Sunday, October 14, 2012
Border Woe: The Ivie League
Another Drug Corridor Tragedy
The Ivie League
By Stephen L. Wilmeth
Walter Workman spent the night in our casita on his way to Arizona to interview border ranchers for an article that appeared in the Western Horseman. We sat up talking about the cartel conflict and its impact on our border ranching community.
Walter called me late one afternoon on his return trip home to Texas. He was hoping he could take some ranch pictures before he ran out of light. In trying to sort out a plan, he told me about a recent night he spent in another border casita.
Promptly at 2:00 AM he was awakened to the sound of a high pitched engine of an ultralight aircraft approaching from the south. For two hours, the sound of ultralights could be heard as they hauled loads of dope north to waiting cartel crews.
“Welcome to the real world of the border, Herr Walter,” was my response.
The Ivie League
On the bright, moonlit night of October 2, a fire fight erupted in the border region Workman visited. Three Border Patrol agents responded to a tripped motion sensor. They were working out of the Brian Terry Station at Naco, Arizona.
In a sputtering radio call, Agent Nicholas Ivie communicated a fateful plea. “We’re taking fire,” he reported.
Those were very likely Agent Ivie’s last words. Minutes … seconds later he was dead from a head wound.
Soon, the area was inundated by local and federal agents. At least one high powered rifle and a one pistol were recovered.
Four sets of tracks were also found. Three of them were headed south to Mexico. A fourth set was headed east toward the American border towns of Bisbee or Douglas.
Reuters soon reported that Mexican authorities had apprehended two suspects and had information regarding a third involved in the incident.
What we knew…what the nation would soon know was that Nicholas Ivie, age 30, was dead. He left a young family and all the promise of a productive and spiritual life. His family, his church and his brothers wearing the Border Patrol green, the Ivie League, joined in remembrance of him.
Nothing but good things was said about this young man.
Soon, information coming out of the investigation would take a sobering turn. Word suggested the agents had engaged in a firefight against themselves! An ominous mood settled over the border community. We were being told the Border Patrol was shooting at one other.
Quite frankly, that just didn’t ring true. First of all, the whole system the Border Patrol faces works to preclude them from protecting themselves. They are trained to shoot only upon being fired upon. Those three agents knew full well they were approaching tripped sensors. They were working in full moonlight. Regardless of the approaches they were making they would be profoundly aware of their presence for nothing more than unit protection.
Then, there remains the greater picture. Too many aspects of the whole border conflict remain in play. The story must revert to the last murder. As in this case, there was the same initial, confounding suggestion of friendly fire that had been fed to the American public at the onset of the Brian Terry murder investigation back in 2010. That bit of nonsense would blow up, and the whole debacle of Fast and Furious would emerge.
Is there an underlying agenda again in play here? Precedent doesn’t discount such a development. Is there something more ominous? Is the Border Patrol being framed as a bunch of gundsells who are not capable of playing with real bullets?
As in the case of Brian Terry, the fallacy of arming any agent with bean bag rounds rather than arming them to the teeth with lethality to protect themselves and thus the American public teeters on the insane. Perhaps criminality is the more appropriate term.
This will become more profound as the horror stories continue to emerge from the missing guns that disappeared in Fast and Furious. The recent UniVision story about the 16 teenagers killed in Juarez by Fast and Furious weaponry is a good example. Those of us who live within sight of the pollution haze of Ciudad Juarez knew long ago about that blood bath, and yet it became only politically imperative to demonstrate outrage when the Spanish language outlet aired their piece.
The Feds and the mainstream media have, at a minimum, a dysfunctional relationship with Americans who live on the border. There may be little regard by those groups collectively for the lives of those Americans who have to deal with this continued butchery, but, rest assured, that street runs both ways and the disconnect is only growing.
The border war, and … woe continues
The fact is the Obama administration, the open borders inclined elected representation, and the environmental cartels are perpetuating a battle ground that threatens the very soul of our nation. The First Mexican Civil War of this century is being fought over the control of the drug smuggling corridors coming into sovereign American territory from the south.
At the heart of the Arizona debacle continues to be the federal land managed as “commons” across the borderland. Recently obtained FOIA documents reveal the true danger as New Mexico Senators Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall seek to duplicate the same conditions in southern New Mexico that exist in the smuggling corridors of Arizona.
The FOIA exchanges reveal the concern the Border Patrol has had from the onset of the wilderness expansion discussions. Exchanges between Customs and Border Protection David Aguilar, Border Patrol Chief Michael Fisher, Senators Udall and Bingaman, and former drug czar Alan Bersin reveal the danger was communicated well before the Terry murder.
In a particularly revealing and curiously unredacted exchange from the Border Patrol’s El Paso Sector Chief, the situation was condensed to fairly straight forward English. He wrote, “If completely realized, the restrictions of WD (wilderness) will re-define the very nature of how the objectives and elements of the national security are carried out in pursuit of gaining operational control of our nation’s borders.”
Border County sheriffs supported his stance. New Mexico Dona Ana County’s Todd Garrison writes and speaks about the “(Wilderness) Height of Folley!” Luna County’s Sheriff Raymond Cobos claims the unrelenting agenda will “hamstring effective law enforcement.” Arizonan and Pinal County Sheriff, Paul Babeu, expands his frustration. “Local law enforcement and ranchers relentlessly warn Feds of problem of wilderness that lead to national security breaches and murder.”
The results are too predictable. Udall and Bingaman charged ahead with their border wilderness legislation, and … the Obama administration clearly deemed the loss of American life and liberty as acceptable collateral damage for their agenda. Senator Bingaman has even been praised by the environmental movement for his genius in strengthening border security through his efforts to place wilderness along the southern border with Mexico!
But … the slaughter continues.
Deaths amongst illegal aliens in the 90 miles of ‘hot’ border in the Tucson Sector ran just at 250 in 2011. How much coverage do we hear about those individual horror stories? That total isn’t set forth to imply they are all murders by cartel operatives, but the number does suggest grand cartel implications.
On night shortly after the Ivie incident, the Border Patrol evacuated an illegal alien shot in another cartel firefight. What was interesting about the incident wasn’t the absence of news. What was interesting was the operational map history of the event. From the point of the shoot out, there were no less than eight other groups known to be accessing the area and a known quantity of 12 double bundles of marijuana.
Where Agents Nicholas Ivie, Brian Terry, and their brothers-in-arms and colleagues operate … Americans who are charged maintaining sanity and security of our borders … is a war zone of gigantic proportions. The suggestion of a friendly fire shootout among trained professionals may indeed prove to be true, but it is fishy. In fact, it stinks to high heaven, but the conditions and the danger surrounding it are certainly conducive to dangers of war zone calamity.
Guilty until innocent
There is yet another story reduced to footnote. What about those two suspects that Mexican authorities picked up supposedly tied to the Ivie shooting death? When they got a call from their Yankee counterparts to come up with some fall guy, did the Mexican authorities simply grab two unsuspecting innocents and throw them in the holding cell to be squeezed? Isn’t that the developing implication?
What about the third, silent suspect? His fate is worse. He is dead. He committed suicide. He is being represented to be dead from a self inflicted head wound. Well, that isn’t quite accurate. He had to shoot himself twice in the head to get the job done!
Stephen L. Wilmeth is a rancher from southern New Mexico. “Isn’t there irony in the fact that the news of the border is coming from horsemen?”