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  1. #1
    Senior Member PatrioticMe's Avatar
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    Border Patrol union calls security plan 'showmanship'

    By Bridget Johnson
    Posted: 03/26/09 12:46 PM [ET]
    The leader of the Border Patrol union says the Obama administration's plans to secure the border against escalating drug cartel violence miss the mark and leave him "underwhelmed."

    Furthermore, the prospects of working closer with Mexican law enforcement and military — in a culture of corruption that has left many officers in Mexico "rotten to the core" — leave agents wary after years of dodging bullets fired from Mexican soil, said T.J. Bonner, president of the National Border Patrol Council.

    Bonner told The Hill that "the emphasis is not in the right place, in our view" in the government's plan to try to stop guns and money from going south to fuel cartel violence.

    "When they know that we're setting up checkpoints to try to intercept guns and money going south, they're going to find others means," Bonner said, adding that the plan announced this week by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is "going to commit a fair amount of resources without predictable results."

    "[The plan will] divert agents away from stopping people and contraband from coming into the U.S.," Bonner said, stressing that the administration touted the plan as cost-neutral.

    When unveiling the plan in a press conference Tuesday, Napolitano said 100 Border Patrol agents would be moved to conduct inspections of vehicles that may be carrying arms into Mexico. Also announced were plans to hire 16 new Drug Enforcement Administration agents for the border, and increasing the numbers of agents stationed at the border in the areas of intelligence, inspection and liaison work with Mexican authorities.

    Napolitano said rail cargo screening into Mexico along the eight lines that traverse the border would be increased to 100 percent.

    But Bonner said this banks too much on the theory that the reason there is Mexican drug violence is because they smuggle most of their weapons from the U.S. "The U.S. has more weapons but we don't have that kind of violence in our streets," he said, noting that despite Mexico's strict gun laws the armed groups are out of control.

    And even if the U.S. strategy were to dry up the flow of weapons going south, Bonner said cartels will continue to be armed in one of two ways: from U.S. supplies that go to the Mexican military or police and wind up in the hands of cartels or officers that turn to working for the cartels, or buying guns elsewhere.

    "Someone's going to supply them because they've got a lot of money," Bonner said.

    And the smuggling possibilities, he said, will still be endless. "The same tunnels that are used to move drugs and people northward can also be used to funnel the same south," he said, adding that other options would include low-flying aircraft that do drops without landing in the United States and go back to Mexico before U.S. officials can intercept them, or utilizing rivers and oceans as conduits to a greater degree.

    Working closer with the Mexican military and police is also raising eyebrows, Bonner said. "Sharing intelligence with our Mexican counterparts may sound great in D.C., but out in the field it makes us very nervous," he said. "We have had situations where Mexican soldiers in Humvees have driven into the U.S., opened fire on our agents, were apprehended and were returned to Mexico within a number of hours." In almost all of these incidents, which he says have also included Border Patrol agents being pinned down by fire from Mexican soldiers, the Mexican government has claimed the perpetrators were masquerading as Mexican soldiers. "Even taking that at face value there's never been any response from them," he said.

    "Mexico has never been terribly interested in stopping anything from going out of their country," Bonner added.

    And when it comes to the new border security plans, he said, "not only are we doing Mexico's job but we're following their strategy."

    Bonner wants a greater priority placed on border security, and said he is "in a word, underwhelmed" by Napolitano's plan. "We need to take more aggressive steps to stop that violence from spilling into the United States," he said, calling the strategy "showmanship in advance of the diplomatic outreach to Mexico."

    Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, visiting Mexico on Wednesday, said she felt the U.S. had a shared responsibility for the violent drug wars that claimed 6,000 lives last year. "Our insatiable demand for illegal drugs fuels the drug trade," Clinton said. "Our inability to prevent weapons from being illegally smuggled across the border to arm these criminals causes the deaths of police officers, soldiers and civilians."

    "Mexico has a point when they say, 'Hey, you guys are the biggest consumer of illegal drugs in the world,'" Bonner said, "but it's been that way long before Mexico became the primary conduit of illegal drugs into this country."

    And understanding the drug wars and the cartels' power struggles, he said, will be key to any efforts to stop or contain the violence.

    "Corruption facilitates violence instead of weapons," Bonner said.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Dixie's Avatar
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    I agree totally with Bonner!

    Obama and Napolitano are separating families by pulling 100 agents away from their homes, wives and children and from the interior enforcement efforts across the nation, to put them on the border to do what the National Guard signed up to do.

    Dixie
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    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    MW
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    "Mexico has never been terribly interested in stopping anything from going out of their country," Bonner added.
    We can all attest to that! The drugs, convicted criminals, and illegal aliens keep pouring in unabated.

    "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" ** Edmund Burke**

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  5. #5
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    Working closer with the Mexican military and police is also raising eyebrows, Bonner said. "Sharing intelligence with our Mexican counterparts may sound great in D.C., but out in the field it makes us very nervous," he said. "We have had situations where Mexican soldiers in Humvees have driven into the U.S., opened fire on our agents, were apprehended and were returned to Mexico within a number of hours." In almost all of these incidents, which he says have also included Border Patrol agents being pinned down by fire from Mexican soldiers, the Mexican government has claimed the perpetrators were masquerading as Mexican soldiers. "Even taking that at face value there's never been any response from them," he said.

    "Mexico has never been terribly interested in stopping anything from going out of their country," Bonner added.
    I commend Bonner for having the courage to tell it like it is regarding mexico! It's somewhat scary listening to Napolitano and her rhetoric regarding mexico and the border, as compared to Bonner and his frank assessment of the situation. Has Napolitano even acknowledged that the drug violence has spilled over into this country yet?
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  6. #6
    Senior Member butterbean's Avatar
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    Bonner is right. Simply increasing the number of agents isnt going to make much difference. Mexican cartels are our biggest threat. We need the National Guard or the army stationed all along the southern border.
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