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Published On: Thu, Sep 20th, 2012

‘Fast and Furious’ investigation report faults 14 officials, 2 resign immediately

More than a dozen Justice Department and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives officials faced punishment Wednesday after a long-awaited report on the gun probe nicknamed as “Operation Fast and Furious.”

That probe and a previous investigation were marked by “a series of misguided strategies, tactics, errors in judgment and management failures” that allowed hundreds of weapons to reach Mexican drug cartels, the Justice Department’s independent inspector general concluded.

Within minutes of the report’s release, Justice announced rthat former acting ATF chief Kenneth Melson was retiring and another official, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Jason Weinstein, had resigned.

Weinstein and Melson were among 14 people who “bore a share of responsibility for ATF’s knowing failure in both these operations to interdict firearms illegally destined for Mexico, and for doing so without adequately taking into account the danger to public safety that flowed from this risky strategy,” the report states.

Weinstein failed to pass along key information about the flawed tactics being used in Fast and Furious, while Melson and other ATF officials didn’t properly supervise the probe, the report states.

The report referred them and another 12 officials in Washington and the ATF and U.S. attorney’s offices in Phoenix to Justice officials to determine “whether discipline or other administrative action” was required. 

MORE DETAILED TRANSCRIPT OF THE REPORT  – CLICK HERE

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

Revelations that ATF agents watched suspected gun traffickers cross into Mexico with weapons purchased at U.S. gun shops outraged lawmakers. Larry Alt, one of the ATF agents who blew the whistle on the operation, told CNN that it was “egregious” that agents were watching people transfer guns to people who were handing them over to the cartels, “and we were not taking an enforcement action.”

“I would say that the persons responsible for this case … at the field level, the division level, and the headquarters level and as far as it went into the Department of Justice, should be held accountable for any decision that they made that allowed these guns to go out on the street unmonitored,” Alt said.

The LA TIMES has detailed coverage of the case – check it out here

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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