The family of slain Border Patrol agent Brian Terry has retained former Arizona U.S. Attorney Paul Charlton to determine if there is any legal action to take in connection with his slaying. (Arizona Daily Star)

Charlton, Arizona U.S. Attorney from 2001 to 2007, said the Terry family asked him to review the facts surrounding the events that led to Brian Terry being killed on Dec. 14 in a shootout with suspected border bandits near Rio Rico.

Two Romanian-made assault rifles were recovered at the scene that are believed to have been sold to straw buyers in Phoenix and tracked into Mexico under a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Mexican gun-smuggling investigation, according to U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa.

Here's what's being said by others about the ATF operation known as Fast and Furious.

A chief Republican critic of a controversial U.S. anti-gun-trafficking operation was briefed on ATF’s “Fast and Furious” program last year and did not express any opposition, sources familiar with the classified briefing said Tuesday.

These are not halcyon days for the unique American combination of extreme drug prohibition and extreme firearms permissiveness. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is enduring its biggest scandal since Waco over an anti-drug operation very inappropriately titled "Fast and Furious." In a nutshell, ATF agents watched carefully as people in Arizona bought massive quantities of legal weapons (notably AK-47 assault rifles), knowing they'd be smuggled across the border to Mexico for use by the vicious cartels who compete to satisfy America's insatiable desire for illegal drugs.

That's not the plan gone wrong, either. That's the plan as it was designed.

Fast and Furious – not the movie franchise, but the US government’s ill-fated undercover gun-running operation targeting Mexican drug cartels – ended up putting more guns in the hands of criminals on both sides of the US-Mexico border.

Scandal: Rather than a botched attempt to catch criminals, was the ATF program actually an attempt to advance gun-control efforts by an administration that has blamed Mexican violence on easy access to U.S. weapons?

Providing guns to Mexican drug gangs is a serious problem. Tragically, such activity is linked to many murders including the shooting death of a U.S. Border Patrol agent who was raised in Michigan. The problem was deemed so serious that federal officials last year proposed enacting additional gun registration requirements for firearm buyers living in U.S. border states.

All of which makes it even more alarming that it now appears federal officials with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives enabled moving many such guns into Mexico in the first place.

Every kid who’s ever played cops and robbers knows that the good guys try to keep guns away from the bad guys.

The last thing you’d do is sit around and watch crooks sell each other weapons, let them walk off with hundreds of AK-47s, sniper rifles and revolvers, then sit back and wait for the carnage.

But that’s exactly what leadership within the Department of Justice and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are charged with doing, in an apparently harebrained ploy to get close to Mexico’s drug cartels.