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Congressman raises stakes in 'Fast and Furious' probe, targeting Eric Holder

Rep. Lamar Smith (R) of Texas wants a special counsel to investigate whether Attorney General Eric Holder told Congress the truth about Operation Fast and Furious, a now-discredited gun-tracking program aimed at Mexico's drug lords.

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“As the documents provided to Congress show, not a single one of these reports referenced the controversial tactics that allowed guns to cross the border," Ms. Schmaler told the Huffington Post. "None of the handful of entries in 2010 regarding Fast and Furious suggested there was anything amiss with that investigation requiring leadership to take corrective action or commit to memory this particular operation prior to the disturbing claims raised by ATF agents in the early part of 2011."

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At Congress, investigators were unimpressed by that explanation. Holder is "either incompetent or he’s misleading Congress,” Becca Watkins, press secretary for the House Oversight Committee, told Jake Tapper of ABC News.

Nor did they care that the earlier Operation Wide Receiver predated Holder's tenure. It only raised more questions about America's tactics on the border, they said.

“[W]e will get to the bottom of whether or not this practice in a smaller way may have begun on the Bush watch," Representative Issa told CNN on Tuesday. "We’re not putting it past any administration and giving anyone a pass. The American people and the people of Mexico expect us to have a zero tolerance for letting drugs come into our country or weapons go into Mexico."

The request for a special counsel, however, is not embraced by all in Congress looking into Operation Fast and Furious. Issa and Senator Grassley have resisted calling for a special prosecutor until their own investigation is finished. A special prosecutor would conduct an investigation out of the public light, which would hamper the kind of drip-drip revelations that some conservatives are hoping to use as campaign cannon fodder against Obama in next year's election.

"We don't want a Special Prosecutor, operating in secret," writes blogger James Wiles at the conservative American Thinker site. "We want a media firestorm. Let it bleed, I say."

IN PICTURES: The debate over gun rights

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