Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Now everybody's a terrorist

As Rep. Pena rightly points out, Texas border security problems are very real, and they're caused by drug runners feuding over lucrative distribution routes. But in pitching for federal money, Gov. Rick Perry and our Texas politicos don't seem to think the truth is enough to spur federal action, and instead insist on playing the terrorism card, an assertion for which there is no factual basis. This weekend the Houston Chronicle quoted the Governor saying:
"The illegal activity along the border is escalating. Well-armed narco-terrorists are becoming increasingly bold," [Perry] said.
The conflation of terrorism with drug running takes full form on Governor Perry's protectingtexasborders.com website where he queries, "What is America doing to keep terrorists from crossing the border?," pitching his border security initiative as directly combating Al Quaeda. I've watched government enough to understand why politicians hype threats when seeking to secure funding. You see it all the time. My problem is this - if you target the wrong threat, the money spent to "solve" the problem won't make anyone safer. Reforms aimed at "terrorists" won't stop the drug cartels. Reforms targeting illegal border crossings by immigrants won't stop the cartels, either.

Going after the drug cartels is
difficult enough - they just murdered two police chiefs in the Mexican interior and last week killed a journalist in Nuevo Laredo. For border residents, the public safety problems posed by illegal immigration pale by comparison, much less the chimeric threat of Al Quaeda crossing the border. Linking the fight against drug cartels to anti-terrorism work might draw down short-term dollars, but it will aim them at targets that don't immediately threaten us.

It seems like the only shooting near the border nobody has yet linked to "terrorism" is Dick Cheney shooting Harry Whittington. The week's not over yet, though ...

4 comments:

cliff said...

"The illegal activity along the border is escalating. Well-armed narco-terrorists are becoming increasingly bold."

Who didn't see this coming? Let's crank up the draft, that will be the only way to stay in Iraq and man the border.

Better yet, let's take a lesson from the Germans and create a mined and fenced area with guard towers, dogs and plowed strips to keep these people out. / snark off.

Shaine Mata said...

LOL, that was a good one about Dick Cheney.

Anonymous said...

The best thing in the world would be to de-criminalize drugs, all drugs. America has lost the 36 year war on drugs.

The only people that profit from the war on drugs are the government, police and drug dealers.

Catonya said...

This has been my fear since the beginning of the Patriot Act. Police dept's and DA's would twist and dilute the Act to eventually label drug dealers as "in-house terrorists" so to speak.