Napolitano Halts Border Construction Until Internal Review Completed

 

Napolitano has faced questions since the AP reported last month that Homeland Security officials did not follow their internal priority lists when choosing which border checkpoints would get money for renovations.

 

WASHINGTON — Facing criticism for her handling of federal stimulus money, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Wednesday that she would not start any new border construction projects while the department reviewed how projects were selected.

Napolitano has faced questions since The Associated Press reported last month that Homeland Security officials did not follow their internal priority lists when choosing which border checkpoints would get money for renovations. Under a process that is secretive and susceptible to political influence, officials planned to spend millions at tiny checkpoints, passing over busier, higher-priority projects.

The criticism peaked Wednesday when a senior Senate Democrat, Byron Dorgan of North Dakota, said that, despite Napolitano’s assurances, he felt Homeland Security was treating the economic stimulus plan like a “bottomless pit” of taxpayer money. It was unusually pointed criticism from a member of the president’s own party about how the administration is handling economic recovery spending.

“There’s no common sense at all to a requirement that says you’ve got to put up a $15 million facility for a small port of entry that’s host to about five vehicles an hour,” Dorgan, whose state stood to receive $128 million for checkpoint improvements, said in a telephone interview.

Within hours, Napolitano promised not to begin any new border construction projects and set up a 30-day review of how the projects were selected.

“At the end of that review, I will make all information, not involving national security concerns, public,” Napolitano wrote in a letter to Dorgan.

So far, Homeland Security has refused to release its internal priority list or its justifications for deviating from it. Instead, officials say the final project list is all they need to make public.

While Napolitano’s review may disclose information about the selection process, it appears unlikely to change much. That’s because Homeland Security has already signed many construction contracts, including low-priority projects such as the $15 million renovation for the sleepy border checkpoint at Whitetail, Mont.

Congress required the department to create a priority list in 2003 but the Obama administration added its own subjective decision-making to the process, making it vulnerable to the political influence that Obama pledged to keep out of the stimulus.

Two Montana Democratic senators, for instance, said they personally appealed to Napolitano to get money for lower-priority border projects. That includes the $15 million plan for Whitetail, which will build a checkpoint the size and cost of a Hollywood mansion at a crossing that serves three travelers a day.

Napolitano defended those decisions in her letter, saying northern border stations could be repaired for a fraction of the cost of busier checkpoints. But she said the department would review those decisions.

Read the entire article HERE.

 

 

End note: 

Is this why Janet Napolitano keeps insisting that the drug cartels and violence is not spilling over the US/Mexican border?  Defending the possible misappropriation of Stimulus dollars to secure our southern border?

NO WONDER Governor Rick Perry is sending Texas Rangers to the Texas-Mexican border.  Reported HERE. 

Doesn’t it just give you a “tingle up your leg” of how efficient our government is about spending our taxpayer Stimulus dollars?

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President Obama: Give Janet Napolitano a Newspaper or Have Her Communicate With The Head Of Border Patrol!

This is unbelieveable! The Head of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, the one who couldn’t even control the illegals coming over the border in Arizona, now says this:

Napolitano: Violence in Mexico Not Yet Spilling Across U.S. Border.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano acknowledges rising violence in Mexico, but says while U.S. officials are preparing for that violence to spill across the border it has not yet.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano denied Thursday that the latest drug-fueled violence in Mexico has spilled across the border, even as local officials throughout the country see troubling signs of Mexican gang activity.

The Department of Justice reports that 230 U.S. cities, from Anchorage to Atlanta have a cartel or Mexican gang presence.

A February report from the Cato Institute found a “troubling number of incidents” in which Mexico violence was spilling across the border.

It also noted increasing violence against U.S. citizens traveling in the southern neighbor.

Federal authorities say more that $14 billion in illegal drugs are smuggled into the U.S. every year through Mexico.

And Phoenix, the capital city of Napolitano’s home state of Arizona, recorded 370 kidnappings last year, placing it only second to Mexico City worldwide, though it wasn’t immediately clear how many of the kidnappings can be traced to Mexican drug activity.

Napolitano acknowledged Thursday that violence in Mexico “has risen to very high levels.” But she said that although the U.S. is planning for the potential for violence to move north across the border, it hasn’t happened yet.

“Right now it has not (crossed the border). But it is a contingency we have in mind because it could,” the former Arizona governor told reporters.

“We have contingency plans should violence spread into the United States.”

The situation in Mexico is dire.

The country sees almost daily assassinations and kidnappings of government and police officials, battles frequently break out between soldiers and drug gangs involving small-arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades.

Experts warn that the violence already is on a pace to break last year’s record of nearly 6,000 people killed by narco-terrorists in Mexico.

“What we have seen in Mexico is a very sobering trend. … At the current pace, for 2009 we are looking at something in the area of 8,000 dead. It is a carnage that is alarming already,” Ted Carpenter, a Cato Institute foreign policy expert, said at a forum Thursday. “Mexico has already displaced Colombia as the kidnapping capital of the world … and the violence is spilling across the border into the United States. American citizens, including law enforcement personnel, have been targeted by the drug cartels for assassination.”

President Obama discussed the latest drug violence during a meeting last month with Mexican President Felipe Calderon, whose country already has deployed 45,000 troops to fight the cartels.

The final stimulus plan Obama signed into law this week contained about $600 million to help bolster border security and curb gun flow to Mexico — 95 percent of which come from the U.S.

The situation is so unstable the Obama administration’s new director of national intelligence warned Congress last week that the Mexican government is losing control.

“The corruptive influence and increasing violence of Mexican drug cartels impedes Mexico City’s ability to govern parts of its country,” Dennis Bair told the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Even more alarming, the U.S. Joint Forces Command said in recent report that Mexico rivals Pakistan as the country most at risk of collapse. The report said Mexico’s “politicians, police and judicial infrastructure are all under sustained assault and pressure by criminal gangs and drug cartels. … Any descent by Mexico into chaos would demand an American response based on the serious implications for homeland security alone.”

Read the rest here: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/first100days/2009/02/20/napolitano-violence-mexico-spilling-border/

 

Then read this: Border Patrol Agents Shoot Man as He Runs Over Fellow Officer

EL PASO, Texas — U.S. Border Patrol agents shot a man described as a suspected drug smuggler in the New Mexico desert Thursday night, federal officials said Friday.

Doug Mosier, a Border Patrol spokesman in El Paso, said agents were trying to stop a pickup truck headed north along a desert ranch road about 11 p.m. Thursday night, when the driver ran over an agent.

At least one other agent at the scene opened fire, hitting the driver at least once.

Following the shooting, Mosier said, the driver of the truck crashed the vehicle along N.M. 9, about 25 miles west of the border crossing at Santa Teresa, about 14 miles west of El Paso.

The agent and the driver, neither of whom have been identified, were both taken to a hospital in El Paso. Mosier said the agent suffered nonlife-threatening injuries.

No details on the driver’s condition were available Friday.

The truck is believed to have crossed the border along a patch of rough desert littered with scrub brush and little else. Mosier said there are about 48 miles of vehicle and pedestrian fencing in the area, though it is unclear exactly where the driver of the truck came across the border.

Todd Hulsey, an FBI spokesman in Albuquerque, said agents from the El Paso office were at the remote scene overnight and the FBI’s field office in Las Cruces is investigating the alleged assault on the agent.

The Las Cruces FBI office was was writing an affidavit for a federal arrest warrant charging the driver with assaulting a federal officer and drug trafficking, he said.

The FBI does not know who the driver is because he carried no identification, but believe he is a Mexican national, Hulsey said.

The truck contained 1,500 pounds of marijuana, wrapped in 25-pound bundles that filled the interior of the Ford pickup “so that only one human being could fit inside of it,” Hulsey said.

Mosier said Thursday night’s incident illustrates the danger agents face along remote stretches of the border.

“It is always a dangerous formula when you have a smuggling episode and desperation on the part of suspected smugglers,” he said.

It’s not the first time an agent has been run over while trying to stop a vehicle in the desert.

Agent Luis Aguilar was working in southeastern California’s Imperial Sand Dunes last January when he was hit and killed by a suspected marijuana smuggler. Jesus Navarro Montes was arrested earlier this month in Mexico near Zihuatenejo in an operation coordinated with the FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service. The U.S. government is seeking his extradition on drug charges.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,497904,00.html

 

So according to Janet Napolitano; even though there have been 370 recorded kidnappings by drug cartel, a border agent run over and killed in California last January, one border agent run over by a drug smuggler recently and over 230 U.S. cities, from Anchorage to Atlanta that have a cartel or Mexican gang presence, says while U.S. officials are preparing for that violence to spill across the border it has not yet?

What? Are we to wait until we start have 500 killed by drug cartels or more before she realizes we have a problem? What is her focal goal before she acts?

And Obama and our current Administration wants to control our guns and ammunition? Whatever happened to the RIGHT to protect our homes and families from the likes of the Mexican cartels? Since our own Homeland Security Secretary fails to recognize we as Americans have a problem on our southern border, don’t we have the right to protect ourselves from this violence?

The biggest shocker is when the Mexicans can sue an AMERICAN farmer protecting his ranch from illegals TRESPASSING on his property!

Unbelieveable!