“If Attorney General Holder had said these things five months ago when Congress asked him about Operation Fast and Furious, it might have been more believable. At this point, however, it’s hard to take at face value a defense that is factually questionable, entirely self-serving and a still incomplete account of what senior Justice Department officials knew about gun-walking.” Frederick Hill, a spokesman for Congressman Darrel Issa, commenting on Eric Holder’s first detailed remarks to Congress in the Fast and Furious operation run by the Bureau Of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms.
In Fast and Furious, ATF agents allowed suspected smugglers to buy 2,000 firearms, hoping their trail would lead them to the arrest and conviction against top drug traffickers. Many of the guns turned up in crime scenes in Mexico and the U.S., and hundreds remain unaccounted for. Two deaths are directly linked to this operation.
The letter is the first response from Holder who faces criticism from Republican lawmakers who have held hearings and tried to tie the operation to him and other senior officials.
“There is no doubt that Operation Fast and Furious was fundamentally flawed. Regrettably, its effects will be felt for years to come as weapons that should have been interdicted, but were not, continue to show up at crime scenes in this country and Mexico.” Mr. Holder continued, “lawmakers should focus on fixing loopholes in our laws that facilitate the staggering flow of guns each year across our border.”