December 15 marks the one year anniversary of the murder of Brian Terry, a Border Patrol agent who was shot in the back near the Arizona and Mexico border in 2010.
Investigators found assault weapons linked to the ATF's controversial Fast and Furious case at the scene of Terry's death.
Fast and Furious is the case in which ATF agents in Phoenix admitted to knowingly allowing guns to get into the hands of criminals and onto the streets of Arizona. There are now hundreds of missing weapons connected to the case.
TERRY FAMILY MAKES STATEMENT
On Wednesday afternoon, the Terry family released a statement about Terry and the course of the investigation into his murder:
December 15th will mark the one year anniversary of the murder of Brian A. Terry. On that day in 2010, our family lost an amazing son, brother, uncle, and friend. Our country lost an incredible young American who was fully committed to his job in keeping our Nation safe and its borders secure. Brian's life was dedicated to public service as a U.S. Marine, police officer, U.S. Border Patrol agent and finally as a member of the Border Patrol's elite tactical unit known as BORTAC. Throughout his life, Brian maintained an incredible work ethic that made his many successes possible. We believe that these are the traits that so many people have since recognized. He is remembered as an extremely proud American and a symbol for all that is good.
Brian's death has been extremely difficult to accept. As most know, we had to learn from the news media that two assault rifles carried by the men that killed Brian and found at the murder scene were linked to Operation Fast and Furious, a failed gun trafficking operation run by the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Department of Justice. We find it incomprehensible that members of ATF and DOJ would embark on such an egregious operation and then try to conceal the link between this failed investigation and Brian's murder. Much to our dismay, no one in ATF or DOJ has come forward to accept responsibility for Operation Fast and Furious.
Our priority continues to be the successful arrest and prosecution of all the individuals involved in Brian's murder. However, we will continue to press for answers and accountability from our government. Those responsible for such a misguided and fundamentally flawed operation must be held fully responsible for their decisions which allowed so many weapons to flow to the criminal element on both sides of the border. We now believe that if it can be shown that laws were broken, then all those responsible for Fast and Furious should be held criminally liable.
We would like to acknowledge the work conducted by agents from the FBI Tucson Office in the homicide investigation and the continued work by federal prosecutors in the San Diego U.S. Attorney's Office who are working to bring Brian's killers to justice. We would also like to thank those members of ATF that recognized Operation Fast and Furious as fundamentally flawed and came forward with information that exposed this foolish operation to the American public. These individuals have continued to speak the truth at great professional risk.
Finally, we would like to extend our sincere condolences to the families of those affected by the violence in Mexico caused by the guns of Operation Fast and Furious. Please know that we, as most Americans, see you as victims as well. We will continue to press our government for justice as we will not allow Brian's death to be in vain."
CONGRESSMAN ISSUES STATEMENT ON TERRY MURDER
Senator Chuck Grassley, who has been instrumental in continuing a Congressional investigation into the Fast and Furious case, also issued a statement Wednesday:
One year ago today U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was shot in a gun fight along the U.S.-Mexico border. Since his death, Agent Terry's family has tried to get information from the administration, but the Departments of Homeland Security and Justice have failed to adequately explain to them how our government allowed guns to fall into the hands of drug cartels. Since last January when courageous whistle blowers came forward and alerted me to the disastrous policy, known as Fast and Furious, I've worked to help get that information for the Terry family. But, the administration has stonewalled and slow-walked any efforts Chairman Issa and I have made to pry information out of the Justice Department. We'll get to the bottom of what led to that sad day one year ago when one of our own was killed because of an ill-advised gunwalking policy concocted by the federal government. The Terry family deserves no less than a full accounting of how this all happened sooner rather than later.
HOLDER SAYS DOJ HAS BEEN FULLY COOPERATIVE
, Attorney General Eric Holder insisted that the Department of Justice has been "fully cooperative and responsive in its dealings with Congress," in an effort to ensure the "flawed tactics used in Operation Fast and Furious - and in earlier operations under the prior Administration - are never repeated."
"As I have repeatedly stated," he told the committee, "allowing guns to "walk" - whether in this Administration or in the prior one - is wholly unacceptable. The use of this misguided tactic is inexcusable. And it must never happen again."