|ATF special agent John Dodson|
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is blocking Operation Fast and Furious whistleblower John Dodson’s efforts to publish a book he has written to recall the ATF’s Mexican gun-walking scandal, claiming the book would have a negative impact on the morale inside the department.
ATF special agent Dodson, who is working with publisher Simon and Schuster, submitted the book to the department for approval for outside employment but was denied.
The Washington Times reports:
Their rejection made no claims that the book would release sensitive or classified information or compromise ongoing law enforcement proceedings.
Rather, the supervisors offered a different reason for their decision. “This would have a negative impact on morale in the Phoenix [Field Division] and would have a detrimental effect on our relationships with DEA and FBI.”
The ATF general counsel’s office subsequently sanctioned the decision, all but killing the book project.
“An employee’s supervisory chain may disapprove any outside employment request for any reason, at any supervisory level,” ATF attorney Greg Serres wrote Mr. Dodson on Aug. 29, underlining the word “any” for emphasis. “The Office of Chief Counsel cannot approve outside employment requests in lieu of the supervisory chain’s disapproval.
The Fast and Furious operation was a attempt to track gun crimes that could eventually lead to Mexican drug lords, but was botched due to the discovery that ATF-purchased guns were used in crimes on both sides of the Mexico-US border, including in the death of border patrol agent Brian Terry.
Dodson’s book The Unarmed Truth gives a inside account of how the government permitted the sales of thousands of firearms to Mexican drug cartels and ignored the facts that those guns were being used to kill innocent people.
The ACLU, alongside Dodson on October 7, filed a formal protest to the decision to block the book’s ability to be published.