March 06, 2011

ATF Memo: Agency Desperate For Bust/Good PR. Are They Accepting Nominations?

I haven't gotten around to covering it yet, but the ATF really screwed the pooch with Project Gunwalker, letting cartels buy thousands of firearms and take them over the border in what I personally suspect was an attempt to give credence to the Obama Administration's 90% lie. As a result, at least two U.S. federal law enforcement officers have been murdered with guns the ATF lost, and there is every reason to suspect that dozens of Mexican law enforcement officers have been killed as a result of the agencies incompetence as well.

CBS News has now obtained an internal memo, which reveals the ATf is trying to score a quick win to shore up faltering support:

Public Information Officers:

Please make every effort for the next two weeks to maximize coverage of ATF operations/enforcement actions/arrests at the local and regional level. Given the negative coverage by CBS Evening News last week and upcoming events this week, the bureau should look for every opportunity to push coverage of good stories. Fortunately, the CBS story has not sparked any follow up coverage by mainstream media and seems to have fizzled.

It was shoddy reporting , as CBS failed to air on-the-record interviews by former ATF officials and HQ statements for attribution that expressed opposing views and explained the law and difficulties of firearm trafficking investigations. The CBS producer for the story made only a feigned effort at the 11th hour to reach ATF HQ for comment.

This week (To 3/1/2011), Attorney General Holder testifies on the Hill and likely will get questions about the allegations in the story. Also (The 3/3/2011), Mexico President Calderon will visit the White House and likely will testify on the Hill. He will probably draw attention to the lack of political support for demand letter 3 and Project Gunrunner.

ATF needs to proactively push positive stories this week, in an effort to preempt some negative reporting, or at minimum, lessen the coverage of such stories in the news cycle by replacing them with good stories about ATF. The more time we spend highlighting the great work of the agents through press releases and various media outreaches in the coming days and weeks, the better off we will be.

Thanks for your cooperation in this matter. If you have any significant operations that should get national media coverage, please reach out to the Public Affairs Division for support, coordination and clearance.

Thank you,


Scot L. Thomasson

Chief ATF Public Affairs Division

Washington, DC

I've got an idea. If the ATF needs good PR, maybe they could start by arresting Lee Franklin Booth, the convicted felon that the agency has refused to prosecute despite his involvement in the acquisition of three gun companies. Think Gunwalker was a trainwreck? Imagine the the damage that could be done by a felon that has significant influence or ownership of gun manufacturing facilities.

I've not posted upon Mr. Booth in a while, but that doesn't mean I've lost interest in seeing him put behind bars. If the ATF wants a quick win, they need look no further than an ex-con no one would miss.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at March 6, 2011 08:04 PM

That would entail actually doing their statutory job, and take time away from doing their real job. (Hint: You won't find it in any acts of Congress.)

Posted by: Phelps at March 6, 2011 08:27 PM

My personal favorite would be prosecuting Bloomberg for making out of state straw sales of guns.

Posted by: Professor hale at March 7, 2011 08:45 AM

They could always fall back on killing civilian women and children like during the Slick Willie days.

Posted by: lazrtx at March 7, 2011 07:22 PM