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Panel chairman blasts Justice Dept. on gun probe

In this Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2010 picture, an American flag on a resident's home waves in the breeze near a U.S. Border Patrol truck blocking the road leading to a search area near where U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian A. Terry, 40, was killed northwest of Nogales, Ariz. The ATF is under fire over a Phoenix-based gun-trafficking investigation called "Fast and Furious," in which agents allowed hundreds of guns into the hands of straw purchasers in hopes of making a bigger case. Two of those weapons were found in December 2010 at the fatal shooting of Terry, igniting a scandal that has resulted in a congressional investigation and review by the Justice Department's Office of Inspector General. (AP Photo/Arizona Daily Star, Greg Bryan)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee accuses the Justice Department of giving inconsistent statements about what he calls a reckless and dangerous law enforcement program.

Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas says many questions remain about who authorized the arms-tracking investigation known as Operation Fast and Furious. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is being criticized for failing to track illicitly obtained weapons that were later recovered in Mexico and the U.S., many of them at crime scenes.

Attorney General Eric Holder, the sole witness at Thursday’s hearing, says it was inexcusable for the bureau to use a controversial tactic known as “gun-walking” in its effort to identify and prosecute major arms trafficking networks along the Southwest border.

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  1. I think the Obama administration was hoping the Fast & Furious fiasco will just blow over, well it won’t. The best thing he can do now is replace Holder as swiftly as possible.

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