Justice Dept. probe prompts changes
WASHINGTON The Justice Department is tightening procedures for responding to information requests from Congress in the aftermath of a troubled arms-trafficking investigation.
In Operation Fast and Furious, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives allowed hundreds of weapons to flow across the border into Mexico.
The Justice Department told three congressional committees in a letter Friday night that it has improved coordination between agents and their managers in carrying out arms-trafficking investigations.
In a letter last February to Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley, the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, the department inaccurately said that ATF had not authorized the sale of assault weapons to a straw purchaser, and that the agency makes every effort to intercept weapons that have been purchased illegally.
Yet in Operation Fast and Furious, both statements turned out to be false because the ATF, had undertaken a risky tactic known as gun-walking in an unsuccessful effort to track small-time illicit gun buyers to the heads of major arms-trafficking networks.
Democrats spend big in Ore. special election
PORTLAND, Ore. Determined not to lose another friendly district because of another sex scandal, Democrats and their allies have pumped more than $1 million into an Oregon special-election race that has turned into a vicious exchange of attacks over the airwaves.
Voters are deciding who should replace former Rep. David Wu, a seven-term Democrat who resigned last year after a string of bizarre news stories that began with photos of the congressman wearing a tiger costume and ended with a young womans accusation that he made an unwanted sexual advance.