When a congressman suggested that White House officials could be charged with accessory to murder over the botched Fast and Furious gun-tracking program, he apparently touched a nerve. Attorney General Eric Holder fired off an unusually aggressive five-page letter to Congress complaining about the "base" level of public discourse, reports Politico. "Such irresponsible and inflammatory rhetoric must be repudiated in the strongest possible terms," he wrote. "Those who serve in the ranks of law enforcement are our Nation’s heroes and deserve our Nation’s thanks, not the disrespect that is being heaped on them by those who seek political advantage."
GOP Rep. Paul Gosar made the "accessory to murder" comment to the Daily Caller earlier this week. Under the Fast and Furious program, the ATF allowed guns from US dealers to get into the hands of Mexican drug gangs. The idea was to track the weapons, but agents lost the trail of many of them, including one used to kill a US border agent last year. Republicans say Holder knew about the program earlier than he has acknowledged, but he used his letter to rebut that accusation, and to note that the Bush administration ran a similar program called Operation Wide Receiver. Click for more from the Huffington Post's Sam Stein, including full text of Holder's letter. (Read more Eric Holder stories.)