Skip to comments.Using the intelligence we get. (Editorial)
Posted on 12/11/2003 4:03:50 PM PST by SandRat
You may remember the three keys to success in fighting terrorism. Number one was for all federal agencies -- FBI, CIA, DEA, INS, etc. -- to talk to each other. Number two was to enlist the support of western European and Middle Eastern countries to either stop the terrorist overseas or monitor their activities. Number three was to get our local police involved because they know who's who in our communities.
Of course, all the intelligence in the world is of no value if you don't act on it. Remember the original goal -- identify al-Qaida cells and then take them out. If we have information and fail to act on it, we are derelict in our duties.
I want to tell you a story. When I was a battalion operations officer (S-3) in Vietnam for the 2/16th Infantry working directly (OPCON) for Col. George Patton, son of the famous general, the time came after six months for me to be transferred back to my home brigade in the Big Red One and give another officer a shot at being the Battalion S-3, a coveted position. It was a logical move. After six months of planning the combat operations for 1,200 men, including infantry, helicopters, artillery, armor and coordination with the Vietnamese Army, it was time for a rest.
So I reported back to Col. John T. Carley, the brigade commander of our parent brigade for assignment. He said, "Jim, I'm going to make you my brigade intelligence officer." I was stunned. In those days, no infantry officer ever wanted to be an intelligence officer. It did not conjure up the image of professionalism that you see today. Besides, all my old army buddies were in the G-3 shop (operations) at the division headquarters and they were rooting for me to be assigned there.
This was a mortal blow.
I hemmed and I hawed and I thought of every excuse possible, but finally I asked the question "Why"? And the colonel replied, "Jim, my brigade intelligence officer has to be an infantry officer. When you get a piece of information, you'll automatically think about how to act on it. An intelligence officer will only consider it a piece of information."
And he was right.
I really enjoyed that job as brigade intelligence officer. For example, when I learned that an assassin by the name of Bay Phong was traveling between two villages in my area at night, my first reaction was to put an infantry platoon between those two village to catch the guy -- and was it successful. Utilizing intelligence about the Viet Cong and then assigning infantry platoons to act on it produced wonders in our area of operation. We were able to identify, target and take out 90 percent of the VC leadership in our area. Intelligence is extremely valuable if you act on it. It is completely worthless if you don't.
Are we acting on intelligence now? I don't think so. We know that Middle Eastern folks who are possible terrorists enter Canada and Mexico every day, but we do nothing to stop them from coming from there into the United States. Let me explain. According to the retired director of the Canadian CIA (called the Canadian Security Intelligence Service) and the retired director of Canadian INS, as seen on "60 Minutes," Middle Eastern folks are allowed to land in Canada without documentation and are granted asylum. They literally destroy their documents on the plane en route. Even though they have no passports, no proof of citizenship and the Canadian government has no idea who they are or where they are coming from, the Canadians grant them asylum. They are given access to the country and told to report to an immigration judge in a year or two. Of course, from there they enter the United States because our border with Canada is wide open.
A similar situation exists in Mexico. Middle Eastern folks fly into Mexico City and later hire "coyotes" to take them across into the USA. The two most popular crossing sites are Douglas and Tijuana, Mexico. The "coyotes" love the Middle Easterners because they can charge between $8,000 to $20,000 per person compared to the $800 they normally receive for a Mexican national.
Are we acting on this intelligence? The answer is no. Two million a year cross illegally from Mexico into the Border Patrol's Sector alone, not to mention the rest of the United States. The mayor of Naco, Sonora, Mexico, recently complained that we returned 9,000 illegals to him last month. Do the math. That's more than 100,000 illegals caught and returned to Naco in a year. Knowing that we catch one out of every five, that means half a million are crossing from the small village of Naco alone, not to mention Douglas, Nogales and the Tohono O'Odham Indian reservation, which is wide open.
Yes, intelligence is a wonderful thing if you act on it. It is worthless if you do not. Our hardworking Border Patrol is simply outnumbered. They need help. One solution might be to have active-duty military personnel take over their administrative and logistical functions. That in itself would put 30 percent more agents on the line, not to mention the fact that Special Forces equipped with binoculars and radar could point the Border Patrol in the right direction.
Another solution could be to hire retired federal special agents as deputy U.S. marshals. Because of their vast background, experience and training, they could be sworn in tomorrow assisting the Border Patrol.
But are we getting any ideas like this from our congressman and governor? The answer is a resounding no.
Where are their "thinking caps"? Lost I'm afraid. But we all know where their "blinders" are. They are wearing them.
Arabic Diary abandoned by young Iranian man found along San Pedro River. Click the pic for a larger image.
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