A disastrous plan by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to allow guns to "walk" into Mexico wasn't the fault of a few misguided officials, a new investigation from the Justice Department's internal watchdog finds. The gun-walking plan, known as Operation Fast and Furious, compromised the integrity of more than a dozen senior officials and three agencies. Attorney General Eric Holder has been cleared of allegations he knew about Fast and Furious. Many of his subordinates were not so fortunate.
"Our investigation made clear that the failures within ATF, which included a long term strategy in Operation Fast and Furious that was fully supported by the U.S. Attorney's Office, were systemic and not due to the acts of only a few individuals," wrote Inspector General Michael Horowitz. Those conclusions partially vindicate what Holder's defenders have long maintained, that the botched gun-walking operation was isolated to the ATF Phoenix Field Division and then-U.S. attorney for Arizona Dennis Burke. The report also doesn't go as far as Holder's critics would have liked.