Gestapo Tactics: ATF Threatens French-Style Firing Squad For Agents Who Leak Secrets

Published on October 16, 2013

After months of anguished debate over mass shootings, gun control and Second  Amendment rights, the Justice  Department finds itself on the defensive after a training manual surfaced  that suggests federal agents could face a firing squad for leaking government  secrets. The online manual for the Bureau  of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives — complete with a photo of a  turn-of-the-century firing squad — was obtained by The Washington Times from a  concerned federal law enforcement official, and it immediately drew protests  from watchdogs who said it showed a lack of sensitivity to gun violence and  the continuing hostile environment toward whistleblowers. Stephen Kohn, executive director of  the National Whistleblower  Center, said the DOJ has forgotten about the  protections of the First Amendment, which covers leaks to the media, and that  the photo could scare its employees into self-censorship. The photo “would have a chilling affect on legitimate speech. And some  of the rhetoric used against whistleblowers could be construed as inciting to  violence because they’ve turned up the rhetoric,” Mr.  Kohn said. Justice Department officials said the photo was included as a joke and that they were unaware it  was viewed as offensive by agents. They plan to remove the entry, but not until  the government shutdown is ended and federal officials return to work, said Richard Marianos, the special agent in  charge of the Washington division of ATF. The photo was embedded in the annual Introduction to National Security  Information online course for the ATF, the main  federal law enforcement agency investigating gun violence and illegal gun  trafficking. Read More