Operation Fast and Furious: Reckless Decisions, Tragic Outcomes

Hearing Date: June 15, 2011 12:00 am

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.

Witnesses and testimonies

Name Title Organization Panel Document
The Honorable Charles E. Grassley Ranking Member, Committee on the Judiciary U.S. Senate Panel 1 Document
Josephine Terry Mother of Late Border Agent Brian Terry Panel 2 Document
Michelle Terry Balogh Sister of Late Border Agent Brian Terry Document
Robert Heyer Cousin of Late Border Agent Brian Terry Document
John Dodson Special Agent, Phoenix Field Division Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Document
Olindo Special Agent, Phoenix Field Division Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Document
Peter Forcelli Group Supervisor, Phoenix Field Division Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Document
Ronald Weich Assistant Attorney General U.S. Department of Justice Panel 3 Document