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« Bailout Comedy: SNL Sketch on the Bailouts with Soros, Frank and Pelosi | Main | HOLY SHIT: Barclays Got Punked »

VIDEO: Fast & Furious Whistleblower Fired At DENNY's

Eric Holder, this is getting ridiculous.

Termination papers in the parking lot at Denny's.

It doesn't pay to tell the truth.  Full story below.



Special Agent Vince Cefalu has worked for the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms for more than 25 years. On top of successfully placing dozens of hard criminals behind bars throughout his career, Cefalu has received promotions and consistently positive evaluations. When he started raising his voice about ATF corruption and illegal wiretapping in 2005, things changed.  Tuesday evening, Cefalu was asked to meet Special Agent in Charge of the San Francisco Field Division Joseph Riehl at a Denny's Restaurant near Lake Tahoe. When he arrived, he was served termination papers in the parking lot. Classy move. The exchange was secretly recorded by a confidential source.

The video, shaky at times from being handheld, and with color imbalance streaking happening inadvertently in the uploading to YouTube, was recorded by a confidential source and shows Cefalu approached by two ATF management representatives including Joseph M. Riehl, Special Agent in Charge of the San Francisco Field Division, which encompasses Northern California and Nevada field offices.

Riehl, seen talking to Cefalu through his Jeep window and reportedly telling him he couldn’t leave because he had to sign papers, had been criticized on the CUATF forum, and Gun Rights Examiner is attempting to track down audit reports to determine what an independent assessment reveals about the allegations there. But the bottom line is, an employee with over 25 years of service who has been a leading spokesman for whistleblowers was unceremoniously canned in a public parking lot by senior division management.

Cefalu was placed on administrative leave a year and a half ago after speaking out about Operation Fast and Furious. In 2009, he launched the website CleanUpATF.org in order for agents within ATF to blow the whistle on corrupt behavior anonymously due to the agency's history of retaliation against those who "jump their chain of command." His website is where bloggers and news reporters first saw allegations of gunwalking. The site is heavily monitored by the Department of Justice.

In the February 2012 issue of Townhall Magazine, Cefalu detailed the ATF corruption leading up to Fast and Furious and his retaliation case coming from inside the bureau that led to his firing this week.

Continue reading (there's much more)...



Here's an update:

WATCH: Man Confesses To Brian Terry's Murder


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Reader Comments (17)

Good coverage here, DB. The punishment of whistleblowers trying to rein in criminal behavior is official policy now the U.S. has gone full-tilt fascist. Here's another whistleblower story (by William Cohan), in which the S.E.C. breaks the law to punish a whistleblower so that JP Morgan could continue facilitating illegal trading activity.


Abridged version: S.E.C. begins investigation of illegal after-hours trading by a mutual fund client of JP Morgan, where documents are sought by S.E.C. JP Morgan assigns compliance with investigation to employee, who finds emails showing JP Morgan set up $100+ mllion line of credit used by mutual find client to illegally trade. Employee sends emails up ranks of JPM, which removes employee from case.

JPM employee goes to S.E.C. with the incriminating emails responsive to the investigation that it had launched. Rather than do its job and go after JPM, the S.E.C. breaks the law and rats out the whistleblower to JPM, which promptly fires whistleblower. Oh, yeah, one of the emails was from Jamie Dimon himself asking about the illegal mutual fund trading company.

The evidence of criminal activity by the TBTF banks continues piling up at an accelarating rate, exactly what you'd expect in a political system that rewards crime and punishes people and companies that do the right thing. Eventually, the fraud and the theft, which have only gotten bigger and bolder since causing the 2008 crisis, will cause an even worse crisis.

When it happens, the two principal accessories after the fact to the TBTF crimes, the media and high-ranking officials like Bernanke, will say the crisis was unforeseeable. The only questions will be whether (1) people will believe their horseshit a second time and (2) the financial system survives the next go-round.
Oct 13, 2012 at 9:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterCheyenne
The government is corrupt all the way to the top. Fire Holder and impeach Obama for multiple counts of obstruction of justice using the NDAA as a shield. Then work all the way back until every living President and their minions dating back to Reagan goes to jail. Everyone fired by Holder's office needs to have their terminations reviewed. Then empty the current house, senate, and every governor in every state.
Then deport their banker friends to hard labor camps in China. They can make shoes for Nike.
Then start over with a brand new government and this time EVERY citizen's duty will be to monitor, forever, the people controlling American businesses, banks, and taxes.
Oct 14, 2012 at 12:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterGrace
Grace, this nation's #1 problem is the campaign bribes that flow to our congress members to write the rules to accommodate the corruption and then turn their heads while the public's pockets are picked. Your suggestion is excellent but we may first need a bloody rebellion. I think it's China that executes their corrupt politicians.
Oct 14, 2012 at 1:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Lohman
It is amazing how far this nation has fallen.
Oct 15, 2012 at 1:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterS. Gompers

It certainly doesn't help when one of the "good guys," in this case Neil Barofsky, gets on national TV to perpetuate TBTF threats that a 2nd great depression can be avoided only if the law is suspended to allow the bailed out banks to continue their illegal predations. If that's not sickening enough, the bird-brained titillation that lights up the faces of the newscasters as Barofsky makes this announcement ought to do the trick (cue to 2:00):


Barofsky is a lawyer and knows full well that he's pissing all over a fundamental legal axiom:

Fiat justitia ruat caelum: Let justice be done though the heavens may fall.

And Barofsky's not just wrong on the law, he's wrong on the facts as well. How many times do we have to see such threats fail to materialize before we realize they're just another case of crying wolf?

The entire interview bears strong indicia of having been scripted, moreover, which makes the whole spectacle that much more nauseous.
Oct 15, 2012 at 10:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterCheyenne
Dayum Cheyenne. You are right. The looks on the faces of the teleprompter readers is just gleeful. I can't believe Barofsky would go on to say such stuff. You think someone finally rattled him enough?
Oct 15, 2012 at 11:40 AM | Unregistered CommenterSKINFLINT
I know Cheyenne, lady Justice is blindfolded, gagged, bound, and being gang raped.
Oct 15, 2012 at 12:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterS. Gompers
Something tells me that this was a few rogue guys who saw an opportunity to get the taxpayers to pay for the guns they sold on the black market, and then devised this plot to divert the blame. It did not start political on either side.
Oct 15, 2012 at 12:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Lohman
I doubt it. If he could be rattled that easily, it would have happened long before he dropped bombs all over the bailed out banks as SIGTARP and then again on Wall Street puppets like Tim Geithner in his book "Bailout."

His book, on that note, does not address the issue of whether the TARP bailout was necessary. Rather, it addresses the fraud and scams inherent in the distribution of funds after the TARP legislation was already in place.

But on TV, whie promoting the book, he did concede that TARP "helped" avoid a meltdown, always in response to leading questions from meat puppets eager to advance the talking points of their Wall Street handlers. Usually he did so quickly so he could get to his own beefs, e.g., Geithner's characterizaion of HAMP as a way to "foam the runway" for the bailout banks.

My guess is that Neil Barofsky simply hasn't studied the issue all that much, and that in lieu of an informed opinion on "what would happen" we are witnessing the residual ooze of propaganda that results from spending too much time in the House of Wall Street Mirrors that describes every mainstream media TV studio.
Oct 15, 2012 at 12:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterCheyenne

I value your opinions, but c'mon, are you serious. Are you paying close attention to the F&F story. It's not even close to what you imagine.
Oct 15, 2012 at 1:19 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
"My guess is that Neil Barofsky simply hasn't studied the issue all that much, and that in lieu of an informed opinion on "what would happen" we are witnessing the residual ooze of propaganda."

I'd second that (and nicely put, too). I love what Barofsky has done, but he's wrong on TARP.
Oct 15, 2012 at 1:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterPitchfork
I would agree that he KNOWS about rampant fraud from the outset of TARP, which is well documented. It was the area for which he was hired to investigate. Wouldn't you think that he would make the assumption that there was fraud before tarp. I think he addressed this a little in his book when he describes the leverage issue. I had the pages marked I will have to go back and look. Thanks.
Oct 15, 2012 at 2:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterSKINFLINT
"My guess is that Neil Barofsky simply hasn't studied the issue all that much, and that in lieu of an informed opinion on "what would happen" we are witnessing the residual ooze of propaganda."


My guess, because I've noticed the same thing from Barofsky in several interviews, is that he's simply choosing his battle to fight. If he disagrees on the TARP necessity question, then the interview will be sidetracked to a 5-minute discussion of the fearmongering by Paulson, ATMs not working, blood in the streets, and whether any of that is true.

Meanwhile, the interview is now over and Barofsky didn't get to make any of his points about Geithner and fraud.

That said, I don't agree with this approach. He should just say whenver asked the ridiculous leading question "Didn't TARP save us from the abyss?"

'No, absolutely not. That was nonsense promoted to advance the bailout agenda, but that's not what I'm here to discuss.'

And then proceed to kick Geithner's ass all the way back to Dartmouth, or Johns Hopkins, take your pick.
Oct 15, 2012 at 2:36 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Good points, Daily. Definitely he's doing what you suggest, whether he believes the lies otherwise or not. You can't be a "serious" person if you deny that TARP saved the world. You can, however (just barely), criticize the implementation.
Oct 15, 2012 at 2:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterPitchfork
Regardless of whether people think TARP saved the financial system (a matter of pure speculation), there is no excuse whatsoever for anyone, particularly a lawyer, to agree that laws shouldn't be enforced to avoid [INSERT SPECULATION/THREAT HERE]. And that's what Barofsky says in the Bloomberg clip above.

This is not hard to figure out, either: once the law is subordinated, then the system has reverted to the Divine Right of Kings, or worse, and isn't worth saving in the first place. We're supposed to trade the certitude of law for the fantasy that we avoided the personal apocalypse of a few bankers? What a sick joke. The rule of law deserves better treatment than as the calamari appetizer on an Olive Garden menu, to be selected by a few only when it serves their purposes.
Oct 15, 2012 at 3:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterCheyenne
Then add the story where Lanny Breuer said something akin to the following:

"If a defense attorney can make the case to us (at DOJ) that criminally charging their CEO or other executives for financial fraud, could cause instability in the financial system, then we invite them to do so. We are here to listen."

So, there's your rule of law, Cheyenne.
Oct 15, 2012 at 4:09 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Yes, indeed, that speech by Breuer to the NYC Bar Association will go down as a classic in the annals of fascism, for in it the DOJ provides the corporate defense lawyers in attendance with a blueprint for how to exculpate their criminal clients. For those lawyers who were too busy committing crimes to catch Lanny's whitewashing algorithm in person, the DOJ's website has it posted.

"We are frequently on the receiving end of presentations from defense counsel, CEOs, and economists who argue that the collateral consequences of an indictment would be devastating for their client. In my conference room, over the years, I have heard sober predictions that a company or bank might fail if we indict, that innocent employees could lose their jobs, that entire industries may be affected, and even that global markets will feel the effects. Sometimes – though, let me stress, not always – these presentations are compelling."


Though he claimed that such fear-mongering PowerPoint presentations were "not always... compelling," Breuer did not identify any that had failed.
Oct 15, 2012 at 4:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterCheyenne

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