Chairman Darrell Issa gave an interesting preview of the hearing and the specific issues to be investigated. He emphasized that the program ”was not a rogue operation of the ATF… it was wrong fundamentally from the start.”
He also noted how the administration has been careful to say ”it did not authorize” the program but the Attorney General never said he wasn’t aware of it.
At the end of the interview, Issa mentioned that he didn’t believe conspiracy theories flying around and thought the paper trail indicated plain bad thinking on the part of bureaucrats. He may have been referring to Larry Pratt’s assertion that the Gunrunner scheme was really part of the administration’s agenda to quash citizen rights of firearm possession. (You can watch Pratt explain here.)
Rep. Issa questioned Attorney General Eric Holder in early May about the Gunrunner scheme and got little in response. Holder will not appear in Wednesday’s hearing, although an Assistant AG from the Justice Department is listed as a witness. The video below is of the Issa questioning, bracketed by an NRA commenter who pointed out problems with the AG’s answers.
- The supervisor of Operation Fast and Furious was ”jovial, if not, not giddy but just delighted about” walked guns showing up at crime scenes in Mexico according to an ATF agent. (p. 37)
- Another ATF agent told the committee about a prediction he made a year ago that ”someone was going to die” and that the gunwalking operation would be the subject of a Congressional investigation. (p. 24)
- The shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords created a ”state of panic” within the group conducting the operation as they initially feared a ”walked” gun might have been used. (p. 38)
- One Operation Fast and Furious Agent: ”I cannot see anyone who has one iota of concern for human life being okay with this …” (p. 27)
- An ATF agent predicted to committee investigators that more deaths will occur as a result of Operation Fast and Furious. (p.39)
- Multiple agents told the committee that continued assertions by Department of Justice Officials that guns were not knowingly ”walked” and that DOJ tried to stop their transport to Mexico are clearly untruthful. (p. 45-50)