Monday, June 13, 2011

House Panel to Weigh Subpoena Authority in 'Fast and Furious' Gun Case


A hearing in the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is laying the groundwork to compel U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and the head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to turn over documents related to "Operation Fast and Furious," a secret Obama administration program that put thousands of guns into the hands of Mexican drug cartels.

Fast and Furious aimed to track gun sales to Mexico, allegedly, say critics of the program, to build up evidence to publicly blame cartel violence on U.S. gun store owners and lax American gun laws. In the past two months, the Department of Justice, on behalf of ATF, has ignored subpoenas and seven letters demanding details of the program. It has refused to provide a single document to the oversight committee, according to chairman Darrell Issa.

One of the documents that exposed the operation shows ATF officials knowingly allowed the sale of 1,318 guns to 15 suspects after they had been positively identified as gun smugglers. A majority of those guns went south of the border and only about 250 have been recovered in the U.S. by police at crime scenes.

This is a Suspicious News Brief.
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