WASHINGTON, Nov. 8 (UPI) -- U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder suggested Tuesday Republicans are using the "Fast and Furious" gun-running operation for political advantage.
Holder, testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee, said the operation, which attempted to track guns being smuggled from the United States into Mexico, was "unacceptable," CNN reported. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is believed to have lost track of many of the weapons, leaving them in the hands off Mexican drug cartels.
"This operation was flawed in its concept, and flawed in its execution," he said.
But he also said legislators should focus on giving the ATF the tools it needs to stop the cross-border flow of guns.
"I am determined to ensure that our shared concerns about Operation Fast and Furious lead to more than headline-grabbing Washington 'gotcha' games and cynical political point scoring," Holder said.
While "Fast and Furious" happened on Holder's watch, it copied a similar operation conducted during the George W. Bush administration.
Holder also acknowledges what critics have been saying about the long-term consequences of "gun walking": that the guns from the operation are used in crimes in the United States and in Mexico.
"Unfortunately we will feel its effects for years to come as guns that were lost during this operation continue to show up at crime scenes both here and in Mexico," Holder said. "We are losing the battle to stop the flow of illegal guns to Mexico."