Perry Visits National Guard Training for the Border
by ELI OKUN, The Texas Tribune
Aug 13, 2014 | 691 views | 1 1 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print


Perry Visits National Guard Training for the Border







BASTROP — Gov. Rick Perry on Wednesday portrayed the deployment of the Texas National Guard to the U.S.-Mexico border as a critical national security measure, telling troops in training here that they “now are the tip of the spear protecting Americans from these cartels and gangs.”

Speaking to about 100 troops at the Camp Swift base, Perry thanked the Guard members — some of the more than 2,200 who have volunteered to take part in the operation — and said people around the country in recent weeks have told him they are grateful for the surge.

Texas Republicans have largely supported the deployment, saying it is needed because the federal government is not fulfilling its duty to secure the border. But many Democrats and other critics have questioned the operation's funding and its necessity, saying it is either foolish or political to send troops to a humanitarian crisis that has largely entailed unaccompanied children crossing the border.

Perry emphasized that the troops’ primary goal is deterrence, assisting Department of Public Safety forces who are taking border crossers into custody. Due to what he called the federal government’s abdication of responsibility, he said that aside from the unaccompanied children, drug smugglers and traffickers have seeped through a porous border, “spreading their tentacles of crime and fear” throughout the United States.

“Call them what they really are,” Perry added. “These are narco-terrorists, because they are terrorizing America. ... What’s at stake are the lives of innocent people on both sides of the border.”

The bulk of the troops are still in training, though Perry and Guard officials refused to provide specifics on numbers, timeframe and tactics, saying they did not want criminals to have that information. Guard officials said a small contingent of National Guard troops is already at the border as part of a separate, pre-existing operation tasked and funded by the federal government.

In response to reporters’ questions, Perry said Texas has petitioned Washington to do more and to reimburse the state for its efforts. That included asking the Federal Aviation Administration for permission to use drones for surveillance efforts along the border — to no avail, Perry said.

Afterward, Perry visited a firing range to take a look at the specialized equipment the Guard is using in enhanced optics training — green machines mounted on the backs of trucks, covered to look like foliage, that troops will use for observation.

The decision to send 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to the border has garnered national attention and sparked some controversy since Perry announced it last month.

Critics argue that the move is a political stunt by Perry, who they say is looking to bolster his conservative credentials before a potential second presidential run. Those critics say the money should have gone to supporting DPS forces already on the border.

Perry quickly dismissed such notions on Wednesday. The state has funded DPS with an additional $1.3 million per week for Texas ranger reconnaissance teams over the past five weeks, leading to what Perry said was a 56 percent reduction in apprehensions in the targeted areas.

The governor’s methods of funding the National Guard deployment have also drawn recent scrutiny, prompting discussion at a Legislative Budget Board meeting last week and a Senate Finance Committee hearing on Tuesday. The governor tapped $38 million in unspent DPS funds and transferred the money to the National Guard using an obscure budget rider — which invited some consternation from legislators who felt they should have been involved in the decision.

Perry said on Wednesday that he understood legislators’ desire for transparency but that the state needed to support and fund the Guard and respect the troops’ sacrifices.

It also remains unsettled how the deployment will be funded after this initial influx of cash runs out. With monthly National Guard and DPS costs totaling around $17 million to $18 million, this first round of funds is expected to dry up by October.

Perry said that the state’s deployment of troops, and its funding of Operation Strong Safety, is intended simply as “a stop-gap measure” until the federal government steps in.

DPS Director Steve McCraw also briefly addressed the troops, saying he looked forward to working with the Guard to prevent criminals from entering the state. “We can make the cartels’ lives miserable,” he said.









This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at http://www.texastribune.org/2014/08/13/perry-visits-national-guard-training-border/.

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anonymous
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August 14, 2014
JUST SOME FACTS: about the re- run government You People keep electing...

This would apply to you Local, State and Federal elected officials. Just take the time and to stop and really think about it.. That would be all I would ask...

This is rampant idiocy in the land of fruits, nuts and granola...

A Country Founded by Geniuses but Run by Idiots!

If you can get arrested for hunting or fishing without a license, but

not for entering and remaining in the country illegally — you might

live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

If you have to get your parents’ permission to go on a field trip or

to take an aspirin in school, but not to get an abortion — you might

live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

If you MUST show your identification to board an airplane, cash a

check, buy liquor, or check out a library book and rent a video, but not

to vote for who runs the government — you might live in a nation that

was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

If the government wants to prevent stable, law-abiding citizens from

owning gun magazines that hold more than ten rounds, but gives twenty

F-16 fighter jets to the crazy new leaders in Egypt — you might live in a

nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

If, in the nation’s largest city, you can buy two 16-ounce sodas, but

not one 24-ounce soda, because 24-ounces of a sugary drink might make

you fat — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is

run by idiots.

If an 80-year-old woman or a three-year-old girl who is confined to a

wheelchair can be strip-searched by the TSA at the airport, but a woman

in a burka or a hijab is only subject to having her neck and head

searched — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but

is run by idiots.

If your government believes that the best way to eradicate trillions

of dollars of debt is to spend trillions more — you might live in a

nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

If a seven-year-old boy can be thrown out of school for saying his

teacher is “cute,” but hosting a sexual exploration or diversity class

in grade school is perfectly acceptable — you might live in a nation

that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

If hard work and success are met with higher taxes and more

government regulation and intrusion, while not working is rewarded with

Food Stamps, WIC checks, Medicaid benefits, subsidized housing, and free

cell phones — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses

but is run by idiots.

If the government’s plan for getting people back to work is to

provide incentives for not working, by granting 99 weeks of unemployment

checks, without any requirement to prove that gainful employment was

diligently sought, but couldn’t be found — you might live in a nation

that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

If you pay your mortgage faithfully, denying yourself the newest

big-screen TV, while your neighbor buys iPhones, time shares, a

wall-sized do-it-all plasma screen TV and new cars, and the government

forgives his debt when he defaults on his mortgage — you might live in a

nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

If being stripped of your Constitutional right to defend yourself

makes you more “safe” according to the government — you might live in a

nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

If the media panders to your openly socialist leader while the IRS targets groups with dissenting views— you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

If your government 'cracks down' on legal gun sales to law abiding citizens while secretly supplying illegal guns to Mexican drug cartels— you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

If your local government (Chicago) outlawed gun ownership for 'the safety of its citizens' and now boasts the worst murder rate in the country — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

What a country!

How about we give God a reason to continue blessing America?

This was borrowed from another blog, please spread it far and wide!