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What Really Happened With Fast And Furious

What really happened with guns and agents on the Arizona border? A big investigative report looks again at “Fast and Furious.”

Attorney General Eric Holder listens to Rep. Darryl Issa, R-Calif., on video screen, while testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 8, 2011, before the House Judiciary Committee hearing on Operation Fast and Furious. The House voted to find Holder in contempt on June 28, 2012. (AP)

Attorney General Eric Holder listens to Rep. Darryl Issa, R-Calif., on video screen, while testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 8, 2011, before the House Judiciary Committee hearing on Operation Fast and Furious. The House voted to find Holder in contempt on June 28, 2012. (AP)

Attorney General Eric Holder was voted in contempt of Congress by the House last week. First time in history Congress has done that. The story behind the vote goes back to Operation Fast and Furious. Holder’s critics describe it as an outrage of botched “gun walking” to Mexico.

A big new investigative report in Fortune magazine says the case for outrage is based on distortions, partial truths and outright lies. We’ll hear from the reporter. And from a top Republican investigator who says the fury is well-aimed.

This hour, On Point: looking again at Fast and Furious.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Katherine Eban, an investigative reporter who wrote a big story on the Fast and Furious scandal for Fortune.

Jason Foster, chief investigative counsel for Republican Senator Chuck Grassley on his Senate Judiciary Committee staff. [NOTE: Here are some additional comments from Foster about Fast and Furious, made after the program aired today.]

From Tom’s Reading List

Fortune “A Fortune investigation reveals that the ATF never intentionally allowed guns to fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartels. How the world came to believe just the opposite is a tale of rivalry, murder, and political bloodlust.”

Washington Post “But in the eyes of the man who started and oversaw Fast and ­Furious, the operation remains an example of smart law enforcement — an approach that has simply been misunderstood.”

Weekly Standard “Last Thursday, Attorney General Eric Holder was called to testify before Congress. His attitude toward  his questioners was by any measure unbecoming of his office. At one point he actually demanded he be “given some credit” for his performance as attorney general. Though, bad as that outburst was, it was slightly less petulant than the earlier insinuation that his critics are racist.”

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