find a nominee who can win confirmation and is not saddled by a string of bad decisions related to the agency’s greatest recent failure," Issa said in a statement. “Jones was first brought into the job of ATF Acting Director in the middle of the Fast and Furious scandal after Justice Department officials had falsely denied reckless conduct and allegations by his predecessor that there was an effort underway to shield the Department’s senior political appointees from the scandal.  Because of the numerous ATF mistakes during his tenure as Acting Director pertaining to Fast and Furious, his nomination is a slap in the face to the family of fallen Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, Mexican citizens whose murder has been linked to Fast and Furious weapons, and ATF whistleblowers whom he failed to support.”
The hearing for Jones is Tuesday and will be held by the House Judiciary Committee at 10 a.m. et.

UPDATE: Bob Owens over at PJ Media reminds me that Jones also served on Attorney General Eric Holder's Attorney General Advisory board and likely knew of Operation Fast and Furious at the beginning.

UPDATE II: The hearing has been postponed until June 11.

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