Dozens of senior-level U.S. government officials turned a blind eye to public safety as they pursued an ill-conceived and poorly managed investigation into gun trafficking in Mexico, according to a long-awaited inspector general’s report on Operation Fast and Furious.
Portions of the Justice Department IG report, which has not been made public, were obtained exclusively by Fox News Channel.
The report and accompanying accounts cite a failure in leadership and a lack of accountability and oversight up and down the chain of command at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Justice Department itself and other offices. It says many senior executives knew the U.S. was helping traffic guns to Mexico that killed people but did nothing to stop it.
“We found no evidence in Operation Fast and Furious that the ATF or the (U.S. attorney’s office) attempted at any point during the investigation to balance the risks to the public safety against the long-term benefits of identifying trafficking networks and participants,” the draft report says.
Fast and Furious was the anti-gunrunning sting that helped send some 2,000 assault weapons to Mexico under the guise of stopping illegal trafficking. The operation ended only after the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry — two of the weapons associated with the investigation were found at his murder scene.
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