Senator Grassley released this in today...........
One Year Later
U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry died one year ago in a gun fight along the U.S.-Mexico border. Agent Terry’s family has tried to get information from the federal government about the policies that led to his death, and I’ve worked to help get the details for the family. But, the administration has stonewalled and slow-walked my efforts. I’ve had to pry information out of the Justice Department bit by bit.
The murder of Agent Terry was the last straw for a group of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents turned whistleblowers who had been warning their supervisors for months that a little-known program known as Operation Fast and Furious was headed for disaster.
These agents came to me after their pleas fell on deaf ears with their supervisors, and contacts to the Inspector General’s office resulted in no action. I’ve been leading an investigation into the illegal policy known as gunwalking since January 2011.
We’ve gotten some results, despite being stonewalled by the Justice Department. Earlier this month, I called for the resignation of Lanny Breuer, the head of the Criminal Division in the Justice Department. You can find my full remarks here
. I’ve learned from documents
over the course of my investigation that Mr. Breuer displayed a stunning lack of judgment when told ATF walked guns in Operation Wide Receiver, a 2006-2007 case. Mr. Breuer helped keep ATF's gunwalking a secret and was far more informed than he admitted to me in public testimony
about the drafting of the department’s claim that ATF did not let guns walk. The Justice Department's February 4
letter to me contained misinformation and false statements in response to my January 27 and January 31 letters.
The false and misleading information contained in the February 4 letter all could have been avoided. I’ve learned that an agent who spoke with my congressional investigators wrote a memo on February 3
explaining the unacceptable tactics used in Operation Fast and Furious. That’s the day before the letter containing the false and misleading information was sent to me. That memo, sent to ATF headquarters, shows that the truth was easily knowable before the false denial was sent to Congress. If the Justice Department asked for firsthand documentation
like this memo when they first got my letter in January, we wouldn’t be where we are today.
In addition, documents show that one of the Justice Department officials, Jason Weinstein, who drafted the February 4 letter to me, knew of the gunwalking
in previous instances and knew the letter contained a blatantly false line. Yet, he did nothing to correct it, and that line remained in every successive draft of the letter.
Despite the stonewalling, my investigation into the gunwalking policies will continue. People must be held accountable. We’ll get to the bottom of what led to that sad day one year ago when one of our own was killed because of an ill-advised gunwalking policy concocted by the federal government. The Terry family deserves no less than a full accounting of how this all happened -- sooner rather than later.
December 19, 2011