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DOJ "Fast and Furious" Report Hits Hard--But Pulls Punches on Holder

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Department of Justice Inspector General's report on the "Fast and Furious" scandal was released this week, and while it found 14 officials from the department and its Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives responsible for the reckless program, it failed, unfortunately, to hold Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. responsible for the actions of those under his supervision.

The report provides a valuable account of the operation and the department's response, concluding that the operation "quickly grew into an investigation that lacked realistic objectives, did not have appropriate supervision within ATF or the U.S. Attorney's Office, and failed to adequately assess the public safety consequences" of letting guns flow freely into Mexico.  

Even the New York Times, one of the leading media supporters of President Obama and an avid opponent of gun owners' rights, said in an editorial that "The recklessness of federal officials in their harebrained scheme to assist in illegal gunrunning to Mexican drug cartels was laid bare in a scathing report by the Justice Department's inspector general. ...Something as half‑baked as Operation Fast and Furious should never have been concocted in the name of law enforcement."

But the report also begs the question of who is actually in charge at the Department of Justice if such a program can be conducted for more a year, supposedly without the knowledge or approval of senior officials and the Attorney General himself.

The report calls for action to be taken against 14 lower-level agents and officials, but allows higher-ups to stand by their claims that they did not know about the operation until February 2011. But information already received by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee shows affidavits for wiretaps that, according to Inspector General Michael Horowitz, should have led to further scrutiny by senior officials. "If you were focused and looking at the question of gunwalking," Horowitz said before the Oversight Committee this week, "you would read these reports and see many red flags."

In his statement on the report, Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said: "It's time for President Obama to step in and provide accountability for officials at both the Department of Justice and ATF who failed to do their jobs.  Attorney General Holder has clearly known about these unacceptable failures yet has failed to take appropriate action for over a year and a half."

We agree with Chairman Issa. The Attorney General of the United States cannot simply claim he did not know.  It was his fundamental responsibility to know what was being done under his leadership. That point was hinted at this week by former ATF Acting Director Kenneth Melson, who was also faulted in the report and retired from his subsequent DOJ job after the report was issued. In a statement, Melson correctly admitted that "as the acting director of the agency I was ultimately responsible for the actions of each employee."

We've said it before and we'll say it again: For stonewalling the congressional investigation of "Fast and Furious" and for his failure to stop the operation, or even take responsibility for it, Eric Holder should be fired.

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Friday, April 29, 2016

Social Security Administration Releases Proposed Rulemaking on Disability-Related Gun Ban

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Friday, April 29, 2016

Say What? Gun Control Advocates Try to Change the Language of Crime

As a cabinet level official in the Obama administration, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton both reflected and informed the regime’s values and tactics, some of which she has carried forward into her own campaign ...

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

New Jersey: Anti-Gun Legislators Move to Quash Gov. Christie’s Gun Reforms

Undeterred by the Garden State’s failed, draconian gun laws, Senator Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-37) has quickly schemed to block Governor Chris Christie’s recent executive action.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Arizona: Final Votes on Pro-Gun Bills Could Happen Soon: Your Urgent Action Needed!

Today, Senate Bill 1266 is scheduled for its final vote in the House of Representatives.  The final votes for House Bill 2338, House Bill 2446, and House Bill 2524 could happen any time now.  Unfortunately, yesterday the ...

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Louisiana: Firearm Legislation on the Move at the Capitol

Yesterday in the House Administration of Criminal Justice Committee, House Bill 959 was voluntarily deferred by its sponsor, state Representative John Bagneris (D-New Orleans).

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Friday, April 29, 2016

Hillary Clinton to Attack Gun Owners Her “Very First Day” in Office

In what has become as reliable as clockwork, with the passing of another week comes another Hillary Clinton attack on gun owners. This time, the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination explained to supporters her ...

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Oklahoma: Right to Keep and Bear Arms Constitutional Amendment Under Fire in Conference Committee

A critical Right to Keep and Bear Arms Constitutional Amendment, House Joint Resolution 1009, is currently sitting in the House Conference Committee on Rules.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Michigan: Your Urgent Action Needed: Important Preemption Legislation Vote Tomorrow!

Tomorrow, May 4, the House Local Government Committee is scheduled to consider and vote on House Bill 4795, as substituted.  HB 4795, sponsored by Chairman Lee Chatfield (R-District 107), is important legislation aimed at protecting ...

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Oklahoma: Conference Committee Members Named for Self-Defense Legislation

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.