Fast, Furious: 'Serious Failures' by Justice Dept.

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Republicans and Democrats are praising the long-awaited report investigating the botched 2009 "gun-walking" operation known as Fast and Furious, but not for the same reasons.

Three years ago, federal agents lost track of hundreds of weapons after launching the operation. Many of those weapons ended up in the hands of criminals, and one border patrol agent in Arizona was killed in a shootout with traffickers.

The inspector general's report identified "serious failures" on the part of the Justice Department but cleared Attorney General Eric Holder of having any knowledge of the operation.

Testifying before a House committee Thursday, Inspector General Michael Horowitz said, "There needs to be supervision; there needs to be oversight," and such operations should be referred at the start to "the highest levels."

Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America, talked more about the case, on CBN's Newswatch, Sept. 19.

Democrats defended Holder, suggesting he was wrongly pursued and consequently held in contempt of Congress.

"There can no longer be any doubt that gun walking was never authorized or approved of by the attorney general or senior department officials," Rep. Elijah  E. Cummings,D- Md., said.

"The attorney general has over and over again been put on for this gun-walking," Eleanor Holmes Norton Holmes, the District of Columbia's nonvoting delegate to the House, said. "The attorney general could not have approved this because he did not even know of gun-walking."
    
But Republicans say their vote to find Holder in contempt was justified.

"I hate to make the record clear, but he was never held in contempt of Congress because he sanctioned gun-walking," Rep. Trey Gowdy, R- S.C., said. "He was held in contempt of Congress because he thwarted our attempts to find out what you found out."

The 471-page report suggests disciplinary action for the people most directly responsible for the gun-trafficking program.

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