At the close of the Constitutional Convention in 1787, Dr. James McHenry, a Maryland delegate, followed Benjamin Franklin from Independence Hall. He recorded a question asked by a lady, directed at Dr. Franklin.

The lady asked, "Well Doctor, what have we got? A republic or a monarchy?"

"A republic," replied Dr. Franklin, "if you can keep it."


"The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities." - Ayn Rand

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Does the US have a Border Strategy?

The Obama Administration seems to falter at every turn because of a lack of visionary and even competent leadership. Nowhere is this more apparent than their policy on securing America's Southern Border.

(LINK) Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, took sharp aim Tuesday at Secretary of State Hilary Rodham Clinton over the controversial ATF gun program dubbed Operation Fast and Furious.

“On March 4, 2001, Senator Charles E. Grassley wrote to you requesting basic information about the connection between Operation “Fast and Furious”conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), and the December 14, 2010 firefight that claimed the life of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry,” Issa wrote. “I understand you have yet to respond and are likely to refuse Senator Grassley’s request for information without a letter from the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“This refusal is mystifying in its own right, given Senator Grassley’s standing as the Ranking Member of that Committee. More inexplicably, your refusal stands in stark contradiction to the promise of transparency promoted by President Obama. During Sunshine Week last year, the President stated that he had “recommit(ed) (his) administration to be the most open and honest ever.”
“Given the gravity of this matter, this refusal is simply unacceptable,” he wrote. “Therefore, I am joining Senator Grassley’s request for any and all records relating to a meeting involving the then-U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Carlos Pascual with Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer, Mr. Breuer’s deputy, and other officials in Mexico City in the summer of 2010 regarding “on-going investigations” related to Project Gunrunner and its “Fast and Furious” component….Additionally, please explain in detail the reasons behind your refusal to answer the Senator directly.” (DEAFENING SILENCE FROM OBAMA'S ADMINISTRATION)
ATF Operation - Fast and Furious let guns “walk” into hands of Mexican drug cartels with aim of tracking and breaking a big case. Federal agent John Dodson says what he was asked to do was beyond belief.
CBS News: He was intentionally letting guns go to Mexico?
“Yes ma’am,” Dodson told CBS News. “The agency was.”
Documents show the inevitable result: The guns that ATF let go began showing up at crime scenes in Mexico. And as ATF stood by watching thousands of weapons hit the streets… the Fast and Furious group supervisor noted the escalating Mexican violence.

One e-mail noted, “958 killed in March 2010 … most violent month since 2005.” The same e-mail notes: “Our subjects purchased 359 firearms during March alone,” including “numerous Barrett .50 caliber rifles.”

On Dec. 14, 2010, Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was gunned down. Dodson got the bad news from a colleague. According to Dodson, “They said, ‘Did you hear about the border patrol agent?’ And I said, ‘Yeah.’ And they said ‘Well it was one of the Fast and Furious guns.’ There’s not really much you can say after that.”

It seems that the most problematic gun runners into Mexico was the Government of the United States. Is this a key component of Obama's Strategy? At the same time that the Obama Government was running guns to the Mexican cartels, they were howling about the "gun problem" along the US Border. How can the Obama Administration possibly condone arming Mexican cartel members at taxpayer expense and then criticize Americans who live along the border from banding together for self protection -- as it turns out -- from American firearms and ammunition that was being used against them.

The Obama Administration has been faithful in telling Americans that there are areas where the narcotics cartels are in control. We ceded territory to criminal organizations... when in history have we done that before?

Where is the coherent policy? Where is the aching concern for the lives and property of American citizens?

Obama stands behind the lecturn and speaks from his teleprompter - but WHAT is his REAL Border Strategy? Actions speak louder than words. 

Does America need an ATF? What do they do that can't be done by other agencies? Should we fold the agents into some other agency where the work can be more carefully managed?


Mark Pressley said...

When you have never led, how can anyone be surprised when you can not lead? A plan would imply this Administration has some level of ability.

LL said...

You're right Mark, but it's interesting to watch the smoke and mirrors - without any apparent cohesion or momentum.

Always On Watch said...

Whatever policy Obama may have is a policy that does the opposite of looking out for America's interests.

Race Bannon said...

...your last sentence says it all. The DOJ has another Bureau that is under a hiring freeze, even though it never hired all the agents and support it was budgeted for post 9/11.

I believe that ICE is the most misdirected, disfunctional federal agency, but at least they have a purpose...they're not sure what it is, but they have one. ATF? WTF?

LL said...

Whether the Department of Homeland Security is functional at any serious level as a 'department' or not has been debated to death. I leave that to others to determine. Some maintain that it is too large, too unwieldy and reminds old Russia hands of the Soviet era. TO say that Janet Napolitano and her cronies are nomenclatura is near slander in the halls of power, so I won't.

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