Sunday, December 31, 2006

Of special interest Here's the biggest WTF I've read in a long time.

The Daily Bulletin first published Department of Homeland Security documents and maps from the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy in January, showing 226 Mexican military incursions into the United States since 1996. That information led to a call for congressional investigations and hearings to determine the extent of the intrusions.

Shortly afterward, West was confronted with another incursion. This time, local law enforcement officials videotaped the event and went public with it.

"We had video and photographs," West said. "We went to Congress and testified before them with the evidence in hand. And we were told by Congressman (Silvestre) Reyes (D-El Paso) that we were either lying or mistaken."

Reyes, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, and U.S. and Mexican government officials tried to play down the documents and the incident in Hudspeth County. They stated publicly that the cartels were dressing like Mexican military to damage relations between the U.S. and Mexico.

Reyes, who recently was appointed chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, did not return phone calls seeking comment.

"The bureaucrats don't understand what a dangerous game they are playing with American lives if they don't do something to fix the situation at the border," said Michael Cutler, a former special agent with Immigration and Naturalization Services, who testified before the 9-11 Commission.

According to Border Patrol agents in Texas and Arizona, the Department of Homeland Security has stopped agents from filing full-disclosure incident reports if they see Mexican military involved in an alleged smuggling operation.

In some parts of Texas, if Mexican military personnel are suspected of assisting narcotics traffickers or smuggling humans, they are not processed, but instead are taken to a port of entry and released into Mexico.

An unnamed Border Patrol agent in Arizona said he witnessed a Mexican military helicopter shooting at a fellow agent in pursuit of a vehicle along the Arizona border with Mexico.

The supervisors would not let the agent put the Mexican military's involvement in the incident report, the agent said.


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