Politics
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 16:  U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman (ID-CT) speaks during a news conference February 16, 2011 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images) WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 16: U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman (ID-CT) speaks during a news conference February 16, 2011 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)  

Lieberman directs staff to examine Fast and Furious coordination

Photo of Matthew Boyle
Matthew Boyle
Investigative Reporter

Connecticut independent Sen. Joe Lieberman has directed the staff of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, which he chairs, to examine miscommunication between law enforcement agencies related to the Justice Department’s Operation Fast and Furious.

A spokesperson told The Daily Caller Wednesday that Lieberman “believe[s] that the lack of interagency coordination along the border merits further examination, and as Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, he has directed his staff to follow up with the relevant federal agencies on that topic.”

Fast and Furious was a program of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, overseen by Holder’s DOJ. It sent thousands of weapons to Mexican drug cartels via straw purchasers — people who legally purchase guns in the United States with the known intention of illegally trafficking them somewhere else.

At least 300 people in Mexico were killed with Fast and Furious weapons, as was Border Patrol agent Brian Terry. The identities of the Mexican victims are unknown.

Some reports suggest that the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Agency and Immigration and Customs Enforcement were also involved in some manner or another with the operation.

For instance, Pajamas Media reported that the night Terry was killed, an FBI informant was in the drug cartel rip crew that used Fast and Furious weapons to murder him. Rip crews are armed groups of bandits who work for specific drug cartels and try to rob rival cartel shipments and illegal immigrants as they’re crossing the border.

Pajamas reports that the DEA also had some knowledge of that drug cartel rip crew’s whereabouts. Assuming the reports are true, the DEA and the FBI failed to “deconflict,” or warn other agencies including the Border Patrol about potentially deadly risks.

With Lieberman’s committee now examining Fast and Furious details, that means two Senate committees are probing the matter — the homeland security committee and the judiciary committee.

On the House side, the oversight and judiciary committees are investigating the DOJ’s role in Fast and Furious and the homeland security committee’s subcommittee on oversight has launched an investigation into the Department of Homeland Security’s role in Fast and Furious, a spokesperson for subcommittee chairman and Texas Rep. Michael McCaul confirmed for TheDC.

Sixty-one congressmen, two U.S. senators and two sitting governors have called for Attorney General Eric Holder’s resignation over Fast and Furious.  Lieberman has not called on Holder to resign.

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*Correction: This story originally described Lieberman’s interest in Fast and Furious as an “investigation.” While Lieberman has directed his staff to follow up with relevant agencies on the topic, his committee is not conducting an official investigation. We regret the error.