Katie Kieffer

Markey wrote: “Unfortunately, there is a widespread misperception that the Southwest border is overrun by violence spilling from Mexico’s ongoing drug war. The reality is that some of America’s safest communities are in the Southwest border region…” Markey’s note reveals Napolitano’s brazen refusal to acknowledge the drug-induced violence on the border.

Napolitano’s “boss,” President Obama, seems more concerned with sweet-talking Hispanic voters than acknowledging cartel violence. He told the city of El Paso on May 10 that the 700-mile border fence was “basically complete” when it was really only five percent complete, five years after approval.

Napolitano’s “partner” in fighting the drug war, Attorney General Eric Holder, struggles to oversee the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). The ATF’s “Fast and Furious” program lost track of over 2,000 major weapons crossing the border. Drug cartels likely acquired hundreds of powerful firearms and a significant leg up thanks to Holder’s mismanagement.

This September, PBS launches a new series featuring Calderón. Time Magazine reports: "In an effort to boost Mexico's weakened tourism industry ... (Calderón) will bravely lead camera crews into caverns, up rivers and down sink-holes, often while wearing an Indiana Jones-style hat."

So Napolitano stands by as the American public subsidizes a PBS show enabling Calderón to lure wealthy American tourists into drug cartel country. Does Napolitano work for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security or Mexico’s Secretaría de Turismo?

Ms. Napolitano and her partners should acknowledge the brutality on the border instead of ignoring or underestimating it. They should show Americans the border by asking their pals in the mainstream media to cover drug cartel border violence 24/7/365 (just like a hurricane) until it ceases.

If Americans fully understood the drug cartels on the border, they would be more open to decriminalizing drugs. A strategic, states’ rights approach to decriminalization is worth trying, but Americans won’t approach the war on drugs differently if Napolitano keeps telling the public: “some of America’s safest communities are in the Southwest border region.”

A November 2010 UK medical study published by The Lancet shows that alcohol is more lethal than heroin and crack cocaine and drastically more harmful than marijuana, ecstasy and LSD. Meanwhile, Forbes reports that drug abuse dropped by 50 percent in Portugal just 10 years after decriminalizing all drugs.

Show us the border, Ms. Napolitano. Acknowledge the national security threat from drug cartels. Modify your approach and protect Americans.

Katie Kieffer

Katie Kieffer is the author of a new book published by Random House, LET ME BE CLEAR: Barack Obama’s War on Millennials and One Woman’s Case for Hope.” She writes a weekly column for Townhall.com. She also runs KatieKieffer.com.