ACLU Says ATF Blocks Whistleblower Book on Scandal
The Obama administration is blocking a federal law enforcement agent from publishing a book about the failed “Fast and Furious” gun-smuggling sting operation because of concerns that the book would negatively affect morale, the American Civil Liberties Union said Monday.
The ACLU charged that the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is worried that the book proposed by an ATF agent would hurt relationships with other U.S. law enforcement agencies.
In a six-page letter to ATF Deputy Director Thomas Brandon, the ACLU said the bureau’s decision to block the book proposed by Special Agent John Dodson was a violation of his First Amendment rights. The ACLU described Dodson as a whistleblower.
According to the letter, the ATF denied Dodson’s request to try to publish a book about his version of the Fast and Furious scandal because the bureau predicted it would have “a negative impact on morale in the Phoenix (Field Division) and would have a detrimental” impact on ATF relationships with the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration.
The ATF did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
A federal law enforcement official said the government is still considering whether Dodson can publish his proposed book if he doesn’t make any money. The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a personnel matter, said federal law generally bars government employees from outside work that is based on their official duties.
Does anybody think Dodson would have a problem if his book were Fast & Furious: a Bogus Scandal Invented by Republicans?
And how is writing a book, presumably on your own time, outside employment? These “rules” are usually invoked only against whistleblowers. I doubt Dodson has much future at ATF so he might as well resign and publish or if he stays, publish his book for free on Amazon & Nook.