The controversy surrounding the disastrous Operation Fast and Furious (part of Project Gunrunner) has prompted a congressional investigation which is quickly heating up as more facts emerge. The investigation has led Congress to question Attorney General Eric Holder as to how much he knew of the operation, and how long he was sitting on the knowledge that known Mexican drug cartel members were permitted by the officials of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (still known as ATF) to walk with weapons provided by the ATF. The inquiry has resulted in an exchange of scathing letters between Holder and the investigation head, House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.).
Operation Fast and Furious was launched in 2009 in an effort to target major gunrunners. The stated plan was to follow gun purchasers in the hopes that the suspects would lead the ATF to major heads of Mexican cartels. Unfortunately, some of those same deadly weapons were found at crime scenes in both Mexico and the United States, and were involved in the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry last year.
Attorney General Holder has done his best to distance himself from the failed gunwalking operation. However, one week ago, Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), a ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, distributed five separate memos from July and August of 2010 addressed to Holder, which cite Operation Fast and Furious by name. The documents implicate Holder, proving he likely knew about the program for at least a year.
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Photo: Rep. Darrell Issa