**Posted by Phineas
You probably remember Obama’s recent trip to Texas in which, during a speech in El Paso, he mocked, derided, and demagogued the legitimate concerns of those worried about the security of our southern border. He went so far as to claim his administration had done more than any before it to meet those concerns:
But over the last two years, thanks to the outstanding work of Janet [Napolitano] and Alan [Bersin] and everybody who’s down here working at the border, we’ve answered those concerns. Under their leadership, we have strengthened border security beyond what many believed was possible. They wanted more agents at the border. Well, we now have more boots on the ground on the southwest border than at any time in our history.
So, see? There’s nothing to be concerned about. The border is safe! And pay no attention to those drug-cartel outposts inside Arizona:
Hiking through rough Arizona desert terrain a few miles north of the Mexican border recently with a group of armed DEA agents, we were approached by a lone U.S. Border Patrol agent. He warned we should be careful up ahead, because two people believed to be spotters for a Mexican drug cartel had just been seen running down a ridge to elude U.S. authorities.
By now, agents told us, the men were probably hunkered down in a cave or crevice to wait out the patrol. But just to be safe, the DEA agents spread out to cover more ground as they moved forward again, watching closely for the suspected Mexican surveillance team likely sent by drug traffickers to spy on American law enforcement officials on their own soil.
Making our way slowly to the rugged hilltops about a mile away, we came across several caves carved out of the rock by wind and rain. On the floor of one of them, we saw clear evidence that a surveillance team had been camping out. Two blankets were spread out next to a pair of shoes. Nearby were boxes of food, tarps, water jugs, toothpaste and a portable stove, on top of which was a pan with fresh cooking oil still in it.
Agents also found radio chargers and car batteries used to power communications gear. They told NBC producer-photographer Al Henkel and me that Mexican surveillance teams will work in these mountains for 30 to 60 days at a time.
“They locate themselves up on these ridgelines, up in caves, hidey holes, ‘spider holes’ we call them,” said DEA agent Todd Scott. He and the agents wondered if this particular “spider hole” was home to the two men just seen running away.
The report goes on to estimate there are 200-300 spotters operating in Arizona as far north as Phoenix and using military-grade gear to track US law enforcement movements and talk to each other in a sophisticated operation. Here’s a video report:
But, don’t worry; the border is safe.
Obama said so.
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)