Fast and Furious: “walked” grenade used in firefight that killed three Mexican cops

October 17, 2013

More murderous fruit of a “felony stupid” operation:

CBS News has learned of a shocking link between a deadly drug cartel shootout with Mexican police last week and a controversial case in the U.S. The link is one of the grenades used in the violent fight, which killed three policemen and four cartel members and was captured on video by residents in the area.

According to a Justice Department “Significant Incident Report” filed Tuesday and obtained by CBS News, evidence connects one of the grenades to Jean Baptiste Kingery, an alleged firearms trafficker U.S. officials allowed to operate for years without arresting despite significant evidence that he was moving massive amounts of grenade parts and ammunition to Mexico’s ruthless drug cartels.

(…)

In 2009, ATF also learned Kingery was dealing in grenades; weapons of choice for Mexico’s killer cartels. Documents show they developed a secret plan to let him smuggle parts to Mexico in early 2010 and follow him to his factory. Some ATF agents vehemently objected, worried that Kingery would disappear once he crossed the border into Mexico. That’s exactly what happened.

Kingery resurfaced several months later in 2010, trying to smuggle a stash of grenade bodies and ammunition into Mexico, but was again let go when prosecutors allegedly said they couldn’t build a good case. In 2011, Mexican authorities finally raided Kingery’s factory and arrested him — they say he confessed to teaching cartel members how to build grenades and convert semi-automatic weapons to automatic.

This is a variant on the “Gunwalker” plot we’ve all come to know and love: instead of allowing a straw buyer to illegally purchase firearms in the US to smuggle to psycho drug cartels in Mexico, the ATF let Kingery buy parts here and assemble them in his workshop in Mexico. And, just like the thousands of arms they let walk across the border, the boobs at ATF and Justice lost Kingery, too.

And now three more Mexican police are dead, and the Obama-Holder Department of Justice has more blood on its hands.

RELATED: Earlier posts on Operation Fast and Furious. And here’s why Eric Holder could not have known what was going on — OCDETF.

UPDATE: Fixed the headline to more accurately reflect the CBS story.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Mexican Marines capture Los Zetas chief

July 15, 2013

Wow. This is huge news:

One of Mexico’s most wanted drug lords has been captured: Miguel Angel Trevino Morales, also known as “Z-40.”

Trevino Morales, leader of the brutal Los Zetas cartel, was caught Sunday by Mexico Marines in his hometown of Nuevo Laredo, just over the U.S. border, CBS News has learned.

The U.S. State Department had offered a $5 million reward for Trevino Morales.

The Zetas cartel is among Mexico’s most violent drug organizations, notorious for civilian killings and beheadings. Is leaders ordered the killing of 72 undocumented immigrants in 2010 in what is known as the San Fernando massacre. More recently in May, the Mexican army said their leaders ordered underlings to leave 49 mutilated bodies in a northern Mexico town square.

The Mexican drug cartels are a nasty bunch, but the Zetas are the worst of the worst. Founded by former Mexican Special Forces members who first worked as soldiers for the cartels before striking out on their own, they’ve been called the Mexico’s most dangerous drug cartel. Beheadings, bombings, massacres, terrorism… You name it, they’ve been in on it. “Well done” to the Mexican military; this is quite a take-down, and I hope this leads to information that allows the Mexican and US governments to roll up Los Zetas on both sides of the border.

Maybe we’ll even finally see justice for David Hartley, who was murdered at Falcon Lake, and some peace for his widow.

UPDATE: Fixed the headline to give proper credit to the Mexican Marines. Sorry, guys.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Forest Jihad: Islamic terror group claims responsibility for Arizona fires

July 9, 2013
"...can prevent forest jihad."

“…can prevent forest jihad.”

A while back, when it seemed like all Colorado was afire, I wrote about the possibility of “forest jihad,” a form of war against the West advocated by al Qaeda as part of a death by a thousand cuts strategy — destroying resources, morale, etc. And while acts of forest jihad were suspected in Europe, Israel, and Australia, there were no claims of responsibility for wildfires in the Great Satan, that is, us.

Until now:

A Palestinian jihadist group known as Masada al-Mujahideen took credit for the [Arizona] fires in a statement that was obtained and translated by Search for International Terrorist Entities (SITE) Intelligence Group, according to the Clarion Project.

The terror group claims that the fires are a reprisal for Israel’s “occupation” of what they say are Palestinian lands.

Nineteen firefighters have been killed while fighting the blaze.

“We had previously announced an unconventional war against the occupation state of Israel, and then we escalated this war to reach its main supporter, America, so that it receives a major share of it, which will destroy their flora and fauna, with permission from Allah and then with our hands,” the group said, according to Clarion and SITE.

Masada al-Mujahideen is apparently a legitimate jihadist group, not a cut-out for another organization. The Long War Journal has this to say about them:

Masada al Mujahideen announced its formation in April 2008 and said its leader is Abu Omar al Ansari, according to SITE. The terror group has claimed numerous attacks against Israel, including rocket and mortar attacks. The group has also claimed credit for setting numerous fires inside Israel, and even an arson attack in Nevada.

Masada al Mujahideen also eulogized Osama bin Laden immediately after he was killed by US Navy SEALs in Abbottabad, Pakistan, in May 2011. “Although Sheikh Osama has been killed, his creed will not be killed, and the whole Ummah, Allah willing, is Osama bin Laden. We do not say that as hyperbole, for you see with your own eyes and acknowledge with your own mouths that most of the jihadi groups in the world have come to follow his example, method and creed,” the group said in a statement that was translated by SITE.

Masada al Mujahideen also eulogized Atiyah Abd al Rahman, a top al Qaeda leader who was killed in a US drone strike in North Waziristan, Pakistan, in August 2011. “He was truly one of the well-known people of jihad and a bright star in the sky of knowledge,” the group said in a statement translated by SITE.

It’s possible, of course, that these holy warriors refugees from a medieval insane asylum are lying about Arizona and are just claiming credit to up their standing in the world of brave knights of Islam medieval psychos. America seems a long way to come for a small terrorist outfit, when Israel is right next door.

But when you read the United Nations report on the porous US-Mexican border, “A Global Pathway to the USA;” when you recall that Hizbullah, Hamas, and al Qaeda are all trying to set up operations in the Western hemisphere; and when you keep in mind geography

Well, the possibility that Masada al Mujahideen really did set the fires that killed 19 American firefighters and destroyed dozens of homes and businesses doesn’t seem so inconceivable after all, does it?

If we can establish to our satisfaction they did do this, then we should hunt them down and kill them all. This isn’t a criminal matter; by their own declaration, this is jihad fi sabil allah, “holy war.” And in that case, we should show them exactly how real war is fought.

Meanwhile, this news demonstrates again why border security is more than just an immigration issue — it’s a matter of national security.

UPDATE: Reader Crosspatch reports that the cause of the Arizona fire was described as lightning.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Operation Fast and Furious: “walked” weapon used to kill Mexican police chief

July 7, 2013

Remember “Operation Fast and Furious,” aka “Gunwalker?” That was the “felony stupid” inter-agency investigation lead by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms and “overseen” Department of Justice under Attorney General Eric Holder. The bright idea was to allow straw-buyers working as cutouts for the Mexican drug cartels to buy illegally heavy-duty firearms at gun shops in southwestern states and walk them across the border into the waiting arms of the crazed psychos of the Sinaloa and other cartels. The goal was to then trace the weapons to the cartel heads, who could then be arrested and their organizations broken up.

Left unexplained, of course, was how these weapons would be connected to the cartel bosses, since there was no way to trace them once they left the shop. Almost the only way any of these guns would ever show up again was at a crime scene, often with dead bodies present:

Those are just the ones we know about. And now it’s happened again:

A high-powered rifle lost in the ATF’s Fast and Furious controversy was used to kill a Mexican police chief in the state of Jalisco earlier this year, according to internal Department of Justice records, suggesting that weapons from the failed gun-tracking operation have now made it into the hands of violent drug cartels deep inside Mexico.

Luis Lucio Rosales Astorga, the police chief in the city of Hostotipaquillo, was shot to death Jan. 29 when gunmen intercepted his patrol car and opened fire. Also killed was one of his bodyguards. His wife and a second bodyguard were wounded.

Local authorities said eight suspects in their 20s and 30s were arrested after police seized them nearby with a cache of weapons — rifles, grenades, handguns, helmets, bulletproof vests, uniforms and special communications equipment. The area is a hot zone for rival drug gangs, with members of three cartels fighting over turf in the region.

A semi-automatic WASR rifle, the firearm that killed the chief, was traced back to the Lone Wolf Trading Company, a gun store in Glendale, Ariz. The notation on the Department of Justice trace records said the WASR was used in a “HOMICIDE – WILLFUL – KILL –PUB OFF –GUN” –ATF code for “Homicide, Willful Killing of a Public Official, Gun.”

Naturally, the ATF refused comment. I guess they haven’t heard that the preferred excuse of the Obama administration is “We’re not evil, just stupid.”

A lot of innocent people are going to be paying a price in blood for the ATF’s bright idea, for years to come. I know this has slipped out of the limelight for now, given all the other scandals swirling around the Chicago thugocracy, but, other than Benghazi, this is the only scandal in which people have died. And it is absolutely inconceivable that the Attorney General had no idea was what going on, not when Fast and Furious has been designated an OCDETF case.

So far, Eric Holder and Barack Obama have successfully stonewalled Congress and the American people about the truth regarding Fast and Furious, but we have to keep after them to get to that truth.

The dead, now including Chief Rosales-Astorga, deserve no less.

via Yid With Lid

RELATED: Earlier posts on Operation Fast and Furious. Investigative journalist Katie Pavlich wrote a must-read book on the scandal.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


The gun scandal the left doesn’t care about

December 19, 2012
Fast and Furious got results, all right.

What about these children, Mr. President?

That would be Operation Fast and Furious, the “felony stupid” investigation during which the BATF, with DoJ approval, knowingly allowed thousands of heavy firearms to be purchased by straw buyers, after which they were walked across the border into the waiting, murderous arms of Mexican drug cartels. And, so far, over 300 Mexican civilians, police, and military –as well as two US federal agents– have died from this fiasco.

To this count we should perhaps add another:

Another weapon from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agency’s controversial Operation Fast and Furious was recently recovered at a Mexican crime scene, CBS News has learned. Congressional investigators say the crime scene was likely where a recent shootout took place between reported Sinaloa drug cartel members and the Mexican military, in which Sinaloa beauty queen Maria Susana Flores Gamez and four others were killed.

According to Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, the Justice Department did not notify Congress of the Fast and Furious firearm recovery in November, even though Grassley has requested an accounting of weapons that surface from the case. During Fast and Furious, ATF allowed more than 2,000 weapons, including giant .50-caliber guns, to fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartels and other criminals. Other so-called “gunwalking” operations by ATF let hundreds more guns hit the street. Most of them have never been recovered.

The latest known recovery is a Romanian AK-47-type WASR-10 rifle. It was picked up at a crime scene Nov. 23 in Ciudad Guamuchil, Sinaloa, Mexico. That’s the same area and weekend of the shootout involving Flores Gamez’s death. A trace report shows the rifle was purchased by Uriel Patino, the Fast and Furious suspect who allegedly bought more than 700 weapons while under ATF’s watch. (1) Records show Patino bought the rifle and nine other semi-automatic rifles at an Arizona gun shop March 16, 2010.

Well of course DoJ didn’t inform Congress of this weapon’s recovery: Obama won reelection, Holder’s probably leaving soon, and they’ve found scapegoats to cover their own culpability. Why bother answering questions from a member of the Senate minority? Constitutional accountability? Are you kidding??

To her credit, CBS’ Sharyl Attkisson has given regular and serious coverage to Fast and Furious. To the MSM’s shame, she’s been one of the very few. And the rest of the liberal-left? The only thing they’ve done, when they couldn’t ignore the scandal altogether, is to blow smoke by crying “racism” and “witch hunt” in order to defend Obama and Holder. Truth hasn’t even been an afterthought.

Compare that to the recent horror at Sandy Hook elementary school. The initial shock had barely passed when the left began screaming for a ban on certain types of weapons, new, more restrictive laws, and even confiscation. Many, rightfully outraged over what happened to those children and teachers, wrongfully wished savage violence and death on defenders of Second Amendment rights. We saw outrage, anger, shock, demands for action.

But after Univision reported on a massacre in Juarez, Mexico, in which 14 teens were killed and another dozen wounded, and in which some of the guns had been supplied by the US government?

Crickets.

So, why shouldn’t we conclude that the left, the Democrats, and most of the MSM (but I repeat myself) don’t give a damn about Brown children?

Footnote:
(1) Not just under “ATF’s watch.” That agency, and through them the Department of Justice, actively colluded in supplying heavy armaments, including .50-caliber rifles, to Mexican cartels. For a good summary, see Katie Pavlich’s “Fast and Furious.”

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Rule 5 Friday: south of the border edition

December 7, 2012

Sometimes it’s nice to end the work week by contemplating and appreciating beauty. Especially when we’ve already considered the tragedy of Pearl Harbor, the crushing of a small business by Leviathan, and how we’re all better off on welfare.

So, without further ado and to end the day on a happy note, Public Secrets is happy to  present the most famous weather presenter in all Mexico, Mayte Carranco:

mayte-carranco_480_poster

You know, if they want to get me watching local news again…

Hmm… I may have to start a feature on Mexican weather girls.

Related: Rule 5 explained.


Mexico arrests two in Arizona Border Patrol killing

October 4, 2012

No word on whether any weapons were recovered or, if there were, if they’ve been tied to Fast and Furious, but it’s nice to see some suspects brought in quickly:

Mexican troops have arrested two suspects in the killing of a U.S. Border Patrol agent and the wounding of a second officer in Arizona, Mexican security officials said on Wednesday. [T]he two suspects were detained in a Mexican military operation in the city of Agua Prieta, in Mexico’s northern Sonora state, a few miles from the spot where Nicholas Ivie was shot dead early on Tuesday while responding to a tripped ground sensor, a Mexican Army officer, who declined to be named.

Ivie was among three agents who were patrolling on foot about five miles north of the international border when gunfire erupted. A second agent was also wounded while the third, a woman, was unharmed.  

The agents had been patrolling in an area near the border town of Naco, well-known as a corridor for smuggling, and the Cochise County Sheriff’s department has said that tracks were found heading south after the shooting.

Ivie was a 30-year-old father of two, he had been an agent for four years.

A Mexican police official in Naco, across the border from the Arizona town of the same name, confirmed the arrests, which occurred in the early hours of Wednesday.

(Link added)

US officials have had no comment on the arrests. If I were a cynic, I might think that’s because they’re desperately looking for an OF&F connection they can bury.

But we all know I’m not a cynic, right?

Meanwhile, thanks and congratulations to the Mexican Army for quick work. It will be interesting to see what stories these suspects have to tell.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


One Border Patrol agent killed, another wounded in Arizona border shooting

October 2, 2012

One agent was shot dead, another wounded, and a third escaped unharmed while on horseback patrol in southeast Arizona:

Two U.S. Border Patrol agents were shot, one fatally, Tuesday morning in an area in south Arizona known as a major drug-smuggling corridor, authorities said.

The identities of the agents were not immediately released, but the shooting occurred at the Brian Terry Station near Naco, Ariz., which is just south of Tucson. The station was named after an agent who was killed in the line of duty in December 2010. The area is considered a remote part of the state and sources tell Fox News that the shooting occurred at 1:50 a.m. local time and about 8 miles from the border.

The agents who were shot were on patrol with a third agent, who was not harmed, according to George McCubbin, president of the National Border Patrol Council, a union representing about 17,000 border patrol agents. The agents were on horseback at the time of the shooting.

McCubbin said he had no further information regarding the shooting.

The shooting occurred after an alarm was triggered on one of the many sensors along the border and the three agents went to investigate, said Cochise County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Carol Capas.

Public Service Announcement: According to the President of the United States and the Director of Homeland Security, the Mexican border is more secure than ever. Nothing to see here, move along…

The FBI and local sheriffs are conducting a joint investigation –on horseback, because the terrain is so rugged– but, let’s be honest. The maggots who did this are either back in Mexico or halfway to New York by now.

There’s no word on who did this or why, or whether the weapons used were courtesy of the Department of Justice, but this incident serves as a reminder of just how dangerous our southern border has become, particularly in Arizona; Naco isn’t all that far from Douglas, near where rancher Robert Krentz and his dog were gunned down.

Tomorrow night is the first of three debates between President Obama and Governor Romney, and the focus is on “domestic issues.” Border security would be a good topic for the Governor to raise; when Phoenix becomes the kidnapping capital and Americans are warned against entering sovereign American territory and residents have to live in fear of possibly-armed people crossing their land, I’d call that a “domestic issue.”

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


#FastAndFurious: The Legacy Media can take lessons from Spanish-language Univision

October 1, 2012

Fast and Furious got results, all right.

With notable exceptions, such as CBS’ Sharyl Attkisson, the mainstream media has done a horrid job covering the deadly scandal of Operation Fast and Furious, the “gunwalking” operation in which the US Government allowed thousands of weapons to fall into the hands of vicious Mexican drug cartels. These weapons killed not only two US federal agents and but –as far as we know and with more sure to come–  hundreds of Mexican citizens. It’s a scandal of epic proportions, but not all that well known to many Americans because of the media’s desperate attempts to convince us that what is really important are Mitt Romney’s tax returns.

Enter Univision, which had already raised impressed eyebrows with its hard questions to Obama over immigration. On its Aqui y Ahora show last night, Univision aired a one-hour investigative documentary on Fast and Furious, “Rapido y Furioso,” that blew the lid off this fiasco and showed clearly its human cost:

On January 30, 2010, a commando of at least 20 hit men parked themselves outside a birthday party of high school and college students in Villas de Salvarcar, Ciudad Juarez. Near midnight, the assassins, later identified as hired guns for the Mexican cartel La Linea, broke into a one-story house and opened fire on a gathering of nearly 60 teenagers. Outside, lookouts gunned down a screaming neighbor and several students who had managed to escape. Fourteen young men and women were killed, and 12 more were wounded before the hit men finally fled.

Indirectly, the United States government played a role in the massacre by supplying some of the firearms used by the cartel murderers. Three of the high caliber weapons fired that night in Villas de Salvarcar were linked to a gun tracing operation run by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), according to a Mexican army document obtained exclusively by Univision News.

Univision News identified a total of 57 more previously unreported firearms that were bought by straw purchasers monitored by ATF during Operation Fast and Furious, and then recovered in Mexico in sites related to murders, kidnappings, and at least one other massacre.

Read it all, there’s oh so much more. The ABC link also has a video excerpt with subtitles, the documentary’s first ten minutes.

At PJ Media, Bob Owens notes that the documentary shows that DoJ officials knew the weapons would only be recovered at crime scenes –after people had been killed– and just brushed it off as having to “break a few eggs.”

I wonder how the families of the victims feel about that?

Owens also highlights the information Aqui y Ahora presented on other possible gunwalking operations:

Operation Castaway, run with the same bloody-minded approach as Operation Fast and Furious, provided more than 1,000 guns to cartels via the Tampa ATF. Those guns leaked out across Honduras, Colombia, and Venezuela, according to the U.S. veteran who smuggled some of the weapons, Hugh Crumpler [6]:

“When the ATF stopped me, they told me the guns were going to cartels,” Hugh Crumpler, a Vietnam veteran turned arms trafficker, told Univision News. “The ATF knew before I knew and had been following me for a considerable length of time. They could not have followed me for two months like they said they did, and not know the guns were going somewhere, and not want for that to be happening.”

Univision also uncovered evidence of weapons being smuggled from Texas: two gun-smuggling programs similar to Fast and Furious are rumored to have put thousands of additional weapons in the cartels’ hands in operations larger than Fast and Furious. U.S. Senator John Cornyn has repeatedly pressed the Obama administration for information about the documented trail of weapons coming from two Texas ATF areas of operations. The Department of Justice has denied the existence of such programs, despite the physical evidence of guns recovered suggesting otherwise. While the Univision report focused on guns the DOJ ran to Mexican cartels, there is enough evidence to suggest other Obama administration-sanctioned gun-walking plots arming domestic criminal gangs, such as the so-called Gangwalker plot [7] in Indiana, which supplied Chicago street gangs, and similar rumored operations in California, North Carolina, northern Florida, and elsewhere, which provided weapons to gangs in U.S. cities. Nor has the Univision report focused on weapons that have found their way to cartels via the State Department [8] or the Department of Defense.

Echoing the thoughts of an Arizona sheriff, we have to ask, how does this not make complicit officials from the president down to the field agents “accessories before the fact?” In fact, let’s be blunt: supplying these weapons to armed gangs attempting to take over territory from the Mexican federal and state governments could easily be called an act of war. We already have hundreds of casualties!

Operation Fast and Furious is an absolutely monstrous scandal, the kind we’d dismiss as bad television, if we didn’t know it was real. People need to go to jail over this, and if the Mexicans care to file for extradition, I’d be happy to oblige.

Meanwhile, Univision and its reporters are once again to be congratulated and commended for refusing to be fawning sycophants and for committing real journalism.

RELATED: Earlier posts on Operation Fast and Furious.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


#FastAndFurious : gun used in plot to kill police chief supplied by ATF?

August 8, 2012

Someone has got a helluva lot to answer for:

A weapon tied to “Operation Fast and Furious” was seized in Tijuana in connection with a drug cartel’s conspiracy to kill the police chief of Tijuana, Baja California, who later became the Juárez police chief, according to a U.S. government report.

The firearm was found Feb. 25, 2010, during an arrest of a criminal cell associated with Teodoro “El Teo” García Simental and Raydel “El Muletas” López Uriarte, allies of the Sinaloa cartel.

Tijuana police said they arrested four suspects in March 2010 in connection with a failed attempt to take out Julián Leyzaola, and that the suspects allegedly confessed to conspiring to assassinate the police chief on orders from Tijuana cartel leaders.

The suspects had an arsenal of weapons and ammunition, and one of the firearms traced back to the operation that the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco and Explosives (ATF) was monitoring from its field office in Phoenix.

Adrian Sanchez, spokesman for Leyzaola, said Leyzaola was unavailable for comment.

So far, the House Oversight Committee has laid blame for the operation on the Phoenix ATF and US Attorney’s Office for the fiasco known as “Operation Fast and Furious,” in which more than 300 Mexican citizens and at least one, perhaps two US federal officers were killed by weapons supplied by the ATF to Mexican drug cartels. However, that was only part one of the committee’s report. Parts two and three will deal with the Department of Justice’s failures and its obstruction of the committee’s investigations.

In the meantime, the thousands of firearms let loose by our government are going to be the source of a lot of misery on both sides of the border for years to come.

via Bob Owens

RELATED: Earlier posts on Operation Fast and Furious.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


The jihad in Mexico

May 26, 2012

Writing at the Gatestone Institute site, Raymond Ibrahim details the continuing efforts of Hizbullah and its Iranian paymasters, as well as al Qaeda, to strike at the United States through our porous border using a combination of missionary work and alliance with the drug cartels:

According to a 2010 report, “Close to home: Hezbollah terrorists are plotting right on the U.S. border,” which appeared in the NY Daily News:

“Mexican authorities have rolled up a Hezbollah network being built in Tijuana, right across the border from Texas and closer to American homes than the terrorist hideouts in the Bekaa Valley are to Israel. Its goal, according to a Kuwaiti newspaper that reported on the investigation: to strike targets in Israel and the West. Over the years, Hezbollah—rich with Iranian oil money and narcocash—has generated revenue by cozying up with Mexican cartels to smuggle drugs and people into the U.S. In this, it has shadowed the terrorist-sponsoring regime in Tehran, which has been forging close ties with Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, who in turn supports the narcoterrorist organization FARC, which wreaks all kinds of havoc throughout the region.”

Another 2010 article appearing in the Washington Times asserts that, “with fresh evidence of Hezbollah activity just south of the border [in Mexico], and numerous reports of Muslims from various countries posing as Mexicans and crossing into the United States from Mexico, our porous southern border is a national security nightmare waiting to happen.” This is in keeping with a recent study done by Georgetown University, which revealed that the number of immigrants from Lebanon and Syria living in Mexico exceeds 200,000. Syria, along with Iran, is one of Hezbollah’s strongest financial and political supporters, and Lebanon is the immigrants’ country of origin.

A jihadist cell in Mexico was recently found to have a weapons cache of 100 M-16 assault rifles, 100 AR-15 rifles, 2,500 hand grenades, C4 explosives and antitank munitions. The weapons, it turned out, had been smuggled by Muslims from Iraq. According to this report, “obvious concerns have arisen concerning Hezbollah’s presence in Mexico and possible ties to Mexican drug trafficking organizations (DTO’s) operating along the U.S.—Mexico border.”

And it’s not just arms-smuggling and infiltration of Arab jihadis that we need to worry about; jihadist organizations are working hard to covert disaffected Mexicans to Salafist Islam:

Long a bastion of Catholicism, southern Mexico is quickly turning into a battleground for soul-savers. Islam, too, is gaining a foothold and the indigenous Mayans are converting by the hundreds. The Mexican government is worried about a culture clash in their own backyard… Muslim women in headscarves have become a common sight….

The Maya regions, particularly Yucatan, have long been a problem for Mexico City. An uprising there lasted from 1847-1901. A century later, will they face an intifada of their own?

Securing the border, as far as is practical, is essential. That doesn’t mean seal it, which would be impossible, but we need far better control over who crosses and why. And intelligence cooperation with the Mexicans, already underway against the cartels, needs to be expanded against the jihadists who seek to exploit our southern neighbor’s problems to get at us.

As Fausta puts it, “border security is national security“.

Because they’re still trying to kill us.

RELATED: An earlier post I wrote on Hizbullah in Tijuana, and Hamas getting in on the act.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Fast and Furious: DoJ-supplied guns used in Mexican lawyer’s murder

May 2, 2012

Well, ain’t that just dandy.

I’ve said before that the number of Mexican soldiers, federal agents, police and civilians killed by weapons allowed to “walk” over the border into Mexico under the Department of Justice’s “sting” operation has amounted to at least 300, per the Mexican Attorney General.

Here are some specifics, courtesy of Borderland Beat:

Firearms connected to Operation Fast and Furious were used in the 2010 slaying of the brother of the former Chihuahua state attorney general, according to a U.S. congressional report.

The report said the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives traced two of the weapons suspected in the murder of lawyer Mario González Rodríguez, but did not report this fact to the Mexican government until eight months after the tracing.

(…)

A video of Mario González Rodríguez’s “interrogation” by armed men was carried on YouTube. The body of the well-known Chihuahua City lawyer was found Nov. 5, 2010, in a shallow grave.

Then, Mexican federal authorities, following a shootout with drug cartel suspects, seized 16 weapons and arrested eight men in connection with Mario González Rodríguez’s murder.

The serial numbers on the seized weapons were run through an ATF database and, sure enough, two AK-pattern weapons were were flagged as “walked guns.” But it took eight months for the US government to tell Mexican authorities of their findings. When Carlos Canino, then the ATF attache in Mexico City, finally did bother to tell the Mexicans that, hey, some of our guns killed one of your citizens –our bad!– he gave the following explanation for the delay:

Canino feared an international incident might break out with Mexico if the information leaked out to the news media instead of being sent through government channels. He told U.S. lawmakers that he did not want to undermine the trust that U.S. law enforcement had developed with their Mexican counterparts in the war against the drug cartels.

Because, Lord knows, nothing builds trust like supplying automatic weapons and grenades to your ally’s enemies. Hate to see that spoiled.

When did I move to Bizarro World?

PS: Note to Mitt Romney, two words: Special. Prosecutor.

RELATED: Earlier entries for Operation Fast and Furious, aka “Gunwalker.”

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Saturday Links Fiesta

March 3, 2012

Time to clear out some backlogged links; I think you’ll find something worth reading under each category:

MEDIA:

If you’ve ever doubted that the MSM is full of hypocritical cowards, this should clear things right up: BBC Chief admits Christianity treated worse than other religions. And by “other religions,” I don’t think they mean Judaism… (via Howie)

ECONOMY:

I’ve said before that the Democrats’ policies (“Quantitative easing,” aka “printing money;” a devotion to radical environmental agendas) will cause inflation, for example in the cost of gasoline. But the Consumer Price Index (CPI) pegs inflation at a modest 3.1%. So, was I wrong? No, I wasn’t. Real inflation for the things you buy everyday is at more than 8% for the previous year. And it will get worse. (via Fausta)

Meanwhile, James Pethokoukis rips into Treasury Secretary Geithner’s arrogance and financial ignorance. I’m so glad Turbo-Tax Timmy is watching our money. Aren’t you?

PRESIDENT OBAMA:

The One has warned Iran not to call his bluff over his opposition to their development of nuclear weapons. Ed Lasky asks “Why shouldn’t they?” Hey, it’s worked so well in the past!

In light of the coming election, George Will has argued that Republicans should concentrate on capturing Congress, making Obama a relative lame-duck with a limited opportunity to do harm for the next four years. While I agree we need to take Congress to implement much-needed reforms, I strongly disagree that Obama would be a gelded president. So does Bryan Preston, in a must-read article. Three words: Supreme Court appointments.

As part of his class-warfare campaign to get reelected, Obama likes to excoriate oil companies for the supposedly obscene profits they rake in. And gullible people lap it up. At Power Line, John Hinderaker shows how much ExxonMobil puts back in to the American economy, making them a good corporate citizen, not evil.

OPERATION FAST & FURIOUS:

Here’s an excellent summary of what we know about “Gunwalker’ and the scandalous behavior of the administration, so far. Long, but very worthwhile. (via Moe Lane)

In what is one of the better examples of chutzpah I’ve seen in a while, Attorney General Eric Holder wants credit for stopping Fast and Furious. Really, this guy knows no shame.

CBS’ Sharyl Attkisson, one of the few MSM reporters giving Gunwalker serious coverage, reports that the gun used to kill ICE Agent Jaime Zapata in Mexico in 2010 also came from an ATF undercover operation. That is, it was ultimately supplied by our Department of Justice. That makes two US federal agents and over 300 Mexicans killed by “walked” guns.

I wonder if Eric Holder wants credit for that, too?

Oh, and as Mary Chastain points out, the gun that killed Mr. Zapata came from a second Gunwalker-style operation. Just how many of these fiascoes lie waiting to be discovered? Well…

MEXICO:

A potentially larger problem than Operation Fast and Furious is the danger of our southern neighbor becoming a failed state, or, at the least, the Mexican government losing control of large swathes of its territory on our mutual border. Some say that’s overstating the problem. But, what if the warning is coming from the governor legislators of a Mexican state bordering Texas? “Nuevo Leon on the verge of collapse.”

But, that’s okay. Obama and Napolitano say the border is more secure than ever.

I feel reassured, don’t you?

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


It’s about time: Arizona to launch investigation of Operation Fast and Furious

January 23, 2012

It’s bad enough when states have to act to enforce federal law that Washington itself refuses to enforce, as did Arizona and other states when they passed tough anti-illegal immigration laws. But what is a state or local government supposed to do when the federal government is not just refusing to enforce the law, but may itself be one of the lawbreakers?

Answer: Start your own investigation.

Arizona’s state legislature will open its own investigation into the Obama administration’s disgraced gun-running program, known as “Fast and Furious,” the speaker of the state House said Friday.

Speaker Andy Tobin created the committee, and charged it with looking at whether the program broke any state laws — raising the possibility of state penalties against those responsible for the operation.

(…)

Mr. Tobin will announce the committee’s jurisdiction at a press conference in Phoenix on Monday. The committee is charged with looking into the facts about the program, what impact it had on Arizona and whether any of the state’s laws were broken.

A report is due back by March 30.

To recap, Operation Fast and Furious (aka “Gunwalker”) was a program that fed thousands of heavy-duty firearms to Mexican drug cartels, without the knowledge of the Mexican government. Guns were purchased by “straw buyers” who were allowed to walk the firearms over the border into Mexico. The originator of this scheme was the United States Department of Justice, which, through its subordinate law-enforcement agencies, pressured legitimate gun dealers in Arizona to sell these weapons knowing that these sales were likely violations of federal statutes and regulations.

The ostensible purpose was to trace these weapons back to their cartel users, though how that was supposed to work given that the weapons were untraceable until they showed up at Mexican and US crime scenes is unknown.

What is known, however, is that over 300 Mexican military, federal agents, police officers, and civilians are dead from weapons obtained via Gunwalker. In addition, at least one and maybe two US federal officers also were killed with “walked” guns. And the Department of Justice is stonewalling congressional investigating committees, to the extent that –and it appalls me to have to write this– a high-ranking DOJ official is now “pleading the Fifth.” (1)

So, having had enough, the State of Arizona is launching its own inquiry, with the possibility of criminal action down the road.

I wish our neighbors to the East good hunting.

via Big Government

RELATED: Hot Air has news video on the Arizona investigation. See these earlier Gunwalker posts for background links.

Footnote:
(1) Probably because he wants a deal and refuses to be the fall guy. Rats and sinking ships, and all that.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Gunwalker: top Holder aide going under the bus? And no, Bush didn’t “do it, too.”

November 1, 2011

It looks like a close ally of Attorney General Eric Holder, head of the Criminal Division Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer, has decided (1) to throw himself under the fabled bus in order to protect his boss from the unfolding fiasco of Operation Fast and Furious:

The Obama administration appears to be attempting to defend Attorney General Eric Holder as the Justice Department dumped more than 650 pages worth of Operation Fast and Furious documents on congressional investigators late Monday.

There are two reasons why the timing of this release is significant: first, 28 members of Congress are currently calling on Holder to resign immediately. Second, Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer is testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday — and this appears to be an attempt to divert pressure for Fast and Furious away from Holder.

The new documents, according to Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, “indicate that contrary to previous denials by the Justice Department, the criminal division has a great deal of culpability in sweeping the previous Wide Receiver strategy under the rug and then allowing the subsequent Operation Fast and Furious to continue without asking key questions.”

“Most importantly, officials raised very appropriate questions related to Operation Wide Receiver at the same time that many of these same officials were receiving briefings on Operation Fast and Furious,” Grassley said in a statement. “It begs the question why they didn’t ask the same important policy questions about an ongoing case being run out of the same field division.”

Operation Wide Receiver was a Bush administration program similar in nature to Operation Fast and Furious. In a statement he gave after the release of the new documents, Breuer took responsibility for not having learned from the mistakes made during Wide Receiver and implementing the failed tactics again under Fast and Furious.

“When the allegations related to Operation Fast and Furious became public earlier this year, the leadership of ATF and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Arizona repeatedly assured individuals in the Criminal Division and the leadership of the Department of Justice that those allegations were not true,” Breuer said. “As a result, I did not draw a connection between the unacceptable tactics used by the ATF years earlier in Operation Wide Receiver and the allegations made about Operation Fast and Furious, and therefore did not, at that time, alert others within Department leadership of any similarities between the two. That was a mistake, and I regret not having done so.”

That reads like a political suicide note to me, how about you? Even if he is pulling the “I accept responsibility but no blame” scam.

Before we go any further, let’s set the record straight, since it looks like Team Hopenchange is setting up a “Bush did it too!” excuse and Grassley may be buying into it. The referenced Bush-era program, Operation Wide Receiver, was a stupid idea that, when it went wrong, was stopped by responsible adults in DC. Per Bob Owens at PJMedia:

In Operation Wide Receiver, Tucson agents allowed the sales of more than 500 firearms to known straw purchasers. Like Gunrunner/Fast and Furious, the operation apparently backfired.

Some firearms in Wide Receiver were equipped with RFID tracking devices. In Wide Receiver, it seems the illegal purchasers seemed more than slightly knowledgeable of the ATF and how to take their aerial and electronic tracking procedures down.

Knowing the time aloft numbers for virtually all planes used in government surveillance, the buyers had a simple method of getting their purchases across the border undetected. They simply drove four-hour loops around the area.

As surveillance planes were forced to return to base for refueling, the smugglers simply turned and sprinted their cargo across the border.

The RFID tags also turned out to be problematic.

Rather than making large enough holes for the tags to be laid out inside weapons, agents force-fit them into the rifles.

That cramming caused the antennae to be folded, reducing the effective range of the tags. And an already short battery life (36-48 hours maximum) meant that should purchasers allow the firearms to sit, the tracking devices eliminated themselves.

Once it was realized that Wide Receiver was having the unintended result of letting guns slip across the border and that the plans to track them had failed, the operation was stopped.

In the case of Fast and Furious, however, there was no plan or capability to track the guns, and the US government deliberately facilitated their transit to Mexico — including possibly selling guns directly to cartel buyers. See the difference? The Bush administration stopped Wide Receiver after it realized the operation was a failure and around 450 guns had reached Mexico. That’s bad enough, but Operation Fast and Furious represents a quantum leap in boneheadedness, because getting guns to Mexico was the objective. And it succeeded, to the tune of at least 2,000 weapons and maybe as many as 12,000. (2)

So let’s not fall for this latest variation on “It’s Bush’s fault!”, shall we?

Meanwhile, Lanny Breuer is scheduled to testify today. This is no low-level, coffee-fetching flunky we’re talking about; as head of the Criminal Division, Breuer is an appointee of the President and reports directly to Eric Holder’s chief deputy and, you can bet, often briefs Holder, himself. If he’s being set up to take the fall, it means they’re worried the trail leads straight to Holder — and perhaps to his boss.

The timing of the document dump and Breuer’s mea culpa is interesting (in that Washington way), because it was recently announced that AG Holder himself would testify before the House Judiciary Committee on December 8th. This latest development could be a show born of panic, meant to build a firebreak between Holder and the Gunwalker scandal: Breuer confesses “mistakes were made” and resigns.

Then Holder can testify that he was “shocked, shocked” to learn what was going on and that “lessons will be learned” and “steps taken” — and then he’ll breathe a sigh of relief over his narrow escape when he gets back to his limo.

All nice and neat and clean.

And no one will have answered for two dead US federal agents and over 200 Mexicans.

RELATED: Earlier posts on Gunwalker. More at Hot Air. Bob’s just not buying it.

Footnotes:
(1) Or was encouraged to, for the greater good. This is Washington, after all.
(2) Which probably doesn’t include the count of grenades.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Good news! We’re letting grenades “walk,” too!!

October 14, 2011

What’s next, armored vehicles? According to CBS’ Sharyl Attkisson, BATF was forced to watch while hundreds of grenades were shipped to drug cartels in Mexico:

There’s a new twist in the government’s “gunwalking” scandal involving an even more dangerous weapon: grenades.

CBS News investigative correspondent Sharyl Attkisson, who has reported on this story from the beginning, said on “The Early Show” that the investigation into the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF)’s so-called “Fast and Furious” operation branches out to a case involving grenades. Sources tell her a suspect was left to traffic and manufacture them for Mexican drug cartels.

Police say Jean Baptiste Kingery, a U.S. citizen, was a veritable grenade machine. He’s accused of smuggling parts for as many as 2,000 grenades into Mexico for killer drug cartels — sometimes under the direct watch of U.S. law enforcement.

Law enforcement sources say Kingery could have been prosecuted in the U.S. twice for violating export control laws, but that, each time, prosecutors in Arizona refused to make a case.

Grenades are weapons-of-choice for the cartels. An attack on Aug. 25 in a Monterrey, Mexico casino killed 53 people.

Sources tell CBS News that, in January 2010, ATF had Kingery under surveillance after he bought about 50 grenade bodies and headed to Mexico. But they say prosecutors wouldn’t agree to make a case. So, as ATF agents looked on, Kingery and the grenade parts crossed the border — and simply disappeared.

Emphasis added. I sure hope it wasn’t a “walked” grenade used in that atrocity.

We need a special prosecutor — NOW!

Click through for video and more nauseating details. Hint: “novelty items.

Exit question: Are these people nuts?

via Hot Air

RELATED: Earlier posts on Gunwalker.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Dear Iran: “Of course you know, this means war!” — Updated

October 12, 2011

Or, it would, if we had an administration with the spine of a Warner Bros. cartoon character.

ABC broke the news yesterday of an Iranian assassination plot foiled by the FBI and the DEA:

The new case, called Operation Red Coalition, began in May when an Iranian-American from Corpus Christi, Texas, approached a DEA informant seeking the help of a Mexican drug cartel to assassinate the Saudi ambassador, according to counter-terrorism officials.

The Iranian-American thought he was dealing with a member of the feared Zetas Mexican drug organization, according to agents.

The DEA office in Houston brought in FBI agents as the international terror implications of the case became apparent.

The Iranian-American, identified by federal officials as Manssor Arbabsiar, 56, reportedly claimed he was being “directed by high-ranking members of the Iranian government,” including a cousin who was “a member of the Iranian army but did not wear a uniform,” according to a person briefed on the details of the case.

Arbabsiar and a second man, Gohlam Shakuri, an Iranian official, were named in a five-count criminal complaint filed Tuesday afternoon in federal court in New York. They were charged with conspiracy to kill a foreign official and conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction, a bomb, among other counts. Shakuri is still at large in Iran, Holder said.

Holder identified Shakuri as an Iran-based member of the Quds force, a much feared special unit in Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. The Treasury sanctions named several other members of the Iranian Quds force as well.

Arbabsiar, a naturalized U.S. citizen, expressed “utter disregard for collateral damage” in the planned bomb attacks in Washington, according to officials.

The complaint describes a conversation in which Arbabsiar was allegedly directing the informant to kill the Saudi ambassador and said the assassination could take place at a restaurant. When the informant feigned concern about Americans who also eat at the restaurant, Arbabsiar said he preferred if bystanders weren’t killed but, “Sometimes, you know, you have no choice, is that right?”

BTW, that same restaurant is known to be frequented by US senators. But, hey, sometimes “you have no choice.” Argentina was also discussed as a target, a country Iran has attacked before in their desire to kill Jews.

There’s no doubt this is a casus belli — “a cause of war.” The Iranian government has been caught red-handed organizing a terrorist operation on US soil, an operation that would not only have killed foreigners under our protection but, very likely, American citizens. And the flippant dismissal of the prospect of killing government officials makes this an attack on our government, too. While there’s no direct evidence that Khamenei or Ahmadinejad knew about this in advance, well… yeah, right. Their prime foreign covert operations agency, the Quds Force, plans an attack on the territory of the Great Satan (that’s us), and the Big Nuts in the Iranian fruitcake don’t know about it?

Like I said, “yeah, right.”

But, don’t worry, the Obama Administration is not planning any military retaliation, true to its “September 10th” values:

That a foreign government would plot to kill a foreign leader on American soil could be seen as an act of war, but Obama administration officials say the path the U.S. government will purse will align with American interests – and a military response and possible armed conflict with a third Muslim nation would not be part of that. (Though, it should be noted, the official White House position is “no option is off the table.”)

This afternoon the Treasury Department announced further sanctions against Iran, and in coming days diplomats at the United Nations and elsewhere will discuss further ways to isolate Iran, while American officials will spread far and wide throughout the region that the Iranian government was planning to kill an Arab leader.

In other words, we’re going to treat this as a law-enforcement matter, lay down sanctions, and run around telling the Arabs what they already know: that the mullahs are a bunch of dangerous psychos.

That’ll have Tehran quaking in its boots. Probably from laughing at us.

It may seem odd for me to quote Osama bin Laden, but one thing he said was very true, at least as far as life in the Muslim world goes:

“When people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature they will like the strong horse.”

This is us playing the weak horse, whining when someone uses our land to carry out terror attacks. Other dictators around the world (and the people who have to live under or near them) will see this and act accordingly, as Iraq is now doing.

Let’s be honest: Iran has been at war with us since 1979, but we’ve failed to recognize this and act accordingly. Even a president as great as Reagan had a blind spot when it came to Iran and thought he could reach a grand bargain, and Bush failed to take strong action against Syria and Iran when they sponsored the guerrilla war against us in Iraq from 2004-2008. So Obama isn’t the first to naively believe that restraint would be seen as anything other than weakness.

But it’s time for it to stop.

The naked truth is that Iran is killing our soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq. Whether directly or indirectly, it doesn’t matter. Their puppets Hizbullah and Hamas attack our ally, Israel. They are waging war against us (this attack was meant as much to humiliate us as to strike at the Saudis) and have taken that war to our homeland.  It’s time to stop wagging our fingers in disapproval and instead punch back — hard.

Lest someone accuse me of being a warmonger, I’m not advocating invading Iran or sinking their navy in retaliation, as emotionally satisfying as that might be. We don’t have to in order to defeat them. As Michael Ledeen has often pointed out (most recently here), the Iranian regime’s grip on power is brittle; their people hate them; they face frequent rebellion and acts of sabotage. If we simply had the moral clarity and political courage to provide the peoples of Iran with the political, propaganda, and logistical support to wage their own struggle against the tyrants, as Reagan did in Poland against the Soviets, we could win without firing a shot.

Instead, we do the diplomatic equivalent of writing them a speeding ticket.

That’s no way to win a war.

CYNICAL THOUGHT: Funny how this news breaks just as AG Holder and the administration are facing close scrutiny for the Gunwalker scandal. There’s no evidence I’ve seen that this plot had gone operational and had to be stopped now. Hmmm….

LINKS: Three must-read articles at The Long War Journal and Threat Matrix. JustOneMinute thinks Holder learned a lesson. Fausta talks about the mounting threat in Latin America from Hizbullah, an Iranian cats-paw. Let’s not forget, the Iranians tried to run this plot through Mexican drug cartels. Still think that border is secure, Mr. President? Power Line notes the “axis of evil” between Iran and Los Zetas. This isn’t just about immigration — this is a national security issue.

UPDATE: Former federal prosecutor (And no fan of Obama and Holder) Andy McCarthy puts my cynical thought to rest — a frame-up makes no sense.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Gunwalker: “Does no one care about the dead Mexicans?”

October 10, 2011

Subbing for Hugh Hewitt on the radio last week, the great Mark Steyn asked a darned good question that touched on hypocritical liberal bigotry:

“Now real Mexicans are dead,” he continued. “Does the president of the United States, does his attorney general, does CNN, does The New York Times, does NPR — do they not care about dead Mexicans?

“I mean, forget the United States Border Patrol guys that were killed about these ‘Fast & Furious’ guns. Real-live, or previously live, citizens of third world countries — the kind of people that NPR, The New York Times claim to love — are dead because of this.”

“Why isn’t that a national scandal?” he pleaded. “This is absolutely a — Iran-Contra didn’t rack of that kind of body count. Watergate didn’t rack up that kind of body count. Sarah Palin’s daughter’s boyfriend’s mother, or whatever stupid story they were chasing around Wasilla for months, that didn’t rack up a body count. There were hundreds of dead Mexicans from a gun running program run by the United States.”

The answer, of course, is that they only care about the dead Mexicans when they’re useful for attacking a Republican administration

Click through for a recording of the segment.

RELATED: At Fausta’s blog, read all about how Sinaloa’s top assassin was hoarding weapons obtained via Operation Fast and Furious. Earlier Gunwalker posts.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Things you don’t expect to see on your commute

September 22, 2011

Such as a drug gang dumping 35 bodies on the highway:

Suspected drug traffickers dumped 35 bodies at rush hour beneath a busy overpass in the heart of a major Gulf coast city as gunmen pointed weapons at frightened drivers. Mexican authorities said Wednesday they are examining surveillance video for clues to who committed the crime.

Horrified motorists grabbed cell phones and sent Twitter messages warning others to avoid the area near the biggest shopping mall in Boca del Rio, part of the metropolitan area of Veracruz city.

The gruesome gesture marked a sharp escalation in cartel violence in Veracruz state, which sits on an important route for drugs and Central American migrants heading north.

The Zetas drug cartel has been battling other gangs for control of the state.

Prosecutors said it’s too soon to draw conclusions from the surveillance video.

“We’re not going to confirm or deny anything,” Veracruz state Attorney General Reynaldo Escobar Perez told the Televisa network Wednesday. “We’re looking at it in different ways, we’re seeing different numbers, that’s why we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves.”

Escobar said the bodies were left piled in two trucks and on the ground under the overpass near the statue of the Voladores de Papantla, ritual dancers from Veracruz state. He said some of the victims had their heads covered with blackplastic bags and showed signs of torture.

Authorities said each of the victims (including apparently a cop who had gone missing) had criminal ties, so this looks like one gang, maybe the Zetas, taking out the soldiers of another gang and throwing it in their rivals’ faces.

But it’s also a slap in the face to the Mexican federal and state governments, mocking their authority and denying their sovereignty. Doing this while the city hosts a major judicial conference says, in no uncertain terms, “We rule here, not you. Fear us.” And that’s exactly what the people do, as they lose faith with each atrocity in Mexico’s ability to protect them and render justice.

These aren’t just bodies; these are thirty-five more milestones on the road to a failed state.

RELATED: Was this a message to Los Zetas from a new cartel? (Graphic pic warning.)

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Mexican police operating from US soil

August 27, 2011

At some point, someone in authority is going to have to admit there is a war going on in Mexico and that our national security is at stake, because we’re already fighting it:

The Obama administration has expanded its role in Mexico’s fight against organized crime by allowing the Mexican police to stage cross-border drug raids from inside the United States, according to senior administration and military officials.

Mexican commandos have discreetly traveled to the United States, assembled at designated areas and dispatched helicopter missions back across the border aimed at suspected drug traffickers. The Drug Enforcement Administration provides logistical support on the American side of the border, officials said, arranging staging areas and sharing intelligence that helps guide Mexico’s decisions about targets and tactics.

Officials said these so-called boomerang operations were intended to evade the surveillance — and corrupting influences — of the criminal organizations that closely monitor the movements of security forces inside Mexico. And they said the efforts were meant to provide settings with tight security for American and Mexican law enforcement officers to collaborate in their pursuit of criminals who operate on both sides of the border.

Although the operations remain rare, they are part of a broadening American campaign aimed at blunting the power of Mexican cartels that have built criminal networks spanning the world and have started a wave of violence in Mexico that has left more than 35,000 people dead.

Many aspects of the campaign remain secret, because of legal and political sensitivities. But in recent months, details have begun to emerge, revealing efforts that would have been unthinkable five years ago. Mexico’s president, Felipe Calderón, who was elected in 2006, has broken with his country’s historic suspicion of the United States and has enlisted Washington’s help in defeating the cartels, a central priority for his government.

American Predator and Global Hawk drones now fly deep over Mexico to capture video of drug production facilities and smuggling routes. Manned American aircraft fly over Mexican targets to eavesdrop on cellphone communications. And the D.E.A. has set up an intelligence outpost — staffed by Central Intelligence Agency operatives and retired American military personnel — on a Mexican military base.

Two things I’ll say about this. The first is that I’m glad it’s happening. For too long Mexico has hidden behind a chest-thumping nationalism (1) and refused almost any serious cooperation. That the Calderon administration is changing this policy, albeit quietly, at great political risk to itself shows they recognize the serious problem they have, that it’s also a military and no longer just a law-enforcement problem, and that they need help. While Mexico is not yet a failed state, the danger signs are there.

Second, while I’m glad we’re cooperating with the Mexicans and giving them help, it would be really nice if our own government would admit there is a serious security problem on our southern border and make a credible effort to secure it, including fencing where appropriate and Border Patrol forward operating bases (FOBs) in others.

And if the US government really wants to help Mexico, maybe it should stop helping to arm the cartels.

So, when do we resume cavalry patrols?

via Big Peace

Footnotes:
(1) Just because of that little dust-up in 1846 that cost them half their country. Jeez, what grouches.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


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