The Barack Obama administration's "Fast and Furious" scandal under the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) involved selling guns to suspected criminals — who would then sell them to drug gangs in Mexico for federal sting operations.
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In the end, the Obama scandal caused the deaths of innocent people, and never achieved its intended goal of catching violent drug-runners.
These 12 quotes follow the controversy.
As the 2012 presidential election neared, the Justice Department gave more than 64,000 pages of documents to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
1. "We have long been willing to provide many of these materials voluntarily in order to resolve this matter outside of court, and believe that producing them now should bring us a big step closer to concluding this litigation once and for all," said Justice Department spokesman Brian Fallon.
2. A 2011 email from Attorney General Eric Holder insulted GOP Rep Darrell Issa of California, chairman of the committee, and "his idiot cronies." Holder said the investigators "never gave a damn about" the program "when all that was happening was that thousands of Mexicans were being killed with guns from our country." He accused them of trying only to "cripple ATF and suck up to the gun lobby."
3. "This was an undercover activity that specifically cut out our allies in Mexico," Issa replied, "so if there’s culpability, I think it really belongs with the attorney general."
Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz prepared a report on U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke of Phoenix, who violated policy by passing on information about ATF agent John Dodson, who testified before Congress.
4. "There was substantial evidence that Burke’s motive for disclosing the memorandum was to retaliate against Special Agent Dodson, who two weeks earlier had testified before a congressional committee regarding his concerns about Operation Fast and Furious," Horowitz stated.
5. "Unbelievable," Burke wrote in an uncovered email, Bloomberg Businessweek reported.
"This guy called [Sen. Charles] Grassley [R-Iowa] and CBS to unearth what he in fact was proposing to do himself. When you thought the hypocrisy of this whole matter had hit the limit already…" Burke resigned in August 2011.
6. "[Holder's] indicated that he was not aware of what was happening in Fast and Furious," Obama said at an October 2011 press conference. "Certainly I was not..."
"I have complete confidence in him," Obama said of Holder.
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7. "It would certainly be interesting to know what Holder told his wife about the president’s statement. For example: 'Obama lied through his teeth, but at least he didn’t throw me under the bus!'" wrote John Hinderaker in Powerlineblog.com
on the Barack Obama scandal.
8. "Did the Obama administration deliberately lie to Congress and the American people?" Hinderaker asked in Powerlineblog. "This is the question to which Barack Obama evidently does not want us to know the answer."
9. Fast and Furious is "a scandal so large," Sharyl Attkisson said on the Feb. 23, 2011 "CBS Evening News," "some insiders say it surpasses the shootout at Ruby Ridge and the deadly siege at Waco."
10. About the inspector general’s report on the Justice Department and the ATF in 2012, Attkisson noted, "the review revealed a series of misguided strategies, tactics, errors in judgment, and management failures."
11. "Just baffling that they refuse to engage even just to protect the integrity of the agency," Burke wrote on an Arizona Republic expose in a 2011 email to Justice Department Criminal Division boss Lanny Breuer.
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12. "Finally, evidence continues to emerge that Fast and Furious was in fact much bigger than the press and the administration have admitted," wrote Alex Newman of the New American
on the Barack Obama scandal. "Mexican drug lords, for example, have said that the U.S. government was shipping weapons to their cartels and allowing them to bring drugs across the border in exchange for information."
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