REPORT: Five ATF Officials Share Blame for Fast and Furious

According to a Republican congressional report, five ATF officials share the blame for Operation Fast and Furious. These include former head of the ATF Kenneth Melson, special agent in charge in Phoenix Bill Newell, Deputy Assistant Director William McMahon, Assistant Director Mark Chait, and Deputy Director William Hoover.

More than two thousand guns were allowed to walk into the hands of Mexican drug cartels. Two guns from the operation were found at the murder scene of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. More than 300 Mexican citizens have been murdered with Fast & Furious guns, including Marion Gonzalez who was the brother of Chihuahua State Attorney General Patricia Gonzalez. Weapons from Fast and Furious have been found at twelve crime scenes across America, 1,400 guns are still missing and unaccounted.

This report was put together by the staffs of Oversight Committee Chairman Representative Darrell Issa and top Republican of the Senate Judiciary Committee Charles Grassley. It is the first of three.

Mr. Newell was found to repeatedly using "risky techniques" and was reprimanded for such in the past. His boss, Mr. McMahon, “rubber stamped critical documents that came across his desk without reading them.” The report states Mr. McMahon didn’t think it was his job to question anything that went on in the field. They also said Mr. McMahon gave false testimony to Congress.

Newell's supervisor, Mr. Chait, sat back and “played a surprisingly passive roles during the operation.” The report said someone in his position should have played a more aggressive role.

Mr. Hoover did demand an immediate exit strategy, but failed to follow through. He also knew Mr. Newell applied risky techniques, but never kept a close eye on him.

The report claims Mr. Melson “often stayed above the fray.” The agents often complained their hands were tied by the Arizona US attorney’s office, but Mr. Melson never ordered to shut down the operation. Agent Terry’s cousin Robert Heyer told Breitbart News the ATF officials could have shut down Fast & Furious at any time if the US attorney’s office was hampering the operation.

It wasn’t shut down until Agent Terry was shot on December 14, 2010. He died the following day.

It’s also worth noting these men have either been allowed to resign quietly or moved to another position. No one involved in the Department of Justice has been held responsible for Fast & Furious.


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