Holder on Fast & Furious: Justice didn't OK 'use of flawed strategy, tactics'
Attorney General Eric Holder says the Justice Department "did not attempt to cover up information" about Fast and Furious.
September 19th, 2012
02:33 PM ET

Holder on Fast & Furious: Justice didn't OK 'use of flawed strategy, tactics'

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder on Wednesday released the following statement regarding Department of Justice Inspector General’s report on Operation Fast and Furious:

“I have reviewed the Office of the Inspector General’s report on Operation Fast and Furious and the key conclusions are consistent with what I, and other Justice Department officials, have said for many months now:

The inappropriate strategy and tactics employed were field-driven and date back to 2006;

The leadership of the Department did not know about or authorize the use of the flawed strategy and tactics; and

The Department’s leadership did not attempt to cover up information or mislead Congress about it.

“Beginning in 2011 shortly after public concerns were first raised about Operation Fast and Furious I referred this matter to the Office of the Inspector General (OIG). Throughout the next several months, I instituted significant policy reforms, stronger internal controls and made key personnel changes to prevent the flaws that plagued this investigation, as well as the earlier investigation, Operation Wide Receiver, from recurring. I’m pleased that the OIG report appropriately recognizes these reforms.

“Based upon the information in the OIG report and other related information, I am also announcing additional personnel changes today.

“First, Kenneth Melson, the former Acting Director at ATF, has retired from the Department, effective immediately. Ken has served the Department in several important roles for over 30 years, including as a United States attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia and more recently as an advisor on forensic science issues. I want to thank him for his dedication and service to the Department over the last three decades.

“Second, those individuals within ATF and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Arizona, whom the OIG report found to have been responsible for designing, implementing or supervising Operation Fast and Furious, have been referred to the appropriate entities for review and consideration of potential personnel actions. Consistent with the requirements of the Privacy Act, the Department is prohibited from revealing any additional information about these referrals at this time.

“Finally, I have accepted the resignation of Deputy Assistant Attorney General Jason Weinstein, a longtime career prosecutor who most recently served in the Criminal Division where he led our violent and organized crime, computer crimes and intellectual property enforcement efforts. Jason has dedicated much of his career to fighting violent crime and has led highly successful efforts around the country in this effort. The American people are safer because of his work. His commitment to the Department has been unwavering, and I deeply appreciate his 15 years of distinguished service here at Main Justice as well as in Baltimore and New York.

“It is unfortunate that some were so quick to make baseless accusations before they possessed the facts about these operations accusations that turned out to be without foundation and that have caused a great deal of unnecessary harm and confusion. I hope today’s report acts as a reminder of the dangers of adopting as fact unsubstantiated conclusions before an investigation of the circumstances is completed.

“I want to assure the American people that I, and my colleagues at the Department, will continue to focus on our mission of protecting their rights and their security, and doing so in a manner that is consistent with the high standards of the Department of Justice. This includes continuing to seek justice on behalf of Agent Brian Terry and his loved ones.

“The FBI and the United States Attorney from the Southern District of California have been working for many months with Mexican authorities to identify and apprehend the fugitives involved in the murder of Agent Terry, who made the ultimate sacrifice in serving his country. We now have two men in custody and we will continue to aggressively pursue the remaining fugitives to ensure justice for Agent Terry, his family and his fellow law enforcement agents who put their lives on the line each day to keep this country safe.”


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soundoff (100 Responses)
  1. Jeanette, Toronto

    Fact Check, Please! The List of those involved, should be Politically itemized; then scrutinized, on the way the wind blowed in their corner. Also, by whom.(?)

    September 21, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • keith cossairt

      HERE IS YOUR LIST: 1. OBAMA, 2. HOLDER, both liars and thieves.

      September 24, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Obama Mama

    It is the same with Solyndra, there was a committee set up to get it started. Bush wanted and had republican investor's set up which started in 2006. Bush wanted the credit for Solyndra he was still trying in jan. 2009. I wonder why he did not want the credit when it failed? lol

    September 21, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Hamsta

      Sure blame Bush for every one of Obama's failures. Want to know why Obama's "jobs" bill is still on Boehners desk? Because Boehner knows it is a complete waste of money. Obama's "shovel ready" jobs don't exist, his "summer of recovery" never happened. I would trust my drug addicted neighbor with money before I would trust Obama. Obama is just hoping to get the change in my pocket.

      September 21, 2012 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pete

      @Hamsta,wrong buddy,just being obstructionistic that's all.Did you know that when Keystone was a hot republican topic and being pushed by your fair haired boy Boehner he held a personal stake in the pipeline,he was caught and almost sent packing as well,how do you say illegal stock manipulation ..If it went though he'd be a lot richer than now but he begged for his job and simply penalized him.If it were a democrate he'd be removed from the floor permanently and you know it,always a double standard.Read up on John McCains Keating 5,it was a S&L scam that he,his wife,Keating and four other senators got caught doing in the 80's.Keating went to jail,the senators were punished by level of involvement and McCain and his wife walked away scott free costing American taxpayers 3.5 billion,that's your boy buddy,its also fact just look up the Keating 5,you'll love it,republicans losers all!!

      September 22, 2012 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • mcskadittle

      Hamsta: So all of Bushes failures can be blamed on Obama? yeah that seem right

      September 24, 2012 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
  3. richard

    If Holder and the White House weren't involved, how come they won't cooperate with the investigation
    What happened to the transparent administration we were promised? Oh Yeah! this guy doesn't mean what he promises since he hasn't acted on most he made last election.

    September 22, 2012 at 10:59 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • kzq1n0

      Give it a rest please, and let's move on!

      September 22, 2012 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Rukh

      Which investigation? The one they're cooperating with?

      September 23, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Richard Nelson

    Incomes falling, Allies waving goodbye, huge unemployment, total fiscal failure and the lamestream dwells on these issues and LEGAL tax returns. 6 trillion down the drain, did you get some?

    September 22, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. aebe

    Holder lied again – He stated that he intends to protect our rights,and he has also stated that he wants to do away with our 2nd Amendment Rights.
    He also blamed President Bush indirectly,in going back to 2006's Wide Receiver.That program was stopped as soon as BATF found that the RFID devices were being removed from the firearms,BATF considered the program a failure for that reason,not to be repeated.And then Holder sends guns across the border with no means of tracking them.
    And why,oh why,is the Presidunce protecting Holder,if the problems caused by fast and Furious were so easily dealt with ?
    Yes -Guns were going south into Mexico.But.Most of the weapons being used in Mexico are military assault weapons,which are not something you can simply get by strolling into an American gun shop.Not without a class 3 permit,issued by.......the BATF ! Check out the criteria for getting one of those permits,they are not common.And the guns being used in Mexico are coming mostly from the Mexican military and police,or being brought in over the country's southern border,as most of the Central American countries have plenty of surplus military weapons.Including the RPG's being used.
    Holder and the O'Bummer are guilty at least of unethical behavior,and should be granted at least as much slack as was given President Bush,regarding the lies told (still) about him.

    Validate your 2nd Amendment Rights.Carry.

    September 22, 2012 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • mcskadittle

      if the democrats would give in on gun control the republican party would be in serious trouble

      September 24, 2012 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
  6. Rick McDaniel

    Not buying that Holder. DOJ is corrupt, in other ways as WELL!

    September 22, 2012 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Pete

    Remember all you so called sanctumonious republicans,Holder is smarter than Issa,Grassley and you hypocritical idiots together.He just fed them the rope and let the republicans as usual politically hang themselves,just wasted time and money.Voters will remember in November just who spent that money as well,how do you say goodbye republicans in American,take a hike idiots!!

    September 22, 2012 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Denise

    I have just one question for Mr. Holder and Mr. Obama. Why didn't you release the papers to Congress, if this is true? Holder refused and Obama gave him the cover of executive privilege Why? Something still doesn't smell right. Now, I am sure all the Obama supporters will jump all over me. I don't care where and when it started or where or when it failed. I want to know EVERYONE that was involved and why. That includes Bush. Bush may have started it but it continued with Obama. Both need to be held accountable but they won't.

    September 23, 2012 at 12:20 am | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Linda

    Wow this administration and it's like minded thinkers just never stop lying to the American people. If Obama is voted back in power expect more, then you will really get what you ask for.

    September 24, 2012 at 11:46 am | Report abuse | Reply
  10. getreal

    Why is Holder praising those who are resigning (immediately)? He does not dare place blame on anyone in this release for fear of casting a stone in a glass house... Nicely written response with good timing for the election debate(s); isn't that a coincidence.... I still want Obummer to remove the Executive Priv. lets see what they are covering up!

    September 24, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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