Western Journalism is reporting on a recently surfaced e-mail that shows Kenneth Melson and other officials at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives did indeed know about the operation despite continued denials of that knowledge.
The e-mail from January 2011 shows Director Kenneth Melson and chief council Steve Rubenstein discussing the operation
Melson found out about a web site posting referring to AR-15 rifles “walked” across the border to drug cartels and asked Rubenstein for advice as to how he should handle the situation.
According to the report, Rubenstein responded that public disclosure could endanger agents and that if the person divulging the information was an employee the person would be liable for disciplinary action under the code of conduct rules of the department.
Melson responded that he would refer the matter to Internal Affairs for investigation. The Obama Administration, including then director Melson, have denied any knowledge of this operation.