Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley will be leading today’s questioning of U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder about a botched weapons trafficking investigation that led to at least one American agent’s death.
Also, hundreds of high-powered firearms were lost to Mexican drug cartels. Grassley says Operation Fast and Furious was “disastrous” and he wants to find out from Holder who’s responsible and see that they’re prosecuted or fired — or both.
Grassley says, “My principle is, if heads don’t roll, no culture changes.” Grassley is the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, where Holder is appearing starting this morning. During the operation, firearms that were supposed to have been under surveillance ended up in the hands of Mexican drug lords.
Sophisticated, rapid-fire guns like A-K-47s were sold at a gun shops in Arizona and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms was to be monitoring them. Of 2,000 weapons used in the case, some 1,400 were lost.
“I’ve been investigating Fast and Furious since January,” Grassley says.
“The more I dig in, the worse it gets as far as the federal bureaucracy and whether or not we have any accountability.” Two guns from Operation Fast and Furious were found at the murder scene of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry last year. Grassley says his goals include getting answers for the family of Agent Terry from the Justice Department.
“I want to find out who at the highest levels of the federal government approved this policy of Fast and Furious and hold those people accountable,” Grassley says, “and I want to make sure that nothing like this stupid program ever happens again.”
In a statement Holder released prior to the hearing, he said the operation was flawed in concept and in execution, adding, it never should have happened and “it must never happen again.”