As the U.S. House plans a vote on holding Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt, the man who started the “Fast and Furious” gun-tracking operation tells the Washington Post it is an example of smart law enforcement–an approach that simply has been misunderstood. In his first interview on the case, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent William Newell said Fast and Furious “was the only way to dismantle an entire firearms-trafficking ring and stop the thousands of guns flowing to Mexico.”
Newell says there is no evidence that Holder or any high-ranking Justice Department official knew the ins and outs of his gun operation. Plenty of officials at the ATF and in the Phoenix U.S. attorney's office did — and approved it, Newell said. Three similar operations had been tried during the George W. Bush administration. Newell says he never told his agents to “let guns walk.” Instead, he said he told them they had to have sufficient evidence to satisfy the prosecutors that they had probable cause to seize the guns.