Several years have passed since the tragic gunwalking program by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) known as Operation Fast and Furious. As you may remember seeing in the news, the ATF knowingly allowed firearms to be sold to Mexican drug cartel members and then lost track of hundreds of the firearms after they were purchased. Several of those firearms were later involved in crimes, including the murder of U.S. Border Patrol Officer Brian Terry.
Federal employees responsible for this failed program must be held accountable. While some personnel have been disciplined for other unrelated misconduct, some supervisory agents involved have not faced consequences recommended by the agency’s Professional Review Board. In at least two instances dating back to 2012, the board called for the removal of agents who displayed “poor judgment” in their involvement with an investigation of Fast and Furious and other matters, yet those agents remained employed by ATF in 2014.
I’ve raised concerns about inadequate disciplinary actions in the past, and those questions about some agents who were found culpable have not been fully answered. This week, I asked for more details on ATF’s response to misconduct by federal employees. I’ve asked the ATF director to turn over records related to disciplinary actions and settlement agreements for nine employees who were implicated in the operation.
It’s high time that anyone involved in this failed program—especially federal employees—be held accountable for their actions. The victims and their families have waited far too long for the justice that they deserve.