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Author Topic: The defeat of al Qaeda
G3
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quote:
On Sept. 13 [2012] in Golden, Colo., Obama said, “Four years ago, I promised to end the war in Iraq — and we did. I said we’d wind down the war in Afghanistan — and we are. And while a new tower rises above the New York skyline, al Qaeda is on the path to defeat, and Osama bin Laden is dead.” He repeated that line again on Sept. 17 in Cincinnati and again that day in Columbus, Ohio.
Since the Benghazi attack, Barry O has made this assertion essentially 32 times. Barry got his mind made up, Al Qaeda was beaten - decimated is the word he used.

I'm sure we all feel safer.

In related news:
quote:
A State Department travel alert Friday said al Qaeda may launch attacks in the Middle East, North Africa and beyond, as the United States is closing 21 embassies and consulates Sunday as a precaution.

“Current information suggests that al Qaeda and affiliated organizations continue to plan terrorist attacks both in the region and beyond, and that they may focus efforts to conduct attacks in the period between now and the end of August,” said the alert, which covers the entire month.

It warned that “terrorists may elect to use a variety of means and weapons and target both official and private interests.”

A separate State Department list showed the 21 embassies and consulates that will close on Sunday, normally the start of the work week in the countries affected.

Yep, decimated. Beaten. Defeated. Glad we don't have to worry about al Qaeda any more.

I'm kind of looking forward to the demonstration of blackwhite that is sure to follow.

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TomDavidson
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Does it count if I think the whole war on terror is largely a fiction and I've never felt unsafe in the first place?
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D.W.
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Option A: AQ considers it a victory that our government would spy on, and thereby make discontent, its’ own people. With this in mind, they ramp up aggression or at least the chatter of potential aggression in the wake of a high point of people speaking out against our means used to thwart them. This would be not because they want those tools to go away but rather that the existence of those tools, and more importantly their effect on the moral of our country, benefits their goal. The gradual erosion of all that we claim makes us superior to them.

Option B: The threat is manufactured / exaggerated to rally us, and our representatives, so that we are more willing to accept the tools the government feels are needed to protect us from AQ and other threats.

Option C: The majority of our government values physical security highly enough that any discontent the public may direct at them for the steps taken to insure that safety is worth the price. Also they feel the tools being employed are useful enough that victory, however slow in arriving, is inevitable. They may or may not entertain the idea to return more privacy to us once the threat is passed.

Option D: This is not so much part of a bigger picture. The administration is just in CYA mode after the backlash in Libya and is overly cautious to avoid a repeat.

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Seneca
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I heard a great analysis this morning on the radio, Ralph Peters was discussing how there is a shift among AQ as the "young blood" wants to focus more on fighting the US regionally in the middle east to kick us out, while the old guard, who is watching their power dissipate, is still trying to keep attention focused on attacking targets in the US.

Essentially AQ is going through a major resurgence and their internal communications seem to show that they think Obama is a coward and that this is a prime opportunity for them to grow and strike.

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vulture
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The original AQ - the group that was sheltered by the Taliban and planned 9/11 - doesn't really exist in any meaningful sense. They aren't capable of carrying out any operations or doing much of anything really.

What they have become however is a banner for other groups to rally to - such as AQ in the Arabian Peninsula (mostly Yemen). Pretty much no-one in AQAP had anything to do with pre-9/11 AQ, and the actual degree of contact between the two could be pretty minimal for all I know. But the idea that AQ represents has inspired the Yemeni group and they have declared their AQ affiliation - which means little more than sticking Al Qaeda in the name and having (very loosely) the same goals.

There is pretty much nothing you can do to stop any new terrorist group appearing and sticking AQ in their name and getting called AQ by all and sundry. That would be true even if every single member of 9/11 era AQ was dead. So I don't think that the existence of groups flying the AQ flag necessarily has any bearing on the state of the original AQ and whether it has been effectively defeated or not.

Conversely, the defeat of AQ is by extension a goal of limited utility, since it doesn't stop other AQ-inspired groups from arising. What it does mean is that one network with a certain degree of technical and operational expertise and motivated members has been rendered a non-factor as far as carrying out attacks is concerned, and that some of that expertise has been lost.

Really, 'defeating AQ' is something of a red herring these days. The landscape of threats to the US and other western nations from jihadists has changed substantially in the last 12 years, and a goal that was once a sensible focus of our efforts has become meaningless, and should be replaced by new goals (and I'm pretty sure in the world of people dealing with the practicalities of this stuff, it has been).

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vulture
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quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
I heard a great analysis this morning on the radio, Ralph Peters was discussing how there is a shift among AQ as the "young blood" wants to focus more on fighting the US regionally in the middle east to kick us out, while the old guard, who is watching their power dissipate, is still trying to keep attention focused on attacking targets in the US.

There is also the question of whether they have the capability top attack targets in the US. It is much easier to launch an attack on a US target in Yemen that in Wahington DC if you happen to be a young Yemeni with a grudge and a gun.
So is it a case of ideological shift or greatly dimished capability to carry out attacks within US borders?

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Seneca
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quote:
Originally posted by vulture:
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
I heard a great analysis this morning on the radio, Ralph Peters was discussing how there is a shift among AQ as the "young blood" wants to focus more on fighting the US regionally in the middle east to kick us out, while the old guard, who is watching their power dissipate, is still trying to keep attention focused on attacking targets in the US.

There is also the question of whether they have the capability top attack targets in the US. It is much easier to launch an attack on a US target in Yemen that in Wahington DC if you happen to be a young Yemeni with a grudge and a gun.
So is it a case of ideological shift or greatly dimished capability to carry out attacks within US borders?

I'd argue that it's an ideological shift. We are weaker than ever here at home. Our southern border is insecure and we've actually caught lots of middle easterners using the land route across the Mexican border to sneak in. We still don't chase down expired visas, etc.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
We are weaker than ever here at home.
Than ever? In what way are you measuring this?
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DarkJello
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
Does it count if I think the whole war on terror is largely a fiction and I've never felt unsafe in the first place?

I sure hope your personal feelings of safety/danger don't factor into the strategory that Obama chooses.
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TomDavidson
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I hope so, too. But it seems to me that rather than being surprised that a "War on Terror" has failed to end, the fact that I predicted the "War on Terror" would never end as long as it remained convenient for the executive branch, was a stupid idea in the first place that doesn't actually make us measurably safer, etc. is relevant to G3's original observation.

Of course we're still fighting this. We will keep moving goalposts so that we can keep fighting this for as along as we are alive.

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DarkJello
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
I hope so, too. But it seems to me that rather than being surprised that a "War on Terror" has failed to end, the fact that I predicted the "War on Terror" would never end as long as it remained convenient for the executive branch, was a stupid idea in the first place that doesn't actually make us measurably safer, etc. is relevant to G3's original observation.

Of course we're still fighting this. We will keep moving goalposts so that we can keep fighting this for as along as we are alive.

Gots to say, I think this is about as accurate as we can get. Therefore, lo and behold, and yadda yadda... I concur.
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Seneca
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http://www.wnd.com/2010/05/156441/

quote:

Almost nine years after terrorists murdered 2,751 people on Sept. 11, 2001, the U.S. is still facing a major threat as hundreds of illegal aliens from countries known to support and sponsor terrorism sneak across the U.S.-Mexico border.

‘Special-interest countries’ and ‘sponsors of terror’

Thousands of illegal aliens apprehended along the 2,000 mile border stretching through California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas aren’t even from Mexico. The U.S. Border Patrol calls them “Other Than Mexicans,” or OTMs, and many are citizens of countries that are sponsors of terrorism.

Is the American Southwest about to be lost? Read about the realities, in “Conquest of Aztlan”

A 2006 congressional report on border threats, titled “A Line in the Sand: Confronting the Threat at the Southwest Border” and prepared by the House Committee on Homeland Security Subcommittee on Investigations, indicated that 1.2 million illegal aliens were apprehended in 2005 alone, and 165,000 of those were from countries other than Mexico. Approximately 650 were from “special interest countries,” or nations the Border Patrol defines as “designated by the intelligence community as countries that could export individuals that could bring harm to our country in the way of terrorism.”

Atlanta’s WSB-TV2 aired a segment on U.S. border security after it obtained records from a federal detention center near Phoenix, Ariz., and found current listings for illegal aliens from Afghanistan, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Sudan and Yemen.

“We have left the back door to the United States open,” former Rep. J.D. Hayworth told the station. “We have to understand that there are definitely people who mean to do us harm who have crossed that border.”

WSB-TV 2 published a population breakdown from an Immigration and Customs Enforcement staging facility in Florence, Ariz., dated April 15, 2010, which includes detainees from as far away as Afghanistan, Armenia, Bosnia, Egypt, Ghana, Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Kenya, Morocco, Pakistan, Sudan, Uzbekistan, Yemen, Botswana, Turkey and many other countries.

Based on U.S. Border Patrol statistics, there were 30,147 OTMs apprehended in fiscal year 2003; 44, 614 in fiscal year 2004; 165,178 in fiscal year 2005; and 108,025 in fiscal year 2006. Most were caught along the U.S. Southwest border.

According to the Department of Homeland Security’s 2008 Yearbook of Immigration Studies, from the Office of Immigration Statistics, federal law enforcement agencies detained 791,568 deportable aliens in fiscal year 2008 – and 5,506 of them were from 14 “special-interest countries.”

The State Department lists the following as “special-interest countries”: Afghanistan, Algeria, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and Yemen.

The following “special-interest countries” are listed as sponsors of terror: Cuba, Sudan, Syria and Iran.

The aliens were apprehended “at the borders of the United States, in the interior of the country and at designated sites outside of the United States.” The 2008 yearbook lists 791,568 deportable aliens by country (Page 97). Some include:

Afghanistan: 29
Algeria: 41
Cuba: 3,896
Iran: 98
Iraq: 118
Lebanon: 188
Libya: 11
Nigeria: 299
Pakistan: 494
Saudi Arabia: 71
Somalia: 66
Sudan: 46
Syria: 71
Yemen: 78


According to the Government Accountability Office, “The Border Patrol reported that in fiscal year 2008, checkpoints encountered 530 aliens from special-interest countries.”

‘Ever-present threat of terrorist infiltration’

Warning of an “ever-present threat of terrorist infiltration over the Southwest border,” the congressional report notes:

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement investigations have revealed that aliens were smuggled from the Middle East to staging areas in Central and South America, before being smuggled illegally into the United States.
Members of Hezbollah have already entered the United States across the Southwest border.
U.S. military and intelligence officials believe that Venezuela is emerging as a potential hub of terrorism in the Western Hemisphere. The Venezuelan government is issuing identity documents that could subsequently be used to obtain a U.S. visa and enter the country.
The Texas border – specifically the McAllen area – outpaces the rest of the nation in OTMs and aliens from “special-interest countries.”

From Sept. 11, 2001, to 2006, the Department of Homeland Security reported a 41 percent increase in arrests along the Texas/Mexico border of “special-interest aliens” – including aliens from Iran, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Pakistan, Cuba, Brazil, Ecuador, China, Russia, Yemen, Albania, Yugoslavia and Afghanistan – all apprehended in the South Texas region alone.

U.S. immigration authorities have discovered items along the banks of the Rio Grande River that suggest ties to terrorist organizations. In 2006, Sheriff Sigifredo Gonzalez of Zapata County, Texas, reported that officials found Iranian currency in the same area.

Also, a jacket found in Jim Hogg County, Texas, was covered in patches from countries where al-Qaida is known to operate. The patches include an Arabic military badge and one that illustrates an airplane flying into a tower. Another one features a depiction of a lion’s head with wings and a parachute. The Arab insignia reads “martyr,” “way to eternal life” or “way to immortality.”

‘One way or another, they’re all connected’

“Islamic radical groups that support Hamas, Hezbollah and Islamiya Al Gamat are all active in Latin America,” the 2006 congressional report states. “These groups generate funds through money laundering, drug trafficking and arms deals, making millions of dollars every year via their multiple illicit activities. These cells reach back to the Middle East and extend to this hemisphere the sophisticates global support structure of international terrorism.”

In May 2001, just months before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, a former Mexican national security adviser and U.N. ambassador, Adolfo Aguilar Zinser, warned, “Spanish and Islamic terrorist groups are using Mexico as a refuge.”

The 39-page report notes members of Hezbollah, the Lebanon-based terrorist organization, have already entered the U.S. by way of the Southwest border.

In 2002, authorities arrested Salim Boughader Mucharrafille, a café owner in Tijuana, Mexico, for smuggling more than 200 Lebanese people into the U.S., including several believed to have ties to Hezbollah.

Also, in March 2005, Mahmoud Youssef Kourani, an illegal alien who had been smuggled across the U.S.-Mexico border after bribing a Mexican consular official in Beirut for a visa, pleaded guilty to providing material support to Hezbollah. Kourani, brother of the Hezbollah chief of military operations in southern Lebanon, lived in Dearborn, Mich., while he solicited funds for Hezbollah terrorists.

Hezbollah relies on “the same criminal weapons smugglers, document traffickers and transportation experts as the drug cartels,” Michael Braun, retired assistant administrator and chief of operations at the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, told the Washington Times last year. “They work together. They rely on the same shadow facilitators. One way or another, they are all connected. ”

He added, “They’ll leverage those relationships to their benefit, to smuggle contraband and humans into the U.S.; in fact, they already are [smuggling].”

In 2006, Colombia’s acting attorney general, Jorge Armando Otalora, announced authorities had dismantled a ring that had been producing fake passports to help illegal aliens enter the United States. Colombian officials said the gang was tied to al-Qaida and Hamas militants and that it had supplied the false passports to citizens from Pakistan, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt and other countries. However, the U.S. Justice Department denied those allegations, saying the gang had connections to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC. Justice Department spokesman Bryan Sierra said, “We are not alleging any connections to any terror organization other than the FARC.”

As WND reported in 2007, President Bush’s top intelligence aide confirmed that Iraqi terrorists were captured coming into the United States from Mexico.

Just this week, Houston’s KHOU-TV 11 reported Homeland Security warned Houston, Texas, police and Harris County Sheriff’s deputies that a suspected terrorist may be traveling through the U.S. through Mexico. Mohamed Ali is a suspected member of the terrorist group Al Shabaab, a group based in Somalia with ties to the Somali attacks portrayed in the movie “Blackhawk Down.”

Only months ago, Al Shabaab announced its allegiance to al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden.

KHOU-TV’s chilling report can be seen below:


Likewise, the station reported, a federal indictment was filed in San Antonio against a Somali man two weeks ago. It alleges Ahmed Muhammed Dhakane led a “large-scale smuggling enterprise,” moving east Africans into the U.S., including members of a terrorist group called AIAI. Dhakane is also suspected of recruiting people to help create a Taliban regime.

Shocking likelihood of terrorist infiltration

A 2009 academic study by the Society for Risk Analysis, titled “Analyzing the Homeland Security of the U.S.-Mexico Border,” used a mathematical model to predict the likelihood of terrorist infiltration across the border with Mexico.

Two researcher from Stanford University and a third from George Mason University concluded that chances of OTM terrorists entering the U.S. across the southern border are quite high.

According to one calculation, based on assumptions about the extent of border screening and other aspects of domestic interior enforcement, the probability of an OTM terrorist crossing into the United States was 97.3 percent.

A 2005 Congressional Research Service report for Congress warned, “Terrorists and terrorist organizations could leverage these illicit networks to smuggle a person or weapon of mass destruction into the United States, while the large number of aliens attempting to enter the country illegally could potentially provide cover for the terrorists.”

Aliens from the Middle East and other parts of the globe are said to travel to South America first, where they learn to speak Spanish. Then they continue up through Mexico and join other illegal aliens as they cross the border – mostly undetected.

According to the 2006 congressional report, federal law-enforcement agencies estimate that only 10 to 30 percent of illegal aliens are actually caught – meaning an estimated 70 to 90 percent enter the U.S. undetected.

“While many illegal aliens cross the border searching for employment, not all illegal aliens are crossing into the United States to find work,” the report states. “Law enforcement has stated that some individuals come across the border because they have been forced to leave their home countries due to their criminal activity. These dangerous criminals are fleeing the law in other countries and seeking refuge in the United States.”


Someone please remind me how many 911 hijackers there were?

[ August 05, 2013, 07:35 PM: Message edited by: Seneca ]

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TomDavidson
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We've been over this particular xenophobic yarn before, Seneca, and I demolished it the last time. Would you like me to do it again?
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LetterRip
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Seneca,

the borders are impossible to secure. Reducing their 'porosity' could be acommplished by two or three measures

1) Legalize drugs - but require that they all be provided through legitimate channels

2) Enforcement of employment laws so that only lawful workers can be hired.

3) Change prositutiton laws - this would largely eliminate the human trafficing for prostitution.

That eliminates criminal enterprises primary motivies for smuggling - drugs, illegal immigrants seeking jobs, and prostitution rings. The illegal immigrant traffic would drop to virtually nil. Making it far harder for illegals bent on terrorism to do border crossing.

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Seneca
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quote:
Originally posted by LetterRip:
Seneca,

the borders are impossible to secure. Reducing their 'porosity' could be acommplished by two or three measures

1) Legalize drugs - but require that they all be provided through legitimate channels

2) Enforcement of employment laws so that only lawful workers can be hired.

3) Change prositutiton laws - this would largely eliminate the human trafficing for prostitution.

That eliminates criminal enterprises primary motivies for smuggling - drugs, illegal immigrants seeking jobs, and prostitution rings. The illegal immigrant traffic would drop to virtually nil. Making it far harder for illegals bent on terrorism to do border crossing.

If the government has the tech. to use drones to see people from miles away they have the tech to secure the border now, without us having to bend over and "accept" anything. Illegal immigration is not inevitable and it represents a clear and present danger to our national security. I suppose those who doubt it will make us wait for the first attack and then cry "how could we have known?!" We have Islamists crossing the southern border right now, I recommend we NOT wait until people are dead to stop them.

People illegally crossing our border are, in a way, declaring war on us. I could care less whether they're involved with a drug smuggling cartel or they just want a "better life." Simply acknowledge the border for what it is: a battlefield. The cartels kill enough US ranchers and citizens that I think it meets this definition.

Someone tell me why the DMZ in Korea is able to be secured but our southern border cannot? It's 160 miles long, granted our border is much bigger but the Korean DMZ also has geographical variation in it. We should be able to learn from that.

I look at our weak, surrender-monkey politicians who always talk about "impossible" today and wonder what life would have been like had they been around during the Cold War or WW2, we'd probably be speaking Russian right now.

[ August 05, 2013, 09:31 PM: Message edited by: Seneca ]

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TomDavidson
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quote:
People illegally crossing our border are, in a way, declaring war on us.
Yes, in the same way that people who cut you off in traffic are trying to murder you.

quote:
I look at our weak, surrender-monkey politicians who always talk about "impossible" today and wonder what life would have been like had they been around during the Cold War or WW2...
Funny. I wouldn't've pegged you as a fan of Johnson, JFK, or FDR.
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LetterRip
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Seneca,

the borders have never been 'secure' - this is by far the most 'secure' they have ever been, with fewer illegal immigrants than any point in history.

We have 103 thousand miles of borders.
We have 500 million people cross our borders annually. Of that 500 million about 1 million are illegal crossings.

We already use drones for border surveillance

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/01/us-border-patrol-increase_n_1467196.html

They are currently extremely expensive (18 million to buy, 3000$ per hour) and extremely ineffective.

quote:
Of the 365,000 border apprehensions logged during fiscal year 2012, CBP spy drones led to 143. That's about 0.0004 percent.
http://motherboard.vice.com/blog/does-the-us-mexico-border-really-need-247-drone-service

Cessnas or stationary radar towers would be cheaper and more effective.

The Mexican border is also far easier to secure than any other border, it is much smaller than the Canadian border and the terrain is much easier to monitor with radar.

Of course this completely ignores tunnelling which can completely bypass the ability to spot border crossings.

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TomDavidson
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Yeah, I'm a little confused by the "less secure than ever" claim earlier. I mean, less secure than at what other time in history?
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AI Wessex
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Than at times we weren't thinking about it and weren't constantly being paranoid. If you go back to the first post in this thread by our resident objective thinker, *any* threat at *any* time proves that Obama is a liar and that the sky is therefore falling. This ignores every single Republican who has said over and over again that we can't prevent people from trying to attack us, and that sooner or later someone will succeed.

Shame on the fear mongers and blame casters. Thy name is Republican.

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Seneca
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http://dailynightly.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/05/02/17708115-despite-safer-border-cities-undocumented-immigrants-flow-through-rural-areas?lite

quote:
Ranchers: rural border areas not secure
Critics of the administration's position on border security, however, say that while the overall apprehension numbers are down, they don't fully reflect the reality in areas where smugglers and immigrants still routinely make the illegal crossing into the United States from Mexico.

On a small ranch near the border in southwestern Arizona, a mother of several children spoke under the condition of anonymity. She fears what she described as an increase in drug and immigrant smugglers crossing her land by day and night.
"You're still having to pack a gun everywhere with you and make sure your kids can't go outside to play unless you are watching them." she said. "The border is not secure. The Border Patrol doesn't have a very strong presence out here."

Texas police: a rise in immigrant smuggling
In the small town of San Juan, Texas, a few miles north of the Mexican border, Police Chief Juan Gonzalez toured some of the human stash houses his officers recently uncovered. They had been used to hide immigrants from all over the world who were smuggled across the border into the United States.
Gonzalez says his department has never dealt with as many undocumented immigrants as it encounters now.
"In the past three years we've seen an increase. And it's not a steady increase, it's a massive increase," he said. "Too many people are getting through. We've got too many holes in the border and we don't have enough manpower to make sure we secure the border."
About 75 miles north of the border, in Falfurrias, Texas, Benny Martinez, the chief deputy of the Brooks County Sheriff's Office, says his area is also deeply affected by a recent rise in illegal immigration.
“The trending is going up,” he said. “It hasn’t gone down at all, not here.”

Last year, officials and ranchers there found the bodies of 129 immigrants who died in the harsh terrain, presumably after crossing the border illegally. Dozens are still unidentified and are buried in a local cemetery. Some of the metal markers on the graves read, "Unknown Female" and "Unknown Remains." One says, simply, "Bones."
Martinez does not believe the U.S.-Mexican border is at all secure in South Texas, given the rise in illegal immigration in Brooks County.
"It's steady and I don't think it's going to go down, it's not going to happen anytime soon," he said.

Border patrol: South Texas a problem area
In South Texas, in the Rio Grande Valley sector, immigrant apprehensions rose 65 percent from the years 2011 to 2012 -- from 59,243 to 97,762, according to U.S. Border Patrol -- bucking the national trend of falling immigration numbers.
This year, statistics reveal the Rio Grande Valley apprehension numbers have climbed even further, rising 55 percent compared to this time in 2012.
Federal agents believe it reflects a recent increase in people fleeing the poverty, drug gangs and violence in Central America.
Privately, some agents say that, despite their great success in making more apprehensions, thousands of immigrants crossing the border illegally in South Texas still slip past them.
A majority of people involved in the security debate agree that most of the U.S. cities along the border are now much safer than they used to be and have much lower crime rates, thanks to high fences, increased monitoring technology and thousands of Border Patrol and other federal agents deployed there.
But McCaffrey says U.S. officials need to do more for the rural areas.
“You have to give the Border Patrol and Customs and Border Protection the dollars and the technology to protect the American frontier,” he said. “We’ve got to do it. We owe it to the American people.”

The point here is that things like PRISM and XKeyscore will NOT keep us safe and destroy our liberties while things like securing the entire border actually WOULD keep us safER than we have been yet the government will not do it no matter how many times they are ordered to build more fence or deploy more people and tech. Both Bush and Obama are guilty of ignoring recent acts of Congress specifically ordering more fence built and more resources deployed.

[ August 05, 2013, 11:18 PM: Message edited by: Seneca ]

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Greg Davidson
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quote:
We are weaker than ever here at home. Our southern border is insecure and we've actually caught lots of middle easterners using the land route across the Mexican border to sneak in.
As I wrote about 6 or 7 years ago, if the terrorists really wanted to get us in the United States, they'd sneak across the boarder, buy an assault weapon from a gun show, and shoot up 20-30 people in a mall or at a school. There is no practical way to stop such attempts, and all it takes is ~$50K and one terrorist willing to risk his life. A single shooting or bombing can bring capture the attention of this nation for weeks (Boston, Cnnnecticut, the movie theater in Aurora Colorado, the shooting at Gabby Giffords, the Virginia University, etc.). Why hasn't it happened hundreds of times since 9/11? I think when I made the original point, I was arguing against a monolithic army of 1l5 billion "islamofascists", but the track record (or rather, the absence of such a track record) supports the notion that the war on terror is not as broad as some have feared. On the other hand, it is entirely possible that a very small group of extremists is sdtill out their, and intent on inflicting damage.
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DarkJello
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
People illegally crossing our border are, in a way, declaring war on us.
Yes, in the same way that people who cut you off in traffic are trying to murder you.
[Roll Eyes]

The US gvt prints billions and billions every month, out of thin air. Why not just use some of that funny money to get the job done once and for all?

[ August 06, 2013, 12:08 AM: Message edited by: DarkJello ]

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TomDavidson
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Which job? Border security? No amount of money would do it.
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AI Wessex
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I've thought (but perhaps not said) exactly what Greg did. Our gun laws are so weak that anybody who is in this country can buy enough guns and explosives to blow up buildings or shoot dozens of people. Worse, due to the "freedom-lover" NRA types gun owners don't have to let the government know that someone suspicious is buying those things or is buying far more of them than they realistically need for any legitimate purpose.

Opening or closing the borders won't stop people who are here now from committing terrorism, and gun shops will be *glad* to sell them what they need to do the job. You don't think people like that are already here?

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Seneca
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quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
quote:
We are weaker than ever here at home. Our southern border is insecure and we've actually caught lots of middle easterners using the land route across the Mexican border to sneak in.
As I wrote about 6 or 7 years ago, if the terrorists really wanted to get us in the United States, they'd sneak across the boarder, buy an assault weapon from a gun show, and shoot up 20-30 people in a mall or at a school. There is no practical way to stop such attempts, and all it takes is ~$50K and one terrorist willing to risk his life. A single shooting or bombing can bring capture the attention of this nation for weeks (Boston, Cnnnecticut, the movie theater in Aurora Colorado, the shooting at Gabby Giffords, the Virginia University, etc.). Why hasn't it happened hundreds of times since 9/11? I think when I made the original point, I was arguing against a monolithic army of 1l5 billion "islamofascists", but the track record (or rather, the absence of such a track record) supports the notion that the war on terror is not as broad as some have feared. On the other hand, it is entirely possible that a very small group of extremists is sdtill out their, and intent on inflicting damage.
I'd say the Fort Hood shooter, Major Nidal Hassan, has probably paved the way for this. Though he is only second generation, no doubt it will inspire others to come here and follow suit. Terrorists wait, they can afford to.
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Wayward Son
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Sure, they can wait.

But why wait when you don't have to? [Wink]

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Seneca
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Some analysis on where we are right now:

-Obama claimed "Al Qaeda was on the run." In reality the US is on the run, for the first time since 9-11 we are closing all our middle eastern embassies and effectively evacuating the entire region as well as telling Americans to get out or they are on their own. I'd say that WE'RE the runs who are running while Al Aqaeda is on the rise.

-The US doesn't oppose terror, we are simply taking sides. Case in point, we support the Muslim Brotherhood which is a known terrorist organization with ties to Hamas.

-The only other option to me seems the most sinister: that right when CNN was about to break a major revelation in the Benghazi story about the CIA's true involvement there, Obama creates a massive terrorist threat to kill two birds with one stone. The news is off of Benghazi and the American people learn to have an appreciation for supposedly why we need the NSA spying on all our internet and phone traffic (supposedly the intel. for the recent threat came from an intercepted 'email')/

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Seneca
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For those who think Al Qaeda is not harming America it seems Major Nidal Hassan has some words for you:

quote:
After a short opening statement in which ex-Army Maj. Nidal Hasan called himself a "mujahedeen," admitted to the rampage and said "the dead bodies will show that war is an ugly thing," Hassan cross-examined prosecution witnesses, including retired Lt. Col Ben Kirk Phillips, his former boss. When pressed by the defendant, Phillips acknowledged that his officer evaluation report had graded Hasan as "outstanding."

Hasan also cross-examined Pat Sonti, who met Hasan at the Killeen Islamic Center in Fort Hood the morning of the shooting. Sonti said Hasan took the microphone at the mosque and called for prayer.
“After call to prayer, he bid goodbye and told the congregation he was going home," Sonti said. "I found that odd.”
Hasan asked Sonti to describe the difference between the call for prayer and actual prayer, then asked who is supposed to lead the call.
"Whoever the imam looks at," replied Sonti. "But you know that, sir."
Later Tuesday, Hasan was expected to cross-examine his own shooting victims, including Sgt. Alonzo Lunsford.
It was not clear how the 42-year-old Hasan plans to fashion his stance into a defense. Hasan had wanted to argue that he shot U.S. troops to protect Taliban fighters in Afghanistan, but the judge forbade the American-born Muslim and former Army psychiatrist from using that defense. Three witnesses took the stand after opening arguments, including the manager of the store Guns Galore, where Hasan had purchased the Glock 27 model 5.7 handgun used in the attack.

The government has said that Hasan, a U.S.-born Muslim, had sent more than a dozen emails starting in December 2008 to Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical U.S.-born Islamic cleric killed by a drone strike in Yemen in 2011.

Hasan has indicated recently that he still wants his views to be heard. He has released statements to media outlets about his views on the Islamic legal code known as Sharia and how it conflicts with American democracy.


I've got no problem with the military reading the email of soldiers, that's basically the same expectation that if you are an employee using a company computer you should expect that your boss might read it, but apparently the NSA was too busy looking at John Smith's NASCAR webpage to bother noticing that an active duty soldier was corresponding with a known terrorist.

[ August 06, 2013, 05:01 PM: Message edited by: Seneca ]

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D.W.
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quote:
Three witnesses took the stand after opening arguments, including the manager of the store Guns Galore, where Hasan had purchased the Glock 27 model 5.7 handgun used in the attack.
He did a lot of damage with a fictitious gun.

I had never given much thought to the effects self-representation would have on witnesses. Pretty disturbing stuff when it comes to violent crimes.

quote:
but apparently the NSA was too busy looking at John Smith's NASCAR webpage to bother noticing that an active duty soldier was corresponding with a known terrorist.
I heard a report this morning that they were aware of it and wrote it off as "research" for a paper he was supposedly working on.

[ August 06, 2013, 08:49 PM: Message edited by: D.W. ]

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DarkJello
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
Which job? Border security? No amount of money would do it.

Do you think people expect 100% success in border security?

I am gonna stop mowing my lawn and shaving, the grass and hair will just grow back...

Why try if it cannot stay just how I want it forever...

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Seneca
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quote:
Originally posted by D.W.:
quote:
Three witnesses took the stand after opening arguments, including the manager of the store Guns Galore, where Hasan had purchased the Glock 27 model 5.7 handgun used in the attack.
He did a lot of damage with a fictitious gun.

I had never given much thought to the effects self-representation would have on witnesses. Pretty disturbing stuff when it comes to violent crimes.

quote:
but apparently the NSA was too busy looking at John Smith's NASCAR webpage to bother noticing that an active duty soldier was corresponding with a known terrorist.
I heard a report this morning that they were aware of it and wrote it off as "research" for a paper he was supposedly working on.

Wow, I clearly missed out on the book deal of a lifetime if I could have only corresponded with Osama bin Laden! Silly me, I had thought doing so might be considered associating with a known enemy of the US...

Whoever in the FBI or NSA made that call should be put on trial alongside Hassan. Or at least fired and working the lowest possible job.

[ August 06, 2013, 09:39 PM: Message edited by: Seneca ]

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LetterRip
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DarkJello,

quote:
Do you think people expect 100% success in border security?
Anything much less than 100% effective will generally only stop those who are incompetent enough not to be a threat. So if the goal of 'border security' is to prevent terrorism, it provides similar protection to a a magic anti-terrorism rock. Incidentally I'd be willing to provide such a rock for much less than 1% the cost of border security measures.
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DarkJello
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quote:
Originally posted by LetterRip:
DarkJello,

quote:
Do you think people expect 100% success in border security?
Anything much less than 100% effective will generally only stop those who are incompetent enough not to be a threat. So if the goal of 'border security' is to prevent terrorism, it provides similar protection to a a magic anti-terrorism rock. Incidentally I'd be willing to provide such a rock for much less than 1% the cost of border security measures.
To be clear, you are in the "it must be practically 100% effective or better before it is worth doing" crowd??? Cool beans.
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D.W.
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It depends on the goal DJ. To stop a serious terrorist threat, yes it has to be practically 100%. Or the perception has to be that the border is ridiculously porous and in fact be very secure in the hopes of making the terrorist lazy. Though the secret could never get out or that plan fails. [Razz]

There are however other reasons beyond terrorism to improve border security.

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AI Wessex
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quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
Some analysis on where we are right now:

-Obama claimed "Al Qaeda was on the run." In reality the US is on the run, for the first time since 9-11 we are closing all our middle eastern embassies and effectively evacuating the entire region as well as telling Americans to get out or they are on their own. I'd say that WE'RE the runs who are running while Al Aqaeda is on the rise.

-The US doesn't oppose terror, we are simply taking sides. Case in point, we support the Muslim Brotherhood which is a known terrorist organization with ties to Hamas.

-The only other option to me seems the most sinister: that right when CNN was about to break a major revelation in the Benghazi story about the CIA's true involvement there, Obama creates a massive terrorist threat to kill two birds with one stone. The news is off of Benghazi and the American people learn to have an appreciation for supposedly why we need the NSA spying on all our internet and phone traffic (supposedly the intel. for the recent threat came from an intercepted 'email')/

"Analysis"? Seneca, you are so hopelessly biased that you literally can't think straight, bless your heart.

OrneryMod: Please refrain from criticizing other posters in this fashion. If you disagree with another poster's assertions or beliefs, please address that disagreement directly and respectfully.

[ August 07, 2013, 04:10 PM: Message edited by: OrneryMod ]

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AI Wessex
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"There are however other reasons beyond terrorism to improve border security."

Yes, of course, we need to create border patrol jobs for people with no practical skills.

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LetterRip
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DarkJello,

As DW said - depends on your goals. If you have ancillary goals to security (ie general illegal immigration) then it makes sense to secure it to whatever marginal cost/benefit is reasonable.

Since we have tradeoffs for where money can be spent, it generally makes sense to spend the money on the greatest cost/benefit.

Ie if the goal is 'saving lives', each million dollars of spending on border security has essentially zero marginal benefit. So it make sense to spend it on other measures that have greater marginal benefit in lives saved per dollar. (Ie a million dollars spent on public service message on carbon monoxide poisoning or the importance of properly brushing your teeth probably would save far more lives)

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DarkJello
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LR:

I don't know about CO or brushing teeth being better in a cost/benefit analysis. How many thousands of Mexicans die each year trying to cross the border?

Also, are the benefits of regular brushing of teeth really all that unknown?

On CO, yeah some lives would be saved each year.

I believe we should secure the shizzam out of the southern border myself. Great measures to the north are cool as well.

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RedVW on a Laptop
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http://motherboard.vice.com/blog/we-are-now-one-year-and-counting-from-global-riots-complex-systems-theorists-say--2

Doing a bit of research. Stumbled upon this. When it was written it predicted a major uptick in world riots in August 2013. Correlation to closing embassies?

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
Does it count if I think the whole war on terror is largely a fiction and I've never felt unsafe in the first place?

In Wisconsin? I should hope you'd feel safe. You're not going to run out of firewood and beer and cheese if the rest of the country goes to hell.

[ August 07, 2013, 11:05 AM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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