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New Fast and Furious report shows effort to manage media, zero effort to track missing firearms

There was no three-day countdown clock ticking away the seconds until its release, but House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz and Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley on Wednesday released a new, 250-page report (PDF) into Operation Fast and Furious.


Citing documents and communications won through federal litigation, the report accuses the Department of Justice of stonewalling “both Congress and the family of slain Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.”

Chaffetz posted video of the opening of Wednesday’s session:


The committee’s website lists a number of key takeaways from the report, which confirm what many suspected: the Justice Department and Attorney General Eric Holder were concerned more with managing the media’s reporting on the scandal and insulating the administration than on providing answers to the family of slain Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.

For example, the report cites an email from Holder in response to a piece in the Washington Post headlined, “U.S. anti-gunrunning effort turns fatally wrong.” Holder’s response: “Hit back HARD.”

The summary also notes the apparent absence of any effort to track down the thousands of firearms lost in the operation:

… documents show Attorney General Holder managed key aspects of the Department’s responses to Congress and to media inquiries rather than focusing on managing DOJ’s law enforcement components. There are no documents to demonstrate the Attorney General ever devised a strategy to track down the more than 2,000 firearms lost along the Southwest border. Nor are there any documents to demonstrate the Attorney General coordinated assistance for the Terry family. Instead, documents show Attorney General Holder absorbed in only the political implications of the various milestone events throughout 2011.


The media, most of Congress, and most of the public moved on from Fast and Furious a while ago, which is a shame.


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