Tuesday, October 4, 2011

DOJ: "Cartels Control Border Access"

In a stunning admission, the Department of Justice last Wednesday released the following announcement: "Mexican drug-trafficking organizations control access to the United State-Mexico border as well as the smuggling routes across the border, resulting in unprecedented levels of violence in Mexico."

Anyone who opens a newspaper or watches TV news already had a good idea that this was true, but the announcement of reality was a bit of a surprise. The statement goes on to say: "The organizations control, simultaneously use, or are competing for control of various smuggling corridors that they use to regulate drug flow across the border. The value they attach to controlling border access is demonstrated by the ferocity with which several rival transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) fight for control over control of key corridors, or 'plazas'."

And as a near-throwaway line, the statement reports that the Mexican drug cartels "dominate the supply and wholesale distribution of most illicit drugs in the United States." So much for what we may have thought about domestic gangs, the Mafia and those pesky Jamaicans. The next big drug-trafficking movie won't be called The French Connection. In fact, drug-trafficking back in that era seems almost quaint by comparison with today's border wars.

While controlling access for drug trafficking is the main purpose of cartel violence along the border, having complete control of access to entry points into the United States also enhances their ability to traffic in human bodies, both kidnap victims for ransom and women for forced prostitution. What we need to focus on is not just the violence, but the fact that the Mexican army and police have essentially ceded control of near-border access to the cartels. Having gotten control of the north, the cartels are now gaining control of main highways and travel routes throughout the entirety of Mexico.

Most frightening of all, having gained control of the access routes into the United States, the cartels are quickly gaining control of routes on our side of the border. We have an immense border with Mexico, and many of the access roads lead to sparsely-populated desert and rural areas, unfenced and unguarded. Where there are border guards, they are there in grossly insufficient numbers, inadequately armed, and subject to rules of engagement that make them targets for murderous thugs who play by no civilized rules.

Rather than tell us that Janet Napolitano at Homeland Security is nuts, and we're going to beef up the border patrol, use army units freshly back from Iraq or Afghanistan, arm them with state-of-the-art equipment and give them "shoot on sight" orders, the DOJ instead produces assessments which are largely self-fulfilling prophecies. "Collaboration between US gangs and Mexican-based TCOs will continue to increase, facilitating wholesale drug trafficking into and within the United States."

Before anyone starts thinking that I'm suggesting illegal or unconstitutional use of our armed forces on American soil, I need to point out that it is a perfectly legitimate use of the armed forces to repel an invasion. Make no mistake, this is an invasion, and the posse comitatus act simply doesn't apply. Our armies were used within America's borders during the War of 1812, and those weren't the local police who fought the Indian wars of the 1800s. The act was passed after Civil War Reconstruction to avoid having to use the army indefinitely to enforce law in the states formerly in rebellion.

The posse comitatus act was designed to prevent the army from having too much power within American borders, but more specifically it was designed to prevent the armed forces from acting in a law-enforcement capacity. And therein lies the problem with the liberals and the Obama administration. Not only is the administration overly-sympathetic with illegal immigrants, but in regard to the narco-wars the administration once again prefers the metaphorical "war on crime" model rather than the real war model which allows the military to repel armed invaders.

It should also be noted that the posse comitatus act applies solely to the Army and the Air Force. The Marines and the Navy are restricted by Department of Defense directives, not by the act. The Coast Guard is entirely exempted from the act, as is any entity under the aegis of or created by Homeland Security. And to further complicate matters, the restrictions of the act can be lifted by any new act of Congress which does not conflict with the Constitution. So citing the posse comitatus act as a barrier to fending off an armed invasion of American soil is naive at best and disingenuous at worst.

A side benefit of mounting an all-out attack against armed narco cartel invaders is that it would also tend to reduce the entry of non-violent but still illegal immigrants. The same routes that the drug cartels have gained control of are the ones being used by the "coyotes" bringing in illegal immigrants.

In the meantime, the DOJ is very concerned with covering its behind in the wake of the Fast and Furious/Gunrunner scandal in which narco-terrorists obtained thousands of deadly weapons with the full approval and assistance of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It can't be bothered with protecting our southwestern border from an invasion. Those weapons are being used to kill Mexican citizens on their side of the border, but they have also spilled over into the United States resulting in both civilian and Border Patrol deaths.

Unlike the takeover of Chicago by Al Capone in the twenties, this is not a domestic crime syndicate, the local police are helpless to do anything, Eliot Ness is long dead, and the cartels are not amenable to being arrested, tried and imprisoned for tax evasion. What needs to be done is to increase the number of Border Patrol agents armed with the best equipment by a factor of ten or twenty, use the military if necessary, and fight this invasion as if the British are coming to burn the capital.

That will not happen as long as Barack Obama, Eric Holder and Janet Napolitano remain in charge. They are too afraid we might offend the hapless Mexican government or a large demographic of future Democratic voters already inside our borders.


AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, DOJ has indeed become a gang haven't they? Interestingly, Congressional Republicans are now calling for a special counsel to investigate whether Holder misled Congress on Fast and Furious. I hope this is a sign that things are changing.

Here's the link: LINK

Tennessee Jed said...

Great post, Hawk. I think your point about posse comitatus is right on point here. I don't know if you or others are fans of Tom Clancy, but His most recent "Against All Enemies" is about just this issue. As usual, Clancy is a long slog of a read, but his detail seems to be unwavering accurate. Good sources on the inside I suppose.

LL said...

I work on this issue inside Mexico (my current day job). And from the perspective inside Mexico, the situation is infinitely more complicated. However, the USGOV doesn't seem very interested in what's going on - for the most part.

Recently, there has been tasking to 'do something' from the White House. However, the powers that be are not sure 'what to do' --- my opinion only.

T-Rav said...

Obama DOJ border control plan:

1. Supply cartels along Mexican border with more guns from America.
2. ????
3. Border control!

On that note, a CBS reporter who has actually been covering the F & F scandal (I know, right?) said on Laura Ingraham today that Justice and White House officials were actually screaming and "cursing" at her for continuing to mention the story. For the life of me, I just can't understand how a quintessentially cool man like Obama would allow such incivility to be displayed towards people asking questions.

Unknown said...

Andrew: And it's the gang that can't shoot straight. This time I think they may have shot themselves in the foot.

Outlaw13 said...

Where's Black Jack Pershing when you need him?

Unknown said...

Tennessee: I am a Clancy fan, but I also know if they ever make a movie about this issue from one of his books, it will be neo-Nazis invading. It's the only enemy Hollywood will allow.

Unknown said...

LL: The situation is indeed complicated. But Mexico has to solve its own problems, with or without American help. I'm only concerned about protecting our borders from cartel invasions. One thing America could do is make it clear to the Mexican government that we will no longer tolerate their ineptitude and corruption, and if they want any further aid, they'll get their house in order, clean up their economy, and get control of their own troops. Instead, the Obama administration spends its time pussyfooting and soothing the injured feelings of a government that exports its problems to the United States.

Unknown said...

T-Rav: Obama isn't cool or civil, he's semi-comatose. At least the thugs in his administration have some emotions, even if they're entirely misdirected.

Unknown said...

Outlaw13: Amen! I'm convinced there are still a few of those generals around, but their brain-dead Commander-in-Chief won't let them loose. Lord knows our military is the best in the world, but they can't fight any war when they're required to spend most of their time reading manuals on how not to injure anyone or hurt anyone's feelings.

Unknown said...

Andrew: BTW, you scooped 'em. I see that Herman Cain's book has already hit the top 10 on Amazon!

Notawonk said...

living in present-day texas has it's pitfalls, the border is one of them. we constantly instruct our kiddos not to get near border towns, many of us are now card-carrying concealed weapons folks, and more than most ranchers i know, do not leave home without a weapon on their person, as they survey their land.

it's scary and it's no joke.

Unknown said...

Patti: As a teenager, I had fun visiting Tijuana a couple times a year. For one thing, we could have a cerveza, which was denied us in California. But mostly we went for the sun, the food, and the bargains (I bought my first guitar there). When I got older, my buddy and I used to go deep sea fishing off Ensenada (his uncle owned a hotel there). Even as late as my son's teenagerdom, it was still a relatively safe place for them to go for some fun. Today, I wouldn't let my grandkids anywhere within twenty miles of that border town, let alone travel as far into Mexico as Ensenada.

Tehachapi Tom said...

With the govt. plan to let weapons bought in gun stores by ATF agents go into Mexico and then claim it was loose gun laws (i.e. second amendment) that are responsible for arming Mexican Cartels. Our govt. has broken our own US laws.

Now that a border agent has been killed with guns that the ATF let into Mexico, the whole stupid and irresponsible plan is coming to light. Eric Holder, who lied to Congress, and others, possibly including Obama, should be impeached for violating US Laws and the Geneva convention that makes this illegal.

These youtubes explain how devious this Govt. is.



Unknown said...

Tehachapi Tom: Fast and Furious (Gunrunner) is only the most obvious, and deadly, result of the total incompetence and incoherence of the Obama administration. The wholesale lack of a strong foreign policy leads tyrants and terrorists to make moves they might not otherwise.

Yes, Holder ought to be impeached and probably Obama as well, but I am firmly against any attempt to do so. We would end up looking like fools after the House impeaches and the Democrat-controlled Senate acquits. This would be a repeat of the Clinton impeachment, only far more devastating because his acquittal would raise the specter of persecution that would gain Obama undeserved sympathy and probably a win in the 2012 elections.

I prefer to stay the course, win back the Senate and the White House, and get a strong Attorney General who will prosecute the massive wrongdoing.

rlaWTX said...

what modern, so-called 1st world country announces that they have lost all control of a significant stretch of border?????????????

incompetence, idiocy, @#%$&!!!!!
what's the word for a dozen steps past SNAFU and on past FUBAR?

Unknown said...

rlaWTX: The word you're looking for is "Obama," but he had plenty of sappy predecessors.

wahsatchmo said...

I'm glad you brought this issue up, LawHawk. I'd first heard about this situation from one of our Mexican employees (who immigrated here legally, waited a year to get a work visa, and paid all of her US taxes on every dollar she made). Her family is in Monterrey, and she used to have no trouble using a main highway to get to and from her home town to the next.

About a year ago, her sister and friend were travelling on this "safe" highway and were stopped by a cartel wielding AKs. They politely told them that this was the cartel's road now, and they should never use it again. Amazingly, the cartel let them go, but made it clear they wouldn't be so lucky a next time.

You know the situation has only gotten worse since then.

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