From the bottom of my heart, I hope this story will be unfounded.
A Mexican drug cartel member is claiming to have abducted a United States Border Patrol agent. As reported by the LA Times, ” A threat called into a Texas town claiming that a Mexican drug cartel member has kidnapped an officer has federal officials scrambling to account for more than 3,000 U.S. Border Patrol agents in the Rio Grande Valley.”
“La Joya police dispatchers received a call around 7 p.m. Thursday from a man claiming to have kidnapped a Border Patrol agent and threatening to kill him, according to Police Chief Geovani Hernandez. Hernandez says police believe the individual first called 911 Thursday morning to report illegal movement of people near the border. During that call, Hernandez says, the man seemed to believe he had hung up the phone and upon realizing the dispatcher was still on the line, became enraged. The man called back eight more times on Christmas, Hernandez said, repeatedly cursing at and threatening dispatchers in Spanish. The man mentioned a Border Patrol agent on the ninth and final call.”
The old commander in me would take the multiple calls made by the man as proof of this being more of a hoax than truth — but everything must be verified.
However, there is a bigger question to be asked — what if a U.S. Border Patrol agent were to be abducted?
Unfortunately we have entered into a time where the enemy realizes that capturing an American provides great leverage — just ask Raul Castro.
Heck, our men and women in Afghanistan — where President Obama has declared combat operations are over (methinks the Taliban are not in agreement) could soon be watching those five Senior Taliban members from GITMO hanging out at fine dining establishments in Kabul — well, probably Kandahar.
How did we get to this point? We have random threats regarding kidnapping Americans and that in and of itself represents an aspect of terrorism — forcing us to always watch our backs.
Upon hearing this, I first wondered, how could this have happened? But from the cross-country motorcycle ride I took this past May, I remember a singular U.S. Border Patrol agent out patrolling alone in an SUV. None of our Border Patrol agents should be out and about alone, not in buddy teams — and with redundant support mechanisms in place, on the ground and air.
I saw two instances of lone agents — one in the southern California desert and another in the Arizona/New Mexico area. I asked myself, would I ever send a troop out alone to face the enemy or patrol? Heck no! So while chances are there hasn’t been a Border Patrol agent kidnapping, the conditions do exist for it to happen. The Mexican narco-terrorists are playing for keeps, without rules. To me, they’re no different than Islamic terrorists. After all, the Taliban are big time into the opium trade out of Afghanistan!
The narco-terrorists are well armed, resourced, and resemble an army-type unit of non-state, non-uniformed unlawful enemy belligerent combatants. We cannot continue to view this as a typical law enforcement action. Do I believe that a Border Patrol agent has been “taken?” No. But do I believe in the possibility of something along those lines could happen? Unequivocally, yes.
“According to the LA Times, “Oscar Zamora, a Border Patrol spokesman, says the agency is reaching out to more than 3,000 agents in the Rio Grande Valley sector, which includes La Joya, “out of an abundance of caution.” Zamora says the agency has accounted for all on-duty agents, but officials are still trying to confirm the whereabouts of all off-duty agents, a task that has proved challenging with many of the agents off for the holidays.
So, let’s stay vigilant and not just give a sigh of relief if this results in a “dry hole empty hoax.” Even as this passes, we need to take firm actions to secure our porous southern border and protect those who are the guardians.