The scandal surrounding the Obama administration’s operation “Fast and Furious,” which sent thousands of American guns to Mexican drug cartels, continues to escalate. Senior officials and a new trove of documents released yesterday further confirm that the Justice Department provided false information about the deadly scheme to Congress. And the number of Congressman demanding Attorney General Eric Holder’s resignation has now soared well above 50. The administration was forced to release more than 1,300 pages of documents related to the gun-trafficking program. The subpoenaed records reveal frantic e-mail communications between senior officials about how vigorously to defend the operation, as well as concerns about the veracity of some of the proposed defenses.
Several of the exchanges also expressed worries that if the administration were to cooperate with the congressional investigation, Congress would press for even more information. Others highlight the general fear among those involved that exposure would damage the image of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (still known as ATF).
One e-mail from U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke, who oversaw much of the gun trafficking, recommends sending a “stern missive” to the Arizona Republic newspaper for exposing the scheme. "Just baffling that they refuse to engage even just to protect the integrity of the agency,” he wrote in a February 1 e-mail to Justice Department Criminal Division boss Lanny Breuer. In another e-mail, Burke complains that congressional investigators were acting as “willing stooges” for defenders of the right to keep and bear arms.
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Photo of Attorney General Eric Holder