Michael's Dispatches

Mexico: A Very Interesting Talk by General (ret.) Barry McCaffrey


28 December 2011

Before Christmas, I met with General (ret.) Barry McCaffrey in Virginia.  We talked for about 2.5 hours, mostly about Mexico.

My meetings with General McCaffrey have not been random.  Among many other key experiences, he is a former “drug czar” with a deep military background.  He was awarded three Purple Hearts and his son is currently in Afghanistan.  Great Americans.

After that excellent meeting, I spent about two hours with David Martin at CBS.  We did an on-camera interview about the loss of Chazray Clark, and Army Dustoff issues.  Mr. Martin was well prepared.  After the taping, we went through the unedited video of the attack that took Chazray Clark on 18 September.  The CBS piece should run sometime just after New Year’s.  (Date to be announced.)

I may still return to Afghanistan in late January, but it looks like that is off.  Various invitations have come in from the Air Force, Marines and even the Army, but some Army officers are very angry about my Dustoff coverage.  They issued what amounts to an all-points bulletin for me in Afghanistan and have said no embed will be granted.

Command in Afghanistan is hiding behind the failed Dustoff policy.  Good luck with that. I don’t care.  If they are upset now, they’ll be apoplectic before this is over.  Many Army Dustoff and Air Force Pedro people are fully behind what I am doing.  This must be driving the Army crazy.

If Afghanistan is out, I’ll finish some writing projects and shift to Mexico/US coverage.  This will entail moving probably to Texas or Arizona.
Meanwhile, please check out this interesting and informative speech by General McCaffrey.

By the way, General (ret) McCaffrey told me that he fully supports a giant wall across the entire frontier with Mexico:


20 October 2011

Mexico: Drugs, Crime and the Rule of Law

Barry R, McCaffrey, General, USA (Retired)

Presentation to:

The US Army War College Center for Strategic Leadership and George Washington University Homeland Security Policy Institute

“The Hybrid Threat: Crime, Terrorism, and Insurgency in Mexico”

Let me thank you for the kind introduction. That was very generous. And more importantly, let me thank you for the opportunity to be here. I really came because I wanted to hear the two panels. You have brought together a number of people I have enormous respect for and who really understand the issues.

To set up remarks for the remainder of the session today, I must confess a bias. In my mind, the most important nations to the U.S. today in terms of economic health, in terms of political realities, in terms of our future—are Canada and Mexico. With us, they constitute this giant economic basket. To a very large extent, we have enjoyed a tradition of open borders, allowing for the free movement of goods and services across a huge economic zone that was formalized by NAFTA[1]. I would also tell you that, when we examine our relationship with Canada and Mexico, we are taking into account 100 million-plus people who are central to our economic well being.

When you look at the United States, 307 million people who comprise the wealthiest society in the history of the world, and you look internally at how we keep this unprecedented prosperity going, a lot of it is based on immigration. Whether it is Nigerian petroleum engineers, Russian bridge engineers, Polish aviation engineers—we reap the benefit of a huge amount of intellectual talent that comes by way of immigration into the United States. They arrive just like many of our forbearers, with little else than hope and talent…and like those forbearers, they have done, and will do, okay.

But the inescapable fact is that 10 to 12 million of those migrants (depending upon the numbers you want to believe) are here illegally. And the majority of those are Central American and Mexican laborers. They are growing our food, providing for the foundation of our construction industries, and running our daycare centers. Increasingly they are getting Green Cards[2], gaining U.S. citizenship and voting. They are buying businesses. That is all to their credit. To our shame too many of these people incapable of going to the police and asking for protection, not receiving minimum wage, not working under OSHA[3] safety standards, and are unable to wire money home to their mother (which is why they came here in the first place). All while carrying a significant portion of our economic vitality on their backs.

These things figure prominently when we start talking about counterterrorism or counterdrug activities or border control, because until you recognize that you have a million people a day crossing the border from Mexico—legally or illegally—we’re still talking about a half-million or more moving across the frontier. So, we have to regularize immigration, without which very little of the discussion that follows makes much sense.

In that discussion, I will tell you that I am an unabashed friend of Mexico’s. When you look inside Mexico, filled as it were with a hardworking, humble, spiritual people—terrific businessmen, terrific friends—we find a culture that has permeated much of the United States. This is true in terms of food, music, and language; in fact, the only language (other than English) you can speak in the United States—freely, anywhere in the country, and be answered immediately—is Spanish. The inter-penetration of our two cultures that has been beneficial to both of our peoples.

Our response and interaction on a people-to-people basis is extremely positive. There is an enormous affinity shared between the Mexican and American people, both along the border and throughout the country. But on an official level, for hundreds of years, there has been a tremendous anxiety—bordering on paranoia, on the part of Mexico. The classic saying, “Poor Mexico: So far from God… So close to the United States,” is indicative of this “official divide” that is not manifested in a “personal divide” between us. And I think a corresponding position on the part of official Mexico calls for a frank discussion of the political realities will be a harmful thing because it will negatively affect foreign investment and tourism.

So the dialogue between the United States and Mexico, outside of the last ten years, has been based upon a combination of U.S. ignorance and arrogance, and Mexican paranoia…and that does not lead to sensible policy. And the problem is exacerbated by chasing policies that are based on what I consider to be a misnomer. What we are facing now in Mexico is not a “war on drugs.” It goes well beyond that. What’s happening in Mexico is a struggle to establish the rule of law; not just on a police and military level, but also on a cultural level. We are struggling with a contradiction: on the one hand, you are trying to create a society that is internally democratic and self-governing; on the other hand, a significant element of that society has operated with impunity under the law. The short-term problem—chief among the realities they’re facing in Mexico—is that somewhere between $19-$35 billion a year of drug-related commerce is being generated there. The numbers vary depending on your source, but the impact is clear. That amount of money is a blowtorch that melts democratic institutions. It establishes a level of violence…a sophistication of violence…that is perpetuated in and among 120,000 people directly involved with the drug cartels.

Some of them are organized in platoon- and company-sized units—and I use those phrases provocatively to tell you that we are dealing with 50 to 70 people with automatic weapons, RPGs[4], other military-grade grenades, machine guns, and 50-caliber anti-aircraft guns, who will engage in direct firefights and engagements with Mexican Marines and Soldiers. And they will abduct squad-sized units of the Army and the Federal Police, torture them to death, decapitate them, and leave them as provocative gestures. And they will abduct Mexican general officers and murder them, and leave them with a sign around their necks. They have created an internal atmosphere of intimidation that is so pronounced that, in some ways, it has become impossible for local police (and to some extent state police) to deal with it. It is some kind of threat.

How many people have died at the hands of these elements? Again, the numbers vary with the sources you choose; but one could safely posit 42,000 murders during the current struggle to establish the rule of law.

To reiterate, it’s more than just drugs. It’s also prostitution, abuse of women in the immigrant population, violation of commercial control laws, and potentially (although I don’t think this is a dominant concern) it bears an associated threat with terrorism.

As Frank (Cilluffo) mentioned, we have just been through a Congressional hearing[5] surrounding a report I recently released[6] with (Major General–Retired) Bob Scales. As the hearing progressed the focus shifted to the cartel’s cross-border drug activity. There were a lot of sparks flying, with U.S. Congressmen in denial over this situation; but basically, I think, there is an unwillingness to accept the fact that the problem is not just internal to Mexico.

You have to start with the fact that there are seven major cartels and forty or so subsidiary groups which, combined, represent a peril to the United States. Yes, Stupid, they do. There are 280 some-odd cities in the United States whose dominant organized crime activity is Mexican cartel. They have associates in more than a thousand cities. I just did a seminar for the Portland (Oregon) Police. They are facing a Mexican cartel activity. I participated in the Alameda County “Urban Shield” exercise. They house another Mexican cartel activity. The cartel and their gang foot soldiers are all over the country. They are armed, they are dangerous, and instinctively (because they are a business) they don’t want to confront the FBI.

You and I ought to thank God for the FBI, because the other threat to U.S. democracy associated with the ones we are dealing with here is corruption. You know, when you are talking about the amount of money being offered at this level, it’s not “silver or lead” being thrown up against a U.S. Border Patrol agent—it’s silver. And we’ve had some problems because of it.

Some of our institutions are almost impossible to penetrate: not totally impossible, of course; but when you consider the Coast Guard, the FBI, the Marshall Service, the U.S. Air Force (with regard to radar operators)—it’s pretty hard to penetrate our institutions. That impenetrable nature keeps those institutions from crumbling.

But that cross-border threat from Mexico is real, and—as I said—is using gangs in America as its foot soldiers. There are 30,000 gangs in America, with a million gang members in them. In Texas alone there are 18,000 gang members. And unwittingly, we are contributing to their numbers. The United States has some 2.1 million people in our prisons—nearly the highest incarceration rate on the face of the Earth. Within those prisons we are providing a means for these gangs to socialize, recruit and expand. When the incarcerated leave the prisons (and we turn out a half million every year) many of them are schooled and prepared to enter into the Mexican cartels’ activities. We have found that to be particularly true along the southwest border. And the ranks of the foot soldiers grow, with guns and power distributed from the rural communities of the southwest to the streets of our major metropolitan areas.

And by the way, these are not hierarchical organizations. This is not an ideological struggle. This isn’t a religious struggle. It’s a criminal struggle. And that’s the threat we are facing.

Now we put something in the report that raised ire and anxiety in the law enforcement community.   We said the conditions along the Texas border are like “working in a war zone.” That doesn’t mean El Paso, that island of tranquility that stands as the Geneva of the Southwest. The zone we are talking about is at “the end of the fence,” where people are crossing the border in gangs of 20 or 30 people with automatic weapons, cutting fences, intimidating ranchers, and abducting people. We had a wonderful Texas veterinarian rancher, Dr. Mike Vickers, testifying at the hearing, and he said, “Well, you know, in my county alone there were maybe 600 homicides in the last several years, primarily Mexican migrants crossing that frontier—absent the protection of U.S. law.”

We have completely, inadequately resourced the control of our own frontiers with federal law enforcement. This isn’t a military operation…that “working in a war zone” comment didn’t come from me—it came from a Texas Ranger…and a similar comment came from one of the border communities’ Sheriffs. If you put together those border counties in Texas, and said “you are now a state,” it would be the poorest state in the union, bar none. And it would rank number 1 in federal crimes recorded. We’ve got a struggle going on in the frontier. And the frontiers are inadequately resourced.

We’re doing better. Thank God for Janet Napolitano and Judge Chertoff and Tom Ridge who have led the building of a Department of Homeland Security that is effectively the third largest department in the government. We have consolidated law enforcement organizations. We have put $40 billion-plus a year into their works. So a lot of good has happened. When Mark Coomer[7]—who intellectually propped me up through several assignments in life—and I were working on the Colombia issue, we had—I think—approximately 4,000 people on the U.S. Border Patrol. That was it. And now we are up, I think, to 19,000[8]. I tell people that the right answer is 45,000 people on the U.S. Border Patrol…and the Attorney General—for budget reasons and programmatic issues—will ask, “Well, General, what are the analytical underpinnings to your argument calling for that number?” Underpinnings? I just made the number up out of whole cloth! 45,000 was the high water mark number of the NYPD and its civilian component.[9] They’re protecting 8 million Americans. How would you expect to control 5,000 miles of Canadian frontier, a couple of thousand miles of Mexican border, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and the Gulf Coast states with less than that number?

Nonsense. We have not yet created the institutions of domestic security that we need along the borders. And by the way, you can’t just count on uniformed officers of the law. You have to include the justice system in the ultimate equation, along with detention capabilities and a host of other functions. If you end up with a Mexican family being used as surrogate mules for drug smuggling, you can’t just turn them back to Mexico…you have to have some legal resolution that will incorporate all these functions and more. We haven’t built that capacity yet.

Finally—what do you do about it all? If I was running for public office I would want to now proceed to tell you whatever you wanted to hear. But since this is such a complicated issue involving such a broad diversity of people, you can’t offer a quick message with a single solution. I think that one of the things you have to do is to hit upon a decent strategy to approach the complexities. When we used to talk about complicated strategies of these sorts at the Kennedy School in Harvard, we sought after an architectural framework on which to hang our policies. The framework would necessarily include the resources that will be required to carry out the concepts you are trying to convey and apply, and the ends you are trying to achieve. I make no argument against Iraq, Afghanistan and other foreign terrorist operations we have undertaken; but right now the economic “burn rate” in Afghanistan is $10 billion a month. We are running 300 to 1,000 killed and wounded a month. And it’s a pretty primitive and desperate struggle being executed 7,000 miles away from home, with 150,000 NATO troops. Compare that to the expenditures being devoted to the requirements we are addressing here.

The Merida Initiative[10] is the biggest slice of those expenditures to date. All told, it has cost $1.3 billion over the last three years. We have given the Mexicans 11 helicopters so far. Are we kidding ourselves? Colombia has experienced a night-and-day change—primarily because of the courage of the Colombian people, the Colombian National Police, and the Colombian Armed Forces. President Santos Calderón had me down there a year ago to witness the change. The last time I was there in public office in 2001 there were a couple thousand people in my security detachment, because it would have been considered embarrassing to have had me “whacked” on my farewell visit. When I visited last year, there were a dozen of these professional security officers. You could drive all over the country. The ELN[11], a goofy group of Marxists, is coming apart…they’re disappearing. The FARC[12] is overwhelmingly repudiated by the Colombian people. The Plan Colombia story is a good one…but a lot of the reason is that we stood with them, often to the tune of a billion dollars a year for several years. We gave, for instance, 250 aircraft and other means that allowed the Colombian national police to establish the rule of law across the one-third of the country where it had been lacking.

It is a success story. Earlier some of us were reminiscing over the work that we had done in support of the Plan. Once I was at a Congressional hearing, with 14 Representatives who spanned from the far-left to the far-right. All of them badgered me and whined and sniveled for the entire four-hour hearing; and then all of them voted for Plan Colombia. Afterwards we went with a bi-partisan delegation down to Colombia, with the Republican Speaker of the House and the President of the United States on hand to sign that treaty.

There is a similarity here. And what I am suggesting is that, besides immigration reform, besides border control, I think what we need to do is to provide better support to the government of Mexico. There is no danger of a failed state there—in spite of alarms to the contrary. You are not going to be able to take down the Mexican Marines and Army in a firefight with 70 narco-terrorists. That’s not going to happen.

But the question is, when the new Administration comes in—whether the PAN[13] or the PRI[14]—are they going to come to an accommodation with these criminals and dismiss our concerns as a “gringo problem, not our problem”?

That would, of course, constitute a disaster for the rule of law in Mexico…but it would also be a huge problem for us. So we need, it seems to me, to demonstrably stand with these brave men and women in Mexico—to include the media, local police, local mayors, business leaders—all of whom now stand on the edge.

It is time for us to come out of the state of denial. Some of this is normal, bureaucratic behavior. If you come in with a critical evaluation of any issue, the tendency of an Administration—U.S., Mexican or what have you—is to roll up in a ball and deny the critique. In the hearing last week I called for a coherent strategy for border security. There is no unifying strategy for the border. We are better off with DHS, thank God; having an agency that is overseeing and coordinating the issues is essential. But you still run into these bizarre things; for instance, where the Border Patrol for the longest time was forbidden to set foot on Department of the Interior land. Now I think they have to “negotiate” their arrival to the same one to three days ahead of the requirement. What are we thinking? I recently heard that the Border Patrol responded directly to an unnamed television media inquiry having to do with the situation on the border by saying “I’m sorry we can’t take you out there. We’re not allowed to demonstrate that the 2011 Department of Justice threat report is valid.” We’re in denial. And we have to get over it.

We have got to decide what is important to America; and that, it seems to me, is to work coherently with both Canada and Mexico on a range of these inter-related issues. And I think we will.

So again, Frank, thanks to you and Bert for allowing me to make these opening comments, and I look forward to learning from the subsequent discussions.

[1] North American Free Trade Agreement

[2] The “Green Card” is issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Its holder is someone who has been granted authorization to live and work in the United States on a permanent basis.

[3] Occupational Safety and Health Administration, of the United States Department of Labor

[4] Rocket Propelled Grenades

[5] House of Representatives Homeland Security Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations and Management, “A Call to Action: Narco-Terrorism’s Threat to the Southern U.S. Border,” 14 October, 2011

[6] “Texas Border Security: A Strategic Military Assessment,” Barry R. McCaffrey, Robert H. Scales, September 2011, commissioned by the Texas Department of Agriculture

[7] Mark C, Coomer, COL, USA(RET), currently the Director of Homeland Security and Defense Business Development, ITT Corporation

[8] There are currently over 20,000 agents in the U.S. Border Patrol

[9] The number of uniformed police officers in the NYPD peaked in October 2000 with 40,800 officers

[10] The Merida Initiative is described by the Department of State as the multi-year program demonstrating “the United States' commitment to work in partnership with governments in Mexico, the nations of Central America, the Dominican Republic and Haiti to confront criminal organizations whose illicit actions undermine public safety, erode the rule of law, and threaten the national security of the United States.” To date, some $465 million in equipment and training has been delivered under Merida.   In 2011 roughly half a billion dollars in equipment and capacity building programs will be delivered.

[11] National Liberation Army (Ejército de Lieberación Nacional)

[12] Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia)

[13] The National Action Party (Partido Acción Nacional)

[14] Institutional Revolutionary Party (Partido Revolucionario Institucional)

Say something here...
You are a guest ( Sign Up ? )
or post as a guest
Loading comment... The comment will be refreshed after 00:00.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    EN · 8 years ago
    Whatever happened to all those guns that the US government was sending to Mexico and blaming on the American people? Do you remember what you and your boy Berry were saying about that? McCaffery may be your man but he's dishonest and a bureaucrat at heart. Napolitano's DHS is the end of freedom in the US and she's done NOTHING to stop what's happening on the border and in fact has made it worse.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    SomeSockPuppet · 8 years ago
    That was an amazingly well reasoned speech. My only addition is that we need to stress more strongly the "war on drugs" as a failure And the catalyst to the types of power struggles occuring at this level.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    FRMR LEO · 8 years ago
    McCaffrey apparently has not seen or read the news.

    DOJ hear Holder was running guns into Mexico to the Cartels
    The FBI was "Sanitizing" records so these people could buy the guns going to Mexico.. One of their Confidential Informants was probably the one who shot and killed BP Agent Brian Terry
    The DEA was laundering money for the cartels (Stated purpose--To track the money)

    Napolitano was ATTY GENL for Arizona, then Governor. She vetoed every effort to stem the flow of Illegals

    McCaffrey needs to be a ground trooper in Pinal County foe one week. He'd probably get his rose colored glasses broken
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Phil Childers · 8 years ago
    He forgot the part about how focusing the "war on drugs" where it should be focused - on the cartels smuggling them in, not on innocent people who are citizens trying to keep themselves healthy without resorting to being addicted to morphine. The DEA needs to grow some balls and focus on the real problem - pot,meth, cocaine and heroin smuggling and production and not medical marijuana states and dispensarys. Well, I guess if I were a dea agent I'd rather it be a mom and dad american citizen who I put in jail than dangerous thugs and killers who don't hesitate to use violence. It jsut cracks me up that 99% of this problem could be resolved by the US legalizing marijuana alone! And yet, the president and senators keep lining the drug lords pockets, no wonder they now rank among the richest in the world. Mcaffrey should have ended that when he had the chance - instead he helps perpetuate the crime, keeping all them in jobs and creating bigger demand. nice racket they are in!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    RRB · 8 years ago
    Please refresh my memory. When has a fence ever kept out undesirables or enemies. The Great Wall of China and the Maginot Line are 2 examples of the pitiful failure of that strategy. Just another black hole for tax money...a twin to the black hole the 'war on drugs' has been.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Dan · 8 years ago
      Works pretty good for them. How often do you hear about suicide bombers these days? Not nearly as often as you did ten years ago. While I'm thinking about it, the Berlin Wall worked pretty well also.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Darksbane · 8 years ago
      [quote name="RRB"]Please refresh my memory. When has a fence ever kept out undesirables or enemies. The Great Wall of China and the Maginot Line are 2 examples of the pitiful failure of that strategy. Just another black hole for tax money...a twin to the black hole the 'war on drugs' has been.[/quote]

      Actually worked pretty well. It kept barbarians out for couple thousands of years.

      The Ming dynasty wall worked especially well. It kept my Manchu Royal Army out until a traitor Han general opened a gate.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Dr. G. Patino MD., · 8 years ago
      I agree with RRB.
      When has a wall or a fence kept out the undesirables?
      As a physician living in Mexico, I am amazed at the stories I read every day in the American tabloids. Do the Americans not see what is or has happened with the wall between the Palestinians and Israelis?

      Yes I see the true horrors of what is going on down here every day. But I recall growing up in the states in the 60's when riots and acts of terrorism were happening daily... what is the real difference?

      How do you stop this issue? I wish I knew, I see many innocent and many non-innocents losing their lives each week.

      Lost in the Confusion of seeking a safer place....

      Dr. Gp.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    xoxoxoBruce · 8 years ago
    This war on pot, invented at the end of prohibition to keep the untouchables employed, has been failing for 70odd years. When is the government going to wise up? As a NY State Cop said, I'd rather have my kids smoke pot than drink alcohol, because I've never had a pothead threaten my life.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Ed Kilgour · 8 years ago
    It is really revolting to see how the world government advocates have infiltrated the top brass of our military. They care not about loosing our sovereinty, just MONEY. He probably would endorce the recent NDAA bill that is a declaration of war on the American People. We must defeat the world goverment traders to regain our freedom. Of course this is just a consperacy theory, isn't it? Your either a trader to the US or against world government. It's as simple as that. Pease and freedom, Ed Kilgour.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Roger Dane · 8 years ago
    "Your Man..." Well, that I doubt as most of the reports I've read are well balanced.

    McCaffrey's talk was well pointed but perhaps viewed from the 'armchair' aspect of higher echelon leadership. As Patton planned, his men did die and the old saying was "Old blood and guts... his guts, our blood." On and on the disparity goes with foot soldiers and 'bars' or suits or whatever sometimes disparaging title is used to address the viewpoints from top to bottom.

    My son is a Border Patrol agent. There is reported corruption and there are dedicated agents. Called 'human nature' and will most probably remain. Same about legalizing marijuana (which medically has a much longer lasting and deeper neuro effect than alcohol but hey - no question that it is a 'starter' drug however. And go ahead, legalize all drugs. The next day a designer will craft something wilder and more exotic and on and on... called 'human nature.')
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Roger Dane · 8 years ago
    I don't like Napalitano but just because McCaffrey "seems" to compliment her doesn't mean he trusts her (any more than I) and indeed he indicates more should be accomplished. I do not know McCaffrey personally but at least a lot of his commentary is accurate numerically and seems, as first steps go, to be logical and worth hearing.

    We have a faltering morality in this country. It has negative effects on all LE from any local, state or Fed organization. We have a population that is not well enough educated to KNOW what is being said in much of what they hear. All of that has to be addressed. We cannot keep a Democratic Republic without education and 'brains' on drugs refuse to be educated. That drug can be a narcotic or power/prestige/position.

    We need a solid wall, Less expensive education, to resist the drug insurgency, more attention paid to America and less overseas! We can do this by cleaning political house, reforming oversight & regulations. By the People!!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    brent · 8 years ago
    you mean we have that many Mexican gangs and members in the US and we aren't at war with these drug dealers yet what are we waiting for, just let them infitrate the US and take over. We better get busy!! :-?
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Don Ryan · 8 years ago
    Mike....Fear not. We'll follow your moves even if you get a girl scout cookie route!
    Please stay well.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    staghounds · 8 years ago
    are killed every year by other Americans, here at home? How many Americans live in fear of American gangs and criminals?

    Can you imagine the level of domestic peace and safety we could create with a tenth of the treasure, effort, and sacrifice thrown down the drains of the middle east?

    As long as crime happens mainly to the powerless, the powerful won't address it.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Brock · 8 years ago
    And a sane drug policy would end the whole thing overnight. Prostitution and bootleg DVDs don't generate enough revenue to fund this kind of violence. Clean, regulated drug production and treatment for addicts would be more humane, more friendly towards civil rights at home, and much less financially wasteful.

    Didn't we learn our lesson with Prohibition? Not yet, apparently.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Tom Barry · 8 years ago
    The idiotic War on Drugs, is the reason for the disaster in Mexico and the US.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    nolocontendere · 8 years ago
    I hope you actually do cover Fast & Furious. We have barely any high profile people covering it. We welcome you to report on the border violence.

    Here is a thread covering Fast & Furious since January 2011.

  • This commment is unpublished.
    BSJ · 8 years ago
    When McCaffrey was the CG of the 24th ID. He wanted us to start doing a IPB (Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield) for the South West US. He wanted to send armed troops there... I don't know who put the kybosh on that plan, but it wasn't long before someone came to their senses! This was well before the Marines killed Esequiel Hernandez by the way.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Mary · 8 years ago
    All of our troops should be stationed along our borders and only leave our border to destroy genocidal jihadists. U.S. troops are NOT the toys of the Muslim Brotherhood's global jihad and should not be used as such by President Obama.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Ryden · 8 years ago
      Beg my pardon, but when did Obama use U.S. troops on the behalf of the Muslim Brotherhood? Libya?
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Zeeko · 8 years ago
    End the war on drugs, period. It is long lost, and it is what is fueling the whole crisis.

    Regarding drugs, let people decide for themselves. Some people will overdo it, others will try it and make up their own minds. And I am not worried about my young son becoming a junkie if heroin or crack is legal - I'd rather he be able to travel safely in this hemisphere.

    As far as a wall goes, I think that the scale of the border eludes most people. Ladders and shovels are cheap, and we are talking about over a thousand miles of rugged desert washes, and badlands. We can't even secure the few miles around Tijuana. The wall mentality is what gives us multi-billion non-solutions like Boeing's failed electronic observation towers or drones. Just more fat insider contracts for the military industrialists.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    catchesthewind · 8 years ago
    Michael,If you do the Mexico border deal please touch base with Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa county, Arizona. He will give you excellent intel for your objective.
    Re the border wall. China tried it-it worked. Rome tried it in England,Hadrians wall-it worked. We can build one the entire length of the southern border. It will work.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      M. Simon · 8 years ago
      Yes. A Wall with Mexico will work. But it will need to be 10,000 miles long - or longer to cover all our coastlines and the border with Canada. And it will have to be manned by guards with shoot to kill orders. 24/7/365.

      Welcome to East Germany Comrade. May I see your papers please? Could you explain your presence on the beach please? You know it is an unauthorized zone.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Dr. G. Patino MD., · 8 years ago
      I am sorry, but I feel if you build a wall it will further alienate Latin America and then have them turn on us also.

      Why not concentrate on the actual issues at hand like; work visas, diplomacy and building bridges and not walls...

      Dr. Gp.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    M. Simon · 8 years ago
    "The Latin American drug cartels have stretched their tentacles much deeper into our lives than most people believe. It's possible they are calling the shots at all levels of government." - William Colby, former CIA Director, 1995

    So why would the cartels like a war with Mexico? To increase profits? Or perhaps domestic growers want to reduce the competition from Mexico.

    Very little is as obvious as it seems.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Phil Childers · 8 years ago
    So why would the cartels like a war with Mexico? To increase profits? Or perhaps domestic growers want to reduce the competition from Mexico.

    Very little is as obvious as it seems.

    Are you an idiot? the cartels are already AT war with mexico - its the US they havent' attacked too much, yet! OMG you are one of those guys that supports the war on drugs - are you happy our goverment has made it possible for these guys to become the richest men in the world, or did you miss the article in times where the leader of one of the cartels, one of the richest men in the world, actually thanked obama for keeping up the attack on medical marijuana - keeps the profits up for him!!! Get with it people, get a mind of your own!!
    • This commment is unpublished.
      M. Simon · 8 years ago
      Uh. You didn't get my point. The profits of the cartels DEPENDS on their war. And why wouldn't American growers want a war with Mexican growers? The Zetas are aligned with government forces in Mexico - to reduce the competition from OTHER cartels. Why wouldn't American growers want similar "protection"?
  • This commment is unpublished.
    chaszman · 8 years ago
    "We have got to decide what is important to America", says the always pompous windbag.
    The United States exists to protect the individual liberty of American Citizens, and their property rights. Efforts to place other priorities than the security of the United States, and its unquestioned sovereignty, on the US government is to assert that non-Americans have a competing claim on the services provided and paid for by United States citizens. This is exactly what McCaffrey and his ilk assert.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Dr. G. Patino MD., · 8 years ago
      I agree, however the world is a different place than it was 50 years ago. It is now so inter-twined economically in a global manner; that if the mango fields in Mexico have a drought, it affects the bottom line of grocers in New York and Texas. That is why you can no longer only view the USA as the protector of Individual Liberty for American Citizens. When the USA took their place as watchdogs and security for the world... your thinking and ideals must also adapt...

      Dr. Gp.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Roger Dane · 8 years ago
    For those who actually wonder about a 'free drug' society or decriminalizing drugs in America, and are willing to investigate, read these few links. It has been tried (in America and elsewhere), it was a GIGANTIC failure on all fronts. Drugs destroy the users and ...well just read the links. Some will never change their minds.. fine. But for those who WANT to know - and taxes? Ha! For every $1 of taxes collected from the sale of tobacco and alcohol, we incur $9 in state and federal health-care, criminal justice and social-service costs. Imagine the cost regarding drug use?




    • This commment is unpublished.
      M. Simon · 8 years ago
      Yes. Legal drugs have been tried in the US. And there was little harm from it until the prohibition of opiates and cocaine in 1914 and marijuana in 1937.

      How did the Republic survive with heroin an OVER THE COUNTER DRUG for 20 or 30 years? Why didn't the nation turn into a nation of heroin addicts?

      Why have opiate use rates remained in the 2% range since before prohibition?

      People in chronic pain chronically take pain relievers. If you are not in pain opiates are rather unpleasant drugs. And the pain that is most prevalent for illegal opiate use is PTSD from child abuse. Look up "Dr. Lonnie Shavelson Heroin" for more on that.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Phil Childers · 8 years ago
      Now try drugsense.org and get the truth, not the governments doctored up versions in the above papers. You kill me, sir. hhats right, they caused no harm until prohibition and thats because then they became ILLEGAL!!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Phil Childers · 8 years ago
    Because american growers, bro, if they are american, aren't out to kill, use forced labor or any of the other methods the mexicans use. Where have you been, most American growers won't touch or come near anthing to do with the mexican mafia - once your in you are in for life and no profits for you they all go to el jefe, bro. Know something about the subject before you spout rubbish - the emerald triangle for years has kept OUT the mafia at least from getting a foothold in their area! American pot growers are not even close to their mexican counterparts, dude. All the mexicans use the profits for marijuana to make more meth, cocaine and heroin and ship it across - the profit margins are way higher with meth, especially for them. You probably believed Anslinger about black people raping white women 4 days after smoking pot - yeah, I'm still tripping on how something like that can still stand in our laws, ridiculous!
    • This commment is unpublished.
      M. Simon · 8 years ago
      But American growers - specifically the Emerald Triangle growers - voted to keep pot illegal. Why? Well if it was legal prices would be much lower. It was openly discussed in the Mendocino and Humboldt County papers during the run up to Prop 19.

      American growers do not have clean hands my friend.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    13times · 8 years ago
    Latino drug cartel growers have displaced the old hippy growers in the northern Sierra Nevada mountains. I've seen both abandoned growing locations and growers.
    Here is one specific location.

    Plumas National Forest, western slope, highway 162, forestry road D60, Little North Fork Campground.


    I was menaced by very aggressive Latino growers not far from the camping location.

    Casual campers will never find this site, its in a semi remote location and only locals or gold panners are aware that it even exists. And pot growers.

    The growers take a camp spot and setup a tent and place a few items on the picnic table then leave the camp as it is and hike to the grow location. They camp at the pot farm for about 4/5 days. After 5 days are up they return to little north fork campground, pack their gear and are replaced with a fresh crew by the next day.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Phil Childers · 8 years ago
    Mr. Simon, if you knew anything about the people involved you would realize the two groups are night and day apart! 90% or better americans grow organically, friendly to the environment, etc., so forth and so on - its the illegals that rip up forests and leave trash and freaking chemicals all over, polluting streams, etc., and resorting to violence. The reasons prop 19 didn't passs is because of the taxes and the worry that marlboro would come in and take over - thats why it didn't pass, coming from someone who's intimately involved. American's have always had respect for the land, people around them - it's the cartel ops that steal power, use chemicals to speed harvests, and generally use illegal labor to rig houses, etc. leaving hazards and all the other crap you read about. I've been in and around this scene since I was 13 and I know what I am talking about. NorCal, I couldn't agree more - why it needs to be legalized now, no more stupidity and lies by uncle sam.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Kurt Olney · 8 years ago
    Economically, politically, the United States has lost the War with Mexico and with other Central American and Northern South American countries. I lived in Encinitas California in the 1980's and I saw the door opened wide by the Regan-Kennedy Amnesty. Amnesty was granted but no funding was made for the other part of the bill--enforcement. A lot of South of the border miscreants/criminals embedded in this country. A house next to mine became a drop house for drugs, human smuggling and prostitution. The neighborhood became the "wild west!" Local police said they could do nothing. Immigration said they had no resources to control the problem. An FBI agent was horrified, sympathetic, but could do nothing. This McCaffrey story is so far behind the curve it is sickening.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Phil Childers · 8 years ago
      [quote name="Kurt Olney"]Economically, politically, the United States has lost the War with Mexico and with other Central American and Northern South American countries. I lived in Encinitas California in the 1980's and I saw the door opened wide by the Regan-Kennedy Amnesty. Amnesty was granted but no funding was made for the other part of the bill--enforcement. A lot of South of the border miscreants/criminals embedded in this country. A house next to mine became a drop house for drugs, human smuggling and prostitution. The neighborhood became the "wild west!" Local police said they could do nothing. Immigration said they had no resources to control the problem. An FBI agent was horrified, sympathetic, but could do nothing. This McCaffrey story is so far behind the curve it is sickening.[/quote]
      exactly - because of the war on drugs - what a success thats been, right!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Marion · 1 years ago
    Use your Steam Wallet when checking out.

    my site - steam free
    codes: https://paulscorner.puzl.com

Reader support is crucial to this mission. Weekly or monthly recurring ‘subscription’ based support is the best, though all are greatly appreciated.  Recurring and one-time gifts are available through PayPal or Authorize.net.



Quick link to Paypal.me

PayPal me donate 300x300


To support using Venmo, send to:

My BitCoin QR Code

Use the QR code for BitCoin apps:


Or click the link below to help support the next dispatch with bitcoins: