Patterico's Pontifications

10/13/2010

Falcon Lake Murder Update: Cartel Sends Investigator’s Severed Head to Mexican Government

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:06 am



This puts to rest the crazy theory that the wife did it:

The severed head of a Mexican police commander investigating the fatal shooting of U.S. citizen David Michael Hartley on Falcon Lake was delivered Tuesday to Mexican military in a suitcase, authorities said.

The commander, identified as Rolando Flores Villegas, was one of the investigators that family members met during a meeting last week at an international bridge near Roma, said Cynthia Young, the mother of Hartley’s widow, Tiffany.

So we have cartels executing an investigator into the murder of an American. Is Obama ready to get involved yet?

P.S. If you think legalizing marijuana in California is the cure-all solution, think again. RAND says it will cut into the cartels’ profits, to be sure — but by no more than 3 percent.

144 Responses to “Falcon Lake Murder Update: Cartel Sends Investigator’s Severed Head to Mexican Government”

  1. Wow, I hadn’t seen that Rand study.

    I’m sticking to my prediction that we’ll see American troops occupying portions of Mexico within the decade. “Black Jack” Pershing will ride again.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  2. How does this put to rest the wife’s story?

    Sounds to me like she could have gotten this man killed investigating a crime that may not have happened.

    Jaynie59 (18e5d1)

  3. I wouldn’t say this absolves Mrs. Hartley. Certainly not in the eyes of those who are so SURE that she is lying.

    I don’t think she did anything to her husband in the first place. If I did this by itself would not ease my suspicions, though. All this proves is that there are cartel folks operating in the area and they do not want the authorities around there.

    I would like to see Obama get off his duff and send a heavy presence to Falcon Lake at the very least. Heck I would like a heavy presence on the border PERIOD, but I’ll take what I can get.

    Dustyn H (71d880)

  4. And just as I was saying, the poster above me is one of those who will not set this possible conspiracy to rest until a body is found, and maybe not even then.

    Dustyn H (71d880)

  5. I think MJ need to be legal nationwide before we would see the profits drop enough to make it unprofitable for the cartels.

    But Californians will be able to avoid buying gangster pot. I’m still for legalization.

    As far as the wife of a murder victim, well its called presumption of innocence, not that the concept stops gossipy types from their ignorant pronouncements about things of which they really know nothing.

    SGT Ted (fa9b46)

  6. You know, under the Constitution, Congress can issue Letters of Marque and Reprisal. I know several well-armed TX good old boys who could turn this into a moneymaker.

    Besides, watching Chuck Schumer’s blood pressure spray from his ears when the bill is introduced would be entertaining all by itself.

    SDN (198be6)

  7. Organized crime survived even after Prohibition was ended. The drug cartels will survive even if every drug in America were made legal. The cartels will just work with a different commodity.

    Some chump (4c6c0c)

  8. Okay…

    Enough is fucking enough. These people are murderous, oppressive scum. We invaded Afghanistan and Iraq to crush murderous, oppressive scum – let’s see how the cartels like dealing with a real military for a change.

    Leviticus (f62a92)

  9. The 2nd and 3rd commenters have good points. This is an area with all sorts of gang violence anyway. Police investigators, in general, seriously poking around are in danger.

    Do I think the wife did it? I have no reason to think she did.

    But a murder of a police commander doesn’t “put to rest” anything. It’s a data point. It’s hardly proof.

    Christoph (8ec277)

  10. I think its disgusting that Obama is not doing anything, and something needs to be done. If you look at the story from the start, there is no way this wife is lying and what motive does she have? Its amazing to me, that Obmama will meet with George Clooney over supposed assumption of probable “genecide” in that country, however we have all sorts of torment going on here and what is he doing? I say Obama, be the person you have said you are and help this case! You havent impressed me so far and its time you help instead of focusing on meeting George Clooney…if you have time for him you have time for other pressing causes.

    SickendedinCA (aed448)

  11. Put another way, if the commander was doing his job, it is highly likely he had previous interactions with the gangs, which could easily have given them a motive to kill him. There have been a great many Mexican police murdered of late, right?

    Now the gangs probably killed David Michael Hartley.

    But I take issue with the idea a cop (particularly one with responsibility for all crimes in the area) getting killed proves a particular crime happened the way you happen to believe it did. That isn’t sound reasoning.

    Christoph (8ec277)

  12. Christoph

    They havent legalized pot – yet

    EricPWJohnson (cae720)

  13. my money’s on a drug deal gone bad. Anyone remember Mark Kilroy? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_J._Kilroy

    BradnSA (24ba37)

  14. If you want pot legalized – nationally – insist that Congress follow the law that they wrote, and fund a serious study of the long-term medical (both physical and mental) of MJ use.
    If that study absolves MJ of any harm in excess of currently legal addictive substances (alcohol, niccotine, caffeine), then it can be legally removed from Schedule-1, and regulated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; with revenue collected by the Dept. of Treasury via licensing for commerce.

    The Rand study also points out that legalization does not guarantee the neutering of the cartels, just as La Cosa Nostra/The Mafia/etc, was not neutered by the repeal of the Volstedt Act in Dec-33.

    AD-RtR/OS! (8b4d8f)

  15. FWIW here’s a “body language expert” who is highly suspicious of the wife.

    http://womenincrimeink.blogspot.com/2010/10/is-tiffany-hartleys-telling-truth-body.html

    JamesG (de103b)

  16. Great, now someone thinks that TV shows are reality.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  17. This shooting is devolving into the arena of the Jon Benet Ramsey case, where “everyone” knew that the mother did it.

    AD-RtR/OS! (8b4d8f)

  18. JamesG.(#14): Oh, ALL the “Body Language” experts have decided she’s guilty. The more evidence that rolls in to the contrary, the more they double down.

    The beheading? Oh, that will just mean she is even MORE dastardly and evil than they originally thought.

    kas (048a3f)

  19. P.S. If you think legalizing marijuana in California is the cure-all solution, think again. RAND says it will cut into the cartels’ profits, to be sure — but by no more than 3 percent.

    Drug cartel accountant: Legalizing marijuana in California has decreased our profits by 3%.

    Drug cartel leader: Raise prices 3%.

    John P. Squibob (882a08)

  20. “Great, now someone thinks that TV shows are reality.

    Comment by SPQR — 10/13/2010 @ 10:31 am”

    I put less stock in body language analysis than I do in the coincidence (or not) of a police commander being killed while investigating this … in a heavily gang-ridden, violent area where he might have been killed for any number of non-related things.

    However, this isn’t body language; this is more:

    One of the first indicators of deception is whether a person is consistent in their story. Tiffany Hartley has not been consistent.

    From first describing the shooters to what actually happened with her husband, her story has changed drastically. It changed from the first time she opened her mouth on air, where she was seen looking plain, with her hair in her eyes, to a more pulled together look complete with makeup and her hair pulled back.

    The more she appeared on TV the more she appeared to enjoy the attention. At first she was star struck even telling Gretchen Carlson on Fox and Friends that she and her husband watched her show every day. Then she continued to get more and more verbal and more and more inconsistent in keeping her story straight.

    From pirates who shot at her and her husband from a distance across the boarder, they suddenly became teenagers. Then they were pirates again, who killed her husband. Then they were people who had her husband’s body. If someone was shot in the head and sustained a head injury, wouldn’t they sink to the bottom of the lake and drown? Why would anyone dive into the lake and retrieve a dead body at the bottom of the lake?

    First she said she abandoned her husband, who was shot in the head, because she was too small to get him put on her jet ski. Then she said someone had him. How did she know anyone had him if she abandoned him? First she said they used an assault weapon and later she said she was looking down a barrel of a gun. First she said she was far away and now she says she is up close enough to see a gun barrel.

    First, no boat was mentioned, then on Anderson Copper she said that in the one boat near her, “I saw two people but there was a third or fourth person in that boat, I just didn’t see them.” How does she know there was a third or fourth person in the boat if she didn’t see them? Was she on the boat?

    If you want to debunk the criticism of Tiffany Hartley, by all means do. But Patterico’s wrong when he says that a Mexican police commander being killed along the border closes the case.

    That’s ludicrous because being a border police officer in Mexico is a dangerous job.

    Christoph (8ec277)

  21. This is all Gov. Jan Brewer’s fault! We know the cartel got the beheading idea from Gov. Brewer’s reckless statements about beheadings in Mexico. Arizona’s racist immigration laws are inciting violence against police officers.

    (I should have used all caps – but I hope I covered the left’s talking points)

    Dudeman (81d33c)

  22. Cristoph that long quote of yours is so irrational it’s hard to believe anyone seriously wrote that.

    I’ve watched a little Nancy Grace, so I realize there’s a market for that kind of trash. A lot of the ‘she changed her story!!!’ points are not actually changes in a story, but what really irritates me is the ‘she combed her hair!’ ‘she’s star struck!’ crap.

    I don’t know much about this case, but I know enough to realize this woman is almost certainly not responsible for this crime. The scenario where she is involved is nearly absurd.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  23. The scary part is the evolution of the Mexican criminal cartels. They went from pretty standard drug conflicts among rival groups to adopting the methods of political terrorists.

    Huey (efe02b)

  24. I fail to understand why people always assume the worst. Yes, this case needs to be investigated and anything is possible. But it is just as likely some cartel grunts decided they wanted a couple of nice jet skis as it is the wife is involved in some wild murder-for-hire scheme.

    Please do not forget, at least two officials related to the investigation of the 72 murdered Ecuadoreans on a cartel ranch just south of Brownsville were also murdered and left in public locations to make a point.

    It’s the Wild West along the border. A life is worth practically nothing to the criminal element there.

    riograndevalleygirl (c854c2)

  25. Dustin, I’m not even saying the long quote is well-reasoned. I asked for it to be debunked. I certainly agree it’s rambling.

    There probably are some inconsistencies in her story from telling to retelling, although how unusual that is considering the vagaries of human memory is a fair point. (It also would be a fair point to take a close look at for investigators, if only to rule her out; spouses sometimes kill each other too, you know.)

    My ultimate point here … isn’t to defend the Mexican gangs. I think they more likely than not killed this guy, and they sure as hell killed the police commander.

    What I’m saying is that Patterico takes a strong position and weakens it by making a claim that because a police commander was killed in a country undergoing a rash of police-commander and police killings, this proves his theory about how a given crime occurred is correct.

    It doesn’t.

    Christoph (8ec277)

  26. I also take issue with the ‘she changed her story’ bit. I noticed Malkin went down that road too. Problem is…everyone is quoting second hand versions of the story from people other than the wife. Hardly logical to compare those versions to actual comments made by the wife and then conclude she’s changing her story.

    riograndevalleygirl (c854c2)

  27. “I fail to understand why people always assume the worst. Yes, this case needs to be investigated and anything is possible. But it is just as likely some cartel grunts decided they wanted a couple of nice jet skis as it is the wife is involved in some wild murder-for-hire scheme.”

    Occams Razor suggests you’re correct. For that reason, I believe you are probably right. I am just pointing out that murder-for-hire and spousal killings occur, so it’s possible, as you mention. And saying that because a police officer is killed in a region where this is a common occurrence, doesn’t, “put to rest” anything. It is suspicious, sure, but the police commander had ultimate responsibility for many cases.

    Did it put to rest all of those other ones too, with each of their respective suspects guilty of targeting the police?

    What about all of the other gang members and criminals the police commander had put away in his career? No chance at all that there might have been payback?

    Christoph (8ec277)

  28. The President should contact the President of Mexico to inform him if the murder is not solved and those guilty brought to justice, he (the U.S. President) will put an Army division on that area of the border and take steps to bring that area of Mexico under control. There is precedent.

    Zelsdorf Ragshaft III (5d4c99)

  29. Dustin, I’m not even saying the long quote is well-reasoned. I asked for it to be debunked. I certainly agree it’s rambling.

    Yeah, I know.

    And yeah, it’s crap.

    If someone out there wants to persuade the world against this woman, they are going to need some hard and powerful evidence to overcome this latest revelation.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  30. Living near the border with Mexico I am not surprised by the number of people who make a living trumpeting supposed inconsistencies in the stories involving American victims of crimes. Notice the knee-jerk refusal to address the inconsistencies from the murderous psychopaths and their supporters on the failed state Mexican side of the border. Indeed, the leftist apologists and America bashers totally ignore the terrorist exploits involving MS-13 who have been wreaking havoc in the U.S. for decades.

    Do you apologists for the cartels actually believe that the drug cartels and their bought-and-paid-for gangs on the U.S. side of the border will not wreak intimidation and murder on hippie pot growers in the hinterlands of the U.S.? Get a grip, these mexican terrorists will stop at nothing to own the drug market at any cost. They will kill anyone in their way to control the sale and distribution of drugs into the U.S. and Canada.

    Meanwhile, continue prattling on about the niceties of drug cartel “businessmen” and their “ethics, morality, and virtues” as Che Guevarra entrepreneurial types providing a product.

    I suspect they will become the strange bedfellows of Islamic radicals utilizing our cultural defects against us. They learned from Sun Tzu while our population failed history. Look forward to the IED’s and VBIED’s on the border and in our country as the invasion of our territory continues. Rancher Krentz paid the ultimate price and he will not be the last.

    Sleep well, my Princes and princesses…if you can!

    vet66 (9d1bb3)

  31. “Meanwhile, continue prattling on about the niceties of drug cartel “businessmen” and their “ethics, morality, and virtues” as Che Guevarra entrepreneurial types providing a product.

    Who here has mentioned that? Unless you’re referring to gang lawyers describing their clients, I have no idea what the hell you’re talking about.

    Strawman much?

    Christoph (8ec277)

  32. Christoph; you provide cover for the cartels by entertaining the possibility that the Hartley’s were up to something. In so doing, your implication of impropriety on the part of the Hartleys begs the inference that they are bad and, therefor, the cartels are blameless.

    Consider this. You apparently have no clue as to what goes on in the daily life on both sides of the border. Why is it that mistaken identity never occurred to anyone here? The deceased worked south of the border in a legitimate enterprise and drove a vehicle with Tamaulipas license plates. Scouts on the U.S. side of the border observed the couple and probably falsely assumed they were scouting the area for a different cartel.

    If you want to play the game you need to think like a drug runner. By focusing on the Hartley’s you give the cartels cover and ignore their tactics. The severed head in the suitcase is a clue to be understood by law enforcement on both sides of the border. Hartley’s body will never be found.

    vet66 (9d1bb3)

  33. vet66, how many times have I talked, in this thread, about how common it is for police officers (and in this environment where police officers are freely murdered, obviously it’s dangerous for the people at large) to be murdered along the border?

    That was my main and oft-repeated point.

    So just because I don’t live there, don’t tell me I don’t get the concept. Your previous argument was a strawman and you followed up with another strawman argument.

    Christoph (8ec277)

  34. Remember, Christoph is only “asking questions.” He’s not implying that the wife is guilty, where would we get that idea?

    I’m sticking to my prediction that we’ll see American troops occupying portions of Mexico within the decade.

    Within the decade? More like within the year – we’ve already got scheduled Predators on the border areas, troops will inevitably follow, however their operations will be clandenstine in the initial stages. I think the area around Monterrey will be the first target.

    Dmac (84da91)

  35. Christoph; sometime’s “occams razor” does not apply. The rule-of-thumb here is that ‘murder for hire’ and ‘spousal killing’ is the real strawman that detracts from the pain felt and demostrated by Mrs. Hartley as she struggled to put words to the horrendous vision of her spouse who was shot in the head off his jet ski. I’m surprised she was able to talk coherently at all to the media and the doubters much less keep her story free of trivial inconsistencies. She is exhibiting symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder.

    You use the term “strawman” too much which indicates to me you are familiar with it’s usage. Convince me you are not a pseudo intellectual taking both sides in a professorial manner that shields you from the truth.

    vet66 (9d1bb3)

  36. I doubt the cartels would maintain any advantage. Free is free, and home-grown will be the rule, as it once was in the early years of the nation, when cultivated and consumed by honorable and respectable persons.

    SarahW (af7312)

  37. In other words, Rand is wrong.

    SarahW (af7312)

  38. vet66, I said Occam’s Razor indicates this was probably a gang killing and the police commander was probably murdered because he’s investigating the gang killing.

    I never said Mrs. Hartley murdered her husband. I said that sometimes spouses murder their husbands so it’s a fair line of investigation if there are inconsistencies with her story … if only to rule out her as a suspect.

    I also said that the fact a police commander got killed does not prove the suspect(s) in the cases that commander was responsible for are — therefore — proven guilty. So Patterico’s opening sentence:

    This puts to rest the crazy theory that the wife did it:

    … is absurd.

    Christoph (8ec277)

  39. ^He said what he didn’t mean, but he meant what he said. He also didn’t say what you thought he meant, but also means what he’s saying now. The wife should have kept her stories straight and to the letter, always and without delay – and never mind wondering about the after – effects of shock and PTSD. And as always, please remember that he’s only “asking questions.”

    Dmac (84da91)

  40. Well, in any case where a spouse is murdered and the only witness is the spouse, but there’s no body, sure, the spouse must be looked at as a potential suspect. They should be questioned, their statements compared against media interviews, etc.

    Police Work 101.

    Christoph (8ec277)

  41. This reminds me of the scene in “Zorro” where the captain pulls out the bottle with a head in it (which happens to be the head of the brother).

    Incredibly brutal. Sounds like a place where safe travel means no less than 3 or more special ops fellows in full battle gear. And people don’t think securing the border is a priority???

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  42. I’d be surprised if a force of only 3 operators could travel there safely without concealment.

    Christoph (8ec277)

  43. “But it is just as likely some cartel grunts decided they wanted a couple of nice jet skis”

    Since, according to the version she gave in the Today show interview the cartel grunts were a mere 10 feet, the length of her jet ski, away from her it’s extremely odd they only left with only one jet ski.

    In the retelling, she said she spoke with them, asking them not to shoot her, they discussed it among themselves and decided to just up & leave. That’s as opposed to her other story of escaping by outrunning them as bullets whizzed by her head and dashed into the water. Such widely divergent tales are the stuff that defense attorney’s wet dreams are made of.

    Mason D. (53da75)

  44. Christoph; A word to the wise, stay away from the border. You would not last long in that environment. You remind me of the guy in Die Hard who was trying to negotiate Bruce Willis’ character into giving up the location of the detonators. You are in way over your head.

    Patterico gets it. The stoners here never will. Just keep talking, it is what you do best.

    vet66 (9d1bb3)

  45. vet66: So you’re saying I don’t have expertise at singlehandedly confronting border gangs, then walking away from it afterwards? And this makes your poorly reasoned strawman arguments correct?

    Christoph (8ec277)

  46. In the words of the immortal Inigo Montonya, you keep using that word, but I don’t think it means what you think it means.

    Dmac (84da91)

  47. Prop 19 will do nothing to legalize pot, considering the federal laws, and that the Proposition itself is so confused as to be useless. It will be enjoined immediately and killed in court.

    But if it fails I guarantee that drug warriors will use the vote to say that people are against legalization, so I’ll vote for it anyway, bad as it is.

    Think of it as counting coup.

    Kevin M (73dcc9)

  48. Christoph, I’m curious just what is your emotional investment in the idea that the wife was involved in her husband’s death instead of Mexican criminals?

    SPQR (26be8b)

  49. None. I hope she didn’t, of course, and I suspect she probably didn’t (but nonetheless the police should look into it for the sake of being thorough and because it’s a possibility).

    Christoph (8ec277)

  50. What a rather odd set of backpedaling, Christoph.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  51. Mason D; They realized they had acted without being authorized by Los Zeta #2, Morales “Z-40″ and likely didn’t want to double down on their failure to obtain permission before killing the Mr. Hartley and then compounding the stupidity by killing Mrs. Hartley. It would be assumed that the shooters have met a catastrophic, untimely demise for their murderous enthusiasm and Los Zetas is trying to put an end to the entire fiasco. In short, they neither need nor want the adverse publicity since they have their hands full fighting the other cartels and the military.

    I note that Mrs. Hartley has wisely refused to travel to Mexico to issue a complaint and statement of facts to the authorities. This will effectively put an end to the episode because the victim refused to testify.

    Meanwhile, it is probable that certain folks are making it problematic for some bad guys to make use of their cell phones…

    vet66 (9d1bb3)

  52. Mainly, SPQR, what prompted me to comment on this thread was the illogic of Patterico’s opening sentence. A police commander along the Mexican border is probably going to make a lot of people mad if they do their job even half-assed well.

    That person getting murdered does not prove that one of the many cases they’re responsible for happened a certain way.

    Is it suggestive? Okay, I agree. Is it suspicious? For sure. Does it put to rest the idea that the wife might be involved?

    No. It doesn’t. She may not be involved, but an investigating offer dying in a region where lots of cops are killed is not proof of her innocence. That’s ridiculous.

    Christoph (8ec277)

  53. *officer

    Christoph (8ec277)

  54. I’d be surprised if a force of only 3 operators could travel there safely without concealment.

    Comment by Christoph

    What are you talking about? What does this comment pertain to and what expertise do you have on travelling around the border? I think vet’s right. You’re not familiar with the topic.

    I also think the article you quoted was ridiculously unfair. You remark

    ‘If you want to debunk the criticism of Tiffany Hartley, by all means do. But Patterico’s wrong when he says that a Mexican police commander being killed along the border closes the case.

    That’s ludicrous because being a border police officer in Mexico is a dangerous job.

    While I knew you would note you were not taking responsibility for the crazy article you quoted, and chose to just refuted the ideas instead of playing the ‘I didn’t say that’ game, it’s understandable that other people do want to hold you to account. ‘Feel free to debunk’ sounds strongly like you saying that has yet to happen (it has).

    You say Patterico’s wrong when he said ‘case closed’. No one has said ‘case closed.’ He said a crazy theory was put to rest. You want to know what a strawman looks like? There you go.

    Another example of a strawman is how you keep ‘refuting’ folks with this obvious point about spouses being suspects.

    Well, in any case where a spouse is murdered and the only witness is the spouse, but there’s no body, sure, the spouse must be looked at as a potential suspect. They should be questioned, their statements compared against media interviews, etc.

    Police Work 101.

    Comment by Christoph

    I’m trying to figure out who you’re telling this to.

    I don’t think a soul disagrees that the spouse should be looked at in such a case (obviously no longer this case, btw). We all know that. You’re burning down the strawman of ‘no spouse can be a suspect’ and pretending that’s in dispute.

    You keep calling reasonable criticism of the ideas you quoted ‘strawman.’ You never actually explain what makes them strawmen.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  55. Don’t take Christoph seriously. Patterico’s reasons for banning him are still just as valid now as they were back then.

    As best as I can figure, he contracted some horrible diseases through sex tourism which caused him to go demented.

    nk (db4a41)

  56. “You’re not familiar with the topic.”

    I’m not familiar with travelling along the border. If I was, there would be many other parts of the border I’m not familiar with travelling along. This area, by all available evidence that I’ve seen, looks dangerous.

    I don’t dispute that.

    “Meanwhile, continue prattling on about the niceties of drug cartel “businessmen” and their “ethics, morality, and virtues” as Che Guevarra entrepreneurial types providing a product.”

    That I called a strawman. No one here proposed anything like it.

    “In so doing, your implication of impropriety on the part of the Hartleys begs the inference that they are bad and, therefor, the cartels are blameless.”

    I said that is also a strawman. I never remotely implied the cartels are blameless.

    I don’t know why this is so complicated. I’m saying that it’s wrong to say that the officer having his head chopped off, in a region where having your head chopped off by cartels isn’t rare, isn’t proof of any one thing, including of someone’s innocence. She may well be innocent. She probably is. But this doesn’t put it to rest.

    That’s all I’m saying.

    I am sure vet66 knows more than I do about living and travelling along the border and the situation at large. However, the two arguments he made, that I quoted above in this comment, were weak. They were strawman arguments.

    I’m sure there are much better arguments for his views about what happened in this case and is happening along the border. Incidentally, I think he’s likely to be right about those issues.

    Christoph (8ec277)

  57. “They realized they had acted without being authorized by Los Zeta #2, Morales “Z-40″ and likely didn’t want to double down on their failure to obtain permission before killing the Mr. Hartley and then compounding the stupidity by killing Mrs. Hartley”

    Vet66, you’ll have to excuse me – it’s been kind of a long day that’s catching up to me so I can’t tell if you’re being snarky there.

    Mason D. (53da75)

  58. On second thought, I think Christoph should come down to the border, rent a jet ski and take the tour of Lake Falcon and the partially submerged Church of Guerrero.

    Christoph; COME ON DOWN!

    vet66 (9d1bb3)

  59. Possibly.

    Christoph (8ec277)

  60. 54.I’d be surprised if a force of only 3 operators could travel there safely without concealment. Comment by Christoph

    What are you talking about?

    I think Christoph was responding to my comment at #41, where I basically was pulling numbers out of my hat. Since they were handed the head of the police commander, and there has been no other news of he being part of a patrol that came under attack, the scenario of being surrounded by 3 of the best while traveling through the city seemed far superior than being alone.

    I think Christoph was originally just trying to say that Patterico was pushing his case beyond what was certain; that it is possible, given the climate of corruption and violence, that the commander could have been killed for other reasons. Christoph wasn’t saying he belived the woman killed her husband, just that the possible scenarios left it a possibility. It’s not like the police chief was investigating a case in “Podunk” which had it’s first murder since it was founded in 1824.

    I agree with the comment that I haven’t heard multiple versions of the story from her, just multiple stories attributed to her that don’t add up- but that could be the media folk.

    I heard the sheriff on the US side being interviewed several days ago in the context of whether Mexico was being helpful, saying he personally knew his counterpart on the Mexico side and they had spoken and he was working on it. I’m guessing this is the guy who ended up dead.

    To push the opposite side, how many of us would be riding jet skis near the Mexican side of this lake to begin with? What better cover story than your spouse was killed by Mexican pirates on a border lake? It would be hard to have a more plausible cover story.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  61. You say Patterico’s wrong when he said ‘case closed’. No one has said ‘case closed.’ He said a crazy theory was put to rest

    Dustin, I guess “that was put to rest” and “case closed” [on that theory] seem to be about equivalent to me.

    No matter what Christoph’s history or reputation, the heart of his post at #56 seems reasonable to me. Stranger things have happened.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  62. “To push the opposite side, how many of us would be riding jet skis near the Mexican side of this lake to begin with? What better cover story than your spouse was killed by Mexican pirates on a border lake? It would be hard to have a more plausible cover story.”

    The Falcon Lake-Reservoir has “fingers” into both US & Mexican territory. To get where this was supposed to have occurred it looks like you’d have to travel almost 5 miles into Mexico:
    MAP

    Mason D. (53da75)

  63. I guess “that was put to rest” and “case closed” [on that theory] seem to be about equivalent to me.

    MD, I think it would have been helpful if Patterico had explained his reasoning more. That is, how does the killing of a Mexican police official exclude her as a suspect?

    Mason D. (53da75)

  64. I’m not really familiar with Cristoph’s history, but I disagree with MD on this interpretation:

    “Dustin, I guess “that was put to rest” and “case closed” [on that theory] seem to be about equivalent to me.”

    This:

    But Patterico’s wrong when he says that a Mexican police commander being killed along the border closes the case.

    That’s ludicrous because being a border police officer in Mexico is a dangerous job.

    Comment by Christoph

    Is not accurately discussing “[t]his puts to rest the crazy theory that the wife did it.”

    I wouldn’t even bring it up, except that Cristoph went on and on about strawmen and I think this is a helpful example. If he’s been banned before, that may have pushed him to prove people wrong about things they didn’t even say.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  65. I went on about strawman arguments with a single commenter who was making strawman arguments.

    Christoph (8ec277)

  66. Looking at P’s post, I thought he was saying, “Look, the fellow investigating David Hartley’s death was killed and his head sent back to the police. I guess that proves that Hartley was really murdered by some Mexican criminals after all, and people can stop talking about the crazy idea that she killed him herself.”

    Commenters at #2 and #3 took issue with this being the necessary conclusion as well.

    Now it is true Christoph kept hammering at the idea after he has made his point, which invites a slap back, but I’ve been know to repeat a point myself.

    I think Patterico overreached. P made a good point, it’s just that in this case there is the real possibility he could have been killed for something unrelated to the Hartley crime. The investigator’s death does add weight to her story, but given his position, it is possible he was killed for something else he was doing or looking into.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  67. “I think Patterico overreached. P made a good point, it’s just that in this case there is the real possibility he could have been killed for something unrelated to the Hartley crime. The investigator’s death does add weight to her story, but given his position … .”

    Exactly. I’m criticizing the overreaching, not the train of thought itself, which is reasonable.

    Christoph (8ec277)

  68. “it’s just that in this case there is the real possibility he could have been killed for something unrelated to the Hartley crime.”

    I think it’s a realistic assumption that the Hartley case wasn’t the only morsel on the official’s plate. And if you’re an honest LEO in Mexico I’d hazard a guess that your days are numbered from the get go.

    Mason D. (53da75)

  69. Well, I guess I just disagree on the overreach issue, then.

    I do think this case is far from closed, even though it’s extremely unlikely the wife was involved with the murder (and I think those theories were pretty crazy).

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  70. To push the opposite side, how many of us would be riding jet skis near the Mexican side of this lake to begin with?

    That’s a thought that came to me shortly after this story broke, but then I remembered my time spent as a volunteer working at Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado about a hundred years ago. Tourists often act like complete ignorant arses, no matter what they’re told. For example, we’d see many of them walk right up to bears, despite signs everywhere warning them about the consequences of getting too close. Then there were the signs warning them about straying too close to mountain ledges, then watching them promptly ask their cousins to take pictures of them hanging off the sides. Unbelievable, and I wouldn’t put it past the unfortunate couple to have heard all of the warnings and just go on, unheeded into the heart of darkness.

    Dmac (84da91)

  71. If Obama gave a damn about this country, he would send in the Marines to get the body.

    But he doesn’t.

    Watch the Chilean president at the mine; compare and contrast.

    Patricia (9b018a)

  72. This couple made some dangerous choices but a lot of young people feel invulnerable until something like this happens.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  73. Of course it’s foolish for folks to behave as this couple did. Our border is completely out of control, full of violence and murder.

    We need to ensure that our border is not full of violence anymore, to the extent we can. People should be able to play on a lake without being shot and beheaded. Bullets shouldn’t be flying through the El Paso City Hall.

    We’re showing great weakness in this area, and weakness is a provocation. I really wish things worked differently, and we could resolve this problem without force. We can’t.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  74. Well that’s true up to a point, but how often do you expect to be shot while waterskiing

    ian cormac (6709ab)

  75. Dustin- I think it is probably more a matter of “style” in describing something, and difference in perspective is expected.

    Besides, we agree on everything important anyway, and are right. 😉

    Dmac- you’re right, but still, it makes more sense to me risking bears!

    DRJ- from the article:
    “He would never put me in danger intentionally,” she said.
    Before they went, however, they discussed what would happen if they were chased. They decided they would not take a chance of her getting kidnapped and their watercrafts stolen.
    “We decided if someone came after us, we were going to high-tail it out of there. We knew we could outrun them,” Tiffany Hartley said.

    Maybe it is how the reporter put stray sentences together, but that just doesn’t add up. “He wouldn’t put me in danger intentionally”, but yet they discussed, hence realized, the danger of pirates. “We decided if someone came after us, we were going to high-tail it out of there.” What else were they supposed to decide!

    Now she said she is in limbo awaiting word about her husband’s body, hoping it will be found.
    “It’s scary,” she said.

    What’s scary? Waiting for the body to be found? No, what’s scary was putting yourselves into a situation where there would be a body.

    Just strange.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  76. Well, DRJ is right insofar as she’s pointing to their recklessness as part of the problem.

    Until we get our border under control, massive sections of the United States, not to mention accidental incursions into Mexico, are more dangerous than diving with sharks or motorcycling while juggling chainsaws.

    We might as well redraw our maps and cede the territory to the Mexican no-man’s-land, if we aren’t going to establish some kind of law and order. As a practical matter, this area is no longer America.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  77. Mexican cartels eerily similar to Islamic fundamentalists – Obama may not be able to cannot ignore/avoid this for much longer. That they did this to an American in the West greatly ups the ante. This could represent the turning point with the border nightmare and we might actually see some very real commitment and action begin.

    “[The cartels] have notched it up a level, and the [beheading] is a message to the Americans as well,” says Gary Freeman, a political scientist at the University of Texas at Austin, and an expert on border politics. “The beheading has such strong resonance with Islamic fundamentalism that it raises the specter of groups in Mexico being as fanatical and as bloodthirsty as Osama bin Laden and his gang. They seem to be copying some of their techniques, and that might be deliberate.”

    In the wake of the new murder, border politicians stepped up calls for President Obama to become more directly involved in the US response, which has so far involved a contingent of local, state, and federal law enforcement authorities.

    “There’s no excuse for Obama not getting down here,” says Peña. “We’re only going to resolve it with a federal response. Just hoping that it’s going to go away is not going to happen.”

    Dana (8ba2fb)

  78. No, Dana, we are quite a ways away from a turning point. Things are going to get a lot worse before you see any substantive action from US govt.

    This is because everyone in Washington, without exception, is hoping that their retirement date will arrive before the American people finally reach the boiling point and demand intervention.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  79. MD in Philly,

    It makes sense to me. According to the reports I’ve read, this couple lived in Reynosa, Mexico, for almost 3 years and in a nearby Texas border community for the last several months. I haven’t seen it addressed but I suspect they moved to Texas because of the ever-escalating violence in Mexico. Either way, they had to know there were dangers but they had successfully avoided them for 3 years and this outing was their last excursion before moving home to Colorado.

    I grew up in Tornado Alley and lived through several deadly tornado hits. When you live with danger, you either accept it or you leave. My guess is this couple knew the danger but they also felt they could avoid it as they had for the past 3 years, and frankly I can see their logic. Falcon Lake had its share of piracy but not for several months — and certainly not as much as some of the places they had lived and worked. This couple probably felt they would be seen as harmless tourists. Sadly for them, maybe they were … or it could be they were mistaken for a threat.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  80. SPQR,

    I believe the mid-terms will more fully inform us just how close we are to the boiling point – or perhaps are there already. I also think that this happened to an American so dreadfully close to American soil (or waters) has made a serious impact.

    I sure hope I’m right.

    Dana (8ba2fb)

  81. As far as my Spidey-sense is concerned, we may need to see how this plays out.

    Ag80 (743fd1)

  82. Until we get our border under control, massive sections of the United States, not to mention accidental incursions into Mexico, are more dangerous than diving with sharks or motorcycling while juggling chainsaws.

    Massive sections? I diagnose a case of hyperbolitis. Fortunately, it is not only manageable but curable :)

    As it is, there are areas of almost any American city which hold more peril for the innocent stranger than anything along the Mexican border.

    kishnevi (8731ef)

  83. Massive sections? I diagnose a case of hyperbolitis.

    Not hyperbole. Fact. When there are signs 80 miles north of the border warning US citizens about the danger of traveling through the land due to illegals and drug runners, that means massive sections. From the Ohio River to the south side of Columbus (in the center of Ohio) is 100 miles by way of I-71, just for reference.

    John Hitchcock (9e8ad9)

  84. I don’t think of 80 miles as being massive. On my local scale, that’s about the distance from Miami to West Palm Beach, and you still have to drive at least thirty or more miles before leaving the South Florida metroplex. That’s pretty local for me.

    If you want to say massive section of the border, there’s no objection. But even then, I’d say the innocent traveler has more to be concerned about while traipsing about (for example) Liberty City in Miami than along the Mexican border.

    kishnevi (c89e0a)

  85. I haven’t read all the comments but I think what people are missing is that I already pretty much thought the woman was innocent.

    So a fact like this seems to solidify a conclusion I had already reached, albeit somewhat tentatively.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  86. I think the wife beheaded the cop.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  87. She sure went to great lengths to frame the cartels, huh?

    Patterico (c218bd)

  88. kishnevi:

    I don’t think of 80 miles as being massive. On my local scale, that’s about the distance from Miami to West Palm Beach

    But it’s still part of the U.S. How would you feel if Miami to West Palm Beach were “owned” by cartels and you traveled there at your peril?

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  89. Sometimes reading comments is like going back to the first year of law school, which I still vaguely recall. For instance, the accused is presumed innocent in criminal law and this is such an important concept that it’s easy to become skeptical of almost everything. But, for most of us, we ultimately learn it’s also important to consider the totality of the circumstances and make reasonable inferences regarding events.

    In this case, reasonable people can certainly disagree but I agree the wife probably didn’t do it and the investigator’s death reinforces that belief for me.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  90. “Is this the right room for an argument?”

    “I told you once…”

    Gazzer (1b7d21)

  91. ________________________________

    P.S. If you think legalizing marijuana in California is the cure-all solution, think again.

    That assumption is even more naive based on the high rate of kidnappings for ransom throughout Mexico. So if narco-terrorism is a by-product of drugs being illegal, then what’s fostering all the hostage taking?

    If it’s somehow due to the restrictiveness of the legislative and judicial branches of Mexico, then presumably the answer to the dilemma and cruelty of abductions is for it to be permitted by the government.

    Problem solved!

    Mark (411533)

  92. As it is, there are areas of almost any American city which hold more peril for the innocent stranger than anything along the Mexican border.

    That’s quite an extreme statement. I detect hyperbole too.

    But in my case, I sincerely believe massive sections of US territory along the border are out of control and intelligent Americans do not consider the areas safe because of incursions from another country. It’s a de facto change in the location of our borders, in my opinion, if we do not attempt to bring this under control.

    Comparing this to a particularly war torn gang territory makes some sense, but perhaps Kishnevi doesn’t appreciate the scale of the problem on the border.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  93. _________________________________

    This couple probably felt they would be seen as harmless tourists.

    There was an article in the LA Times the other day that noted the volume of tourism to Mexico has, amazingly enough, actually increased over the past year. I’m not sure if that’s a sign of the ignorance or foolishness — or both — of various people who reside outside of Mexico.

    The report, however, did indicate the rise in travelers was generally limited to certain well- designated resort areas. Or areas that presumably aren’t susceptible to the Dark-Ages type of murder and brutality that are roiling cities and towns near Mexico’s border with the US.

    Mark (411533)

  94. IIRC, Spring Break was down in Cancun, but up at South Padre Island.
    We’ll have to wait and see what the Christmas/New Year’s holiday reports are for Cancun and Acapulco, etc.

    AD-RtR/OS! (8b4d8f)

  95. Mark,

    Until this Spring, Falcon Lake (and to a certain extent the submerged Mexican village they were going to see) were considered tourist destinations. In fact, it’s the site of a pro bass fishing tournament that draws in hundreds of anglers.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  96. Note: My link describes the 2009 tournament where fishermen are quoted as saying their favorite fishing sites are on the Mexican side of Falcon Lake. What a difference a year makes.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  97. What a difference a year makes.

    Wow, DRJ.

    This is another case of the MSM failing to do its job. Many people are more afraid of Tea Party grandmas than so many areas Americans have enjoyed, which are now too dangerous for casual travel.

    If we were decisive in how we handle a few of these areas, we wouldn’t need some kind of eventual militarization of our border (that I suspect is never going to occur).

    The way the administrations have waited for this problem to go away (or outlive their responsibility) is provoking more problems.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  98. Via the San Antonio Express-News, STRATFOR says Hartley’s death was a case of mistaken ID and the investigator’s beheading was a warning:

    Hartley, who was shot during a Sept. 30 sightseeing trip to the Mexican side of the binational reservoir, was shot by Zeta cartel enforcers because he was mistaken for a spy of the rival Gulf Cartel, according to the report by STRATFOR, and Austin-based think tank specializing in intelligence and international issues.

    The report goes on to say Hartley’s body likely was destroyed as Los Zetas went into “damage control” mode and that the lower-level operatives responsible for the unauthorized strike against him now are on the Zetas’ hit list.

    “The cartel boss — Miguel Treviño — is highly upset over the fact that these individuals shot and killed Mr. Hartley and it’s our understanding that the cartel boss is hunting for the killers of Mr. Hartley so he can take care of them himself,” said Fred Burton, STRATFOR’s vice president of intelligence.

    Burton, who doesn’t cite his sources, goes on to say the beheading Tuesday of Rolando Armando Flores Villegas, the lead Mexican investigator in the case, was a stern signal to both the United States and Mexico that no body will be produced and to leave the situation alone.

    STRATFOR’s article can be accessed here.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  99. “If you think legalizing marijuana in California is the cure-all solution, think again. RAND says it will cut into the cartels’ profits, to be sure — but by no more than 3 percent.”

    The drug cartels cut off the heads of investigators, execute women and children and murder Catholic Bishops who opposed them. Anyone who thinks they won’t just lower their price on other drugs to compete with legal marijuana is naive. The drug consumers world wide need to start a boycott of illegal drugs to cut off purchases by 90% for 9 years. We can call it the 90-9 campaign. After the cartels have imploded, we will then see what upstanding citizens the drug customers are. We will marvel at their self control and their ability to put the lives of crime victims over their petty wants. We will be able to legalize drugs knowing that the drug consumers have earned the right to them by demonstrating that they can do the right thing.

    tyree (7b5ab9)

  100. Local Congressman has sent a letter to the Dept of State asking them to “please” get off their hands….
    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/10/13/falcon-lake-lawmaker-state-department-blissfully-silent-murder-probe/?test=latestnews

    Local TX sheriff says it just isn’t safe to go into Mexico right now.

    AD-RtR/OS! (8b4d8f)

  101. ____________________________________

    Many people are more afraid of Tea Party grandmas than so many areas Americans have enjoyed

    That makes me think of Michael Bloomberg originally theorizing the attempted bombing of Times Square was the work of a Tea Party supporter and not someone of, say, Middle-Eastern, pro-Islamic background. The ass-backwards thinking of liberals — limousine liberals in particular, which Bloomberg is the epitome of — is quite a sight to behold—-and be disgusted by.

    Mark (411533)

  102. My wife is from Reynosa and doesn’t travel there any more. My inlaws live in McAllen and don’t go across. A lot of our friends are from different parts of Mexico and they don’t travel there any more. It is just too violent to risk seeing family.

    BradnSA (24ba37)

  103. DRJ-

    You’re right about living with danger. I have lived and routinely traveled in parts of Philly that are the local examples of kishnevi’s “dangerous America” (but I will not go near the Mexican border anytime soon!).

    I think this is an example of the glass being “almost full” vs. “not full” (to alter the original saying a bit). The point being made, in my opinion, is that sometimes it is the parent who killed the child and the surviving spouse that killed the spouse; and while it seemed the story was likely true, the multiple versions of the story getting out and inherent skepticism said, “Don’t be quick to be so sure”. I think everyone, including Christoph, thinks that the investigator’s head increased the likelihood of the woman’s story, maybe even enough to be “beyond a reasonable doubt” before a jury, but it wasn’t enough to make it a logical necessity, as it seemed to be portrayed by our host.

    However, being his home turf, if our host doesn’t wish to acknowledge at least the kernal of reason and call me crazy instead, then so be it. I think it’s crazy to think it is “scary” that the body may not be found.

    Your article clip, DRJ, paints a pretty frightening picture of these folk, to kill their own over such a “mistake”. I guess it shows how much they depend upon US inaction to do their thing.

    And I wouldn’t be surprised if gun clinging, religion believing, Tea Party grandmas are still higher on the Homeland Security risk chart than the criminal element among those crossing the border illegally. But, of course, “Granny” Clampett would do a better job of taking forceful action and securing the border than our President has.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  104. As it is, there are areas of almost any American city which hold more peril for the innocent stranger than anything along the Mexican border.

    This is non – responsive, to say the least. We’re discussing the supposed soverignity of our nation’s borders, not a bad neighborhood in a large metropolitan area. Talk about using strawmen to make your argument – sheesh.

    Dmac (84da91)

  105. We’re discussing the supposed soverignity of our nation’s borders, not a bad neighborhood in a large metropolitan area. Talk about using strawmen to make your argument – sheesh.

    I know of only two American citizens killed by the cartels in the border area–this case and the rancher in Arizona. Have I missed others?

    So my comparison is valid: if two murders in, approximately, a year, require federal intervention, then the federal government needs to intervene rather aggressively in Miami, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York City, etc. etc.

    And what action, by the way, do you want the federal government to take? Permanent militarization of the Desert Southwest? Invade Mexico for direct action against the cartels, and thereby make the cartels a rallying point for Mexican patriotism?

    Anyone who thinks they won’t just lower their price on other drugs to compete with legal marijuana is naive

    Funny, the American Mafia didn’t go that route after American Prohibition. They either entered the legit alcohol industry or found other types of commerce to be criminal in. And unlike the Mexican cartels, they had the infrastructure (=personnel) in place to control things when Prohibition ended.

    kishnevi (d86984)

  106. If we think her story is believable, MD, it’s because we know cartels do things like this. In Patterico’s case, he has probably seen it for real.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  107. DRJ-

    Yes, her story is believable because cartels do things like this. The issue that makes us deny P a 100% guarantee is that cartels do things like this, whether the police commander was investigating one particular murder or something else. I’m sure that wasn’t the only violent crime the guy had to investigate in the last month, and probably more than one person would have liked to see him dead.

    I must say, your excerpt from San Antonio does help make a lot of sense out of the whole thing. They killed him thinking he was someone else, when they realized they had made a mistake, I guess they were “kind enough” to decide there was no point in killing her too. They probably regret that now and wished they had killed her, because all that would be in the news would be, “Hey, whatever happened to David and Tiffany?”

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  108. That’s the most likely explanation.

    Christoph (8ec277)

  109. I never put much credence in the “Maybe she did it” story because there was a neutral witness who saw her being chased by boats from the Mexican side to the American side. Obviously that doesn’t “prove” she didn’t play a role in her husband’s death anymore than the investigator’s death proves it, but it helps.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  110. A lot of it depends I guess upon exactly what one heard from where. The report I heard made it sound like she “went searching” to find the one person who witnessed the event. (I.e., witness tampering?)

    Had all the evidence been sworn testimony directly from the witnesses I would have been eager to say it was “a slam dunk”, as it was, I was just reserving the right to wait until rumors had been filtered out.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  111. Where did you hear that, MD? My source is the Zapata County Sheriff whose jurisdiction includes Falcon Lake.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  112. DRJ-

    I assumed your source was better than mine, and it is. What I heard was simply a comment by a news anchor, maybe on Fox, early on. Yes, when the Sheriff started talking it seemed to straighten a lot out. Too bad he lost his friend across the border. I bet his wife (if married)would like him to take a job elsewhere.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  113. Hillary Clinton has weighed in on the accusation that the State Dept. has been “blissfully silent” regarding the search for the body – but not without suggesting the United States shared culpability by providing the weapons and the demand for drugs.

    “I hope that we can. I hope that we can. I mean, the beheaded body of the brave Mexican investigator that just showed up shows what we’re dealing with,” she said, referring to the Mexican officer in the case who was killed. “The absolute barbarity that we’re seeing by criminals and terrorists in the world today should shock the conscience and require a concerted effort to defeat these violent, terrible actors that upset lives from Mexico to Africa to Afghanistan and beyond. I see this as one struggle where we have to, as people of conscience standing together, work very hard to defeat these extreme criminals and these extreme terrorists.”

    We have to do more,” she said. “But to be fair, we also have to stop the huge demand for drugs that fuels these drug wars and this terrible violence, and we have to stop the constant flow of arms. It’s terribly distressing to me and to people along the border and to our Mexican friends that so many of these drug killers are armed with weapons that come from the United States. … But that doesn’t make up for the fact that going out on a beautiful afternoon to go across a lake that has been used by Mexicans and Americans peacefully for so many years would result in this horrible crime. We have to do even more to try to stem this violence.”

    Dana (8ba2fb)

  114. As you suggest, Dana, that’s kind of a mixed message from Secretary of State Clinton. While she compares the beheading to terrorism “from Mexico to Africa to Afghanistan and beyond,” she nevertheless falls back on the language of crime and punishment.

    I don’t see much difference in the violence we’ve suffered from Al Qaeda and what Mexicans have faced in the drug war. But however you choose to view them, we need to make up our minds whether to treat them as wars or crimes.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  115. “…stop the constant flow of arms…”

    I suppose that no one has told Her Majesty that the Zeta’s are ex-Mex Army, and probably looted the local armory on their way out the door.
    If those guns came from the United States, they were exported with a license issued by the State Dept to the Mexican Government.
    These people do not need to buy guns on the civilian market in El Norte, since the world market has a much better selection, and at far lower prices.

    Hillary:
    Please stop drinking the Kool-Aid; it makes you look more ridiculous than you already are.

    AD-RtR/OS! (1f1015)

  116. Anyone who thinks they won’t just lower their price on other drugs to compete with legal marijuana is naive

    “Funny, the American Mafia didn’t go that route after American Prohibition. They either entered the legit alcohol industry or found other types of commerce to be criminal in.”

    kishnevi – You’re missing the point. The other types of commerce you refer to would be the equivalent to lowering the price on other drugs to increase the volume of the other drugs. How much of a demand was there for illegally imported alcohol after prohibition?

    daleyrocks (940075)

  117. How much of a demand was there for illegally imported alcohol after prohibition?

    If marijuana is legalized, how much of a demand for illegally imported marijuana will there be?

    Not much. And since prices will be lower (no need to charge a premium for smuggling, bribing or evading police, etc.) there just won’t be the money in it. Which is why the Mafia lost interest in smuggling booze after Prohibition.

    And, as I said, outside of California, Texas and the Southwest, the Mexican cartels wouldn’t have the manpower in place to enforce any attempt to maintain a monopoly. Here in Miami, for instance, there’s hardly any Mexicans, much less Mexican cartel members.

    kishnevi (225b9d)

  118. Patterico’s final link regarding the RAND study says the drug cartels’ most lucrative profits come from heroin and cocaine, not marijuana. Wouldn’t they just double down on those products? Would you support legalizing them, too?

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  119. And, as I said, outside of California, Texas and the Southwest, the Mexican cartels wouldn’t have the manpower in place to enforce any attempt to maintain a monopoly. Here in Miami, for instance, there’s hardly any Mexicans, much less Mexican cartel members.

    Comment by kishnevi

    There’s some truth in this, but of course, ending alcohol prohibition didn’t end contraband sales. DRJ points to heroin. One could point to selling pot to kids.

    I don’t like slippery slope arguments, but the real problem is lawlessness around our border and throughout Mexico. Mexico’s economic and political problems will continue to manifest until they are directly addressed.

    And this is equally relevant to border control. That alone is not going to fix this problem either.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  120. “Would you support legalizing them, too?”

    Yes. I stand with Milton Friedman.

    Christoph (8ec277)

  121. _________________________________________

    Which is why the Mafia lost interest in smuggling booze after Prohibition.

    BTW, I recall hearing about the huge rise in kidnappings that soon plagued America after 1933.

    Yep, uh-huh.

    deccanchronicle.com, May 2010

    Mexico has become the world’s No. 1 country for kidnappings with more than 8,000 abductions reported every year, a report said. The figure, however, does not include the so-called “express” kidnappings, a form of abduction where the victim is released after a few hours, the report by security consulting firm Multisistemas de Seguridad Industrial said.

    In “express kidnappings”, the victims are not held by the criminals for long periods of time. They are held only for a few hours.

    “It doesn’t require a logistical or strategic plan, just two or three individuals who agree to threaten a person in exchange for money or assets,” the report said. There is a much greater incidence of express kidnappings “due to the high profitability it presents and the low risk, in relation to drug trafficking, for example,” Alejandro Desfassiaux, Grupo Multisistemas chief, who also serves as president of the National Private Security Council, was quoted as saying.

    Express kidnappings first started in Mexico City, but has now spread all over the country, he said. These, along with drug trafficking, are among the most profitable criminal activities and have low complexity and risk compared with other organized criminal activities.

    _________________________________________

    Mark (411533)

  122. I’m watching FNC over lunch. Some dude claims there were warnings that if the search for the rest of the body continues, there will be “more beheadings”. And thus, the next day, the search has ended and Mexico wants to ensure anonymity for their investigators in this case.

    Prudence or weakness? I think this is very weak, and setting up a system where beheaders get what they want will provoke more of the same. We’re setting up another terrorist system. I’d like to call them El Qaida.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  123. ________________________________________

    And what action, by the way, do you want the federal government to take? Permanent militarization of the Desert Southwest? Invade Mexico for direct action against the cartels, and thereby make the cartels a rallying point for Mexican patriotism?

    How about at least stopping the idiocy and nonsense from so much of the left (a shout out to the fool now sitting in the Oval Office, etc!) towards things as basic as Arizona’s recent legislation to crack down on illegal immigration? Is that asking or expecting too much?

    I won’t even mention the idea of finally creating a Berlin-Wall-type of structure on the border that doesn’t stir the fervor of the environmentalists and, most tellingly, the “oh-that’s-so-mean-and-heartless” crowd.

    Mark (411533)

  124. And what action, by the way, do you want the federal government to take? Permanent militarization of the Desert Southwest?

    It’s a challenge requiring some tough calls.

    I think militarizing this lake would be one great solution. When people shoot at Americans, our agents, and our buildings, we should respond strongly. We don’t right now, with is much more provocative than what I suggest.

    A few strategically located quick reaction bases could cover the entire border. And I’d be willing to send them into Mexico under some circumstances.

    But no solution works unless it addresses Mexico’s economic problems. If Mexicans had a decent government, could get great jobs, live good lives, a lot of these problems start to evaporate.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  125. “I think militarizing this lake would be one great solution.”

    Cost of militarizing this lake vs. telling dumbasses not to jet ski by the Mexican gang side of the border (in Mexico)?

    “A few strategically located quick reaction bases could cover the entire border.”

    Really?

    You’re in fantasy land.

    Christoph (8ec277)

  126. Falcon Lake is more than just a place people jet ski now and then. It is a major source of tourism and income for the local area.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  127. _______________________________________________

    If Mexicans had a decent government

    And if more of them stopped thinking and voting like typical urban, or certainly inner-city, Americans — in which leftism gets a million benefits of the doubt while rightism receives merely a polite stare or a wag of the finger — the vicious cycle that Mexico has been stuck in wouldn’t be so noticeable year after year, decade after decade.

    BTW, I recall seeing an old TV sitcom from the 1960s, in which one of the show’s character is under a magic spell. He starts blurting out things he’d otherwise not say in public. In effect, he’s suffering from a form of Tourette’s Syndrome.

    The episode involved a business tycoon from Mexico meeting with executives from the US. One of them — the one who was was hexed — started saying something like “Your country is such a sleepy and backwards place!”

    Decades later — when political correctness has grown to such a point that the humor in an old TV show wouldn’t be seen as humorous today — the flip, snide remark about Mexico of the 1960s actually no longer reflects just how much worse it has become today.

    Mark (411533)

  128. Well, fair enough, DRJ. And while this is a major story capturing the American interest, and given its local importance and the fear people and tourists there feel, maybe they should consider militarizing this part of the border. Or upping non-military border patrols (which I believe they have somewhat).

    However, if you manage to make your way to Mexico, you could be in trouble.

    I take less issue with that suggestion than Dustin’s well-meaning but ignorant (I mean it in the literal, not pejorative sense) belief that a few rapid reaction bases can cover the entire Mexican border.

    Not really.

    It’s a huge border.

    Christoph (8ec277)

  129. “A few strategically located quick reaction bases could cover the entire border.”

    Really?

    You’re in fantasy land.

    Comment by Christoph

    No, I actually served on a quick reaction force when I was deployed to a forward area. This was before the advent of drones, too.

    You’re just insulting me instead of explaining why I’m wrong. Why am I wrong? What do you believe the effective radius of a small base to be?

    It is certainly not an issue of “impossible”, but rather one of prioritizing the cost. You could rationally say it’s not worth the cost, but you are quite wrong to claim it’s impossible. Did you serve in the US Military?

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  130. I realize I’m just feeding him the attention he craves, but I noticed Cristoph left out the part of the comment he quoted where I noted a few bases is not a working solution on its own.

    I expect him to pretend I said the exact opposite. The reason is that he’s done this 4 times to me in a short period, ever since I pointed out some problems in the way he argues. I suspect I’ve simply embarrassed him, and he’s got this axe to grind now.

    Regardless, what’s the border’s length… 2000 miles? I think a 100 mile radius (that’s ten bases, then) would be able to cover that length adequately. Using such bases to react quickly to the more extreme flare ups would probably have a strong deterrent impact. I suspect the expense of the program is much lower than many programs I could name that we undertake to less benefit.

    However, just to note, I did say this is not a solution to the problem.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  131. It depends what you’re attacking, Dustin.

    I mean one can launch deep bomber strikes from Mississippi to around the world. If you’re going to punish Mexico by hitting it when American citizens are shot at you don’t need much in the way of basing.

    But if you think you can chase light armed criminals around Mexico and effectively hit them from a few bases along the border when they take some shots at American tourists, your calculations are way off.

    So I will ask you: How do you envision these quick reaction bases being used and against whom?

    Christoph (8ec277)

  132. “but I noticed Cristoph left out the part of the comment he quoted where I noted a few bases is not a working solution on its own”

    No, I just didn’t see the point in criticizing that too. I was restraining myself.

    Yes, it would be nice if Mexico sorted out its problems.

    Christoph (8ec277)

  133. No, I just didn’t see the point in criticizing that too.

    You’re lying.

    This is obvious for several reasons.

    For one, your next sentence attempts to rephrase my point that you say you restrained yourself from criticizing, only you agree with your rephrase (which is completely incorrect, of course, since you struggle to rephrase people’s argument accurately)

    Another is that you were explicitly saying I’m unrealistic to discuss a solution that I rejected as a solution. That’s also typical for you.

    Look, you were very rude to a lot of people, and I called you on it. You’re clearly pretty miffed and want to ‘get me’. The internet is not that important. Just stop being rude, start discussing instead of trying to ‘win’, and I think you’ll enjoy these threads a lot more. I do not really care about proving something about you.

    At any rate, in several threads, including this one, you ignore questions. The purpose of these questions is to more accurately focus an argument, which I realize is the opposite of how you work. Just try to answer the questions, instead of ‘getting me’.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  134. Dustin-

    How about the US rotating national guard units for stints on the boarder for their exercises. They could be support, not primary surveillance/defend.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  135. No, I’m not lying, Dustin. I criticized the weaker of your points and left that one (which is fundamentally true but not very helpful) alone. If I had criticized it, it would have been trite. Something like this:

    “But no solution works unless it addresses Mexico’s economic problems. If Mexicans had a decent government, could get great jobs, live good lives, a lot of these problems start to evaporate.”

    Yeah, and if pigs could fly … .

    So let me see? If Mexico’s economy was good, they had a good government, and great jobs … and lived good lives … a lot of its problems might be less.

    Well. I agree with that.

    And if Americans were devoted to health and abstained from illicit drugs, many of these problems would go away. People being monogamous and chaste would probably reduce the abortion, STD, and divorce problems too.

    I’m just not sure how helpful your solution is at this point.

    Something like that, Dustin.

    That’s why I focussed on your more tangible suggestion focusing on American — and not Mexican — action.

    Christoph (8ec277)

  136. Dustin-

    How about the US rotating national guard units for stints on the boarder for their exercises. They could be support, not primary surveillance/defend.

    Comment by MD in Philly

    Unfortunately, some of the problems on the border resemble much of the work our military is tasked with in borders such as the Pakastani Afghanistan and Iran Iraq border.

    Yes, that kind of exercise makes a lot of sense to me, too.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  137. I don’t see why we can’t do more to secure the border. Reports indicate that fences have successfully limited or diverted where illegals are crossing the border, and the military successfully used blockades, patrols, fencing, and barriers during the surge in Iraq. Why wouldn’t a variation on that work at America’s southern border?

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  138. I see Dustin already said what I was thinking.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  139. “How about the US rotating national guard units for stints on the boarder for their exercises. They could be support, not primary surveillance/defend.”

    One, Mexico would do the same.

    Two, it would be more expensive.

    Three, it isn’t a bad idea necessarily despite all that.

    However, units still operate in relatively small areas (obviously it depends on the size and type of unit). So it would clearly shut down illegal immigration in the area where the unit was operating, it wouldn’t have a lasting effect on the border at large.

    Also, remember, military units bring ammunition, explosive ordnance, etc. There is a reason the military uses these items on ranges: Safety.

    You wouldn’t want to use the entire border (farms and all) for this purpose. Not if you were doing serious training exercises.

    So basically you’d be moving a few bases and ranges to the border. Those bases would have less illegal immigration, but it would be expensive and you’d be displacing rather than stopping the problem.

    An extended, civilian- border guard-manned fence supported by the military (often covertly) as needed and enforcing current immigration laws with a “deport the criminals first” emphasis is more practical, in my opinion.

    Christoph (8ec277)

  140. “I don’t see why we can’t do more to secure the border. Reports indicate that fences have successfully limited or diverted where illegals are crossing the border, and the military successfully used blockades, patrols, fencing, and barriers during the surge in Iraq. Why wouldn’t a variation on that work at America’s southern border?”

    Not to mention Israel. And quite.

    Christoph (8ec277)

  141. “Not much. And since prices will be lower (no need to charge a premium for smuggling, bribing or evading police, etc.) there just won’t be the money in it. Which is why the Mafia lost interest in smuggling booze after Prohibition.”

    kishnevi – Exactly why you missed the point about focusing on other drugs, as others have also now pointed out.

    daleyrocks (940075)

  142. One, Mexico would do the same.

    Bet they wouldn’t.

    But I would be happy if they did.

    Mexico and Canada have inferior logistics to the US Military. I am pleased Cristoph is claiming Mexico could put these bases across the border. I believe I have caught him admitting the US could do the same, since the US does have a superior logistics capability to Mexico by a scale of about 1000 (I am not exaggerating).

    No, I do not think a base or post with heliocopters and drones is operating in a ‘small area’.

    I’m thinking of the projection and reaction capabilities of the ‘shocker’ post in Zurbatiyah, Iraq. That installation only has about 200 personnel, and has drastically reduced the flow of contraband. One reason is that its existence drastically changes the cost/benefit analysis for the bad guys. Yes, ten of those type installations absolutely would make a major difference to the US border, however it is not a realistic total solution. The ideas MD and DRJ are talking about obviously would have to be employed, and we would need to require (yes, *require*) changes to Mexico.

    This kind of thing is worth it to protect our borders, just as it is worth it to protect Iraq’s. There is a special value in a border being enforced.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  143. Bet they wouldn’t.

    At the I made that comment, we were talking about exercises. If the US started doing large scale exercises on the Mexican border, of course the Mexicans would do some as well. Whether that meant permanent bases or not.

    “But I would be happy if they did.”

    And why would you be happy if they did? Is the US at war with Mexico? Would the drug problem go away if you were?

    Mexico has lots of corruption problems, but last I heard it was a Mexican LEO who died while investigating this crime. Plenty of Mexican army and police have met the same fate.

    Christoph (8ec277)

  144. I’d be happy if Mexico placed more scrutiny on border security. This is your grand decimation?

    I proved we handle this problem elsewhere in the world, with a radius far greater than proposed here, with a base with far more logistical problems than one in Arizona or Texas, with a mere 200 personnel. You said it was a fantasy, and I provided a real world example that it’s feasible. ten bases of 200 people… yes, that is well within our capabilities. As I already said, this is not an adequate solution. We would need more.

    And as I’ve said, part of the ‘more’ is Mexico improving itself. Mexico already has a lot of scrutiny on her southern border, and that, combined with economic improvements, would help with the lawlessness in Northern Mexico.

    ‘would the drug problem go away?’

    I don’t understand… we’re talking about good folks being shot in the head for playing on a lake. Mexico could vanish tomorrow and the drug problem wouldn’t go away. That’s a complete non sequitur. Your straw man is simply ridiculous.

    No, I do not propose a solution I believe would eliminate the drug problem. I’m so terrible.

    Dustin (b54cdc)


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