Discovery of a January 2011 e-mail exchange between then Acting ATF Director Ken Melson and the Bureau’s chief council Steve Rubenstein has put the kibosh on Obama administration elites’ latest “we didn’t know about it” defense concerning the regime’s involvement in Operation Fast and Furious.
On December 22, 2010, a contributor identifying himself as “1desertrat” posted the following to the “CLEANUP ATF” website:
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? 
Well, Director Melson read this “CLEANUP ATF” post and didn’t appreciate the fact that ATF business had been so willfully shared with the general public. Especially, this business. So, he contacted ATF Chief Council Steve Rubenstein for advice. And the e-mail reply he received from Rubenstein is a beauty. Rubenstein wrote:
The disclosure of this information has a potential deleterious effect on ATF’s undercover operations. In that regard, suspects may alter their behavior if they know that law enforcement is allowing certain firearms to “walk” into Mexico. (my bold text) In addition, public knowledge of this type of operation potentially places informants and undercover agents in jeopardy.
If “1desertrat” is an ATF employee, then he/she is subject to our Orders and Standards of Conduct….
Rubentsein goes on to quote the ATF Code of Conduct for employees, making it clear to Melson that the individual responsible for the post could be dealt with rather severely if indeed an ATF agent.
And Melson’s response: “Thanks Steve. I’m going to forward this to IA.” That is, Internal Affairs, which had by this time earned the reputation of being little more than a tool for the intimidation of agents who did not adequately adhere to ATF policy, regardless of how corrupt or nefarious.
The question is, where was Ken Melson’s outrage? Where are the endless questions about the “gunwalking” charge? Where is the anger about not having been informed of the operation? It has been Melson’s defense and testimony to congress for the past year that no one told him of Operation Fast and Furious. He didn’t know about guns being “walked” into Mexico. And of course it stands to reason that if he, the ATF Director didn’t know, no one above his pay grade could have known either, letting Eric Holder and Barack Obama off the hook.
But Melson doesn’t act like an innocent dupe who had been kept deliberately in the dark. He seems interested only in what steps can be taken to silence and punish “1desertrat” should his identity as an ATF employee become known.
But dupe or not, treated like an outsider by ATF old-timers or not, kept in the dark about gunwalking to Mexico or not, Ken Melson had been introduced to the Fast and Furious, gunwalking scheme no later than December 2010. His yearlong performance before congressional investigators as “innocent bystander” will no longer fly.
And neither will the fact that he supposedly kept the deliberate, highly illegal smuggling of guns into Mexico quietly to himself, sparing his superiors in the Department of Justice any of the gory details. As an attorney, Ken Melson knew the consequences, both of such a crime and its cover up. One can wager, if only to protect his own hide, he made sure his Department of Justice and executive branch bosses knew it as well.
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This article originally appeared on CoachIsRight.com and is reprinted with permission.