What happens when the nation’s chief of weapons enforcement is caught running an illegal weapons operation that funnels guns to Mexico’s murderous drug cartels? He gets reassigned to the Justice Department, hahaha:

Reuters has this comical report:

The head of the agency that oversaw a botched attempt to track arms flowing to drug cartels in Mexico is being reassigned to Justice Department headquarters, the Obama administration said on Tuesday.

Kenneth Melson, who has been acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, has been under fire and admitted mistakes in the sting operation meant to try to crack down on the flow of weapons to violent drug gangs. He will be reassigned to the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Policy as an adviser on forensic science, the Justice Department said.

No mention of how many Mexicans have been slaughtered with these thousands of illegal firearms intentionally given to Mexico’s death squads by America’s government, but we’re now told that at least one U.S. Border Patrol agent was killed by a gun given to the drug cartels by the American government. [Reuters]

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  • nounverb911

    Again with the "Peter Principle", promoting failure? Melson should go work for the NRA.

    • Giveusabob

      Indeed, of all the possible courses of action presented to one for combating armed TexMex drug cartels, selling more guns directly to the cartels definitely ranks highly in novelty.

    • sati_demise

      He would make more money too.

    • Callyson

      Actually, he's close to doing so:
      Melson will be reassigned to the Justice Department's Office of Legal Policy as an adviser on forensic science, the Justice Department said.

  • SexySmurf

    Jesus Hussein Christ, Layne, this is supposed to be a humor site.

    • proudgrampa

      Yeah, Ken's working overtime today…

    • But isn't happiness a warm pun gun?

    • BaldarTFlagass

      You mean, let me understand this cause, ya know maybe it's me, I'm a little fucked up maybe, but I'm funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you? I make you laugh, I'm here to fuckin' amuse you? What do you mean funny, funny how? How am I funny?

  • OkieDokieDog

    This makes the NRA so proud! Messicans killing Messicans is a good thing. Border Patrol agent getting killed is just collateral damage or friendly fire or not important whatever.

    • Sue4466

      Of course, if that border patrol agent had been armed, he could have defended hisself . . . oh, wait.

  • SmutBoffin

    Why, oh why, didn't we give the Drug Gangsters the eyeball gonorrhea instead?

    • MichelesPantalones

      It's always easier to inject sick Poorz; they usually can't resist. Armed drug gangsters have a tendency to try and shoot your fucking nuts off when you try to inject gonorrhea into their eyeballs.

  • proudgrampa

    Well, hopefully an "advisor on forensic science" can't get too many people killed. Presumably, they're already dead.

  • chascates

    He'll have fun with all of the 'reassigned' people from the Bush/Cheney years who've burrowed themselves into the federal B-teams.

    • SorosBot

      And hey, the law that allowed Bush to fire a bunch of seasoned Federal lawyers and replace them with graduates of Regents University and other fundie law schools has been repealed so no one can abuse that power again – or rectify Bush's horrible appointees.

      • Lascauxcaveman

        Heh. You said 'rectify.'

      • MichelesPantalones

        That's nice to know.

    • SilverTsunami

      Since he was an "interim" I think the sentence could be, "He'll have fun with all of the other 'reassigned' people from the Bush/Cheney years . . ."

  • johnnymeatworth

    "The Generalissimo sets up shop
    Step out of line, your neck's on the block
    Armies marching through the streets
    Dressed so sharp, dressed so neat"

    –The Circle Jerks

    • EatsBabyDingos


      • Crank_Tango

        Needz moar killing for jesus.

  • freakishlywrong

    Great. He failed sideways.

  • SorosBot

    Oh and look, this incompetent has been in charge of the ATF because the Senate Republicans have blocked Obama's nominee because the NRA doesn't like him.

  • It looks like he tried to do his best to rectify the trade imbalance.

  • Lionel[redacted]Esq

    Hasn't the Obama Administration learned anything? Give these guys the Medal of Freedom, then no one can question what they did.

  • Under the Bush Administration the government would have made him a Supreme Court Justice.

  • EatsBabyDingos

    He should have been sent to the Pentagon Department of Making Everything That Is Expensive.

  • DaRooster

    Shoot happens.

  • This sort of news must explain why lately, Old Crow & gingerale for with dinner is having such a numbing agreeable effect on my psyche. It re-warms the blood flow that turned ice-cold with every despicable new thing apprehended about human incompetence.

  • Goonemeritus

    Admittedly the plan was bone headed at best but what they were trying to do was decrease the flow of arms not increase them. I would suspect the cartels in Mexico probably are better armed than the Marine Corps was at Guadalcanal. In the end the people feigning the most outrage are the very ones that refuse any law to stem the flow of arms to these murders.

  • sati_demise

    oh the Justice Department is where they dump all the idiots:

    They think running an old American company out of town is a good idea in a recession?

    • MichelesPantalones

      Hmm … activism required. Thanks for the alert.

      • sati_demise

        This is a War Blog after all!

        • MichelesPantalones

          The commenters over there are a bunch of RWNJ assholes, though. Just saying.

  • baconzgood

    Send lawyers, guns, and money. Obama get me out this place!!!

  • EatsBabyDingos

    In related news, Halliburton's subsidiary, KBR, is filing suit to stop the flow of death machines from any entity other than KBR. "It's in our contract."

  • CapeClod

    Does it help to be an idiot when you are appointed to the ATF? Or does the job just turn you into one regardless of how many smarts you have?

  • EatsBabyDingos

    It's only one letter from "ATF" to "WTF."

  • Lascauxcaveman

    This guy's predicament reminds me of that time when I was in the ATF and I got caught trying to smuggle several hundred kilos of hashish from Turkey. Boy, did I get yelled at!

    • Swampgas_Man

      Did you get to keep the drugs?

    • MichelesPantalones

      Hmm. Clearly you are a person whose acquaintance (and hashish stores) I need to make.

  • Great. Now Melson can help Obama's D.O.J. persecute Bush-Cheney era whistle-blowers, which is pretty much all Hopey's D.O.J. does these days.

    USA! USA! USA!

  • poncho_pilot

    why am i reminded of the deal offered Yossarian at the end of Catch-22?

  • BaldarTFlagass

    Well, at least in forensics he'll be dealing with already-dead people, and won't have so much opportunity to help alive people become dead.

  • SayItWithWookies

    Well — I guess that's how you look forward instead of dwelling on the past.

    • Nothingisamiss

      I haz a sad just thinking about this quote.

      • SayItWithWookies

        Me too, if that's any consolation.

  • I think their plan was not to arrest the guys that were buying the weapons because they were just low level plebes that were a dime a dozen. They were trying to figure out who the plebes reported to and get them. It was a good plan on paper, but the plebes vanished into thin air and the trail was quickly lost. Their plan went to shit real fast, but they didn't change the plan to adapt to this problem and it just kept happening over and over again.

  • They should have just sent Jesse Pinkman to Melson's house to shoot him in the head.

  • lochnessmonster

    We are still rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic to see if that will result in something different?

  • MinAgain

    Guns don't kill people. ATFE operations kill people.

    • DahBoner

      ATF: Ass-to-Face

  • DahBoner

    "We’re now told that at least one U.S. Border Patrol agent was killed by a gun given to the drug cartels by the American government."


    This is America. What can we do? –The NRA

  • Nothingisamiss

    Ken Layne, the despair is worth it. I'm glad to see your posts. (With "glad" meaning "happy to see I'm not the only one who wants to know just how fucked we are.")

  • Boojum_Reborn

    You have to have worked for the feds to understand that this is a real punishment. He went from being in charge of lots of big guys with guns to being the pretend lab rat guy in CSI at whom everybody rolls their eyes and laughs. I would be on the lookout for a suicide attempt in six months, which will fail because of incompetence.

  • SilverTsunami

    What did forensic science to do deserve this?

  • ttommyunger

    No white people got killed, right?

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