(Newsroom America) -- A noted Border Patrol group is calling on Attorney General Eric Holder to step down over his role in the botched "Fast and Furious" gunrunning operation that led to the death of a Border Patrol agent.
The Washington Times reported Monday that the head of The National Border Patrol Council, George E. McCubbin III, a 25-year Border Patrol veteran, said Holder's actions in the case are "a slap in the face to all Border Patrol agents who serve this country," and that he demonstrated "an utter failure of leadership at the highest levels of government."
A pair of AK-47 rifles found at the scene where Border Patrol Agent Brian A. Terry was killed were traced to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearm's Fast and Furious operation, in which straw buyers from Mexican drug cartels were allowed to purchase weapons in the U.S. and bring them back across the border into Mexico. The crux of the operation was to follow the guns to the cartels, but details that have emerged since the operation became public said the ATF lost track of most of the 2,000 or so weapons allowed to "walk" across the border.
Terry died during a gunfight with heavily-armed Mexican bandits along the U.S.-Mexico border south of Tucson, Ariz., the Times reported.
McCubbin said Border Patrol agents are told from day one of their training that "integrity is their most important trait, and that without it, they have little use to the agency."
"The standard that applies to these agents should at a minimum be applied to those who lead them," he said. "If Eric Holder were a Border Patrol agent and not the attorney general, he would have long ago been found unsuitable for government employment and terminated.
"The heroism that Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry demonstrated on that cold night in the desert of Arizona was in keeping with the finest traditions of the United States Border Patrol and will never be forgotten by those who patrol this nation’s borders," he continued.
"We cannot allow our agents to be sacrificed for no gain and not hold accountable those who approved the ill-conceived Operation Fast and Furious."
McCubbin said the "political shenanigans" surrounding Fast and Furious, as well as "passing the blame," must stop.
He also contends that an operation like Fast and Furious could not have happened without at least the tacit approval of the Justice Department and the Obama administration.
"It is time for Attorney General Holder to show the least shred of responsibility and leadership and resign his post," McCubbin said. "Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry deserves nothing less."
Last week Holder told the Senate Judiciary Committee he had "no intention" of resigning his post, adding he had heard that President Obama has "absolute confidence in me."
The attorney general's defiant stance came in response to a call to resign from Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, who said Holder had failed "the basic standards of political independence and accountability."
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