Republicans will not allow Operation Fast & Furious to fade away, despite Democrat and media efforts to sweep the DOJ’s gun-running scandal under the rug. During a July 19 hearing Utah Representative Jason Chaffetz asked Department of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano if weapons seized at the border were part of Fast & Furious.
In her opening statement, Secretary Napolitano boasted about how many weapons have been seized by federal agents.
“This decrease in apprehensions of those seeking to enter the country illegally, one of the best indicators of illegal immigration attempts, is combined with increased seizures in drugs, weapons, cash and contraband,” said Secretary Napolitano.
Congressman Chaffetz contested that boast with a pointed question.
“The president, yourself, the attorney general have all said that the Southwest border is more secure than it has ever been before,” Mr. Chaffetz said. “In Operation Fast and Furious, the government purposely allowed nearly 2,000 weapons to get into the hands of the drug cartels. How many of those weapons were detained at the border? Any?”
Secretary Napolitano simply replied, “I couldn’t answer that.”
“My understanding is that there hasn’t been one single gun from Operation Fast and Furious apprehended by the Homeland Security or any other law enforcement,” stated Chaffetz, “other than the two weapons that were found at the scene at the death of Brian Terry. Is there – am I wrong in that?”
Napolitano responded, “I just can’t answer that. I don’t know.”
If they’ve seized record amounts of guns at the borders and cannot confirm that any are Fast & Furious guns, where are the weapons from the program? Who has them? And do the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security have any method in place to confirm and disclose to Congress when said weapons have been seized at the border?
This hearing, and Napolitano’s testimony, highlight the problems endemic to the Fast & Furious operation–a lack of transparency and accountability when lives are literally on the line thanks to the actions of the federal government.