fbi: Page 1
Border Patrol agents shot beanbags at a group of suspected bandits before the men returned fire during a confrontation in a remote canyon, killing agent Brian Terry with a single gunshot, records show...
...The (FBI) documents say the group of illegal border entrants refused commands to drop their weapons after agents confronted them at about 11:15 p.m. Two agents fired beanbags at the migrants, who responded with gunfire. Two agents returned fire, one with a long gun and one with a pistol, but Terry was mortally wounded in the gunfight...
Terry's brother, Kent Terry, said the other agents who were there that night told him that they were instructed to use the non-lethal beanbags first. It's a policy that doesn't make sense to Kent Terry.
"You go up against a bandit crew that is carrying AKs, and you walk out there with guns loaded with beanbags - I don't get it," Terry said in a phone interview from Michigan. "It's like going to the Iraqi war with one knife. It boggles my mind. ... These guys (Border Patrol agents) are professionals; they should be able to use their judgment call on their own."
It's worth recalling the 2004 controversy surrounding the Border Patrol's use of non-lethal weapons. George P Bush - nephew of George W Bush - spoke out against those weapons and later somewhat backtracked. But, not before the Mexican government threatened to sue. No doubt there's a combination of reasons why the DHS would use beanbags: they're worried about unarmed people being shot, they don't really want to stop the flow of people and (perhaps less likely) drugs, and they're worried about suits from the Mexican government and their little helpers in the U.S. such as the American Civil Liberties Union, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and MALDEF.
If you don't like the current situation, it's possible to somewhat neuter those last groups by helping discredit them. Unfortunately, and while I'm grateful for any help I've received, after years of not getting much help I'm not too hopeful. The loudest opposition to Barack Obama - the tea parties - concern themselves with not much more than trying to help the Koch family make more money. Discrediting groups that support illegal immigration is beyond their abilities, but so too is helping those who are able to discredit such groups.
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told a congressional panel Wednesday that U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and his fellow agents were not under orders to refrain from using lethal force in a December gunbattle near the Mexican border that resulted in Mr. Terry´s death.
Testifying to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Miss Napolitano said agents are allowed to use lethal force “if you are under threat of serious injury or death.” She said she herself had asked whether the four agents involved in the Dec. 14 shootout with bandits on the border in Arizona had their hands tied by orders, and she said the answer is “absolutely not.”
“Our lethal force policy is the same as virtually every law enforcement agency in the country - that is, if you are under threat of serious injury or death, you may use lethal force,” Miss Napolitano said.
I believe that's what we already knew. The issue is that the agents might have been too scared - due to law suits and the like - to initially confront the smugglers with real guns.
The latest establishment attempt to support illegal immigration and undercut those who want stronger border enforcement comes from Martha Mendoza of the Associated Press. The original AP title is "AP Impact: US-Mexico border isn't so dangerous"  and it's based on statistics contained in a new FBI report  and on data they received via a FOIA request from Customs and Border Protection (CBP):
It's one of the safest parts of America, and it's getting safer.
It's the U.S.-Mexico border, and even as politicians say more federal troops are needed to fight rising violence, government data obtained by The Associated Press show it actually isn't so dangerous after all.
The top four big cities in America with the lowest rates of violent crime are all in border states: San Diego, Phoenix, El Paso and Austin, according to a new FBI report. And an in-house Customs and Border Protection report shows that Border Patrol agents face far less danger than street cops in most U.S. cities.
1. Its about 236 miles from Austin to the nearest major Mexican city (Nuevo Laredo). San Antonio is closer to the border, and it's a larger city. Considering that their crime rates are about the same  it's unclear why she used Austin. However, both cities aren't really in the border area, unless you have a Washington DC mindset. Phoenix is also not on the border. Unfortunately, the FBI statistics only show larger cities, and the only larger cities that are right on the border are El Paso and San Diego. It's misleading to pretend that statistics for a college, high-tech, and administration center like Austin that's hours from the border is representative of border crime.
2. The violent crime rate for Phoenix is 0.5% per capita, but that for Tucson is 0.65% per capita. The latter city is closer to the border but still not on the border.
3. Those who enter illegally over the border won't necessarily stay there: most will move to other cities and will have an impact on those cities' crime rates. Mendoza's article doesn't mention that.
4. Violent crime only tells part of the story. See all of the entries on the immigration terrorism page. And, just as pernicious is the possibility that local officials have been corrupted into allowing drug or human smuggling.
5. Crimes against illegal aliens stand a lesser chance of being reported than crimes against others; such crimes won't appear in the statistics.
6. The article contains "I have to say, a lot of this is way overblown," said Gary Brasher of Tuboc, Arizona, who is president of the Coalition for a Safe and Secure Border. From their site , make of it what you will:
[A permanent checkpoint on the I-19 corridor between Nogales and Tucson] is essentially a monument to over 3 decades of this obviously flawed strategy that will be circumvented by smugglers. This will inevitably result in illegal and violent activities moving into our neighborhoods along the I-19 corridor... It is also important to note that it is not the intent of the CSSB or this blog to criticize the service of the men and women serving in the Border Patrol. In fact, many residents in this area have been victims of crime perpetrated by smugglers and the Border Patrol has often been the first responders.
7. The article contains:
"Politicians are hyping up this incredible fear across the country about the border, but these numbers show these are lies being perpetrated on the American public," said immigrant advocate Isabel Garcia at Tucson-based Derechos Humanos. "The warnings about violence are just an excuse to crack down on migrants who want to work and be with their families."
Read about her at the links.
Three days before the failed terrorist attack over Detroit, the Obama administration was briefed about the possibility of terror attacks over the holidays (link). This is of course similar to the infamous "Bin Ladin Determined to Strike in US" report that George W Bush received shortly before 911:
President Obama received a high-level briefing only three days before Christmas about possible holiday-period terrorist threats against the U.S., NEWSWEEK has learned. The briefing was centered on a written report, produced by U.S. intelligence agencies, titled "Key Homeland Threats," a senior U.S. official says... According to the [unnamed administration official], the holiday threat briefing—one in a series of regularly scheduled sessions with top counterterrorism officials—was held in the White House Situation Room on Dec. 22...
The senior official says that beginning in early December, based on reports coming in from intelligence agencies, policymakers had begun tracking a stream of information that alluded to a possible holiday-period plot against the U.S. orchestrated from somewhere in Pakistan. However, the official says, this reporting later turned out to be "garbled," and it was determined that the threat was probably a washout. The official denies that the White House received any report, representing the consensus of U.S. intelligence agencies, warning that a holiday-period plot originating in Yemen and targeting the U.S. homeland could be in the works.
In a background briefing for reporters on Dec. 29, also attributed in an official White House transcript to a "senior administration official," that official asserted that in the wake of the attempted underpants attack, it had become clear to the president and top advisers that before Christmas the U.S. government was in possession of "bits and pieces" of information, which, if they had been properly knitted together, "could have ... allowed us to disrupt the attack or certainly to know much more about the alleged attacker in such a way as to ensure that he was on, as the president suggested in his statement, a no-fly list." In the briefing, the official identified three rough categories of information that the government had which could have been relevant to foiling the attack: information about Abdulmutallab and his plans, about Al Qaeda and its plans, and about "potential attacks during the holiday period."
Of this, Gateway Pundit says the expected: "Obama was warned about the threats to the homeland in a Christmas briefing before he flew off to his golfing and snorkling Hawaii holiday vacation." (link). Meanwhile, Spencer Ackerman spins it the administration's way here, even while admitting that this is "Not Nothing".
According to new FBI figures, the number of hate crime incidents against Hispanics fell from 595 in 2007 to 561 in 2008; see the table below.
Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich arrested by FBI on federal corruption charges; accused of trying to sell Obama's senate seat - 12/09/08
From a U.S. Department of Justice press release (usdoj.gov/usao/iln/pr/chicago/2008/pr1209_01.pdf, text version here):
Illinois Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich and his Chief of Staff, John Harris, were arrested today by FBI agents on federal corruption charges alleging that they and others are engaging in ongoing criminal activity: conspiring to obtain personal financial benefits for Blagojevich by leveraging his sole authority to appoint a United States Senator; threatening to withhold substantial state assistance to the Tribune Company in connection with the sale of Wrigley Field to induce the firing of Chicago Tribune editorial board members sharply critical of Blagojevich; and to obtain campaign contributions in exchange for official actions – both historically and now in a push before a new state ethics law takes effect January 1, 2009.
Shorter version: link
Dick Durbin calls for a special election: link
Obama's big donors involved: link
Chicago Mayor Richard M Daley responds: link
And, the guessing game now will be to find out who the various "Senate Candidates", "Contributors", and "Lobbyists" mentioned are:
Just last week, on December 4, Blagojevich allegedly told an advisor that he might "get some (money) up front, maybe" from Senate Candidate 5, if he named Senate Candidate 5 to the Senate seat, to insure that Senate Candidate 5 kept a promise about raising money for Blagojevich if he ran for re-election. In a recorded conversation on October 31, Blagojevich claimed he was approached by an associate of Senate Candidate 5 as follows: "We were approached ‘pay to play.' That, you know, he'd raise 500 grand. An emissary came. Then the other guy would raise a million, if I made him (Senate Candidate 5) a Senator."Marc Ambinder thinks #5 is Jesse Jackson Jr. Here's a table:
Senate Candidate 1 (Obama's choice): Valerie Jarrett (source)
Senate Candidate 2: Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan? (see 'columnist' below)
Senate Candidate 3:
Senate Candidate 4: Dean Martinez?
Senate Candidate 5: Jesse Jackson Jr.?
Senate Candidate 6: wealthy, has an in with Warren Buffet
Are Tammy Duckworth or Rep. Jan Schakowsky on the list?
While the charges concentrate on Blago's dealings since October, it also includes past activities that may have some direct connection to Barack Obama:
The charges include historical allegations that Blagojevich and Harris schemed with others - including previously convicted defendants Antoin Rezko, Stuart Levine, Ali Ata and others - since becoming governor in 2002 to obtain and attempt to obtain financial benefits for himself, his family and third parties, including his campaign committee, Friends of Blagojevich, in exchange for appointments to state boards and commissions, state employment, state contracts and access to state funds. A portion of the affidavit recounts the testimony of various witnesses at Rezko's trial earlier this year.One payoff Blago considered was a job at a union:
Two days later, in a three-way call with Harris and Advisor B, a consultant in Washington, Blagojevich and the others allegedly discussed the prospect of a three-way deal for the Senate appointment involving an organization called "Change to Win," which is affiliated with various unions including the Service Employees International Union (SEIU)... On November 10, Blagojevich, his wife, Harris, Governor General Counsel, Advisor B and other Washington-based advisors participated at different times in a two-hour phone call in which they allegedly discussed, among other things, a deal involving the SEIU. Harris said they could work out a deal with the union and the President-elect where SEIU could help the President-elect with Blagojevich's appointment of Senate Candidate 1, while Blagojevich would obtain a position as the National Director of the Change to Win campaign and SEIU would get something favorable from the President-elect in the future. Also during that call, Blagojevich agreed it was unlikely that the President-elect would name him Secretary of Health and Human Services or give him an ambassadorship because of all of the negative publicity surrounding him.Change to Win denies any contact (link); note that that group is linked into the George Soros/Center for American Progress network.
From the complaint:
On November 6, 2008, ROD BLAGOJEVICH talked with Spokesman. ROD BLAGOJEVICH told Spokesman to leak to a particular columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times, that Senate Candidate 2 is in the running for the vacant Senate seat. According to ROD BLAGOJEVICH, by doing this, he wanted "to send a message to the [President-elect's] people," but did not want it known that the message was from ROD BLAGOJEVICH. Thereafter, ROD BLAGOJEVICH and Spokesman discussed specific language that should be used in the Sun Times column and arguments as to why Senate Candidate 2 made sense for the vacant Senate seat. A review of this particular Sun Times column on November 7, 2008, indicates references to the specific language and arguments regarding Senate Candidate 2 as a potential candidate for the Senate seat, as discussed by ROD BLAGOJEVICH and Spokesman.A search didn't turn up who that could be; if anyone can find that please leave a comment. Ambinder thinks it's Madigan, and the columnist is Michael Sneed (marcambinder.theatlantic.com/archives/2008/12/the_blago_indictment_fun_with.php)
Blago also wanted to start a 501(c)4 organization that others would fund and he'd be employed by. And, he wanted Warren Buffett to come up with millions for it:
Later in the conversation, ROD BLAGOJEVICH and Advisor A again discussed the possibility of a 501(c)(4) organization, and ROD BLAGOJEVICH again noted that "[Senate Candidate 6]" could "do it." ROD BLAGOJEVICH and Advisor A discussed who might be close to Senate Candidate 6 to talk with him about the issue, because ROD BLAGOJEVICH did not "want to be the one to ask something like that." Advisor A agreed to find out who is close to Senate Candidate 6.And, it looks like the Barack Obama circle knew that Blago wanted something in exchange for appointing Jarrett:
On November 12, 2008, ROD BLAGOJEVICH spoke with SEIU Official, who was in Washington, D.C. Prior intercepted phone conversations indicate that approximately a week before this call, ROD BLAGOJEVICH met with SEIU Official to discuss the vacant Senate seat, and ROD BLAGOJEVICH understood that SEIU Official was an emissary to discuss Senate Candidate 1's interest in the Senate seat. During the conversation with SEIU Official on November 12, 2008, ROD BLAGOJEVICH informed SEIU Official that he had heard the President-elect wanted persons other than Senate Candidate 1 to be considered for the Senate seat. SEIU Official stated that he would find out if Senate Candidate 1 wanted SEIU Official to keep pushing her for Senator with ROD BLAGOJEVICH. ROD BLAGOJEVICH said that "one thing I'd be interested in" is a 501(c)(4) organization. ROD BLAGOJEVICH explained the 501(c)(4) idea to SEIU Official and said that the 501(c)(4)could help "our new Senator [Senate Candidate 1]." SEIU Official agreed to "put that flag up and see where it goes."There's no proof offered that the "SEIU official" then spoke with Obama's advisor Valerie Jarrett, but it is likely.
UPDATE: Expect Obama's supporters to try to help him come out of this unscathed by pointing to Blago's various Obama-directed expletives as well as his statements that Obama doesn't want to give him anything. However, who knows what would have happened if the investigation had continued?
And, from Jake Tapper (link):
But on November 23, 2008, his senior adviser David Axelrod appeared on Fox News Chicago and said something quite different.UPDATE 2: Trouble in paradise! Now, an unnamed Obama aide says about the foregoing Axelrod statement: "What the president-elect said today is correct, David Axelrod misspoke." That would seem to be moving beyond simply distancing himself from Blago and moving into "we're scared" mode.
While insisting that the President-elect had not expressed a favorite to replace him, and his inclination was to avoid being a "kingmaker," Axelrod said, "I know he's talked to the governor and there are a whole range of names many of which have surfaced, and I think he has a fondness for a lot of them."
There are no allegations that President-elect Obama or anyone close to him had anything to do with any of the crimes Gov. Blagojevich is accused of having committed.
In fact, there are indications that Mr. Obama and his team refused to go along with the "pay to play" way Blagojevich is accused of operating, offering only "gratitude" if the governor appointed his friend Valerie Jarrett to take his U.S. Senate seat, much to the governor's chagrin.
But there remain questions about how Blagojevich knew that Mr. Obama was not willing to give him anything in exchange for the Senate seat -- with whom was Blagojevich speaking? Did that person report the governor to the authorities?
And, it should be pointed out, Mr. Obama has a relationship with Mr. Blagojevich, having not only endorsed Blagojevich in 2002 and 2006, but having served as a top adviser to the Illinois governor in his first 2002 run for the state house.
That 2002 endorsement came at the same time that Axelrod had such serious concerns about whether Blagojevich was ready for governing he refused to work for his one-time client.
Also, per this, other possibilities for Candidate 5 are Art Turner and Obama's partial mentor Emil Jones.
UPDATE 3: There are lists of the financial ties that bind Tony Rezko and Blago and Rezko and Barack Obama here.
Obama is calling for Blago to resign.
Brian Ross of ABC News says that Jesse Jackson Jr. is "Candidate 5".
There's a timeline here.
On the morning of 11/5, KHQA said that BHO and Blago would be meeting that afternoon; they then pulled the article, a copy of which is here On November 08, 2008 at 9:48 p.m. at Alexis Hunt from the same station said ''Obama met with Governor Rod Blagojevich earlier this week to discuss [the Senate seat]" (link). However, an Associated Press article by Dennis Conrad - posted here at November 5, 2008 6:58 PM CST says "[Blago] said he has not yet spoken to Obama, whose timeline for resigning his Senate seat was unclear Wednesday."
UPDATE 4: Now KHQA has pulled both articles, and posted this:
KHQA TV wishes to offer clarification regarding a story that appeared last month on our website ConnectTristates.com. The story, which discussed the appointment of a replacement for President Elect Obama’in the U.S. Senate, became the subject of much discussion on talk radio and on blog sites Wednesday.UPDATE 5: Some initial reports said the SEIU official was Andy Stern, but the New York Times says:
The story housed in our website archive was on the morning of November 5, 2008. It suggested that a meeting was scheduled later that day between President Elect Obama and Illinois Governor Blagojevich. KHQA has no knowledge that any meeting ever took place. Governor Blagojevich did appear at a news conference in Chicago on that date.
Several union officials in Chicago and Washington said that the service employees official approached by Mr. Harris was Tom Balanoff, the president of the union’s giant janitors’ local in Chicago and head of the union’s Illinois state council. Mr. Balanoff, one of the union officials closest to Mr. Obama, is widely seen as an aggressive, successful labor leader, who has helped unionize thousands of janitors not just in the Chicago area but also in Texas.
Rally 'round the document forgers! A federal raid against ID fraud yesterday in Chicago shows one of the dangers of failing to enforce the immigration laws: illegal activity becomes defined as a part of ethnic solidarity. In the past, Italian-American groups have complained about things like The Godfather. In this situation, ethno-centric reporters and groups are condemning enforcement of federal law and excusing illegal activity. And, needless to say, at least one Catholic Church is involved.
From Esther J. Cepeda of the Chicago Sun-Times comes "'Soldiers bombarded our neighborhood'" (link):
Heavily armed officers from several federal agencies locked down a strip mall in a fraudulent-document bust Tuesday, scaring residents and triggering an angry rally at one of Little Village's busiest intersections that lasted into the evening.One of the stores in the mall was "Foto Munoz", run by the father of Alderman Ricardo Munoz (22nd). He wasn't arrested but a camera was taken into custody.
"Soldiers bombarded our neighborhood," said Baltazar Enriquez, 30, a lifelong Little Village resident. "It looked like they were marching into Iraq."
The raid was part of a probe of identification fraud, according to the U.S. attorney's office. "It's an ICE-led investigation; we're assisting them," said FBI spokesman Ross Rice, speaking of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. Agents were carrying out a search warrant, he said. The target was sellers of phony Social Security and green cards, authorities said. Although there were a few arrests, U.S. attorney's officials and ICE refused to provide a number.Rafael Romo of CBS 2 Chicago says:
As word of the raid spread, a crowd of about 250 gathered in the intersection at Albany and 26th as activists exhorted the crowd to take the day's events as reason to join a May 1 march. Trying to cool residents' heated tempers, the Rev. Brandon Curran of St. Pius the Fifth Catholic Church in Pilsen led a prayer in the middle of the street.
Anger, frustration and, ultimately, solidarity spilled into the streets of Little Village Tuesday afternoon. Chicago police only showed up after residents flooded 26th Stree and Albany Avenue. Participants held signs that said things like "no one is illegal."Note that a couple photos for that report were provided by Pueblo Sin Fronteras.
..."Selling illegal papers to immigrants so we can work, basically. That's all we buy them for, is to work," said Little Village resident Luz Nolasco. "But apparently that's against the law and God forbid we help America!"
..."It's a show of force. We believe it was done to intimidate this community. We can't see it any other way," said Ald. George Cardenas (12th). "The number of people involved in this operation is just overwhelming."
..."It was way overkill. They had machine guns, shotguns, bullet-proof vests. It was a huge, huge endeavor," [Ald. Ricardo Munoz] said. "They struck fear into the heart of the Little Village community.
And, John Garcia of ABC 7/WLS says:
The agents on hand Tuesday included FBI and immigrations officers who had search warrants for an alleged fake ID documentation organization. According to sources, a wide range of fraudulent documents were allegedly being made and distributed at the mall. But protesters say there was no reason to frighten the entire community over it.
"We are not here to stop anybody from enforcing the law. But there is common sense into this thing. Why do it in such a public way as to intimidate the people here in this community?" said Alderman George Cardenas, 12th Ward...
..."They just did a mass intimidation. They made us believe out here that they were arresting everybody that was here, but they came in with the intention to stop people from marching on May 1. They haven't done this like this from when I can remember. It's clear to us what their intentions are," said Roberto Lopez, Centro Sin Fronteras...
..."People are calling about their families and want to know what's happening," said Diego Bonesatti, a spokesman for the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights.
He said the organization strongly opposes the timing and manner of the investigation, noting that a week of activities in support of immigration reform is planned nationwide, including citizenship workshops, community meetings and marches planned for May 1.
UPDATE: Now that you've seen what the ethno-centric reporters, aldermen, and groups have to say, take a gander at the shocking PDF from the U.S. Attorney describing the sort of criminals they were after. Would even the NCLR or LULAC stoop to defending people like that?
UPDATE 2: For the less gory MSM version, see this.
The Dugway Proving Ground in Utah is a top-secret base where the U.S. Army does research into biological and chemical weapon defense. Nine illegal aliens were caught working there recently.
"Just by saying you're working for a subcontractor, you can access one of the most highly top secret installations in the country, dealing with weapons of mass destruction," [U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Special Agent Adam Parks] said. "Once inside the perimeter, they had their identification and would go to work, not monitored. They didn't have an escort or anything like that."
The workers - no doubt good-hearted - were employed by Spacecon West and aren't suspected of having links to terrorists. However, in 2004 Congressman John Culberson (R-TX) reported that Al Qaeda-related terrorists - disguised as Mexicans - are crossing illegally into the U.S. FBI Director Robert Mueller has also discussed this matter. Many more possible infiltrations discussed in immigration terrorism.
On the rare occasions when the Dems discuss our "homeland security" president failing to keep the homeland secure, they inevitably mention port security, but they intentionally avoid discussing border security. Obviously, they should change their mind and discuss this. They probably won't, since they're just as corrupt as the GOP leadership.
The liberaltarians at Reason provide a run-down of Kerry's record on civil liberties (reason . com/hod/jb072604.shtml):
Then it was Sen. John Ashcroft (R-Mo.) who argued alongside the ACLU in favor of the individual's right to encrypt messages and export encryption software. Ashcroft "was kind of the go-to guy for all of us on the Republican side of the Senate," recalls David Sobel, general counsel of the Electronic Privacy Information Center.