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ATF Problems Due to "Colossal Failure of Leadership"

The Congressional hearings into the actions of the ATF concerning Operation Fast and Furious (otherwise known as Project Gunwalker) began on Wednesday, June 15, and they are already bringing revelations that the ATF is out of control… again.

ATF agent Peter Forcelli didn’t mince words.

“Sir, it’s my belief that what we have here is actually a colossal failure in leadership from within ATF, within the chain of command involved in this case, within the United States attorney’s office and within DOJ as to the individuals who were aware of this strategy,” he told lawmakers.

Peter Forcelli, a group supervisor with ATF’s Phoenix field division testified Wednesday, and revealed some interesting eye-opening details.  Amazingly, it appears the gun Jared Loughner used to shoot U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson could have easily been one that the ATF allowed to “walk”, and they were genuinely worried that the firearm Loughner used in January was an ATF ‘Gunwalker’ gun.

Remember the fable of the king who ran around naked, but nobody said a word, or even acknowledged the fact for fear of being beheaded, or burned at the stake, or dropped in boiling oil. That’s the culture of today’s federal bureaucracy.   It all started with the cancer of Political Correctness which is now epidemic in the United States. 

Have you actually stopped and taken a look at just how stupid that we (in this country) have become in the name of Political Correctness?  PC is the pox of Progressives, the group most responsible for the state of the union today.  Our country is in trouble but PC prevents us from saying that liberals are Un-American subversives.

I worked over 30 years in federal law enforcement.  Of course there are exceptions, but the vast majority, at least 75% of federal managers are incompetent, politically corrrect, spineless morons.  Actually, I’m being too kind here.  These people are so incompetent that they’re DANGEROUS. 

One of the biggest problems within federal law enforcement/investigative agencies is that all too often, those who can, do and those who can’t go into management.  Street agents must produce.  Group Supervisors must kiss higher management ass and delegate “real work” to street agents.  Having an original thought gets Group Supervisors transfered or fired.

The best and brightest agents are smart enough to want no part of management.  First of all managers must check their balls and their integrity at the door, once they are promoted.  In most agencies, managers are subject to numerous transfers and headquarters assignments as Super Clerks.  Street agents are not. Street agents automatically rise to the GS/13 level with 25% premium pay.  They’re are also assigned take home government vehicles, which headquarters agents are not. 

A street agent can make over $140,000 a year.  Group Supervisors and upper management make less than $10,000 more a year due to the “government cap”, which limits total compensation for non SES positions to GS/15-10 pay.  When I retired in 2008 as a GS/13-10, my compensation was the same as a high step GS/15 civilian (they don’t earn 25% premium pay). Most government attorneys are paid at the GS/14 level, which means that non management GS/13 special agents earn more and retire with bigger annuities than government lawyers.

Federal law enforcement has the highest paid non management personnel in the government.  The grade structure was created years ago because of the responsibilities given to “special agents”.  The responsibilities are long gone but the pay remains.  Even the most elementary investigative decisions are now made by management. An agent can’t conduct an interview, a surveillence or a trash run without multi-management levels of review/approval.  Nothing gets done in a hurry if it gets done at all, unless its a BFD HQ “Operation”.

ATF is not the exception here.  Trust me, ICE or HSI or whatever they call themselves today, actually has much worse management than ATF.  I worked for an Assistant Special Agent in Charge who thought carrying more than $2,000 cash in your wallet was a federal crime.  I worked for a Group Supervisor who didn’t know you had to put the description of the premises to be searched in a search warrant.  I worked for a Special Agent in Charge who routinely ordered the gang group NOT to make any arrests most of the year, so he could make a big splash every June by arresting a couple hundred violators in a single week long round-up.

It’s time to blow up the current federal law enforcement structure and start all over.  It’s not in the interest of the United States to have over 50 incompetent, competing law enforcement/investigative agencies.  In less than 20 years, I went from working in an office with a dozen agents and one supervisor to an office with over 100 agents, 7 levels of special agents in charge and over a dozen group supervisors.  The work has not increased, in fact it’s decreased because today agents sit around waiting for management to come up with schemes like Operation Fast and Furious.

California Rep. Darrell Issa has been pressing to find out who in Washington knew about the operation.  “We want to know what felony stupid bad judgment led to allowing this program at the highest level,” he said at the hearing.

That’s an easy question.  The Director himself knew about it and blessed it. Nothing, Absolutely NOTHING of this scope is done without approval of the highest level of management in the federal government.  I had more responsibility as a $9,000 street cop than I had as a $137,000 street agent.  The federal government is broken and we can’t afford not to fix it.

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