September 21, 2017

Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett Named to Trump’s SCOTUS Prospect List

Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett. Photo by Bob Price.

Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett. Photo by Bob Price.

Republican presidential presumptive nominee Donald Trump released a list of eleven jurists he would consider appointing to the U.S. Supreme Court, including Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett.

Trump released the names of 11 potential prospects he said he would consider picking from to fill the seat of the late Justice Antonin Scalia, the Associated Press reported on Wednesday.

The list also includes: Steven Colloton of Iowa, Allison Eid of Colorado and Raymond Gruender of Missouri, Thomas Hardiman of Pennsylvania, Raymond Kethledge of Michigan, Joan Larsen of Michigan, Thomas Lee of Utah, William Pryor of Alabama, David Stras of Minnesota, and Diane Sykes of Wisconsin.

The candidate previously said the list would include judges that “everybody respects, likes, and totally admires.” He promised the prospects would be great conservative judges, great intellects, the people that you want.”

Shortly after the death of Justice Scalia, Breitbart Texas’ Lana Shadwick wrote about Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s suggestion that Willett would be a great pick to fill the vacancy. The Texas governor called the Texas Supreme Court Justice, “A proven conservative who won’t rewrite law.”

Shadwick reported:

In July of 2015, Pulitzer Prize winning conservative newspaper political columnist George Will contrasted an opinion by Texas Supreme Court Justice Willett, with that of U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Roberts. The legal question posed by Will involved America’s natural rights tradition and the Ninth and Fourteenth Amendments’ affirmation of unenumerated rights.

After evaluating Willett’s legal analysis, and comparing it to the conclusion reached by Justice Roberts, George Will concluded in his column that “[t]he next Republican president” should simply say to his first U.S. Supreme Court nominee, “Welcome to Washington, Justice Willett.”

Prior to serving as legal counsel to then-Attorney General Abbott, Willett served as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the U.S. Department of Justice. He also served as a Special Assistant to the President at the White House, and was a lawyer in the Office of Governor George W. Bush.

Willett began his legal career as a law clerk at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and then as an associate with the respected law firm of Haynes and Boone. He graduated from Duke University School of Law with honors.

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated.

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas and is a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter@BobPriceBBTX.

This article was published originally on Breitbart Texas.

Drunk Driver Evades Arrest, Kills Prom Teen, Say Police

HOUSTON, Texas – A man believed to be driving drunk took police on a short but deadly chase as he reportedly blasted through a red light killing one teen and injuring another. The two teens had just left their high school prom only an hour or so before.

Police have filed felony evading and murder charges against Edin Palacios-Rodas after the man allegedly fled from police and crashed into a Dodge Charger being driven by a teenage driver who has not yet been identified, Houston Police Department Spokesman Kese Smith told Breitbart Texas in a phone interview. The crash resulted in the death of the 18-year-old teenage passenger and the serious injury of her driver, Moises Avila, also 18.

Officials with YES Prep North Central confirmed to KTRK ABC13 that the passenger who died at the scene of the crash was one of their students, Jocelyn Valero.

At this time, police officials have not reported on the accused killer’s nationality, citizenship, or whether the 27-year-old man had a driver license.

Smith told Breitbart Texas that a Houston DWI Task Force officer observed a pickup truck making a U-Turn about 1 a.m. on Saturday morning. During the turn the driver ran over the curb. The police officer initiated a traffic stop. Initially, the truck driven by Palacios slowed down and eventually stopped. When the officer stepped out of his vehicle, the pickup truck sped away.

A short, but high speed chase ensued which lasted for about 1-2 minutes, Smith said. The pursuit came to a stop as Rodriguez allegedly ran a traffic light on the feeder road and plowed into the Dodge Charger. The crash occurred on Houston’s North Freeway feeder road at the Tidwell intersection.

The driver of the pickup crawled out of his truck and attempted to flee, but Houston Police Officer Clark, HPD Special Operations Division, quickly took down the suspect, Scott Engle with the Harris County Police Reporter wrote.

Engle reported from the scene:

Clark tried to get to the victims of the vehicle but they were buried deep in the twisted metal. As other officers arrived they too were unable to access the two victims in the mangled Charger.

The first HFD (Houston Fire Department) Paramedic Supervisor arrived on the scene and determined the female in the passenger seat of the Charger was deceased. The male driver of the Charger was critical and wrapped in metal. Houston Ladder 67 arrived a short time later as crews worked almost fifteen minutes to free the driver of the Charger identified as Moises Avila, 18. Avilla was finally freed and transported to the hospital in critical condition.

Palacios-Rodas was transported to the hospital with minor injuries and released to police. Rodas-Palacios showed signs of intoxication.
In the driver’s seat was Jocelynn Valero, a young lady, dressed in her prom dress. She and Avilla had gone to the prom. They stopped at IHOP and were heading home.

“I just want to say the guy who killed my daughter, he has to pay for what he did,” Valero’s mother told ABC13. “There is a huge open wound in my family right now,” she says, “for my dear aunt and my dear uncle who have already lost…”

It was not the family’s first run-in with tragedy this year. Valero’s brother was shot and killed outside a nightclub about five weeks ago. Police are still investigating that crime and searching for the alleged killer.

Rodriguez received minor injuries and was also taken to a hospital where he was placed in custody.

Rodriguez has been charged with Capital Murder and Felony Evading Arrest and Detention according to court records obtained by Breitbart Texas. He may also be charged with Aggravated Assault with a Motor Vehicle in connection to Avila’s injuries.

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated.

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas and is a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter@BobPriceBBTX.

This article was originally published on BreitbartTexas.com.

Wave a Gun, Leave in a Bag, Says Texas Sheriff

A Texas county sheriff warned would-be robbers that if you come into his county waving a gun, you could leave in a bag. The comment came after a homeowner in his county used his gun to defend himself from a man attempting to rob him when he arrived at his home Wednesday evening.

The incident occurred in Fort Bend County located just southeast of Houston near the town of Richmond. The homeowner had just pulled into his driveway when the would-be robber approached him with a gun and demanded money.  The homeowner pulled out his own gun and stopped the robbery attempt by shooting the man twice, ABC13 in Houston reported.

Moments later, a neighbor took a photo of the homeowner, gun in hand, standing near the deceased robber. Witnesses reported a black truck with two people inside fleeing the scene after the shooting.

Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls told reporters it was a pretty “cut-and-dry case” of self-defense. Sheriff’s deputies recovered two guns at the scene – the homeowner’s and the robber’s.

“Don’t come into Fort Bend County and start waving guns around because you could leave in a bag,” Nehls told ABC13.

The sheriff appears to believe the robber came into Fort Bend County from neighboring Harris County (Houston).

“We just want to come home from work and spend time with our families,” the sheriff explained. “We don’t need thugs coming into this county to try to rob us of our possessions. So here’s my warning to criminals. You may want to go back to Harris County.”

The case is being investigated as an aggravated robbery, the sheriff said.

Fort Bend County District Attorney John Healey told Breitbart Texas in an interview on Thursday morning that Texas law allows you to “use deadly force when you reasonably believe the use of deadly force is necessary to protect yourself from a person committing an unlawful act against you who is also using or threatening to use deadly force.”

When asked if someone could take advantage of Texas self-defense laws to kill someone, Healy said, “A great deterrent against that is all of the people who review the evidence to determine if the shooting was reasonable. We have checks and balances that start with the responding police officer, and continue on to the law enforcement department’s review of the evidence, to a district attorney’s review and even a grand jury.”

“Common Texas horse sense will determine if the use of deadly force is reasonable,” the district attorney stated.

A neighbor of the homeowner told ABC13, “He did the right thing. People are ready to defend their homes.”

The robber, who died at the scene, was described as a Hispanic male in his twenties, KPRC NBC2 in Houston reported.

Following the shooting, the homeowner ran into his home where he lives with his two parents who are in their 80’s, the NBC affiliate reported. He then called 911 for assistance.

Another neighbor had no sympathy for the deceased robbery suspect. “I don’t feel sorry for him. I don’t feel sorry for him,” Nikia Smith told KPRC.

This is the second time in less than a week that a potential robbery victim used deadly force to stop the robber. On Saturday, a man in Galveston County walked up to a driver of a pick-up truck in a drive-thru line at a League City McDonald’s and demanded money. The driver, who had his young son with him, pulled his own gun and fired multiple shots at his assailant. That robber also died from his injuries.

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas and is a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter@BobPriceBBTX.

Texan with Concealed Handgun Stops Armed Robbery

HOUSTON, Texas – A Houston area man shot and killed an armed robber who was attempting to hold him and his young child at gunpoint. The man used a concealed handgun to stop the robbery and protect his son.

The incident happened on Saturday afternoon at a League City McDonald’s. The man and his child were in the drive-thru lane of the McDonald’s when another man approached their vehicle with a gun. Witnesses said it appeared the man was attempting to rob the man in the drive-thru, Fox26 Houston reported.

During the robbery attempt, the driver pulled out his concealed handgun and shot the assailant multiple times. The apparent robber was struck in the chest by the gunshots.

After being transported to Clear Lake Regional Medical, the suspected robber was pronounced dead.

The victim of the robbery was taken to the League City Police Department where he was questioned about the shooting, Galveston County Daily News’ Chacour Koop reported. The man is the holder of a Texas Handgun License.

Police told Coop neither the driver nor his 4-year-old son were injured during the incident. The child’s mother came to the scene and picked up the little boy while the father was being questioned.

The driver, whose identity has not yet been released, was released and was said to be home with his family. He was reported to be very upset about the shooting, ABC13’s Lauren Leereported.

The man’s attorney, Robert Pelton, told Lee his client was thankful to be alive and that his son was not hurt. “He was trying to get his son, protect his son and I think he obviously saw his chance then to defend himself because he was afraid he was going to get shot,” the Houston attorney explained.

Lee reported that the entire shooting was captured by a security video camera at a neighboring cell phone store.

A store employee, Vanessa Stanford also witnessed the shooting scene. “I looked over and a man was laying on the ground with another man aiming a gun at him. While he was lying on the ground,” she stated. “That’s immediately when I called 911 and told my customers get away from the wall and the windows.”

Pelton told Lee that his client was forced to shoot in self-defense. “I think he [the robbery victim] would want other citizens to know they have a right to protect themselves,” the attorney said. “You have to be cautious all the time, wherever you are.”

The shooting will be referred to a grand jury which should return a no-bill unless some currently unreported facts change the circumstances.

Under Texas law, your car is considered an extension of your home. The “castle doctrine” applies to drivers in their cars. The law also allows the use of deadly force if one reasonably believes they are in danger of death or serious bodily injury.

While the driver of the car has a Texas Handgun License, the license is not necessary to have a gun in the car.

In Texas a handgun can be carried by a non-licensed individual in the following places: (source: Texas Law Shield)

  • A person’s residence or other real property under their control.
  • A person’s private motor vehicle or watercraft if the handgun is concealed, and the person is legal to possess a firearm, is not a member of a street gang, and is not engaged in the commission of a crime greater than a Class C misdemeanor traffic or boating violation.
  • A person engaged in lawful fishing, hunting, or other sporting activity on the immediate premises where the activity is conducted, or is en route between the premises and the persons’ residence or motor vehicle, if the firearm is a type commonly used in the activity.

The incident occurred about 2:10 p.m. on Saturday in League City which is located southeast of Houston and is the home of the NASA Manned Spaceflight Center. The victim and his son were driving a Ford F-150 pick-up truck in the drive-thru lane of the McDonalds located at FM518 and State Highway 3.

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas and is a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter@BobPriceBBTX.

Originally published on Breitbart Texas

Racism – Discrimination and Fraud in Construction – “Mexican Cliques in Construction”

Ricardo Charles on Construction Site

Mexican Cliques in Construction, a book by thirty-year Hispanic carpenter Ricardo Charles, details a story of racism, fraud, discrimination and organized crime that is apparently running rampant in the construction industry of Texas. Mr. Charles’ story first came to my attention in a report fromHouston’s Fox 26 where I learned briefly about his allegations of corruption.

Reporter Greg Groogan asked Charles if black construction workers were welcome on construction sites in Texas. Charles said, “Oh no, blacks, they are out of the question. Blacks are out of the question. Nobody wants a black person in there.” Charles, a US Army Veteran, was speaking about what the “cliques” would say about blacks in the workforce. He said the same thing applies to whites.

Fox 26 News Story:

I next heard more in-depth information on this story on KTRH’s Michael Berry Show and became intrigued by how rampant and destructive the construction, as being alleged by Charles, appeared to be. Charles discussed bribery, kickbacks and outright fraud being perpetrated by these “cliques” and the complicity of contracting companies and construction companies.

As part of my continuing series on employee misclassification, I decided to meet with Mr. Charles and find out what his story is really all about.  What I found was a very credible man who is deeply concerned about an industry he loves, construction, and what is being done to destroy that industry in the name of greed and racism.

Ricardo Charles

I asked Mr. Charles how this situation developed. He told me, “Corruption has been going on inside the plants for many years, but today’s workforce comes with a culture of bribes. The Mexican culture of bribery makes it hard for ordinary citizens to be part of the workforce. However, these cliques help the employers by controlling the job sites by driving out ‘unwanted’ new workers. Anybody who disagrees with an unlawful act gets terminated.

The traditional way of hiring through human resources has changed. Corrupt supervisors and managers inside do the hiring and firing giving preference to relatives and friends who, on occasion, pay to obtain the job. The employee of choice is the one who can be manipulated and does not report criminal acts. Eventually these type of workers join the existing group adding more crime into the system.” Charles continued.

Over the next several weeks I will bring you a series of video interviews with Mr. Charles.  We will talk about several key aspects of this story and dive deep into details. These details will include names where possible of the companies and individuals participating in these schemes.

We will delve deep into this topic and talk about why this is happening and who is not doing anything to stop it.  We will also bring more interviews from other people who are experiencing these conditions and situations.

Mr. Charles spent several thousand dollars of his own money to publish his book. Consider helping this whistleblower continue his work by purchasing a copy so you can completely understand what is happening here.  The book is available in both English and Spanish.  You can click the link below to purchase a copy of this book.

 “Mexican Cliques in Construction”

A Message from Lt. Governor David Dewhurst on the President’s State of the Union Address

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst sent the following message about tonight’s State of the Union address.  This is posted for informational purposes and does not imply support of, nor endorsement of any political candidate.

David Dewhurst Issues Statement on Upcoming State of the Union Address

David Dewhurst issued the following statement today prior to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address later this evening:

“What Americans will hear tonight from President Barack Obama are more empty words that have led to failed policies and broken promises and more class warfare rhetoric we have heard for the last three years. President Obama’s empty words have only led to failed policies and broken promises. It’s time for the President to stop making excuses, and instead outline specific pro-growth proposals to get our country back on track.

 

“The first steps towards fixing the problems in Washington are to repeal ObamaCare, dramatically cut spending and pass a balanced budget. Unbelievably, the Democrat-controlled Senate has allowed 1,000 days to pass without a federal budget. As a Washington outsider not beholden to any special interest groups, I will be a strong, independent voice for Texas in the Senate.  I know how to pass a balanced budget because I helped pass them in Texas, five consecutive times, without raising taxes. I will take my proven Texas knowledge and conservative principles to Washington to help get America back on track.

 

“It’s high time that President Obama and Congress begin addressing these critical problems facing our nation. I have released a detailed policy plan aimed at repealing the job-killing policies this Administration has pursued, and replacing them with sound, conservative pro-growth policies. Americans and Texans deserve better than what this Administration continues to offer. We will not continue to stand for the tax-and-spend ways of Washington, and I will fight every day to make sure we reduce spending, cut taxes, balance the budget and limit the role of the federal government.”

 

The first chapter of Dewhurst’s policy plan to repeal President Obama’s job-killing agenda and replace with a pro-growth agenda can be found below, or on our website here.
1. Repeal ObamaCare

  • The costs of ObamaCare are spiraling out of control, leaving our children and grandchildren to pay for it.
  • Repealing ObamaCare will save American taxpayers at least $540 billion over the next ten years.
  • The uncertainty of ObamaCare is keeping businesses on the sidelines and is directly responsible for companies not hiring.
  • ObamaCare is an example of one-size legislation that does not fit all, and does little to improve America’s healthcare system.
  • ObamaCare is another federal entitlement that we cannot afford.

Dewhurst Plan:  Free-Market Healthcare

  • Create a permissive free-market system.
  • Align incentives so doctors, hospitals and patients get more value for their healthcare dollars.
  • Expand the individual health insurance market.
  • Bring Texas reforms to Washington.
    Reform the legal system.
    Put forth sensible solutions that lower the number of malpractice lawsuits.
  • Equalize tax treatment.
    16-17% of the GDP is spent on healthcare and that number is only going to grow with the incoming wave of an older generation.

2. Stop The Obama EPA’s Job-Killing Agenda

  • Rein in President Obama’s out of control EPA.
  • Stop unnecessary job regulations that hurt Texas businesses.

Dewhurst Plan:  Overhaul The EPA

  • Use the power of the purse and Congress’ investigative powers to repeal EPA job-killing regulations opposed by Congress and most Americans.
  • Investigate current practices and regulations being implemented by the EPA.
  • Implement a tougher, more job-friendly analysis of current practices.
  • Make sure landowners and job-creators have a seat at the table when EPA is considering new regulations.
  • Cut down on administrative costs and overregulation.
  • Maintain clean air and water while still enforcing regulations that allow businesses to grow and prosper.

3.   Stop National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Over-reach

  • Prevent the NLRB from telling companies like Boeing which states to place manufacturing plants in.
  • Stop the NLRB from interfering with private sector business decisions – end the NRLB’s trampling on the Constitution.
  • More government overregulation, which is preventing jobs from being created.

Dewhurst Plan:  Less NLRB Meddling, More Job Creation

  • Insist on new leadership at the NLRB.
  • Conduct tough hearings on NLRB decision making under President Obama, and investigate interference with private business decision-making.
  • End federally mandated prevailing wage regulations, which will serve to bring down the cost of building infrastructure – roads, dams, ports, bridges, etc.
  • Accelerate the approval process for FAA upgrades.
    Allow private investors to invest in airports and air traffic control upgrades so that modernization and improvements can be made to match the needs of the 21st Century.

4. End the Wasteful Obama Green Energy Gravy Train

  • End taxpayer bailouts to companies like Solyndra, which declared bankruptcy after providing numerous warning signals to the White House before receiving $535 million in grants.
  • Stop President Obama’s “energy cronyism” of giving federal grants to donors.
  • Stop lobbyist and President Obama donors from feasting on taxpayer dollars for pet “Green” energy products, which don’t make good commercial sense and never make it to consumers.

Dewhurst Plan:  Develop America’s Massive Domestic Energy Resources

  • Fully develop and utilize America’s abundant energy resources.
  • Stop interfering with hydro-fracking of oil and gas wells, which is completely safe, and streamline oil and natural gas drilling regulations to allow more drilling.
  • Aggressively re-open Gulf of Mexico to oil and gas exploration with sensible safeguards in place.
  • Stop playing “political football” with energy projects like the Keystone pipeline.
  • To encourage more drilling for natural gas, open new markets for liquefied natural gas and encourage the building of ports and other facilities that can handle LNG exports.

Saddle-Up Texas Straw Poll – Ted Cruz Wins Senate Portion of Poll

Senate Candidate Ted Cruz

The Saddle Up Texas Straw Poll event turned out to be a very successful event for candidates to meet with some of the state’s top political activists from the grassroots of Texas. I will be writing a series of posts on this event to bring you some speeches and personal interviews I conducted with some of the speakers who were present.

Part of the event was, obviously, a straw poll. The poll consisted of two parts.A vote by the people present and a separate vote that was conducted by text messaging via an internet promotion. Emails were ablaze from candidates as the reached out to supporters to cast ballots on their behalf. The poll took votes on the Presidential Primary Candidates as well as the Texas US Senate and House races. Additionally votes were taken for State Senate and State House districts.

In the Presidential Poll, at no surprise to anyone, Rep. Ron Paul finished first with over 54% of the Text vote and 27% of the in person vote. In the Text vote, Rick Santorum finished second with 15.6%, followed by Rick Perry at 13.3% and Gingrich with 11.9%. The In-Person Vote showed Newt Gingrich at 23.8%, followed closely by Rick Santorum at 21.2%. Perry came in 4th with 19.4% of the vote.

American Veterans Honored at Saddle Up Texas Straw Poll

 

US Senate candidate, Ted Cruz delivered an impassioned speech to the attendees, as did several other Senate candidates. Cruz won both the Text vote and the In-person vote. He garnered 49.1% of the Text vote and 47.8% of the In-person vote. In the Text vote, Cruz was followed by the newest of the Senate candidates, Craig James at 12.9% and Glenn Addison at 12.0%. Lela Pittenger and former Dallas Mayor, Tom Leppert tied at 9.1% each.

The In-person results showed Glen Addison in 2nd with 19.9%, David Dewhurst at 10.3%, Craig James at 9.9% and Lela Pittenger at 7.2%.

After Cruz’ speech, he paused to talk with me in an exclusive interview. During the interview, I asked Cruz about the stories being circulated that he is tied, through his wife, to the CFR. Normally, I would not ask a question about a candidate’s spouse, but this story keeps hanging around. I felt it was important to get his answer to this on record.

Interview with US Senate Candidate Ted Cruz

Other parts of the interview include Cruz’ discussion about defending Texas against an over-reaching federal government and protecting US sovereignty from the World Court’s attack on Texas during the 2008 execution of rapist/murderer Jose Medellian. Please note, this interview does not constitute nor imply an endorsement for Mr. Cruz or any other candidate in this race.

Interestingly enough, while then Texas Solicitor General Cruz was in Washington DC defending Texas in this case, I was on the prison grounds in Huntsville doing one of my first news reports about this particular execution.

During the next several days, I will bring you more reports about the Saddle Up Texas Straw Poll. I have several other key interviews including one with former Presidential Candidate, Herman Cain.

I would like to extend a special thank you to the board of Saddle Up Texas for their hospitality and cooperation in making these reports possible.  Specifically to the people I worked with, Boar President Joe Pelati, Vice-President Felicia Cravens (Houston Tea Party Society) and Director Dale Huls (Clear Lake Tea Party).  Without their work and the dozens of volunteers who put in tireless hours, none of this would have been possible.

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.

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.