ATF officials admit mistakes in Operation Fast and Furious gun program

Posted: July 26, 2011 in US News

Mike M. Ahlers
July 26, 2011

Washington (CNN) — Two federal officials admitted Tuesday they made “mistakes” during the controversial Operation Fast and Furious gunrunner program, but they disputed contentions by a parade of other agents that their bureau knowingly let guns “walk” into Mexico.

“It was not the purpose of the investigation to permit the transportation of firearms into Mexico,” said William Newell, former special agent in charge of the Phoenix field office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. “To the best of my knowledge none of the suspects in this case was ever witnessed by our agents crossing the border with firearms.”

Newell’s insistence that guns were not allowed to cross the border drew an angry rebuke from Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House committee investigating the program, who called Newell a “paid non-answerer” at Tuesday’s hearing.

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