06/22/11 — Kenneth E. Melson, the acting director of the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), is expected to step down from his position due to his oversight and involvement in the Fast and Furious program. The program consisted of a gun-running investigation that allowed weapons to be sold to suspected Mexican drug cartel members with the intention of U.S. officials tracking the weapons as they were distributed throughout Mexico. He is expected to resign by the end of this week.
In a House hearing last week, internal government documents showed that “Melson was closely involved in overseeing the operation and received weekly briefings.” Congress also revealed information that Melson had previously asked for log-in information and a link to view the transaction of the guns being bought in a store in Arizona.
CNN reports that Attorney General Eric Holder is set to meet with Andrew Taver, the head of the ATF field office in Chicago, about the possibility of making him the next acting director of the ATF. The Justice Department has refused to comment on anything concerning the possible resignation. The National Rifle Association has voiced their opinion that Taver would be a poor choice for the position due to the fact that he has close ties with gun control advocates and anti-gun activities.
To read more about the Fast and Furious program, click on this link.
Frieden, Terry. “ATF acting director may resign over Fast and Furious program.” CNN. June 21, 2011.
Markon, Jerry and Sarin Horwitz. “Critic of ATF gun-trafficking program raised no objection when briefed last year.” Washington Post. June 21, 2011.
Serrano, Richard A. and Kim Murphy. “ATF director to resign, agency sources say.” Los Angeles Times. June 21, 2011.