Crime Really Doesn’t Pay

Today’s Washington Post posted a follow-up on the story of the theft in Mexico of a truckload of radioactive material used for the treatment of diseases. The truck has been found, and the radioactive material has been found.

The article reports:

The prospect that material that could be used in a radioactive dirty bomb had gone missing sparked an urgent two-day hunt that concluded when the material, cobalt-60, used in hospital radiotherapy machines, was found Wednesday afternoon along with the stolen Volkswagen truck. Mexican officials said no public health risk remained.

It is quite likely that the thieves had no idea what they were stealing. The article also reports that the material was removed from its protective casing, and it is quite likely that the thieves will die fairly quickly because of their exposure to the radiation. It will not be a pleasant death, and it actually seems as if their death will be a rather harsh penalty for stealing a truck.

This event brings up some interesting questions. Now that this story has been made public and it is known that the truck did not have a GPS tracking device and that it was relatively easy to hijack the truck, what happens next? Any fairly intelligent terrorist could easily duplicate the actions of these thieves (leaving the radioactive material in its casing, of course) and get it across America’s porous southern border. Not all the people coming into America across our southern border are South Americans looking for work (see rightwinggranny.com).

If America does not secure its southern border, we can expect a dirty bomb attack in one of our major cities based on things terrorists will be able to learn from this event. Let’s hope and pray that they are not paying attention.

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A Really Scary Alliance

On Wednesday, the Center for Security Policy posted an article about the alliance between the Mexican drug cartels like Los Zetas and Hezbollah, as well as elements of the Iranian Quds force.

The article explains the roots of the alliance:

The question is, how did this deadly alliance come into existence? For decades, immigrants, legal and illegal, have been arriving in Mexico from Lebanon. This population has been growing steadily, and has a certain level of favorability with Hezbollah. One of the creations of Hezbollah in Mexico is that of well-connected global drug dealers, like Ayman Joumaa. Joumaa, indicted in 2011 is of Lebanese heritage, and has been linked to Hezbollah, and Mexico’s Los Zetas cartel. With the help of the Los Zetas, and companies like The Lebanese Canadian Bank, Ayman Joumaa has laundered between $850 and $900 million.

In addition to forming an alliance with the drug cartels, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard and Quds forces are learning Mexican culture, as well as Spanish, and are starting to blend in with native-born Mexicans. That way, when they illegally cross the border into America, they are simply assumed to be run-on-the-mill Mexican illegals. Los Zetas was the group that was going to be paid to bomb the Israeli Embassy in Washington, and the Saudi and Israeli embassy in Argentina. The alliance with Middle Eastern terrorists will simply expand their reign of terror into the United States. The Mexican government has not been successful in fighting the drug lords–even without their alliance with terror–the drug lords are brutal and have little regard for human life.

The article concludes:

The lure of criminal activity and the drug trade, coupled with the presence of Hezbollah and Iranian Quds forces in neighboring Mexico present the United States with a major threat at its borders. Dr. Matthew Levitt, senior fellow and director of terrorism studies at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, as reported in CNS News.com in 2010 stated that Hezbollah’s ties to Latin American drug smugglers poses a “significant” threat for U.S. national security and “In the event the nuclear confrontation with Iran gets worse rather than better, having a militant organization like Hezbollah on, and even within our border- it certainly does pose a threat”. The obvious question is whether or not the United States is taking the necessary precautions to counter what is likely to become an even larger problem if left undeterred.

This is certainly a strong argument for securing the border before we proceed with immigration reform.

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An Interesting Perspective On The State of the Union Address

PJ Media posted its own interpretation of President Obama’s State of the Union address. They were not kind. I’m not saying that they were not accurate; I am simply saying that they were not kind.

The article begins:

The state of our union is weak and fraying. This president has launched attacks on faith and is going out of his way to divide our people. Our economy is not growing, it contracted in the final quarter of 2012. Our economy is not growing jobs. On the international front, North Korea greeted President Obama’s 2013 rendition of Give Me More Money with a nuclear test — a sure sign that his strategy of engagement, which his soon-to-be defense secretary supports, is a failure.

But like with all of his other failed policies, Barack Obama declared that he will just keep on doing them all.

The speech included more taxes on the ‘rich,’ which will neither create jobs or grow the economy. What is the purpose of raising anyone’s taxes? He also stated that “ask more of our wealthy seniors.” You know–those people who have worked and saved all their lives for their retirement.

President Obama stated in so many words that he wanted us all to get along. Somehow he failed to mention that we will not get along until all of us blindly follow him. Somehow I don’t think many Americans are interested in doing that.

The article reminds us:

From there he moved on to pressing for “comprehensive immigration reform.” He claimed that he believes in stronger border security, which simply is not credible when his homeland security chief claims that the border has never been safer while there is a civil war raging in Mexico. He called on people of faith, whom he has attacked via the ObamaCare abortifacient mandate, to help him “get it done” on immigration reform. He hits you with one hand, then wants you to help him with the other.

The article concludes:

Near the blessed end of his speech, Obama hailed the idea and ideals of the citizen. But this president is working to water down the legal meaning of the word. Again, incoherent.

The consequences of Barack Obama’s loose grasp on the real world are just going to have to work themselves out now. He will win some and he will lose some. Hopefully he will lose more than he wins.

“The evil that men do lives after them,” Shakespeare wrote of ambitious men centuries ago. So it will be with Barack Obama, who has done much evil to the Constitution, to the country, and to the concept of truth. He will continue to do more evil to them all for the next four years.

America, you were warned but you re-elected him anyway. And that’s the state of our union.

That is one of the best reports on the speech I have seen.

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An Interesting Perspective On America’s Economic Future

Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal posted an article about the role of hydrocarbons in the American economy in the future.

The article states:

Since becoming president, Mr. Obama has treated hydrocarbon production like an infectious disease to be eradicated. His administration had to commission a study to learn, as announced last week, that allowing American companies to export liquefied natural gas would be beneficial to the U.S. economy. Still, the Department of Energy says it can’t make “final determinations” on export applications until it hears from those who object. So much for property rights.

America currently has the fastest rate of growth in production of oil and gas in the world. This is happening at a time when the demand for energy in America is slowing.  However, the worldwide demand for energy is increasing, creating a market for American energy exports.

The article goes on to describe energy developments in America, Canada, and Mexico:

Three democracies, sitting on vast resources, each have their own comparative advantages to offer an integrated continental market that could lead the world. Greater North American energy supplies imply millions of new jobs, higher tax revenues, plentiful energy for continental manufacturing and the end of reliance on hostile producers like Venezuela. But to reach optimum potential, investors need the freedom to explore, exploit and refine hydrocarbons and move output at every stage of production throughout the continent. In other words, governments need to get out of the way.

We can find our way out of the economic mess we are currently in–we just need to use the resources we have.

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Why Our Southern Border Matters

Today’s Jerusalem Post reported that three alleged members of Hezbollah were arrested in Mérida, Mexico, in the past few days. Bloomberg.com is also reporting the story.

One of the suspects, Rafic Mohammad Labboun Allaboun, was reportedly handed over to the United States on Sunday because he is a United States citizen.

The Jerusalem Post reports:

…The US citizen was carrying a false Belizean passport and was identified as Rafic Moha-mmad Labboun Allaboun.

Authorities arrested him following a series of investigations by US intelligence agencies that found that he forms part of a terror cell operating in central America, according to Mexican newspaper Reforma.

How easy would it have been for any one of these men to cross the border into the United States?

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Why Is The Obama Administration Closing Border Crossing Stations ?

Yesterday PJ Media posted an article stating that the Obama Administration is closing nine border crossings in four states. Five of those border crossings are in Texas.

Just in case you need to be reminded of why securing the southern border is so critical, here is a link to a Washington Times article from February 2011.

The article at the Washington Times reports:

Three days after Ms. Napolitano spoke, the U.S. Border Patrol captured Said Jaziri, a radical Islamic cleric, hidden in the trunk of a car 50 miles east of San Diego. Mr. Jaziri, one of the imams who had called for the death of the Danish cartoonist behind the drawings of the Prophet Muhammad, purportedly paid a Mexican human-trafficking cartel $5,000 to smuggle him into the country. The court set his bail at $25,000. There is little to prevent him from posting bail and disappearing into the countryside, where he most certainly will find refuge among sympathetic supporters.

Mr. Jaziri’s capture is merely the latest in a long string of other-than-Mexican (OTM) arrests going back several years. A couple of days before the imam’s capture, Border Patrol officers found a discarded Iranian book of martyrdom along a well-known smuggling route. For all of the so-called martyrs, the book provided biographies, letters addressed to their families, and, in some cases, their last wills and testaments. Though U.S. officials do not know who discarded the book or when, we do know that it is the latest example of radical Islamist paraphernalia that has been found along the border.

Closing these border crossing stations is a threat to our national security. I am not as concerned about illegal aliens who come to America to work (although they are taking jobs from Americans) as I am with jihadists who have found an easy way to get unto the country untraced for nefarious purposes.

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Does The Government Want To Enforce The Border With Mexico ?

CBN News posted a story today about a technology that would make a huge difference along America‘s southern border with Mexico.

The article reports:

Arlington, Texas, is home of the Cowboys stadium, and one of the most technologically advanced municipalities in the country.

CBN News met a man there who developed the security system for the Super Bowl, and may also hold the key to securing the southern border.

“The fence is a wonderful tool if you want to stop wildlife, if you want to stop livestock, if you want to stop somebody for 30 seconds,” Dan Hammons, owner of Hammons Enterprises, explained.

“We think the border needs to be a line in the sand as opposed to a wide area,” he added.

“If a person crawls over that fence or crosses that border illegally, we have a wide array of sensing technologies that will set off an alarm and will turn on a camera on a node tower,” Hammons said. “So you can determine, is it a person, is it a deer, is it a cow.”

“With our system, I’m confident that we are going to detect 100 percent of the people crossing that border illegally,” he boldly claimed.

Mr. Hammons ‘security system costs about $1 million less per mile than the border fence. Because of the bandwidth of his security system, Border Patrol agents would be able to see thousands of video streams covering thousands of miles in real time.

The article at CBN reports the government’s response:

Still, decision makers in Washington have repeatedly turned down Hammons’ ideas.

“They have shut the door in our face,” he said.

“We offered to do this for them for free. We wanted to build a three-mile section of it for free. No cost or obligation to the government, all we wanted was an operational evaluation,” Hammons recalled.

He hinted that the system’s potential may be viewed by some as a political problem.

“We’re going to be able to tell the truth about what’s going on on the border,” Hammons said. “We’re going to be able to show the American public exactly what is happening down there.”

In the meantime, ranchers along Arizona’s border feel like they’re stuck in a war zone.

“Regardless of what Homeland Security and Border Patrol says, the border isn’t as safe as it’s ever been,” Ladd said. “There’s more drugs coming right now than ever before.”

“A guy driving a Border Patrol truck up and down the fence isn’t going to cut it,” he added.

Why is the government ignoring a solution to securing our border that would be both cheaper and more effective?

 

 

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Economic Woes Affect Population Movement

Michael Barone posted an article at Townhall.com today explaining how the current economic recession is affecting population trends in America. One example cited is the migration to California which began during World War II and ended during the 1980′s. Since 1990, Americans have been leaving California. The only thing that has kept the state’s population growing at the national average has been Mexican and Asian immigration.

Mr. Barone reports in the article:

My prediction is that we won’t ever again see the heavy Latin immigration we saw between 1983 and 2007, which averaged 300,000 legal immigrants and perhaps as many illegals annually.

Mexican and other Latin birthrates fell more than two decades ago. And Mexico, source of 60 percent of Latin immigrants, is now a majority-middle-class country.

Asian immigration may continue, primarily from China and India, especially if we have the good sense to change our laws to let in more high-skill immigrants.

But the next big immigration source, I think, will be sub-Saharan Africa. We may end up with prominent politicians who actually were born in Kenya.

The state that is currently growing is Texas. One in twelve Americans now live in Texas. Texas has taken steps to attract businesses and people–it has enacted tax and tort policies to make the state business friendly. If the state governments are the laboratories for the federal government, we can learn a lot from Texas.

 

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Isn’t It A Little Early For The Democrats To Be Desperate ?

It isn’t news to anyone who pays attention that some of the attacks on Mitt Romney will be based on his Mormon religion (just as John Kennedy was attacked for his Catholic religion). But sometimes the attacks are stretched far enough to be ridiculous.

Today’s Daily Caller reports that Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer, described as a moderate Democrat, has stated:

…likely Republican nominee Mitt Romney may have trouble in the general election because his father was “born on a polygamy commune in Mexico,”
 
George Romney was born in 1907. He was born–he was not responsible for the circumstances surrounding his birth!
 
The article at the Daily Caller points out that George Romney’s parents were in a
monogamous marriage and moved back to the United States when George was still a child. This isn’t even criticism of the candidate–it is criticism of the circumstances surrounding the birth of his father. Where is the commentary on Barack Obama’s father? Where is the commentary on his numerous wives?
 
How many generations are the Democrats willing to examine in order to do opposition research on the Republican candidates?

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Somehow Most Of The American Press Missed This

Yesterday Investors.com posted a story about Tuesday’s “Three Amigos” summit with President Obama, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Mexican President Felipe Calderon. Things, unfortunately, did not go well. Our political President has been so busy focusing on his re-election, he seems to be neglecting some other things that are rather important.

The article reports:

Energy has become a searing rift between the U.S. and Canada and threatens to leave the U.S. without its top energy supplier.

The Winnipeg Free Press reported that Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper warned Obama the U.S. will have to pay market prices for its Canadian oil after Obama’s de facto veto of the Keystone XL pipeline. Canada is preparing to sell its oil to China.

Until now, NAFTA had shielded the U.S. from having to pay global prices for Canadian oil. That’s about to change.

Prepare for even higher prices at the gas pump as this takes effect.

The article reports the reporting of the summit in the Mexican press:

Excelsior of Mexico City reported that President Felipe Calderon bitterly brought up Operation Fast and Furious, a U.S. government operation that permitted Mexican drug cartels to smuggle thousands of weapons into drug-war-torn Mexico. This blunder has wrought mayhem on Mexico and cost thousands of lives.

There is also the fact that America is blocking the entry of both Mexico and Canada into the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

The article at Investors.com concludes:

In short, the summit was a diplomatic disaster for the U.S. and its relations with its neighbors north and south.

It should have been the easiest, most no-brainer diplomatic task Obama faces.

Instead, it underscored the Obama administration’s indifference to anything more than its own political interests.

It’s a shame the American media didn’t tell us. Instead we had to learn of it in the foreign press.

As Americans, we used to be able to depend on the basic media to provide us with news about the events of the day. It is becoming more and more obvious that Americans are going to have to do their own research on the Internet and other places if they are to be informed voters.

 

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Exploiting The Office Of The American Presidency

Martha's Vineyard - Massachusetts

Martha's Vineyard - Massachusetts (Photo credit: Dougtone)

We hear a lot of attacks on the rich these days–they are accused of not paying their fair share of taxes, of being uncaring, and of just generally being bad people. It’s just awful that we have to live with them. However, I would like to point out a few things about the rich men who recently held the office of American President. When George Bush was President, he gave up golf while our soldiers were overseas fighting–he just felt that it was not appropriate for him to be on the golf course when soldiers were dying overseas. When George Bush went on vacation, he went to his ranch in Texas or his father’s house in Maine. What happens when we elect a President who grew up in the Middle Class? When President Clinton and President Obama were in office, the taxpayers paid for extravagant vacations on Martha’s Vineyard. During the Obama Presidency, taxpayers have financed expensive Hawaiian vacations, vacations in Spain for the first lady, ski vacations for the first lady, and now spring break in Mexico for Malia. Nevermind that Americans are still struggling financially and can’t afford vacations–off they go!

It does seem that the Obama Administration is becoming aware that this is a public relations problem.

Big Government reports:

An AFP story, linked at the Huffington Post and elsewhere, reported on Malia Obama’s visit to Mexico despite a Texas public safety warning, she’s reportedly accompanied by 12 friends and 25 Secret Service agents. The Huffington Post story link now directs to the main page and the AFP item is fast disappearing from view. 

The Yahoo News link now diverts to a completely different story, in contrast to the url: http://news.yahoo.com/obamas-daughter-spends-springbreak-mexico-145031176.html. The headline now reads: Senegal music star Youssou Ndour hits campaign trail.

The story was also reported in the International Business Times, but is no longer there. Aside from the cost of the trip, the fact that the warning was ignored is troubling. Malia is thirteen years old. I realize that 25 Secret Service agents provide serious security, but there is no insurance against being in the wrong place at the wrong time. As a parent, I know that even if they were traveling in a tank with an armed platoon as an escort, I would not allow any of my daughters to ignore a travel advisory.

It’s a shame that the President and his family believe that travel advisories and economic restraint in choosing vacations simply don’t apply to them.

UPDATE:

A website called media bistro is reporting the following:

Politico reports several websites have scrubbed stories about the trip from their websites after being asked to do so. A White House spokesperson says:

From the beginning of the administration, the White House has asked news outlets not to report on or photograph the Obama children when they are not with their parents and there is no vital news interest. We have reminded outlets of this request in order to protect the privacy and security of these girls.

This is ridiculous. The taxpayers are paying for the vacation and the secret service protection. There is a vital interest–the President is sending his daughter to a place with a travel advisory and possibly putting members of the secret service at unnecessary risk in the process. If the President’s daughter had chosen to go to Florida or any place but Mexico, the story would not have been news.

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This Sort Of Logic Almost Earned Me An F In Geometry

The Daily Caller posted an article on some of the recent testimony of  U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Mr. Holder was testifying on the subject of Operation Fast and Furious, but his testimony included the following statement:

This administration has consistently favored the reinstitution of the assault weapons ban. It is something that we think was useful in the past with regard to the reduction that we’ve seen in crime, and certainly would have a positive impact on our relationship and the crime situation in Mexico.

This is an amazing statement. It is becoming very obvious that the Obama Administration (including Eric Holder) purposely allowed large numbers of guns to flow into Mexico illegally. Now the Attorney General is saying that stricter gun laws would help our relationship with Mexico and reduce crime in Mexico. Wait a minute! The guns that went into Mexico went in illegally–more laws won’t do any good if no one is willing to follow them (particularly the government). The problem with gun laws is that only law-abiding citizens follow them–criminals don’t. Adding more gun laws simply disarms the general population making them more vulnerable to assault by those with illegal guns. Maybe the answer is better enforcement of the laws we currently have.
 
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The Need For New Immigration Policies

Yesterday Fox News in Boston reported that a five-year-old child is recovering after being injured in a crash involving and illegal alien who was driving drunk.

The article reports:

Officers arrested Luis Parraga, 37, of Roxbury and charged him with OUIL, leaving the scene of a crash causing injury, and operating without a license. An ICE detainer has been requested for Parraga as authorities claim he is an illegal immigrant from Mexico.

The male passenger, 25-year-old William Gomez, is charged with allowing through wanton or reckless conduct, substantial bodily injury to a child, and allowing an improper person to operate a motor vehicle.

Gomez is identified as the owner of the vehicle and legal guardian of the child.

This is one more reason we need to keep track of who is in the country and who is on our roads.

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I Really Don’t Understand Who Knew What About Fast And Furious–Or When They Knew It!

On Thursday, Real Clear Politics posted two transcripts–one of Eric Holder testifying before Congress in May saying he had first heard of Operation Fast and Furious “for the first time over the last few weeks” and another of the President in March saying “Eric Holder has — the attorney general has been very clear that he knew nothing about this. We had assigned an I.G., inspector general, to investigate it.”

I have no idea what the truth is here. My conclusion is that we need an independent investigator to find out why the U. S. Government was engaged in gun running to Mexico. Who knew, what they knew, and when they knew are all questions that need to be answered.

Please follow the link above to Real Clear Politics to read the entire interviews. The whole situation seems to get more confusing every day.

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More Bad News From Operation Fast And Furious

22 – El Paso, Texas

Image via Wikipedia

On Saturday the Los Angeles Times reported that 100 assault weapons acquired under Fast and Furious ended up in a home belonging to the purported top Sinaloa cartel enforcer in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, whose organization was terrorizing that city with the worst violence in the Mexican drug wars.

The article reports that three months into the Fast and Furious program, El Paso, Texas, began to emerge as a hub for the weapons traffic.

The article reports:

On Jan. 13, 2010, El Paso police stumbled upon 40 firearms after following a suspicious dark blue Volkswagen Jetta that backed into a garage at a local residence, according to federal court records.

The article further reports:

Two others, Ivan Chavira and Edgar Ivan Galvan, were subsequently charged in that gun recovery, along with the recovery of 20 Fast and Furious weapons on April 7, 2010, in El Paso. Those guns also were discovered by chance by local authorities, and ATF trace records show that the weapons were purchased in Phoenix two weeks before they were found in El Paso.

Notice that in both cases, the weapons were discovered by alert police officers–whatever tracing the government claims to have put on these guns was non-existent. The Los Angeles Times also posted a chronology of events regarding Fast and Furious through October 8. It is amazing to realize the scope of this program.

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A Rocket Launcher A Grenade Launcher And Explosives Were Found By Border Patrol Agents Near The Rio Grande

A Texas newspaper called The Monitor is reporting that a rocket launcher, a grenade launcher, and what appeared to be C-4 explosives were found near the Rio Grande River on Tuesday.

Katie Pavlich at Townhall.com points out:

There are four main ways Mexican cartels can get their hands on rocket and grenade launchers:

-If the U.S. State Department were to sell those weapons to the Mexican government, then dissenters of the Mexican military (who make up the majority of cartel members) take the weapons with them when they leave

-Mexican cartels buy them on the black market

-Mexican cartels get them from a guy, who after admitting he was providing grenades to cartels, was released back to Mexico by ATF a la Grenadegate

-Mexican cartels work with groups like Hezbollah to obtain those weapons, cartels in Mexico grant easy access into the United States to Hezbollah in return, Hezbollah supplies them with weapons.

On September 3rd, I reported that Hezbollah has set up a center of operations in Cuba (rightwinggranny.com). We may be seeing the results of that action.

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The Death Toll Related To Operation Fast And Furious Grows

CBS News reported yesterday that three more murders have been linked to guns bought as part of Operation Fast and Furious. The article posts portions of a letter from the Justice Department listing weapons that have been found at various crime scenes in Mexico. It is an unfortunate chapter in the history of America that we were involved in gunrunning operations to Mexico.

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A Federal Program Gone Horribly Wrong

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explo...

Image via Wikipedia

Last Thursday the Los Angeles Times reported that a second violent crime has been linked to the Fast and Furious gun program.  Two Arizona undercover police officers attempted to stop two men in a stolen vehicle approximately five months after the Fast and Furious program began. The men in the stolen vehicle rammed their cars, threatened them with guns, and fled into the desert. The driver and passenger were caught. The driver was charged with aggravated assault on a police officer, driving the stolen vehicle and illegal possession of the weapons. The passenger, a citizen of Mexico, was charged with possession of narcotics and the stolen vehicle.

A Beretta pistol and AK-47 semiautomatic assault rifle were found in the stolen Ford truck, the police said.

The article reports:

The weapons found in the vehicle were the 9-millimeter Beretta, hidden under the front console, and the AK-47 in the back seat. Authorities in Arizona said they were told both weapons were illegally purchased under the Fast and Furious program that began in November 2009. Also in the truck were four boxes of ammunition for the AK-47, a box of 23 9-mm bullets for the Beretta, and four cases of Bud Light beer.

The article reports that about 2,000 weapons were allowed to be illegally purchased in the Phoenix area, and the vast majority were lost track of by ATF agents. The Fast and Furious program is a disgrace to this country, and those responsible for it need to be relieved of their authority.

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