From the beginning, Operation Fast and Furious, which allowed weapons originated in the United States to be shipped to the Mexican drug mafia, was a terrible idea with an even worse implementation.
Heads have already rolled at the top of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF). The agency handled the operation in such an inadequate way that they lost track of weapons authorized to be sold to buyers, knowing the final destination were the drug cartels.
The idea was to identify these weapons when they were seized in Mexico and be able to track their path. The problem is that the ATF lost the trail of the weapons, until some of them showed up after being used to murder a Border Patrol agent.
Given all this, the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, chaired by Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA), has spent months investigating whether the Justice Department and its leader, Eric Holder, have hidden communications and documents that show the executive level participated in the operation.
Holder denies this, but GOP lawmakers do not believe him. This dynamic is keeping the pressure on the Obama administration and seems to have made Holder a direct target for the opposition. It all appears as if lawmakers want to take political advantage of the situation by causing a crisis or weakening their opponents.
The report of the Justice Department’s independent inspector-general, which is still pending, should eventually clear the current finger pointing. If it is found that Holder has been lying to Congress, his dismissal would be justified. But we must wait for the results.
Hearings like the one held last week contribute very little that is new, besides keeping the controversy alive and allowing people to exploit it to wear down the Obama administration. This does not shed any light on what actually happened.