Federal agent John Dodson turned whistleblower and exposed the botched gun operation “Fast and Furious” in Phoenix that led to senior-level resignations, 18 months of congressional investigations and the first-ever vote by the House to hold a sitting attorney general in contempt of Congress. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, where Dodson works, is preventing him from publishing a book about gun investigation because the agency says it would hurt morale, the Washington Post reports.
“This would have a negative impact on morale in the Phoenix [field division] and would have a detremental [sic] effect on our relationships with [the Drug Enforcement Administration] and FBI,” the rejection letter said. The American Civil Liberties Union filed a protest with the ATF, strongly objecting to the agency's efforts to block Dodson from publishing his book, which has been written, saying the decision violates his “constitutional protections.” “It was Agent Dodson's disclosures that helped bring the operational failures at the Phoenix field division to light,” the ACLU wrote ATF Deputy Director Thomas Brandon. “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.” A government-wide ban prevents federal employees from receiving compensation “from any source other than the government for teaching, speaking or writing that relates to the employee's official duties.”