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Thread: Tancredo: Border Patrol Rules of Engagement

  1. #1
    Is it any wonder we are losing the battle against illegal immigration?

    "Bean bags vs. AK-47s

    Posted: December 18, 2010
    1:00 am Eastern


    Another Border Patrol agent on the Arizona border was shot and killed by Mexican drug smugglers last Tuesday. Of the eight attackers, four are in custody and a fifth is under surveillance by Border Patrol Blackhawk helicopters as he tries to make his way back to the Mexican border.

    BP Agent Brian Terry was part of a BORTAC team (for border tactical unit) tracking armed drug smugglers 15 miles northwest of Nogales, Ariz., (and only three miles west of Interstate 19) when they were attacked with automatic weapons fire. The area is well-known as a major drug-smuggling corridor, and the smugglers are known to frequently be armed with AK-47s and other long rifles.

    Here's the part Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Border Patrol management are trying to hide: Border Patrol Agent Terry and the BORTAC team were under standing orders to always use ("non-lethal") bean-bag rounds first before using live ammunition. When the smugglers heard the first rounds, they returned fire with real bullets, and Agent Terry was killed in that exchange. Real bullets outperform bean bags every time.

    The larger, ugly truth Napolitano and senior managers in the Border Patrol want to hide is that the rules of engagement and inadequate weaponry of the Border Patrol place the lives of all agents at grave risk. The National Border Patrol Council, which represents over 15,000 field agents, believes the border is too dangerous for officers to patrol without body armor, armored vehicles and automatic weapons.

    Concerned about the impact of illegal aliens on the United States? Don't miss Tom Tancredo's book, "In Mortal Danger: The Battle for America's Border and Security" now just $4.95!

    Another aspect of this story that is not being reported is that the site of the shooting, Peck Canyon, is inside the area Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., has proposed to designate as the Tumacacori Highlands Wilderness reserve. If Grijalva's bill is enacted into law, what is now a well-established drug smuggling corridor will become a drug-smuggling superhighway, because the Border Patrol will be prohibited from patrolling the region. Rep. Rob Bishop of Utah has proposed legislation that will remove the restrictions on Border Patrol jurisdiction on such public lands within 50 miles of the border.

    On Thursday, Secretary Napolitano and several aides flew to Tucson to meet with local Border Patrol brass. The Obama administration obviously has a mess on its hands, and Napolitano does not want it to blow up before today's U.S. Senate vote on the Dream Act. They know another murder on the southwest border will not help garner needed votes for the Dream Act, because senators supporting that bill must be able to say with a straight face, "The border is as secure as it has ever been."

    The BORTAC team encountered not one or two smugglers but a team of eight. Four are in custody, one is under surveillance in the rugged terrain of the Pajarita Wilderness area east of the small ranch town of Ruby, and three others are missing. The captured smugglers had AK-47s and backpacks filled with ammunition, food and radios. There are rumors that three of the captured four are members of the Mexican military, but that is unconfirmed. Yet, it would not be the first time Mexican police and military have been apprehended smuggling drugs into the United States.

    (Column continues below)

    It is not widely reported by our news media that the smugglers maintain a dozen or more permanent lookout posts on desert hilltops inside the U.S., and that those lookout posts are manned in week-long shifts by individuals who commute not from Mexico but from Phoenix, Tucson and other Arizona cities.

    The allegation that the Sinaloa drug cartel obtained those AK-47s from gun shops in the United States is nonsensical. That's a fairy tale cooked up by the Obama administration and endorsed by the Mexican government because they do not want to admit that the cartels get most of their serious weaponry from the international black market and the Mexican military itself.

    The rules requiring first use of bean-bag ammunition is but one example of the suicidal rules of engagement that govern Border Patrol operations. The reason they have such insane rules? The politicians who run the agency do not want the public to think the border is so dangerous a place that Border Patrol agents fear for their lives. In other words, the rules of engagement are based on a lie, a lie that must be maintained for political purposes.

    Secretary Napolitano should do two things on Monday morning. First, she should order all Border Patrol agents to be issued weapons adequate for both self-defense and apprehension of armed drug smugglers. The second thing she should do Monday morning is resign.


    Tom Tancredo is a former five-term congressman from Colorado and 2008 candidate for the Republican presidential nomination. He currently serves as chairman of the Rocky Mountain Foundation and co-chairman of TeamAmericaPac. Tancredo is the author of "In Mortal Danger: The Battle for America's Border and Security."
    Who can take your money and give it to someone else? The Government Can!

  2. The Drawing Room   -   #2
    clocker's Avatar Shovel Ready
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    So, it's to be a "war" on illegal immigration and Tancredo has already drawn up "rules of engagement".

    Simply by buying into the framework of the war approach, you've already lost the battle.
    Going back to Viet Nam and looking forwards, how many wars- both military and societal ("War on Poverty", "War on Drugs", etc.)- have we begun and how many have been won?

    Our default response to any problem has become a declaration of "war", a grand shock-n-awe spectacle designed to overwhelm the enemy.
    We've already begun the creation of a military elite; every doofus automatically become a "hero" the minute he dons a uniform (the word "hero" has become as meaningless as "awesome"), the military got a pay raise in this last round of budget legislation (all other Federal workers get a cut) and most telling of all, the blather surrounding DADT.

    Allowing gays to serve in the military is/was overwhelmingly supported by the general public and the military is supposed to represent the will of the people, ergo it is irrelevant what the military thought of the repeal as their duty is to support what the people want, not the other way around.
    DADT was a clear case of the tail wagging the dog.

    We've also turned war into big business (the role of WW2 in revitalizing the Depression ravaged economy was lost on no one).
    The Military Industrial Complex, already feared in the age of Eisenhower, has grown and mutated into a corporate hydra that infiltrates every aspect of our economy.
    Not just the traditional players- Lockheed, Boeing, General Dynamics, etc.- but all the new players like Xi (formerly Blackwater) and even CCA (largest owner of private prisons and a major force behind Arizona's recent illegal immigrant legislation...after all, illegal immigrants= arrestees= prisoners=PROFIT!) all of whom spend huge dollars promoting their services.
    And none of them has any incentive whatsoever to "win" any of the "wars" they promote.
    In fact a win would be a terrible business model, the ideal is a neverending, slowly evolving conflict that can be exploited for profit as long as possible.

    Even more attractive is the legal shield we provide for "private contractors" and the lack of oversight we apply.
    When you can't be held accountable to (apparently) any court anywhere and are operating in a sea of cash, you've basically hit corporate heaven.
    Why would you attempt to "win" your way out of paradise?

    Every issue facing us today has already been studied and evaluated by corporate interests and the ones that hold the most potential for a "war" are the ones they finance with direct campaign contributions and "grassroots" astroturf PACs, etc.
    Never has the fallacy that "What's good for General Motors is good for America" been so wrong yet so universally accepted.

    I think it's no coincidence that expression of American exceptionalism has risen to it's current, absurd levels.
    Mindlessly insisting "America, we're #1!" leaves no room for "I have seen the enemy and he is us".

    If we are the enemy, all the money we spend on wars damages us more than the titular target and we're losing America faster than any terrorist can take it away.

    So I'd be especially careful to consider options to the military framing of this (and any other) issue.
    "Boots on the ground" and "shock and awe" really haven't been working out too well for us but they've certainly been a boon for someone.
    I contend that those someones do not have our best interests at heart.
    "I am the one who knocks."- Heisenberg


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