BY GIL POTTS
Earlier this week in New York City, Gov. Rick Perry said on national TV that the 1,000 National Guardsmen deployed to the southern border was indeed having an impact on the reduction of illegal border crossings into Texas.
Perry ordered the National Guard troops to the border following an influx of border crossings along the Rio Grande. According to the governor, his concern was twofold. The tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors overwhelming border patrol officers prevented them from preforming their normal duties of patrolling the border. Large portions of the border were either unpatrolled or under-patrolled, leaving the border unprotected and vulnerable to persons with criminal intentions who might easily cross the river into the U.S. with less concern of being apprehended.
Because most of the children were from Central America, their arrival at the border was predictable, and some say could possibly have been curtailed much earlier at the southern border of Mexico, or at points where they boarded the “Death Trainâ€ on the one to three-month journey north to America.
The reaction to Perryâ€™s National Guard deployment by the government of Mexico should raise some eyebrows. According to Reuters, Mexican President Enrique PeÃ±a Nieto said last that “Not only is it displeasing, but I think itâ€™s reprehensible. It is an attack on good relations and neighborliness.â€
Although Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson sheepishly acknowledges the possibility as real, the Department of Homeland Security says “no credible intelligenceâ€ exists to show that the Islamic State group is planning an attack through the southern border. Officials with Customs and Border Patrol told lawmakers earlier this month that if such a group were to attempt an attack on the United States, its members would be much more likely to fly on a commercial airline than cross the U.S. – Mexico border.
Americans, especially those who live or work in border regions to the south, of even north along the Canadian border, may not want to take too much comfort in those words. The reasons are pretty simple.
To begin with, when it comes to trusting our government, the American people are at an all-time low in voicing their approval of the government in Washington. A recent Gallop Poll indicates only nine percent of Americans trust Washington to handle international matters properly. CNN and PEW conducted their own polls and obtained similar results.
A totally unscientific sampling of a few Van Horn residents indicates they are unhappy with what they feel are untruths reported from the capital. One colorful senior citizen said, “They treat us all like a bunch of mushrooms. They keep us in the dark and feed us a bunch ofâ€¦ farm grown fertilizer.â€
Those who were interviewed mentioned a long list of matters that didnâ€™t pass their personal “smell test.â€ Most commonly cited were the Benghazi incident, the IRS scandal, and the handling of Syria, Iraq and ISIL or ISIS.
One individual wishing to remain anonymous said, “Itâ€™s discomforting to be told one thing happened and then to learn something entirely different actually took place. Washington is not being honest with us. Itâ€™s better to say nothing at all than to tell a lie.â€ Generally, those were the sentiments of those who commented on the subject, regardless of their political leanings. But, the facts indicate good reason for public concern, and even the outrage some expressed.
This past Sunday, President Obama threw his Director of National Intelligence under the bus over the ISIS issue stating “He didnâ€™t see it coming.â€ Really? According to a military intelligence official, for the past 18 months ISIS has been a regular topic of the White House daily briefing report given to the President every morning. Itâ€™s rumored however, he seldom reads it.
Speaking on a national news network, Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, said heâ€™s “puzzledâ€ by some of the presidentâ€™s statements.
“The intelligence comments — intelligence people are pushing back hard,â€ McCain said. “We predicted this and watched it. It was like watching a train wreck and warning every step of the way that this was happening … It is a direct result of our failure to leave a residual force behind (in Iraq).â€
So, herein lies the quandary for the American citizenry concerned with our border safety. Washington has left us countless reasons or examples as to why any right minded person would doubt the accuracy of what is being said about the possibilities of “terroristsâ€ (not a word this administration will use) openly crossing our borders. They claim itâ€™s not happening, others claim it is, and provide proof.
The facts are, their intelligence analysis was wrong in Benghazi, it was wrong in Iraq, it was wrong in Syria, and it was wrong in countless other locations around the world. Unless of course, you consider one other possibility. Could it be, the government is not being honest about what they actually do know? Could it be, President Obama is more concerned with offending President Enrique PeÃ±a Nieto than he is of offending half of the American people?
All the while, one question remains unanswered. Given all we do know about terrorism around the world, and the expressed determination of terrorists to cause harm to the these United States, why would any clear thinking individual take the word of this administration that “all is okay, donâ€™t worry, every thingâ€™s fine,â€ and not at least error on the side of caution by securing the border, and doing it right away?
There will be no excuse for being wrong here at home if, by some long shot chance, something bad happens and we have taken inadequate precautions to prevent it. Where then will the fingers point, and what good will it do then? Why in the world should we take the chance?