Note: Once again, no civil servant, from GS1 to GS19.5 makes these
decisions. Also seems to confirm our assertion that not all were
headed to Sinaloa, and a lot made to the home boys.
House of Representatives - POLITICS
Holder Suggests 'Fast and Furious' Guns Will Be Used in Crimes for
'Years to Come'
Published December 08, 2011
Dec. 8, 2011: Attorney General Eric Holder testifies on
Capitol Hill in Washington before the House Judiciary Committee.
WASHINGTON – Attorney General Eric Holder suggested Thursday that
weapons lost during the course of the failed "Fast and Furious"
gunrunning operation will continue to show up at crime scenes in the
U.S. and Mexico "for years to come."
Holder, in testimony on Capitol Hill that comes as the congressional
investigation into the program expands, decried the "gun-walking"
tactic used in the operation as "inexcusable" and "wholly
unacceptable." But a day after an influential senator called for the
resignation of one of Holder's top deputies over the scandal, Holder
denied department leaders played any role in the crafting of "Fast
He continued to assert that top Justice officials were not told about
the "inappropriate tactics" until they were made public.
Still, the top law enforcement official in the country conceded that,
as a result of "Fast and Furious," guns lost by the Bureau of
Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives remain in the hands of
"Although the department has taken steps to ensure that such tactics
are never used again, it is an unfortunate reality that we will
continue to feel the effects of this flawed operation for years to
come," he said. "Guns lost during this operation will continue to
show up at crime scenes on both sides of the border."
Congress has been investigating "Fast and Furious" for nearly a year.
Scrutiny of the program intensified after guns from the program were
found at the scene of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry's murder.
Republican lawmakers in recent weeks have complained about
inconsistencies in the Justice Department's public accounting of the
program over the past year. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, the
ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, on Wednesday
pointed to those alleged inconsistencies in calling for the
resignation of Lanny Breuer, chief of the department's criminal
division. Grassley accused Breuer of withholding information about
gunwalking tactics used in a Bush administration-era program known as
Wide Receiver, and of not being forthcoming about whether he saw a
Justice letter to Congress in February that inaccurately claimed ATF
was not letting illegal guns walk across the U.S.-Mexico border.
Though Breuer denies seeing the memo, Grassley pointed to emails that
show he was sent a draft of the letter.
The Justice Department is standing by Breuer, and Holder testified
Thursday that department heads were not aware of the program early on.
"The documents produced to date also belie the remarkable notion that
this operation was conceived by department leaders, as some have
claimed," Holder said. "It is my understanding that department
leaders were not informed about the inappropriate tactics employed in
this operation until those tactics were made public and, as is
customary, turned to those with supervisory responsibility over the
operation in an effort to learn the facts."
Holder said such a program "must never happen again," but effectively
urged lawmakers to move on -- and tackle the broader issue of the
flow of firearms into Mexico.
"We cannot afford to allow the tragic mistakes of 'Operation Fast and
Furious' to become a political sideshow or a series of media
opportunities," he said. "Instead, we must move forward and recommit
ourselves to our shared public safety obligations."
He used the occasion to prod Congress to support efforts to give the
Justice Department broader legal tools to track firearms purchases.
But Republican lawmakers continued to put pressure on Holder about
how he's responding to the operation.
"This project was failed and flawed from the beginning," said Rep.
Darrell Issa, R-Calif., questioning why Holder has not terminated the
"many people involved" with the program.
"Mr. Attorney General, the blame must go to your desk," Issa said.
Holder later said that he's "ultimately responsible" for actions in
the department, but stressed the actions he's taken to get to the
bottom of the operation once he learned about it.
Despite the controversy over the inaccurate February letter from
Justice, Holder also stated: "Nobody in the Justice Department has
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/12/08/holder-suggests-