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GOP Rep. Gowdy slams ill-fated ATF gun sting

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Rep. Trey Gowdy, South Carolina Republican, said Tuesday that he and other lawmakers looking into a controversial undercover federal gun sting want answers from the Obama administration on who approved the ill-fated Operation Fast and Furious.

“Hopefully, the administration will finally send us an official who actually knows something about the investigation,” the freshman lawmaker said in an appearance on The Washington Times-affiliated “America’s Morning News.” “The tactic is usually to send the least-knowledgeable person to Congress, so we get this series of ‘I don’t knows.’ We need someone — whether it’s the head of ATF, whether it’s the United States attorney in Arizona, someone with knowledge — to come” and explain what really happened.

A U.S. Border Patrol agent was killed in Arizona in December by a weapon traced back to the operation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, in which more than 1,700 guns were sold to shady arms buyers and funneled into Mexico in a scheme to track the weapons and — it was hoped — catch bigger criminals down the road.

The scheme, sharply criticized by both the Mexican and American governments and law enforcement officials as reckless and ill-conceived, has spawned an ongoing series of congressional hearings.

“How would this have ever worked? I don’t see how it ever would have been successful. You’re not going to extradite cartel kingpins for a ‘lying-and-buying’ case,” Mr. Gowdy said. “It was as ill-conceived as any investigation as any I have even heard of.”

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About the Author
David Eldridge

David Eldridge

David Eldridge joined The Washington Times in 1999 and over the next seven years helped lead the paper's coverage of regional politics and government, Sept. 11, and the sniper attacks of 2002. In 2006, he was named managing editor of the paper's website. He came to The Times from the Telegraph in North Platte, Neb., where he served as executive ...

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