Homeland “Security”: Drug Lords Along the Border

Hat Tip to Kos Diarist xxdr zombiexx. First, there’s the report from San Antonio news media that the Mexican Navy’s got choppers overflying Falcon Lake and the Rio Grande near Brownsville (hey, Governor Perry: how’s that “border wall” working out for ya now?)

The State Department has issued a warning to US travelers: Don’t Go to Mexico.

Helicopter

Mexican Navy Helicopter

As violence continued Thursday with a highway shootout in Tamaulipas, a Senate subcommittee in Washington heard testimony that drug cartels are trying to infiltrate U.S. agencies along the border, with corruption cases among Homeland Security personnel on the rise.

In the past two years, there have been 400 public corruption cases involving federal, state and local law enforcement agents originating from the Southwest border region, Kevin Perkins, FBI assistant director for criminal investigations, told the Senate Homeland Security subcommittee on preparedness.

James Tomsheck, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection assistant commissioner, told the panel the drug cartels operating in Mexico are making a concerted effort to infiltrate CBP, and the agency is responding with more screening of job applicants with polygraph tests and background investigations. Corruption cases were opened last year on 576 CBP officers and Border Patrol agents.

In addition to the highway battle, news from Tamaulipas on Thursday included a 25-year-old man found dead on a roadside in Miguel Alemán. On Wednesday, three people died in one or two gun battles in Reynosa.

Four other deaths have been reported since Saturday in the cities of Mier, Camargo and Miguel Alemán.

and that doesn’t even touch what’s going on in Ciudad Juarez.

Suspected drug cartel “hit teams” gunned down an American consular employee and her husband in a Mexican border city and killed a co-worker’s Mexican husband in a separate attack, a US official said Sunday.

The victims — two Americans and a Mexican — came under fire in separate locations as they were driving Saturday through Ciudad Juarez after earlier attending the same social event, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The killings marked an ominous turn in the drug violence wracking northern Mexico, and prompted the State Department to announce that Americans working at six US consulates in the border area could send their families away.

President Barack Obama said he was “deeply saddened and outraged by the news of the brutal murders,” said National Security Council spokesman Mike Hammer.

But here’s the thing — the War on Drugs, which is fueling this murderous madness by creating the massive profitability of illegal drugs motivating these cartels to suborn our border officials and shoot up not just the cities along our border but our consular staff as well, is not Mexico’s fault.

II

Mexican Navy Helicopter

Wasn’t even Mexico’s idea. Like Prohibition, it grew up here in the USA — and it was meant to mark out new and better reasons to put Mexicans and blacks in jail, all the while protecting the profits and property of American corporations.

It’s been failing us as a nation since the turn of LAST century. We need to find a better way.

Those of y’all who’ve read my stuff in other places know that I’m vehemently opposed to Tom Tancredo’s Border Fence, and Rick Perry’s Virtual Border Wall, and all the other wasteful dispositions of materiels and manpower mounted in defense of xenophobia and prejudice against Teh Brown People. Not only don’t these stupid displays of “early modern era” thinking work (did the Great Wall keep China “safe”?), but the money could do so freaking much more good used in other ways — like, you know, funding schools and hospitals and a safety net for indigent and nearly-indigent (including homeless veterans, damn George W Bush and Dick Cheney and their addlepated cabal of wannabe oil-barons to hell for wasting yet another generation of America’s youth in wars halfway round the world that we didn’t need to start and sure as God made little green apples shouldn’t be keeping on fighting now) Americans.

Which reminds me. Effed up as this country is, people still take their lives in their hands and save up money to pay smugglers to get themselves and their kids over here in the hope of having a better future.

We, as a nation, need to start living up to that instead of down to the desires and pulings of Tancredo, Perry, Palin and all their likeminded lackwit legions.

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2 responses to “Homeland “Security”: Drug Lords Along the Border

  1. grahamfirchlis

    Looks like the Republicans are going to double down on the Scary Brown People approach, judging from the CA Republican Party conference held here over last weekend in – wait for it – San Jose. Just un the road is the city of Fremont, named for a US general notorious for his cruelty and slaughter of Indians and Mexicans, but apparently the available symbolism wasn’t recognized.

    One cnadidate after another got up and vied for the most outrageous claims and plans for persecuting “immigrants” (by which they mean Mexicans). It may backfire on them, at least here in CA, since the Spanish-language reporters called them out clearly and they have been rightly characterized as threatening to “waging war” on the Latino community.

    That race-baiting may work elsewhere, but here in CA where Cinco de Mayo is a bigger celebration than St. Patrick’s Day it will probably hurt their electoral chances more than it helps. Good thing, since nearly all of the major Republican candidates are utterly disgusting people.

  2. The Other Sarah

    I live in Texas. I live in probably the single whitest district left in Texas. All the candidates in the GOP hereabouts are over 50 and paste-colored, seems like … and they want the Mexicans punished.

    These people have no idea just what it is their dearest wishes would buy should they get them, but since it’s useless to try to get through to them, I’m abandoning all hope and going for common sense.

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