Skip to main content

There is a developing scandal involving bad BATFE Sting operations.  I ran across a series of articles on BATFE undercover operations and the serious concerns raised by it.  

The first issue is the targeting of people with mental disabilities and the effective coercion into criminal activity.  We have a special duty to protect people with limited facilities from abuse.  This includes BATFE agents who need someone too mentally limited to ask questions.  

In several of these stings, shops were setup with sofas and Xboxes to draw a crowd of young people.  Alcohol and marijuana were provided.  I would not be surprised if tobacco was also sold to children.   Then months later these children and young adults are charged with a variety of felonies.  Possession of a controlled substance. possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.  Sale of a firearm to a prohibited person.  Sale of an unregistered Short Barreled Shotgun.  And the ones who are not convicted learn to hate and fear the police, regardless of the fact that it was the BATFE, not the local or state police that did this.  At a vulnerable point in their lives young people don't receive mentoring or a good role model, they get a quick lesson on criminal behavior.  

These stings create crime.  By providing an outlet for fencing stolen goods many of these storefronts merely encourage crime where there would  not have been otherwise.  

I have trouble believing that these are rouge operations.  Given that good police practices have well though out rules and that by lacking these rules, I am forced to assume that these are not rouge operations because the agency's leadership either condoned them or failed to exercise something akin to command responsibility.  We have many questions and few answers.  Unfortunately, without a full and complete investigation or a defendant going to trial, I don't think we will learn enough to understand the full program or its implications until that time.  

The best fix is to break up the BATFE, sending the Alcohol and Tobacco parts to the FDA and the Firearms and Explosives portions to the FBI.  Despite the previous abuses, the FBI is a much better home for firearms regulation.  Its not the reason the agency's existence so its not going to receive the same attention and the FBI is regarded as being better run.

Originally posted to DavidMS on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 07:12 PM PST.

Also republished by Badger State Progressive.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site