WEBMASTER RESPONSE (different one this time)
- By: Bemused | Posted: Wednesday, June 10, 2009
: NOT A SMACK DOWN, JUST GETTING BORED WITH THE RAMBLING. SEND YOUR PHONE NUMBER AND WE’LL CHAT ABOUT PHILOSOPHICAL DIFFERENCES. WE ARE TRYING TO KEEP THIS SUBSTANTIVE AND YOU HAVE YET TO EITHER CHALLENGE THE ASSERTIONS OR DEFEND MANAGEMENT’S ACTIONS. LOOK, IF IT IS ALL TRUE (AND IT IS AND SUPPORTED BY IRREFUTABLE DOCUMENTATION), YOU SHOULD BE OUTRAGED, BUT YOU ARE NOT. YOU SHOULD BE EMBARRASSED THAT THE AGENCY HAS ALLOWED ITS LEADERSHIP AND QUITE FRANKLY ITS FUTURE BE JEOPARDIZED, BUT YOU ARE NOT. WE GET IT. NEWS FLASH AND THEN YOU MAY HAVE THE FINAL WORD…ATF AGENTS DO NOT OWN ATF EXCLUSIVELY. WE ARE PAID BY THE CITIZENS WHO WE ARE SWORN TO PROTECT. THEY ARE STAKEHOLDERS JUST AS THE INDUSTRIES WE REGULATE ARE. IN AMERICA, THEY GET TO SAY “JACK BOOTED THUGS” AND WE HAVE TO TAKE IT. WHAT WE DON’T GET TO DO IS PROVE THEM RIGHT.
Talk about authority smacking down someone who dares to challenge. But not to worry I leave this club in your most capable hands. I don’t expect this to be posted, but honestly I do appreciate your taking time to respond to my earlier musings.
- By: Bemused | Posted: Wednesday, June 10, 2009
: First, that you are offended is irrelevant to the purposes of this website. To get so bent out of shape over the use of “BATFE” (which is
, after all, the technically correct acronym for the current Bureau) on a blog is sophomoric and petty, to say the least. Despite your absurd “Bobby” analogy, I did not ever
use “BATFE” as a “put-down”, intentional or otherwise, although I certainly did
later employ it repeatedly just to push your overly-sensitive buttons (quite successfully, it would seem). Frankly, this is all a silly distraction from the real issues at hand, which strongly implies that you have “Headquarters” written all over you.
As for your “objections” to the involvement of non-ATF people with this site, the simple fact is that certain shot-callers (who actually do
meet your sanctimonious, “If you ain’t ATF, you ain’t $#!@” credibility standards) have final say about everything
that gets posted here. I (and the other non-ATF Webmasters) are little more than scribes, although we are permitted a certain degree of editorial license (such as with these responses and fixing all the ATF agent typos).
Incidentally, no one has ever characterized any ATF agent discussed within this site as a “helpless victim”, although good agents who have their reputations unfairly trashed and their careers destroyed just for standing up to corruption are
victims to be sure. In any event, this site would probably not
have been launched in the absence of “outside” help, which is the case in countless business and organizational situations. If you don’t like that, feel free to surf elsewhere.
Most importantly, we challenge you to credibly refute a single one of the core allegations asserted within this site. The documentation you see here is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.
By the way, did you happen to read the recent OIG semi-annual report about the Atlanta SAC, who, rather than being summarily fired
and possibly prosecuted for grotesque corruption and misconduct, was whisked into an HQ position created just for her (until she could retire), before being sent off by management as a “hero”? If she had been a mere mortal Agent or lowly employee, she’d be asking, “Would you like fries with that?”
, or maybe even, “Sir, Jane Doe, DOC #4534327, Sir!”
right about now. This sort of inexcusable insanity is what this website is all about.
And so, Mr. Bemused, be offended and object to your heart’s content. It is not our intent to get into online pissing contests with agents (under the generous presumption that this is what you really are, or HQ trolls for that matter). On the other hand, and I think I can speak for those whose opinions you supposedly value, we will not
be dissuaded, deterred or persuaded by naysayers or “critics” who seem primarily interested in arguing over trivial minutia or stroking their own testy egos.
And now…it’s time to move on, so please don’t bother to fire back as it probably won’t be posted. Our best to the Director.
WEBMASTER, Please bear with me for one more post. First, thank you for taking the time to explain things to me. Most importantly, thank you for validating my suspicion that there are at least some non-ATF people behind this site. That single fact sheds more light on things than you will ever know. Being part of ATF culture is hard to fake, and using BATFE or BATF was quite revealing. In fact suggesting that it is simply a matter of being “un-hip” makes me question just how close you can be to ATF agents. Using the extra letters is not a matter of preference or taste, cool or uncool. We are – ATF! Those three letters standing alone mean more to us than you as an outsider could ever hope to understand. Those who put the extra letters in are messing with our identity. At best it is cluelessly rude and insensitive, and at worst it is an intentional put down – like repeatedly calling someone who goes by Robert, “Bobby”. If you do not even understand the fundamentals of our name – our identity, how can we rely on you to understand our organization well enough to credibly engage in broadside condemnations?
Second, you invite other perspectives, so let me offer one. I’ve logged 25 + years at ATF, and I’ve seen good and bad, extraordinary valor and demeaning back biting. I’ve had outstanding supervisors and stunningly bad ones, and I’ve seen leadership that took us to the brink of extinction and leadership that righted the ship and protected us well. I’ve experienced first hand a dear friend who had his career as an agent ruined over some minor infraction that we all thought was blown way out of proportion. But contrary to what you want to believe, ATF is not the Evil Empire run by Darth Vader management whose mission it is to crush and destroy all in their path. It is an agency made up for the most part with well intended human beings with all the imperfection that brings with it. Myself, I have never been a Group Supervisor, ASAC, etc. I was content to remain in one location most of my career. I love the work of an ATF special agent and never had an appetite for supervising others, doing evaluations, and the like. I am happy being responsible for myself and my cases, and have never had any desire to be responsible for the performance and welfare an entire squad. Someone has to do it and I have always been more than willing to leave that to others. Unlike you however, I have known some of the folks in management positions today since they came on board as new agents many years ago. As a whole they are not what you portray. Any of us who have been around for a while know some agents who sought out promotions and positions of authority purely as matters of personal ambition. They are not usually that good or that successful. But we also know of many others for whom promotions and positions of increasing authority were jobs they were recruited to take on because they were good agents and good people. For them authority = responsibility not power. And accepting the call translated into burden and sacrifice for them and their families. I never envied their career moves, but I guarantee you they often longed for mine.
I have no quarrel calling to task those in supervision and management who perform poorly or worse yet abuse their authority. I support your call for investigations into waste fraud and abuse. The misconduct and/or ineptness of even a few represents a threat to us all. I have no quarrel with a web site that encourages people to come forward and provides an outlet and gives guidance on how to move forward.
I do object to someone who “worked for another highly technical but non-law enforcement agency” bashing an organization he (or she) has never spent a day in. I find it objectionable that an outsider has the audacity to characterize ATF as a “veritable cesspool of glad-handing self-protection, corruption” based on exposure to a few agents. And, I am offended by the language you employ “…ATF agents get viciously sodomized by their own bosses…” ATF agents are proud and strong and take it from me “highly experience and decorated agents” don’t need you to make them out to be helpless victims.
- By: Tinker Bell | Posted: Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Like most ATF Agents, I’ve simply sat back and enjoyed the airing of our management’s wrongdoings on this site with never an intent to participate, until last week.
(Dear Webmaster, please font the following in flashing red, neon, with fireworks if possible!)
NEWS FLASH, AGENTS!!!
To all ATF Special Agents who may have received discipline or will be disciplined in the future, THIS IS IMPORTANT. A disciplinary precedent has been clearly established by our present and past leadership, read on:
The Office of the Inspector General issued their semi-annual report last week. In it is a brief account of an ATF SAC in Atlanta who was investigated for corruption.
She was found guilty of abuse of authority, fraud-waste-abuse, lying to federal investigators, and much more.
ATF did not
apply their self-created disciplinary matrix to her. ATF did not have the SAC go before the Professional Review Board. (Why not? As an SA, you would have and been fired
M. Sullivan, R. Carter and B. Hoover instead created a new
job for the guilty SAC, in essence a promotion/hiding place. They called it “Special Assistant to the Director”. In this job, the guilty SAC was allowed to collect per diem for months while she feathered her nest for a nice life after ATF.
Then, and this is what got me, ATF promoted her retirement as the ending of a “heroic and trailblazing career”, and lauded her “mentorship” to others in ATF! Well done, Atlanta SAC. You’ve set a fine example for all of us to follow (sarcasm)!
Reader, next time you, as an ATF Agent face ANY discipline from ATF, make sure you put these FACTS into play, because THE PRECEDENT HAS BEEN SET as to how the BATFE will discipline their employees. The rules apply to all, not just one.
Did anyone catch how I cleverly inserted “BATFE” into my comments?
It is just like an ATF ‘leader’ to ignore the entire content of this site and all the failures that are documented with it and instead focus on the use of ATF vs. BATFE (or Mr. Hardy for that matter). Those criticisms are very likely attributable to another ATF Ostrich who puts their head in the sand.
ATF is directed and administered by people who jump all over minor and insignificant problems but ignore the catastrophes. ATF is the Titanic going down and our leaders are waxing the deck. Some things never change.
- By: Bemused | Posted: Tuesday, June 9, 2009
OK, I’ll take the bait…
1. The David Hardy material was posted on this site because some
of it comports in a general sense with “our” very clearly and repeatedly stated agenda, namely, to encourage the return of a basic semblance of sanity to the veritable cesspool of glad-handing self-protection, corruption and lack of mission focus that have, on a widespread scale, come to characterize BATFE management at all levels. Many
people and groups, not just Hardy, believe that BATFE are “gun grabbing fascists”, but the proprietors of this website certainly do not
ascribe to that characterization. This website has virtually nothing
to do with gun rights issues, which is Hardy’s quintessential focus, and highlighting BATFE management’s serial abuse of its own employees (which is the core thrust of this site) would have little practical value in promoting his apparent agenda (even if that was our intent). On the contrary, this website is about cleaning up BATFE from within, so that its agents (and support troops) at the pointy end of the stick can concentrate on enforcing the laws (even the ones Mr. Hardy disagrees with) and sending bad guys up the river. Beside, his stuff represents perhaps 2% of the content on this site. Clearly apples to oranges, my Friend.
2. You seem rather fixated with the use of certain acronyms within this site, but as is often the case, the underlying truth is actually far less sexy than you seem to imagine. Some of the “Webmasters” of this site are not
ATF (or “BATF” or “BATFE”) employees. The one writing you at this moment worked for another highly technical but non-law enforcement agency for many years and is donating his (or is it “her”?) time because, well, because I’ve seen some good friends who are highly experienced and decorated ATF agents get viciously sodomized by their own bosses just one too many times. I am personally responsible for the scattered usage of the apparently un-hip “BATFE” moniker…I thought it sounded cool, and will in any event now use it every chance I get just to really keep you guessing. You may notice that I did so above. Annoying, eh?
As for your pronouncements regarding our “excessive zeal” or supposed “naivete”, we’re going live on the edge, roll the dice, and trust to providence that we might be endowed with the wisdom to ferret out those seeking to infiltrate our “stage” in order to “harm us all”. It shouldn’t be too difficult really…if they’re bashing ATF as an agency, or its mission or relevance, rather than trying to draw attention to flagrant management savagery against its own employees, we’ll politely tell them where to stick it. Fair enough, my esteemed doubting Thomas?
But tell us WEBMASTER, what’s with the David Hardy stuff anyway on an ATF site anyway? I know nothing of the guy other than what I found when I followed his links. And, I only did that because he like you used the curious acronym BATFE. If you read what he says about himself and ATF he seems to believe that everything we stand for is unconstitutional, and is of the crowd that believes that ATF agents are a bunch of gun grabbing fascists. Employee vs management issues aside, he is a strange bedfellow for people dedicated to making ATF a stronger and more effective agency. The enemy of my enemy is my friend? He is no more a friend to the rank and file than he is management, and would just as soon we all disappear. Be careful that in your zeal to provide a forum for ATF employees that you aren’t inviting onto the stage people who would harm to us all. I will take your word that you are not complicit with him, but let’s not be naive.
… now the acronym BATF? For the record, in my experience only the FBI and ATF-bashers ever used the term “BATF” in the old days. So, excuse me if I suggest that something still just doesn’t seem right here.
- By: Bemused | Posted: Monday, June 8, 2009
The following is posted by someone who remains anonymous yet challenges the authenticity of the site. As a show of balance, this posting is being placed on here. However, since we are now the BATFE and no longer just BATF, we have felt it appropriate to list the entire acronym. Now if this anonymous poster would like to challenge just ONE representation posted on this site, we will be glad to respond accordingly. No this is not an extension of David Hardys site. This is a site of, by and for ATF Agents. THE WEBMASTER
I read this site with a bit of curiosity and a dose of skepticism. Not that I haven’t otherwise seen, heard or otherwise experienced some things around here that have not always been honorable. But my experience has been that they are more the exception rather than the rule. I don’t claim any monoply on the truth because we all have our own experiences. But, what makes me most caution about this site is who is behind it. One clue that causes me pause is the repeated use of BATFE rather than just ATF. Note in the disclaimer line on the bottom of the screen, and in the “Executive Summary” that contains this line…”We, the communicators of this plea for a restoration of sanity, integrity and accountability to BATFE”. Nobody I know at ATF uses “BATFE”. I also find it curious that in the “supporting documents” section there are links to writings of an anti-ATF lawyer named David Hardy who refers to us as BATFE in his work. Interestingly his writings also links to his bio in which he describes his career and includes this boast – “I represented law enforcement with a certain zeal, and we got along well. I even covered up for them on occasion, so long as it involved shafting another agency rather than a member of the public–like the time an agent used an undercover identity as a dentist, got sued for malpractice, and I had to get Justice to represent him on the basis that it was all within the scope of his duties. There was no need to worry Justice about that little memorandum forbidding undercover agents from assuming identities of medical, dental, or legal personnel…. ” This doesn’t sound consistent with the high minded pleas for integrity and accountability that the site operators are seeking to promote. Call me suspicious about who is using who on site, but being suspicious is something I’ve been trained to be. I suggest other consumers of this site be likewise leery that all may not be what it appears to be…….
- By: Thankyousirmay Ihave another... | Posted: Friday, May 29, 2009
For the sake of fairness, I want to inform you that I have never met Agent Dobyns and would not know him if I ran into him at the local coffee shop. With that said, I have worked on several similar cases as Agent Dobyns during my law enforcement career. Therefore, I have standing to comment about the personal sacrifice that is required by the undercover Agent, the Case Agent, the Agents that assist in countless hours of surveillance and the civilian intelligence employee’s who are worth their weight in gold.
You claim to be “An Impartial (and skeptical) Observer”, which indicates to me that you have little to no idea concerning what is required to run a long term, complex investigation. So, if my analysis of your post is correct, if you were an ATF Agent you would have all of the requirements necessary to be an ATF manager. You ask what requirements are needed to become an ATF manager. No investigative experience required and the ability to raise your hand to volunteer to enter management and direct seasoned investigators concerning the proper way to run an investigation.
You stated that Dobyns and his family was “told by ATF face-to-face that his case stinks”. I don’t know what you are using as a basis for classifying a case where a sworn Law Enforcement officers patches into the largest Outlaw motorcycle gang in the world, but that in and of itself is a phenomenal task. Cases of this nature are dynamic and in order to hit a home run you have to have all of the stars line up. From what I understand happened in the Hells Angels case, there were some unknown CI problems that surfaced for one and secondly there were difference of opinions between the AUSA office and ATF. These problems, if not worked out before an indictment can lead to less than satisfactory results. The CI problems are considered to be the price of doing business when using CI’s. All the handling Agents can do is take every step possible to minimize the problems that come with the use of CI’s.
As far as your statement concerning “Ronnie Carter and ATF’s attorneys finally stepped up and did what they should have done a long time ago which was to put him in his place.” I am assuming that you are speaking of one of the ATF grievance hearings. Since you claim to be a casual observer, I will explain to you about these hearings. These hearings are at best a kangaroo court and are viewed by Field Agents as a goat roping. The deciding government official is a member of the SES fraternity who knows that being fair and impartial is not what is best for his/her career.
The only place an ATF employee is going to get a fair shake in grieving a problem concerning ATF is to file an EEO complaint or get the grievance moved out of the Bureau’s hands and into a United States District Court. So, you can cheer on the bureau stepping up to the plate now, but remember that this hearing is merely a small battle in the entire war. The goal is to win as many battles as you can and maintain your goal of winning the war.
I don’t know what profession you have chosen, but there are only a handful of jobs that expose you and your family to the potential dangers of being a hard working law enforcement officer. I have had criminals put a price on my head and threaten my family because I had the audacity to work a case on them or their friends. This is exactly what has happened to Special Agent Dobyns and his family. Fortunately the Dobyns family only lost all of their possessions and their home. One or all members of the Dobyns family could have been killed as a result of Jay Dobyns career choice. Since you portray yourself to be “an Impartial (and skeptical) Observer”, you obviously have chosen a safe career that limits the dangers that you and your loved ones are exposed.
So, the next time you walk down the street and don’t get robbed, beaten or both remember that the reason someone who is bigger, stronger and meaner than you did not violate you was because of Law Enforcement officers like Jay Dobyns and the Agents that opted to attempt to topple the Hells Angels MC. The potential criminal that chose not to violate you was not afraid of the political appointees that you seem to idolize. Remember these same political appointees who you said “finally stepped up” and told a family who has had their house burned down because the head of the household infiltrated a criminal organization that, and I’ll quote “his case stinks”.
Regardless of the outcome of a criminal investigation, the Dobyns case appears to be the poster child for the level of respect the SES gang has for the meat and potatoes of ATF, the working Agent.
- By: Splinter | Posted: Friday, May 29, 2009
Impartial……sounds like you have an axe to grind. Medals and awards don’t keep your family safe. So this is what an agent that works hard has to look forward to? Vengence served because you speak up about something that you feel is wrong. Seem pretty happy to poke J in the eye over this. Are you a supervisor? So it is not enough that as you say, J gets his ass handed to him, but it has to be vengence. Does it stop now?
- By: devilsadvocate | Posted: Thursday, May 28, 2009
If what you claim on this webpage is true and you are willing to post all sides of an issue then this comment should make the grade. If you delete it or edit it, then you are no more credible than those you point the finger at.
An Impartial (and skeptical) Observer
Good news travels fast!
The word on the street is that Agent Dobyns got his ass (and maybe some other body parts) handed to him this week during a legal proceeding with ATF. Dobyns has not been shy about telling the world how badly he has been treated by ATF (I guess all the awards and honors from the agency don’t count in his mind). Lets see if he goes on CNN now after he and his family were told by ATF face-to-face that his case stinks. He probably won’t. It doesn’t sound like there is much more for him to talk about after Ronnie Carter and ATF’s attorneys finally stepped up and did what they should have done a long time ago which was to put him in his place.
Vengeance is a dish best served cold.
- By: 007 | Posted: Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Has anyone applied for an announced lateral transfer only to see the position “non selected” and then re-announced or not get selected and wondered why? If you have applied for such a position under the Volunary Lateral Transfer Program (ATF O 2302.2) you must read the regulation! Did you know that you are entitled to a written explanation if you are denied? Did you know that you can appeal to the AD or General Counsel?
ATF management’s newest retalitory tactic is to “non select” positions if they do not like the individual(s) on the “short” list. Does not matter if you are fully qualified, best qualified or the only one on the list–if they dont like you, the position gets “non selected” and reannounced. Expect to see the reannounced position also to include such new gems as “fully fund relocation” in order to entice others to apply. I think the letters ATF should be replaced by FWA&C (Fraud, Waste, Abuse & Corruption).
- By: Captain America | Posted: Monday, May 25, 2009
Chief Counsel’s Office is cruddy and disgusting. All they do is lie and twist the facts to protect their precious (to them) and disgusting/filthy (to me) clients, who are in some instances no better than the average crook on the street or ATF criminal that you write a blue cover on. It is simply SHAMEFUL!
- By: lmw | Posted: Friday, May 22, 2009
I thought you might be interested in this letter written by Army Corps of Engineers whistleblower Bunny Greenhouse, who was retaliated against after she testified to Congress last week. Ms. Greenhouse is calling on all Americans to support whistleblower protection for federal employees. To read her letter go to http://capwiz.com/whistleblowers/issues/alert/?alertid=13371836
- By: docholiday | Posted: Wednesday, May 20, 2009
For those that wish to see ATF returned to a level of performance it once delivered, it’s time to contribute
to this effort. Although ATF will undoubtedly distort the truth or outright lie, every Agent that is aware of mismanagement, waste, fraud, abuse or hostile work environments, MUST report it to their elected Congressional rep. This will force oversight, and only external oversight will force meaningful change
. It is time for the small percentage of SACs and supervisors who are destroying this agency to answer. WRITE YOUR CONGRESSMAN. Thanks to all who have provided the heinous and shameful documents that so clearly illustrate corrupt ATF actions designed solely to protect unethical and illegal acts on the part of our “leadership”. Staggering evidence of such acts will soon be posted on this site.
Remember, sworn depositions, personal emails and hand-written, signed notes do not
lie. Finally, Stay alert and safe, and do not let our current lack of leadership stop you from being ATF AGENTS. We are the best in the world and should take great pride in the fact that those who would do harm in the world wake up everyday wondering if today is the day that an ATF Agent (not DEA or FBI) will jack them up. Semper Fidelis
- By: Thankyousirmay Ihave another... | Posted: Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Anytime you speak out and speak up you increase the probability that others will do the same. In the weeks and months to come, irrefutable evidence of obstruction of justice and abuse of authority by ATF leadership will be prominently posted on this website. The Office of Special Counsel has become interested in the postings on this site. Remember…your congressional members are elected by you
Career Agent touched on several of the problems that have risen to the top of ATF.
The previous administrations had their own buzz word programs such as “VCIT”, “the New Orleans detail” and so on. What the ATF brain trust doesn’t realize is that when they initiate these programs, they rob assets from understaffed field offices. ATF is sending people from understaffed offices to the Southwest border to become immigration and border patrol agents. The truth of the matter is that the agents begrudgingly forced to go on this wild goose chase on the Southwest border say that they are doing nothing but playing computer games and sleeping late. All these fad programs really accomplish is provide ATF leadership with “hot button” issues to run and brag to Congress about what “great things ATF did”. All ATF needs to do is provide the working agents nationwide with enough support staff, qualified coworkers and freedom to correctly do their jobs without spending huge chunks of their time and thought to feed ATF’s bloated bureaucracy. If this ever happened, ATF would find several examples of public service that would make congress proud of what ATF is accomplishing. Instead, ATF management uses the extra revenue obtained from these meaningless programs as a slush fund. They order themselves new office furniture, computers and LCD monitors, and other amenities that contribute absolutely nothing to helping the rest of us put bad guys in prison.
I’ve said it before and nothing rings more true, Congress needs to prod deeper into ATF management than simply allowing Truscott to resign with zero adverse consequences after it was obvious he had committed multiple criminal acts. OIG needs to look long and hard at every SAC position and all other SES positions.
It would not take an average investigator very long to document the fact that numerous ATF SES positions that are filled by demonstrably incompetent people who have not the slightest clue about the realities of running a field investigation. Most of these SES positions are filled with double talking, egomaniac, self-centered ticket-punchers who have the spine of a jellyfish and the heart of the scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz.
I don’t know if this blog will get anything changed in ATF, but I sure feel better after giving my opinion without being ridiculed for not being a “yes man” like the majority of the ATF leadership. I can’t stand a supervisor who checks his (or her proverbial) testicles at the door. Better yet, I can’t stand to be around anyone who is afraid to stand up for what is morally right, even though it may not be the best career move.
To all of the good, honest, hard-working agents, keep up the good work, because despite the twittering fools we have running the Bureau, we are all fighting a good and noble fight. Refuse to allow ATF to beat you into submission and most of all, stand up for what is right
, not what will make your SAC happy. Most of the time what makes the SAC happy is not always what is morally, ethically, and investigatively sound.
- By: Afellowboss | Posted: Tuesday, May 19, 2009
If you are an ATF boss and you believe that what is going on in this agency is wrong but, you chose to stand by and watch it, then you are as big a part of the problems as those who originate them.
‘All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing’
- By: Citizen | Posted: Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Webmaster, I will suggest that you allow ATF people to post their grievances, ombudsman messages and internal documents and emails received during deposition, discovery and FOIA for display (and as educational go-by’s) as examples of how ATF treats their employees. These would be official documents, many used in court. The known perjury of managers against employees with no repercussions, the use of internal affairs to attack employees, the use of ATF attorneys to knowingly defend what is wrong would be a good start on your mission of reform.
We will be doing just that very shortly, and to use an old phrase, Heads will roll”.
- By: Career Agent | Posted: Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Dear ATF Leaders,
You have caused ATF to enter into a state of revolt and mutiny. Southwest Border? Make a call down there. Agents are sitting around because leadership has no plan or direction for them. Just dump bodies on site and tell Congress, “We’re on it!” Well done, headquarters! Who is calling the shots? Some of ATF’s “best”, you say? Some of our worst in reality.
ATF’s leaders want to remind us about how “great” they were in the field. Nonsense. ATF’s too small to play that game. We know what you did or did not do. We know if you worked or loafed. We know if you filed case reports or grievances. You can’t run from your reputations or your history, fellas. We know you who screwed over and why. We know when you lied.
Save the glory stories for the campfire with your peers. Make yourselves feel good by listening to each others B.S. None of us down here is buying it. Pass your buddy a Smore and tell him about all the doors you kicked, all the guns you bought, all the search warrants you wrote, all the bombs you diffused, all the surveillances you ran, all the wires you put up. He’ll probably believe it.
You ask, “If things are so bad, why are there not more complaints?
” ATF is in the Guinness Book of World Records for employment disputes! You have harassed and driven off your workers in record numbers. Those who have not spoken up probably have seen what happens to those that do, and cannot afford to risk their ability to make a house payment or feed their babies. So, they just…take it. May your track records for the mistreatment of your workers haunt you and your careers.
You attack the same continuing and reoccurring problems using the same failed and uncreative strategies and somehow expecting different outcomes or results? Why? It shows that you guys don’t know what you’re doing.
Deep down, you know who you guys are. We do too. You failed, raised your hand and moved up. How? Why? Because the guys selecting you for jobs are the same as you. There are dozens, hundreds of great agents who any of us would love to work under and who would run circles around you guys. Unfortunately, those with real leadership skills do not want any part of the ATF management ‘team’. The one’s we need just don’t want to be associated with you guys.
You say, if you don’t want to make a difference and lead then don’t complain. What? Like you have led? Your team is a collection of malicious and insecure lap dogs that lick the hand of whoever is in charge. You know it and we know it. Your loyalty and commitment is to yourselves and that inspires no one.
If ATF were a private business, we’d be bankrupt and the leadership would be fired at best, in prison at worst, and you brought us here.
You’re all more worried about this website than you are about the fixing problems that caused it to exist in the first place. Why hasn’t ATF placed an open forum website to address our issues internally? I’ll tell you why…because if you ask any SES in the Bureau, no matter what the status of the Bureau is, they will state, “All is well”. LEADERS accept fault and correct it by action. You don’t blame subordinates, you accept responsibility
. It is no coincidence that the Ombudsman’s office doesn’t report directly to the Director anymore. You all check it every morning with your door closed and shades drawn in a poorly concealed panic hoping your name or personal story of dumping on someone in the field has not shown up overnight.
If you sense the lack of respect, what have you given us to respect? The example you set for us is screwing your own friends over for the next promotion or your personal comfort. You disrespect and insult the field agents. You think we do not hear or know about it, but your Op Sec sucks
Respect and reputation is earned by what you do, have done, and how you have treated people. It does not come with your title. The title before your name may mean something to you but the respect or lack of it that you have brought on yourselves is what ultimately counts. Give me an agent who works hard and treats people fairly over a lying, cheating self-serving SAC any day. I’d personally rather sit in the back of a raid van with some stinkin’ ass agents for hours waiting for the guns to arrive than stop and speak to you at the division coffee pot.
You’re out of touch and you know it. If you have been in management more than 50% of your whole career, that says it all. When agents smile and chit chat with you it’s only because you control their careers and livelihood, it’s not sincere. Don’t kid yourselves, they think you’re a tool.
Melson’s pep talk today is hollow. Sir, we have all heard that line of rhetoric since we’ve been on this job. Your words are the same introductory speech that has been recycled by Magaw, Buckles, Truscott, Domenech, Sullivan and Carter. It means nothing to us. You want to make change and improve things? Hold your supervisors accountable for what they do, what they have done and how they treat the troops. Simple………..Hold them to the same standard as you do any GS 13 Special Agent, no better no worse. That will inspire respect and the field’s loyalty. Confront the issues head on. Don’t just blindly accept Chief counsels representations that the Agents are wrong, and then a year or two later write a healthy check to that same agent and not reassign that attorney immediately.
Otherwise, drink the management Kool-Aid, go through the brainwashing treatment and join arms with the people who have destroyed the morale of this agency and tell us all how wonderful life for those so fortunate as to be part of the ATF “family”.
In the mean time we’ll just keep working because that is all we know how to do.
- By: Eye of the Tiger | Posted: Friday, May 8, 2009
from: Eye of the Tiger
Working as an ATF Agent is like being Rocky Balboa. Our stories of management abuse are like Rocky’s…a single Agent facing an evil force and overcoming it only by sheer will and determination.
In the end, our experiences don’t turn out much different than the Rocky series of films. Rocky continues to show up and fight and in the process, loses friends…some die off, he loses his home, his wife learns to hate him, he becomes estranged from his kid, suffers disgrace, humiliation, embarrassment, false accusations and judgment, and in Rocky 6 after years of this, is clearly brain damaged.
Same thing for ATF Agents who take a stand against abuse, only there is no “Rocky 7″ sequel…just early resignation or hasty retirement.
- By: Damaged Goods | Posted: Thursday, April 30, 2009
I will try to end this commentary with a solution, but while we’re on the subject of management abuses, I am reminded of a “story” out of a Southeast Field Division. That is, a former ASAC, now a SAC in the Northeast, personally destroyed the careers of three respected supervisors who were respectively Black, Hispanic and Female (but please don’t consider these supervisors’ minority status as some sort of “pattern”). All 3 supervisor were regarded as some of the best the Bureau had to offer and were highly respected by all they supervised and served. Apparently the female supervisor was so agitated by the ASAC’s nonstop abuses that, during a seemingly closed counseling session, she dropped the “F-U bomb” on the ASAC and the ASAC promptly gathered two of his angst-ridden 1st line supervisor cronies as witnesses (who just happened to be listening in outside the door) and immediately gave the female 5 days suspension. What ever happened to what happens behind closed doors stays there? One of the supervisor whos career was destroyed by this career bureaucrat was a combat veteran and highly decorated Waco survivor with an impeccable service record. Rather than fight the costly and damaging fight to hold this ASAC accountable, he opted to leave management and return to the field where he could be productive.
You know how the story ends…because this sort of drama has been played out in so many other field divisions. The female stepped down as a supervisor and the ASAC was promoted to SAC. The executive staff knew about the ASAC’s destructive reputation (just like they knew about “SAC Jersey”) and they promoted him anyway. The SAC was later caught by DOJ-OIG doing inappropriate favors for a former Director, but no known discipline came of it. One of the new SAC’s cronies was promoted to ASAC in the Southeast and was later…allegedly…caught lying during an administrative hearing…but no known discipline came of that either.
The solution? Hold all employees to the same standards of accountability and stop the executive “wagon-circling”. A reoccurring fear I have heard from people in the trenches is that their current toxic leader will be relieved of command only to be replaced by one of the more toxic and potentially vindictive SESs (and there are AT LEAST 20 of them, including SACs, DADs and ADs…not to mention the GS-15 managers that they have mentored for “greater things”…and ALL of these executives think that they are owed a transfer-of-choice for their glorious sacrifices). I pray the new Director will take these commentaries to heart and start a genuine renaissance of reform. There is such potential for greatness in this agency. ATF street agents must have been born with extra motivation to play through this turbulence.
- By: Thankyousirmay Ihave another... | Posted: Wednesday, April 29, 2009
If someone wants to try and “fix” ATF, I suggest that a real good place to start would be to take a good long look at the SAC’s in each Field Division. It has been my experience that each SAC has minimal accountability and rules their Divison by attempting to scare an Agent that “steps out of line” with being fired and/or transferred. The managers under the SAC are afraid to stand up for their agents because of what could happen to their careers, So the ASAC’s and RAC’s automatically become “yes men” for unqualified, non law enforcement oriented SAC’s who are more concerned about their TSP instead of putting bad guys in prison. Quite often the SAC is so removed from how to run an investigation that most every investigative mandate they interject is absurd. I’m sure there are good SAC’s in ATF, but I have not been blessed with one that ever walked the walk, they just talked the talk. But, what did ATF expect with the “three year wonder” road to management that was the normal path to a SES position that most of the current ATF management has followed.
The current state of ATF is a prime example of what you get when you have people who do not have a law enforcement background trying to ruin, I mean run a law enforcement agency. One of the biggest mistakes ATF made was going away from recruiting “real police officers” to fill 1811 positions. Instead, ATF hires based on race, sex and overall GPA before law enforcement experience and a proven history in working detailed criminal investigations.
- By: Captain America | Posted: Wednesday, April 29, 2009
I have been with ATF for 22 years. In that time, I must agree that there have been some abuses, waste and fraud. I am glad to see a site like this to expose and bring to light what some consider “the cost of doing business”. I would like to see some initials or hints for who some of the players are.
- By: docholiday | Posted: Saturday, April 25, 2009
In retrospect, what has really been accomplished over the last two years in ATF? The Deputy Director walked away without so much as a transition team or plan in place. AD Hoover is counting the moments until SAC Domenech vacates the SAC Job in the Washington Field Division so that he can step down. We have yet another acting Director who is not anticipated to stay past 6 mos. Does ANYBODY still care? Granted it was a somewhat kinder gentler place to work comparatively. Still there was not one show of accountability by this team. SAC Atlanta was allowed to leave without consequence for her actions and the embarrassment she brought to the Bureau. ASAC Phoenix was not held accountable for his actions and abuses. SAC LA same story. SAC and ASAC SF same deal. Chief counsels office and AD PGA same thing. Yet throughout their tenure, each and every agent that crossed their paths was held to the highest standard. Were they afraid to be leaders? Were they intimidated by the SACs? We’ll never know. They took the titles, they took the perks, ignored the abuses, enjoyed the position and padded their resume’s, but in the end they DID NOTHING and left before the job was done. Must be tough shaving in the morning.
- By: blueprint4integrity | Posted: Saturday, April 25, 2009
Excerpts from U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder’s comments as reported in Holder Replaces DOJ Internal Ethics Head – Huffington Post 04/08/09
“Your job as assistant U.S. attorneys is not to convict people.”
, Holder said. “Your job is not to win cases. Your job is to do justice. Your job is in every case, every decision that you make, to do the right thing. anybody who asks you to do something other than that is to be ignored. Any policy that is at tension with that is to be questioned and brought to my attention. And I mean that.”…”You are expected to do nothing more than the right thing. Anything other than that is unacceptable.”
, he said.
It is my opinion that A.G. Holder’s comments are simple and yet so profound and is applicable to each and every Federal employee regardless of title, position, or pay grade. I never thought I’d ever PERSONALLY WITNESS, be informed of nor read about blatant and widespread corruption throughout our Federal government, its agencies and bureaus.
During my ATF career, each and every time I wrote a Report of Investigation (ROI), gave court testimony, or had to prepare a statement for Internal Affairs, I always did so reporting the facts
. No “tweaking” of the words to better suit my position, ATF’s position, nor anyone else’s position. I reflect back to a point in time when a co-worker misused his GOV. I listened as other agents advised him to lie about his activities. When he asked my opinion, I simply stated, “Do what is right…just tell the truth and it will go well with you in the long run.”
And it did…no giglio issues. One or two days off. He sweated a bit but got through it and even his Group Supervisor eased-up because he had told the truth. You know who you are and I applaud you for not buckling under peer pressure or trying to cover up the truth.
I understand that being a manager of any sort can be a difficult job, but it can be more rewarding when real leadership is understood. God’s Little Handbook on Leadership is a must read for any and all managers. One of my favorite stories is the one about a manager who lead a successful team because he “lead from behind.” He let his troops do their job, supported them in their work, told them UPFRONT his “Do’s and Don’ts” and commanded respect because he was a man of INTEGRITY that ALWAYS did what was RIGHT.
On this day, I challenge every manager to take up an honorable cause. Assess your own leadership skills and then get input from your troops. Be open and flexible. Forget your ego, don’t cringe, you will take years of stress off your lives and your troops. Know the difference between false leadership and real leadership. If morale is low, you are leading from false power, if your troops avoid you, are unengaged and rejoice when you call in sick, you need a leadership makeover. On the other hand, if your troops like to come into your office, work well together, respect you and each other, keep you abreast of their activities, and their work is legally sound and a professional product reflective of your agency’s missions and goals, you DESERVE to be a manager.
I further challenge each and every manager to take the gloves off, open up your bare hands and WORK out whatever needs to be worked with your troop(s). We are human beings, not machines. We make policy and procedure. Nothing should be etched in stone but the truth.
“Just when did honesty, integrity, truth and honor become traits to be mocked or downplayed or ignored or laughed at, or excuses made for them? When did telling the truth become a supporting player to everything else?” – Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy, Detroit, MI 2008
“Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.” – Thomas Jefferson
- By: theotherside | Posted: Friday, April 24, 2009
Hey all. 3:26 a.m. Couldn’t sleep and thought I’d see who got thrown under the bus today. I am glad to see that people are keeping their comments civil or the webmaster is helping them to do so. I am an ATF supervisor. I have made mistakes. I struggle with the job at times but I love it. I try to make life good and productive for the agents in my group. I have a few that would probably like to write something about me but they know I respect them and I feel like they respect me. I also know from phone conversations of the last two days there are a whole lot of RAC’s, GS’s, ASAC’s, SAC’s and WDC’ers who are shaking in their boots fearing that one of the many people they’ve trampled during their career is going to raise his ugly keyboard and post a disgraceful story. 7 years and I’m gone. I’ve seen the double standards that are kept. I’ve been the victim of it once. See it real bad in the division one over from me.
- By: POA | Posted: Thursday, April 23, 2009
NO MORE TOADS
Rather than a complaint, let me offer a suggestion. What ATF needs more than anything is someone who knows, really knows, how to lead and inspire. No more ‘in house’ selections or DOJ superstars sent in to save the day.
We need a retired military general, one who left the job early enough to still be vigorous, to come in and take command. Someone fresh and owing no favors to the current hierarchy. Someone who is not impressed with having his necktie complimented (a.k.a. suckasses) but instead looking for warriors who want to take our mission to the street. A no excuses guy. Not a guy who walks off the job telling us all the great things he did when we know he did nothing, changed nothing, made things worse.
My guess is that General X would start with implementing a military standard of accountablity. If you prove yourself unable to lead and incapable of inspiring your team then an assignment will be found that best suits your skills and better serves the agency.
Bye-bye to the risk-averse morale assassins. The ones afraid to be the police. The ones afraid to approve a search warrant or put cuffs on a criminal without the Navy SEALS present. Those Toads can hop to a new assignment. Maybe licking stamps in the basement mailroom where they belong.
The last Headquarters crew just couldn’t clean house because they grew up on the job with the Toads and they covered for the flaws of their friends. Leadership starts with the example set at the top. All General X would have to do is advise a leading Toad or two that their service was no longer required. Watch how quickly the second-tier Toads will snap-to and begin to perform.
I believe Michael Sullivan is a good man. His pedigree was excellent. Unfortunately the Toads in Headquarters that he was surrounded by convinced him that they were right and everyone from the ASAC level on down was wrong. What did he know? He had no life in ATF prior to his appointment. He never experienced the ATF culture of accepting institutional mediocrity and promoting it. Sullivan made the mistake of trusting and believing staffers who’s goal was not to improve ATF but, to improve their personal postion. He didn’t look for the truth on his own so what he got was lies.
Millitary leadership training is the type that puts the troops first (Bye-Bye Toads – I love saying that!). The soldiers well-being is first and foremost because a great field general knows he is only as good as his men in the trenches.
Trust me on this one. I am not a 5-Star General but I play one on X-Box Call to Duty and I can lead better than the Toads who sit in my Divison office. Give me a Patton or MacArthur or Franks or Shwartzkopf any day over the pencil necks who are afraid of their own shadow.
This message was sent to you courtesy of a lowly field agent with no special title or assignement. Just a P.O.A. – Plain Old Agent.
- By: Damaged Goods | Posted: Thursday, April 23, 2009
I’ll spare you the story of my past trials and tribulations. I have served in three field divisions and three headquarters directorates. In every case I have consistently observed toadies being rewarded and productive workers being punished as subversives. As we speak I am serving in a low morale field division with solid employees who want to resign but are no position to disrupt their livelihoods. I sincerely believe that If this was the military approximately 70% of our mid-level mangers and executives would be relieved of command. I don’t know how many times I have recently looked into the eyes of a good worker and heard them say…dejectedly…”We have become a joke.” One of our few effective leaders told me before he retired “This agency loves yes men and hates leaders–leaders are prone to say exactly what our executives do NOT want to hear.”
- By: blueprint4integrity | Posted: Thursday, April 23, 2009
A Notable Quote – Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy, Detroit, MI 2008
“Witnesses must give truthful testimony. And we have to demand that they do. That is why they must take an oath. There are variations on courtroom oaths but basically an oath says: I do dolemnly swear or affirm that the testimony that I am about to give in this matter is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. The oath does not say: I do solemnly swear or affirm that the testimony I am about to give in this matter will be some of the truth, when it suits me, some of the time and anything but the whole truth. Oath means something. They are critically important. They matter. They matter when juror take their otaths; they matter when lawyers, judges, and elected officials take their oaths; they matter when new citizens take the oath of citizenship; they matter when doctor take the Hippocratic Oath; they matter when anyone swears before a notary public. they must matter and that is why witnesses take them-every witness in every case. And it is so important; it is perjury if there is lying and perjury is a crime.”
- By: beentheredonethat | Posted: Wednesday, April 22, 2009
I resigned three years ago. Didn’t “have to”, but had
to. I was an ex-street cop. My GS didn’t want anything out of me but to staple an ATF cover sheet on top of one of my old partner’s arrest reports from the Sheriff’s Office and walk it over to the U.S. Attorneys for a cheap stat. He felt like I had done my job. I quit vs. embarrassing myself in front of my old partners. I didn’t become an agent to sit at my desk and do home to work car reports. That is all he wanted. Now I sell used cars. There is more honor in it than the fake agent I was being forced to become. Good luck.
- By: fieldops | Posted: Wednesday, April 22, 2009
ATF managers + internal affairs + chief counsels office – the truth = agents getting railroaded. I don’t complain without a solution. Hold everyone accountable. agents. bosses. IA. attorneys. secretaries. headquarters. compliance. everyone
. And demand the truth
. And abide by the transparency orders of the President. Maybe just use the “Golden Rule” and treat someone the way you want to be treated. There would be whole lot more crime guns off the street and agents with a whole lot more time and energy to do their jobs instead of having to take on The Man.
PS: If my ISP is not protected here, its been nice knowing ya. I’m doomed. PS: loved the Oz stuff. Great analogy of life at ATF.
Webmaster Note: Your IP address and/or ISP are not
logged by this website, so let `em try.
- By: atfguy | Posted: Wednesday, April 22, 2009
I followed the yellow brick road to ATFE HQ, affectionately known in my office as, “OZ” (as in, “The Wizard of Oz”).
For 11 years, I was told about the all knowing and powerful Oz and how glorious it would be to be in its presence. I was told that I didn’t understand the “big picture” and wouldn’t until I was granted the high privilege of experiencing 650 Mass Ave.
Well guess what? I did. ATF’s Oz, the Great Intimidator, the Grantor of Life, Death and Promotions, is nothing more than a troll pulling levers behind a curtain. ATF’s Oz has no idea what he’s doing, just like in the movie. It’s all a big, fat, sick bluff
Pull that curtain back, CleanUpATF.
You bosses, while your at it, play the part like the Tinman and ask Oz for a heart because you have none, or the cowardly lion and ask Oz for some courage because you have none, or the scarecrow and ask for a brain because you have none.
I just played Dorothy and clicked my heels and went back home to Auntie Emm.
It was a bad dream.
- By: spatialagent | Posted: Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Better, better, better. An SA/RAC/ASAC and now…a SAC. Everywhere he’s been, he’s been under the IA (Internal Affairs) gun. Misuse of g-funds, stolen g-rides, etc. The guy is a genuine ATF cat with nine lives.
He’s now an east coast SAC and is…jacked up yet again
! “Misplaced” government car??? How would that
fly with any of us? It’s not what
you’ve done, it’s who your Guru is
, and how many times can he save you.
- By: agentunknown | Posted: Wednesday, April 22, 2009
How about the ASAC who turned his back to pursuing the investigation of legitimate death threats against an ATF SA and later that year, received ATF’s “Supervisor of the Year
I guess that’s how you get an ATF award. When I heard that story, I threw all my “Special Act” Awards in the garbage because I knew they didn’t really mean anything.
ONE (OR MAYBE A THOUSAND!) AGENTS’ OPINION(s)
- By: youmustbejoking | Posted: Sunday, April 19, 2009
Name: Come on…are you kiddin’ me?
Position/Title: Special Agent
Post of Duty: Again, are you kiddin’ me?
My Brothers and Sisters,
Do you agree? The ATF management regime of the past 5+ years, from our current ASAC’s through our Directors, will forever be known as the management misfits who led us into “Gungate” (yes, like Watergate); a saturation of management corruption, ineptness and criminal acts orchestrated by our bosses who protect their crimes (yes FELONY crimes) with unethical cover-ups and “turn-a-blind-eye” waivers for their peers’ wrongdoings.
Want to repair your Thrift Savings retirement? Take this bet (It’s in the Las Vegas sportsbooks as a 100-to-1 “Stone Cold Lock”): ATF management’s first move after seeing this website will be to try and dismantle it, crush it and prevent the truth from being known, heard or spread to the field. PLEASE NOTE: ATF MANAGEMENT HAS BEEN ENCOURAGED TO RESPOND AND ASSURED EQUAL TIME IN THE VISITOR COMMENT SECTION OF THIS WEBSITE. THEY WON’T
. We would like to see or hear them formally and publicly deny the FACTS contained on this website outright, using their names. We will then provide documents, emails, testimony, depositions and declarations to support EACH allegation. We will also assume that the petty legal protection for these damaging documents (that they normally invoke to evade accountability) has then been waived
In business, but even more important in government, the “servant leadership” principle is key. Ask an ATF boss if he knows what that is…he’ll probably look at you as if you suddenly started speaking in tongues. ATF decisions are not
made for the greater good, regardless of the how uncomfortable it might be. There is no self-sacrifice or call to duty applied to ATF management, only agents.
ATF management considers it “irrelevant” that they are viewed with such and disrespect and distrust by those in the field, the real stakeholders and the future of the Bureau. Management’s incompetence and abusiveness to its employees and the public we serve have become the stuff of urban legend.
Rest assured ATF Agents, the sacrifices and contributions you make are little more than a “Photo Op” for the bosses looking to get to the next level. Why is that? Because “you don’t understand the big picture”. Remember the days when your RAC, ASAC and SAC knew how many kids you had, your wife’s name and were concerned about the health of your parents? Remember when a manager might actuly pick up the phone to call and say, “Good job.”? Remember when trivial errors or oversights were handled in-context, as a normal aspect of the difficult task of Law Enforcement
? Remember when an ATF manager’s future did not
depend on how many mistakes they could find on the part of their subordinates, but how many successes
they had? WE DO. How did we evolve into such a petty, menial and vindictive agency?
When you bosses recount their success stories from ‘back in the day when I was on the street’, they should remember this: ATF is small we know what each have and have not done, how well, how poorly and how often. Their reputations from the street, your job, are haunting them. They failed and moved up. Many NOT ALL of these managers had little testimony before a Grand Jury, served as the Affiant on more than a couple search warrants or put handcuffs on anyone. These are GS-5 accomplishments not GS-15. RACS and ASACs with 6-12 years on? Whats that about. This agency was built on the back of True mavericks. Thinkers and doers. It appears to most that original thought is not valued, follow through on projects is not important, (once your HQ or RAC time is over, it’s not my problem anymore), and the only requirement to hold a boss job is the ability to blindly say YES YES YES sir. THIS IS NOT THE MILITARY. OUR AGENTS ARE REQUIRED TO POSSES COLLEGE DEGREES.
Yet, they run our agency. Tell us what to do and how to do it. If we offer an opinion that conflicts with their “knowledge and expertise” – beware!!!!!! Can you say reprisal, retaliation, harassment, intimidation, reassignment, transfer or termination?
If an honest review of all agent complaints or disputes against supervisors was conducted, how many times do you think ATF’s lawyers ever acknowledged responsibility, backed the agent against a manager and took corrective action? PLEASE SOMEONE RESOND WITH AT LEAST ONE INSTANCE WHERE ATF OR COUNSELS ACCEPTED RESPONSIBILITY WITHOUT BEING SUED. I’m not talking about ultimately settling with the agent. I’m talking about an honest assessment of the facts and out-of-the-gate admitting “we have a problem here”? How about none. How many times has IA followed up on allegations against managers? Few IF ANY. How many on agents? Every damn time. Are we to believe ATF management has NEVER made a mistake? Why does a Law Enforcement agency invoke Atty- Client privilege every time a manager is deposed or the managers are allowed to repeat I don’t know and I don’t recall so many times that it sounds like a broken record. It is no wonder that our credibility with the public and the industries we regulate have lost total credibility. Its because “ we don’t know and we cant recall”
Can the agent ALWAYS be wrong? Is EVERY agent dispute without a basis? Is the manager ALWAYS right across the board, case after case, year after year?
Its not long before someone in Congress or the White House decides to take a real look at what’s really going on here at ATF. As all of you know ATFs internal mechanisms are broken. ATF employees could not be more irrelevant. Its time for all of us to get back to protecting the public who trusts us and pays our salaries. Isn’t that why we are ATF? Members of congress and the media will be encouraged to open senate sub-committee hearings or provide some direct and lasting oversight of OUR agency so that we will not just be another Federal agency as we have now become but we will to be ATF once again.
Maybe Director Melson will break the mold and form his own opinion about agents and our plight instead of listening to his HQ advisors, and ATF attorneys who will minimize each and EVERY dispute, label EVERY agent who has a dispute as disgruntled employee. We hope he will count how many settlement checks he signs off on, how many managers have or have not been disciplined and how many man-hours the agency is wasting on the HUNDREDS, YES HUNDREDS of disputes that are pending and be OUR (ATFs) Director.
Degradation of Society’s Protectors
Contributed by the son of a 20+ year veteran ATF Special Agent.
- By: atforphan | Posted: Monday, April 13, 2009
My father has been in the service of the federal government for over 32 years. He served our country in the United States Marine Corp, and has been in law enforcement since his honorable discharge. He is currently a Special Agent for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms and has given ATF over 20 years of loyal service.
The life of an ATF agent is not only hard on him, but it is hard on our family as a whole. This is true for many families of ATF agents. For months at a time, my father has had to leave us to do work throughout the country. He has had to miss several important events in my life for service to the federal government. Not to mention the stress involved with always traveling and the dangerous elements he has to deal with on a regular basis in hopes of making America a safer place for everyone.
You would think that after having to sacrifice so much of his personal life for his career, he would be rewarded. Well, I wish I could say this was true, but it would be a lie. After all my Dad has done for the Bureau, they have taken it upon themselves to try to screw up everything he has worked for since he started with ATF. My father is not perfect, but he is being punished by the power hungry management of ATF, not
for doing something wrong, but for doing the right
thing, and calling them on their unethical management practices.
My whole life, I looked up to my Dad and other agents of the Bureau. I wanted nothing more than to follow in his footsteps and become the second generation in my family to become a Special Agent for ATF. Seeing how ATF management has grossly misused their position of power, and the way my father and the other agents who are out doing the actual work are being treated, has given me second thoughts about ATF as my career path.
ATF needs to undergo serious reform in order to get back to the efficient and honorable agency it used to be.