Jim Kouri
Pentagon contradicts Napolitano's Mexican border assessment
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By Jim Kouri
April 20, 2011

Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano's recent description of a U.S.-Mexico border that's "as secure as it has ever been" appear to be in direct opposition to a Pentagon assessment.

According to officials at Judicial Watch, a public-interest group that investigates public corruption and fraud, U.S. Defense Department officials believe the border is actually a gateway for Mexican criminal organizations that have infiltrated the entire country and joined forces with terrorist groups.

For months the nation's Homeland Security Secretary has repeatedly insisted that everything is safe and secure on the southwest border, even as violence escalates and overwhelmed federal agents are increasingly attacked by heavily armed drug smugglers.

Just last month Napolitano declared that violence along the Mexican border is merely a mistaken "perception" because the area is safe and "open for business."

Furthermore, President Barack Obama's Homeland Security Secretary assured that "some of America's safest communities are in the Southwest border region...."

During another speech, Napolitano accused critics of the Obama Administration of exaggerating the problems on the U.S.-Mexican border.

"Our nation's sovereignty is being violated and Americans killed by illegal aliens and all we get are photo opportunities with Obama Administration officials and scoldings from the Mexican government officials including President [Felipe] Calderon," said police officer Iris Veguilla, herself a Latino.

A top Pentagon official contradicts Napolitano's fairytale assessment, pointing out that Mexican criminal organizations extend well beyond the southwest border to cities across the country, including big ones like Atlanta, Chicago and Detroit, according to Judicial Watch.

Addressing a U.S. Senate hearing this week, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Counternarcotics and Global Threats William Wechsler warned lawmakers that all their constituencies are confronted by the threat of Mexican drug cartels.

Even more alarming is that once in the United States, the Mexican criminal groups are becoming more dangerous by forming networks with each other and insurgent or terrorist groups. In some regions the "threat networking" not only engages in drug trafficking but kidnapping, armed robbery, extortion, home invasions and other serious crimes.

The threat is so great that the assistant Defense Secretary offered federal legislators military assistance in the name of protecting national security.

"Many of the global and regional terrorists who threaten interests of the United States finance their activities with proceeds from narcotics trafficking," Wechsler reminded, adding that "extremist and international criminal networks frequently exploit local geographical, political or social conditions to establish safe havens from which they can operate with impunity."

Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO), a staunch supporter of tough immigration enforcement, once again called on Napolitano to resign last week. Tancredo has led many congressional efforts to protect the borders against illegal immigration.

An incident that involved a gunfight in December between Border Patrol agents near Nogales, Ariz., and armed drug smugglers has been a sore point with Tancredo. One member of the U.S. Border Patrol, Brian Terry, was killed by automatic gunfire during a shootout that highlighted the fact that U.S. law enforcement officers are out-manned and outgunned by Mexican criminals.

The Obama administration also claimed it increased the number of Border Patrol agents from about 10,000 in 2004 to more than 20,700 now. However, an examination of records reveals that the increase in border agents occurred during the Bush Administration when the number of agents reached upwards of 18,000 in 2008.

© Jim Kouri

 

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Jim Kouri

Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police... (more)

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