Secy. of Defense Robert Gates Downplays Possible U.S. Role as Fears of Mexico Collapse Mount; Don’t Be Fooled, There’s A Bush-Era Agenda Still Going On Here…

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

A couple of days ago I posted a press release from W.A.M. (Wake Up America) on the impending demise of the “E-Verify Program” which has been operating since the 1990’s. (See URGENT PRESS RELEASE March 4, 2009 from W.A.M. RE: Expiration of the “E-Verify Program” Which Screens Employment of Illegal Aliens.)

You have to wonder why this is being allowed to die, especially with the news coming out of Mexico.  Living only about 50 miles from the border (the El Paso-Ciudad Juarez area), I got to thinking.

On Monday (3/2) I saw a small AP article in the Albuquerque Journal hidden near the fold on page two which reported on Secretary of Defense Robert Gates’ appearance on Meet the Press the day before.  Since I don’t trust the AP to report anything anymore, I found the transcript of the show; here is the relevant passage:

March 1, 2009

Meet the Press

MR. GREGORY:  We’ve got a few more minutes, and I want to go through as quickly as we can some other really important topics.  The first is Mexico, a major threat on the border with Mexico because of a widening drug war there. The Economist magazine wrote this startling synopsis, and they call it “Who’s in charge?  The police chief in Ciudad Juarez, on Mexico’s border with America, resigned after drug gangs, who had murdered his deputy, threatened to kill one of his officers every 48 hours until he quit.” What’s going on there, and how big of a national security threat is this for the U.S.?

SEC’Y GATES:  Well, I think that what is important is that President Calderon of Mexico, perhaps for the first time, has, has taken on the battle against these cartels.  And because of corruption in the police and so on, he sent the federal army of Mexico into the fight.  The cartels are retaliating.  I think we are beginning to be in a position to help the Mexicans more than we have in the past.  Some of the old biases against cooperation with our–between our militaries and so on I think are being set aside.

MR. GREGORY:  You mean providing military supporting?

SEC’Y GATES:  Providing them with, with training, with, with resources, with reconnaissance and surveillance kinds of capabilities; but just cooperation, including in intelligence. But it clearly is a serious problem, and, and–but what I think people need to point out is the courage that Calderon has shown in taking this on, because one of the reasons it’s gotten as bad as it has is because his predecessors basically refused to do that.

This policy does not come out of the blue. The  plan was signed into law on June 30, 2008.

The Mérida Initiative (also called Plan Mexico by critics) is a security cooperation between the United States and the government of Mexico and the countries of Central America, with the aim of combating the threats of drug trafficking, transnational crime and money laundering. The assistance includes training, equipment and intelligence.

In seeking partnership from the United States, Mexican officials point out that the illicit drug trade is a shared problem in need of a shared solution, and remark that most of the financing for the Mexican traffickers comes from American drug consumers. U.S. law enforcement officials estimate that US$12 to 15 billion per year flows from the United States to the Mexican traffickers, and that is just in cash, and doesn’t include all the money sent by wire transfers.[1] Other government agencies, including the Government Accountability Office and the National Drug Intelligence Center, have estimated that Mexico’s cartels earn upwards of $23 billion in illicit drug proceeds from the United States.[2][3]

U.S. State Department officials are aware that Mexican President Felipe Calderón’s willingness to work with the United States is unprecedented on issues of security, crime and drugs, so the U.S. Congress passed legislation in late June 2008 to provide Mexico with $400 million and Central American countries with $65 million this year for the Mérida Initiative. The initiative was announced on 22 October 2007 and signed into law on June 30, 2008.

Now, this plan raises a couple of alarm bells. First, some are speculating that we should expect some sort of terrorist attack on the U.S. that will allow the Obama Administration to do something that will complete their power grab.  George Bush took 911 and we got a spate of new laws regarding security, FISA, and a whole new Homeland Security office.  It doesn’t take much to see the conditions in Mexico as a potential source of  a “transnational crime” of some sort.  What Obama would do with this sort of situation has been widely discussed.  Reports of  “camps” being built, the continuation of FISA, the economic problems and greater government intervention…well, would you be surprised if we saw some more power grabbed by Obama?

Secondly, what could the “cooperation” that Gates describes actually lead to?  The use of the word “just”, as in “just cooperation” automatically raises suspicion, as if it’s all being minimized to sound simple and benign. Foreign Policy In Focus analyzed the plan this way:

From what’s known of it, the package — officially dubbed the “Mérida Initiative” but more commonly referred to as “Plan Mexico” — contains direct donations of military and intelligence equipment, and training programs for Mexican law enforcement officials. A White House fact sheet lists surveillance equipment, helicopters and aircraft, scanners for border revisions, communications systems, and training programs for “strengthening the institutions of justice.” An additional $50 million dollars is earmarked for Central American countries to support their fight against “gangs, drugs, and arms.”

The Washington Post, which obtained a copy of the “Overall Justification Document,” reported that more than a third of the package will be spent on aerial surveillance and facilitating the rapid deployment of troops.

But what has legislators and civil society worried on both sides of the border is not the money involved or the equipment to be sent. It’s the reach of Plan Mexico in recasting the binational relationship, to create what the Bush administration calls “a new paradigm for security cooperation.”

SNIP

The concept of a joint security strategy for North America goes back at least as far as the creation of the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) in March of 2005. Since that time, the Bush administration has attempted to push its Northern American trade partners into a common front that would assume shared responsibility for protecting the United States from terrorist threats and bolstering U.S. global hegemony in the region.

SNIP

Plan Mexico twists the plot by presenting Bush administration efforts to create a North American security strategy in the guise of a war on drugs.

And Gates is still there as a carryover in Obama’s cabinet.

On Monday( 3/9) this site will be featuring a post on a planned “community,” with many of the target dates for reaching certain goals set for 2010.  The demise of E-Verify may be part of a larger scenario that’s being played out.  Remember “SPP”–you’ll be reading about it in more detail on Monday.

Is the plan going to work? A recent article from the El Paso Times reports on some doubts:

Lawmakers to evaluate Merida Initiative’s success

Meanwhile, fears abound that money, materials and services from the Merida Initiative won’t make it to their intended recipients, with corruption getting in the way and the potential for worsening violence as drug cartels continue to clash.

Gee, no “indicators”?  Doubts about whether “benchmarks” have been established? Sounds sort of  like how the “stimulus package” and bailout money is set up…no real oversight!

I found a rundown of some recent news items at The Albuquerque Journal site which paint a pretty grim picture of what’s going on. Click on the following headline to get the full list.

Updated at 11:20am — Cartels Said To Have 100,000 Foot Soldiers

Pentagon source tells Washington Times rival drug organizations may be negotiating a merger…

Here are the other headlines, which are descriptive enough:

7:10am 2/9/09 — Texas Plans for Possible Mexican Collapse: ‘You hope for the best, plan for the worst,’ Gov. Perry’s aide tells El Paso Times.

6:45am 2/2/09 — Ambassador: Mexico Not Collapsing: Top envoy responds to chorus of alarms by current and former U.S. officials over border violence.

9:45am 1/29/09 — Joint Chiefs Chairman Worries About Mexican Violence: Navy Adm. Mike Mullen tells D.C. press briefing that border drug war ‘has all of our attention.’

11:25am 1/14/09 — Military Report: Mexico’s ‘Sudden Collapse’ Possible: U.S. Joint Forces Command study puts Mexico on a par with Pakistan as global security threat.

9:35am 1/9/09 — U.S. Says It’s Ready for Mexican Violence: Homeland Security has a ‘surge’ plan, including use of military, if drug wars spill over the border. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff told The New York Times this week that if Mexico’s vicious and escalating drug war spills over the border, the United States has several response plans, including the use of the military, the El Paso Times reported.

10:00am 1/7/09 — Ex-U.S. Drug Czar Warns of Mexican Chaos: McCaffrey tells incoming Obama administration ‘millions of refugees’ could surge across border…The United States has provided only minimal support for the Mexican government to date, with Congress approving the $400 million Merida Initiative worked out by President Bush with Mexican and Canadian participation only “after a divisive and insulting debate,” the report said…”A terrible tragedy is going to take place in the coming decade if we don’t closely ally ourselves with the courageous Mexican leadership of (President Felipe) Calderon’s administration — and develop a resourced strategy appropriate for the dangers we face,” McCaffrey told the incoming administration.

***

See that mention of Canada in the last excerpt?  You’ll be reading more about Canada next week…

And please remember who Felipe Calderon is. Recall that during Mexico’s national election in July 2006, there was a great deal of scuttlebutt around about how Calderon was “selected.”    As reported at the time:

Mexico Vote Gives Bush New “Amigo” in Latin America

Catherine Bremer – Reuters

Felipe Calderon’s election victory in Mexico gives the U.S. government a much-needed conservative ally in Latin America, where it has lost influence in recent years as a string of leftist leaders took power.

For months, it seemed that Washington would have to work with a combative Mexican leader in Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, a fiery leftist who led opinion polls and promised to end two decades of U.S.-backed economic reforms.

But Calderon won the narrowest of victories and Mexico’s electoral court named him president-elect on Tuesday, throwing out Lopez Obrador’s accusations of massive fraud.

MORE

Now, doesn’t that sound real familiar?

Reviewing all this information, it’s plain to see that E-Verify is just an afterthought these days.  Maybe bigger things are brewing…


The SCANNER–International/Political Edition, 2/24/09 (Which Deficit is Obama “Halving”?; Canada Rubs U.S. Nose into Its Stable Banking System; GM/Chrysler Beg for Bailout Help in Canada, Too; Half of Foreign Criminals in Canada Are Fleeing to the U.S. [???])

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

I heard a clip of The One yesterday talking about cutting that deficit on the news as I drove around town.

Obama said that he would halve the deficit….THAT HE HAD INHERITED.

Of course, the typical headline reads:

Obama pledges to halve budget deficit by 2013

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama pledged on Monday to cut the ballooning U.S. budget deficit by half in the next four years and said the country would face another economic crisis if it did not address its debt problems soon.

Oh, this Reuters story finally gets to the real point, 6 paragraphs into the report, out there in the area which usually gets cut from local papers picking up the story.

“We cannot and will not sustain deficits like these without end,” he said. “Today I’m pledging to cut the deficit we inherited by half by the end of my first term in office.”

Frankly I”m surprised the clip I heard on the radio even got aired…but I guess that most people driving around might be busy on the phone, talking to someone else in the car, or too busy drinking a Slurpee to really notice the magic words “deficit we inherited.”  And by the time they hit the TV “news”–well, I bet somehow those magic words will be buried in pictures and glowing reports. Since I don’t watch TV news, I don’t know if that forceful pledge will be played in full or if it will be truncated to just the first part of the statement and the “inherited” bit fades into the ether.  I guess it won’t matter in the long run, since it will go down the memory hole, unless some Republican decides to dust it off someday.

I do have a question, oh Messiah:  When do you cut the deficits YOU are creating by a half??

***

While we here in the USA wallow in this muck, the folks in Canada are trying hard not to smirk. Yesterday, Prime Minister Stephen Harper was visiting touting the financial stability of Canada’s banking industry. From The Toronto Star:

PM praises Canada’s financial sector on U.S. TV

Feb 23, 2009 12:53 PM

Ottawa bureau chief

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Stephen Harper hit the Big Apple today — the heart of America’s economic meltdown — to boast about Canada’s stable banking system, warn against trade protectionism and note the insatiable appetite for oil south of the border.

SNIP

The prime minister sang the praises of Canada’s prudent banking and financial system, which he said can be attributed to “activist” regulation by Ottawa.

“We’re helped by the fact we have six major banks, three major insurance companies so it’s easier for the government to exercise moral suasion on the sector,” Harper said.

He said that Canada, while hit by the economic downturn, hasn’t suffered a meltdown of the financial sector or the mortgage foreclosures that have hit the U.S. economy so hard.

“We haven’t had to bail out any of our financial institutions,” Harper said. “There will be no government bailout of mortgages in Canada.”

***

But, it seems that Canada may not get off entirely scott-free of demands for government cash.  Guess who’s asking for help?

GM, Chrysler ask for billions in Canadian aid

General Motors has outlined a restructuring plan that would cut its Canadian workforce to 7,000 and seek as much as $7 billion from the federal and Ontario governments, while Chrysler is requesting around $2.8 billion in aid.

GM didn’t specify how much it will ask for, but Reuters quoted federal Industry Minister Tony Clement as saying the company is asking for between $6 and $7 billion.

MORE

The Canadian government doesn’t seem to want to bailout CAW pensions…time will tell.

***

I get a news summary from Radio Canada International every day (most of the news comes from the CBC) and noticed this short squib about how foreign criminals are heading out of Canada to the U.S.

2/22/07  10:37 PM

OTTAWA: REPORT CONCLUDES FOREIGN CRIMINALS ARE FLEEING CANADA

A new report to Canada’s government suggests that many foreign criminals might be fleeing abroad, mainly to the United States. It’s believed that about two thousand foreign criminals are hiding in Canada.  But a squad of special border police found that almost half of the criminals being tracked had left the country.  Last year, the auditor general criticized the agency for the large number of missing people.  There are concerns that the list of high-priority cases maintained by the Canada Border Services Agency is out of date.  The agency is responsible for deporting unwanted foreigners.  It has 1,973 priority cases for whom removal warrants have been issued.  The Agency removes about 12,000 people from Canada each year.  About 13 per cent are classified as criminals.  Three out of four of them are failed refugee claimants.

If you follow the link, you’ll get the current day’s news.  The funny thing is, however, the day I searched for this story, it wasn’t there. In fact, of all the story summaries I received in the RCI newsletter, this story about foreign criminals was the ONLY story that wasn’t up at the site.

The question is: WHY??

The bigger question is: WHO are these “foreign criminals,” how successful is the U.S. in finding them…and WHAT are they up to here in the U.S.?

***

By the way, the RCI site has extensive information on how to relocate to Canada, in case you want to get out of the U.S. (Scroll down a bit down the page to get to the information.)    Maybe if I were younger…

The Past Week: January 11-17, 2009 (Al Jazeera Hooks up with PBS; House vs. Senate/Obama and Bailout Oversight; “Everyman” Biden; Non-GMO Verification Project; “The Prisoner” is Free; Extra Anatomical Tube Bypass

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

Looks like Al Jazeera finally is going to get a wider audience in the U.S.  From what I’ve seen of it on the Internet, I’m thinking it’s credible but I AM wondering about the connection to PBS!  Who set up this deal?  Was this just the Bush Administration’s idea or did the hand of Obama get involved somehow? And that the mere mention of NBC….

Al Jazeera Network TV deal broadens U.S. reach

Thu Jan 15, 2009 7:17pm EST

By Robert MacMillan

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Al Jazeera Network plans to announce on Thursday that it has signed a deal to run its news on Worldfocus, a syndicated nightly news program produced in New York and distributed throughout the United States.

(SNIP)

Worldfocus, hosted by former NBC News correspondent Martin Savidge, is produced by New York City public broadcaster WLIW and syndicated to a number of Public Broadcasting Service affiliates, as well as other stations in 60 U.S. markets, including 27 of the top 30.

Al Jazeera declined to disclose terms of the deal.

The service’s Arabic-language network is available in the United States through the DISH Network Corp. It has been trying to increase the distribution of its English- language network through cable television, but so far is available only in Washington, D.C., Toledo, Ohio and Burlington, Vermont.

(MORE)

The story contains more details on Al Jazeera’s expansion via the Internet, which has grown to include a free broadcast service, YouTube, Twitter…and a marketing campaign being launched in the New York  Times and Washington Post.

***

On Wednesday, Harold Meyerson wrote an op ed piece in the Washington Post on the current financial crisis and had a moment of upset:

The Money-Changers

Wednesday, January 14, 2009; Page A17

…That’s why a bill that Barney Frank is promoting in the House, which would direct banks that choose to take bailout funds to start lending to creditworthy borrowers and designate no less than $40 billion for mortgage relief, is necessary if Congress is to authorize the Treasury to spend another $350 billion on TARP. Over in the Senate, the Democrats seem inclined to think that the need for such legislation is obviated by President-elect Obama‘s promise to administer the TARP in the ways that Frank’s bill would mandate.

If Obama’s appointees inspired sufficient trust that they would be willing to take on the banks, such legislation would be unnecessary. Unfortunately, they don’t.

(MORE)

What? A bit of doubt about Obama’s choices?  But my mind, as simple as it may be, asks this question.  First, what’s going to happen between the House and the Senate?  Seems Rep. Barney is having a sudden bout of  “accountablilty” when it comes to delivering bailout money to borrowers…they should be “creditworthy.”  And  that stipulation has to be within legislation that must be passed to authorize the Treasury to spend more bailout money.  But the Senate is saying “Who needs legislation?  We’ve got OBAMA’S WORD that he’ll do exactly the same thing without the bother of a law.”

So, I then ask myself: if Obama gets his mitts on this money, does it really go to “creditworthy” individuals?  Which individuals?  Will this be “reparation” money? If the recipients are the not “creditworthy” and a lot of them are the same people who couldn’t meet previous mortgages doesn’t this mean that Obama is just repeating the “non-oversight” pattern of the Democrats that helped get us into this MESS we’re in??

***

OK, the guy they tried to tell us hung out at his local Home Depot (he didn’t) and who’s got his son Beau lined up to glide into the Senate is still being sold to us as “Everyman”??  Oh, PLEASE!  From Silicon Valley’s Mercury News, which picks up this AP nonsense:

Senate veteran, Delaware everyman faces new role

By BETH FOUHY Associated Press Writer

As for the story, it’s the same old same old…

***

So, do you have any confidence that Obama will do something to remedy this situation?  Wonder if this is even on Tom Daschle’s radar? From the American Association for Health Freedom:

The Non-GMO Project Product Verification Program is Up and Running

The governments of the US and Canada stand in sharp contrast to sixty other countries around the world, including the European Union, Russia, and China, by not requiring foods that contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to be so labeled. They do so despite good evidence that GMOs could have negative health implications for humans and the environment, and despite the fact that 87% of American consumers want products that contain GMO ingredients to be labeled.

***

This week we lost Patrick McGoohan, who was Number 6–“The Prisoner”–in the Village.  I also enjoyed watching him in “Secret Agent” (“Danger Man” in the UK)  when I was  teenager. In fact,  I had a huge crush on him!

And, we can’t forget Ricardo Montalban either, who’s own “village” was on Fantasy Island…

Godpseed…

***

Ever hear of an “extra anatomical tube bypass”?  Well, my 24-year-old nephew had this surgery on Wednesday. He was born with a congenital defect of the aorta and underwent surgery when he was about 3.  His blood pressure has always been high and the meds have made him tired.  It was now time to make the fix since he’s stopped growing.  Instead of messing with the aorta itself and dealing with possible complications from previous scarring, the procedure used was a “bypass” which eliminates the need to arrest the heart and putting the body into hypothermia.  The surgery went well.  I convinced him to go to a medical hypnotist.  He didn’t need any blood transfusions and today, 3 days after the procedure, he’s only on Tylenol for the pain (which even the day of the surgery he described as being only “soreness”) and the swelling is almost gone. And his blood pressure is better now than ever before and equalized throughout his body.

Congratulations, Mark! You did it!!

***

THE PAST WEEK

“The Black President”: A 1926 Novel “Predicts” the Politics of 2008 with Some Eerily Similar Details

The Scanner-Politics 1/15/09 (40 Musical Obama Supporters Slide-Show; Barbie at 50 [French]; Women and the World; “Obama-Cola The Great National Temperance Beverage”; Tina Brown; WLS Chicago–the Governor Sells Furniture)

Hip-Hop Inaugural Events Start TONIGHT (1/14/09)…Ludicras Co-Hosting “Urban Ball”

The Obama/Media Combine Whoring Abraham Lincoln, Non-Stop

Reality Check from Our Chicago Correspondent: University of Chicago & Its Hospital “Terminating” Jobs Like Crazy (Michelle O., Guess Shuffling All Those Indigent Patients Elswhere Didn’t Help the Bottom Line That Much? Your “Plum” Job is Going, Too!)

The Past Week: January 4-January 10, 2009 (Donor Fatigue among Obamacrats; Wes Clark; Ms. Magazine–Total Sellout; Tess; Street Numbers Man; “Grounding” with Harvesting; Betta Fish Drama)