Justice Dept: Fast and Furious report distorted

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Associated Press

Posted on July 31, 2012 at 8:30 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jul 31 at 8:31 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department says Republican lawmakers are engaging in distortions with a report on Operation Fast and Furious.

In their report on the flawed gun-smuggling investigation, Rep. Darrell Issa and Sen. Chuck Grassley said the administration had shifted the emphasis in fighting Mexican drug cartels from merely seizing firearms to identifying the networks that traffic them.

The report concluded that Operation Fast and Furious "was born from this strategy."

A Justice Department spokeswoman said the reality is that "the pattern of flawed tactics dates back to 2006 and the prior administration."

In Operation Fast and Furious and at least three earlier probes during the Bush administration, agents in Arizona employed a risky tactic called gun-walking. The goal of the tactic was to track the guns to major weapons traffickers and drug cartels.

In Operation Fast and Furious, many of the weapons weren't tracked and wound up at crime scenes in Mexico and the U.S., including the site of a shootout that resulted in the death of a border agent, Brian Terry.

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