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

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WTF?? Obama gives Interpol powers American cops don’t have?

December 23, 2009

The Obama administration last week rescinded restrictions on the operation of Interpol agents on US soil, giving them privileges US law enforcement doesn’t have and placing it above the US Constitution:

You just can’t make up how brazen this crowd is. One week ago, President Obama quietly signed an executive order that makes an international police force immune from the restraints of American law.

Interpol is the shorthand for the International Criminal Police Organization. It was established in 1923 and operates in about 188 countries. By executive order 12425, issued in 1983, President Reagan recognized Interpol as an international organization and gave it some of the privileges and immunities customarily extended to foreign diplomats. Interpol, however, is also an active law-enforcement agency, so critical privileges and immunities (set forth in Section 2(c) of the International Organizations Immunities Act) were withheld. Specifically, Interpol’s property and assets remained subject to search and seizure, and its archived records remained subject to public scrutiny under provisions like the Freedom of Information Act. Being constrained by the Fourth Amendment, FOIA, and other limitations of the Constitution and federal law that protect the liberty and privacy of Americans is what prevents law-enforcement and its controlling government authority from becoming tyrannical.

On Wednesday, however, for no apparent reason, President Obama issued an executive order removing the Reagan limitations. That is, Interpol’s property and assets are no longer subject to search and confiscation, and its archives are now considered inviolable. This international police force (whose U.S. headquarters is in the Justice Department in Washington) will be unrestrained by the U.S. Constitution and American law while it operates in the United States and affects both Americans and American interests outside the United States.

The author, former federal prosecutor Andy McCarthy, asks some very good questions, among them why we need to elevate a foreign police service above our own legal protections and why does Interpol need an untouchable repository for documents? Essentially this means that someone arrested under an Interpol warrant in the US can be denied the right to see the evidence used to swear out the warrant against him (presumably at an extradition hearing), a discovery process that’s considered a fundamental protection against tyranny under our Anglo-American system.

Steve Schippert and Clive Middleton at Threats Watch think they see a reason: this amendment of the Reagan-era order may be preparatory to once again subjecting the United States to the International Criminal Court and surrendering sovereignty:

In light of what we know and can observe, it is our logical conclusion that President Obama’s Executive Order amending President Ronald Reagans’ 1983 EO 12425 and placing INTERPOL above the United States Constitution and beyond the legal reach of our own top law enforcement is a precursor to more damaging moves.

The pre-requisite conditions regarding the Iraq withdrawal and the Guantanamo Bay terrorist detention facility closure will continue their course. meanwhile, the next move from President Obama is likely an attempt to dissolve the agreements made between President Bush and other states preventing them from turning over American military forces to the ICC (via INTERPOL) for war crimes or any other prosecutions.

When the paths on the road map converge – Iraq withdrawal, Guantánamo closure, perceived American image improved internationally, and an empowered INTERPOL in the United States – it is probable that President Barack Obama will once again make America a signatory to the International Criminal Court. It will be a move that surrenders American sovereignty to an international body who’s INTERPOL enforcement arm has already been elevated above the Constitution and American domestic law enforcement.

For an added and disturbing wrinkle, INTERPOL’s central operations office in the United States is within our own Justice Department offices. They are American law enforcement officers working under the aegis of INTERPOL within our own Justice Department. That they now operate with full diplomatic immunity and with “inviolable archives” from within our own buildings should send red flags soaring into the clouds.

I don’t know if Middleton and Schippert’s analysis is correct, but I do find it more than a bit disturbing that a foreign law-enforcement agency would be allowed to operate on American soil and not be subject to the same constitutional restraints as the FBI or DEA. That’s an unacceptable slight to American sovereignty. And, to give my inner-conspiracy theorist full sway, isn’t it convenient that there’s now an archive within the Justice Department that’s protected by diplomatic immunity, so that no documents in it are available to Congress or a US court? What a perfect place to lose embarrassing documents Obama and Attorney General Holder would rather never see the light of day.

Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised. After all, Obama thinks the Constitution is fundamentally flawed. So what’s the problem with giving extra-constitutional privileges to a foreign police agency?

Is it November, 2010, yet?  At wits end

LINKS: More at Hot Air, The Anchoress, Brutally Honest, Noisy Room, Pax Parabellum , Bob Owens, & Baldilocks.

UPDATE: Welcome readers of Patterico’s Pontifications. Thanks for the link, DRJ!


Churchill weeps

December 4, 2009

And Pitt the Younger rolls up his map. Queen Victoria is not amused. Monarchs from Alfred the Great to Richard the Lionheart and Elizabeth I, generals from Marlborough to Montgomery, all hang their heads in sorrow.

Great Britain is sovereign no more; she has surrendered to Europe:

At midnight last night, the United Kingdom ceased to be a sovereign state

We woke up in a different country today. Alright, it doesn’t look very different. The trees still seem black against the winter sun; the motorways continue to jam inexplicably; commuters carry on avoiding eye contact. But Britain is no longer a sovereign nation. At midnight last night, we ceased to be an independent state, bound by international treaties to other independent states, and became instead a subordinate unit within a European state.

This is really the culmination of a process that’s been going on for years, as more and more national “laws” originated as regulations issued by the unelected Eurocrats in Brussels. And MEP Hannan, the author of the article, is right: how it came about is a disgrace. All three major UK parties had promised a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, the document that created the EU superstate, but when push came to shove after the failure of the referenda on the proposed EU constitution in France and elsewhere, the idea was dropped. On the question of national sovereignty, the most basic of all political questions, the elites in Great Britain couldn’t dare ask the people, for fear they might say “no.”

And that would make the leaders look foolish at Continental cocktail parties. Can’t have that, you know.

I know some friends in the UK would mock this American as a nutty right-winger, but I can’t help but be sad at this development. It was from Britain that we inherited our ideas of democracy, limited government, and the inalienable rights of freeborn citizens. And now the British government has tossed that all away, regardless of what their people might wish. Let’s be clear: the EU is not a democracy. It is a statist bureaucracy with some of the trappings of democracy: the president is chosen, not elected. The European Parliament, while it gains some new power, still remains a rump, not the democratically elected source of all laws for the EU’s citizens. And while the now-subordinate national governments retain some powers and opt-outs, the pressure for further integration under the Eurocrats of Brussels will be almost irresistible – it’s in the nature of bureaucracies to expand, and EU leaders seem anxious to accede, probably so they can have a shot at the plum EU jobs.

Adieu, Britain. It was a nice special relationship while it lasted.