If you don't have access to Texas newspapers or the internet, you may not have heard the sensational news about the enormous cache of weapons just seized in Laredo, Texas. U.S. authorities grabbed two completed Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), materials for making 33 more, military-style grenades, 26 grenade triggers, large quantities of AK-47 and AR-15 assault rifles, 1,280 rounds of ammunition, silencers, machine gun assembly kits, 300 primers, bullet-proof vests, police scanners, sniper scopes, narcotics, and cash.
That sounds like a war is going on in Texas! If bomb-making factories and firearms assembly plants are ordinary day-to-day business in the drug war along our southern border, the American people need to know more about it.
The Val Verde County chief deputy warned that drug traffickers are helping terrorists with possible al Quaeda ties to cross the Texas-Mexico border into the United States. A government spokesman in Houston said "at this point there is no connection with anything in Iraq."
We are not so easily reassured. We wonder what our government is doing to fulfill its duty to "protect each of them [the states] against invasion," as called for in the U.S. Constitution, Article IV.
The Department of Homeland Security now admits that there have been 231 documented incursions by Mexican military or police, or drug or people smugglers dressed in military uniforms, during the last ten years, including 63 in Arizona, and several Border Patrol agents have been wounded in these encounters. This admission comes after years of pretending that such incursions were just "accidents."
Homeland Security sent a confidential memo in January to our Border Patrol agents warning that they could be the targets of assassins hired by alien smugglers. The alert states that the contract killers will probably be members of the vicious MS-13 Mara Salvatrucha street gang (whose 17-year-old killers will be protected from capital punishment by a recent U.S Supreme Court decision).
There is, indeed, a drug war going on between rival drug gangs, but the U.S. government seems to be just a bystander without manpower or weapons to take action. Are we going to continue to leave our Border agents sitting ducks for Mexican snipers?
Rep. Tom Tancredo reported that sheriff deputies spotted a military-style Humvee near El Paso, Texas, with a mounted .50-caliber machine gun escorting a caravan of SUVs bringing illegal drugs into our country. Our outgunned and outmanned sheriff deputies and state highway patrol couldn't do anything except take pictures.
The Mexican government is unwilling or incapable of doing anything to stop the wide-open lawlessness on the Mexican side of the border. Our Border Patrol agents say they are often confronted by corrupt Mexican military units employed to protect and escort violent drug smugglers.
Meanwhile, the news media have shown us pictures of the just-discovered sophisticated 2,400-foot tunnel running under our border to a warehouse in San Diego. U.S. authorities recovered more than two tons of marijuana, and it is unclear how long the tunnel has been in operation or how many tons of drugs already passed through.
The Bush Administration whines that it can't (i.e., won't) do anything to implement border security unless its guest-worker/amnesty proposal is part of the legislative package, and Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff looked pathetically weak when interviewed on television by Bill O'Reilly. When is our government going to protect us from the crime, the drugs, the smuggling racket, destruction of property, the endangerment to U.S. residents along our border and our undermanned Border Patrol?
In charge of protecting Americans against this war is 36-year-old Julie Myers, to whom President Bush gave a recess appointment after her Senate confirmation bogged down because of her total lack of law-enforcement experience. Her qualifications are her connections: she is the niece of former Joint Chiefs Chairman Richard Myers and the wife of Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff's chief of staff.
Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R-AZ) says that if you visit the border, you will find that almost everyone who lives there is armed for protection from illegals. Just imagine if you had to carry a gun to go to the grocery store or take your kids to school!
For the best up-to-date analysis of what our government should do, read Rep. Hayworth's new book called "Whatever It Takes: Illegal Immigration, Border Security, and the War on Terror." He calls for a security fence, 10,000 border agents, enforcement of penalties on employers who hire illegal aliens, cooperation between the feds and our 700,000 local and state police officers to enforce our immigration laws, more detention centers to keep illegals until they can be deported, and an end to the racket of giving U.S. citizenship to babies born to illegal aliens.
(Ed. Note: Rep. Hayworth's new book is on sale this week at the Townhall Book Service for only $19.95.)
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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