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More on the ATF hearings

Not good. JPFO reports:

In our past alerts concerning the BATFE Congressional hearings ( http://www.jpfo.org/alert20060213.htm ), we told you to keep your eyes open and watch for betrayal. Pay attention to who defends or justifies the actions of the BATFE. Look for “compromises” that only compromise YOUR rights.

Not surprisingly, we were right to be concerned.

The hearings, originally scheduled for 2pm EST today, were quietly rescheduled to 2:30pm. Additionally, the webcast was dropped, although the link to it is still on the site ( http://judiciary.house.gov/schedule.aspx ) as of this writing. Callers to the Judiciary received the explanation that the hearing was “scheduled in a room that did not have webcast equipment.”

[We were also reassured that "...the Chairman supports the Second Amendment." Of course, so does Charles Schumer ( http://www.jpfo.org/2nd-setup.htm ). The real question is, "How MUCH does the Chairman support it?"]

Although the Judiciary promises that the written testimony will be on the site ( http://judiciary.house.gov/oversight.aspx?ID=216 ) by 5pm EST today, we will have no accurate record of what actually transpired. The testimony, after all, was submitted earlier and does not necessarily reflect the actual testimony. It also does not cover the question and answer period following the testimony.

Due to this “mishap”, we have successfully been prevented from seeing and hearing our government justify actions which cannot ethically BE justified (it should be fascinating to see if any alleged “pro-gun” groups try to tell us what great friends we have in Congress!).

Stuff like this should not stand. Call your congressperson and pester the crap out of them.

11 Responses to “More on the ATF hearings”

  1. countertop Says:

    Uh, I don’t get what the problem is?

    Delaying the hearing 30 minutes is scandalous????? Come on. Get real.

    I can understand the frustration over the lack of a web cast – its something I face often – but the fact remains it is still a heavy lift to get a hearing webcasted and only a small fraction of what Congress does is actually broadcast – in video – over the web. 3 years ago I’d say the amount that was webcast was closer to 0 than 5%. Sorry, but thats not a scandal, its just reality. If they were interested in the hearing . . . indeed if anyone was, they could always have gone to witness it in person or hired one of numerous outfits around town to record it for themselves (we have 2 or 3 on retainer to videotope congressional hearings simply because so few are broadcast).

    As far as the hearing transcript, written testimony is just that, written testimony. The actual oral presentations are always slightly different and a transcription will be available for anyone to review in the Congressional Record.

    Ya know, its wholly disengenuous scare tactic crap like this which makes me really question the veracity of so called “pure” 2nd Amendment organizations. The only conclusion I can reach when reading 99% of their materials is either they are nearly full of shit or that they have no clue whatsoever how the political process works (and I’m not talking backroom deals here, just the day in and day out procedures that have been carried on for 200+ years) and any donation to them amounts to a huge waste of time and resources.

    I never really had an opinion about JPFO but if this is even mildly representative of the crap they put out then they are just as worthless and full of shit as GOA.

    Whatever your complaints about the NRA at least they know how government works and can not only get a phone call returned but have a pretty good track record of moving the ball forward on 2nd amendment issues..

  2. SayUncle Says:

    My issue with it is that the Q&A section won’t be available. And, of course, a transcript does not give you the full view of what transpired the way a video could. And the testimony submitted may not reflect the actuall testimony as said. Just sayin’.

    JPFO may have overreacted though.

  3. countertop Says:

    The congressional record will indeed have a transcript of the Q&A and the actual oral testimony in addition to the written testimony submitted (in fact, anyone can submit any written testimony to any hearing). The entire hearing will be available. I understand the concerns about a transcript not giving you the whole flavor – but the really, its not necessary. These things are so so so well staged that there really is no flavor or anything substantive to be garnered from reactions on video. The questions asked – and the answers provided – are a much better insight into where one side or the other is coming from.

  4. Standard Mischief Says:

    Good info, countertop.

    The JPFO state “The hearings, originally scheduled for 2pm EST today, were quietly rescheduled to 2:30pm”. They are implying that it was originally scheduled to be held in a webcasting room, and also was on the schedule to be recorded. I went to the website, http://judiciary.house.gov/schedule.aspx , and yes, it still does appear to be on the official schedule for February 28, 2006, although the time is now set at 2:30.

    Tuesday 02/28/2006 – 2:30 PM
    2237 Rayburn House Office Building
    Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security
    Oversight Hearing on the “Bureau of Alochol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) Part ll: Gun Show Enforcement.

    The JPFO are claiming a last minute, irregular change in room and time. I believe you when you state that < 5% are webcast, but are you stating that these last moment rescheduled hearings happen all the time?

    Maybe you can argue they happen all the time. Wasn’t the hearings on Vince Foster’s death squelched over “respect for his family”?

    Didn’t that kid come forth with allegations of abuse by David Koresh at a critical moment during the Waco hearings?

    And who can forget that anonymous Kuwait girl (that just happened to be the daughter of a diplomat) and her tear jerking (and totally made up) testimony about the Iraq troops coming in to the hospitals, removing the infants from the incubators, and then stealing them and other hospital equipment?

    I’m not trying to come across as a conspiracy nut, just someone cynical about the effectiveness of congressional hearings. And I stand by my original comment:


    Unfortunately the record for real lasting change as a result of a congessonal-critter hearing^H^H “dog and pony show” is pretty piss poor. It might be a vehicle for some more legislation regulating the tobacco ninjas, there might be a bit of defunding somewhere, but no agents are going to be arrested or fired. No laws restricting the freedom of citizens are going to be repealed. No part of the federal bureaucracy is going to be dismantled.

  5. countertop Says:

    What the hell kind of conspiracy is invovled in pushing the start of a hearing back half an hour?

    Do you really think there was some mischevious plot invovled in delaying a hearing 30 minutes? ESPECIALLY in light of your “original comment” which I generally agree with.

    Rooms are moved for hearings perhaps 40% of the time in my experience, much more when its a subcommittee hearing. Schedules change, attendence estimates change, etc.

    As far as not starting on time? Since when does ANYTHING in DC start on time. Heck, they ought to be commended for actually changing the start time in stead of simply making people sit around for 30 minutes while they try to get everyone ready for the hearing. People could be stuck in traffic, or there could be a delay in voting on the floor. Or perhaps lunch was especially good and someone needed to take a shit.

    And what the hell does a 30 minute delay have to do with hearings over Vince Foster and David Koresh or some girl from Kuwati? Do you think people will decided to “stay quite” because something is delayed 30 minutes?

    Its 30 freaking minutes. Thats not a big deal.

  6. countertop Says:

    And seriously, if a 30 minute delay prevented JPFO from doing their job, perhaps they need to find a new job

  7. Standard Mischief Says:

    They are not claiming that it started 30 minutes late, they are saying it got rescheduled suspiciously, and relocated suspiciously. I cannot conform or deny their claims.

    No it’s not a big whoop ass conspiracy. I’m just claiming that it might be typical congressional-critter standard mischief. Now the critters that have voters in their district can say to them that they “did something”.

    Congress looked at the Iraqi invasion, congress looked at abuse by the IRS, congress looked into Waco, congress looked into Vince Foster… The nation’s business is being taken care of (or at least it looks that way). congress in on the ball (or at least it looks that way). Have another beer and go back to your idiot box, memories of this should fade before the next election (hopefully).

    But yea, let’s hope JPFO (or say the NRA, or perhaps GOA), or someone brings their own damn camcorder next time

  8. Ninth Stage » Blog Archive » BATFE Dodges Sunlight Says:

    [...] Say Uncle has been all over this. [...]

  9. Standard Mischief Says:

    Have another beer and go back to your idiot box, memories of this should fade before the next election (hopefully).

    Just in case I was misunderstood, Countertop, that was directed toward “Joe Sixpack” in gereral and not you or anyone specificly.

  10. countertop Says:

    No problem. I did understand that, and do agree with you on that point.

  11. Standard Mischief Says:

    There’s still some standard mischief going on by those congress-critters. Not exactly watergate, but the promised transcript of the Q&A is still not up, almost a week later.

Remember, I do this to entertain me, not you.

Uncle Pays the Bills


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