Monday, March 7, 2011

ATF Orders Its Public Relations Officers To Counter "Gunwalker" Negative News Coverage

Why be concerned with smuggling of guns into Mexico when ATF agents are ordered to let the guns “Walk” into Mexico? Many were shocked by the revelations of an ATF agent last week.
ATF is trying to polish its tarnished image gained from the media coverage of the “Gunwalker” scandal by ordering its 26 national and 6 international field office public information officers to report as many positive ATF stories since the scandal breaking in the two weeks following.
Here’s their leaked memo to the ATF branches…  

“Public Information Officers:
Please make every effort for the next two weeks to maximize coverage of ATF operations/enforcement actions/arrests at the local and regional level. Given the negative coverage by CBS Evening News last week and upcoming events this week, the bureau should look for every opportunity to push coverage of good stories. Fortunately, the CBS story has not sparked any follow up coverage by mainstream media and seems to have fizzled.
It was shoddy reporting , as CBS failed to air on-the-record interviews by former ATF officials and HQ statements for attribution that expressed opposing views and explained the law and difficulties of firearm trafficking investigations. The CBS producer for the story made only a feigned effort at the 11th hour to reach ATF HQ for comment.
This week (To 3/1/2011), Attorney General Holder testifies on the Hill and likely will get questions about the allegations in the story. Also (The 3/3/2011), Mexico President Calderon will visit the White House and likely will testify on the Hill. He will probably draw attention to the lack of political support for demand letter 3 and Project Gunrunner.
ATF needs to proactively push positive stories this week, in an effort to preempt some negative reporting, or at minimum, lessen the coverage of such stories in the news cycle by replacing them with good stories about ATF. The more time we spend highlighting the great work of the agents through press releases and various media outreaches in the coming days and weeks, the better off we will be.
Thanks for your cooperation in this matter. If you have any significant operations that should get national media coverage, please reach out to the Public Affairs Division for support, coordination and clearance.
Thank you,
Scot L. Thomasson
Chief ATF Public Affairs Division

Washington, DC

However, there were  no ”Feel Good” press releases from  any of the international ATF offices in  Mexico, Canada, the Caribbean office in Miami, Columbia, El Salvador, or Iraq.
Philadelphia apparently didn’t get a “cc:” of the email since ATF hasn’t seen a press release from its Philadelphia office since November of 2010. 

Minneapolis really got with it with four stories. Others haven’t checked in with the press with news releases since January or February.  
Here are the ATF positive stories press releases since the order to come up with something last week. How much better do you feel about the ATF activities after reading these?
1.         DALLAS, MARCH 1, 2011 Three Dallas-Area Men Arrested on Federal Firearms Charges Related to Trafficking Firearms to a Mexican Drug Cartel
2.         KANSAS CITY March 2, 2011 ATF Rules Masjid Al-Huda Mosque Fire as Accidental
3.         Lexington, Ky. FEBRUARY 5, 2011 Explosives Detection Canine Helps Miami Prepare for Super Bowl XLIV
Lexington, Ky. FEBRUARY 5, 2011 University of Kentucky Police Department Explosives Detection Canine Helps Miami Prepare for Super Bowl XLIV

4.      NASHVILLE March 4, 2011 Nine Defendants Indicted on Federal Drug and Firearm Charges

5.         MINNEAPOLIS  March 4, 2011 Felon Sentenced as an Armed Career Criminal for Possessing a .40 Caliber Handgun
MINNEAPOLIS March 4, 2011 Felon Sentenced For Possessing a 12-Gauge Shotgun
MINNEAPOLIS MARCH 3, 2011 Duluth Man Sentenced for Distributing Crack Cocaine and Being a Career Criminal
MINNEAPOLIS March 4, 2011 Porcupine Man Pleads Guilty to Illegal Possession of a Firearm
6.         BALTIMORE MARCH 4, 2011 Anne Arundel County Man Exiled to 7 Years in Prison for Illegal Possession of a Gun
7.         COLUMBUS MARCH 1, 2011 Logan County Man Charged with Illegally Possessing Machine Guns
8.         HOUSTON MARCH 3, 2011 Somerset Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Charges in Connection with July and August 2010 Bomb Explosions
9.       NEW ORLEANS, MARCH 2, 2011 Life Sentence Handed Down in Arkansas Doctor Bombing

10.       SEATTLE MARCH 1, 2011 Wapato Man Sentenced to 150 Months Imprisonment for Burglary and Possession of Stolen Firearms


ATF MOST WANTED                       

Osama bin Laden portrait.jpg

"Mujahid, this is just how we fit you for your AK47. It looks like a 34 inch one with an underfolder."

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