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Congressional Report Slams ATF's 'Fast And Furious' Operation

Two leading congressional critics of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' so-called Operation Fast and Furious have issued a scathing report on the program that allegedly let hundreds of guns go from the U.S. to Mexico — with deadly results.

The "joint staff report" prepared for Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IO) and released today concludes that "the death of Border Agent Brian Terry was likely a preventable tragedy." You can read the report here.

As NPR's Carrie Johnson previously reported, Terry's murder in Mexico last year "touched off a scandal that's now reverberating in Washington" because weapons found at the scene were traced to Fast and Furious.

During that operation, as Carrie has written, federal investigators "wanted to follow the flow of guns from the U.S. into the hands of deadly Mexican drug cartels." So, in what's become known as "gunwalking," they monitored illegal gun purchases — but allowed the buyers to walk away with the weapons.

Issa, who chairs the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, is holding a hearing on Operation Fast and Furious today. Carrie will have more on today's All Things Considered. Click here to find an NPR station that broadcasts or streams the show.

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.