Sunday, October 07, 2012

Obama administration deemed border security murders as an acceptable risk; Emails show Border Patrol opposed Bingaman wilderness bill

Documents recently uncovered from Border Patrol agents highlight the Obama administration’s failure to heed multiple warnings from Border Patrol, local law enforcement, activist groups and border region ranchers that relentlessly warned government officials that proposed wilderness reserves would lead to national security breaches and murder. The brouhaha began with Democrat Senator Bingaman’s S.1689 legislation that sought to expand wilderness areas along the U.S./Mexico border. An example of a memo dated May 10, 2010 between Bingaman’s office and Border Patrol discussed the need for “concessions to law enforcement in S.1689” regarding maps and written impacts on patrolling the border. Also dated the same day is a “memo with Bingaman press release- that noted the (Obama) administration supported this bill.” Moving along to May 12, 2010 memos from Border Patrol in Tucson and Albuquerque want info on “snakes in the grass,” DHS talking points and a copy of the talk on border tours.” Particularly concerning, on May 18, 2010 “Santa Teresa (BP) Office is aware of problems of WSA/WA (wilderness areas). These environmental protections (WA) severely limit BP’s (Border Patrol) ability to carry out its National Security Mission along the international border and surrounding area.” The memo also redacted some changes before it went on to explain, “The wilderness areas has (sic) strict access requirements and covers a large area where enforcement capabilities are limited.” Luna County Sheriff Raymond Cobos said the wilderness designation would “hamstring effective law enforcement” and Hidalgo County Sheriff Saturnino Madero found it “highly inadvisable” to place such restrictions on his officers. One of the final emails on June 18, 2010 to Border Patrol was “asking what White House tour should see along the four Border States? And what are the five top challenges.” In July of 2010, agencies involved with S.1689 and widening the range of wilderness preserves along the southern border hit a bump in the road and revealed, “sit back on it, it is a very sensitive issue of late.” A document dated May 4, 2010 that originated in the El Paso BP Sector, inadvertently escaped some redaction: “If completely realized, the restrictions of the WD (wilderness) will re-define the very nature of how the objectives and elements of the National Strategy are carried out in pursuit of gaining operational control of our nation’s borders.” Another example was found in a February 10, 2010 email, “Santa Teresa concept of operations. The mission is preventing terrorist and terrorist weapons from entering the US. We operate under the MOU, but the station needs the ability to patrol within the areas (WA) with less restrictions.”Contents of the emails concluded that the main issue of wilderness land designations on the border had little to do with national security and public safety. It was driven almost exclusively by political concerns...more

No comments: