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Congress Grills Holder On "Fast And Furious"

Matt Pressberg |
June 7, 2012 | 3:47 p.m. PDT

Executive Producer

Assault rifles. (Jan Hrdonka/Wikimedia Commons)
Assault rifles. (Jan Hrdonka/Wikimedia Commons)
Attorney General Eric Holder faced a hostile cross-examination from the House Judiciary Committee today, as its chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), introduced wiretap application forms that he said proved that the government knew its tactics were flawed before it stopped its "Fast and Furious" firearms-tracking operation.

The "Fast and Furious" operation involved agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to knowingly "walk" traceable guns into Mexico and thus ensnare suspected arms traffickers who were providing weapons to the increasingly violent cartels. The ATF ended up losing track of hundreds of guns inside Mexico, many of which have since been found at the scenes of violent crimes, including that of the murder of U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry in 2010. 

During today's testimony, Issa pointed at the wiretap documents as damning evidence that the government was continuing with an operation well after it had proven to be compromising security, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Issa contends the wiretap documents, signed by top Justice officials in support of Fast and Furious, are proof that administration officials knew the tactics were flawed and should have stopped the operation long before the agent and others were killed.  'The tactics of Fast and Furious were known,' he said. 'They were known and are contained in these wiretaps.'

Issa said he obtained the materials from 'a furious group of whistle-blowers' who are angry with the Justice Department and Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. for not providing more material to Issa’s investigation into Fast and Furious. The whistle-blowers, he told Holder at the hearing, 'are tired of your stonewalling.'"

Holder objected to Issa's logic, saying he "disagree[ed] with the conclusion [he] just reached," rather that the documents were simply to ensure that Justice officials had the authority to place such wiretaps.

The contents of the wiretap reports have not been made public at this time.


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