Border Patrol Tattle-Taleing

10 05 2006

There is no “I” in TEAM. Now, there is no “Security” in Homeland.

Border patrol agents are tattleing, to Mexican authorities no less, on the only pro-active border patrol we have, the Minutemen, who have broken no laws.

Via The Daily Bulletin

While Minuteman civilian patrols are keeping an eye out for illegal border crossers, the U.S. Border Patrol is keeping an eye out for Minutemen — and telling the Mexican government where they are.

According to three documents on the Mexican Secretary of Foreign Relations Web site, the U.S. Border Patrol is to notify the Mexican government as to the location of Minutemen and other civilian border patrol groups when they participate in apprehending illegal immigrants — and if and when violence is used against border crossers.

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman confirmed the notification process, describing it as a standard procedure meant to reassure the Mexican government that migrants’ rights are being observed.

“It’s unbelievable that our own government agency is sending intelligence to another country. They are sending intelligence to a nation where corruption runs rampant, and that could be getting into the hands of criminal cartels,” said Chris Simcox, founder of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps. “They just basically endangered the lives of American people.”

Andrew McCarthy offers a nice retort:

The consular-notification convention, and in particular its Article 36, comes into play whenever an alien—legal or illegal—is arrested in the United States. It absolutely does not require U.S. authorities to provide any investigative information or other intelligence to foreign governments. Indeed, it does not necessarily require our government to give a foreign government any information whatsoever.

On the contrary, it provides that when a foreign national is detained, he has a right to have his nation’s consulate in the United States informed of the fact of the arrest. If he does not want his nation so advised, the U.S. is under no obligation to provide notice.

If the detainee does assert his consular-notification rights, the U.S. must advise the consulate of the fact of the arrest, pass along any communications the detainee addresses to his consulate, and allow representatives of the consulate to visit with the detainee.

That’s it. If the foreign government is determined to educate itself about the case, it must do so by interviewing the arrestee (just like a defense lawyer) or by open source information (just like a reporter or any person curious enough to check the public record). It has no claim on investigative or intelligence information maintained by the United States government. Of course, our government may decide to share more information with the foreign government; but if it does, that is a function of choice, not a requirement of law.

The reasons for all this should be obvious. Americans themselves are not entitled to intelligence and investigative information from their own government, so foreigners clearly have no legal basis to demand it.

This situation calls for close attention. The American people should be told exactly what DHS’s component agencies have been telling Mexico. If, as DHS maintains, it is merely honoring U.S. treaty obligations, that is laudable and to be encouraged.

If, however, our government is gratuitously providing a suspect regime with information about the First Amendment-protected activities of American citizens, the immigration issue is headed for a whole new dimension of controversy.

No one know what will happen at this point, but it is easier to see how this could escalate into a larger issue.

Potential aside, why wouldn’t they work as a team? Is DHS jealous? Do they believe the Minutemen are incompetent? Not as advanced as the border patrol agents? All of the above maybe.

Bickering and fighting amongst ourselves is wasteful, shameful, and noticable – primarily to al-Qaeda. Don’t think they aren’t observing how we are securing the borders.

Michelle Malkin takes a look at her blog and her column.
and Michelle’s latest Vent asks where all the privocrats are to protest the Border Patrol/Mexican government monitoring of the Minutemen.

Stop The ACLU, Junkyard Blog, La Shawn Barber, and Wizbang also want to see some DHS accountability.

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