Operation Fast and Furious: Reckless Decisions, Tragic Outcomes
Chairman Darrell Issa Hearing Preview Statement
Wednesday's hearing of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, entitled "Operation Fast and Furious: Reckless Decisions, Tragic Outcomes," will focus on an irresponsible program that allowed guns to be trafficked into the hands of known criminals along our border with Mexico. The Committee is engaged in an ongoing investigation to determine who ultimately authorized the program, who knew about it, and why it took the murder of a 40-year old border patrol agent and a congressional inquiry before administration officials cancelled it.
When Senator Chuck Grassley and I first learned of this program earlier this year, it stretched the limits of credulity to think that a federal law enforcement agency charged with rooting out criminals involved in smuggling would actually facilitate the transfer of guns to armed cartels that would kill innocent civilians and at least one federal agent. The American people have a right to know what really happened. We have learned that ATF field agents strongly objected to the program, but that their opposition was dismissed.
The deadly effect of Operation Fast and Furious could have been prevented. At Wednesday's hearing, the Committee will hear firsthand testimony of how this program has devastated the family of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. When Brian Terry was murdered in December, two assault rifles linked to Operation Fast and Furious were found at the scene of the crime. Additionally, Members will have an opportunity to hear from ATF agents who saw the risk, opposed the program, and have come forward to tell Americans about what happened and how they struggled with it.