Sunday, December 11, 2011

Interview: US Attorney General questioned over gun-walking scandal

Personal Interview
December 9, 2011
Link - Video available here

US Attorney General Eric Holder was in the line of fire Thursday on Capitol Hill. Congressional lawmakers investigating Operation Fast and Furious questioned Holder about the Justice Department's handling of the so-called gun-walking scandal.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms allowed more than 2,000 guns to cross into Mexico. The idea was to take down a drug cartel. Instead, weapons showed up at crime scenes in Mexico and Arizona...including at the murder scene of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry last December.

Holder said his department is dedicated to getting answers about the controversial program.

Operation Fast and Furious started in 2009 and allowed illegally purchased firearms to be taken from gun stores in Arizona across the Mexican border to drug cartels. The intent of the operation was to monitor the flow of weapons to their ultimate destination.

Council on Hemispheric Affairs Alejandro Sanchez Nieto says the Justice Department is responsible for giving guns to Mexican criminal organizations which are more powerful than what Mexican security forces have.

The weapons AK47 Russian rifles and these are actually sign more powerful than police have and what police use are pistols and revolvers type of guns. Some experts say the US is responsible for giving guns to drug cartels which are more powerful than what Mexican police use.

In Mexico, the case has drawn nationwide attention. Top officials have long stressed that U.S. weapons are fueling the country's drug war.

Attorney General Eric Holder suggested that weapons lost during the "Fast and Furious" gunrunning operation will continue to show up at crime scenes in the U.S. and Mexico "for years to come."

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