Creative smuggling: We build a fence, they fly over it

April 29, 2011

Cartel smugglers may be walking pustules who profit by selling poison and wreak havoc on their own nation(1), but give hem credit for adaptability: Border-control advocates have been screaming for years about building a fence along the Mexican border? Fine The drug-smugglers will just find another way across — or over:

The visiting British pilots were training near a naval air station one night this month when their helicopter came within about 150 feet of an ultralight plane flying without lights. The ultralight darted away toward Mexico without a trace.

The near-disaster over the Southern California desert was an example of drug smugglers using low-flying aircraft that look like motorized hang gliders to circumvent new fences along the U.S. border with Mexico. The planes, which began appearing in Arizona three years ago, are now turning up in remote parts of California and New Mexico.

And in a new twist, the planes rarely touch the ground. Pilots simply pull levers that drop aluminum bins filled with about 200 pounds of marijuana for drivers who are waiting on the ground with blinking lights or glow-sticks. Within a few minutes, the pilots are back in Mexico.

“It’s like dropping a bomb from an aircraft,” said Jeffrey Calhoon, chief of the Border Patrol’s El Centro sector, which stretches through alfalfa farms, desert scrub and sand dunes in southeast California.

The Border Patrol has erected hundreds of miles of fences and vehicle barriers along the border and added thousands of new agents, so drug smugglers are going over, under and around.

I particularly like the “bombing run” aspect.

While the use of ultra-lights is perhaps the most unusual development in the chess match along the border, it’s not the only one: cartel smugglers also use tunnels under the border and boats on the Pacific coast to go around it.

In one sense, it’s an illustration of markets in action: with demand so high in the US, the cartels are going to do their darnedest to make sure they get their goods to the buyers.

Move and counter, thrust and parry.

AFTERTHOUGHT: If drugs are being passed over the border via ultralight, what —or who— else is making it across?

TANGENT:

(1) In fact, that’s just what they are.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Allen West at CPAC: Burnin’ down the house!

February 13, 2011

Congressman and retired Lt. Colonel Allen West (R-FL) gave the closing address to the Conservative Political Action Conference yesterday, and it’s safe to say they liked him… a lot. Like Bolton, Representative West “gets it;” he recognizes America as an exceptional place and a force for good in the world, and is not shy or diffident about his willingness to defend our nation’s interests and allies.

Thirty-six minutes long. Get yourself a cup of coffee or a bowl of popcorn, sit back, and enjoy, my friends:

Somehow, I don’t think Congressman West would be taking a reset button to negotiations in Moscow.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Border Patrol Agent killed in southern Arizona

December 15, 2010

The federal government is suing the state of Arizona for trying to do the job the Obama administration refuses to do: control illegal border crossings.

This is the result of federal abdication:

The U.S. Border Patrol says that one of its agents has been shot to death after a confrontation in southern Arizona.

Border Patrol spokesman Eric Cantu confirmed the agent’s death to The Associated Press on Wednesday morning.

Cantu tells KTVK-TV the agent is identified as Brian Terry. Cantu says Terry was shot and killed after confronting several suspects near Rio Rico north of Nogales.

At least four people are in custody and possibly one more remains at large.

There are no details about the arrested people, but it wouldn’t surprise me to learn that Agent Terry had come across drug smugglers, who are often heavily armed — and even maintain bases inside US territory.

Earlier this year, a rancher in Arizona was gunned down on his own property, perhaps by a cartel scout. A few months ago, a man enjoying some sightseeing with his wife on Falcon Lake in Texas had his head blown off by cartel gunmen.  Now a Border Patrol agent has been shot dead.

While it would be an overstatement to say the situation in our southern borderlands is a war, it is increasingly lawless and dangerous. There are even areas of American parklands that Americans are warned not to enter, for fear of Mexican drug smugglers.

Local and state law enforcement agencies are being overwhelmed, as is the undermanned Border Patrol. Rather than trying to take over whole swathes of the economy, shouldn’t the President of the United States be doing the job he’s been assigned?

Oh, wait. I forgot the guy in the Oval Office doesn’t really want the job.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Quote of the day: Sarah Palin on the Wikileaks fiasco

November 30, 2010

Palin. Nightstick. Boom:

The White House has now issued orders to federal departments and agencies asking them to take immediate steps to ensure that no more leaks like this happen again. It’s of course important that we do all we can to prevent similar massive document leaks in the future. But why did the White House not publish these orders after the first leak back in July? What explains this strange lack of urgency on their part?

We are at war. American soldiers are in Afghanistan fighting to protect our freedoms. They are serious about keeping America safe. It would be great if they could count on their government being equally serious about that vital task.

Think that has some heads exploding in the White House?

You betcha.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


What we believe: Immigration

November 14, 2010

In part six of his series of video essays, Bill Whittle examines what American conservatives believe about immigration, the rival concepts of the US as a melting pot versus a mosaic, and who the real racists are:

There are those who say that it’s difficult to balance openness to immigrants with laws that control immigration, to which I reply “nonsense.” While a nation of immigrants, we are also founded on the rule of law and equality under the law; as Whittle points out, how is turning a blind eye to illegal immigration and granting amnesty to those here illegally in any way fair and just to those who have played by the rules? And, in an age when terrorists actively wage war against us, can we be so foolish as to ignore the armed men who cross our borders nightly? Indeed, at the most basic level, how can a nation that cannot control its own borders truly call itself “sovereign?”

All of these issues and more have nothing to do with race or ethnicity, yet everything to do with whether American citizens, freeborn and naturalized, truly rule in their own land.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


The end of the Royal Navy?

October 8, 2010

 

The Royal Navy's "White Ensign"

The White Ensign of the Royal Navy

 

 

This is sad news. Because of the budgetary crisis brought on by profligate government spending and the recent recession, the Royal Navy has offered to reduce itself to its smallest size in over 450 years, when Henry VIII was King:

The Navy is set to be reduced to the smallest size in its history after admirals yesterday offered drastic reductions in the fleet in order to save two new aircraft carriers from defence cuts.

Under the plans, the number of warships would be cut by almost half to just 25, with frigates, destroyers, submarines, minesweepers and all amphibious craft scrapped.

(…)

It is understood that the Navy has offered to slim down to as few as 12 surface ships, leaving it with six Type 45 destroyers and six Type 23 frigates. In addition, its submarine fleet would reduce to seven Astute hunter-killers plus the four Trident nuclear deterrent boats. With the two carriers, this would reduce the fleet by half from its current total of 42 ships.

“If we want the two carriers it means we have to mortgage everything and by that I mean reducing the fleet by almost a half,” said a senior Navy source.

Navy analysts warned that the cuts would mean Britain reducing its fleet to the size of the Italian navy and almost half the size of the French.

Emphasis added. This is what the heirs of the victors of Trafalgar are reduced to? Oh, the shame.

The Admiralty apparently is offering to make these cuts because they want to complete the construction of two new aircraft carriers, which they claim is essential to maintaining Britain’s status as a world power. Perhaps so, but I’m not sure what good carriers are if you don’t have enough other ships to protect them. Besides, as the article points out, Her Majesty’s Government may not even be able to afford to put any planes on them.

So, they’re gutting the Royal Navy to build floating planter boxes?

It’s a depressing turn for what was once one of the greatest naval forces to ever sail the oceans. Along with its great battle victories, the Royal Navy essentially ended the transatlantic slave trade and guaranteed freedom of the seas, until we took over that latter role. Indeed, the US Navy took many of its traditions from the Royal Navy, and for the last 100 years the two have fought side-by-side against the deadly enemies of both nations.

And now it’s come to this: just 25 ships, a fleet that’s little better than a coastal defense force.  Great Britain thus leaves itself reliant on the EU and soft power for its security.

Nelson and Churchill weep.

LINKS: This possibility was first discussed roughly three years ago; I wrote about it then, too, and the observations I made then seem just as true today.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Fingers crossed: Islam, taqiyya, and the oath of citizenship

October 7, 2010

There was a good (in the sense of “informative while disturbing”) post at Power Line yesterday by John Hinderaker about the words spoken by convicted Times Square bomber Feisal Shahzad at his sentencing about Islam’s jihad against the West and his oath as an American citizen:

Much could be said of yesterday’s events, but I will note just two points. First, this exchange about Shahzad’s naturalization as an American citizen:

  • The judge cut him off at one point to ask if he had sworn allegiance to the U.S. when he became a citizen last year.
  • “I did swear, but I did not mean it,” Shahzad said.

I believe the Koran approves of such oath-taking with one’s fingers crossed.

(Emphasis added)

John’s right: the Qur’an does approve of such deception to protect oneself while in “infidel” lands. It’s called “taqiyya,” the religiously sanctioned deception of unbelievers. Raymond Ibrahim has written an article explaining taqiyya that should be must-reading:

Taqiyya offers two basic uses. The better known revolves around dissembling over one’s religious identity when in fear of persecution. Such has been the historical usage of taqiyya among Shi’i communities whenever and wherever their Sunni rivals have outnumbered and thus threatened them. Conversely, Sunni Muslims, far from suffering persecution have, whenever capability allowed, waged jihad against the realm of unbelief; and it is here that they have deployed taqiyya—not as dissimulation but as active deceit. In fact, deceit, which is doctrinally grounded in Islam, is often depicted as being equal—sometimes superior—to other universal military virtues, such as courage, fortitude, or self-sacrifice.

Yet if Muslims are exhorted to be truthful, how can deceit not only be prevalent but have divine sanction? What exactly is taqiyya? How is it justified by scholars and those who make use of it? How does it fit into a broader conception of Islam’s code of ethics, especially in relation to the non-Muslim? More to the point, what ramifications does the doctrine of taqiyya have for all interaction between Muslims and non-Muslims?

Ibrahim has written two other articles I commend to your attention: “Nidal Hasan and Fort Hood: A Study in Muslim Doctrine,” part one and part two. Not only does he discuss taqiyya, but also concepts we need to understand such as “loyalty and enmity” (who exactly Muslims can be friends with), and Da’wa (active proselytizing), one of only two reasons pious Muslims are allowed to live among infidels.  (The other is jihad.)

This is far from saying all Muslims are secret jihadists or want to implement sharia law (though the number of the latter is larger than apologists want to admit). But, with committed enemies who feel it is fine to lie and practice deceit in order to hide among the larger population that simply wants to lead a quiet life, we are engaging in a fight with one eye shut when we refuse to understand the doctrines by which they justify their actions.

And, until we (and, especially, those charged with protecting us) do acknowledge and understand these doctrines, we will keep on being surprised and puzzled again and again by declarations like Shazad’s.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


State Department: “Get your kids out of Monterrey”

September 22, 2010

The security situation in northern Mexico continues to worsen as an attempted kidnapping sparks a warning for Americans living in Monterrey and an order from the State Department: Get your children out.

Affluent Americans living in Monterrey became extremely worried in late August that they were in danger after a gun battle erupted  in front of the American School Foundation, which many children of American as well as Mexican business executives attend. The firefight took place between bodyguards working for the Mexican beverage company Femsa SAB de CV and cartel attackers, who were apparently attempting to kidnap young relatives of a high-level company employee. In the course of the ensuing battle, two bodyguards were killed and two others captured. Flying bullets caused students in the school to scramble for shelter in the school cafeteria.

U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Charles Pascual then cautioned employees of the Monterrey consulate to keep their children home, “while we assess the risks and what measures can be taken to reduce it (sic.)” Pascual gave that recommendation even though there was no hard evidence that the children of consular personnel had been targeted.Following the incident, the U.S. consulate in Monterrey also posted an advisory on its website, directed to Americans living in the area. “The sharp increase in kidnapping incidents in the Monterrey area, and this event in particular, present a very high risk to the families of U.S. citizens,” the message read.

Three days later, the State Department escalated its warnings and issued a stunning edict. “U.S. government personnel from the consulate general are not permitted to keep their minor dependents in Monterrey,” a U.S. Embassy spokesman stated. “As of September 10, no minor dependents, no children of U.S. government employees will be permitted in Monterrey.” That was the kind of restriction, designating the Monterrey consulate a “partially unaccompanied post” for U.S. diplomats, is normally imposed only in war zones and other extremely high-risk areas. It underscored just how seriously the State Department took the surge in fighting and the extent of the kidnapping danger.

While the State Department travel warning couches it in much softer language, the message is clear: the cartel wars have made previously safe Monterrey too risky.

And it’s not just the children of diplomats: Caterpillar has told its executives to move their families out of the city, and well-off Mexicans are doing the same. The lack of security was accentuated by the discovery of a mass grave containing the bodies of what are assumed to be cartel victims, and the kidnapping and murder of the mayor of a neighboring town.

Mexico’s third-largest city and an economic powerhouse, the descent of Monterrey into “cartel chaos” would be devastating to Mexico. With the growing inability of local authorities to provide security in such an important city, the reflex reaction would be to “send in the Army.” But that hasn’t worked out so well in other Mexican border cities. In fact, in many cases, the Mexican Army is part of the problem.

Take a look at this map:

(Click to enlarge)

Monterrey is dead center. To the west is Torreón, while to the east is Reynosa, both of which I’ve written about before. North lies Nuevo Laredo, where things have become so rough that they spurred crazy rumors about ranch takeovers in Texas. And we’ve all heard about the problems in places farther west, such as Juarez and Tijuana.

It’s plain that Mexico has more than just an organized crime problem in its northern territories: there is a growing challenge to the government’s authority there. While I don’t believe there’s any realistic danger of a state failure in Mexico City, it is not inconceivable that Mexican state and federal authorities might find it easier to throw up their hands and surrender de facto control of the area to the cartels, much as Colombia did with the FARC in the 1990s. The risk of that and the potential threats it would hold for our border regions makes Mexico’s internal security a vital interest for our national security.

More than just increasing border security itself (and worthwhile as that is), the Obama administration* needs to intensify cooperation with Mexico to bolster its capacity and resolve to restore its crumbling writ in its northern states. Perhaps some variant of the highly successful Plan Colombia would work. Just as important, the Mexican government** has to be brutally honest with itself and its people about the problems they face; no more trying to distract attention by lecturing us over a minor state immigration law. Their current efforts are a failure; no progress has been made. It’s time for both countries to admit there’s a serious problem and deal with it before it goes critical.

*More like “the next administration.

**Call me a cynic, but I have doubts Calderon has it in him to do this.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Bombs on the border

July 18, 2010

A car bomb exploded two days ago, killing police officers and civilians in a terrorist attack. The attack didn’t occur where one might expect, Baghdad or Kabul, but in Juarez, Mexico, just across the border from El Paso:

Investigators in Mexico say a deadly attack by suspected drug cartel members in the northern city of Ciudad Juarez was a car bomb set off by mobile phone.

It is believed to be the first attack of its kind since President Felipe Calderon took office in 2006, promising to curb powerful drugs gangs.

Two police officers and two medics answering an emergency were killed.

Police said the attack was retaliation for the arrest of a leader of the La Linea drug gang, Jesus Acosta Guerrero.

La Linea is part of the Juarez drug cartel.

Here’s a video report from al-Jazeera’s English-language service:

(via Big Peace)

Since Calderon came to power nearly four years ago, roughly 25,000 Mexicans have died in violence related to the drug cartels. So far as is known, this is the first car-bomb attack. President Calderon claims that the violence shows the cartels are panicking, feeling the pressure put on them by his government’s security measures. That may be, but it’s nonetheless true that parts of Mexico, especially the areas that border the United States, are looking more like war zones and out of the central government’s control.

And that’s a problem for us.

We know that jihadist organizations such as Hamas and Hizbullah are trying to exploit our porous Mexican border. Recently Mexican police foiled an attempt to set up a Hizbullah cell in Tijuana. Decades of experience shows that terrorist groups will often cooperate with criminal gangs for their mutual interests and, indeed, the line between them often becomes blurred. With the cartels’ expertise in smuggling, an alliance with them would be attractive to our jihadist enemies. But what would they want in return?

How about a technology transfer?

Experts: Car bomb in Juárez mimics Middle East terrorist tactics

The car bombing in Juárez on Thursday in which three people were killed signifies an escalation of brutality and sophistication in the city’s 2-year-old drug war, officials said.

Juárez officials on Friday confirmed a car bomb with C-4 plastic explosives was detonated from a remote location.

Local experts said the Juárez and Sinaloa drug cartels apparently have adopted terrorists’ tactics that use suicide bombers and car bombs to kill foes or to make a point.

“It certainly seems like they’ve taken a page out of the Middle East,” said Richard Schwein, the former FBI special agent in charge of the El Paso office.

“The cartels read the news and they hear about what is happening in the Middle East with the use of car bombs and suicide bombers. I don’t think they will ever use suicide bombers here, but car bombs are easy to make and to use.”

This is the first time a car bomb has been used in the Juárez drug war, which has claimed the lives of nearly 5,800 people since in began in 2008.

Experts agree that the use of a car bomb with a sophisticated detonation system and C-4 is a new tactic, one that requires planning and deliberation.

(via Creeping Sharia, which thinks, contra Mexican authorities, that suicide attackers were involved)

Now, I’m not saying that Hamas or Hizbullah or any other jihadist group made this device for La Linea, nor that the cartel couldn’t figure out how to do it, itself. But the learning curve would be considerably shortened by training under a Hizbullah expert, and coming in the wake of a growing jihadist presence in Mexico is suggestive, at least.

And it’s something we should be very worried about.

RELATED: Mexico’s Zetas threaten to blow up a US dam? Cross-border collateral damage?

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Looking back: Reagan 1980 campaign ad

July 6, 2010

The contrast with the current occupant of the Oval Office is stark, indeed:

(via Big Peace)


And now, Big Peace

July 4, 2010

Andrew Breitbart has shaken up the Internet and the mainstream media and government elites with his family of “Big” sites: Big Hollywood, focusing on entertainment and culture; Big Journalism, which turns a spotlight on the news media itself; and Big Government, which keeps tabs on the doings of our national government. Each is a group blog, in which various writers offer opinions from an unvarnished and unashamed Center-Right, pro-American point of view.

And they’ve had their effects in the broader world: from revealing the Obama Administration’s attempts to turn the National Endowment for the Arts into a propaganda organ, to exposing the criminal nature of ACORN and the perverse agenda of the administration’s “safe schools” czar, the Big sites have provided conservatives with some heavy artillery in the battle over our nation’s direction.

And now comes the fourth site, Big Peace, dedicated to national security issues and peace through strength (something dear to my heart).  As editor-in-chief Peter Schweizer explains:

We are launching Big Peace on the 4th of July because we happen to believe that America is the last and best hope for mankind.

We are launching Big Peace on the 4th of July because we believe that freedom is an essential ingredient and condition for peace.

We are lauching Big Peace on the 4th of July because the American spirit of independence and fight,  exhibited by our soldiers, is what ultimately keeps us safe.

And we are launching Big Peace on the 4th of July to celebrate the ideas of freedom and liberty, which are embraced by so many others around the world.  The word “peace” has been hijacked by those who don’t believe in peace, but rather believe in appeasement.  We intend to take it back.  Peace comes from strength.  Peace comes from freedom.  More people were killed in the 20th century by their own governments than due to any war.  Peace is a word devoid of meaning unless it includes liberty.

There’s a story about a guy who goes into a bar and when the fists and chairs start flying asks, “Is this a private fight, or can anyone join?”

When it comes to protecting freedom around the world and keeping America strong–it’s not a private fight.

Be sure to add Big Peace to your bookmarks and feed readers.


Call me naive, but…

July 1, 2010

Shouldn’t American buildings and civilians  coming under fire from across the Mexican border be considered just a wee bit newsworthy?

Several gunshots apparently fired from Juárez hit El Paso City Hall on Tuesday afternoon.

No one was hurt, but nerves were rattled at City Hall in what is thought to be the first cross-border gunfire during a drug war that has engulfed Juárez since 2008.

El Paso police spokesman Darrel Petry said investigators do not think City Hall was intentionally targeted but rather was struck by stray shots.

“It does appear the rounds may have come from an incident in Juárez,” Petry said.

City Hall, whose east and west sides are covered by glass windows, sits on a hill about a half-mile north of the Rio Grande.

About 4:50 p.m., city workers were going about a regular day when a bullet penetrated a ninth-floor west side window of the office of Assistant City Manager Pat Adauto.

Police said the bullet flew through the window, then through an interior wall before hitting a picture frame and stopping.

And this isn’t the only incident, as Big Journalism reports: UT Brownsville was closed for a weekend when shots came from across the border, and incidents are happening so often that the Texas Attorney General has complained to the Federal government. While these shootings are the results of drug wars in Mexico and not direct attacks on the US, it’s only a matter of time before Americans are seriously killed or injured. Mexico has effectively lost or is losing control of its northern border cities, which is endangering our citizens as well as theirs.

But this isn’t covered in the major media, nor does the Obama administration seem concerned. (As with so many things)  I’d ask if it will take someone’s death for them to notice, but that mattered little in the murder of an Arizona rancher, a story briefly in the news and now largely forgotten.

A news media worthy of the name would be all over these stories, bringing the public a true picture of the increasingly troubled situation on our border. A president worthy of his office would make it clear to his Mexican counterpart that, if he can’t control his own cities, we’ll do it for him.

Call me naive, but is it too much to expect our political and cultural leaders to do their jobs?


Border? What border?

June 22, 2010

Okay, this is getting ridiculous:

Mexican Gangs Maintain Permanent Lookout Bases in Hills of Arizona

Mexican drug cartels have set up shop on American soil, maintaining lookout bases in strategic locations in the hills of southern Arizona from which their scouts can monitor every move made by law enforcement officials, federal agents tell Fox News.

The scouts are supplied by drivers who bring them food, water, batteries for radios — all the items they need to stay in the wilderness for a long time.

(…)

“To say that this area is out of control is an understatement,” said an agent who patrols the area and asked not to be named. “We (federal border agents), as well as the Pima County Sheriff Office and the Bureau of Land Management, can attest to that.”

Much of the drug traffic originates in the Menagers Dam area, the Vekol Valley, Stanfield and around the Tohono O’odham Indian Reservation. It even follows a natural gas pipeline that runs from Mexico into Arizona.

In these areas, which are south and west of Tucson, sources said there are “cartel scouts galore” watching the movements of federal, state and local law enforcement, from the border all the way up to Interstate 8.

“Every night we’re getting beaten like a pinata at a birthday party by drug, alien smugglers,” a second federal agent told Fox News by e-mail. “The danger is out there, with all the weapons being found coming northbound…. someone needs to know about this!”

The area they’re talking about is roughly that of the Gadsden Purchase, land bought from Mexico to secure a southern route for a transcontinental railroad.

I hadn’t heard of any plans to give it back, have you?

Hello? Sovereignty? Bueller? Anyone?

I realize the border has been a bipartisan problem through several administrations, but it’s safe to say it’s getting much worse when foreign paramilitary criminal gangs are setting up forward observation posts on your own territory.

Dear Mr. President:

Rather than take over car companies and health care and instead of trying to regulate the very air we breathe, how about doing the job you’re assigned to do?

Thank you.

Love,

The American People


O where, o where, did my 17 Afghans go?

June 18, 2010

Call me crazy, but isn’t this a problem? Even kinda-sorta?

Alert Issued for 17 Afghan Military Members AWOL From U.S. Air Force Base

A nationwide alert has been issued for 17 members of the Afghan military who have gone AWOL from an Air Force base in Texas where foreign military officers who are training to become pilots are taught English, FoxNews.com has learned.

The Afghan officers and enlisted men have security badges that give them access to secure U.S. defense installations, according to the lookout bulletin, “Afghan Military Deserters in CONUS [Continental U.S.],” issued by Naval Criminal Investigative Service in Dallas, and obtained by FoxNews.com.

The Afghans were attending the Defense Language Institute at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. The DLI program teaches English to military pilot candidates and other air force prospects from foreign countries allied with the U.S.

“I can confirm that 17 have gone missing from the Defense Language Institute,” said Gary Emery, Chief of Public Affairs, 37th Training Wing, at Lackland AFB. “They disappeared over the course of the last two years, and none in the last three months.”

So, Muslim Afghans with military training and carrying valuable ID badges have just been going AWOL for two years? Umm… Jihad? Taqiyya? Shouldn’t we be a wee bit concerned?

Yes, but not quite in the way you think. From another part of the article:

A senior law enforcement official said Friday that the Afghans’ disappearance was more of an immigration violation than a security threat, saying there are no “strong indications to any terrorism nexus or impending threat.”

The official further said that an unspecified number of the 17 have been caught. “A number of these guys have already been located or accounted for by now,” the official said. “Some are in removal proceedings to be deported already. (Authorities) still need to locate the others, and that is why the bulletin went out.”

Okay, so some have been caught and they seem to have just been illegal immigrants, as opposed to jihadis. While FOX engaged in more than a bit of sensationalism in the headline quoted above, it doesn’t appear that this is some sort of mass jailbreak of jihadis with bombs strapped to their bellies, but something that happens often with a small fraction of the foreigners brought here for training and education.

Still, there are reasons to be concerned. Consider:

  • Because the captured Afghans had not committed acts of jihad terrorism does not mean they wouldn’t have, nor that those still out in the wild won’t. We must remember how Islamic doctrine enables the jihadist to dissimulate when in infidel lands to protect himself, conceal his real purpose, and justify his mission.
  • Those saying “there’s no real terrorism problem here” could be just as blinded by political correctness as those who failed to do anything about Major Nidal Hasan, the jihadist traitor who gunned down 14 people at Ft. Hood.
  • Even if these Afghans were not terrorists, even if they were just like “any other” illegal immigrant, the fact that we lost track of them and the restricted IDs they carried is another sign of our unwillingness to do what is necessary to guard against those who would pretend to be our allies. It’s another sign of how we are leaving ourselves inexcusably vulnerable.
  • Our complaisance in the shelter of our own vast power and our inability, even after 9/11, to conceive that “it could happen here” gives our enemies openings to attack us. Remember, on that day four jetliners were turned into deadly missiles by 15 Muslims armed only with boxcutters.

Thus the problem isn’t so much the 17 Afghans who have gone walkabout over the last couple of years (at least, I hope it won’t be much of a problem), as it is our apparent failure after nearly ten years of war with jihadist Muslims to take seriously the threat posed by those who are pretending to be our friends or at least be harmless. Because there is no magic device that can read the soul, we must be wary of those practicing taqiyya to insinuate themselves among us. And that means dropping the politically correct blinders and admitting that 17 missing Afghans with security IDs could be a serious problem.

Again, I am not saying all Muslims are terrorists; far from it. Most in the United States just want a peaceful life in a new land. But it is beyond dispute that the vast majority of terrorists active in the world today are Muslims who have chosen to obey the command of  Qur’an 9:111:

Allah hath purchased of the believers their persons and their goods; for theirs (in return) is the garden (of Paradise): they fight in His cause, and slay and are slain: a promise binding on Him in truth, through the Law, the Gospel, and the Qur’an: and who is more faithful to his covenant than Allah? then rejoice in the bargain which ye have concluded: that is the achievement supreme.

They’re still trying to kill us, so let’s not make it easy for them.

(via Obi’s Sister)


Palin. Nightstick. Boom.

June 13, 2010

Perhaps giving in to exasperation, Sarah Palin unloaded on both President Obama and the (Social) Democrats on her Facebook page today in a post that links the need to expand domestic oil drilling to our national security:

Am I the only one who wonders what could possibly be the agenda of any politician who would thwart our drive toward energy independence? Continuing to lock up America’s domestic energy reserves, including the energy-rich Last Frontier of Alaska, only equips dangerous foreign regimes as they fund terrorist organizations to harm us and our allies. I’m going to keep speaking and writing about this in the simplest of terms until someone can provide a simple answer as to why liberal Democrats don’t understand that we have safe, warehoused onshore and shallow water reserves waiting for permission to be extracted. They either choose not to understand the geology, science, and technology behind an “all-of-the-above” approach to energy security, or they understand it, yet for whatever frightening reason choose to be lap dogs to Chavez and Ahmadinejad.

Ouch. That’s going to leave a mark.

The former governor goes on to cite a Newsmax article about a letter from Republican senators challenging the administration over Venezuela’s ties to terrorism and our reliance on oil supplied by Hugo Chavez, who hates the United States. (Paging Joe Kennedy…)

While I’m not comfortable about relying on Newsmax (they’re given to sensationalism and have had to retract stories in a few embarrassing cases), she’s right to draw the link between the intelligent exploitation of domestic resources and our national security. In the Persian Gulf, many of the wealthy in countries from which we buy our oil use the profits from our purchases to support al Qaeda and other jihadist groups at war with America and the West.

In the case of Venezuela, Chavez has made no secret of his growing alliance with Iran, while the Newsmax article Palin quotes talks of Iranian security forces sealing off a Venezuelan airport in advance of an apparently high-value delivery. While the subsequent discussion of the ease with which some sort of nuclear explosive could be smuggled north is sensationalistic, the overall point is well-taken:

  • Iran is headed by a millenarian fascist regime that sees as its duty to do what it can to create the chaos that will herald the return of the Mahdi and the final victory of Islam.
  • Iran has been at war with the United States since 1979, even if we haven’t realized it.
  • Iran’s cats-paw, the terrorist jihad organization Hizbullah, has a significant presence in the United States and could be used to launch attacks within America.
  • Venezuela is allied with Iran and itself is seeking nuclear technology (supposedly for peaceful purposes).
  • Our southern border is undeniably porous.

And our dependence on Venezuelan oil is thus an example of how our freedom to act against potential threats posed by the Iranian-Venezuelan axis is potentially limited by our failure to intelligently exploit our own resources, relying instead on others.

If Sarah Palin is exasperated, she has every right to be.

I am, too.


Obama’s new national security strategy: unicorns and rainbows

May 25, 2010

Good news! In his speech at West Point, the President of the United States outlined his plans to keep our country safe. Key to his strategy? Hope, change, and constitutional rights for terrorists:

President Obama’s speech at West Point Saturday is the most sweeping statement yet of his plan to create a national security policy emphasizing education, clean energy, green jobs, anti-climate change measures, the granting of full American constitutional rights to accused terrorists, and “engagement” with America’s enemies.

Yeah, I bet al Qaeda, Moscow, and Beijing are quaking in their boots even now. From laughter.

We are so dead.  Doh


Color me shocked: Feds to prosecute NSA staffer

April 15, 2010

I’ll be honest, the government always says it’s going to hunt down people who leak classified material, but for them to actually follow through is almost unheard of. And for the Justice Department under Eric Holder to do this? Satan’s donning a parka even now:

A senior executive with the National Security Agency faces 10 felony charges of leaking classified information to a national newspaper in 2006 and 2007, the Justice Department announced Thursday morning. Thomas A. Drake, 52, allegedly exchanged hundreds of e-mails with an unnamed reporter in a national newspaper that published stories about Bush administration intelligence policies between February 2006 and November 2007.

The article doesn’t specify that these leaks had to do with counterterrorism efforts, but I’ll bet that’s it. Leaks from bureaucrats opposed to Bush administration policies in Iraq and the Long War overall have done tremendous damage, such as revealing the NSA terrorist communications intercept program and Treasury’s secret program to track terrorist finances. Guys like Drake, assuming he’s guilty, deserve to have the book thrown at them; they sanctimoniously put their own egos ahead of their duty to the nation in time of war.

I never thought I’d write this, but, good for Eric Holder.

(via NRO)

LINK: More at Hot Air.

UPDATE: I take back my praise for AG Holder. According to Power Line, Drake was not the one who revealed the terrorist surveillance program. Instead, he’s accused of embarrassing NSA management. Glad to see Justice has its priorities straight.

UPDATE II: Background from journalist Eli Lake.


Opening the gates to our enemies?

March 18, 2010

The US Coast Guard is not only our primary resources for seaborne search and rescue, they’re also a key to the defense of our ports from terrorist attack.

So why is the Obama Administration planning to gut the Coast Guard?

Liberals are forever going on about “first responders.” Well, the Coast Guard should certainly be considered first among the first responders. Yet, the Coast Guard has come on hard times. The Post recently reported that of 12 major cutters assigned to Haitian relief earlier this year, ten of them broke down. Three were forced to limp back into port.

The Obama administration plans to cut 1,100 active duty personnel from the Coast Guard, the smallest of our military services. Funds for port security—our first line of defense—will be cut by $100 million.

Even Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) calls the cuts in the Coast Guard’s budget “penny-wise and pound foolish.”

Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) is the ranking member of the House Appropriations Committee. Because of the administration’s cuts to the Coast Guard budget, their cutters will not be able to keep pace with the Navy in important combined missions. The average age of a Navy warship is 14 years, while that of a Coast Guard vessel is 41 years. New York, San Francisco, and New Orleans will now be less secure, Rogers charged.

The incoming Commandant of the Coast Guard, Admiral Robert Papp, has said he would have to consider cutting homeland security training and operations. This is tantamount to announcing to the terrorists “the coast is clear.”

The Administration is willing to sink trillions into a health care “reform” that a majority of the nation does not want, yet a crucial component of our defense against Islamic jihadists, who have already shown themselves quite willing to kill thousands, is left begging. The single most important duty of the federal government is short-changed, so our leaders can pursue Hope and Change. Even that old fool Robert Byrd sees the folly in this.

And the Obama administration could well get a lot of Americans killed because of it.


Congress, Obama renew Patriot Act

February 28, 2010

Funny, I thought this was another of the evil BushChimpHitler’s attempts to destroy our civil liberties by playing on our racist fears. Yet the enlightened progressives who now govern the nation renewed it without any changes:

The House approved the bill 315-97 on Thursday, a day after the extension passed the Senate.

The provisions, including roving wiretaps, records access and tracking terror suspects not affiliated with any group, were set to expire on Sunday. Democrats opposing the extension were unable to add desired civil-liberties protections.

The Patriot Act was first passed by Congress after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks as a defense mechanism against terrorists.

Back then, the Left was screaming as if the Patriot Act had authorized an American Gestapo; I can recall the American Library Association practically wetting itself in hysteria over a provision that allowed the government to subpoena records, something that civil lawyers have been able to do for ages. That and other provisions of the Patriot Act that constituted reasonable measures in a time of war and terrorism became the focus of endless political demagoguery and histrionics.

So, its reauthorization has lead to similar protests, right? No. As Susan Anne Hiller points out at the article linked at the top, the mainstream media and the Left (but I repeat myself) are dead silent:

The House and the Senate, behind the scenes of the healthcare fervor, quietly passed this bill with little oppostion and outrage. Democrats could have modified the Patriot Act, but didn’t.

(…)

The Democrats had the numbers to make changes, but another civil war would have ensued.  In addition, it appears that when these controversial legislative pieces are passed by the Democrats, it makes it all better.  No more outrage from the MSM and the far-left, because the rules of war and engagement are clearly different because, you know, the Democrats are in charge.

In other words, “that was then, this is now.”

Waiting


I feel so secure, now

January 7, 2010

With guys like this watching out for us, how could I not?

NCTC director Michael Leiter remained on ski slopes after Christmas Day airline bombing attempt

The top official in charge of analyzing terror threats did not cut short his ski vacation after the underwear bomber nearly blew up an airliner on Christmas Day, the Daily News has learned.

Michael Leiter, director of the National Counterterrorism Center since 2007, decided not to return to his agency’s “bat cave” nerve center in McLean, Va., until several days after Christmas, two U.S. officials said.

“People have been grumbling that he didn’t let a little terrorism interrupt his vacation,” said one of the sources.

Oh, come on, now. Did you really expect him to give up his place in the ski-lift line just because a jihadi tried to blow up a plane full of people over a major American city? Besides, he was just following his boss’ example. Jeez, there are priorities, you know.

So, let’s see. We have a  President who takes three days to make a statement so bloodless and perfunctory that it was obvious he wanted to get back to his golf game. Then there’s his Homeland  Security Secretary, who beclowned herself on national TV the weekend after the attack by telling us the system worked – and then that it didn’t. And don’t forget the chief counterterrorism adviser to the President, who assured us there are no downsides to treating the Pantybomber as a criminal suspect; after all, we can offer him a plea-bargain.

Who knew that, in November, 2008, we stepped into a time machine and traveled back to September 10thDoh

LINKS: More disgusted reactions at Hot Air.