WASHINGTON, Feb. 2 -

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Mr. Speaker, when most people think of smuggling, they envision outlaws recklessly sneaking guns, contraband, and money to other outlaws.

Most people would never imagine that the government of the greatest Nation in the world would be engaged in helping a criminal smuggling operation by sending guns and money to narcoterrorists south of our border.

No, this isn’t a Hollywood movie. Unfortunately, this has become a reality in Washington, D.C.

The Justice Department, with the aid of the ATF, facilitated the smuggling of over 2,000 weapons to the drug cartels south of the border – the national enemy in Mexico. Reports indicate those weapons were used to kill at least 200 Mexican nationals and two U.S. law enforcement agents.

The Justice Department appears to have gone wild. Instead of enforcing the law, rogue operatives in the Department of Justice seemed to be recklessly encouraging violations of law. Who’s responsible for this conduct?

Over a year ago has gone by since the murder of Brian Terry, border agent, and we still don’t know who was in charge. Brian Terry was murdered by one of those Fast and Furious guns. The Attorney General said he was unaware of Fast and Furious. He claimed that he either didn’t get the memo, or maybe he didn’t read the memo.

Well, according to the latest group of emails sent over to Congress, he did get the email. According to emails sent to Congress Friday night, Arizona U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke notified Eric Holder’s deputy chief of staff – via email – about Brian Terry’s murder hours after is happened. Later that day, he notified the Department of Justice that the murder weapon was from Fast and Furious. Imagine that. Holder’s staff member implied that he alerted the Attorney General.

So who knew what and when? The Attorney General apparently knew not days or months but hours after that murder occurred. Did he, the Attorney General, know about this operation? Did he approve it? In any event, the Attorney General should resign because it all happened under his watch. He is the one in charge of the Justice Department.

When he appeared before the House Judiciary Committee in December, the Attorney General also told me that he did not know who in his department was responsible for making the decision of Operation Fast and Furious. So is the Attorney General now claiming there is a rogue operation of moles in the Department of Justice that authorized and carried out these smuggling missions? We want to find out.

To coin a phrase from then Senator Hillary Clinton on another subject, the fact that he did not know about this massive operation requires a “willing suspension of disbelief.”

The Attorney General is the chief lawyer and law enforcement officer in the country. Whoever did know about this and approved it may be violated U.S. or international law. They need to be held accountable even if it means somebody goes to jail. But that is not the case.

The rogue criminals responsible for carrying out Fast and Furious still work in the Justice Department. These individuals have not been fired or criminally prosecuted for their reckless actions. Some have actually been promoted or transferred. It all looks like an organized, deceitful attempt to hide the stench of Fast and Furious from the American people.

Apparently, the Department of Justice believes in order to catch a criminal, you have to be like a criminal. We need an independent special counsel appointed by the President to investigate the Justice Department and the ATF.

The Department of Justice cannot be trusted to investigate themselves because they agency has lost credibility on this issue. The DOJ has stonewalled providing information to Congress. If the DOJ has nothing to hide, why do they keep hiding information from us? The Justice Department has to be removed from investigating Fast and Furious. Otherwise, Mr. Speaker, this would look like a bunch of burglars sitting on a jury trying a burglary case. That would sort of look bad; wouldn’t it?

People died in this reckless, misguided operation. We owe it to the American people and the people of Mexico to get to the bottom of this.

In many States when a person commits an offense, if he recklessly causes the death of an individual, the definition of that offense is called manslaughter. Even Washington insiders responsible for Fast and Furious cannot hide from the long arm of American justice because, Mr. Speaker, justice is what we do in this country.

And that’s just the way it is.

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