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. Anti christ smanty christ

    The UN is the antichrist. Get a clue.

    September 19, 2012 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • mccainin4

      Grabbed one from the bowl at the door. Suggest you do the same. Grab a handful while you're at it, nobody will notice.

      September 20, 2012 at 6:57 am | Report abuse |
  2. dazzle ©

    Yawn!!! Gee, I wonder who can be posting this. "Hage"

    September 20, 2012 at 12:40 am | Report abuse |
  3. @dazzle

    It does not matter who. Would you blame ab anwering machine for playing a message, or would you listen to the message and hardly notice the machine?
    Imagine focusing on the anwering machine while the message is playing...wondering what makes the machine 'tick', thinking of the color of the machine, the size of the machine, etc. You would miss the message. Like you just did. 🙂

    September 20, 2012 at 8:26 am | Report abuse |
  4. Kaplan54

    Our president Obama has done a much better job than people give him credit for. Mitt is scary, I think. What will happen to the average people if he gets elected?

    September 20, 2012 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      What will happen to the average people if Mitt is elected? The entreprenuerial class, small businessmen, will start businesses and people with skills, an industrious work ethic, or both. They'll obtain experience and skills and improve their lot in life. It's called "capitalism".

      No skill, no ambition losers will lay around high on medicaid pain killer prescriptions, but well fed on food stamps. That'll happen whether Obama or Mitt is elected. You can't help those who refuse to help themselves.

      Obama is an unmitigated disaster. He's so blinded by his third world anti American upbringing he never read about socialism not working anywhere, anytime in history. The scary part is that he can persuade so many to vote for him. "Hope and change, my slobbering m0r0n, hope and change..."

      September 20, 2012 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Hamsta

      Before he was elected he was hoping I would give him some change from my pocket. After he was elected he hopes he can take the change from my pocket. Fire Obama he just hopes he can get the change in your pocket.

      September 20, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  5. retired sailor

    Go figure, in the military the commanding officers are held responsible for what happens in their command even if they didn't know about it at the time. When that happens they are relieved of command and their career is over. But why should we expect to have this administration held to the same standard. As the law states, ignorance is no excuse. Guess that Obama and Holder forgot about that.

    September 20, 2012 at 9:08 am | Report abuse |
    • sfcadams retaired

      Your right I thank they should fire U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and then charge him with murder for the death of the Agent Terry.

      September 20, 2012 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Hapless Holder

      Command responsibility is why the military works and Government doesn't. "Uh, I'm so lost in space I had no idea what my subordinates were doing..." Heck of a defense. He's in charge. You're telling me he has no staff approval process to hold approval authority to his echelon? "Just do what you want, everybody, while I ignore this black panther voter intimidation and file another lawsuit against Arizona for stopping the illegal aliens I want to let in..."

      September 20, 2012 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Viet. Vet

      I wonder why we didn't charge Bush, Chaney and Rumfield for those WMD in which thousand of americans lives was lost based on a lie,no hearing, no republican investigation, just swept under the rug, the haters always comeup with an excuses when the evidence don't support their twisted theory. If Issa was interested in finding out the real facts instead of polirical grand standing , He would have call the people who were involved and had first hand knowledge of both Wide receiver started under Bush, Fast and furious, dang, also started under Bush, he could have save the wasted time of the IG doing a real investigation but of course, it didn't fit what they were trying to achieve, absoultely nothing but wasted time and potical theater..

      September 20, 2012 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
  6. toddcourt1

    While no overt act of wrong doing by the Attorney General was found, there is an obvious insubordination of duty somewhere down the chain, which led to Terry's death. This is still negligent in terms of running a loose ship. If policies were tighter and command was more adhered to, Holder would have been more aware of what his people were doing and his command would have been more closely followed. If Holder didn't know what was happening, this just shows how disconnected he is from his post and unaware he was of the contempt for his leadership that apparently exists. How many other officers have to be put unnecessarily in harms way before Holder discovers and adequately assesses the extent of his loose ship and make the changes necessary to ensure the safety of American citizens and the Border Agents who protect us? I believe depraved indifference certainly applies in Holders case.

    September 20, 2012 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Portland tony

      I find this analogy misleading. Obviously there is a chain of command as there is in any organization. The top guy surrounds himself with trusted associates. They in turn do the same...and so it goes down the chain. When it comes to the end of the chain, you have line employees who are in essence the worker bees. The agents and their immediate supervisors. At some intermediate level this "fast and furious" plan was implemented and so it went forth. When it fell apart, or the real objective became obscure, a cover up started. It blew up when the agent was killed by a firearm that was sold illegal to a Mexican gang. He could have been shot by any number of firearms the gang possessed, but he wasn't. Every general
      cannot be held responsible for the death of every soldier on a battlefield, just as a President can't be blamed for the same thing. When Truman announced "the buck stops here" he was referring to Presidential decisions like dropping the
      ABomb...etc. Holder may have had a few incompetents working down the chain, but besides bearing a moral responsibility, he didn't have clue what what was going on at the /local level. No one tells the boss bad news. Cause he might just bury the bearer.

      ofsold. ier on a battlefield.

      September 20, 2012 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
  7. Philip

    Blood was spilled because of this direct action. At least some of the directors should be going to prison.
    Powerful men have throughout history pretended to be rectifying the very crimes they themselves secretly committed. How todays governments operate is no different.
    We are but small pieces of furniture easily moved.

    September 20, 2012 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
  8. Freaking *Munchkins of Oz*

    Killing Eric Holder (aka Ding-dong the wicked witch is dead) will not plug the loophole in our laws that allow guns sold at Gun Shows to be exported to Mexico before officials are even notified of the sale.
    This is how 80% of illegal firearms confiscated by Mexican authorities are US made.
    (slightly inflated stat) Some of that 80% are Israeli made guns smuggled into Egypt out of Israel's tunnels. (how Egypt's pres. Mubarack became a billionaire)
    Uncle Sam can't have it looking like the US is arming Mexicans, hence the FBI smuggling thousands of Soviet made weapons into Mexico. (of course it goes deeper than this....lonnnnng story)

    September 20, 2012 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
  9. chilipepper

    Of course Holder didn't know about this. This Admin is really messed up and don't know what they're doing. They just hire people and tell him to go for it. No leadership only know how to say racist when they do something dumb again and again. IMO

    September 20, 2012 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Portland tony

      OMG...When a political appointee like Holder is put in charge of an agency, do you honestly think that change comes to that agency overnight? 90% of any government agency are civil service employees and they aren't gonna change they way they operate cause they know the head man and his staff are only temporary and they will be there until they retire!

      September 20, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Robert

    What a load of crap! holder fully knew about the whole thing. Now he is sacraficing underlings to save his sorry A$$!

    September 20, 2012 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Ancient Texan

    Holder is the boss and nobody should believe that all of the flim flam gun dealing was taking place without him knowing it. He knew and odds are really good that his boss (Obama) was aware also. Obama telling the woman representative that was screaming for tighter gun controls, that "we're working on it under the radar" speaks volumes.

    September 20, 2012 at 10:08 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Steve

    I really get tired of the WMD comments. Reality is this, Saddam wanted the Iranians to think he had WMDs. Simple, and he sold the world on the idea. I have been in Iraq and Afghanistan 8 years. Everyone over here knows this is the simple truth. These is a lot of speculation that chemical weapons made there way to Syria.

    September 21, 2012 at 4:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Ancient Texan

      100% correct. The left wants everyone to think that GWB made the decision all by himself and fabricated the WMD reason....The Congress overwhelmingly approved of the action and both Clintons, John Kerry, and many others strongly stated that Saddam had them. Kerry even said that if the public didn't believe that, they shouldn't vote for him.

      September 21, 2012 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  13. Steve

    Holder should be held accountable. Why is the Justice Department in a different league than the U.S. Military? Weinberger fired Base Commanders for contract overruns and other abuses. Maybe they knew or didn't know, but they were in charge and SHOULD HAVE KNOWN. If Holder is qualified to be the Attorney General then he should have had oversight processes in place to prevent this. Management 101.

    September 21, 2012 at 4:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Joe Citizen

      The report stands as is... NO PROOF of a coverup. Another Republican "strategic" campaign move shot down.

      Hopefully, in January the House and Senate will get back to the business of WORKING TOGETHER to solve the nation's problems. Worthless witch hunts such as these will only continue to sabotage the process.

      September 21, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pete

      @Steve,ever hear of a political witchhunt,something Issa and Grassley are good at and now guilty of..Operation Gunrunner was never closed,just a BS coverup that Bush did to pass his problem policies to the next guy.If you'd read on some of Bushs policies some didn't start or end till years later ,he was an idiot as far as presidents go,you can't deny it,that's fact!!His unfunded wars,unfunded Medicare,I won't haunt you with facts because they don't lie..Multiple lawsuits against Cheneys Halliburton for soldiers killed by faulty equipment,but Cheney knowing to move Halliburtons headquarters out of the country for just that reason,Americans can't sue foriegn based firms,it won't stick or too costly..And Steve why don't Americans go after Bush,Cheney and company for human rights violations like 147 other countries,if caught they'd be tried at the Netherlands Hague,they did kill thousands of innocent men and women soldiers plus Iraq,Afghan citizens with lies,if you have a conscience like I do you wouldn't rebuke it would you!!

      September 22, 2012 at 9:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rukh

      Read the article before jerking your knee at the keyboard please.

      September 23, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • tkret

      Pete, Ruhk and Joe can say whatever they want. There is still too much information that remains unclear. I have been following this Fast N Furious since Brian Terry and Jaime Zapata were murdered. Holder should have known what was going on. If he didn't than what was the reasoning behind obama covering him under Executive Privilege? There were apparently many stupid moves by everyone involved in FnF, but after hearing Holder stonewalling Issa's panel during questioning, one can only come to the conclusion both holder and obama knew about what was happening, and will not own up to it.

      September 23, 2012 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • memo2

      Steve, I agree with you Holder should be responsible for this operation, about Joe's Citizen comment if this is a sabotage then how this happen.

      September 24, 2012 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
  14. Scott

    How do you know when a politician is lying? His lips are moving.

    September 21, 2012 at 7:22 am | Report abuse |
  15. Rick McDaniel

    Holder knew about it.

    The guys at the top always cover their tracks, and the underlings take the fall!

    September 21, 2012 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
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