The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is attempting to stop an agent, who became famous as the man who accused the agency of deliberately allowing Mexican drug traffickers to buy guns later used to murder a federal agent, from publishing a book.
Agent John Dodson is at the center of the so-called Fast ad Furious scandal. In early 2011, Dodson ignited the controversy when he told CBS News that the ATF ran an operation allowing 2,000 weapons to fall into the hands of the narcotraffickers who then use the guns to commit crimes, including the December 14, 2010 slaying of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.
Since then, Republicans in congress led by California Rep. Darrell Issa have hammered the Obama Administration over the scandal, even though investigations have shown that no such operation existed.
Now Dodson (pictured) says he wants to publish his book, to be titled “The Unarmed Truth”. But because he is still employed by the ATF, the bureau is telling him he can’t.
Like many federal law enforcement or intelligence agencies, the ATF requires employees to submit manuscripts for potential publication to their bosses for review. This process is typically intended to prevent secrets that could endanger other agents or operations from leaking out.
But Dodson says he was told the ATF could put the kibosh on his book “for any reason.”
He received a letter from an ATF official claiming that his book “would have a negative impact on morale in the Phoenix Field Division.”
The Phoenix division was at the center of the scandal. According to a six-month investigation by Fortune magazine, Dodson worked there and feuded with another agent, Dave Voth, who was in charge of an operation to stop gun trafficking across the border.
According to the Fortune investigation, it was Dodson’s grudge against Voth that led him to make his allegations public.
Dodson is being represented by the American Civil Liberties Union in his fight against his bosses to publish the book, which he describes an an inside account of the scandal. He told Fox News that the book will come out in January, with or without ATF permission.
Sources: Fox News, Fortune Magazine