Some of you may recognize SAIC Bill Newell.
All of you know how thoroughly FUBAR the BATF has always been. What many of you may not know (I did not until just now) is that the agents within BATF are not entirely corrupt and soul-less, and are quite embarrassed with the agency they belong to and its reputation that smears the individual agents' characters as well. As a result, there is a website run by BATF agents critical of BATF itself, called www.cleanupatf.org . Checking in the forums there can be interesting, as there are times when the frustration boils over and gems of insight as to what's really going on can be gleaned.
Case in point;...the career of SAIC Bill Newell.
Newell has been the media face the Phoenix Division (which encompasses all of both Arizona & New Mexico) puts forth for the cameras whenever you see a BATF interview on the local news about the agency's efforts and activities. A 1988 graduate of New Mexico State University, where he earned his degrees in criminal justice and Latin American studies, you have seen him a lot in recent years as BATF has become more activist in trying to generate an (inaccurate) awareness of guns from the U.S. being smuggled to Mexico for criminal purposes. I say "inaccurate", because as most you already know, Newell has been the lead man making the assertion in the last few years that an incredibly large percentage of guns recovered from criminals and crime scenes in Mexico are from here. The "evidence" of this assertion, as usual, is just bad manipulation of cherry-picked data that is not truly representative of what guns are being recovered in Mexico. (Estimates are that perhaps 70-80% of all weapons there are actually from military sources both within and outside the country,...leaving the remainder coming from the U.S. as an insignificant source.) But that hasn't stopped Newell from continuing his knowingly false assertions about the washing waves of U.S. guns rolling over Mexican society.
Recently it has come to light how BATF allowed and encouraged purchases of guns they knew or believed to be going to criminal gangs in Mexico to proceed unobstructed. Supposedly, this was to allow for the "development" of cases. But it has been documented now that one of those guns BATF allowed to go out the door despite their knowledge of its likely destination, was used to kill a Border Patrol agent late last year. As this scandal has been brewing with greater intensity, the members of www.cleanupatf.org have been getting hot under the collar and having a harder time keeping internal gossip to themselves. Ergo;...the following dispatch from one agent in the Phoenix Division, who goes by the screen-name 1desertrat,....
"Well the word from Phoenix is that the SAIC Newell wanted to be able to track where these guns were going in Mexico. As such, the analysts have made pretty charts with lines showing where these guns have turned up. I am not sure how that stems the flow of guns South, especially considering these guns usually get recovered alongside dead bodies.
Fox News about a year ago did a good report to disprove the myth that most of the crime guns recovered in Mexico came from the US. This report was based upon evidence they obtained in part from ATF trace reports. However, with the recent flooding of guns being “walked” to Mexico by ATF (intended to be future crime guns) there is statistical evidence to demonstrate an escalated flow of guns going South from the US. The solution…….(Part I) take “data” to Congress to get more money, Agents and stuff to battle the flow of guns to Mexico….but actually spend it “wherever” .
(Part II) Mr. Newell takes his nice charts and graphs and establishes himself as the “expert” SAIC on guns going South (after all, he is on the border…right?). Next, he gets himself selected for the attaché position in Mexico (which he was politicking for all along). End result is that he now gets out from under an upside down home loan (thanks to the Government relocation buyback program) and an all expense paid vacation to Mexico. Couple of years socking away big bucks in Mexico (with no expenses) and he will be ready to head back to D.C.
I guess the moral of the story is that there really is an objective to ATF management’s actions. Unfortunately the objectives usually have nothing to do with the best interest of the Government or the public."