ACLU Says ATF Blocks Whistleblower Book on Scandal


ABC News:

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.


Ugh, yet another attack on the First Amendment of the Constitution. :(:mad:


It is not uncommon in various federal agencies to have a clause in employment contracts requiring approval of hooks published about one’s agency. For example, one wouldn’t want a CIA agent publishing a book which reveals the identities of our covert operators, would one?

Unfortunately, this can be a two-edged sword. Maybe this writer could reveal what he knows to the appeopriate people in Congress.


Aren’t we supposed to believe that the ACLU is a godless commie conspiracy that hates our freedomz? LOL :stuck_out_tongue:


I don’t believe anyone said it wasn’t.


For the most part, it is. However, they have had cases in the past where they did fight for true freedom. I am not sure how frequent those cases are though. Unfortunately it would seem that the majority of the cases it fights in court are about attacking our civil liberties.


I don’t know about federal rules, but my employer explicitly prohibits outside employment including “self-employment, contracting, or other profit enterprise without prior approval from the executive staff.” I’m not even allowed to freelance (I’m a software developer) on my own time.


They need a few such cases to provide the aura of legitimacy. Let’s see how far this goes before deciding that it is anything more than PR.


There are a host of cliches…

A broken clock is right twice a day.

Even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while.

You get the picture. :wink:


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