NEWS

Editorial Boards Call for Fast & Furious Accountability

Privilege and contempt
Holder’s default position should be one of openness. Accusations of a cover-up won’t disappear until he can show there’s nothing to hide.
Executive privilege claim unwarranted
All of that warrants an investigation. The White House’s resistance, and its claim of executive privilege, makes the need for one more urgent.
Holder shouldn’t play fast and loose with the facts
But regardless of when presidents should and should not invoke executive privilege, attorneys general should be sure that they’re telling the truth — especially when answering questions from Congress.
Editorial: Turn over documents on gun sting
The Justice Department owes Congress and the country more than the stonewalling that has marked its behavior.
Editorial: Let facts out in weapon scandal
The administration can avoid a full House vote on the contempt charge by turning over the requested documents, and it should. The gamesmanship must end.
Editorial: In 'Fast and Furious,' err on the side of disclosure
The operation was botched from the get-go. Except for Agent Terry, no one has paid much of a price for it. Mr. Holder's Justice Department has not been fully forthcoming.
Furiouser and furiouser
The public and courts have no way to be sure if the government is acting out of a well-founded need to protect sensitive sources and conversations or an avid desire, particularly in an election year, to conceal its own wrongdoing.
Editorial: End the secrets on Fast and Furious
The administration can avoid a full House vote on the contempt charge by turning over the requested documents, and it should. The gamesmanship must end.
Does executive privilege outweigh Congress’s right to disclosure on Fast and Furious?
Absent very strong countervailing considerations — stronger than some of those the administration has asserted in this case — Congress is generally entitled to disclosure.
An abuse of power
An overreaching claim of near-imperial legal immunity is very much the wrong answer to what are legitimate questions of how a U.S. agent and many innocent civilians in our neighboring nation came to be killed by guns the American government shipped to drug lords.
Editorial: Don't hide 'Fast, Furious' facts
Whether Issa's probe is politically motivated or not, the administration will find it tough to convince the public of its openness without coughing up some more documents.
Eric Holder must surrender Fast and Furious documents
The doctrine of executive privilege must be reserved for preventing congressional intrusions into exercises of presidential power, not for shielding the paper trail of what should be far more routine government actions.
Obama’s Executive Privilege Has Stench Of Cover-Up
Fast and Furious has become worse than Watergate. No one died at Watergate. Just what is in those documents that Obama and Holder so desperately want to hide? Brian Terry's family and the American people deserve answers.
Editorial: To shield Holder, Obama puts secrecy before transparency
It is difficult to see how Obama's preference for secrecy in this case will result in any benefit to the public. It is equally difficult to see how he can square this executive privilege claim with his lofty promises of transparency.
Editorial: Fast and Furious showdown
That suggests that some of the documents could be released without intruding on deliberations directly involving Obama. If that's the case, the administration and the committee should continue to explore a possible compromise, notwithstanding election-year politics.
Holder Should Act Faster, Congress Less Furiously
All that matters in the end is for the public -- and the family of Brian Terry -- to know as much as possible about what went wrong with Operation Fast and Furious.
Holder’s contempt and Obama’s privilege
Mr. Issa may yet obtain other material directly contradicting Mr. Holder’s sworn testimony or revealing White House involvement. It remains to be seen whether this investigation will produce a smoking gun.
Holder's Many Privileges
The American people can reach their own conclusions about Mr. Holder's credibility. His serial privilege claims make him—and now the President who is coming to his rescue—very hard to believe.

Articles

Senator examines allegation in border shootout
A U.S. senator is examining a claim that two guns sold in purchases sanctioned by federal firearms agents were later used in a December shootout that left a Border Patrol agent dead near the Arizona-Mexico border.
Gunrunning scandal uncovered at the ATF
Keeping American weapons from getting into the hands of Mexican gangs is the goal of a program called "Project Gunrunner." But critics say it's doing exactly the opposite. CBS News investigative correspondent Sharyl Attkisson reports on what she found.
Agent: I was ordered to let U.S. guns into Mexico
Federal agent John Dodson says what he was asked to do was beyond belief. He was intentionally letting guns go to Mexico? "Yes ma'am," Dodson told CBS News. "The agency was."
Mexico requests info from U.S. on gun-running
ATF sources tell CBS News that Mexican officials were intentionally kept in the dark for fear that they would jeopardize the controversial program. The strategy drew fierce criticism from federal agents ordered to employ it, including John Dodson. Dodson told CBS News that that letting guns "walk" endangered too many lives.
Holder: 'Gunwalking' is wrong
Prior to this week, the position of the Justice Department was that ATF has never knowingly allowed guns to get into the hands of suspected gunrunners. However, Attorney General Eric Holder no longer appears to be denying the allegations, which have been made by a dozen veteran ATF agents.
Darrell Issa To Investigate ATF's Controversial Gunrunner Project
Darrell Issa (R-CA) lobbed criticism at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Wednesday night and revealed he is investigating allegations that the agency intentionally let more than 1,700 guns be illegally trafficked to Mexico.
"Gunwalking" scandal final straw leading to resignation of U.S. ambassador to Mexico
The U.S. ambassador to Mexico, Carlos Pascual, has resigned under pressure. In recent weeks, Mexico's President Felipe Calderon has said in public he doesn't trust Pascual (seen at left). Several sources close to diplomatic circles inside Mexico tell CBS News that from Mexico's viewpoint, the ATF "gunwalking" scandal was the final straw in a series of controversies.
ATF gunwalking scandal: Second agent speaks out
South of El Paso, Texas, on Mexico's side of the border, lies Juarez - the most dangerous city in the world. CBS News investigative correspondent Sharyl Attkisson reports ATF Special Agent Rene Jaquez has been stationed there for the past year, trying to keep U.S. guns from being trafficked into Mexico.
Darrell Issa Subpoenas Records On 'Project Gunrunner'
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) wants answers about Project Gunrunner — a controversial initiative targeting illegal gun trafficking on the Mexico border — and he wants them now.
Gun shop owner expressed concerns early on in "gunwalker" scandal
Damning, newly-obtained emails show that a key gun shop owner made explicit concerns in writing last year in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms' "gunwalking" scandal.
Issa's Office: Obama Admin Wouldn't Answer Questions On 'Role In Arming Deadly Drug Cartels'
“The Obama Administration has been stonewalling congressional inquiries into the deadly ‘Project Gunrunner’ and ‘Operation Fast and Furious’ debacles since day one,” an Issa spokeswoman told TPM in a statement.
Gun Probe's Tactics Criticized
Critics say the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives lost track of guns it was supposed to be monitoring, letting the weapons pass into the hands of Mexican cartels and perhaps be used in violence against U.S. officials.
DOJ's Breuer authorized wiretap in ATF Fast and Furious case
One document indicates a Holder Asst. Attorney General, Lanny Breuer, authorized a wiretap in the controversial gun trafficking case headquartered in Phoenix. In that case, called "Fast and Furious," multiple sources say ATF allowed thousands of guns to hit the streets, destined for Mexican drug cartels.
Charges in murder of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry
Nearly five months after Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was gunned down near the Arizona-Mexico border, today a federal judge unsealed 14 count indictment charging Manuel Osorio-Arellanes and at least two others with Terry's murder. At today's arraignment, Osorio-Arellanes pleaded not guilty.
Guns From U.S. Probe Surface in Mexico
An arsenal found in Mexico included at least five assault rifles that U.S. authorities trace to a federal operation gone badly awry, according to government documents.
Who approved 'Fast and Furious'? Jorge Ramos talked to Senator Chuck Grassley
Senator Chuck Grassley talked to Jorge Ramos about the controversial operation 'Fast and Furious', through which hundreds of weapons were smuggled to Mexico from the US while de US government spied on the cartels.
Justice Department Accused of 'Reckless Technique'
In a report issued Tuesday by two powerful Republicans in Congress, the Justice Department was accused of conducting an operation that allowed nearly 1,000 guns to flow illegally into Mexico, including two that were eventually found at the scene of the murder of an American Border Patrol agent.
Top Brass Cited in Gun Sting
Lawmakers released documents showing that senior federal officials were closely involved in a troubled gun-enforcement operation that came to light after the death of a U.S. border agent in a shootout in December.
The Fast and the Furious - Mexico Grift
The ATF plan to prevent American guns from being used in Mexican gun violence is to provide Mexican gangs with American guns.
U.S. AK-47s linked to Mexican attorney's slaying
A congressional investigation into a controversial federal gun-running surveillance operation is moving to Mexico this week amid new reports that two AK-47s sold in Arizona during the operation were found at the scene of a shootout with the suspected killers of a well-known Mexican attorney.
More U.S. agencies implicated in Mexico gun-trafficking probe
The embattled head of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has told congressional investigators that some Mexican drug cartel figures targeted by his agency in a gun-trafficking investigation were paid informants for the FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration.
A gunrunning sting gone fatally wrong
They came from all over the country, agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, brought here in a bold new effort to shut down the flow of U.S. guns to Mexican drug cartels. It was called Operation Fast and Furious, after a popular movie about street car racing.
Gun Probe Lost Track of More Than 1,000 Weapons
Federal agents running an Arizona gun-trafficking investigation can't account for more than 1,000 firearms bought by suspected smugglers, a new congressional report said.
Report: ATF Officials Left Colleagues In Mexico Out Of The Loop On 'Fast And Furious'
Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and Justice Department officials didn’t properly inform ATF employees stationed in Mexico about the technique of letting suspected straw purchasers put guns into the supply line so they could determine how the guns ended up in the hands of Mexican drug cartels, according to the Republican report.
ATF's gun surveillance program showed early signs of failure
Just a few months into Operation Fast and Furious, an agency official called for a strategy to shut down the program aimed at following guns into the hands of Mexican drug cartels.
Firearms from ATF sting linked to 11 more violent crimes
Firearms from the ATF's Operation Fast and Furious weapons trafficking investigation turned up at the scenes of at least 11 violent crimes in the U.S., as well as at a Border Patrol agent's slaying in southern Arizona last year, the Justice Department has acknowledged to Congress.
ATF head Kenneth Melson reassigned amid gun-trafficking probe
Justice Department officials announced Tuesday that they had reassigned the ATF director and that the U.S. attorney in Phoenix had stepped down, a major shake-up in response to the controversy over a Phoenix-based U.S. gun-trafficking operation.
Two Top Officials Resign Over ATF's Operation Fast and Furious
The acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms And Explosives (ATF) and the U.S. Attorney for Arizona have resigned their posts in the wake of a scandal involving a program aimed at stopping gun trafficking on the Mexican border. ATF Director Ken Melson and U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke announced their resignations on Tuesday.
ATF Gunwalker: Who at the White House knew?
CBS News has obtained a series of emails that show the White House had more information on ATF's controversial Fast and Furious operation than previously disclosed. But administration officials insists nobody at the White House knew specifically that ATF was allowing guns to "walk" into the hands of suspected gun traffickers for Mexican drug cartels.
Prosecutors stripped of cases after ATF head reassigned
Federal prosecutors in Arizona have been stripped of three major criminal cases, including the murder last year of a Border Patrol agent, in the wake of ongoing investigations into the office's role in a controversial weapons-trafficking operation that allowed hundreds of guns to fall into the hands of drug cartel associates in Mexico and criminals in the U.S.
Fast and Furious guns tied to second violent crime
In the second violent crime in this country connected with the ATF’s failed Fast and Furious program, two Arizona undercover police officers were allegedly assaulted last year when they attempted to stop two men in a stolen vehicle with two of the program's weapons in a confrontation south of Phoenix.
Gun store owner had misgivings about ATF sting
In the fall of 2009, ATF agents installed a secret phone line and hidden cameras in a ceiling panel and wall at Andre Howard's Lone Wolf gun store. They gave him one basic instruction: Sell guns to every illegal purchaser who walks through the door.
3 more murders linked to Gunwalker
Weapons linked to ATF's controversial "Fast and Furious" operation have been tied to at least eight violent crimes in Mexico including three murders, four kidnappings and an attempted homicide.
Mexico still waiting for answers on Fast and Furious gun program
Top Mexican officials say the U.S. kept them in the dark. One official was stunned to learn that the cartel hit men who killed her brother had assault rifles from Fast and Furious in their arsenal.
ATF Fast and Furious guns turned up in El Paso
A cache of assault weapons lost in the ATF's gun-trafficking surveillance operation in Phoenix turned up in El Paso, where it was being stored for shipment to Mexico, according to new internal agency emails and federal court records.
Congress subpoenas 'Fast and Furious' documents
Congressional investigators issued a subpoena Wednesday for communications from several top Justice Department officials -- including Attorney General Eric Holder -- relating to the discredited "Fast and Furious" federal gunrunning operation.
Obama on 'Fast and Furious': 'People Who Have Screwed Up Will Be Held Accountable'
As the Justice Department investigates how U.S. guns were allowed to flow illicitly into Mexico under the watchful eyes of federal agents, President Obama said today in an exclusive interview with ABC News that “people who have screwed up will be held accountable.”
Memo Shows Early ATF Concern on Fast and Furious Probe Despite Claims
While federal officials publicly denounced a lone whistleblower and told Congress the Obama administration had done everything it could to stop guns from going to Mexico, administration officials had signs that Fast and Furious investigators were losing track of weapons, a new memo obtained exclusively by Fox News suggests.
Family Of Agent Killed By 'Fast And Furious' Rifle Demands Accountability
A year after Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed by a weapon lost in a failed gunwalking operation, his family is calling on the U.S. government to hold those responsible accountable.
Republican Representative Raul Labrador on 'Al Punto'
One of the new faces of the Republican Party and vocal critic of Barack Obama discusses the Fast and Furious investigation. Note: Interview is in Spanish.
Top Republican issues ultimatum to Holder over "Fast and Furious"
A leading Republican lawmaker investigating the botched ”Fast and Furious” gun-walking operation this weekend issued an ultimatum to Attorney General Eric Holder: Clean up the mess or lose your job.
Federal official in Arizona to plead the fifth and not answer questions on 'furious'
The chief of the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Arizona is refusing to testify before Congress regarding Operation Fast and Furious, the federal gun-running scandal that sent U.S. weapons to Mexico.
Not so fast
The battle over Operation Fast and Furious has only become more serious since then. There are more troubling questions about how much senior officials in the Justice Department, up to and including Eric Holder, the attorney-general, knew about the operation, and when. Last February the department issued a letter denying the allegations that the ATF had allowed gunwalking. In March Barack Obama told Univision that neither he nor Mr Holder had authorised the operation. Six weeks later, in May, Mr Holder told the House Judiciary Committee that he had “probably” first heard of Operation Fast and Furious “over the past few weeks”.
Justice Dept. releases documents in Fast and Furious probe
Newly released Justice Department emails sent to Capitol Hill for a congressional inquiry into a gun-smuggling operation indicate that the head of the department's criminal division suggested letting some illicit "straw" weapons buyers in the U.S. transport their guns across the border into Mexico where they could be arrested.
Attorney General Eric Holder Set to Take Hot Seat at Fast and Furious Hearing
Attorney General Eric Holder takes the hot seat today in what is expected to a contentious hearing over the botched ATF gun running operation “Fast and Furious” before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
New report released by GOP lawmakers suggests top Justice officials had extensive knowledge of Operation Fast and Furious
Top Department of Justice officials had extensive knowledge of and involvement in Operation Fast and Furious, claims a new report released Thursday, hours before Attorney General Eric Holder's scheduled testimony to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
Parents say slain agent's death exposed flaws of gun-running operation
Brian Terry's life serves as inspiration to those who knew him. His death, a thorn in the side of the federal government. Terry, a 40-year-old federal agent, was killed December 14, 2010, after he confronted suspected drug bandits near the Arizona-Mexico border. Two weapons found near the scene of the killing were traced to a federal operation known as Fast and Furious.
Fast and Furious: Targets of gun sting were FBI informers
Mexican cartel suspects targeted in the troubled gun-trafficking probe known as Operation Fast and Furious were actually working as FBI informants at the time, according to a congressional memo that describes the case's mission as a "failure."
Gun-tracking operation caught top suspect, then let him go
Federal agents stopped the main target of the ill-fated Operation Fast and Furious in May 2010. After they questioned him, he disappeared back into Mexico, and the program went on to spiral out of control.
Fast and Furious' probe: Lead suspect released more than once
Manuel Celis-Acosta, the chief suspect in the ATF’s "Fast and Furious" investigation who was caught but released at the U.S.-Mexico border in May 2010, was also stopped and released two months earlier while in possession of a Colt .38-caliber pistol purchased illegally under the gun-tracking operation.