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Lightfoot: Eric Holder, ATF Agents Should Be Indicted

Northwest of Nogales, Ariz., Peck Canyon is a hotbed for illegal drugs and a battleground between illegals coming from Mexico fighting among themselves and with the U.S. Border Patrol.

At 11:15 p.m. on Dec. 14, 2010, the investigative report now sealed by the White House indicated the Border Patrol was watching a “rip crew,” illegals that prey on other illegals moving drugs into the United States. The illegal rip crew was in a position to ambush anyone coming up the canyon.

Border Patrol agents commanded the illegals to drop their weapons. When they did not, the agents fired at them with beanbags, as required by engagement protocol. The illegals fired back with AK-47s and real bullets.

Two agents then responded with one long gun and one pistol.

When the firefight was over, Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was dead. An AK-47 bullet had entered his back below the shoulder.

One of the rip crew was wounded. There were no other injuries.

At the scene, according to non-Border Patrol law enforcement, were three AK-47 rifles, all part of the 2,000-plus guns that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives under the Department of Justice had allowed to “walk” into Mexico.

Today, one of those rifles is missing, allegedly picked up by the FBI to protect a “CI” (confidential informant) the agency is working.

A bright, respected, dedicated, well-trained young man, a federal law enforcement agent, is dead at the hands of Mexicans using rifles supplied by our own Justice Department through the ATF. Do you see anything wrong with this picture?

So much is wrong that it almost defies speech. Everything about this situation rubs against every principle, tenet, belief, ideology or standard that this country stands for.

And much of what the DOJ and ATF have done and continue to do is in defiance of the law. Operation Fast and Furious put those weapons in the hands of Mexican drug cartels deliberately. It was no accident. It was by design.

William Newell, special agent in charge of the Phoenix field office of ATF, and William McMahon, head of western field operations for ATF, are the architects of Fast and Furious. They both gave misleading and incomplete information to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Attorney General Eric Holder has stonewalled the committee to the point he could probably get a job as a stonemason when he finally leaves government.

As a reward for their misleading testimony, Newell and McMahon were whisked into the ATF headquarters fortress on New York Avenue in Washington to protect them and their pensions.

Fast and Furious is a major blunder. Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) have held and will continue with hearings into the fiasco, but we now have two dead federal law enforcement agents and several hundred dead innocent Mexican citizens as a result of the DOJ actions.

The number of Members of Congress calling for Holder to resign continues to grow. But that is the wrong direction for this investigation to go. Once Holder resigns with all his government pensions and benefits, he is off the hook.

Holder is one fish where the hook needs to be set. He must be indicted, based on the evidence collected, and Newell, McMahon and several others should join him in a courtroom defending his use of a federal agency to promote the Obama administration’s anti-gun agenda while breaking U.S. law in the process.

Congress, show us you really mean to uphold the Constitution you swore to protect. Demand indictment of these people now.

Former Rep. Jim Ross Lightfoot (R-Iowa) served six terms in Congress and one as chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Treasury, Postal Service and General Government, with jurisdiction over federal law enforcement agencies, including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

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