The Boston Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has a new Special Agent in Charge, the Associated Press reported yesterday. Special Agent Daniel Kumor, whose credentials before joining ATF in 1988 include stints as a police officer and Deputy United States Marshal, assumed the helm in September.
Per ATF’s website, Kumor’s new assignment puts him in charge of a division “responsible for ATF criminal enforcement and industry regulatory operations throughout the six New England states.” But it’s an earlier assignment that should raise questions that could shed some light on an ongoing and longstanding investigation.
“Other assignments include supervisory special agent in the Seattle Field Division, and chief of ATF’s Special Operations Training Branch; chief, Legislative Affairs and chief, Office of International Affairs,” a September 19 ATF’s press release on Kumor’s new responsibilities announced.
“In 2009, he was appointed as the chief of the ATF's Office of International Affairs and oversaw ATF operations in offices in Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, and Europe,” the AP story elaborates.
That assignment overlapped the timeline for when Operation Fast and Furious “gunwalking” was sanctioned by ATF. And Kumor’s level of tangential involvement merits scrutiny.
That involvement is mentioned several times in last year’s Office of Inspector General report, where it was documented that Kumor had recruited support for prosecuting trafficking cases, that he’d attended high-level meeting[s] “that addressed firearms trafficking on the Southwest Border” and “the number of [firearms] recoveries” in Mexico, that he was present in an after-meeting conversation where Office of Strategic Intelligence and Information Assistant Director James McDermond expressed his concern that “something is not right here,” and that when “asked whether they were allowing guns to go into Mexico … Kumor replied, ‘We can’t do that . . . the Ambassador won’t allow this.’”
In January of 2011, Gun Rights Examiner reported exclusive information provided by whistleblower sources that “The ATF office in Mexico was denied permission to share this information with their Mexican counterparts. Believing this was wrong, they went over the heads of the Phoenix office and requested permission directly from headquarters in DC. The higher-ups sided with the Phoenix decision to withhold the information from Mexican authorities.”
In July of 2011, Mike Vanderboegh of Sipsey Street Irregulars reported on House Oversight Committee findings that documented “Frustrations reached a boiling point, leading former ATF Attaché Darren Gil to engage in screaming matches with his supervisor, International Affairs Chief Daniel Kumor, about the need to shut down the Phoenix-based investigation.”
Gil had called Kumor to inquire why he and his staff were unable to access information about recovered guns from the E-Trace database, and was merely told there was “an ongoing investigation,” with no further information provided, Matthew Boyle of The Daily Caller reported at that time. “’They’re looking at straw purchasers, they have cooperative Federal Firearms Licensees and it sounds like a significant investigation,’ Gil said Kumor told him, adding that ‘he didn’t have access to the trace information either.’ But Gil said Kumor told him every official ‘on the chain’ up to Kumor from Phoenix was ‘aware of the investigation.’”
This raises several direct questions that do not appear to have been asked and/or reported by the OIG, and that merit straight answers, including:
What did he know and when did he know it? Did Kumor, in his position as chief of ATF’s International Affairs office, know guns were being allowed to be smuggled into Mexico, or did he truly believe that would not have been allowed?
If he did know, what did he do about it? Did he communicate with anyone about it? Is there a document trail of memos and emails that could be followed? If he did not know, who in ATF and/or the Department of Justice would have had the authority to withhold that information of such an operation within his jurisdiction from him?
Someone might also ask new ATF Director B. Todd Jones if a plum assignment is what he means by holding personnel involved in Fast and Furious accountable. Unfortunately, based on the current totality of stories by "Authorized Journalists" / "legitimate media" / "real reporters," that someone will probably not be employed by any establishment outlets government is jockeying to give special protections to.
Whether it will be Darrell Issa remains to be seen.
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