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I am a consultant and analyst with eight years of military law enforcement experience, six years of analytical experience covering Latin America, and over seven years of analytical experience covering Mexican TCOs and border violence issues. This blog is designed to inform readers about current border violence issues and provide analysis on those issues, as well as detailed focus on specific border topics. By applying my knowledge and experience through this blog, I hope to separate the wheat from the chaff...that is, dispel rumors propagated by sensationalist media reporting, explain in layman's terms what is going on with Mexican TCOs, and most importantly, WHY violence is happening along the US-Mexico border.

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With over a dozen years of combined experience in military law enforcement, force protection analysis, and writing a variety of professional products for the US Air Force, state government in California, and the general public, Ms. Longmire has the expertise to create a superior product for you or your agency to further your understanding of Mexico’s drug war. Longmire Consulting is dedicated to being on the cusp of the latest developments in Mexico in order to bring you the best possible analysis of threats posed by the drug violence south of the border.

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April 28, 2011

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It's a curious historical coincidence that last year marked the bicentenial of Mexico's War of Independence from Spain in 1810 and the centennial of the Mexican Revolution against dictator Porfirio Diaz in 1910 and once again Mexico's national sovereignty is threatened by the DTOs as it contemplates a new national security law "as a last resort ... to combat crimes against national security". Mexico may need another revolution of the people to purge the entrenched TCOs. I'm not optimistic.

This is very nice, I just love your naivete:

"Actually, several transgressions by our government regarding the Patriot Act have been pointed out, and that has resulted in some changes being made to the Act's provisions. While our government isn't perfect and often secretive, the American people know that it has to be held accountable when the law is violated."

So the US invades countries, incarcerates hundreds, thousands of people without proper trial, systematically practices "waterboarding" and similar things, but in your blog get a completely free pass because you say that there have been "several", (maybe two or three?) violations...

In Mexico there are "thousands of Human Right complaints", okay, but now you're to tell us that the US government is mother teresa?

@Jose - Never said the US is Mother Teresa. A lawsuit filed for improper wiretapping is different than a complaint against the military for being beaten and tortured. There have not been thousands of lawsuits filed against the US government as a result of the Patriot Act. As for waterboarding...as highly controversial as it is, it's still never been deemed illegal; it's use or lack of use has always been a matter of policy, not legality. Also, authority for waterboarding does not fall under the Patriot Act.

Sylvia I’m afraid you just don’t get it, none of it. That apparent fact is not only a sad reality for me, but a large puzzlement as to why it is so? Water boarding is in fact a form of torture, and was deemed as such by us clear back to the WWII days where we hanged enemy soldiers for it’s use against our POW’s. In more recent times we have charged and convicted law enforcement officers for it’s use against prisoners in their custody, up until the time that Bush and his Constitution wrecking crew took over anyway. I wonder, what is the meaning of ’’if’’ anyway?
I am not certain what your motives, nor goals are with your blog here? When I had first discovered your site I had hoped that you were going to present an honest look at the events unfolding in Mexico through the analysis of the cold hard facts. Sadly you have stray from this assumption, and have chosen instead to supply an analysis which best conforms to U.S. policy, and portrays it’s military and law-enforcement in the best possible light, even when the facts say otherwise. In your brief analysis of the ATF scandal, instead of referring to it as the law breaking, misguided scandal which the facts largely suggest, you choose instead to refer to it as a ‘’sting operation’’ which went wrong. Now comes the mention of water boarding, and you appear to defend it’s use by claiming it has always been a matter of policy, not legality, which simply is not true. Your blog has at least the seeming appearance of being shocked, and in wonderment as concerning the mutilations and beheadings taking place in Mexico, yet you defend the use of torture? You suggest that the upheaval in Mexico could largely be addressed by simply legalizing MJ, while at the same time increasing the militarizing of our borders, along with ramping up law enforcement for our NP’s and BLM lands? In one of your commentaries you stated that ‘’millions of acres’’ of such land have been taken over by the Mexican drug cartels and their MJ growing operations. Of course any of us with the smallest bit of knowledge know darn well that such a claim is false and with out merit. Sadly however they are many among us who don’t possess such knowledge, and who accepts such nonsense as proven fact, since it’s purported as coming from an expert on the subject.
Seemingly what you are attempting to do is to paint a picture that American sold guns are rampantly smuggled south across the border, and that the Mexican drug cartels are rampantly seizing and destroying millions of acres of our National Parks, with absolutely nothing to support such claims. Certainly there is MJ being grown in our NP’s, just as it is grown on USFS & BLM lands. However this fact isn’t earth shattering news, it’s been taking place ever since the mid 60’s. While perhaps with more of an involvement on the part of the Mexican DTO’s today, none the less it has been going on for years, but nowhere close to a million acres being utilized at any given time. Do you even have an understanding as to just how much land a million acres would encompass? To put it in perspective for you, imagine a swath of land one mile wide stretching all the way from the Mexican border to that of the Canadian border, then you might better understand why such a claim has no merit, least all of our law enforcement, state, local and federal be blithering idiots, and the Mexican cartels better farmers than the five thousand U.S. farmers using large modern equipment that it normally would take to raise a crop on that amount of land. Yet you claim that the Mexican cartel is somehow able to accomplish this feat with the use of hand tools, and in remote forested areas? But then of course I suppose they could be expert farms, no? BTW, do you have the figure before you as to exactly how many of these expert farmers of one million acres have been arrested in say the past five years? Do the figures don’t match up do they. lol

Fred

@Fred - Just for clarification, I never defended the use of waterboarding. I also never advocated for it. I merely stated that it was never deemed illegal, and that it's use or lack thereof was a matter of policy. By saying that, I'm stating historical facts, not my personal opinion on the subject. Also, it seems you've never watched video of California National Guard troops going into one of these grows in California to rip out thousands of plants and the irrigation pipes that feed them. I have. You do not need equipment more modern than some plastic piping, fertilizer, and seeds to start a marijuana grow. Feel free to contact the public affairs people at the California National Guard's counterdrug division and they'll be happy to explain how those grows work. I actually have an entire chapter dedicated to the domestic marijuana growing business, and yes, I talk extensively about how the Mexican growers compete with American growers.

Ms Longmire

I believe the proposed Mexican National Security Law amendments are an example of the type of legislation which is often enacted when a country believes it is at war.

The PATRIOT Act was a legislative reaction to the attack on 9/11. How many of us are surprised that the US has not sustained another major terrorist attack ten years later?

Historians will have to judge whether the PATRIOT Act and other even more controversial actions such as waterboarding, detentions in Guantanamo and extraordinary renditions may have saved tens of thousands of American lives.

Well ... it's way off topic - but the news today that Bin Laden is dead has some relevance here.

First, I agree that waterboarding is torture, and so are a host of other "aggressive" techniques that were explored at Guantanamo. But what do we learn from the death of Bin Laden? Surely one of the great messages is that good intelligence work in the field is what delivers REAL results. All the torture did not deliver the "big tamale". But good sleuthing of Bin Laden's courier's in the streets of Islamabad gave a huge end result.

Second ... the Bin Laden episode sends a strong message that duplicitous dealing does not pay off. The ISI (intelligence agency) in Pakistan is in the spotlight now - and they must be squirming. We could say the same thing about certain high-level officials in the Mexican Govt and the Army. They cannot play this game both ways ... pretending to help Calderon while also tipping off the drug cartels. It won't work.

Chapo Guzman must be getting just a little bit nervous now. If Bin Laden can't hide indefinitely - how much longer does Guzman have??? Sweet dreams, Chapo.

P.

Good post P! And yes, El Chapo the pipsqueak, should be getting nervous. Let us hope the Mexican government is serious enough about this process to allow the use of the sophisticated intelligence gathering arsenal of the United States of America. "Eyes Only" at only the highest level to maintain security. Not certain if Mexico has a unit comparable to our Seal Team 6, but some joint effort should root out Guzman in short order. Together the U. S. and Mexico could gurantee a reward commensurate to that $25 million offered for Osama bin Laden. Bury El Chapo at sea!

@P - As always, I love your insight and comments. I do have to add that, in my opinion, listening to New Kids on the Block albums at full volume constitutes torture as well :).

@P - I just finished reading this, which goes against what you mentioned in your comments about the use of waterboarding in the acquisition of UBL's location. I wonder what your thoughts about it are:

"Aggressive interrogations during the Bush administration including water boarding forced the tactical mastermind of the 9/11 attacks to give up the name of an al Qaeda courier who helped lead U.S. intelligence operatives to the compound in Pakistan where terrorist Osama bin Laden was found hiding out, according to a Texas congressman on the House Homeland Security Committee.

"Rep. Michael McCaul, an Austin Republican, told the Houston Chronicle that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed provided U.S. interrogators the name of a courier trusted by bin Laden, enabling U.S. officials to eventually track the courier to the compound where bin Laden was found and killed on Sunday by a helicopter-borne team of Navy SEALs.

"McCaul, a former federal prosecutor who handled counterterrorism duties in Texas for the Justice Department, said Mohammed had surrendered the crucial information while being subjected to the “aggressive interrogation techniques for which the Bush administration was criticized,” including the simulated drowning technique known as water boarding."

Again, *just* for clarification, I'm not advocating the use of torture or condemning it. I just thought this was interesting. McCaul is a massive conservative, and I was actually wondering when someone was going to come out and say that we got UBL because of Gitmo or waterboarding or torture. Of course, we'll never know if that's true or not...

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