I am providing you with two news reports that may not immediately appear to relate to each other. I believe, however, that the reason I have linked these two reports together will become crystal clear once you read them.
The first news release I have provided to you below appeared on the ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) website on March 14, 2011 and reports on a major event in the “War on Drugs.” It provides information about how an alleged Mexican drug kingpin, Esteban Rodriguez-Oliverawas, arrested in Mexico and brought to the United States to face a variety of criminal charges stemming from his alleged narcotics trafficking enterprise.
The investigation and other arduous work that resulted in this arrest and what will hopefully culminate in a successful prosecution is a tribute to the hard and dangerous work done by all of the agents and other law enforcement officers and prosecutors. This action also illustrates an important level of cooperation between the law enforcement and prosecutorial professionals of the United States and Mexico. This is precisely the sort of cooperation and coordination that is vital to help to combat the crime and violence to be found in both the United States and Mexico at the hands of the transnational drug trafficking organizations.
I believe it is important to consider this press release for a number of reasons other than to learn about the positive results in this case. The fact of the matter is that the tons of narcotics that made their way to the streets of cities along the east coast of the United States after being smuggled across the US / Mexican border in Texas reaffirms something I have said on ever so many previous occasions- simply stated, “Every state is a border state!”
It is unfortunate but the truth is that far too many of our fellow citizens are often grammatically challenged. They can only conjugate verbs in the first person singular! Issues only concern some of these folks when they believe that the issue is likely to have a direct impact on their lives. This is an incredibly selfish way to view the world, but we all know that there are people who only focus on those problems that they believe have a direct impact on their lives. There is a bit of “gallows humor” in which the question is asked, “Do you know the difference between a depression and a recession?” The response according to the joke is that in a recession your neighbor is out of work while in a depression- you are out of work!”
There are those who believe that terrorism is not a big deal because they live in relatively small towns and believe that only the residents of major cities such as New York or Washington, D.C. have anything to fear about terrorism. Shortly after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 I received a phone call from a reporter. I believe that he worked for Associated Press. He called my cell phone and so, I suspect that because my area code on my cell phone was not 212, the area code for Manhattan, he did not realize I am a New Yorker. He asked me for my “take” on a then breaking news report that a radical Islamist had been arrested while planning to plant a bomb in a mall in Ohio. He told me that he was really upset with the idea that a bombing was being planned in a mall that was just a few miles from his home and his family. I could certainly understand that the news of this attack literally brought the story “home” to him. What infuriated me beyond words was when this knucklehead then added that it was one thing to blow up buildings in New York, but this was something that could have killed him, his family or his neighbors!
I could not contain my rage and yelled into my phone, “Are the lives of New Yorkers or people who don’t live in your community any less valuable than your life or the lives of your family members or neighbors?”
After a few seconds of silence he proved that when he opens his mouth he apparently only does so to change feet! He said to me that I should calm down! He went on to ask me why I was so upset? Finally he said to me, “I really don’t understand why you are so upset- you don’t live in New York do you?”
I told him a certainly do live in New York and hung up on this buffoon!
I remained angry for the rest of the day and for the days that followed. Then it dawned on me- if we are going to get all of our citizens to understand the issues we have to make certain that they truly be made to understand how we are all citizens of the same country and that we are, very much indeed, our “brothers’ keepers!”
When I was subsequently asked to testify at a hearing to be conducted by the House Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims I approached then Chairman of the subcommittee, a gentleman by the name of John Hostettler and his staff and suggested that it would be important to have a map of the United States prepared to be used as an exhibit at the hearing. I wanted the map to show where the victims of the attacks of September 11th had come from. I asked that after the hearing that the map be displayed in a conspicuous location to make certain that all of our elected representatives were likely to pass the map. At the hearing where the map was included as an exhibit I made the statement that “No American city is safe if any American city is attacked!”
When George W. Bush ran for re-election he often noted that having been the governor of a “border state” he understood immigration. In point of fact, if he really understood immigration he would have secured our borders, especially in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11. If he really understood immigration (or really cared about it) he would have ended the program known as Transit Without Visa the day after 9/11. In reality, he waited until August of 2002 to suspend Transit Without Visa and never suspended the insane Visa Waiver Program but, in fact, expanded it to include additional countries! If George Bush truly understood illegal immigration he would have known that an estimated 40% of the illegal aliens in our country did not run our nation’s borders but actually entered the United States through ports of entry having been inspected and then subsequently violated the terms of their admission! If George W. Bush understood immigration he would have known that many of the illegal aliens who run our nation’s borders head for the rest of the United States!
Illegal aliens, as I have noted on previous occasions, do not simply seek to get across the border that is supposed to separate the United States from Mexico so that they can plant a Mexican flag, grab some rocks and head back to their home countries! They run our borders to get to cities and towns in every state of the union. They come to seek illegal employment. They come to evade law enforcement officials in other countries who may be looking for the because of crimes they may have committed. They may come to commit crimes in the United States and no city is safe from those illegal aliens including potentially terrorists whose goals include making their way to cities across the country where they can hide in plain sight as they accomplish whatever goals brought them to the United States, in violation of law, in the first place!
Today the current administration appears even less determined than the Bush administration was, to enforce the immigration laws against illegal aliens. In fact, the current administration advocates placing illegal aliens on a “pathway to United States citizenship!”
The ICE new release provides a bit of clear insight as to how a major narcotics trafficking organization was able to succeed in smuggling tons of narcotics into the United States and then transporting that deadly cargo clear across our nation to New York and other cities along the eastern seaboard.
Here are two paragraphs from the news release below that discuss how the drugs made their way from Colombia and Mexico into the United States and on to the New York City area:
The Los Gueros’ supply route originated in Mexico, stretched into Texas, and branched off to various points within the United States, including the New York metropolitan area. The organization received multi-ton shipments of cocaine from Colombia along the Gulf coast of Mexico, and transported drug shipments into the United States through Laredo and McAllen, Texas.
Court documents reveal the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) estimates that between 2004 and 2006, the organization was responsible for shipping truckloads containing over 2,000 kilograms of cocaine to New York alone. As part of the investigation, in October 2004, HSI agents seized approximately 156 kilograms of cocaine hidden in one of the organization’s tractor-trailers and in 2005, HSI agents seized approximately $2.1 million in drug proceeds bound for the organization in Mexico.
The bottom line is that while it is certainly good news that a major player in the War on Drugs has been arrested, he is only one player. Drug trafficking organizations do not cease to exist when one of there bosses is arrested. The mythical “Hydra” a multi-headed serpent, simply grew additional heads as one head was chopped off.
What was not discussed in the news report was the likelihood that many other illegal aliens, most likely from Mexico were undoubtedly sent to the United States to handle the drugs and the proceeds. Others may have been “imported” to act as enforcers to make certain that the operation worked smoothly. Generally transnational criminal organizations want their upper level members, as the very least, to be citizens from the country where the gang or cartel is based. This provided greater control, often through intimidation, of all involved.
I would love to know how many lower level criminals who are associated with this cartel are still operating inside the United States. I would also very much like to know what is being done to identify these other players and then seek to apprehend them.
Now we come to the second news report, this report appeared on the Bloomberg website on March 3, 2011 and was entitled, “Obama, Calderon Lift U.S. Ban on Mexican Trucks, Retaliatory Quotas:”
It is interesting that now the Obama administration, according to recent news reports, is finalizing plans to permit Mexican trucks to have unfettered access to our nation’s highways.
Here is the link to that news report:
I have provided you with a copy of that news report, in its entirety below the ICE press release.
It would seem that the administration is more than willing to make all sorts of sacrifices on the alter of “Free Trade” including the lives of our citizens and our law enforcement offices who endure long hours and dangerous situations in their dedicated efforts to combat the scourge of the narcotics trade throughout our country.
Furthermore, the easy access to the highways across our nation that these Mexican trucks are apparently about to have will increase the risk of more than the smuggling of narcotics into the United States. Other cargo including, potentially, weapons and illegal aliens including criminals and terrorists may find these trucks to be an ideal conveyance.
Additional concerns about these trucks must also include the obvious safety factors in terms of the mechanical condition of the trucks and the skills of the drivers.
Finally, by permitting Mexican trucks to drive from coast to coast, it must be presumed that American truckers and American trucking companies, already feeling extreme pressure because of rapidly increasing fuel costs will now find that they will have to compete with foreign trucking companies in order to survive.
Does anyone see an “up side” to this lunacy?
I am extremely concerned that in the name of “Free Trade” our national security and our sovereignty will be further endangered. I am concerned that the trucking agreement that appears imminent will make it easier for the drug traffickers and other criminals to perpetrate more crimes in our country. Consequently, I believe that the agreement that would allow this travesty to occur will be signed in red, the red of the blood of those who may well lose their lives!
As I have noted on many previous occasions, our nation is bleeding red and green- and it must stop!
Securing our borders against the unlawful entry of aliens into our country and the smuggling of narcotics and other contraband including, potentially weapons of mass destruction, is not racism or xenophobia- it is commonsense!
Locking your doors and windows before going to sleep at night does not make a person anti-social, it means he is prudent!
Because or the long standing failures to secure our borders and create an immigration system that has integrity our nation and our citizens remain exposed to serious threats.
Nothing less than the survival of our nation and our citizens hang in the balance!
A country without secure borders can no more stand than can a house without walls!
If our country is to survive and if our children and their children are to get their share of the “American Dream” the citizens of this nation must take their citizenship seriously!
We the People must be the best citizens we can be, citizens who are worthy of the gallantry demonstrated by our valiant men and women in the military, law enforcement and firefighters, who routinely go in harm’s way in defense of this nation and our citizens.
My goal in writing this and other commentaries is to point out our nations many failings before more victims pay the ultimate price for the incompetence and ineptitude of our government.
The first step in problem-solving is to first identify the problems and vulnerabilities and then devise strategies to overcome them.
If you find yourself to be in agreement with this commentary, I ask that you forward it to as many of your friends and family members as possible and encourage them to do the same. We need to create a “Bucket Brigade of Truth!”
The practice of good citizenship does not end in the voting booth, it only begins there. The large scale apathy demonstrated by citizens of this nation has emboldened elected representatives to all but ignore the needs of the average American citizen in a quest for massive campaign funds and the promises of votes to be ostensibly delivered by special interest groups. There is much that we cannot do but there is one thing that We the People absolutely must do- we must stop sitting on the sidelines!
The collective failure of We the People to get involved in make our concerns known to our politicians have nearly made the concerns of the great majority of the citizens of this nation all but irrelevant to the politicians. I implore you to resolve this year to get involved!
I believe our nation’s is greatly benefited by the rich diversity of our people which is why I could never imagine living anywhere except New York City, arguably the most diverse city in our nation if not, in fact, the world. However, my idea of diversity most certainly does not include members of MS-13, the Mexican drug cartels or members of other transnational gangs or members of al-Qaeda!
If this situation concerns you or especially if it angers you, I ask you to call your Senators and Congressional “Representative. This is not only your right- it is your obligation!
All I ask is that you make it clear to our politicians that we are not as dumb as they hope we are! We live in a perilous world and in a perilous era. The survival of our nation and the lives of our citizens hang in the balance. This is neither a Conservative issue, nor is it a Liberal issue- simply stated, this is most certainly an AMERICAN issue! You are either part of the solution or you are a part of the problem! Democracy is not a spectator sport! Lead, follow or get out of the way!