Buswell (on left) received the Purple Heart for injuries sustained in Iraq.
Buswell told his dad it was an honor to care for wounded soldiers.
Darren Cunningham and Buswell met and became friends in Iraq, and Buswell later helped Cunningham’s family deal with the MP’s death.
These days, Donald Buswell’s job is not as exciting or dangerous as it once was. For the past few months, his working hours have been spent taking care of some 40-plus wounded soldiers at San Antonio’s Fort Sam Houston medical center. The work is sometimes menial, even janitorial, but he doesn’t mind. After all, Buswell has been where these men are — three years ago, he too was recovering from wounds received in a battle zone in Iraq.
“I truly consider this an honor,” Buswell told his dad not long ago.
Still, it’s not exactly where Buswell expected to be after 20 years of well-respected service in the Army.
Since joining the Army in 1987, he had risen to the rank of sergeant first class, serving in both Gulf Wars, Bosnia, Rwanda, and Korea. He ended up with shrapnel scars and a Purple Heart and, back in the U.S. after his last tour in Iraq, a job as intelligence analyst at Fort Sam Houston.
He couldn’t have foreseen that one e-mail could derail his career and put him on his way out of the Army. One e-mail, speculating about events that millions of people have questioned for the last six years, was all it took.
Sgt. Buswell wants to know: What really happened on 9/11? And he said so in his e-mail. In the few paragraphs of that August 2006 message — a reply not to someone outside the service, but to other soldiers — Buswell wrote that he thought the official report of what happened that day at the Pentagon, and in the Pennsylvania crash of United Airlines Flight 93, was full of errors and unanswered questions.
“Who really benefited from what happened that day?” he asked rhetorically. Not “Arabs,” but “the Military Industrial Complex,” Buswell concluded. “We must demand a new, independent investigation.”
For voicing those opinions in an e-mail to 38 people on the San Antonio Army base, Buswell was stripped of his security clearance, fired from his job, demoted, and ordered to undergo a mental health exam.
(He was also ordered not to speak with the press. Information for this story came from documents, conversations with Buswell’s family members and friends, and sources within Fifth Army who asked not to be named.)
As if all that weren’t enough, Fort Sam Houston’s chief of staff penned a letter accusing Buswell of “making statements disloyal to the United States.”
His father, Winthrop Buswell, said that his son “is one of the most patriotic people I know.”
“Donald saw something that his conscience led him to dispute,” he said. “That’s just the type of man he is.”
For his dissent, Donald has paid a heavy price.
Baghdad’s early light danced across the surface of a man-made lake. For Buswell, that April 2004 morning was the perfect time for a run. Behind him, the soldiers of Baghdad’s Camp Victory were, for the most part, not yet stirring. The path he took was a historic one: In the palace just a couple of hundred yards away, surrounded by the lake, Saddam Hussein was in custody, locked away in a former torture cell.
Five miles into the jog, Buswell paused to catch his breath, and something splashed in the water nearby with unusual force. He jumped back, surprised, and surveyed the area with care. Seeing no threat, he resumed his run, heading toward a couple of Iraqi men painting a small building.
Seconds later, Buswell heard a growing whistle and turned just in time to see a 122mm rocket barreling toward him. He dove out of the way, and the round hit several dozen yards behind him. Picking himself up off the ground, he saw another white trail forming over the water. He started running again, but had made it only a few steps when the force of another impact blew him to the ground. Shrapnel, rocks, and dirt rained down on him. Ahead, a fourth round hit the Iraqi painters, blowing off body parts and engulfing them in flames.
Horrified, Buswell ran toward the men and tried to extinguish the flames. The men were still alive, screaming in agony. Then, he heard the increasingly familiar whistle of another rocket and once again hit the dirt. The one that struck the nearby road was a dud, like the first that hit the water. Had it exploded, Buswell probably would have died. When he turned to look again at the two Iraqi men, he saw they were dead, their bodies charred and smoking.
“It was like the opening scene of Saving Private Ryan,” his dad recalled him saying.
By this time, troops from the camp were running toward the scene. Only when the first of those soldiers arrived and screamed for a medic did Buswell realize he’d been hit. Sharp flakes of metal were embedded up and down his left leg and all over the right side of his back.
The relatively minor wounds Buswell suffered that day were his first in a battle zone, despite the fact that he’d served in southern Iraq during Desert Storm a decade before. In his first few years in the Army, Buswell had been a metalworker and had dealt with explosives. Since 1990, he had been an intelligence analyst.
Buswell’s wounds were cleaned and bandaged within an hour of the rocket attack, and he rejoined his unit almost immediately. But 2004 had more — and more pleasant — developments in store for him.
Two months after the attack, he returned to the United States, to Fort Hood in Central Texas, and married his girlfriend Lori, officially becoming step-dad to her 11-year-old daughter Kaitlyn, who calls him “DD” (Daddy Donald) for short. In one of those strange quirks of war, Buswell had actually met Lori’s ex-husband and Kaitlyn’s dad — Darren Cunningham — while both were based at Camp Victory. The two became close friends. When Cunningham, a military police officer, was killed in a rocket attack in October 2004, just a month before his retirement, Buswell became even more of a father figure for Kaitlyn — and in some ways helped Cunningham’s family deal with his death.
For the next two years, Buswell worked at his intelligence post at Fort Hood, then was transferred to a similar job in San Antonio. But as he worked, he studied and read about what had happened on 9/11 — and came to the conclusions that would get him in so much trouble.
The terrorist attacks of 2001 had a profound effect on Buswell.
Before the much-disputed presidential election of 2000, Buswell shared with his father a view that very few held at the time. He was convinced that if George W. Bush won, he would take the country to war with Iraq to finish his father’s work. He believed the younger Bush would be too beholden to oil interests — and feared what that would mean for America’s foreign policy.
When the planes hit the World Trade Center towers on 9/11, Buswell later told his father, he figured that war with Iraq was coming, even if the country had nothing to do with the attacks. Being a loyal soldier, he kept his views private for a long while.
“He didn’t want to rock the boat,” Buswell’s father said. “Like all of us, he was somewhat in shock after what happened on 9/11.” And, as he told his father, his job was to serve. He was proud to do it, no matter who was directing policy.
By the time he was transferred to Fort Sam Houston, Buswell had developed strong opinions about what had happened. He had come to believe that the World Trade Center attacks were aided by persons on the inside and that the planes that crashed into the towers were just one component of a larger, more complex attack. The career soldier had effectively become a member of what’s known as the “9/11 truth movement,” which has continued to grow in spite of news media coverage that has generally refused to take the questions seriously. The movement includes many factions, espousing theories from the somewhat plausible to the really out-there folks who talk about space weapons bringing down the New York towers. The doubters include people like Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, who recently agreed to distribute Loose Change Final Cut, a 9/11 conspiracy movie, and actors Charlie Sheen and Rosie O’Donnell, whose 9/11 dissents have been well-publicized.
In light of his new job, Buswell wanted to make sure his superiors knew of his views. He went to Chief Warrant Officer Mario Torres, a legal advisor to his division at Fort Sam Houston. Buswell told Torres he would not be willing to write reports or give speeches that required him to say things he didn’t believe regarding 9/11.
He shared with Torres his belief that the facts contradicted large parts of the official story of what had happened that day, calling the attacks an “inside job” — one of the central beliefs of many truth movement members. Torres didn’t see a problem: Buswell would not be working on anything related to 9/11, he said, and compared the sergeant’s views versus the official story to liking beer over wine. His concerns dismissed, Buswell went to work.
It was only a few weeks later, on Aug. 2, when Buswell received the e-mail that knocked his career off its tracks. The unsolicited message was sent to him and 38 others by someone who gave his name as Larry Anderson. No such person could be located at the San Antonio fort, and Buswell’s superiors declined to comment or to talk about the sender of the original e-mail.
The e-mail’s subject line read: “F4 vs. Concrete Wall.” The message referred to “loony liberal reasoning” that there must have been a conspiracy involved in the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon because there allegedly wasn’t enough airplane debris left behind for the building to have been hit by an airliner. Anderson referred to a film clip showing, he said, an Air Force engineering test in which an F4 Phantom fighter jet crashed at 500 mph into a heavily reinforced concrete wall surrounding a nuclear reactor site. The jet “turned to vapor,” Anderson claimed, thereby explaining the lack of plane wreckage at the Pentagon.
Later that day, Buswell committed the same infraction as Anderson: From his Army computer, he sent a mass reply to all the folks who got the initial message. Buswell’s crime was clicking the “Reply All” button — a mistake he still regrets.
The comparison between the F4 and a 757 hitting the Pentagon, he wrote, “serves only to muddy the issue,” because the fighter jet hitting a concrete barrier hardened to nuclear containment standards is very different from a plane hitting the Pentagon. The real issue, Buswell said, was that the official story on what happened that day “is filled with errors.
“We all know and saw 2 planes hitting the WTC buildings,” he wrote. “[W]e didn’t see the 757 hit the Pentagon, nor did we see the plane crash in Shanksville, PA. Both the PA and Pentagon ‘crashes’ don’t have [the] tell-tale signs of a jumbo-jet impacting those zones!
“The Pentagon would have huge wing impacts in the side of the building; it didn’t. Shanksville, PA would have had debris, and a large debris field; it didn’t.”
He went on to express doubt that “some Arabs in caves with cell phones” had been responsible for the tragedies of that day.
“I mean, how are Arabs benefiting from pulling off 9/11?” Buswell asked. “They have more war, more death and dismal conditions, so, how did 911 benefit them? Answer: It didn’t. So, who benefited from 9-11? The answer is sad, but simple: The Military Industrial Complex.” The idea of a 9/11 conspiracy, he added, is neither “Liberal Lunacy ... nor is it Conservative Kookiness.”
“People, fellow citizens we’ve been had!” he wrote. “We must demand a new independent investigation into 911 and look at all the options of that day ... Even the most incredulous theories must be examined.”
Not an opinion one might have expected from a career soldier — but then, expressing opinions, especially those of dissent, is the American way. The e-mail exchange hadn’t seemed particularly important to Buswell, he later told his family. He found out differently the next morning.
His key wouldn’t open the door to his office.
That was the first clue Buswell had that something was wrong. In short order, he was informed that a “15-6 investigation” had been opened regarding his use of the military e-mail network. It’s the same designation given the investigation into the Abu Ghraib torture scandal.
Over the next few days, Buswell was informed of the removal of his security clearance, subjected to intense scrutiny and intimidation, and alienated from other members of his intelligence division when he was relegated to secretarial work while the investigation went on. He was fired from his job and demoted to platoon sergeant.
In a letter appointing Major Edwin Escobar to lead the investigation, Col. Luke S. Green, chief of staff of the Fifth Army, wrote, “SFC Buswell failed to obey a general order or regulation when he used his Government issued email account to send messages disloyal to the United States [emphasis added] with the intent of engendering disloyalty or disaffection for the United States in a manner that brought discredit upon the United States Army.”
Green added that Buswell “allegedly asserts that he has information that proves a conspiracy on the part of the US military industrial complex to attack targets within the United States (e.g., The Pentagon), opinions which he asserts publicly and over Government email systems.”
However, no other documents related to the investigation mention Buswell’s opinions or question his loyalty. Officially, he was charged only with violating an Army policy regarding use of the military’s e-mail network. Winthrop Buswell said his son has acknowledged the infraction, but also noted it was the first time he’d ever heard of the rule being enforced.
Green, at the behest of Lt. General, Robert T. Clark, deputy commanding general of the Fifth Army, ordered that Buswell undergo a mental health exam. However, the physician in charge of the medical center’s mental health division declined to administer the test, saying that Buswell’s actions did not warrant it.
Buswell fought back. He contacted U.S. Rep. Charles A. Gonzales of San Antonio to register a complaint. Gonzales subsequently requested information from the Army about the investigation, but according to his aides, no other action has been taken. The request was given a congressional inquiry case number and promptly put aside.
In another sense though, Buswell has given up — at least on the idea of continuing his Army career. He filed retirement papers, set to take effect April 1, 2008.
“Donald expressed to me his disappointment in the Army after all that has happened,” said his father. “I raised my son to love America. He still gets chills when he sees the flag flying and hears our national anthem. He’s committed his life to serving our country, only to get tossed aside like this. It brings me great sadness.”
When his son gets out, he said, he plans to become an advocate for the 9/11 truth movement.
For the last 10 months, Buswell has spent his days tending to the needs of wounded Iraq War veterans at the San Antonio medical center.
“The service has mostly been good to Donald,” said the elder Buswell, a painter and retired locomotive engineer from Loudon, N.H. “He wouldn’t have made a career out of it if it wasn’t. But after all the controversy and the investigation, the thing that surprises me most is how he reacted to being fired. When they assigned him to the medical center, he told me, ‘Dad, I truly consider this to be an honor. To be given such an important task as some kind of retaliation against me is confusing, but it is truly my honor to help these men and women right now.’”
On the other hand, the elder Buswell said, his son’s empathy toward the soldiers now in his care isn’t surprising.
“He provides great solace to the soldiers,” Winthrop said. “He is a good listener and knows what they’re going through, having been in Iraq and suffering injuries there as well. They truly appreciate him.”
Family members say that’s par for the course for Buswell, a guy who delivered a Father’s Day present to Darren Cunningham from his daughter back in 2004 and even consulted Darren about raising his friend’s daughter, from whom Cunningham had years earlier become estranged.
“I don’t know what I’ve done in my life to deserve such a blessing, but having Donny around has helped me and my family deal with losing Darren,” said Glenn Cunningham, Darren’s older brother. “I really admire and respect Donny for that, and because of how principled he is. Some people don’t have the sense of honor that Donny has. And, you know, Donny ... He says things sometimes that get him into trouble, but he says them because he feels it’s the right thing to do. And I really, deeply respect that.”
To this day, Winthrop Buswell said, his son still cannot believe the military would come down on him so hard for sharing a view widely held across the United States.
“Donald really did nothing wrong,” his father said. “He responded to an e-mail. How many of us in civilian life respond to e-mail forwards from co-workers or friends? Is that really a crime? ... He is convinced, as I am also, that the 9/11 attacks are not what they seem. We love this country. I even voted for Bush in 2000. Sadly, I must say that I do regret it.”
He shares many of his son’s doubts and questions about what happened six years ago.
“When you look back at that day — that terrible, terrible day — it seems almost like another lifetime ago,” he said. “Donald believes bombs were planted in the towers and that the investigation exhibited a number of very questionable characteristics. Like, how could fire melt the steel core of the towers? Or, why did the 9/11 Commission not talk about World Trade Center 7? That [building] fell around 5 p.m., but we don’t know why. And if it is true what we’ve heard recently, that a physics professor at [Brigham Young University] found elements of steel-cutting agents in the melted steel from the towers, why is that met with cries of insanity? There is a possibility that what really happened was much more than what we were told.”
Not everyone close to the Buswells shares those views. Glenn Cunningham, who has become close friends with Buswell, much like his brother Darren, does not put much stock in conspiracy theories.
“I’m not one for conspiracies, but from what Donny is saying, it really does sound kinda questionable,” he said. “But I haven’t looked at it. I’m not in any movement ... And I just can’t imagine what people expect to come out of it. Of course I want to know the truth. Truth is always important, and if they’re lying to cover something up, we should find out. But then what?”
Winthrop Buswell isn’t strident when he talks about 9/11. He just raises questions and encourage others to do the same — and that’s all his son has done, he said.
“I pray Donald does not get in further trouble for standing up and speaking with his conscience,” he said. “I wish we were not all swept up in it. But here we are. So what will we do?
“Donald told me once, ‘Dad, I hate feeling the way I do. I just hate it. And if I’m wrong, gosh, I’ll just apologize to no end. But I can’t deny where the facts have led, and I can’t tell you how disappointed I am. The evidence just seems so prominent, and the question must be asked.’”
“Sadly, I agree with my son,” concluded Buswell. “I want the truth. Nothing less. We should all want that.”
Stephen C. Webster is a freelance journalist in North Texas. A version of this story appeared originally in the Lone Star Iconoclast, published in Crawford, Texas.
(Fortune Magazine) -- Sometime later this year, less than 70 miles from Florida, a consortium of Spanish, Indian and Norwegian companies will likely start drilling for oil. It could mark the beginning of a Cuban oil rush - one that American oil companies won't be able to join, despite their proximity to the action.
And that has some U.S. oil industry executives and lobbyists seething, especially since the American Association of Petroleum Geologists calls the offshore Cuban oil deposits a "significant find."
Oil field pumps in Santa Cruz del Norte in Havana.
Countries other than the U.S. stand to gain from big oil potential off the coast of Cuba. CNN's Morgan Neill reports (March 6)
U.S. oil companies can't play in these waters, of course, barred as they are by sanctions prohibiting them from doing business with Cuba. But irked at the irony of sanctions designed to isolate Fidel Castro that isolate them instead, some in the oil industry are seeking to exempt U.S. oil companies from the 45-year-old embargo.
Big Oil's tight pockets
Emboldened by a newly Democratic Congress and the potential for regime change in Cuba, oil industry lobbyists are promoting exemption bills. One, by Senator Larry Craig (R-Idaho), never got out of committee last year. But Craig plans to reintroduce it in the Senate as part of a larger energy bill in the coming weeks, says spokesman Dan Whiting.
The House version, sponsored by Jeff Flake (R-Arizona), which would allow the sale of U.S. oil services and equipment to the foreign companies already exploring in Cuba, may also be revived.
"This is not the 1960s, when the Kennedy administration was protecting the U.S. from a possible missile attack," says Charles Drevna, executive vice president of the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association, which represents 450 companies. "These resources will be developed and produced - the question is by whom. Prohibiting U.S. companies from developing resources 90 miles away is an Alice in Wonderland approach to policy that must be revisited."
Call it Castro's revenge. With Cuba's leader sidelined by illness and its economy in shambles, a major oil find - estimated by the U.S. Geological Survey at 4.6 billion barrels, nearly two-thirds the amount in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge - could give Havana a new lease on life. "Cuba could be a major regional player in oil," says Jorge Piñon, an oil expert at the University of Miami and a former president of Amoco Oil Latin America.
So far Cuba's oil production has been puny - just 68,000 barrels a day, compared with more than ten million by Saudi Arabia, the world's largest producer. With help from the Soviet Union, oil was discovered in Varadero in 1971. Production stayed at about 18,000 barrels a day until Canada's Sherritt International arrived in 1992 and started joint production with Cuba Petróleo. Currently Sherritt is responsible for almost half of Cuba's production, entirely onshore.
In 2004, Spain's Repsol YPF found signs of oil in deep water offshore. Last year India's ONGC Videsh and Norsk Hydro of Norway joined Repsol to explore its six blocks. Separately, Malaysia's Petronas won concessions for four blocks, reportedly after seeing fresh data from the Repsol-led consortium. ONGC also secured concessions for two more blocks. In January, Venezuela's state-owned PDVSA picked up rights to four blocks. China also has an exploration agreement with Cuba, and Chinese oil giant Sinopec has been leasing rigs to Sherritt and others.
Even if the choicest blocks have been taken, there would still be opportunity for U.S. companies if the embargo were lifted tomorrow. And Cuban officials say U.S. companies would receive the same treatment as others. "American energy companies and investment are welcome in our country," says Ernesto Plasencia, Cuba's commercial attaché in Washington, D.C.
Len D'Eramo, a spokesman for Exxon Mobil (Charts), whose refinery was nationalized by the Castro regime, doesn't deny interest in Cuban oil but says, "Cuba is a U.S.-sanctioned country, and we are not permitted to operate there."
The offshore blocks are in the seismic-study stage, but the Repsol consortium hopes to start exploration and drilling this year. Oil experts say production is at least three years away. "The potential for ultra-deep-water reserves looks quite promising," says International Energy Agency analyst David Fyfe. "If oil prices stay high, it keeps the frontier areas in play. But Cuba needs help to access those resources."
The Bush administration opposes any relaxation of the embargo. Last year it went to the trouble of warning the Sheraton Hotel in Mexico City that it would violate the embargo by hosting Cuban delegates to a conference on Cuban energy attended by executives from Exxon Mobil and other U.S. oil companies. The venue was changed. Getting a foothold in Cuban waters won't be as easy.
Cuba is drilling for oil 60 miles off the coast of Florida with help from China, Canada and Spain even as Congress struggles to end years of deadlock over drilling for what could be a treasure trove of offshore oil and gas.
Republicans in Congress have tried repeatedly in the past decade to open up the outer continental shelf to exploration, and Florida's waters hold some of the most promising prospects for major energy finds. Their efforts have been frustrated by opposition from Florida, California and environmental-minded legislators from both parties.
Florida's powerful tourism and booming real estate industries fear that oil spills could cost them business. Lawmakers from the state are so adamantly opposed to drilling that they have bid to extend the national ban on drilling activity from 100 miles to as far as 250 miles offshore, encompassing the island of Cuba.
Cuba is exploring in its half of the 90-mile-wide Straits of Florida within the internationally recognized boundary as well as in deep-water areas of the Gulf of Mexico. The impoverished communist nation is eager to receive any economic boost that would come from a major oil find.
"They think there's a lot of oil out there. We'll see," said Fadi Kabboul, a Venezuelan energy minister. He noted that the oil fields Cuba is plumbing do not respect national borders. Any oil Cuba finds and extracts could siphon off fuel that otherwise would be available to drillers off the Florida coast and oil-thirsty Americans.
Canadian companies Sherritt International Co. and Pebercan Inc. already are pumping more than 19,000 barrels of crude each day from the Santa Cruz, Puerto Escondido, Canasi and other offshore fields in the straits about 90 miles from Key West, and Spain's Repsol oil company has announced the discovery of "quality oil" in deep-water areas of the same region, the National Ocean Industries Association said.
Cuba's state oil company, Cubapetroleo, also has inked a deal with China's Sinopec to explore for oil, and it is using Chinese-made drilling equipment to conduct the exploration.
That compounds the frustration for U.S. oil companies and other businesses that have lobbied to open up the estimated 45 billion barrels in oil reserves and 232 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves in banned drilling areas of the Gulf -- enough to fuel millions of cars and heat millions of homes for decades.
U.S. companies, which have the best deep-water equipment, cannot participate in the Cuban drilling because of the 45-year economic embargo against Fidel Castro's communist regime.
If oil is found in commercially viable quantities, Cuba could be transformed from an oil importer into an exporter, ending chronic energy shortages on the island and generating government revenue.
That prospect and the involvement of China and Venezuela in exploration activities have attracted the attention of the CIA and other national security agencies, even if congressional opposition to offshore drilling has not budged.
Sterling Burnett, a fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis, a conservative think tank, said Cuba's activities show that the quarter-century ban on offshore drilling is putting the U.S. at a strategic disadvantage at a time of increasingly scarce energy resources and record high oil and gas prices that are hampering economic growth and stoking inflation.
Adam Pearlman, the Jewish Mossad agent who once wrote stinging essays
condemning Muslims as "bloodthirsty terrorists", has once again popped
up as an "Al-Qaeda spokesman" to frighten the dwindling number of
Americans who still believe Al-Qaeda exists outside of U.S. intelligence
"An American member of al-Qaida warned President Bush on Tuesday to end
U.S. involvement in all Muslim lands or face an attack worse than the
Sept. 11 suicide assault, according to a new videotape."
"Wearing a white robe and a turban, Adam Yehiye Gadahn, who also goes by
the name Azzam al-Amriki, said al-Qaida would not negotiate on its
demands," reports the Associated Press .
Who is the mysterious Adam Yehiye Gadahn?
The FBI lists Gadahn's aliases as Abu Suhayb Al-Amriki, Abu Suhayb,
Yihya Majadin Adams, Adam Pearlman, and Yayah.
Adam Pearlman is his real name and his grandfather is none other than
the late Carl K. Pearlman; a prominent Jewish urologist in Orange
County. Carl was also a member of the board of directors of the
Anti-Defamation League, which was caught spying on Americans for Israel
in 1993. Mike Rivero has the scoop at WhatReallyHappened.com .
The United States dollar is facing imminent collapse
The United States dollar is facing imminent collapse in the face of an
unsustainable debt, the United Nations warned today.
United States debt, which had now deepened to well over $3 trillion,
might turn out to be unsustainable in the rest of 2007 or next, putting
further downward pressure on the United States dollar, Rob Vos, the
Director of the Development Policy and Analysis Division of the
Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), told correspondents at
a Headquarters press conference.
He pointed out that since its peak in 2002, the dollar had depreciated
vis-à-vis the major currencies by some 35 per cent and by 25 per cent
against a broader range of other currencies.
Vos made these comments at the launch of the 2007 World Economic
Situation and Prospects report midyear update.
You are not going to like what I have to say today. But it must be said,
out loud. People are whispering about it now, but if we don’t face up to
it, it will only get worse.
The violent incident in Cananea, Sonora, has hit the consciousness of
Tucson squarely between the eyes. Northern Mexico is in a state of war.
Who is fighting? That’s hard to say. Officially, it is the drug- and
people-traffickers against each other and the government. But in Mexico,
you can’t tell the players even with a program. You cannot assume the
police or the Army are loyal to their commands. Many are working on
In case you were out of town two weeks ago, about 50 armed men drove
into Cananea and killed five policemen and two other residents. The men
fled into the hills with police and soldiers in pursuit. In subsequent
gunfights, 16 more were killed.
The U.S. State Department has issued a travel announcement saying
narcotics-related “violence by criminal elements affects many parts of
It is not too much to say there is a war going on right across the
border. It’s not a hot war with firefights all the time. It is not a
cold war, either, with posturing and press releases. Let’s call it a
warm war. Violence breaks out from time to time for reasons unknown to
us, but completely unpredictable.
And here’s the part you don’t want to hear. Violence has spread across
the border and has resulted in several deaths of Americans residents and
visitors. Most such crimes are reported as isolated incidents. But the
violence in northern Mexico is not stopping at the border. It’s headed
this way and a lot of Tucsonans know it.
It is crossing the border because there is little to stop it. The Border
Patrol is in virtual rebellion against its supervisors. They have felt
betrayed by prosecution of some of them for what they see as doing their
job. Union Local 2544 of the Border Patrol has published its position of
“no confidence” in supervisory and command personnel. They have called a
meeting (members only) for June 13 to consider their options.
You can’t learn about it in most media, but the whispers around town are
people saying they are thinking of getting out. It looks like war and
it’s coming here. No government has acted to protect Americans living in
Southern Arizona. Our federal government is in full collapse as far as
the southern border is concerned. All we get from them is talk. The only
action we see is toward integrating Mexico into the U.S. and Canada.
What will it mean when the border is actually abandoned and anybody is
free to enter without inspection? It will mean that Southern Arizona,
specifically Tucson, could become like Cananea and other parts of
northern Mexico. Violence will overtake local police. State and federal
authorities will look the other way.
Our local news media talks about growth and how we must plan for. But
these events will make those plans meaningless. When Tucsonans have to
risk their lives to go to work or shopping, this city will empty out.
Adequate water supplies will be the least of our problems.
The federal government should put troops on the border to defend the
United States and its citizens. The troops should be given orders to use
as much force as necessary to accomplish that task. No soldiers should
be detailed to do paperwork and forbidden to fire on violators. This is
another war and if we don’t act like it, we will lose this one too.
This war isn’t on the other side of the world. This is for our homes,
our homes, our homes.
But the feds do nothing. What is happening is according to their plan.
Drop in on the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America’s
website n spp.gov n and read the plans. Watch discussion of the
so-called immigration reform bill, which contains legislation advancing
the integration of North America. It’s happening whether you like it or
not. And Tucson is on the front lines.