How nice that Janet Napolitano is paying attention to. . . oh wait, itâ€™s the Afghanistan-Pakistan border that the Secretary of HOMELAND Security is critiquing.
Is that Mexican border thing all nailed down? No more problems in Arizona with the daily entrance of illegal aliens and violent drug mules by the thousands?
Not quite. The Secretary spoke just this week at the funeral of Agent Brian Terry, who was murdered within the United States by Mexican drug gangsters.
The Secretaryâ€™s claim to border control expertise is rather tarnished, judging by her performance. Her claim that the US-Mexico border is â€?as secure now as it has even beenâ€? is nothing but a Big Lie, designed to reassure the Obama-friendly press and credulous Democrats.
Maybe Napolitano should fix Americaâ€™s broken border crisis before she advises others on how to solve theirs. And perhaps she shouldnâ€™t be loaning a couple dozen border agents to Afghanistan when we need all of them here.
Napolitano Visit Aimed at Beefing Up Afghan Border Security, Customs, Fox News, December 30
KABUL, Afghanistan â€” During an unannounced New Yearâ€™s Eve visit to Afghanistan, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano traveled to the countryâ€™s mountainous border region near Pakistan to see first-hand her departmentâ€™s efforts in the war effort there.
â€?Seeing is worth a thousand words,â€? Napolitano said after the tour, to which Fox News was granted exclusive access. â€?This all involves safety and security in this part of the world. And that is something that has direct connection as well to the United States.â€?
She described her departmentâ€™s role in war-torn Afghanistan as a â€?complementâ€? to the military operations there.
Her agency has about two dozen officials in Afghanistan, including Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, Customs and Border Protection officers, and Border Patrol agents. Many are training Afghan security forces to manage their countryâ€™s borders.
Although the Afghan government receives most of its money from foreign allies, customs fees and tariffs account for more than half of the money Afghanistan generates on its own. Increasing that revenue flow is a top priority for U.S. officials working to stabilize the chaotic country.
Earlier Friday, Napolitano and her staff met with Ambassador Karl Eikenberry at the U.S. embassy in Kabul. Hours later, a fleet of military helicopters took Napolitano, her staff and a Fox News crew to Torkham Forward Operating Base, about five miles from Torkham border crossing, a main access point for supplies coming through Pakistan to NATO forces in Afghanistan.
At the base, she ate lunch with some of the troops who protect her agencyâ€™s officials in the war zone. She called it an â€?honor.â€?
The trip to the border region culminated with a helicopter flight over the Torkham border crossing. Getting to the crossing by ground was deemed too dangerous.
In May, according to Pakistani reports, security forces at Torkham crossing â€?defused an explosive device fitted to a container taking supplies to NATO forces in Afghanistan.â€?
Nearly three months ago, Torkham crossing was shut down for 11 days by Pakistan after a U.S. helicopter strike in the border region killed two Pakistani soldiers. The crossing was reopened after American officials apologized, but during the shutdown about 150 trucks were destroyed and many people were injured as they became easy targets.
Nevertheless, U.S. officials described the Torkham area as generally not hostile toward the U.S. military.
Officials said the growing Homeland Security presence in Afghanistan is the product of an effort launched under the Obama administration. Officials say it is part of a â€?visionâ€? from the late U.S. envoy to the region, Richard Holbrooke, who sought to include more federal agencies in the war and nation building effort here.
In early November, customs and border officers and agents from Homeland Securityâ€™s investigations unit conducted a one-week workshop for 44 officers from Afghan law-enforcement agencies, training them on the interdiction and investigation of cash smuggling. Such criminal activity funds terrorist and criminal organizations.
In January 2010, a â€?Customs Academyâ€? opened in Kabul, training as many as 200 recruits in an effort to turn the Afghanistan Customs Department into â€?a modern service,â€? as the U.S. embassy put it in a press release.
In addition to the Homeland Security officials already on the ground in Afghanistan, several more are expected to land there over next month. Those ranks donâ€™t include the more than 50 former CBP officials hired privately to support the DHS mission there.
Napolitano was expected to ring in the New Year with U.S. personnel at the embassy in Kabul. A bonfire was being prepared as of early Friday evening.
The New Yearâ€™s Eve trip was Napolitanoâ€™s first to Afghanistan since joining the Obama cabinet.
She was in the country once as Arizona governor.