Quantcast

At 'Fast and Furious' Hearing, Holder Doesn't Apologize For Border Agent's Death!

Prairie Wind 2011/11/08 21:03:35
Prosecute Him?
Fire Him?
Assign Him to Laredo Border Patrol?
Your Thoughts?
You!
Add Photos & Videos

By Mike Levine

Attorney General Eric Holder said Tuesday that he has not spoken with the family of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry, who was killed in December by a group of assailants using at least two weapons tied to "Operation Fast and Furious," but he "certainly regrets" what happened.


Not offering an outright apology when prompted by a Republican senator to offer one, Holder, who was appearing Tuesday before Congress for the first time since his controversial testimony in May over the gun-running program, said he "can only imagine" the Terry family's pain. But, he said, it's "not fair to assume" that mistakes made during the botched operation "directly led" to Terry's death.

Holder was on the hot seat at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in which he insisted that testimony he gave at his last appearance was accurate, but acknowledged that initial statements by the Justice Department after the issue became public were not.

In February, the Justice Department sent a letter to lawmakers saying every effort is made to "interdict weapons that have been purchased illegally and prevent their transportation to Mexico."

But details of "Fast and Furious" and similar investigations under the Bush administration have since come to light that reveal otherwise. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, the ranking member on the panel, said "mounting evidence" in the months since the letter has "put the lie" to Justice Department claims.

The information in the letter was "inaccurate," Holder said, adding, "I regret that."

Holder said the Justice Department in Washington was "relying" on information provided by "people we thought in the best position to know," namely officials with the U.S. Attorney's Office and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in Arizona.

Tuesday's hearing was intended to be a more general "oversight" hearing, but Holder was pummeled with questions over tactics used by ATF investigators in Arizona to target major gunrunners and his department's role in the matter.

Launched in late 2009, "Fast and Furious" planned to follow gun purchasers in hopes that suspects would lead them to the heads of Mexican cartels. But high-powered weapons tied to the investigation ended up at crime scenes in Mexico and the United States, including Terry's murder.

"Any instance of so-called 'gun walking' is unacceptable," Holder said in his opening remarks. He added that "Fast and Furious" was "flawed" and "should never have happened."


"Unfortunately, we will feel its effects for years to come as guns that were lost during this operation continue to show up at crimes scenes both here and in Mexico," he said. "It must never happen again."

Thirty-four House members and the National Rifle Association have called for Holder to resign.


Last month, Grassley distributed five memos addressed to Holder in July and August 2010, citing the gunrunning investigation by name. Nearly a year after those heavily redacted memos were sent, the attorney general in May told lawmakers under oath he "probably heard about 'Fast and Furious' for the first time over the last few weeks."

In his opening remarks, Grassley noted that in January -- the month after Terry was killed -- he handed Holder two letters mentioning "numerous allegations" from whistleblowers "that the ATF sanctioned the sale of hundreds of assault weapons to suspected straw purchasers" and "two of the weapons were then allegedly used in a firefight … killing CBP Agent Brian Terry."


The letters, addressed to then-ATF head Ken Melson, did not cite Fast and Furious by name.


While Holder asked for a retreat from "headline-grabbing Washington 'gotcha' games and cynical political point scoring," he said he did not mislead Congress in May over when he first heard of "Fast and Furious."

Holder said he first learned about tactics and the phrase "Operation Fast and Furious" beginning this year when it became a matter of public controversy.

"In my testimony I did say a few weeks, I probably could have said a couple of months," Holder said. "The focus of which day on which month is a bit of distraction (and) does nothing to address what concerns us most" -- the flow of guns, Holder said.

Later at the same hearing, in response to a follow-up question, Holder said he was probably aware of the operation at least six weeks earlier, by the time President Obama talked about it with a Spanish-language media outlet in late March.

Still, after the release of the memos last month, Republicans said Holder had "failed to give Congress and the American people an honest account of what he and others knew about gun-walking and 'Operation Fast and Furious.'"

Responding to such criticism from Republicans, Holder said Tuesday he doesn't believe his May testimony was inaccurate "based on what happened."

He noted receiving Grassley's letters in January and said he asked his staff to look into the matter before hearing more about it in the press. In late February, Holder asked the Justice Department's Inspector General to investigate "Fast and Furious," and in March he directed the department to issue guidance that all prosecutors refrain from "flawed tactics" like those of "Fast and Furious," Holder said.

"Clearly by the time I testified in May, I had known about 'Fast and Furious' for several weeks, (even) a couple of months," Holder said.

During his testimony Tuesday, Holder said Congress is not doing enough to support the agency responsible for the botched operation.

"The mistakes of 'Operation Fast and Furious,' serious though they were, should not deter or distract us from our critical mission to disrupt the dangerous flow of firearms along our Southwest border," Holder told the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Agents from ATF have told Congress their agency "suffers from a lack of effective enforcement tools," and a "critical first step should be for congressional leaders to work with us to provide ATF with the resources and statutory tools it needs to be effective," Holder said.


"Unfortunately, earlier this year the House of Representatives actually voted to keep law enforcement in the dark when individuals purchase multiple semi-automatic rifles and shotguns in Southwest border gun shops," Holder added.

Over the summer, the House passed an amendment blocking federal funds from being used by the ATF to require thousands of gun stores in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas to report multiple sales of certain weapons.

In his opening remarks, the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, said some "seek to use" the tragedy of Terry's death "to call for new gun control."

"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,'" Grassley said, according to prepared remarks released by his office. "While trafficking in firearms is a real problem in Mexico, blaming our Second Amendment freedoms in the U.S. isn't accurate and won't fix anything."

On Monday, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Pat Leahy, D-Vt., sent a letter Monday to the Justice Department's inspector general, wanting to know if the inspector general's office would be looking at Bush-era operations as part of its inquiry into "Fast and Furious."

Recently disclosed documents show the ATF in Arizona lost track of hundreds of guns between 2006 and 2007 during investigations that involved so-called "gun-walking."

Last week, the head of the Justice Department's Criminal Division, Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer, issued a statement saying he learned of one of those investigations, "Operation Wide Receiver," in April 2010, and he now regrets not saying anything to Holder or others within the department at the time.

On Tuesday, Grassley said it's "bad enough that the head of the Criminal Division admits" the department's earlier claims it always tries to interdict weapons "was false."

"It gets worse, though," Grassley said. "(Breuer) remained silent for nine months as the public controversy over gunwalking grew. He was aware that Congress had been misled and yet made no effort to correct the department's official denial.

In addition to the inspector general's investigation into "Fast and Furious" and a congressional probe into the matter, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, is calling for a special counsel to investigate. Holder will be appearing before Smith's committee in December for a hearing focused specifically on "Fast and Furious."

Read More: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/11/08/after-f...

Add a comment above

Top Opinion

  • sglmom 2011/11/09 01:40:25
    Prosecute Him?
    sglmom
    +20
    Quite frankly .. I /see/ him as a coward .. that wouldn't even show up for a patrol .. and certainly wouldn't support the mission of the Border Patrol (which is enforce the laws .. and that means dealing with the law-breakers according to the existing laws) ...

    Soulless .. he (Holder) is totally withOUT a conscience and soul ..
    (DISGUSTING .. absolutely .. horrifically disgusting ...)

    MY Condolences go AGAIN to Agent Terry's Family .. (and the Families of those who have DIED as a result of the actions of this administration ...

Sort By
  • Most Raves
  • Least Raves
  • Oldest
  • Newest
Opinions

  • TrueRedWhite&Blue 2011/11/16 05:31:33
    Your Thoughts?
    TrueRedWhite&Blue
    +2
    Check out his history, and how many extremely questionable actions he's been involved in for the (shadow) government.
    Then Hang the lying bastard in public.
  • John "By God" American 2011/11/13 21:30:36
    Prosecute Him?
    John "By God" American
    +3
    Special counsel to investigate Holder??? This is the kind of foot dragging bullsh*t that sends me over the edge!!!! WHY THE F*CK DO THEY NEED A SPECIAL COUNSEL?? Prepare the complaint and indict his ass already!!! WTF are they waiting for??? Son of a b*tch!!!!!
  • jimmy John "B... 2011/11/30 14:14:58
    jimmy
    +2
    The sooner the better, but i don't think rep Issas has the balls to do it
  • John "B... jimmy 2011/12/01 05:14:01
    John "By God" American
    +1
    He definitely doesn't have the balls. Nancy Pelosi has a bigger set of balls than the majority of Republican men. I'm totally disgusted with these Republicans...
  • jimmy John "B... 2011/12/01 14:50:19
    jimmy
    When it comes to fast and furious i am to
  • seadog6608PWCM 2011/11/12 21:11:47
  • Prairie... seadog6... 2011/11/13 22:07:06
    Prairie Wind
    +1
    Dafinitly, h'd make a wandful movin tahget!
  • seadog6... Prairie... 2011/11/14 02:51:28
  • Michaelene 2011/11/12 17:48:39
    Prosecute Him?
    Michaelene
    +2
    Holder perjured himself on the stand, sent out a letter that he admits was A LIE, and then he says it's not fair to assume the operation led to Terry's death.

    I believe this operation was a set up as a self fullfilling prophecy to back up the statements made by Secty Clinton while she and Obama were hugging it out with their buddy Calderone, blaming America for Mexico's failed war on drugs.
  • Prairie... Michaelene 2011/11/12 18:03:09
    Prairie Wind
    +2
    A good research would be Senator Clinton's actions in establishing "Project Gun Walker" for the purpose of achieving an amendment to our Constitution, limiting our rights te bear arms. She is where this all starts. Then, ever wonder where all the health care programs arose to create Obamacare? How about the payoff to Hillary for not pursuing the Presidency, but accepting the position of Secretary of State instead if she could get her failed health care program passed? That makes you think a bit, doesn't it?
  • Michaelene Prairie... 2011/11/15 15:16:01
    Michaelene
    +1
    Clinton is a mess and I think she looks like she feels, like a traitor to her country who bows down and plows through the people for the progressive ideology. When she disparaged Americans at the UN, that was her final words for me.
    She has lost most of her support and could not gather it back to run for POTUS again.
  • Prairie... Michaelene 2011/11/15 21:14:16
    Prairie Wind
    Hmmmm.... sort of like a dirty blonde 'ho?
  • Michaelene Prairie... 2011/11/15 21:23:01 (edited)
    Michaelene
    +1
    Well I would'nt say that. oh my what a typo
  • Prairie... Michaelene 2011/11/16 04:29:59 (edited)
    Prairie Wind
    +1
    LOL ..... Hey, I left out the knotted head!
  • Mike56 2011/11/12 00:09:15
    Your Thoughts?
    Mike56
    +2
    All of the above
  • latitude38 2011/11/10 15:41:43
    Prosecute Him?
    latitude38
    +3
    . allowing assault style- guns to fall in the hands of criminals , in it self is a criminal act , let alone the cover-up and the denial of the program that was announced by the administration in 2009
  • Steve Boston 2011/11/10 04:08:48
    Fire Him?
    Steve Boston
    +3
    I want him fired just before we fire Obama. Come on 2012. Time to dump the most corrupt an inept administration in our history. Let's end the madness.
  • chgo 2011/11/10 02:16:40 (edited)
    Your Thoughts?
    chgo
    +1
    that's twisted, both in expression and reality. Anybody with a brain and has been paying attention to actual news source you knows that the federal operation dubbed Fast and Furious was runned by The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, not DOE. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were the ones who lost track of hundreds of firearms, many of which have been linked to crimes, including the fatal shooting of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in December 2010.

    Why was the director of the ATF get "re-assigned" to be a "Senior Forensic Consultant" for the Justice Department then?the Administration tried to pass a law against gun stores in border states selling more than a few guns at a time to anyone. Upon further investigation, it was discovered that these gun stores and their salesmen were the biggest asset in attempting to prevent straw buys that sent guns to Mexican cartels.

    This fakes news is the tool the cons are using to keep all the republican people believing that they are in the minority and that they should go with the majority.
  • Prairie... chgo 2011/11/10 02:33:15
    Prairie Wind
    +2
    I wonder if the Border Patrol can trace your IP address to your profile residence in Illinois? You can tell them all of this is fake.
  • chgo Prairie... 2011/11/10 02:49:11
    chgo


    Shouldn't you be watching GOP debate on CNBC? it's comedy. Rick Perry just said he would eliminate three agencies of the Federal government if he gets elected. He started to name them...and then forgot the third. Completely drew a blank. Whoa. He just screwed himself good. He's done.
  • BackWoodsMike 2011/11/09 22:18:37
    Assign Him to Laredo Border Patrol?
    BackWoodsMike
    +3
    Swear Holder in as a Border Agent, issue him a Badge, a set of BDU's, a standard vest, a Glock 23 .40 cal, and a four wheeler, then have him ride up and down the border for 12 hours.
  • Prairie... BackWoo... 2011/11/09 22:34:55
    Prairie Wind
    +3
    Add a bright orange reflective vest. We wouldn't want to loose his body.
  • BackWoo... Prairie... 2011/11/09 23:11:35
    BackWoodsMike
    +3
    Something like this?

    sheriffvest

    I will be glad to loan him mine ;')
  • Prairie... BackWoo... 2011/11/09 23:23:47
    Prairie Wind
    +2
    Add some bright reflective text with something like ¿Se puede dar en un blanco en movimiento?
  • Jada 2011/11/09 17:55:26
    Prosecute Him?
    Jada
    +3
    Holder should be prosecuted for this as should Obama. They should be then be hanged for their crimes, or at least be sent to Guantanamo. The progressives are tearing apart this country. I hope our founding fathers haunt these traitors for the rest of their miserable lives.
  • cindy 2011/11/09 17:43:17
    Fire Him?
    cindy
    +4
    If you had your doubts about this administrations intentions it's very clear too see , they made sure they apoligized to the terrorist muslim family !!!!!!!!!! and Dissed the Americans family ( Actions speak louder than words !!!!!!!!
  • dave b 2011/11/09 17:01:34
    Prosecute Him?
    dave b
    +4
    I think that you may be shocked because you've made the assumption that Holder the Traitor cares about the man getting killed. He doesnt.
  • schjaz 2011/11/09 16:56:08
    Prosecute Him?
    schjaz
    +4
    He is such a liar...and if not, then totally incompetent.
  • Billyk75 2011/11/09 16:39:42
    Your Thoughts?
    Billyk75
    +3
    The MSM wouldn't report it because it's too busy on the Cain story.
  • Honestfrank 2011/11/09 14:52:30
    Prosecute Him?
    Honestfrank
    +8
    He is a Progressive ! They hate the idea of the second amendment , They also hate the Military , Police and any other type of law enforcement ! I think he should be Prosecuted for letting / pushing these guns into the hands of Mexican criminal's . This all was just a plot of the Obama admin. to install more ANTI-GUN LAWS !!!
  • jimmy Honestf... 2011/11/09 16:41:29
    jimmy
    +5
    yepper but you left out obama who should be prosecuted or impeached.
  • S. Gompers 2011/11/09 14:07:15
    Prosecute Him?
    S. Gompers
    +4
    Of course he wouldn't apologize, government as a whole has a general disdain for the working class...

    The border agent was one of us working class.
  • Michaelene S. Gompers 2011/11/12 17:52:55
    Michaelene
    +2
    You are right, he does refer to American's as cowards.
  • Seonag 2011/11/09 13:15:28
    Your Thoughts?
    Seonag
    +3
    All the above!!!!! Though he'd probably give those crossing the Border a helping hand, so maybe not that!
  • Prophet ~PWCM 2011/11/09 13:04:27
    Assign Him to Laredo Border Patrol?
    Prophet ~PWCM
    +4
    He won't take responsibility himself because, it's "not fair to assume" that mistakes made during the botched operation "directly led" to Terry's death.

    Aren't these the same people who were blaming licensed firearm dealers for all of the violence going on in Mexico?
  • dandieselonian 2011/11/09 13:00:31
    Your Thoughts?
    dandieselonian
  • Swany 2011/11/09 12:56:48
    Your Thoughts?
    Swany
  • Prairie... Swany 2011/11/09 19:02:31
    Prairie Wind
    +2
    I'll gladly take Oliver North. His activity was no way comparable to what Holder, Obama and Clnton have done to help out Mexican drug cartels.
  • Swany Prairie... 2011/11/09 23:39:54
    Swany
    +1
    You must not know anything about Iran/Contra.
  • Prairie... Swany 2011/11/10 00:02:07
    Prairie Wind
    Absolutely

See Votes by State

The map above displays the winning answer by region.

News & Politics

2014/04/23 17:08:29

Hot Questions on SodaHead
More Hot Questions

More Community More Originals