Some U.S. House members are pressing Attorney General Eric Holder to explain how federal agents came to use investigative tactics that appear to have allowed guns bought in the U.S. to enter Mexico illegally, reports the Wall Street Journal. Critics say the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives lost track of guns it was supposed to be monitoring, letting them pass into the hands of Mexican cartels and perhaps be used in violence against U.S. officials.
At a hearing yesterday, Holder said the Justice Department’s policy is to stop weapons from being trafficked to Mexico. “Under no circumstances should guns be allowed to be distributed in an uncontrolled manner,” he said, describing his instructions to ATF and other agencies under his charge. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), told Holder, “There are dead Americans as a result of this failed and reckless program.” Issa asked Holder whether he or top lieutenants were aware of the tactics. Holder said he became aware of the probe, “Operation Fast and Furious,” only in recent weeks.