Multiple sources, including sources from ATF, DOJ and Congressional offices have said there is a white paper circulating within the Department of Justice, outlining the essential elimination of ATF. According to sources, the paper outlines the firing of at least 450 ATF agents in an effort to conduct damage control as Operation Fast and Furious gets uglier and as election day 2012 gets closer. ATF agents wouldn’t be reassigned to other positions, just simply let go. Current duties of ATF, including the enforcement of explosives and gun laws, would be transferred to other agencies, possibly the FBI and the DEA. According to a congressional source, there have been rumblings about the elimination of ATF for quite sometime, but the move would require major political capital to actually happen.Most of this, of course, has to do with the still-imploding, undercovered-by-the-mainstream-media "Operation Fast and Furious" fustercku--err, "operation" where thousands of high-powered guns were trafficked to Mexican drug cartels by the ATF, later to be used against them and other law enforcement agents with fatal results. But if this agency is shut down or reorganized, it may well have an indirect impact upon Federal alcohol regulation--anything from a revamping and streamlining of regulation to endless delays for approval of such things as new labels and packaging designs.
“It’s a serious white paper being circulated, how far they’d get with it I don’t know,” a confidential source said.
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