Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

Holder: 'Fast and Furious' Tactics will not be Tolerated

Tuesday, November 8, 2011 |

By Terry Frieden,
CNN Justice Producer


Attorney General Eric Holder said Tuesday that the controversial tactic that allowed illegal guns to be smuggled to Mexico "should never have happened, and it must never happen again."

In testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Holder hit hard at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives practice that has tainted his tenure at the Justice Department, and led to some Republican calls for him to resign.

"I want to be clear: Any instance of so-called 'gun walking' is unacceptable," Holder said of weapons smuggling, later adding: "This operation was flawed in its concept, and flawed in its execution."

Holder acknowledged what critics have been saying about the long-term consequences of "gun walking."



"Unfortunately we will feel its effects for years to come, as guns that were lost during this operation continue to show up at crime scenes both here and in Mexico," Holder said. "We are losing the battle to stop the flow of illegal guns to Mexico."

Holder defended his own actions, reminding the panel he called for the inspector general to examine the so-called Operation Fast and Furious and issued a directive that "gun-walking" was illegal and should never be repeated. The resulting report may be concluded before the end of the year.

However, Holder stopped short of laying blame for the flawed operation. Last week, his assistant attorney general, Lanny Breuer, expressed "regret" for his failure to alert Holder about the operation.

Republican critics said Breuer knew of the program that repeated practices from an earlier operation under the Bush administration, and called for Holder to crack down on those responsible.

"The bottom line is that it doesn't matter how many laws we pass if those responsible for enforcing them refuse to do their duty -- as was the case in Fast and Furious," Republican Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa said in his opening statement.

In a statement issued after the hearing, Grassley said Holder "did a lot of dodging and weaving" and said Justice officials took months to correct "misleading" information provided to Congress earlier this year.

"Congress deserves more candid and honest responses to our questions," he said.

Holder made a plea to the committee for strengthening the authority of the ATF to detect and disrupt illegal gun trafficking, and urged full funding for the ATF to combat gun-running.

In addition, he took an apparent swipe at his Republican critics.

"I am determined to ensure that our shared concerns about Operation Fast and Furious lead to more than headline-grabbing Washington 'gotcha' games and cynical political point scoring," Holder concluded.

Holder has the strong support of fellow Democrat Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, chairman of the committee, who opened the hearing by reciting successes by the Justice Department under Holder's leadership. On Monday, Leahy tried to lower the heat on Holder by blaming the Bush administration for first allowing the "gun-walking" tactic.

In a letter to the Justice Department inspector general, Leahy asked whether the current investigation also will cover the Bush-era supervision of the ATF.

Leahy said that during another operation, called Wide Receiver, in 2006, "hundreds of weapons apparently moved beyond the custody and control of the ATF and possibly into Mexico and Arizona." Leahy also said then-Attorney General Michael Mukasey may have been briefed in the case in 2007.

Holder faces what is likely to be a much more hostile environment next month when he testifies before a House panel where Republican Darrell Issa, R-California, will wield the gavel and control the questioning.

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12 Borderland Beat Comments:

Anonymous said...

"Holder made a plea to the committee for strengthening the authority of the ATF to detect and disrupt illegal gun trafficking, and urged full funding for the ATF to combat gun-running"

Yeah I bet he'd like that, maybe they would get away with it this time. Holder and Obama lied thousands of people died.

Anonymous said...

Pay attention, people. If you ever need to deflect or pass the buck, this guy is writing the book! Bbbbbbbulshit! All this asshole cares about is his own ass, Obamas ass, and all his buddies that got pay offs (stimulus money) these last three years. Time to let the peace loving hippies go, and stop this sorry attempt at our Nations leadership. And take that giant fat bitch lesbian with him!

Anonymous said...

Admit nothing,deny everything,make counter accusations OUR FED govt. at work,makes you proud.The ATF has been and is a great example of what you can expect,arrigant,half baked,politically motivated. Its not just Obama its the National Cancer of bigger,expanding,govt control, sorry they botched another one,its embarrasing.

Anonymous said...

Holder coming down on the ATF with the Fury. What was the ATF thinking? That this was gonna be like the Bush administration and they were gonna do nothing.. Think again ATF scumbags who armed Mexican terrorist groups. Holder and Obama are coming at you with the Fury.

Texcoco said...

This guy is full of shit.

Anonymous said...

Lying creep.

Anonymous said...

As clear and blatant as this liar is.... if you take US political history of situations like this into account I bet they all get away with it while all the outraged keyboard jockeys fume from their homes and do nothing real about it but feel like they have. The internet is for lazy people. Get out and do something about it people. Organize protests or something.

Anonymous said...

what if Mexico did "Fast And Furious" on USA ?

And instead of so-called "gun walking" did "drugs walking" or whatever they call it.

Anonymous said...

If Holder knew---he needs to be prosecuted.
If Holder didn't know--prosecute for deriliction of duty.
Talk was to disband ATF after fiasco at Waco and Ruby Ridge. They are no better now and the head and involved should be prosecuted--not transferred!!

Anonymous said...

Maybe the government would be better off arming the citizens and not the sinaloa cartel?

Anonymous said...

They should hang Holder so high that he dies due to lack of oxygen. He knew very well what was happening and now he is trying to save his ass.

Anonymous said...

This was a government scandal designed to insight fear and Justify the institute of more gun control. Holder is a whore and the ATF now have the blood of innocent Mexicans and Americans on it's hands. Obama is no different than the murders he pretends to despise.

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