Holder's 'Fast and Furious' comments in question
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Posted: October 11th, 2011
Rep. Lamar Smith, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, ... demanded an independent investigation of whether Attorney General Eric Holder misled Congress on what he knew about the botched gun-tracking operation known as "Fast and Furious" - and when he found out about it. The Associated Press reported that the George W. Bush administration conducted a program similar to Fast and Furious, in which Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents were instructed to let Mexican drug cartel straw purchasers buy guns in the Phoenix area to follow the trail to higher-ups. Known as Operation Wide Receiver, the Bush-era operation also let guns be transferred to suspected arms traffickers. Justice Department prosecutors have brought charges against nine people involved in the operation, according to AP; two have pleaded guilty. Fast and Furious was meant to take down Mexican cartels importing U.S.-bought weapons and shipping drugs to the United States. Phoenix-based ATF agents allowed the gun purchases so they could take down cartel bosses rather than only arresting lower-level purchasers. But the agents lost track of more than 1,000 firearms during the operation last year. Several were later found at the scenes of Mexican drug crimes, according to a report by the House oversight committee.
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