Its been awhile since I have seen any thing being said about this subject so Im assuming that its pretty much swept under the rug like the Benghazi thing is getting swept under the rug.
Anyway I signed a petition or some thing to that effect about Fast and furious some time ago and well I got a response about it from Illinois Senator Durbin today so Im posting his response here and would like to know what every body thinks about what he's got to say.
Dear Mr. _____
Thank you for your message regarding Operation Fast and Furious and Eric Holder. I appreciate hearing from you.
For years, people known as “straw buyers” would purchase weapons in the United States legally and then smuggle them illegally to Mexico to sell to drug cartels. In 2006, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) implemented Project Gunrunner to tackle the problem of gun trafficking to Mexico and to stem the violent crimes with which it is associated. The agency works with law enforcement both in the United States and internationally to identify and dismantle the firearms and explosives smuggling network of criminal organizations working along the Southwest border.
Operation Fast and Furious was part of a sting operation through Project Gunrunner to identify larger criminal organizations that trafficked firearms illegally. According to ATF whistleblowers, suspected straw purchasers were allowed to build up a large collection of guns as part of long-term gun trafficking investigations. These firearms are thought to have been trafficked to gunrunners and other criminals before ATF could arrest suspects and seize contraband firearms.
On December 15, 2010, Border Patrol Agent Brian A. Terry was killed in the line of duty near Rio Rico, Arizona. It is alleged that the firearms used to kill Special Agent Terry were part of a Project Gunrunner investigation. It is also alleged that a trafficked firearm was used to murder U.S. ICE Special Agent Jamie Zapata and to wound Special Agent Victor Avila on February 15, 2011.
In April 2011, Representative Darrell Issa of California issued a subpoena to DOJ and ATF for documents related to Project Gunrunner. In June 2011, Representative Issa and Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa issued a joint staff report on Operation Fast and Furious, and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform held a hearing on this issue. The staff report shed light on information that ATF supervisors were concerned that hundreds of firearms were being transferred illegally during surveillance operations, but the supervisors were allegedly directed not to arrest the suspects or confiscate the firearms.
In December 2011, DOJ officials released fourteen hundred pages of documents relating to the Operation to three Congressional committees. In the past 14 months, Attorney General Holder has testified before Congressional committees nine times about the Operation. On June 20, 2012, President Obama asserted executive privilege and directed Attorney General Holder not to release certain documents in response to Congressional subpoena. That same day, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform voted to hold Holder in contempt of Congress for his refusal to comply with subpoenas issued by this committee. On July 28, 2012, the full House of Representatives voted to adopt a contempt resolution, which calls on House Speaker John Boehner to refer the report to the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia under the contempt of Congress statute.
The DOJ wrote to Speaker Boehner stating it will not prosecute an Executive Branch official under the contempt of Congress statute for withholding subpoenaed documents in the case of Presidential assertion of executive privilege. This is consistent with DOJ decisions in previous administrations of both political parties in cases of contempt. Adopted during the Ronald Reagan administration, then Assistant Attorney General for the office of Legal Counsel, Theodore Olsen stated that, “the contempt of Congress statute was not intended to apply and could not Constitutionally be applied to an Executive Branch official who asserts the President’s claim of executive privilege.”
On September 19, 2012, the Inspector General for DOJ, Michael Horowitz released a comprehensive 512 page report on ATF’s Operation Fast and Furious. Despite claims that Holder and other top DOJ officials knew about the ATF’s gun-walking tactics and covered it up, Horowitz concluded that Holder and other top DOJ officials did not know about Fast and Furious until Congress began inquries in 2011.
The Inspector General recommended more rigorous oversight of ATF to improve its effectiveness and accountability, and asked DOJ to update the Office of the Inspector General on progress in implementing better oversight and guidance within 90 days.
Over the past five years, federal agencies have recovered 94,000 weapons from Mexico, of which 64,000 were traced to sources in the United States. I support measures to strengthen and fully fund the ATF so it can continue to detect and disrupt illegal gun trafficking.
I will keep your views in mind as this matter is addressed further. Thank you again for contacting me. Please feel free to keep in touch.
Richard J. Durbin
United States Senator