Doing no harm

Both the ATF and FBI are banned by the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution so it’s rare that I can be happy about their actions. But at least some of their time is spent doing things that don’t cause innocent people harm. From the WaPo we discover the FBI, ATF Battle for Control Of Cases Cooperation Lags Despite Merger:

In the five years since the FBI and ATF were merged under the Justice Department to coordinate the fight against terrorism, the rival law enforcement agencies have fought each other for control, wasting time and money and causing duplication of effort, according to law enforcement sources and internal documents.

At crime scenes, FBI and ATF agents have threatened to arrest one another and battled over jurisdiction and key evidence. The ATF inadvertently bought counterfeit cigarettes from the FBI — the government selling to the government — because the agencies are running parallel investigations of tobacco smuggling between Virginia and other states.

There is lots of other good stuff to be found in the article, for example:

Some question whether the ATF can survive. “It just doesn’t make sense to have two agencies . . . responding anytime a bomb goes off,” one Justice Department official said.

One could claim that if we can get rid of one then we are half-way there. But that isn’t the way it really works but I will agree it’s a good start.

1 thought on “Doing no harm

  1. Maybe the transition from the Treasury Department to the Justice Department changed the focus of the ATF to oppressive enforcement of laws instead of revenue generation.

    Then again, “Always Think Forfeiture” could just be a reminder….

    The ATF needs to go, along with there “interpretive” ability on law that can change the “legality” of our activities on the drop of a hat.

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