Judicial Watch recently obtained documents from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that detail more than 226 Mexican government incursions between 1996 and 2005 — an average of 25 per year. (An incursion is defined by DHS as, "the unauthorized crossing of the U.S.-Mexico border by Mexican Government Personnel.") It seems that armed Mexican soldiers and Mexican police officers are regularly crossing our border with little or no consequence.
The records obtained by Judicial Watch through the Freedom of Information Act consist of annual intelligence summaries of "Mexican Government Incidents," compiled over a nine-year period. They were designated as "limited official use" by the DHS, requiring "special protection against unauthorized or inadvertent disclosure." After reading the documents, I can understand why the federal government would want to keep a lid on them.
The intelligence summaries provide detailed maps of the incursions, along with descriptions of other documented "incidents" involving Mexican government personnel and Border Patrol agents. The records describe incidents involving shots fired on both sides of the border, unmarked helicopters invading U.S. airspace, drug smuggling, and confrontations between U.S. Border Patrol agents and armed members of the Mexican military. Here are a few highlights:
- MEXICAN MILITARY ENCOUNTER (ARMED/THREATENING) RIO GRANDE VALLEY/BROWNSVILLE — "As the boat proceeded to go down river towards the scene, the [Border Patrol] Agent on board advised via radio that several Mexican soldiers were pointing their rifles in his direction. The Agent decided for his safety and the safety of the crew to turn back, but advised that the soldiers were still aiming at them." (2005)
- MEXICAN MILITARY SIGHTING — TUCSON/DOUGLAS STATION — "The [Border Patrol] Agents were returning to their assigned area when they heard four distinct gunshots coming from Mexico. The gunshots were fired when the Agents were approximately 10 feet away." (2005)
- MEXICAN MILITARY SIGHTING (ARMED) LAREDO/ZAPATA: "This boat, which appeared to be a Mexican Military boat, was providing security and escort for the two others that were later found to be transporting 2,716.53 pounds of Marijuana." (2003)
Border Patrol agents have a difficult enough job as it is stopping the flow of illegal aliens without having to worry about running into squads of Mexican soldiers working to move drugs across our border. I would hazard a guess we don’t have this problem with the Canadian armed forces in the north. The federal government should take these incursions seriously and take measures to stop them. As these documents show, it is a joke to think we will ever receive any help from the Mexican government in helping to police the southern border.
Specter Puts Four Conservative Judicial Nominees on the Senate’s Agenda
Last week I reported that President Bush re-nominated five conservative judicial nominees, challenging Republicans in the Senate to go to battle against obstructionist Democrats before the elections in November in order to get his nominees confirmed. Apparently, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter got the president’s message.
On Thursday, Sen. Specter placed four of the five judicial nominees on the Senate Judiciary Committee agenda: Terrence Boyle (4th Circuit), William James Haynes (4th Circuit), William Gerry Myers III (9th Circuit), and Norman Randy Smith (9th Circuit). (Missing was Michael Brunson Wallace, the president’s nominee for the 5th Circuit.) Democrats will most assuredly exhaust all options to stonewall these nominations. On at least two of the nominees, they have threatened to use an unconstitutional judicial filibuster. This is to be expected. But how will Senate Republicans respond?
Some suggest Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist might make good on his promise to use the so-called "nuclear option," a parliamentary procedure that would put an end to judicial filibusters, declaring them unconstitutional by a simple majority vote of 51 senators. (By comparison, it takes 60 votes to stop a filibuster.) I have my doubts.
But if Sen. Frist has enough political will to confront Senate Democrats, now is the time to use it. Most experts expect losses for Republicans in the November elections. The loss of even one seat for Republicans in the Senate reduces the chance they could ever end a liberal filibuster of a judicial nominee — even by using the "nuclear option." (Four senate Republicans are on record opposing the use of the "nuclear option.")
Specter deserves credit for bringing these nominees to the Senate for consideration. But it will all be for naught if his fellow Senate Republicans get weak-kneed when facing liberals in the Senate, who are determined to prevent up-or-down votes on the president’s nominees, in direct violation of their constitutional obligations.
As we look back at the terrible events of September 11, 2001 it is hard to believe that five years have passed. Judicial Watch has used a variety of creative legal and investigative methods to combat the terrorist threat. For example:
- On May 16, 2006, JW obtained from the Pentagon video footage of American Airlines flight 77 hitting the Pentagon on 9/11 — providing a vivid reminder as to the nature of the evil we face.
- In 2005, JW received and released documents revealing that the Clinton administration knew about the threat that bin Laden posed to the U.S. Take a look at these documents as you consider the Clintonite complaints about the 9/11 docu-drama on ABC.
- Between September 11 and September 15, 2001, 160 Saudi nationals fled the United States on commercial flights. JW filed a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security and got hold of documents from the Customs and Border Protection agency about the mass exodus. The question of Saudi financial and moral support for terrorism has yet to be sufficiently addressed by policy makers.
- After the anthrax attacks in Brentwood in October of 2001, JW stood up for the rights of postal workers and citizens. Judicial Watch represented hundreds of USPS workers and a USPS workers’ support group organized as "Brentwood Exposed" in litigation over the government lies in the aftermath of the attack.
- Judicial Watched called for the IRS to investigate and shut down Muslim non-profit organizations known to be funding or supporting terrorist organizations. We also represent FBI whistleblowers trying to tell the truth about the FBI’s failures in the fight against terrorist front groups here at home.
- Judicial Watch filed a lawsuit against terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden, his al Qaeda network, Afghanistan and Iraq on behalf of the husband of a 9/11 victim. We also joined a lawsuit against al Qaeda’s alleged Saudi financiers.
- Judicial Watch released the groundbreaking book: Fatal Neglect — The U.S. Government’s Continuing Failure to Protect American Citizens from Terrorists.