Agent Barred From Writing About Gun Operation, ACLU Says

by Laurie Asseo, Bloomberg  |  published on October 8, 2013

The U.S. government is barring a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent from publishing a book about a botched gun operation called Fast and Furious, the American Civil Liberties Union said.

The ACLU said agent John Dodson of the ATF field division in Phoenix was prohibited from writing about the operation. An ATF ethics official said in a letter that allowing Dodson to publish a book about Fast and Furious could harm morale and the bureau’s relationships with other federal law enforcement agencies, the ACLU said.

In a letter to ATF, the ACLU said the bureau’s policy was too restrictive and violated Dodson’s free-speech rights.

“As a knowledgeable and informed ‘insider’ who was directly involved in Operation Fast and Furious, agent Dodson will add significantly to the national conversation about gun policy and its implementation by federal law enforcement agencies,” the ACLU’s letter said.

Dodson was one of the first law enforcement officials to publicly criticize operations where agents allowed firearms to “walk” — be purchased by straw buyers and cross into Mexico.

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