ATF Boss Sought to End ‘Fast and Furious’ Amid Early Signs of Trouble


The Los Angeles Times reports that a top ATF official sought to pull the plug on the controversial Fast and Furious gun-selling investigation amid troubling signs just months after it began. Acting Deputy Director William Hoover called an emergency meeting in March 2010 after agents had lost track of hundreds of firearms. No arrests had been made in the investigation, the missing weapons had turned up at crime scenes in Mexico, and Hoover was concerned that someone in the United States could be hurt next.

Hoover said he wanted an “exit strategy” to shut down the program. But those at the meeting, which included a Justice Department official, did not want to stop the illegal gun sales until they had something to show for their efforts. Hoover suggested a “30-day, 60-day or 90-day” exit plan that would shut Fast and Furious down for good — just as soon as there were some indictments. But indictments did not come for another 10 months. By then, two semiautomatics had been recovered after a U.S. Border Patrol agent was killed south of Tucson, and nearly 200 had been found at crime scenes in Mexico.

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