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Op Ed: 2 State Atty. Generals — One a Former — Defend ATF and Atty. Gen. Holder

Mark Shurtleff , a Republican, is Utah attorney general; Terry Goddard, a Democrat,  is former Arizona attorney general.
  

Utah Atty. Gen. Mark Shurtleff

By Mark Shurtleff and Terry Goddard
Salt Lake Tribune Op-Ed

Congress and the media have understandably focused on the missteps of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in the “Fast and Furious” sting operation that allowed suspected “straw buyers” to purchase weapons and transport them to Mexico in order to build cases against drug cartels.

However, the covert operation was terminated abruptly after its possible connection to the tragic death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was revealed. Unfortunately, most of the recent criticism about the operation seems to be serving as a means to attack Attorney General Eric Holder and destroy the ATF, rather than to hold those behind Fast and Furious accountable.

The focus should be on the real public safety problem underlying this controversy: keeping arms from the Mexican drug cartels and protecting the security of the United States. However, many of the roadblocks faced by ATF and the Department of Justice are not being built by international criminals, but by Congress.

Ex-Az Atty. Gen. Terry Goddard

We are two Southwestern law enforcement officials, one a Republican and one a Democrat, and both gun owners who have faced border-related crimes on a daily basis over the past decade. We are very concerned about what is happening in Mexico, a critical U.S. ally which must be freed from the clutches of transnational criminal organizations.

We have worked closely with ATF and the Justice Department in our common fight against violent crime and appreciate that Holder has sought more resources for border law enforcement.

To read more click here.


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