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2011 - BobPrice.com Brings You...

April 22, 2018

Archives for 2011

Rep. Ted Poe on Rogue Fast & Furious Program – It’s Nonsense

Fast & Furious... It's Nonsense

This is a follow-up story about the murder of Brian Terry.  In December of 2010, US Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was murdered by a gang of Mexican banditos. Two of the weapons involved in the shooting were learned to have come from a federal program called “Operation Fast & Furious”.  Recently the House Judiciary Committee under the leadership of Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) held a hearing to receive testimony from US Attorney General (AG) Eric Holder as to the Justice Department’s involvement in this operation.  Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX) is a member of that committee and recently sat down with me to discuss this and other matters related to Border Security and Illegal Immigration.

I asked Congressman Poe about his impressions of AG Holder during the hearings.  Poe said, “The more I learned from AG Holder, the more I was concerned, and am concerned about this entire operation.”  He continued, “The idea that the United States would smuggle automatic weapons to our neighbor, Mexico; give them to the drug cartels, the enemy of Mexico and the United States, 2000 weapons most of which are unaccounted for, it’s nonsense.”

Congressman Ted Poe discusses Operation Fast & Furious with Bob Price.


Poe stated that 200 Mexicans have died and at least 2 American law enforcement have died because of this operation.

The second thing that Holder said that surprised Poe was, “More people are going to die.”  Poe said, “That’s awful!”

The third thing Poe said was, “I asked him, who was in charge of this operation?” Holder’s answer – “I don’t know!”  Poe said that answer was preposterous.

Poe went on to say, “If he (Holder) didn’t know who was in charge, is there a rogue operation going on in the Justice Department?”  If there is some “rogue operation” going on, why has the Justice Department been unable to figure that out?

Video Interview with Congressman Ted Poe

I asked Poe if the AG testified under oath. He informed me that while Holder was not “sworn in” before the hearing, part of the agreement to testify makes it clear that the testimony was under potential of perjury.  Poe expressed dissatisfaction with Holder’s reluctance to give up any of his direct correspondence related to Fast & Furious.  He assured me, “We will get the documents!”

Poe said Holder should resign and President Obama should appoint a special prosecutor to completely investigate this operation.  I asked Poe about other’s calling for impeachment of the AG. He said that impeachment would take too long, citing next year’s elections.  He went on to say the Senate would never convict anyway.  If Obama does not appoint a special prosecutor, Poe felt certain a new president would in 2013.

Congressman Ted Poe

I asked Poe what he learned that he did not know before the hearing.  He expressed that he was surprised to learn that Mexico did know part of the operation but not the entire operation.  Poe asked Holder during the hearing, “Would you agree this was reckless conduct on the part of the part of the Justice Department?”  Holder replied, “Yes, I would agree that it was reckless.”  Poe pointed out that under Texas law; reckless conduct that resulted in the death of another peron is manslaughter at which point Holder backed away from his comment.

We went on to discuss the family of Agent Terry and their desire to see justice done. We talked about how the over aggressive prosecution of Border Patrol agents, like Agent Jesus Diaz, might have led to hesitation in response by Border Patrol Agents leading to their deaths.

And finally, we wrapped up the interview following up on our previous discussion about Congressman Poe’s bill on border security that would place 10,000 National Guard troops along the border, under the direction of border state governors but paid for by the federal government.  He told me this bill is still in committee and they plan on moving it forward next year.

At one point in the interview, Poe mentioned Holder’s reputation for not reading legislation citing the AG’s failure to read the Arizona 1070 bill prior to filing suit against the state of Arizona and even before testifying before Congress on the matter. Here is a video of that exchange between Poe and the AG.

We left this interview knowing we have much more to discuss. As the Congressional investigation continues, I will check back in with the Congressman to bring you updates on the progress of the investigation. If you have questions you would like me to ask the Congressman on this matter, please reply in the comments below and I will bring them up in our next interview.

Related Materials on Fast & Furious and Agent Brian Terry

More Interviews with Congressman Ted Poe

Confusion Reigns in Texas Redistricting while Lana Shadwick Files for Judge of the 179th Criminal District Court

Lana Shadwick Files for the 179th Criminal District Court

Texas Redistricting is a mess. No one seems to know which end is up when it comes to when and where to file. Maybe even what race to file for. Amidst all this chaos, one thing is clear – Judge Lana Shadwick has filed for the Republican nomination for Judge of the 179th Criminal District Court in the Harris County Republican Primary. During an informal filing ceremony, Judge Shadwick was joined by members of her family and volunteers from the campaign as she filed her forms, submitted petitions and paid her filing fee.

Shadwick’s campaign, now officially underway, has already garnered county wide support from key Harris County Republicans. She has earned the endorsements of leaders like former Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector Paul Bettencourt and County Judge Robert Eckels, State Representative Debbie Riddle, District Clerk Chris Daniels, County Treasurer Orlando Sanchez, Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector Don Sumners, Constable Ron Hickman and many others… She has been endorsed by recognized conservative legal scholars like retired Justices Paul Pressler (Fourteenth Court of Appeals) and Tim Taft (First Court of Appeals). Shadwick has been endorsed by over 175 of the party’s precinct chairs, senate district chairs, SREC members, grass roots activists and Tea Party members of Harris County.

Shadwick signs filing forms under the watchful eyes of her parents, volunteers and the images of Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. On the wall behind the group are former chairs of the Harris County Republican Party including former Chairman and US President George H. W. Bush.

Shadwick’s conservative credentials cover 35 years of Republican political history. “My parents are conservative and have always voted Republican. In 1976, I asked my father who to vote for when casting my first vote at age eighteen. He told me to vote for the Republican presidential nominee, President Gerald R. Ford.”  Shadwick comes from a background of solid family values.  Her parents, Bobby and Joyce Shannon, have been married for 58 years and have attended Pastor John Morgan’s Sagemont Church since 1969.  Bobby Shannon also passed along his interest in firearms and the 2nd Amendment to his daughter, teaching her to shoot in her early years. Mr. Shannon has been a “Life Member” of the National Rifle Association for fifty years.

Bobby & Joyce Shannon with their daughter Lana Shadwick

Her parents said, “We are very proud of Lana. She has worked hard all her life to get to this point.  Her life experiences and education bring her unique qualifications to serve in this position of great public trust.” They continued, “Lana has always excelled at everything she does.  She will make an outstanding criminal court judge.”

Shadwick currently works in the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. However, being a judge is not about being a second prosecutor in the room.  A judge must administer justice, not prosecute the law. Her prior experience as a Houston Municipal Court Associate Judge and a Harris County Family Court Associate Judge has taught her how to weigh the law fairly and firmly.  She understands the adversarial role of our judicial system and the judge’s position as an umpire.  She has managed large case loads and court staffs.  And most importantly, as an appellate attorney in the District Attorney’s Office, Shadwick understands how to avoid many types of errors judges can make leading to reversal on appeal. Visit her website for a complete review of her qualifications.

Shadwick poses with the images of two of her heros, Presidents Ronald Reagan (for whom her daughter Reagan is named) and George W. Bush.

Shadwick brings the voters of Harris County a clear choice.  She brings a broad base of experience and knowledge for making the life altering decisions a felony criminal judge must make. She has a judicial temperament that will establish confidence that justice will be served.

Shadwick’s campaign is moving strong across Harris County as chronicled on her website and Facebook page.  She was recently featured on TexasGOPVote in its “Voice of the Conservative Vote” segment.

Fiscal Conservative Lana Shadwick signs her filing papers with an inexpensive stick pen!

As you can tell, the filing event was a lot of fun. But running a campaign is very hard work and demands much personal sacrifice. The election of judges affect the lives of many people.  You must now decide who will represent you on the bench.  Get informed.  Be involved.  Vote!

Lana Shadwick will return to the bench and be an outstanding criminal court judge for the State of Texas and the people of Harris County.  I am proud to share her story with you and give her my personal endorsement in this race.

Johnny Sutton Sends Yet Another USBP Agent to Prison – Free Jesus Diaz

USBP Agent Jesus Diaz

When my good friend, Gary Brugman, called me a couple of months ago to tell me that the reign of terror against US Border Patrol Agents by now formerly (thankfully) US Attorney Johnny Suttonwas not yet over, I was stunned.  It seems that Mr. Sutton had to kick one more border patrol agent in the teeth on his way out the door.

For those not up to speed, US Attorney Sutton (aka Johnny Satin) made a habit during his tenure as the US Attorney for the Western District of Texas, of persecuting US Border Patrol agents for doing their jobs while rewarding drug dealers with get out of jail free cards and US visas. The most famous of these cases involved US Border Patrol Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean. One of the best things that happened when Barrack Obama took office was, Johnny Sutton was replaced.  Ramos and Compean were finally released after then President George W. Bush reluctantly commuted their sentences.

Bob Price with Former US Border Patrol Agent Ignacio Ramos

However, on his way out the door, he found one more agent to go after. That being US Border Patrol Agent Jesus Diaz.  Once again, it appears that Jesus Diaz was simply doing his job.  He had arrested a drug smuggling illegal immigrant.  He had the suspect on the ground and handcuffed him.  As he was lifting the suspect to his feet to take him to his vehicle, the suspect tensed up. This is recognized by police officers that a suspect is about to resist or attempt to flee.  Agent Diaz exercised a control method used by police officers and federal agents across the country.  He grabbed the handcuffs and lifted the suspect’s hands upwards.  This is uncomfortable, but does not cause injury. It also quickly returns the suspect to a position of submission.

There was no further resistance by the suspect and he was then loaded into the vehicle and transported to the jail for processing.  Upon arrival, he was inspected and no injuries of any kind were found. There was no bruising and the suspect did not complain of mistreatment.

This case received national attention after Houston Radio Host, Joe Pagsinterviewed the wife of Agent Diaz, US Border Patrol Agent Diana Diaz.  Please listen to the details of this case from her.

Later, as has been the case in many of these persecutions, a complaint was filed.  The case was investigated by the US Border Patrol Inspector General and it was determined there was no violation.

US Atty Johnny Sutton

Enter Johnny Sutton.  Mr. Sutton takes over the investigation and starts a new prosecution.  This is about the time he is replaced as US Attorney, but the case proceeded anyway and Agent Diaz was convicted and sentenced to prison.  During the investigation and trial, Agent Diaz was not allowed bail and was kept in solitary confinement. His drug smuggling accuser was released from his charges and given a US visa enabling him to freely cross the border.

For the past several months, Agent Diaz has been held in solitary confinement in south Texas. His wife, also a Border Patrol Agent, was allowed to visit him on a weekly basis. Yesterday, she showed up at the prison for her weekly visit to find out that her husband was no longer located at this facility.  He had been moved and she had been given no notification of the move.

After much investigation, she learned that he has been temporarily moved to facility in Oklahoma.  He is to be moved from there to an undisclosed location.

This move took place about the same time that World Net Daily started a petition to free Agent Diaz. I encourage everyone reading this post to visit WND, read the story and sign the petition. WND has also learned the Obama Administration is attempting to place a gag order on thier coverage of this story! No surprise that Obama would seek to stop free speech and a free press.

USBP Agent Brian Terry

How does it come to pass that our justice department continues to persecute our law enforcement agents while rewarding criminals.  This is the same Justice Department that put thousands of weapons in the hands of drug cartels under operationFast and Furious leading to the death of US Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.  What is wrong with our country and our priorities.  How can we expect our Border Patrol to secure the border when they are regularly persecuted for doing their jobs?  I thought it would stop when Johnny Sutton was replaced.  But he just had to get one more in on his way out the door.  Johnny Sutton should be thuroughly investigated to see what kind of corruption leads a man to these horrible decisions.

I have discussed this incident with Congressman Ted Poe and he assured me he will look into this matter as he did the incidents involving prior persecutions.

You might wonder, “What is Johnny Sutton up to these days, now that he can’t kick Border Patrol Agents to the ground anymore?”   Glad you asked

Here’s a new recruiting slogan for the US Border Patrol…  “Come patrol our borders and if we don’t get you killed, we will put your butt in jail!”  It is passed time for this nonsense to stop.  Write your Congressman today and demand an investigation into the Jesus Diaz case right away!

Religious Freedom Reigns Supreme at Houston VA Cemetery

Religious freedom was affirmed once again at the Houston VA Cemetery as US District Court Judge Lynn Hughes signed off on an agreement between Houston veterans and volunteer groups and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

The groups had accused the VA of religious censorship through the banning of the words Jesus and God from burial services at the Houston National Cemetery. For more background on these allegations, click here.

Steve MuroThis agreement preserves VA policy that families’ wishes are paramount when their loved ones – our nation’s heroes – are laid to rest,” Steve Muro, VA’s undersecretary for memorial affairs, said in a prepared statement“This agreement respects the important principle that the family’s wishes for religious observances at the committal services must be honored, which VA has fought to protect from day one.

Many would dispute that point as Houston National Cemetery Director Arleen Ocasio went out of her way to interfere with the religious wishes of family members of our fallen heroes.

Congressman John Culberson

Congressman John Culberson (R-TX) had previously gone undercover and found that the Obama Administration and the Department of Veteran Affairs are not being honest with the American people. Congressman Culberson went undercover on July 8th, 2011 at the Houston National Cemetery and he says, “Right in front of me, the VA directly and deliberately attempted to prevent the VFW from doing their magnificent, spiritual ritual over the grave of this fallen hero.” Click here to listen to his story.

After the agreement was settled, Culberson had this to say, “I am glad the lawsuit is over and grateful that Judge Lynn Hughes has ordered the VA to stop interfering with our veterans’ funerals. It is deeply disappointing that it took a lawsuit to force the VA to do the right thing. I plan to change the law to ensure that the federal government cannot interfere with our veterans’ funerals, and I will also work to have Arlene Ocasio removed. Under her direction, the cemetery chapel was closed and used for storage, and she has repeatedly prevented prayers from being said over the graves of our veterans.”

Under the agreement, the local members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars District 4 and Houston National Memorial Ladies will resign from their positions as official VA volunteers and will be able to, as private citizens, provide their own texts of recitations to funeral homes for the use by Veteran’s families as they choose.

Judge Lana ShadwickJudge Lana Shadwick, candidate for the 179th Criminal District Court said, “This agreement restores the rights of the families of our honored veterans to practice their religious freedom at our National Cemetery without interference from the government.”  Shadwick continued, “Freedom of Religion is the foundation of our 1st Amendment rights. These rights must be protected at all times and government officials should not ever be allowed to practice censorship of religious services.”

The agreement also states the VA agrees “Not to ban, regulate or otherwise interfere with prayers, recitations, or words of religious expression absent family objections”.  The agreement allows families of fallen veterans to hold services with any religious or secular content they want.

Pastor Dave WelchHouston Area Pastor’s Council Executive Director, Dave Welch had this to say about the decision, “We applaud the outstanding legal work performed by Liberty Institute on behalf of not only the plaintiff organizations but on behalf of all of us. The egregious violations of First Amendment religious and speech freedoms by the VA via Ms. Ocasio were an affront to every person buried at the National Cemetery and the sacrifice of their families. The good news is that the Consent Decree by U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes assures that these freedoms will be protected in the future in Houston; the reality is that the national VA policies toward religious expression still reflect a growing hostility that is rampant in our federal government. This battle was won, however there is still a war and we must press forward on land, sea and air to return our nation to reverence of our Judeo-Christian foundations and faith.”

Director Ocassio had converted the long-used chapel into a storage room/meeting facility. The agreement calls for the Bible, cross and Star of David to be returned to the chapel, and that the chapel will no longer be referred to as a “meeting facility”. The Bible, cross and star will be visible in the chapel and available to the families for their use.

The agreement does not agree with the disposition of demands for the resignation or termination by protesters of Director Ocassio.  The VA referred to this as “an internal matter”.  Shouldn’t the public have the right to know what will happen with her?

This is a victory for religious freedom in America and for the 1st Amendment’s protection of the rights of the individual from governmental censorship.

Herman Cain Addresses Clear Lake Tea Party – Tells Crowd “Stay informed! Stupid people are ruining America”

Herman Cain addresses over 3,000 Conservative voters at the Clear Lake Tea Party Rally on October 25th, 2011. He addressed foreign policy, rebuilding the economy, rebuilding the tax code, energy independence, illegal immigration and national security.

After asking the Tea Party members to stay informed, Cain boldly said “Stupid people are ruining America.” The audience of Tea Party members responded with a loud ovation indicating their approval of his message.

Cain opened his remarks at the rally by praising Tea Party Patriots as people that “love the United States of America.” He said, “The tragedy of life does not lie in not reaching your goals. The tragedy lies in not having goals to reach for.” He continued, “The American Dream has been hijacked. But the good news is “We can take it back!”

Following is Cain’s entire message to the Clear Lake Tea Party:

Cain defined several crises for America. “We have an economic crisis, an entitlement spending crisis, a energy crisis, an illegal immigration crisis, a moral crisis, and a foggy foreign policy crisis.” He said, “The biggest crisis we have is a severe deficiency of leadership in the White House!”

Cain’s remarks played well to the large crowd gathered to hear a variety of speakers and candidates for office. Other speakers that evening included US Senate candidate, Lela Pittenger, candidate for US House CD 14 Robert Gonzales, candidate for US House CD 24 Heidi Thiess, Texas House District 129 candidate Mary Huls and the founder of Raging Elephants, Apostle Claver.

TexasGOPVote previously reported Herman Cain will next be in the Houston area on November 5 where he will debate fellow candidate and former Speaker of the US House of Representatives Newt Gingrich. The debate is sponsored by the Texas Patriots PAC and will be held at The Woodlands Resort and Conference Center. This event promises to bring an hour and a half of meaningful discussion of important issues facing our nation.

 

Update – Herman Cain Reverses Pro-Choice Comments

Herman Cain attempted to reverse his pro-choice statements made on the Piers Morgan Tonight Show. Controversy arose after Cain said what many, including this author, believed to be “Pro-Choice” comments about the family’s right to choose abortion over adoption. Cain appeared on Fox New Channel with Martha MacCallum.  MacCallum restated that Cain’s previous statements appeared to be “Pro-Choice”.

Cain now states that abortion should be illegal and that families would then have to choose to break the law. This completely reverses his comment on CNN where he said, “… it is not the government’s role – or anybody else’s role – to make that decision.” He went on to say, “So, what I am saying is, it ultimately gets down to a choice that family or that mother has to make. Not me as president. Not some politician. Not a bureaucrat.” He was not talking about making a choice to break the law because changing the law was never discussed in this conversation.

Here is what Cain says now.

In this video Cain says he, as president, would change the law to make abortion illegal and that the family or the mother would then choose to break the law.

Clearly this is a 180 degree change from the previous comments.  So, is this rehearsed response the real Herman Cain?  Or, were the impromptu comments on CNN more reflective of the real Herman Cain?

Are you satisfied with his remarks at this point?  Would Herman Cain actively seek to overturn Roe v. Wade and make abortion illegal in all 50 states?  Does this statement really counteract or clarify the previous comments?  What do you think?

Herman Cain Tells Piers Morgan He is Pro-Choice on the Subject of Abortion

One thing for sure about roller coasters. They bring you up quickly and then they send you right back to the bottom! Herman Cain has been riding that rickety roller coaster right to the top of the GOP polls recently. But a recent appearance on CNN’s Piers Morgan may send him spiraling to the bottom like a plane missing one wing. The wing Cain is missing will be the Pro-Life Wing of the Republican party as Cain clearly stated that he is pro-choice when it comes to the government’s role in abortion.

UPDATE:  See Cain’s reversal on this position.

Cain stated that he is against abortion and would even be against it if it involved a pregnancy caused to a family member by a rape. However, when it comes to people outside his family, it is Katy bar the door, wide-open Pro-Choice.

Here is what Cain told Morgan… “No, it comes down to is, it’s not the government’s role — or anybody else’s role — to make that decision. Secondly, if you look at the statistical incidents, you’re not talking about that big a number. So what I’m saying is, it ultimately gets down to a choice that that family or that mother has to make. Not me as president. Not some politician. Not a bureaucrat. It gets down to that family. And whatever they decide, they decide. I shouldn’t try to tell them what decision to make for such a sensitive decision.”

Herman Cain will be in Houston next Tuesday at the Clear Lake Tea Party Rally… If I have the opportunity, I will ask him the direct question.  Mr. Cain, do you believe the government has the right to protect life? What do you think he will say?

Senator Hutchison Responds to Letter about Greenhouse Gas Regulations Under Clean Air Act

Wednesday I wrote to Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) about the implementation of Greenhouse Gas Regulations under the Clean Air Act. I wrote the letter using a tool provided by the National Write Your Congressman (NWYC) organization. The letter also went to Senator Cornyn and Congressman Culberson.

Following is the information I received from NWYC that prompted my letter to my members of Congress:

EPA Greenhouse Gas Regulations

The U.S. House passed (255-172) legislation that would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from regulating the emission of greenhouse gases to address climate change. The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.

For Stopping the EPA Regulations:  Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI)

“This is the same debate we had last year when both Congress and the American people soundly rejected the cap-and-trade regulatory scheme. The rules supported by EPA seek the same ends as cap-and-trade and are no less costly in terms of lost American jobs and higher energy prices. Left unchecked, EPA’s actions would have a devastating impact o


Against Stopping the EPA Regulations: Rep. Doris Matsui (D-CA)
n jobs, U.S. competitiveness, and domestic energy prices. …Families and small business owners have struggled and sacrificed long enough. They will not stand by as a group of unelected bureaucrats indefinitely prolong our economic recovery. …[H.R.910] simply prevents EPA from using the Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gases, an intention that Congress explicitly rejected…in 1990.”

Climate change is, unfortunately, a fact, and the consensus among the scientific community is that it is being caused mainly because of human activities. The longer we continue to deny this, the worse off we will be. H.R. 910 would overturn the EPA’s 2009 endangerment finding that greenhouse gases are a threat to human’s health and well-being, and should thus be regulated under the Clean Air Act. …The truth is that our failure to act on climate change is certainly a threat to our economic recovery. Removing emission standards will not only affect our health and our environment, it will also harm our growing clean energy sector. … With our current economic climate, we cannot afford to pass legislation that takes our country, and our economy, backwards.

The EPA is exercising federal over-reach in its efforts to regulate these greenhouse gas regulations and they need to be stopped. Their efforts will discourage investment in energy resources our country needs and will result in more loss of high paying jobs.

Here is Senator Hutchison’s response to my letter.

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison

“Thank you for contacting me regarding the implementation of greenhouse gas regulations under the Clean Air Act.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on December 23, 2010 its plans to impose costly greenhouse gas regulation on refineries. I believe this will hurt every American driver, trucker, farmer and flier with higher gasoline, diesel and jet fuel prices.

During the 111th Congress, one of the major agenda items for the administration was passing cap-and-trade legislation. The goal of the legislation was to increase the price of traditional forms of carbon-based energy, such as coal, gas and oil, so that consumers would respond by using less of it. The Senate refused to consider a bill that would financially burden Americans and kill energy-dependent jobs. With the EPA’s announcement, the administration has taken the unprecedented step of bypassing Congress with these backdoor regulations and is sending a clear message it intends to impose cap-and-trade on all Americans — one way or another.

The EPA’s backdoor climate regulations will drive up the cost of energy in America — and everyone will pay. Families, commuters, truckers, farmers, and fliers who are today facing significantly higher gas and diesel prices than last year, will be hit even harder with steep energy costs. Employers – especially manufacturers and producers of energy intensive products like glass, steel, cement, and transportation fuels – will also shoulder the burden of rising energy expenses. In response, they may be forced to lay off workers and pass on the higher costs to consumers. Farmers, facing higher production costs from more expensive fuel, could also face costly new regulations on their livestock and dairy production, as well as their application of fertilizer to their fields. All of this will raise the costs of food for our families.

On December 29, 2010, in response to the EPA plans against refineries, I sent a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson urging her to forgo the agency’s plans to regulate refinery greenhouse gases. These regulations will drive up the cost of energy in America — and everyone will pay.

I am also an original cosponsor of S. 482, the Energy Tax Prevention Act, introduced on March 3, 2011 by Senator James Inhofe (R-OK). This legislation would prohibit the EPA from enacting new regulations with regard to greenhouse gases and climate change. S. 482 has been referred to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, of which I am not a member. Should this legislation come before the full Senate, you may be certain it will have my continued support.

Protecting jobs in Texas, as well as across America, is my top priority. Keeping energy costs low for Americans is essential to stabilizing the economy. To help accomplish these imperatives, I will work with my colleagues to ensure Congress, not unelected bureaucrats, sets economic, regulatory and environmental policy.

I appreciate hearing from you, and I hope you will not hesitate to contact me on any issue that is important to you.”

Sincerely,

Kay Bailey Hutchison
United States Senator
284 Russell Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510
202-224-5922 (tel) 202-224-0776 (fax)
http://hutchison.senate.gov

The Texas Border is a War Zone – So Says Texas Ag Commissioner and Two Army Generals

The Texas Border is a war zone. Despite sarcastic jokes and comments from the Department of Homeland Security and President Obama, thousands of people are being killed. Kidnapping, rape and assaults are commonplace throughout the region. While the violence is mostly contained south of the border, the war zone is impacting the lives of residents and ranchers who live and work in South Texas as well as other residents of Texas and the United States. This week, Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples unveiled a 182 page report titled, TEXAS BORDER SECURITY: A Strategic Military Assessment.

Commissioner Todd Staples

Commissioner Staples commissioned the report from military experts, Retired Army General Barry McCaffrey and Retired Army Major General Robert Scales, PhD.  Gen. McCaffrey serves as a national security and terrorism analyst for NBC News and was the former Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. Prior to that he was the Commander-in-Chief of US Armed Forces Southern Command.  Maj. Gen. Scales earned the Silver Star during the infamous Vietnam War battle “Hamburger Hill”.  He served in serveral command and staff positions and ended his military career as Commandant of the US Army War College.

The following video introduces the report. This is perhaps the most detailed assessment of the activities of the NARCO Terrorist Drug Cartels ever released to the public. The intent is not to alarm, but rather to raise the awareness of the public to a problem that is vastly under-reported by the main stream media and the Obama Administration.

 

Following is the Executive Summary of the report.  In the following weeks, TexasGOPVote will bring more detailed reports on this topic including key interviews with Texas officials who are directly involved in protecting the citizens of Texas.


TEXAS BORDER SECURITY: A Strategic Military Assessment


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

During the past two years the state of Texas has become increasingly threatened by the spread of Mexican cartel organized crime. The threat reflects a change in the strategic intent of the cartels to move their operations into the United States. In effect, the cartels seek to create a “sanitary zone” inside the Texas border — one county deep — that will provide sanctuary from Mexican law enforcement and, at the same time, enable the cartels to transform Texas’ border counties into narcotics transshipment points for continued transport and distribution into the continental United States. To achieve their objectives the cartels are relying increasingly on organized gangs to provide expendable and unaccountable manpower to do their dirty work. These gangs are recruited on the streets of Texas cities and inside Texas prisons by top-tier gangs who work in conjunction with the cartels.

Strategic, Operational and Tactical Levels of Conflict

The authors of this report, both retired senior military executives bring more than 80 years of military and governmental service to their perspective on Texas border security viewed in terms of the classic levels of conflict:strategic, operational and tactical.

Strategic

America’s fight against narco-terrorism, when viewed at the strategic level, takes on the classic trappings of a real war. Crime, gangs and terrorism have converged in such a way that they form a collective threat to the national security of the United States. America is being assaulted not just from across our southern border but from across the hemisphere and beyond. All of Central and South America have become an interconnected source of violence and terrorism. Drug cartels exploit porous borders using all the traditional elements of military force, including command and control, logistics, intelligence, information operations and the application of increasingly deadly firepower. The intention is to increasingly bring governments at all levels throughout the Americas under the influence of international cartels.

Operational

In the United States the operational level of the campaign against cartel terrorism is manifested at the state. Texas has become critical terrain and operational ground zero in the cartel’s effort to expand into the United States. Texas has an expansive border with drug cartels controlling multiple shipping lanes into the state. Texas’ location as the geographic center of the U.S. allows for easier distribution of drugs and people. In effect, the fight for control of the border counties along the Rio Grande has become the operational center of gravity for the cartels and federal, state and local forces that oppose them.

Tactical

At the tactical level of war the cartels seek to gain advantage by exploiting the creases between U.S. federal and state border agencies, and the separation that exists between Mexican and American crime-fighting agencies. Border law enforcement and political officials are the tactical focal point. Sadly, the tactical level is poorly resourced and the most vulnerable to corruption by cartels. To win the tactical fight the counties must have augmentation, oversight and close support from operational and strategic forces. History has shown that a common border offers an enemy sanctuary zone and the opportunity to expand his battlespace in depth and complexity. Our border with Mexico is no exception. Criminality spawned in Mexico is spilling over into the United States. Texas is the tactical close combat zone and frontline in this conflict. Texans have been assaulted by cross-border gangs and narco-terrorist activities. In response, Texas has been the most aggressive and creative in confronting the threat of what has come to be a narco-terrorist military-style campaign being waged against them.

Texas as a Narco-Sanctuary

A successful sanctuary permits insurgents to move freely and operate on whichever side offers greater security. In a curious twist of irony, the more successful the Mexican military becomes in confronting the cartels, the greater likelihood that cartels will take the active fight into Texas as they compete against each other in the battle to control distribution territories and corridors Federal authorities are reluctant to admit to the increasing cross-border campaign by narcoterrorists. Until lately, denial has been facilitated by a dearth of evidence that an organized and substantial campaign exists inside Texas. Evidence collected for this report, principally from Texas border counties, reveals a palpable sense of frustration concerning the effectiveness of U.S. federal border operations.

Accounts of this violence, both data driven and anecdotal, compiled by federal agencies, Congressional testimony and the Texas Department of Agriculture underscores the daily activity and constant threat of a larger presence of narco-terrorists than previously thought. The Federal Department of Homeland Security (DHS) does not attribute many narco-crimes to the cartels. Many cross-border crimes are routinely not reported by border farmers and ranchers due to fear of retribution from cartels.

The cartel’s foot soldiers who fight the tactical battle in Texas are “transnational gang” members many of whom are drawn from prison gangs such as the Mexican Mafia, Texas Syndicate, Tango Blast, Barrio Azteca and others that formed in U.S. prisons for selfpreservation and protection from other gangs. These transnational gangs not only have continued to expand in Texas and the nation but constitute a very tightly knit network of cooperation and connectivity that has been growing between prison gangs and Mexican cartels.

Impact on Texans

Fear and anxiety levels among Texas farmers and ranchers have grown enormously during the past two years. Farmers, ranchers and other citizens in border communities are caught in the crossfire of escalating cross-border violence resulting in large part from conflicts between cartels, paramilitary enforcement groups and transnational gangs struggling for control of key drug and illegal alien smuggling routes into the U.S. from El Paso to Brownsville. Some Texas farmers and ranchers have even abandoned their livelihoods to move their families to safer ground.

Living and conducting business in a Texas border county is tantamount to living in a war zone in which civil authorities, law enforcement agencies as well as citizens are under attack around the clock. The Rio Grande River offers little solace to the echoes of gunshots and explosions. News of shootings, murders, kidnappings, beheadings, mass graves and other acts of violence coming across the border go far beyond any definition of “spillover violence.”

Texas Joins the War

Because Texas is the frontline in this conflict and because its citizens and institutions are most affected, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) has developed a comprehensive military-like operational campaign against narco-terrorists. This effort is still growing and changing in response to an adaptive and ruthless enemy that still harbors an intense desire to take its campaign into the United States. Five years of effort to curtail narco-terrorist intrusion has given the Texas DPS and its state and local partners enormous and hard-won experience in the art and science of fighting the southwest border war.

Beginning in 2006, Texas began a series of high-intensity, sequential, short-duration operations that resulted in crime reductions ranging from 25 percent to as high as 75 percent as smuggling operations decreased. Later, the state expanded and lengthened these operations by increasing the patrol presence along the Texas-Mexico border. Governor Perry was able to achieve this expansion of effort by leveraging various discretionary grants to increase local and state patrol capacity along the border through overtime payments and the purchase of communications and surveillance equipment as well as new vehicles and weapons. The governor also committed Texas military forces to support these operations.

To gain support from the citizenry, in 2007 the Texas Legislature created the Border Security Council (BSC) charged with advising the governor regarding the allocation of discretionary state homeland security funds. The BSC held a series of public hearings and received testimony from business owners, law enforcement officers, local elected officials and private citizens and then produced a comprehensive report and recommendations on border security issues for the governor and Texas Legislature.

Organization for Combat

BSOC-UCs/JOICs

The state of Texas organized for combat in a manner familiar to the military by creating six Unified Commands (UCs) each staffed with a Joint Operations and Intelligence Center (JOICs) located principally within Texas cities most threatened by cartel violence. This Texas effort, led by the Texas Rangers, is dependent on a cooperative relationship based not on command authority, but on a shared relationship, trust and commitment to work together.

This cooperative group of players is represented by federal, state, local and military components. The heart and operational engine of the Texas border security effort is located in Austin within the Border Security Operations Center (BSOC). All unified command and joint players intersect in a single facility administered by the Texas Ranger Division of the DPS. The BSOC collects and shares information from all state, local and federal agencies.

Six years of experience has produced a collaborative interagency network that has grown by establishing trust and confidence among network participants from strategic through tactical. The comity engendered through successful operation allows the BSOC team to chip away at bureaucratic cultures and mindsets. Such experience serves to generate interpersonal incentives and rewards selflessness and a commitment to collaborative behavior.

Years of experimentation and field operations have yielded a wealth of lessons learned as well as new materiel, tactics and doctrine unique to Texas but capable of being shared by other state and federal border security agencies. The BSOC operates using a statewide mapping system that graphically displays and shares with unified commands and federal agencies a crime map that includes all drug, cash and weapons seizures. It fuses information from other state and federal agencies. Texas has developed cheap and effective locally procured wildlife cameras linked to the Internet that are capable of passing images in real time to state authorities.

Texas Rangers Lead the Fight

The first principle of Texas border security operations is to empower local law enforcement. Soldiers often say that bad strategies cannot be salvaged by good tactics— but bad tactics can defeat a good strategy. This saying simply reinforces the truism that no national strategy that seeks to defeat narco-terrorism can be adequately confronted unless tactical units, such as local police and federal border security stations, are properly staffed, resourced, competent and well-led.

The Texas Rangers lead a cooperative program that brings together a ground, air and marine assault capability. Ranger Reconnaissance Teams are the tactical combat elements in the war against narco-terrorists. Each participating federal, state and local agency voluntarily adds its unique capabilities to the teams. The Texas Highway Patrol acts as an outer perimeter for the Rangers by funneling traffic toward Ranger border positions. Tactical contact teams, deploying along the Rio Grande in small, concealed positions, are able to respond immediately to intelligence from Autonomous Surveillance Platform (ASP) units, DPS and National Guard surveillance helicopters, as well as calls to UCs from local police or citizens. DPS Dive Teams conduct SONAR scans of the Rio Grande and assist in recovery of vehicles and contraband in splashdown areas.

Resources remain the greatest impediment to the expansion and continued success of the Rangers’ border war against the cartels. Budget cuts for DHS, its Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the United States Coast Guard USCG) have severely constrained the ability of Texas to rely on its federal partners and their resources to expand border operations.

A Successful System Under Threat

Years of collective effort by Texas law enforcement have yielded a remarkably flexible and efficient system of border protection that involves all levels of command from federal to local. This system is under threat not only by an increasingly ruthless and adaptive enemy but also by an increasingly diminished budget.

Without question, the future success of this effort will depend on the ability of the state of Texas, local and federal agencies to work together to expand their war against intrusion by cartels. The bottom line, however, is that while today Texas is the frontline in this escalating war, the potential consequences of success or failure will affect our entire nation. Thus, it is up to the nation to support Texas in its efforts to defeat this transnational criminal enterprise.

Recommendations

Communications and the Network:

A truly seamless joint effort between federal, state and local law enforcement cannot occur unless all of the players are connected by an integrated broadband system. Such a system must network all land, air and maritime communications systems. It also must be robust enough to connect the smallest border town police departments (with adequate cyber-security controls) to the most sophisticated national domestic intelligence networks. Only a consortium of federal and state and local resources can make such an expansive effort affordable and successful.

Operations:

The success of border operations by the Texas Rangers should serve as a template for the future. Federal border security agencies should continue to support and enhance the current joint operational framework established by the state of Texas and tactically implemented by the Texas Rangers. Reform at that operational level is dependent on bringing more “boots on the ground” to the fight for border security to include a greater participation by the National Guard under state control. All agencies involved should develop a framework and establish an alliance for integrated cross border planning, intelligence sharing, communications and synchronized operations. Such an effort must include all legal, procedural and policy changes necessary to break down bureaucratic, cultural and mind-set barriers that currently exist between front line local, state and federal participants.

Intelligence:

Reform of the border security intelligence system must begin with more sophisticated cross-border technical and human intelligence collection about the enemy coupled with the ability to offer a clearer digital picture of the battlefield to border tactical forces. Key to this effort must be a quantum improvement in the ability of the federal intelligence agencies to gather, analyze and disseminate actionable intelligence and information in real time with state and local law enforcement. Federal support is also needed to accelerate enhancement of the Department of Public Safety’s TxMAP system for Intelligence mapping and data base support.

Technology:

The state of Texas should develop a plan for Federal funding and participation in a “Joint Technology Development Center.” The creation of a joint Federal and state “skunk works” effort would combine federal financial and scientific research assets with the proven success of Texas’ efforts to apply off the shelf technologies to winning the battle for border security. Such an effort would focus on technologies to detect, track, assess, classify, interdict and prosecute criminals along the Southwest border region. Technological areas with the most promise include meshing networks, low cost un-manned ground sensors, ground surveillance radars, remote cameras, aerial platforms, thermal and night vision capabilities, command and control facilities, state of the art weapons and sighting systems as well as identification systems connected to dynamic and inclusive data bases.

Learning:

No amount of well-intended effort will completely eliminate the natural operational friction that exists between disparate federal, state and local agencies confronting these lethal and well-resourced Mexican criminal cartels. Decades of experience in fighting our nation’s foreign wars have shown time and again that reducing operational friction can best be achieved by a system that enhances shared awareness and mutual understanding. To this end, Texas should establish an effort that teaches all participants “how Texas border operations work.” The Texas effort would be based on proven joint military programs. The Texas and federal partners must bring together all participants into a single in-resident and virtual classroom to learn the detailed procedures, statutes, organizations, doctrine, tactical methods and rules of engagement. Faculty and funding would be shared by experienced operators from all levels of law enforcement, federal to local.

END OF SUMMARY

NOTE: This author will be providing additional information from this report as well as conducting exclusive interviews with some of the key members of the Texas Border Defense team. Please share this information with anyone concerned about the future of our country and the impact of narco-terrorism throughout out country.

It is Time for a Fast and Furious Impeachment…

Impeachment not Firings - Justice must be done!

As previously reported by this author, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (ATF, BATFE) have been involved in an ongoing criminal conspiracy covering up the circumstances that led to the death of US Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry last December. Senator Charles Grassley has been investigating this case almost since it surfaced. The DOJ has been lying to him and his staff and stonewalling their investigation, according to my sources.

Recently Sen. Grassley appeared “On the Record” with Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren. During the interview, Van Susteren refers to a letter from the Assistant Attorney General, Ronald Welch where he committed several lies to Sen. Grassley. I had previously included that letter in one of my articles earlier this year, and the letter is attached below (2 pages).

Page 1 of Weich Letter to Grassley

Page 2 of Weich Letter to Grassley

Watch Sen. Grassley as he confirms with Van Susteren that DOJ has and is lying to Congress and stonewalling the investigation into this horrible crime against our nation.

Clearly this operation was ordered from the highest levels of our government. The Obama Administration came to office with an agenda to create tougher gun control laws. Operation Fast & Furious was conceived to create the impression that lax gun laws were leading to supplying Mexican drug cartels with weapons. This, in their sick belief system, would then give the administration the “moral authority” to create restrictions on Americans’ Constitutional Right to own weapons.

The House Judiciary Committee under the leadership of Congressman Lamar Smith (R-TX) should immediately begin hearings into this matter. These hearings should lead to the impeachment of the Obama appointed cabinet members who have had direct oversight of this ongoing criminal enterprise. Those being Attorney General Eric Holder, Assistant Attorney General Ronald Welch, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and the Former ATF Director, Kenneth Melson who has been conveniently reassigned to take the spotlight off of him.

I must disagree strongly with Senator Grassley on one point. In the interview, Sen. Grassley says the individuals involved in this operation need to be fired. This is not correct. They need to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.