Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Big trouble at the ATF...

In case you've missed it, there's quite a scandal brewing over at the ATF. Seems the ATF had a special little operation going on where they were letting guns "walk" across the border. Allegedly, the theory was they were going to "follow" the guns and infiltrate the Mexican cartels. As anyone with the least amount of foresight should have been able to see, this operational plan was fraught with peril. It wasn't long until the guns being allowed to walk were showing up at crime scenes in Mexico. The ultimate sign of failure was realized when one of these guns showed up at scene where a US Border Patrol agent, Brian Terry, was killed. That little screwup has led ATF agents to call the Operation (codenamed "Operation Fast and Furious") a complete disaster.

This scandal is allegedly going to cost Ken Melson his job as head of ATF (justifiably so). We hope that in light of this scandal, people take a closer look at Melson and a closer look at some of his other "operations." Specifically, Melson's longtime work with ASCLD/LAB. If you don't know what ASCLD/LAB is, nor what the problem with it may be, we strongly suggest you take a trip over to Amy Driver's blog: Bulletpath.com. Amy has been killing it as far as exposing problems with the forensic science lab community and more often than not the target that winds up in her cross hairs has been ASCLD/LAB and all the ASCLD family.

With the current ATF scandal, Driver has a new post up talking about Melson and his ties to the ASCLD family. FYI, ASCLD/LAB is the "certification" organization for SLED and several other forensic "science" labs here in SC. Given the problems exposed with the whole ASCLD/LAB certification through the NC SBI scandal, the use of the terms "science" and "certification" above is very, very loose. Trust us when we say you will hear a lot more about forensic lab certification issues here in South Carolina in the very near future.

Anyway, Driver's blog is a treasure trove of understanding the issues facing forensic science today. We highly recommend anyone interested in the ATF scandal take a look at her work on Melson and ASCLD/LAB. It is eye-opening...

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