Holder Under New Fire Over Fast and Furious

Monday, 01 Oct 2012 12:47 PM

By Martin Gould

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Embattled Attorney General Eric Holder started the week on Monday with a barrage of bad news, making his chances of holding on to his job in a second Obama administration more unlikely.

Documents released in Mexico linked weapons bought under the shambolic Fast and Furious gunrunning scheme with dozens of murders south of the border — including two mass killings that left a total of 34 dead.

The latest report comes at a time when Republican pressure for Holder’s resignation showed no sign of abating with vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan the latest to call for him to go.

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The Mexican disclosures came after Spanish-language TV station Univision demanded documents under Mexico’s Freedom of Information Act listing 100,000 weapons recovered in that country in 2009 and 2010.

Univision says 57 of those weapons were bought under the Fast and Furious scheme in which officers from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) were ordered to stand by and allow guns to be bought in the United States and walked across the border.

Agents were supposed to track the weapons in the hope they would lead them to drug cartel kingpins, however nearly all were lost. U.S. Border guard Brian Terry and immigration official Jaime Zapata were killed with weapons linked to the scheme.

Univision said in a report that aired Sunday that a massacre in the border town of Juarez was linked to Fast and Furious, in which 16 people were killed when gunmen attacked a birthday party, were linked to Fast and Furious.

Another mass killing, in which 18 people died at a rehabilitation center in Juarez, also involved three weapons bought under an ATF scheme, although the Mexican Army paperwork did not specifically say it was Fast and Furious.

Gerardo Reyes, the head of Univision’s investigative unit told Fox News that relatives of those slain in Juarez are demanding answers. "They want to know what happened. And why they didn't stop these guns from leaving the U.S. and ending up in these crimes?" he said.

"They feel helpless, They don't know what to do. We interviewed one of them and they said ... 'Who's going to pay for this?'"

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Terry’s family is currently pursuing a wrongful death suit against the federal government. If successful it could open the way to more suits from these family members, Fox News reports.

As attorney general, Holder’s Justice Department has ultimate responsibility for the actions of ATF.



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