Theodore's World: Rubber Bullets For Border Agent Brian Terry

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December 24, 2010

Rubber Bullets For Border Agent Brian Terry

Drug mules on the move near where Agent Terry was killed .......Photo: Concerned Citizens

Bean bags vs. AK-47s

by Tom Tancredo (former five-term congressman from Colorado )

Another Border Patrol agent on the Arizona border was shot and killed by Mexican drug smugglers last Tuesday. Of the eight attackers, four are in custody and a fifth is under surveillance by Border Patrol Blackhawk helicopters as he tries to make his way back to the Mexican border.

BP Agent Brian Terry was part of a BORTAC team (for border tactical unit) tracking armed drug smugglers 15 miles northwest of Nogales, Ariz., (and only three miles west of Interstate 19) when they were attacked with automatic weapons fire. The area is well-known as a major drug-smuggling corridor, and the smugglers are known to frequently be armed with AK-47s and other long rifles.

Here's the part Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Border Patrol management are trying to hide: Border Patrol Agent Terry and the BORTAC team were under standing orders to always use ("non-lethal") bean-bag rounds first before using live ammunition. When the smugglers heard the first rounds, they returned fire with real bullets, and Agent Terry was killed in that exchange. Real bullets outperform bean bags every time.

The larger, ugly truth Napolitano and senior managers in the Border Patrol want to hide is that the rules of engagement and inadequate weaponry of the Border Patrol place the lives of all agents at grave risk. The National Border Patrol Council, which represents over 15,000 field agents, believes the border is too dangerous for officers to patrol without body armor, armored vehicles and automatic weapons.

Another aspect of this story that is not being reported is that the site of the shooting, Peck Canyon, is inside the area Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., has proposed to designate as the Tumacacori Highlands Wilderness reserve. If Grijalva's bill is enacted into law, what is now a well-established drug smuggling corridor will become a drug-smuggling superhighway, because the Border Patrol will be prohibited from patrolling the region. Rep. Rob Bishop of Utah has proposed legislation that will remove the restrictions on Border Patrol jurisdiction on such public lands within 50 miles of the border.

On Thursday, Secretary Napolitano and several aides flew to Tucson to meet with local Border Patrol brass. The Obama administration obviously has a mess on its hands, and Napolitano does not want it to blow up before today's U.S. Senate vote on the Dream Act. They know another murder on the southwest border will not help garner needed votes for the Dream Act, because senators supporting that bill must be able to say with a straight face, "The border is as secure as it has ever been."

The BORTAC team encountered not one or two smugglers but a team of eight. Four are in custody, one is under surveillance in the rugged terrain of the Pajarita Wilderness area east of the small ranch town of Ruby, and three others are missing. The captured smugglers had AK-47s and backpacks filled with ammunition, food and radios. There are rumors that three of the captured four are members of the Mexican military, but that is unconfirmed. Yet, it would not be the first time Mexican police and military have been apprehended smuggling drugs into the United States.

It is not widely reported by our news media that the smugglers maintain a dozen or more permanent lookout posts on desert hilltops inside the U.S., and that those lookout posts are manned in week-long shifts by individuals who commute not from Mexico but from Phoenix, Tucson and other Arizona cities.

The allegation that the Sinaloa drug cartel obtained those AK-47s from gun shops in the United States is nonsensical. That's a fairy tale cooked up by the Obama administration and endorsed by the Mexican government because they do not want to admit that the cartels get most of their serious weaponry from the international black market and the Mexican military itself.

The rules requiring first use of bean-bag ammunition is but one example of the suicidal rules of engagement that govern Border Patrol operations. The reason they have such insane rules? The politicians who run the agency do not want the public to think the border is so dangerous a place that Border Patrol agents fear for their lives. In other words, the rules of engagement are based on a lie, a lie that must be maintained for political purposes.

Secretary Napolitano should do two things on Monday morning. First, she should order all Border Patrol agents to be issued weapons adequate for both self-defense and apprehension of armed drug smugglers. The second thing she should do Monday morning is resign.


Wild Thing's comment........


This government is NOT the government I grew up with. I want my government back from the sleazy, amoral, spineless, elitist tripe that have hijacked it. And, I want Soros banned from the USA.

BP agents should be equipped with everything we have deployed in Afghanistan, including body armor, advanced weaponry, night vision, drones with weapons on board.

Posted by Wild Thing at December 24, 2010 04:50 AM


Interesting that Rep. Raul Grijalva wants to ensure the cartels have free access to establish a foothold in America. I wonder where his loyalties lie?

Just like in Afghanistan, Obama's ROE's are getting America's defenders killed in the line of duty.

Posted by: BobF at December 24, 2010 08:44 AM

We need our own military on the border. Regardless of what our leaders have said for over 30 years, the border with Mexico is a dangerous sieve. Napolitano and obama should be charged as accomplices in this murder. Damn them both to hell.

Posted by: TomR,armed in Texas at December 24, 2010 10:25 AM

Bob, your right, this reminds me of the ROE's Obama has for troops in Afghanistan.

Tom, ditto that!!!

Posted by: Wild Thing at December 24, 2010 11:52 PM

Wild Thing appears to be under the age of 55 ot she would remembet the American Leadership that sent half a million men into Veitnam with out cuting the supply lines for the enemy. We are very close to being able to get rid of these dangerous fruitcakes but they have been with us for a hundred years. They are the same people who would not send the BAR to WWI and did not have a working torpedo for the Navy at the begining of WWII. In the next we should discuss plans for detecting and removing such dangerous nuts from the media and the Government.

Posted by: Avitar at December 25, 2010 01:56 AM