ATF Fires 'Fast and Furious' Whistleblower
Ex-agent speaks out about termination
- Duration 9:25
- Date Jun 28, 2011
Ex-agent speaks out about termination
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-- there -- new accusations against the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms critics say the federal agency.
Is now retaliating.
By firing the agents who blew the whistle on the mission that allowed thousands of guns to get into the hands of Mexican drug lords -- as fast and furious.
-- some of those weapons two of them in fact were found at the scene when Border Patrol agent Brian Terry was gunned down in December of last year.
Now the ATF whistle blower.
-- -- joins me now also joining joining us right now as congress and now I sat.
He's the chairman of the house committee an oversight and government reform -- led these hearings.
Into this investigation of operation fast and furious -- it is good to have you with us this morning walk -- -- -- thank you for having me on more importantly thank you for key events spotlight on.
Absolutely as to what happened how did you get the word after 24 years of service at ATF.
That you -- basically your -- has been taken away.
And you that was taken away as well cracked.
-- Correct and I was invited in by the my second line supervisor width.
Two other witness is and apprised of that without any warning.
When I challenged it to them they said that they were doing just what the attorneys had told them to do which is the standard protocol anymore.
For decisions within this bureau.
And what did they say was the reason that they were taking away your badge after 24 years and and many years of exemplary reports -- your work at eighty -- Have them the basic underpinning was lack of candor which is totally fabricated.
And several other.
Allegations regarding conduct that occur apparently occurred for five years ago I I'm really not clear -- all that.
The attorneys are reviewing it now.
Let's take a look at the ATF statement that they produce to foxnews.com.
When they were asked that question about why you were being let go Alex has a chip will not comment.
On specific ongoing personnel matters and it is legal to use disciplinary actions to retaliate against.
Employees NE TF does not engage in such improper.
Reprisals but you in fact -- a person who brought attention to the fast and furious program.
Into the fact that weapons were basically being put in the hands of people who gave them two -- towels.
And that two of those guns in fact were found at the scene of HF border agent and his staff.
-- have Bryan Terry correct.
That is correct I was instrumental in fact.
Formulating the idea to stand up a web site to.
Across the board mismanagement and ATF -- what did you do that happens -- -- -- what prompted that.
Outcries from -- hundred hundreds of agents crossed the country when my original dispute started.
And I realize that there was no mechanism in the government any mechanisms that there were to communicate with senior management.
And report abuse is.
Were broken and the leadership continually.
Disregarded our reports are allegations no matter how well we substantiated -- documentation.
That well documented by the way.
And you know as you know the president and Eric Holder have basically said that they did they had no knowledge.
This fast and furious program are still trying to figure out who authorize this program because as you say.
Yourself and many many agents on the ground thought that this was a crazy way to go about this and it would.
Put guns in the hands of the wrong people.
I feel instrumental in doing my job but that's all I ever wanted to do.
We don't cheat to win we play by the rules.
And when our leadership chose to not play by the rules people step forward agent -- aging guilt.
All the people who have come out front and put ourselves in a position so the agency -- Identify the poster boy watch what happens -- -- flew before you consider stepping forward.
What you know what are you gonna do now.
Again my -- my attorney is is that on it I'm gonna continue.
State the truth that's all I can do is make sure that people are held accountable.
For their actions we've exposed it Eric Holder can melts and Billy -- -- -- of all ignored.
Document -- evidence of abuses and unethical conduct my chief counsel's office and our leadership.
And while they're reviewing that -- continue to get paid is that right.
Well that's up to them my guests.
I'm not driving -- ship I tried to resolve this in the house informally.
Years ago and you know I've gotten hundreds of I don't knows and I don't recalls under -- so it's it's pretty difficult to hit a moving target like that when the managers don't know what they were doing or why they did it now.
Now none none whatsoever.
And I don't get out and I took -- -- -- now I planned to uphold it to the end.
In -- thank you very much out -- -- top of that story.
And figure out -- happens with your job and whether or not to is this is connected in any way.
To you being one of the main whistle blowers in this fast and furious program and I are without your badge badge and gun.
We'll see what happens in the next test segment of law that would thank -- -- for being with us that let me.
-- -- him you bet to congress and allies who we have spoken to on many occasions about as passengers program as well he warned the AT asked.
Do not retaliate.
Against this agent who we just spoke with.
He also just returned from Mexico where he met with government officials there to see what he could learn about this program.
On the other side of the border good to have you with us once again congressman me your thoughts on what you thanks for mr.
-- Well thank you for covering this and Vince like many agents are part of a chilling effect of can they stop people from from leaking from telling from posting a web site.
They may have done -- a favor because now he's very free.
To promote and push more openness and transparency.
By the very agents who want to come forward.
You know Martha I haven't had a single agent at any level and ATF including all the way up to the acting director -- -- Who didn't want to talk to us this really is not a story about the ATF.
Where have they seem to understand that this was wrong.
It seems to be a story about justice and the cover up of who really authorize this program who actually thought it was a good idea.
Because we found very few agents and even a little bit called a good idea and you mentioned my trip to Mexico.
In Mexico we discovered that the ATF agents the US ATF agents were completely in the dark.
There was even a cover up that prevented them I found a fast and furious weapon from finding out -- where was sold.
And they disguise that so when you hear that the Mexican officials were involved nothing could be further from the truth even the US agents were never told.
Very interesting -- -- one development in all of this is that -- mouse and ahead of ATF will now testify.
About this because and they haven't gotten anywhere with attorney general Eric Holder even you pressed him the -- -- -- on this issue.
As a waste that he getting this hearing in front of the senate by Ken Nelson.
Well -- hearing actually the in the actual coming forward is something we arranged back on the finalized on the twentieth.
He is coming before our committee for an interview and on the record interview and the senate senator Grassley will be there and hopefully senator Leahy was -- -- also.
One of the challenges has been.
You know acting director melts and has not refused to come forward he's been limited by.
Justice wanted to make sure that justice lawyers were in there and justice lawyers were.
Interview -- -- involve these interviews the normal protocol is you come in with your own attorney.
In this case melts and is not the target we understand he was involved he was ready and but it's very clear that US attorneys and people that justice had to make this program happened had to bring the other assets to bear.
And up until now they just want to throw the ATF under the bus.
When what we're finding is ATF agents were stopped from stopping the program stop from reporting it.
Stopped from even letting congress know until -- and a few other brave individuals came forward.
So where -- -- -- from Ken Nelson in terms of who authorized the program because that's -- your bottom line.
In tracing -- to justice and figuring out who signed off on.
I think this is the first opera Terry -- have where we have somebody who clearly knows.
Who authorized it who coordinated who made it happen.
And died can name names and whether it's land -- justice or -- number of others.
I think he's gonna be a treasure trove more importantly what finally ask the hard question which is can you think of any conceivable reason.
That attorney general holder.
Was his claim that he wasn't read into this program didn't know about actually saw the news a week before.
He was before congress you think of any basis under which he didn't know or shouldn't.
Have known will be watching -- -- very close and find out what you learn in that testimony.
-- -- -- congressman thank you very much good to have you here in our thanks let's say you are -- For --