September 19th, 2012
02:13 PM ET

Fast and Furious report finds DOJ management failures

[Updated at 2:31 p.m. ET] Fourteen employees of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the U.S. Justice Department face disciplinary action for their roles in the botched Fast and Furious weapons-tracking program, according to a report released Wednesday by department investigators. No criminal charges are recommended, according to the report.

The program was doomed by a "series of misguided strategies, tactics, errors in judgment and management failures" on the part of line agents, prosecutors and senior Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in Washington, Justice Department investigators concluded in a report released Wednesday.

The report does not recommend any criminal sanctions against individuals in connection with the controversial gun-trafficking operation.

The report finds that Attorney General Holder was not informed of the controversial ATF operation until 2011 after the death of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry in December 2010.

Parents say slain agent's death exposed flaws of gun-running operation

"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," Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement.

Read Holder's full statement

Holder said he has accepted the resignations of Kenneth Melson, the former acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and former Deputy Assistant Attorney General Jason Weinstein in connection with their roles in the Fast and Furious weapons-tracking program.

"Today’s report affirms the problem of gunwalking was a field-driven tactic that dated back to the previous Administration, and it was this Administration’s Attorney General who ended it," White House spokesman Eric Schultz said in a statement. "Nevertheless, The Justice Department has taken strong steps to ensure accountability and make sure this does not happen again, including important administrative, policy, and personnel changes. If Republicans still have any legitimate questions about Fast and Furious, this 450-page report answers them. In light of this thorough report and Congress’s 16 month-long investigation, Republicans have no excuse to keep wasting time and taxpayer resources on politically-motivated, election-year attacks."

The botched investigation was designed to track trafficking kingpins responsible for illegal gunrunning to Mexico. It has been blamed for contributing to crimes - including the high-profile slaying of a U.S. border agent - and has become a partisan bone of contention heading into the November elections.

The report is important because of its scope - it is the result of more than a year of research - and for its conclusions, which could stir even more partisan attacks, depending on its outcome. The report is expected to conclude whether the botched plan was mostly the doing of agents in Arizona, or if the Obama administration played a central role.

In the controversy over its handling, conservative Washington legislators voted down party lines to cite the U.S. attorney general - a Democrat - for contempt. It marked the first time in American history that the head of the Justice Department has been held in contempt by Congress.

soundoff (239 Responses)
  1. liberal disease

    dont forget Obama and Holder two thugs!

    September 19, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • pbernasc

      u sound so smart

      September 19, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brian

      So what does that make Bush and Cheney?

      September 19, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jackson

      Reagan committed high treason in Iran/Contra, and conservatives still point to him as the greatest president ever.

      Funny how they don't seem to mind when one of their own commits High Treason, yet you want to call the President a thug when the investigation shows it wasn't him.

      Just so freakin' typical of conservatives.

      September 19, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • mary43

      Absolutely, but we know they'll continue to make the two of them look like saints as always. Sickening to say the least. As a matter of fact they now have a audio clip of Obama saying he is all for redistribution and of course nothing on this website and MSNBC will not play it until they find out if it's legit. Really? His campaign has said "yes" is is Obama. This is the crooked liberal media at it's best!!!!!!

      September 19, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • TommytheT

      odd, does not seem like anything here that would require the use of Executive Privilege.

      September 19, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • bspurloc

      and we will NEVER forget BUSH HAPPENED... and when BUSH started this program no one was arrested at all, it took the Obama administration to actually go after them....

      so much closet disdain for bush... lt it OUT then u can start learning Arithmetic again.

      September 19, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  2. bbucher

    NO!!!! Really?

    September 19, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  3. pbernasc

    the irony is that the program was meant to seize guns legally sold in Arizona that are then actually transferred to drug cartels members in Mexico, but Arizona gun sales laws prevented that from happening. When it was clear that the program was about to expose the flaws of the laws in Arizona, which are the basis of the legal gun sales to criminals in Mexico, the NRA intervened and created the made u story about Fast & Furious so to distract the attention from the real issue, which is that gun sales laws in Arizona are fueling the violent crimes in Mexico.

    September 19, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • joe

      Read the article people. It clearly says gun walking was a practice started under the bush administration and ended during the Obama administration. People were fired. This is all in the report.

      September 19, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • dcase20

      Yep. That's it basically.

      September 19, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • bb

      Typical make excuse, point, blame. Bush, Bush, Bush Holder should resign for either knowing or being inept. this whole admin is about point and blame. what these jerks have done is made a joke out of America. I never thought id see the day and i have been for a while now, bad mouth the President. Im guilty, sorry this cat does not qualify as a president. If nothing else Oblunder should resign (he said he would) just to ease America. We get an Ambassador killed and he goes on Leno, how embarassing for America. How does rest of world view us ?? well they are over running our emassys and killing our people, Well i guess we should hope he shows up on AM shows next, my god what a tradgedy he is.

      September 19, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Randy W

      bb – do you read? "The leadership of the Department did not know about or authorize the use of the flawed strategy and tactics"

      September 19, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • bspurloc

      typical denial.... act like bush never happened....
      sorry but Arithmetic fails u... and BUSH HAPPENED....
      8 years he destroyed this country.... Thank U Obama for getting us out of that hole and with the GOP fighting tooth and nail from day to stop him....

      September 19, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Tom

    This is a good thing. If a precident was set here, what's to stop a police capitain from sending in cops and being arrested for it? Or a military commander?

    September 19, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  5. mike

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

    What a shock.

    September 19, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  6. DocReality

    More grounds for impeachment. Get him out now.

    September 19, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jackson

      Impeachment? What exactly did you just read in that story that pointed to something impeachable, other than your own partisan rhetoric?

      September 19, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • dcase20

      Sick of Obamy Huh? Get ready for FOUR MORE baby!!! Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!

      September 19, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Red1871

    And WHO runs that group .... the DOJ and who do they report to... HOLDER!!! Management failures. is that what we call it? Try telling Brian Terry's parents that one. Holder and Obama, great management team, heck of jonb here at home, heck of a job in the Middle East. 5 trillion in new debt and we are in the ditch DEEPER than ever.

    September 19, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • TommytheT

      this administration is the group that can not shoot straight. So maybe mistakes and some many left hands not knowing what the right hand is doing, yet many czars on payroll and we are going to turn 1/7 of our economy, health care over to them to run and fix for us all. God help us.

      September 19, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • bspurloc

      so why r u not looking for bush who started this program in 2006 and arrested no one? Obama came in and made arrests...

      bush is responsible for 5,000+ military lives being lost, bush is responsible for 50,000+ injured troops....
      what about THEIR families??? yeah I know ARITHMETIC is your your forte 1 > 55,000+

      September 19, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bobby

      Bush didn't start this program, read the report. It says the "tactics" come from 2006. A gun walking operation was run by the Bush admin in 2006, it had cooperation with Mexican authorities and oversight on tracking. This operation didn't lead to the deaths of anyone as far as we know and it was completed prior to Obama coming into power.

      Another operation, under the Obama admin didn't have any assistance and no tracking, leading to hundreds of Mexican citizens and a border patrol agent losing their lives.

      September 19, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Walter Merritt

    Shocker there...they could have just read the actual investigative article done by that woman a few months ago to learn the exact same thing and saved taxpayers millions in the process....thanks GOP for once again blowing something simple so totally out of the water.

    September 19, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Frank

    Whiiiiiiiiiiiitewassssssshhhhhhhhhhh!!!!! ūüėÄ

    September 19, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jackson

      Iran/Contra. High Treason. Zero done.

      Just sayin'

      September 19, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  10. GI Joe

    Since 2006????? What?????

    Were those workers hired by Arizona for the government, or were they sent from D.C. to Arizona? Who was the previous head of DOJ and will he be subpoened???

    Too many questions not answered yet.

    September 19, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Michael

    This is an example of big government's infinite power to get any of the elite officials off the hook for wrongful criminal acts. You are seeing the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. As our government grows even more powerful and invasive we will witness even more illegal acts by the Obama administration which will go without punishment.

    September 19, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • bspurloc

      big government like taking 250,000 government troops and sending them into Iraq?

      September 19, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
  12. cynicalme

    So, who is in charge here? Nobody? Where does the buck stop? Nowhere?

    September 19, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • TommytheT

      for the last 4 years it would appear that the Buck stops at Ex-President Bush...Mr Obama and his administration has taken ownership for nothing that has gone wrong...NOTHING...amazing, perfect for 4 years.

      September 19, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  13. joe

    This shoiuld be at the top of the Home Page --BUT NEVER FROM CNN--GO FIGURE!!!!!

    September 19, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  14. libdumb

    What a joke. Holder is a liar. Nothing but a cover-up. Talk about a conflict of interest. The DOJ investigating Attorney General and DOJ. Can't wait to be on my next jury trial.

    September 19, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  15. cynicalme

    To Jackson===you must be a 47%er. Don't pay taxes and are a victim. Right?

    September 19, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • mjvvv

      I really would like to buy some guns too. Zombies appockolips is coming and need extra bullets. Watched the movie and know what to do. FAST and FURIOUS and HEADSHOTS ! Where is my Obamamamaa spurt check $$ ....I paid taxes....I need guns now.

      September 19, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
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