In a letter last February to Charles Grassley, the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Justice Department said that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms had not sanctioned the sale of assault weapons to a straw purchaser and that the agency makes every effort to intercept weapons that have been purchased illegally. In Operation Fast and Furious, both statements turned out to be incorrect.
The Justice Department letter was responding to Grassley's statements that the Senate Judiciary Committee had received allegations the ATF had sanctioned the sale of hundreds of assault weapons to suspected straw purchasers. Grassley also said there were allegations that two of the assault weapons had been used in a shootout that killed customs agent Brian Terry.
Maybe there's something I'm not seeing here, but I don't see how Attorney General Holder survives this. Whether or not he was personally aware of it, people under his supervision actually sent a letter to Congress categorically denying things about their own actions that turned out to be true, not to mention that the underlying policy seems incredibly ill-advised.
Bonus question: some of the emails released to the public seemed to indicate that this controversy has something to do with gun control, but I don't exactly understand why. Anyone?
2:36 PM PT: h/t to OMwordTHRUdaFOG and gerrilea for answering in the comments the "bonus question" about what all of this has to do with gun control. Apparently the Obama Administration has been using the use of U.S.-bought guns by Mexican drug cartels to argue for stricter gun control in the U.S. Now it turns out that it was the Obama Administration itself that was providing them those guns. Nice.