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. Alex

    PATCON – know what your dealing with and who is involved. Funny how all these "events" seem to occur and it always involves the same players....

    September 19, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Andy

    I can't believe how many people will buy into this because they want to believe it. Am I the only one that thinks what a waste of time it is to have the justice department investigate the justice department. Tell me the DOJ didn't dictate these findings when they mention it went back to 2006. Operation Wide Receiver was stopped prior to this administration and had nothing to do with Fast and Furious. They found that Wide Receiver didn't work and they stopped it before our current President took office. So why bring it up unless this is politically motivated. Plus, I am not buying that something this big was not known by someone higher up the DOJ food chain. Why would the President claim executive privilidge if this was field driven. To many things in this report don't stand up to the sniff test. This should have been investigated by an independent counsel.

    September 19, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • cbswim

      Independent counsel? Like Kenn Starr? I'm probably being naive, but all attorneys are ethically bound to follow the law, no matter where that takes them. Public Sector attorneys, especially now with the legal market so tight, would not risk botching an investigation like this. It would ruin their careers if and when they were found out. They would be fired from DOJ and blacklisted in the private sector, which is where the real money is anyway. I really just don't think that someone who is paid to examine all the angles wouldn't look out for number one.

      September 19, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bobby

      "They would be fired from DOJ"

      They would be fired from the DOJ for covering up for the people who run the DOJ? What the hell are you smoking? No information possibly proving this report wrong is likely going to come out for years, after the courts decide if the information Obama is hiding should be released.

      September 19, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andy

      CBSWIM: Look how well this is worked out for the whistle blowers. Do you really think someone in the DOJ, investigating the DOJ would put their career on the line to really dive into the rabbit hole?

      September 19, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Safe in Texas

    Does anyone know the meaning of "fall guys"?

    September 19, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
  4. jbmw

    When will we see Holders resignation? or Obama's?

    September 19, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

      In 2016!

      September 19, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • DEBBS

      not soon enough !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      September 19, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      Riechsmarschall Holder will resign on 19 January 2013. The last full day of BoBo's one and only term. It's the same day that the Wonder Chimp will give Reichsmarschall Holder a total pardon.


      September 19, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • bspurloc

      when will we see bush cheney arrested?

      September 19, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Molly

      For What!!!!!! This happened 2006..Remember BUSH....

      September 19, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • bspurloc

      Yeah... cuz when bush started this program and arrested NO ONE, it took Obama to come in and arrest them....
      foxfaxfail for u

      September 19, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • TheBigSarge

      obama's will be on January 15th, 2013. holder's immediately after a replacement is found and nominated.


      September 19, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Get Real

    Time to fire the coconut head Holder and his coconut head boss.

    September 19, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  6. ED

    Tired of waiting on your phone to ring for a job? Well start to make money from the comfort of your own home and the best thing it cost you absolutely nothing to do. Follow the link and start making money today.

    September 19, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  7. dubrats

    the chicago mob is running this country....tell us something we don't know.

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

      You watch to much "BOSS"

      September 19, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    Yes, as soon as GWB serves his life sentence for lying about WMDs and committing treason and mass murder!

    September 19, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Richard Smegma

      You cannot be this naive...nor ignorant.

      September 19, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • TheBigSarge

      was not a lie. although only trace elements were found, both GB and VX nerve gasses were found, just no evidence of mass production at the time.

      unlike obozo, bush listened to his advisors, and removed a brtual tyrant who murdered and tortured his subjects. his boys uday and kusay were no saints either. used to pluck women off the street for their pleasure and toss rivals to starving dogs and watch the carnage.

      so far all obozo has done is help shore up the muslem brotherhood and weaken our nation with his failed economic policies and foreign policy.


      September 19, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Soooooo, the US goes in, and trying to get rid of the brutal dictator who is killing his own citizens, manages to kill tens of thousands MORE Iraqi citizens, and thousands of our own troops, and earning their undying hatred...yep, acceptable risk.
      Well done.

      September 19, 2012 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Portland tony

      Don't care about your politics Sarge, the middle east is no safer, Iraq is no better off and we lost thousands of good men and women to death and injury. Plus we spent billions trying to build a nation which is now more friendly to Iran than it ever was. Just wonder how good Americans who believed in this war sleep at night?

      September 19, 2012 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Gotta love it

    "I have reviewed the evidence and determined that I'm not guilty of anything. Also, I've determined that I'm possibly the greatest thing since sliced bread" Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement.

    The joys of investigating yourself..

    September 19, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

      Mission accomplished!

      September 19, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    A Fire Holder is called a Furnace!

    September 19, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Frankco

    Under the bus with the small fall guys, the shakers and movers have no morals and will never admit the truth, just like this news media CNN only looking green and never fair or balanced coverage.

    September 19, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Patrick Lewis

    This seems about right. The operation had the precedence of very similar operations in the prior administration and seemed to make sense at the time. It was undeniably stupid, but not criminally so since no one set out to kill anyone or take away their civil rights. Wingnuts will try to spin this. King and Issa will bloviate on TV, but this is probably justice served. The DOJ didn't kill Brian Terry, MEXICAN CRIMINALS killed Brian Terry, an armed and armored law officer who was trained to be in the very situation in which he lost his life. It's tragic, but not criminal and NOT a conspiracy, partisan or otherwise!

    September 19, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  13. cbswim

    Well, I'm going to rely on the Report over a bunch of racist bigots any day until the Report is refuted. Funny how none of you seized on the fact that this was going on way back in 2006. Who was President then? I forget. Oh, that's right! The WORST PRESIDENT IN THE HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES!

    September 19, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • bspurloc

      and it took the Obama administration to arrest the ones sold the guns from the Bush failed amdinistration

      September 19, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Molly

      cbswim, I not only agree with you but have stated the same on this site. But, whenever does a conservative care about the facts. They choose to STAY ignorant and that will never change. A loser is a loser is a 'conservative'.

      September 19, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bobby

      You're gong to rely on a report that exonerated the people whom those writing the report worked for? Living in a fantasy world must be great. Then again, I must be a racist for not believing the police when they clear themselves after they shoot someone down in the street either.

      September 19, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Wade

    So, pin in it on the underlings, and blame it on the last Administration. Right out of Obama's campaign play book!

    September 19, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Molly

      really are dumb.....THIS F&F started in 2006.......Bushy was in the White House. President Obama cleaned up bushy mess!!!!
      Got that??????

      September 19, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  15. jake

    Racists pigs will disagree with the findings.

    September 19, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
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