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ATF to Whistle-Blower: You Can't Publish a Book
John Dodson wrote account of Operation Fast and Furious
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Oct 7, 2013 12:01 PM CDT
This Friday, June 24, 2011 picture shows ATF agent John Dodson in Phoenix.   (AP Photo/Matt York)

(Newser) – ATF agent John Dodson blew the whistle on Operation Fast and Furious, in which feds accidentally handed Mexican drug cartels 2,000 guns. Now Dodson's bosses say he can't publish a book on the scandal—though he plans to do so anyway, Fox News reports. Dodson gave the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms a manuscript of The Unarmed Truth, in accordance with federal rules, but the bureau said its publication "would have a negative impact on morale" and hurt "our relationships with DEA and FBI."

Dodson's bosses have the power to reject any outside work "for any reason," an ATF ethics official said. An ACLU lawyer backing Dodson opposes the blanket restriction, which "grants supervisors the discretion to censor critical speech simply because it annoys or embarrasses the ATF," as opposed to a detailed response calling for certain redactions. "Given the national importance" of the issues involved, the bureau "faces an extremely high burden in demonstrating that its interests outweigh Agent Dodson's right to speak—and the public's right to hear—his views."

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Showing 3 of 24 comments
Who_Cares
Oct 7, 2013 3:31 PM CDT
What image he might hurt if I ask? Protecting country is not working at the Church with values and ethics, for the sake of argument, but dealing with criminals and you have to think like them in order to get what you after. They do have to obey the law. If Dodson exposes some of the tactics or operation, I don't know. We are the taxpayers and we have a right to know what's going on out there.
UMTigerFan
Oct 7, 2013 3:01 PM CDT
The only morale that will be here is the Senior Management at ATF and the White House. More obfuscation from the "Most Transparent Presidency in History."
793tango
Oct 7, 2013 2:45 PM CDT
The whole operation was designed to trace guns to bigger players. Ill-conceived as it was, it was begun under the BUSH administration, NOT the Obama administration (why is it everyone wants to pin every bad thing on Obama when so much of this crap started under Bush or even earlier?) and wasn't designed or implimented by presidential order anyway. This was the brainchild of an idiot in ATF and was approved by ATF honchos, over and above objections by other ATF agents. The whole thing went horribly (and predictably) wrong. Yeah this story needs to come out. Willing to bet the case ends up on the doorstep of the Supreme Court. These things often do.