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Tag: President Barack Obama

National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence Urges Obama to Give ATF Resources, Appoint Permanent Director

president obama- white house photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence is urging President Barack Obama to provide  ATF with adequate  resources to battle gun violence and appoint a permanent director for the agency.

In a letter dated Nov. 4, Jim Johnson, the Baltimore County Police chief, who is chair of the anti-gun violence organization, wrote to the President:

As you know, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has lacked a permanent Director since March 31, 2015. Given the critical role ATF plays — through investigation and enforcement — in mitigating the harm caused by armed criminals and illegal firearms, it is vital that ATF be publicly recognized as the critically important law enforcement entity it is, and supported through proper resourcing. That includes, ensuring that ATF has the necessary operating funds and that it has a permanent leader.

Just as the White House could not function effectively without a President, no local, state or federal law enforcement agency can do without leadership. ATF’s hard working agents and staff are adversely impacted and the agency is forced to operate at a deficit when the position of ATF Director is left vacant and without a nominee — regardless of the talent, professionalism or commitment of those who serve in the organization.

We implore you to nominate a permanent Director of ATF, and ask that you do so without delay. The law enforcement community has the utmost respect for and confidence in ATF’s Deputy Director Thomas Brandon, a career ATF special agent who has served with distinction and honor as the agency’s Acting Director since March 2015 and as the ATF Deputy Director since October 2011.

Brandon, who heads the agency, was serving as acting director since April. However, law requires that if he is not nominated for the permanent post after a certain number of days, his title revert back to deputy director. That change in title happened last week.

 

ATF Acting Director Tom Brandon to the Troops: ‘My Title is Changing, My Duties Are Not’

Thomas Brandon

Thomas Brandon

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Tom Brandon, will no longer be the acting director of ATF as of Wednesday.  He’ll be deputy director.

But Brandon wants the troops to know: “My title is changing, my duties are not.”

By law, Brandon can’t hold that interim title of acting director for longer than 210 days. It runs out on midnight Oct. 27. That means on Wednesday,  Brandon will still run the agency, but ATF will not officially have a director. He’ll be the deputy director.

Politico explained recently that the Obama administration, which is coming an end, has no plans to name Brandon or anyone else as a permanent director for the agency. It doesn’t want to expend political capital on what would be a tough battle.  Getting a confirmation on the Hill for any director for ATF is always very challenging, with the NRA often leading the opposition.

Going without a director for extended periods of time can lessen the stature of an agency in the eyes of Congress, and it can also be demoralizing to workers, who may feel that the White House doesn’t consider them a high priority.

Of course, that all comes at a time President Barack Obama is pushing to crack down on guns. ATF’s area of expertise is guns and enforcing the nation’s gun laws. He’s expected to deliver a speech and touch on guns Tuesday afternoon at the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference in Chicago, where Brandon has been for the past several days.

On Monday, Brandon fired off an email to ATF workers, entitled: “My title is changing; my authorities aren’t.”

Here what Brandon wrote:

Since April 1 of this year, I’ve had the honor of serving as your “acting director.” During this time, no one was nominated to be the ATF Director.  Consequently, under a law called the Vacancies Act, I revert back to being your Deputy Director on Wednesday, 10/28/15. Moreover, fromWednesday forward, there can be no ATF Director or Acting ATF Director until a new president enters office (1/20/17). Therefore, until that time, the deputy director position is the top (head) position within our Bureau.
So what does that mean for you and me?  Well for now, I remain the head of ATF, and I promise to do my best to represent you well. You men and women, coupled with our vital public safety mission, are why I haven’t retired. I have had a lifetime of good time on this job. Sure there are moments when I have my professional challenges, just like all of you, and I want to punch out. But after I collect myself and take time to reflect, I realize that I am one of the luckiest guys in the world. I have a job I love. I work with people I love. And I have been able to “produce and provide” for my family . . . who I love beyond words. So, regardless of official title, Brigadier General Ron Turk (who will remain my partner and the # 2 person in charge of ATF) and I, along with the executive team, will continue to make sure we lead our Bureau down the right path with sufficient resources.
You fine men and women should continue to do what you do: focus on your specific mission, step on the gas, and go home safe to your loved ones at the end of the day. And after you do that, take time to count your blessings. And I hope working at ATF is one of them.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio Forced Make to Changes to Satisfy Obama’s Justice Department

Sheriff Joe Arpaio

Sheriff Joe Arpaio

Ryan Reilley
Huffington Post
WASHINGTON —  Arizona’s infamous Sheriff Joe Arpaio — the man who brands himself as “America’s toughest sheriff” and has launched an extensive investigation into whether President Barack Obama is a U.S. citizen — will have to make some changes under a settlement with the federal government on Friday that would resolve some allegations that the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office routinely violated the civil rights of Latinos.

The agreement, approved by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, would partially resolve the lawsuit, specifically the allegations that Arpaio’s office unlawfully detained Hispanic workers during worksite raids and violated their Fourth and 14th Amendment rights as well as the allegation that his office retaliated against critics in violation of the First Amendment.

Separately, the agreement would require Arpaio’s office to expand language access for Hispanics who are held in the county’s jails. Arpaio will still be headed to trial next month to resolve allegations in the lawsuit that his department targeted Latino drivers.

To read the full story click here. 

Oops! President Obama Offends DEA Agents in Drug War Comments

obamaBy Allan Lengel
For AOL News

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama insulted — albeit inadvertently — the folks at the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration today by mentioning the FBI instead of their agency in remarks about the war on drugs.

At a town hall meeting in Washington aired on MTV, the president told a group of young people that his administration is serious about “federal drug enforcement.”

But, he added, “we have to figure out who is it we’re going after because we’ve got limited resources. So decisions that are made by the Justice Department or FBI about prosecuting drug kingpins versus somebody with some small amount, those decisions are made based on how can we best enforce the laws that are on the books.”

Some DEA agents were insulted, saying the DEA is the lead agency on the war on drugs, not the FBI.

“That just goes to show his lack of knowledge,” said one DEA agent, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “Again, it shows me his inadequate knowledge of drug law enforcement. He has no clue.”

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Blago’s Attorney Could Call Pres. Obama as a Witness in June 3 Trial

Ex-Gov. Blagojevich in happier days

Ex-Gov. Blagojevich in happier days

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The realty-TV feel of the ex-Ill. Gov. Rod Blagojevich public corruption case could get all the more intense if the defense calls President Barack Obama as a witness.

One of Blagojevich’s attorneys, Samuel Adams, on Wednesday hinted of the possibility of calling the President as a witness during trial, saying it would be “an awesome experience in any career” to question the leader of the Free World, according to Associated Press.

But Adams said it was too soon to tell whether it will be necessary, the AP reported. The President-elect had been interviewed by the FBI after allegations surfaced that the colorful Blagojevich was trying to sell Obama’s vacated senate seat. Obama is not suspected of any wrongdoing.

Blagojevich, who has repeatedly denied wrongdoing, faces a 19-count indictment that  includes allegatations of trying to sell the senate seat and fundraising abuses.  Trial is set for June 3.