- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The director of the government agency responsible for the Fast & Furious sting operation that allowed weapons to flow across the Mexican border confirmed Wednesday that no one involved in the botched gun-running project has been fired.

Todd Jones, the director of the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives told a House Government Reform and Oversight Committee hearing that some employees involved in the Fast and Furious operation were disciplined and others resigned with pensions, but no one was terminated.

Committee Chairman Darrell Issa questioned whether the ATF and Mr. Jones had demonstrated full accountability for the operation after an inspector general’s report revealed deep flaws with the plan and its execution.

Mr. Jones responded that “everyone involved in the ATF in the chain of command has either been disciplined or is no longer working with the agency.”

Mr. Issa pressed, “But the answer of fired is no. Is that correct?”

Mr. Jones replied, “As a result of the inspector general’s report, the answer is no.”

The Justice Department’s inspector general recommended the ATF terminate the special agent in charge of the Fast and Furious Operation, William Newell, but Mr. Newell was merely demoted in a settlement, according to the news website theblaze.com.

Mr. Issa called the fallout “certainly less than what the American people would expect.”

Between 2006 and 2011, the ATF allowed licensed firearms dealers to sell 2,000 guns illegal straw buyers in an effort to track weapons flow to Mexican drug cartels, however, the government lost track of many of the weapons and in December 2010, one of the guns was found at the scene of murdered U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.

• Kellan Howell can be reached at khowell@washingtontimes.com.

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