ACLU Blasts ATF Treatment of Gun-walker Whistleblower
~By Jim Kouri~
The calls for a DOJ inquiry into the Trayvon Martin case make organizations like the ACLU choose between pursuing racial justice and opposing double jeopardy. Civil rights and civil liberties often go hand-in-hand, but what happens when they collide?
The calls for a DOJ inquiry into the Trayvon Martin case make organizations like the ACLU choose between pursuing racial justice and opposing double jeopardy. Civil rights and civil liberties often go hand-in-hand, but what happens when they collide? (on.aol.com)
A leading government watchdog on Monday jumped into the Operation Fast and Furious controversy by taking up the cause of a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) special agent who penned an expose` of the ATF’s “gun-walking” strategy.
According to the American Civil Liberties Union, the group’s officials sent a biting letter defending Special Agent John Dodson, whom they claim is a whistleblower whose book will blow the lid off the alleged ATF and White House coverup of a flawed, perhaps illegal, government program.
There are millions of Americans who believe that ATF gun-smuggling operation resulted in at least two American law enforcement officials being killed — Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and Immigration and Customs Enforcement Special Agent Jaime Zapata — as well as hundreds of Mexican citizens.
Dodson’s book is expected to give an insider’s view of the actual Operation Fast and Furious fiasco as well as the intense coverup in the aftermath of the ATF’s snafu.
Special Agent Dodson is credited with revealing to CBS News in 2011 that the ATF ran an operation allowing more than 2,000 firearms to go across the U.S.-Mexican border and into the hands of narco-terrorists who then used the guns in a number of homicides and shootings, including the Dec. 14, 2010 murder of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.
Since Terry killing, GOP lawmakers in congress led by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., begged and threatened the Obama Administration over the scandal, demanding documents and conducting hearings.
Now Dodson is seeking the publication of his tell-all book, to be titled “The Unarmed Truth”. However, the ATF told Dodson that he cannot publish anything about Operation Fast and Furious.
Most federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies demand that employees must first submit manuscripts to their superiors for review in order to protect government secrets that if leaked out may place other agents in danger or reveal classified operations.
According to Dodson, he received a memorandum from an ATF official stating that the book “would have a negative impact on morale in the Phoenix Field Division.”
The ACLU in its letter to the ATF asserts that the agency’s attempt to block the publication of Dodson’s book was an infringement of his First Amendment rights.
According to the ACLU letter, the ATF denied the author’s request to try to publish a book about his personal experiences in Operation Fast and Furious based on the prediction that the book’s publication would have “a negative impact on morale in the Phoenix (Field Division) and would have a detrimental” impact on ATF relationships with other federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies such as the FBI and the Central Intelligence Agency.