A video message from ATF Acting Director Todd Jones on July 9, 2012, to ATF staff presents a disturbing message to potential whistleblowers in the agency. The acting director says, “… if you don’t find the appropriate way to raise your concerns to your leadership, there will be consequences. …” Sen. Chuck Grassley says the essence of whistleblowing is reporting problems outside of an employee’s chain of command, and whistleblowers were instrumental in exposing the shortcomings of Operation Fast and Furious.
From Senator Grassley:
The head of ATF recently warned employees that they will face “consequences” if they don’t “respect the chain of command,” in what Republican lawmakers are decrying as an “ominous message” meant to frighten would-be whistle-blowers in the wake of the Operation Fast and Furious scandal.
Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa., and Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., fired off a letter Wednesday to Acting Director B. Todd Jones saying the message “could be interpreted as a threat” and urging him to clarify.
“It was scary,” Issa told Fox News on Thursday, in reference to Jones’ video message to employees.
“What it appears to be is a not-so-veiled threat telling (ATF employees) not to do what they did to expose Fast and Furious,” Issa said, referring to whistle-blowers who went outside the chain of command to alert lawmakers to problems with the anti-gunrunning operation that let thousands of guns “walk” into Mexico. “He’s basically saying ‘no, keep it in the chain’.”
In their letter to Jones, Issa and Grassley wrote that ATF employees must know about their legally protected right to talk to Congress “free and clear of agency interference or retaliation.”
“Your ominous message — which could be interpreted as a threat — is likely to have a major chilling effect on ATF employees exercising their rights to contact Congress,” they wrote. “Therefore, it needs to be clarified.”
~ He became ‘acting director’ August 2011. Appointed by none other then Erik Holder. Are you surprised? But if your a liberal the same rules don’t apply to your administration. If you try to make that happen there are always EO’s & JUST ignore the issue and laugh. ~ JP