Tuesday, April 19, 2005

TSA Inspector beaten by Mexican Police


Larry C. Johnson

There is a terrorist threat in Mexico against Americans only it is from Mexican police. Two weeks ago (March 4th) a senior US Government official with the Transportation Security Administration was brutally attacked. This official, who is in charge of surveying and assessing Mexican airports to ensure that they meet the U.S. Government security requirements, left his hotel room in Tijuana, Mexico on Friday evening and crossed the street to buy his daughter a gift. While returning from the gift shop he was accosted by two Mexican police officers. They pulled the U.S. Federal agent into an alley and beat him while demanding $1,000.

The U.S. official told the thugs that his wallet with his ATM card was in the hotel. The aspiring theives accompanied the the Federal agent into the hotel. The U.S. official hollered to the hotel security personnel for help but was ignored. The Mexican police forced him outside the hotel and continued beating him. He was then put into a Mexican police vehicle, taken to the Tijuana jail, and put into a holding cell with 50 other unfortunate souls. He continued to tell the police that he was a U.S. Federal Law Enforcement officer with the Transportation Security Administration.

Somehow the news got back to the US Embassy and the Embassy's Regional Security Officer (RSO) arrived in the morning to free him. The Federal Agent was put into a vehicle, accompanied by armed convoy, and escorted back to the safety of the United States.

Beside the emotional trauma inflicted on him by greedy, corrupt Mexican police officers, the U.S. agent suffered serious nerve damage to his hands. To make matters worse he faces possible retaliation from his own Government. Instead of lodging a forceful protest with the Mexican Government, the U.S. State Department is trying to keep the matter quiet. TSA, rather than stand up for its people, is blaming the Agent who was so viciously attacked for causing the incident "because he left his hotel room after dinner". The last time I checked there is no U.S. Government policy requiring U.S. officials on TDY to remain as hostages in their room, particularly in Mexico. TSA needs to send a clear message to the Mexicans--if you attack our people then your planes won't land in the United States.

During the ride back to the United States the RSO told the agent that as many as 80 Americans a year are being mugged in this same way. Most pay up and go on their way. Some wind up beaten and in jail. And the answer from the White House and the State Department? Deafening silence. Where is the public warning from Consular Affairs?

If the men and women charged with inspecting the Mexican airports to ensure they are meeting U.S. security standards cannot do their job without the threat of being mugged and robbed, how can we be sure that the Government of Mexico is fully cooperating with us to prevent terrorists from coming into the United States.

What more can I say other than, Filthy Fucking Animals! I don't understand why we even have dealings with these barbarians.


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