As a follow up to Monday’s hearing on a government program intended to track weapons and Mexican drug cartels, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee continued its inquiry today.
The Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) program “Operation Fast and Furious" allowed gun stores near the Mexican border to sell semiautomatic weapons in bulk to "straw purchasers" and then track their journey. Many of the guns were linked to crimes, including the killing of a Border Patrol agent.
Chair of the Committee, Darrell Issa (R-CA),released three emails by ATF officials discussing the program. The committee is investigating who at ATF and the Department of Justice knew and authorized the program.
Rep. Issa and Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) released a report on “Operation Fast and Furious," which says border patrol and ATF agents were told to "surveil" weapons and not interdict. It also said agents warned of devastating consequences, including criminal activity, but supervisors ignored their warnings.
At a House hearing on the program Wednesday, ATF Agent John Dodson said, "Every time we questioned that order, there was punitive action."
"Fast and Furious" a "Catastrophic Disaster" | C-SPAN