This week, the second of three parts of the joint staff report on the “Fast and Furious” scandal was released by House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee. While the first report looked at the actions of those who actually implemented the disastrous program, this report focuses on the management and oversight of the operation by senior Department of Justice officials–or, to put it more accurately, the lack of management and oversight by those officials.
The report outlined how the administration’s policy decisions set the stage for “Fast and Furious”:
“Shortly after he took office, Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. delivered a series of speeches about combating violence along the southwest border. He focused specifically on fighting Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel, and in the fall of 2009, the Justice Department released a document crystallizing the Attorney General’s vision, entitled “Department of Justice Strategy for Combating the Mexican Cartels.
“As part of this new strategy, the Department of Justice made a tactical decision to shift its focus from arresting straw purchasers to identifying members of large illegal trafficking networks.” (page 9)