US National Guard troops being sent to the Mexican border will be used to stem the flow of guns and drugs across the frontier and not to enforce US immigration laws, the State Department said Wednesday.
The clarification came after the Mexican government urged Washington not to use the additional troops to go after illegal immigrants.
President Barack Obama on Tuesday authorized the deployment of up to 1,200 additional troops to border areas but State Department spokesman Philip Crowley told reporters, “It’s not about immigration.”
He said the move was “fully consistent with our efforts to do our part to stem, you know, violence, to interdict the flow of dangerous people and dangerous goods — drugs, guns, people.”
He said the extra troops would be used to free up civilians engaged in support functions so that law enforcement personnel can be increased along the 2,000-mile-long (3,200 kilometer) border.
Nearly 13 million Mexicans live in the United States, more than half of them illegally.
“We have explained the president’s announcement to the government of Mexico, and they fully understand the rationale behind it,” Crowley said.
Obama’s announcement came less than a week after a state visit to Washington by Mexican President Felipe Calderon, who asked for greater US backing for a bloody three-year-old war on drug cartels.
Drug violence has claimed the lives of nearly 23,000 people over the past three years.
By OMAR VILLAFRANCA
Perry’s request goes ignored for more than a year.
Arizona got a response. Texas is still waiting for an answer.
After repeated requests for help, President Barack Obama has agreed to send 1,200 National Guard troops to Arizona’s border with Mexico. But so far, the president hasn’t responded to Texas’ request for assistance.
Gov. Rick Perry has sent letters to Obama, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano requesting National Guard troops for the Texas-Mexico border.
Almost a year and a half after the first letter was sent, Perry hasn’t received an answer.
“We’ve not received approval (or denial) regarding Gov. Perry’s request,” said Perry’s spokesperson, Katherine Cesinger, in an e-mail. “But we remain hopeful that the federal government will provide the resources we’ve requested, including 1,000 Title 32 National Guardsmen, to secure the Texas-Mexico border.”
A spokesperson at the Department of Defense said he couldn’t give more information on the status of Perry’s request.
By Ralph Peters
Yesterday, The New York Times published another front-page article based on a leaked classified document. This time, it was an order signed by Gen. David Petraeus authorizing black operations against adversaries and such dubious friends as Iran, Syria, Yemen and Saudi Arabia.
Gee, thanks. We really needed to know that. The world’s a better place now.
Yet the Times’ sin was the lesser one. The paper has long since given up any pretense of patriotism. (Ugh! Yuck!) Its editors are just publishing and perishing as citizens of the world.
It’s whoever leaked the document that bears the burn-in-hell blame.
We must be able to keep secrets in wartime. But we can’t. Because domestic political agendas trump national security in every administration nowadays.
Exposing that seven-page classified document warned our enemies (and pseudo friends) that we’ve expanded our efforts to uncover terror networks and potential targets. This not only increases the virulent paranoia in the region’s police states, but poses a mortal danger to agents, special operators and the innocent.
Our bravest men and women will face heightened risks and difficulties in executing their missions — and businessmen, tourists and (did the Times think this through?) journalists will also come under greater suspicion. Innocent people and regime opponents will be executed as spies. And does anyone think that publicizing this program will help those three hikers held for a year in Iran?
In fact, there’s a far greater risk of harm to blundering bystanders than to skilled operatives. The Tehran regime, especially, will use the revelation of this document as an excuse to imprison more democracy advocates — or kill them.
Think the jerk who leaked this order considered any of these consequences? What was the benefit in handing these classified papers to a journalist? It won’t help fight terror, save lives or end a war.
The document was handed over in a cynical attempt to score political points. There’s no other plausible explanation. Some party hack with a security clearance believed this order would show that the Obama administration’s doing something about Iran.
The only question is whether this betrayal was the act of an individual, or if it was orchestrated.
I’d hang the leaker by the neck, then cut down the body and give it a fair trial. But nobody’s going to be punished. High-ranking officials can get away with manslaughter, if not murder. An Army captain would go to prison. A political appointee can expect a promotion.
This disgraceful culture of leaks isn’t just a problem with Obama’s disciples, of course. The previous administration frequently leaked classified material for political gain. Leaking of classified information has become just one more tool of national politics. Neither party cares a damn about protecting our secrets — unless it can score against the other team.
As far as the actual Petraeus order goes, it’s just the sort of bureaucratic document required by our system to authorize commonsense activities against our enemies. I would’ve been shocked had the order denied permission to collect intelligence on our enemies and conduct lethal operations on hostile ground. This is what serious security establishments do. We should have done more of it earlier.
The problem with the security breach is that it alerts our enemies. The best black operations employ diversions to draw the enemy’s attention to another sphere. You want him looking east, when you’re working the west. Publicizing this document shines a spotlight on our efforts.
Even the sloppiness of the reporting is offensive. The Times’ reporter uses the adjectives “covert” and “clandestine” interchangeably. Yet they have profoundly different meanings.
A covert operation must be kept secret until the mission is accomplished. A clandestine program is meant to remain secret until doomsday (usually to protect sources and methods).
But accuracy doesn’t matter any more than does our national security. A journalist got a front-page byline. A political hack believes that he or she made President Obama look manlier in dealing with Iran. So what if our agents and special operators were betrayed?
People will die or be jailed and tortured because of this leak. And nobody on this end will be punished. Because nobody in Washington gives a damn.
Ralph Peters’ latest book is “Endless War.”
An Army veteran in Wisconsin will be allowed to display an American flag until Memorial Day, but the symbol honoring his service in Iraq and Kosovo must come down next Tuesday, his wife told FoxNews.com.
Dawn Price, 27, of Oshkosh, Wis., said she received a call from officials at Midwest Realty Management early Wednesday indicating that she and her husband, Charlie, would be allowed to continue flying the American flag they’ve had in their window for months through the holiday weekend. The couple had previously been told they had to remove the flag by Saturday or face eviction due to a company policy that bans the display of flags, banners and political or religious materials.
“It’s basically an extension so we can fly the flag on Memorial Day,” Price told FoxNews.com. “It does need to come down after that.”
Charlie Price, 28, served tours of duty as a combat engineer in Iraq and Kosovo, his wife said. To honor his eight years of service, she began decorating their apartment during Veterans Day in November. An American flag topped off the display, she said.
“I knew it made Charlie really proud to see that,” she said. “And this isn’t something new. This has been up for quite some time now.”
Veterans’ groups were furious at the realtors’ refusal to allow the flag to fly.
“As a veteran, it sickens me that the Dawn and Charlie Price’s building management company would imply that the American flag could be construed as offensive by their residents,” said Ryan Gallucci, a spokesman for AmVets.
“We’re talking about our most revered national symbol. This is insulting to anyone who has defended our flag honorably, like Charlie Price.”
Dawn Price said she now works to amend the federal Freedom to Display the American Flag Act of 2005, which states no “condominium association, cooperative association, or residential real estate management association” may stop someone from flying the American flag. The law, however, does not apply to renters.
“This has been eating at us since Friday,” she said. ‘The best way to fight this isn’t getting an eviction and going after these people in court. That’s just going to cost us a lot of time, energy and money.”
Instead, Dawn Price said she either intends to place a curtain between the flag and the apartment window to block it from onlookers or will move it to a rear balcony come next week.
“We don’t want to fight the eviction,” she said. “We know we’d lose.”
Officials at Midwest Realty Management, which manages Brookside Apartments, where the Prices live, did not return several messages seeking comment. In a statement to the Oshkosh Northwestern, company officials said the policy was established to provide a consistent living environment for all residents.
“This policy was developed to insure that we are fair to everyone as we have many residents from diverse backgrounds,” the statement read. “By having a blanket policy of neutrality we have found that we are less likely to offend anyone and the aesthetic qualities of our apartment communities are maintained.”
Despite the brief reprieve, Dawn Price said her husband is disappointed by the flag flap.
“He actually sees it as a slap in the face to his service,” she said. “He’s pretty upset about it, especially right around Memorial Day.”
A Facebook group created by Dawn Price, “Freedom to Display the American Flag,” had roughly 2,000 members as of Wednesday.
“As a father of a son [who] is currently serving in Iraq this blackens my heart!!!!” read one comment. “These men and women sign a blank check up to and including their life!”
One picture says it all.
Rob Fisher to Run For Congress
(Salisbury) Republican Rob Fisher today announced he will run for Congress in Maryland’s First District after submitting a Statement of Candidacy to the Federal Elections Commission (FEC). A small businessman, veteran and Eastern Shore native, Fisher is looking to bring real leadership to Congress that puts the needs of Maryland residents first.
“At a time when the people of the First District are struggling to make ends meet, Congress is more concerned with forcing job-killing legislation down the throats of taxpayers instead of helping lead us through these turbulent economic times,” said Fisher. “Maryland deserves a representative with real-world experience who will put people ahead of party and bring an entrepreneurial spirit to Congress. I pledge to be a tireless advocate for my constituents and make job creation my first priority.”
A serial entrepreneur who has run several successful small businesses in the First District and the Capitol Region, Fisher knows first-hand the challenges faced by small businesspeople and the barriers to success that have been championed by Nancy Pelosi and Congressional Democrats. Fisher’s current company, Secure Infrastructure Solutions — a Cyber Security firm helping to safeguard America’s National Security assets — has been able to grow and expand despite the terrible economic conditions of the past two years.
“My company has grown in spite of Congress, not because of it,” said Fisher. “Small businesses need government to be their loudest cheerleader, not their biggest detractor.”
Fisher will run an issues-based, grassroots campaign that will focus on the needs of the residents of the First District. His campaign will be opening offices on the Eastern Shore, Anne Arundel County and the Baltimore area.
“The First District needs a Congressman who will put Maryland first,” said Fisher. “Career politicians have had their chance. It’s time for Congress to show real leadership, listen to the people’s concerns and find innovative solutions to our country’s problems.”
Mr. Fishers office number is 443-859-3342.
Read more here.
Posted by Patrick Samuels
Our federal government is currently arguing that as individual citizens we have no “fundamental right” to obtain any food we choose. It is seeking a ruling to establish the precedent that we do not have unlimited choices concerning the food we eat. Specifically, the case is centered around the sale of raw milk. There are many of us that see value in eating food that has not been processed and for some, access to raw milk is one of their more healthy choices. Our wise and all knowing government, however, has decided that it knows our nutritional needs better than we do, that they are the experts, that they have the right to tell us what we can and cannot eat. This is just the latest in a long list of meddling by governments at all levels over what we choose to put into our bodies, going back to Prohibition.
The question is, does the government have the right to determine what you put into your body? Does it have the right to tell you what you eat and drink, what supplements or drugs you take, what forms of exercise or sexual activity you engage in? Laws have been passed that regulate salt, fats and sugar, pressure is being put on food processors to change their recipes to conform to government guidelines, the process of getting drugs approved through the FDA is a long and expensive process that often denies patients access to new treatments until its too late. The First Lady has been thrilled with the new health care bill that gives the government unprecedented power to regulate our behavior as she wages her war on obesity. The congress is now considering legislation that will make some state grants dependent on the body mass index average of its children.
That brings us to the crux of the matter-money. As a libertarian, I don’t believe any government has the right to tell me what I eat or drink, what supplements or drugs I take or any other personal behavior I engage in as long as that behavior does not infringe on another’s rights to life, liberty or property. If I drink alcohol, it is my business unless I get behind the wheel and cause an accident. In that case, alcohol should not be a mitigating factor to decrease my penalty but I should be held responsible for any damage, injury or death I caused. If I eat too much junk food and get fat and develop diabetes or heart disease, I should be the one who pays for my increased medical costs. If I engage in promiscuous or homosexual sex and contract AIDS, I should bear the consequences.
That is not, however, how it works in America. The government has done its best to remove any responsibility for our actions from us and make us victims. Through Medicare and Medicaid and now through Health Care Reform, the government pays for the consequences of our behavior. That means if you take care of your body and make good behavioral choices in your life and I don’t, you will be paying for the consequences of my bad choices. To have your money stolen to pay for my irresponsibility rightly makes you mad and so it should. If it is your money, then you do have the right to regulate my behavior. If we have children, we know that because we provide them food and shelter, we have the right to regulate their behavior. If they begin engaging in behavior that we don’t like, we restrict their freedom. If they break a window playing ball, we take the ball away; confiscation of property. If they don’t eat their vegetables, they don’t get dessert; restriction of access. If they are out causing trouble with their friends, we confine them to quarters; restriction of association. If they cuss us out, we wash their mouth out with soap; restriction of speech. When they move out, however, and support themselves, we no longer have the right to exercise that level of control. If they break something, they pay for it. If they associate with the wrong people we can give them advice but that’s it. Being responsible for your actions, positive or negative, it the mark of a mature adult.
We have redefined our relationship with our government, however. We once interacted with our government as mature citizens. Today, our government interacts with us as subjects and children. It takes money from the productive and responsible and uses it to pay for the consequences of the people who are irresponsible and unproductive. As long as bad behavior is subsidized two things will be true. The irresponsible will not make responsible choices unless they are forced. The second is that the government will continue to assert it right to regulate all our behavior on the grounds that it is paying the bills, even though its with our money. If we choose to interact with our government as children, expecting it to meet our every need, then it will fill the role of parent and will exercise legitimate control as a consequence of that occupation.
The fix to this is simple. Remove the government safety net. For one hundred and fifty years of our history we got by just fine without it. There was no FDA, no welfare checks, no illegal drugs, no government health insurance or Social Security. Somehow, without the government intervening, the American citizen built this country from a few colonies on the eastern seaboard to a world power, economically and militarily. Somehow, hard drinking settlers tamed the west. Without government regulation, we all had food to eat and water to drink and roofs over our heads, and that food and shelter was considerably better than that in the Old World. If you engaged in negative behavior you bore the consequences. If you lost your job you found something else or you depended on your family or neighbors and they determined your “recovery” or the worth of putting their time and money into your life based on your cooperation. If you resorted to crime to support bad habits, justice was swift and harsh. Morality, justice and community were essential in such an environment and that is exactly the way it should be.
Throughout our history, politicians and pundits have often said “America is at a crossroads.” Sometimes it was true, as in the final convulsive years leading up to the Civil War when we decided to end slavery. New data on personal income, taxes and dependency makes clear that the country is again at a historic crossroad and another form of slavery is the central issue. There are no iron chains involved this time, but dependence on government for economic sustenance is no less an enslavement.
Based on Bureau of Economic Analysis data, USA Today reported Tuesday that the portion of personal income received from private sector paychecks declined to 41.9 percent, its lowest point ever, during the first quarter of 2010. The figure was 44.6 percent in December 2007 at the outset of the current recession and 47.6 percent in the first quarter of 2000. By contrast, the personal income received from government programs climbed to 17.9 percent. Add another 9.8 percent for government employee compensation and 27.7 percent of all personal income is derived from government sources. (The remaining 30.1 percent of personal income results from small-business proprietor profits, farm profits, privately funded pensions, investment sales and dividends, and insurance annuities.)
The problem is that government only redistributes income to dependent individuals after taking it from productive individuals, a process that is reflected in tax returns. As the Tax Foundation recently pointed out, 36 percent of all individual returns in 2008, the most recent year for which data is available, showed no net tax liability. That is the highest level of non-paying tax filers in American history. As recently as 1990, only 21 percent of tax filers paid no levies. The result of this trend is that millions more Americans today pay nothing for the benefits they receive, which are paid for by productive taxpayers.
It’s no surprise then that measures like the Heritage Foundation’s Index of Dependency are curving steeply upward. Preliminary figures from Heritage’s Center for Data Analysis show a 13.9 percent increase for 2009, the biggest single-year increase since 1962. The massive one-year jump in dependency — indexed according to changes in government spending on housing, retirement, health and welfare, etc. — was mainly caused by President Obama’s unprecedented expansion of federal deficit spending and national debt through corporate bailouts and the economic stimulus program. But what happens when productive taxpayers can no longer pay enough taxes to support benefits promised by “progressive” politicians to dependent America? With European welfare states like Greece teetering on this threshold of collapse, our crossroad is whether to continue down the same road or to return to the path that once made us the freest and most prosperous country the world has ever seen.