Justice Dept. blamed in ‘Fast and Furious’ operation
Fast and Furious was shut down by the ATF after two AK-47 semi-automatic assault rifles purchased by “straw buyers” from a gun shop in Glendale, Ariz., were found near Terry’s body. The agent had been killed during a shootout with Mexican drug smugglers at a remote location just north of the U.S.-Mexico border, south of Tucson. The killing led to public testimony by ATF whistleblowers — agents who had opposed the operation — who said more than 2,000 weapons had been “walked” to drug cartel members in Mexico, about 1,400 of which are still unaccounted for.
In July, House and Senate investigators singled out five ATF officials for blame in Fast and Furious, all of whom have since been reassigned for miscues in the failed operation. A 211-page report by staff investigators for Rep. Darrell E. Issa, California Republican and chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and Mr. Grassley, ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, identified the five as William Newell, former special agent in charge of ATF´s Phoenix field division; William McMahon, former deputy assistant director for field operations; Mark Chait, former assistant director for field operations; Mr. Hoover; and Mr. Melson.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.