Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Politicians, border residents say National Guard just a start

Word that National Guard will deploy to the border August 1st is news politicians and border residents have been waiting a long time to hear but they are looking for more. Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, Senators John McCain and Jon Kyl, and Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords all basically said the National Guard deployment is good but Arizona needs much more to be safe. All the Guardsmen will be assigned to do surveillance and intelligence work for the Joint Counter Narco-Terrorism Task Force. Attorney General Terry Goddard says going after the smuggling cartels is the best way to boost border safety. He's happy to see the Guard assigned to the drug task force but KGUN9 News asked if putting Guardsmen on short term assignments will help much. Goddard says, "No, I think a three month rotation or some kind of short term assignment on the border is not gonna be effective because, bottom line, we need to have people that know the problem who are experienced in observation; these are subtle investigative signals that have to be picked up on." The idea that Guardsmen may not be right there on the border disappoints border ranchers and the association that represents them. Patrick Bray of the Arizona Cattlemen's Association says, "Our intent for the Guard to be down there was to basically be that presence with full law enforcement authority on the border." Cochise County Rancher Gary Thrasher thinks assigning the Guard is a start. "…But I think it's not nearly enough. And I also think that once people get down here they'll probably see that it's not enough and they can help influence Washington a little bit more to get the help that's really needed through the entire border."...more

An AP story says, "The 1,200 troops will be distributed among four border states, with Arizona getting 524; Texas, 250; California, 224 and New Mexico, 72. Another 130 would be assigned to a national liaison office."

Over 10% are "assigned to a national liaison office." What the heck is that?

The same story reports, "The troops will be armed but can use their weapons only to protect themselves, Gen. Craig McKinley, chief of the National Guard Bureau, told a Pentagon news conference."

That ought to strike fear into the heart of every drug runner!

Let's remember George Bush sent 6,000 troops to the border in June of 2006, which also just happened to be during a midterm election.

This looks like nothing but political showmanship to me.

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