The Hightower Report

The hype about border violence is a big political lie

Border War! Not ...

Grim-faced military officers and ashen-faced politicians describe a horrific "war zone," with "hundreds of people murdered" and "citizens under attack around the clock." Some of the politicos say that the situation is so dire that it "may require our military."

Like the frenetic Bush-Cheney litany of lies that rushed America into the senseless Iraq war, what we're now getting is a similar burst of mendacity about Mexican drug violence spilling across the border into our country. Rick Perry, the Texas gubernatorial goober, is even trying to make it a presidential campaign issue. "It is not safe on that border," he recently wailed to New Hampshire Republicans, suggesting that he might send U.S. troops into Mexico "to kill these drug cartels."

Adding to this macho melodrama, two retired Army generals produced a study asserting that spillover violence makes residing on the U.S. side "tantamount to living in a war zone." One of the ex-generals is Barry McCaffrey, the infamous, hyperventilating fearmonger who once was America's drug czar. At a press conference, McCaffrey pointed excitedly to "hundreds of people murdered on our side of the frontier."

Really? Hundreds murdered? No. His source turned out to be a South Texas rancher full of anecdotes about dead bodies found in the brush – but the U.S. Border Patrol says these were unlucky immigrants who perished during the past several years trying to enter our country, not recent victims of Mexican cartels. In fact, far from being a chaotic war scene, a study of the 14 Texas counties bordering Mexico shows that the number of murders has actually gone down in the past five years.

Rumors of a Mexican cartel war in the U.S. are nothing but lies by self-serving political opportunists and self-aggrandizing military contractors out to line their pockets.


For more information on Jim Hightower's work – and to subscribe to his award-winning monthly newsletter, "The Hightower Lowdown" – visit www.jimhightower.com. You can hear his radio commentaries on KOOP Radio 91.7FM, weekdays at 10:58am and 12:58pm.

For more information on Jim Hightower's work – and to subscribe to his award-winning monthly newsletter, The Hightower Lowdown – visit www.jimhightower.com. You can hear his radio commentaries on KOOP Radio, 91.7FM, weekdays at 10:58am and 12:58pm.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

presidential campaign, Mexican border, Rick Perry, Barry McCaffrey, Border Patrol

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