Thursday, January 26, 2012
House oversight committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa told The Daily Caller that Attorney General Eric Holder owes an apology to the Mexican government and to the families of Operation Fast and Furious victims south of the border.
“Justice has blood on their hands,” Issa said Wednesday during an exclusive interview with TheDC, referring to the U.S. Department of Justice.
“The attorney general, as the head of Justice, has to explain that to the families of survivors,” Issa said. “Yes, he should find a way to make it very clear to our neighbors to the south — at least to the government and at least publicly — that there needs to be deep regret for what happened and there needs to be reassurances that it never happens again.”
Fast and Furious was a program of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, overseen by Holder’s DOJ. It sent thousands of weapons to Mexican drug cartels via straw purchasers, people who legally purchased guns in the United States with the known intention of illegally trafficking them somewhere else.
At least 300 people in Mexico were killed with Fast and Furious weapons, as was U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry. At this point, the identities of the Mexican victims are unknown.
Both President Barack Obama and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano apologized to Terry’s family almost immediately. Napolitano attended Terry’s funeral with a letter from Obama in hand, and the president made an additional phone call expressing his condolences.
But Holder never apologized to Terry’s family until after Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn pressed him during a Nov. 8, 2011 Senate Judiciary Committee hearing about why he had not done so. Holder finally wrote an apology letter to Terry’s family mere days later, but leaked it to Politico before Terry’s mother Josephine read it.