Best case scenario- elected officials, public agencies, & a free and independent press work together to keep people informed.
This concept has completely broken down Re: the US Border Patrol at Port Angeles.
That free and independent press recently informed us on Olympic Peninsula US Border Patrol operations.
The article reads like paid advertising or something produced by US Border Patrol public relations.
Most of the photos used in the article were provided by the federal government.
This local story has been developing for years now. There has been plenty of time for people with the advantage of a press credential to schedule appointments, do interviews & ask questions.
May 31st, 2010-
Two amphibious Canadian marijuana smugglers are captured on a remote Olympic Peninsula beach by the US Border Patrol.
Two total arrests out of the Port Angeles US Border Patrol station that are connected in any way to the US/Canada border?
Two total arrests of people crossing the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
Two total arrests involving cross-border traffic for the land and sea based Homeland Security forces stationed at Port Angeles.
We’re just weeks away from the grand opening of a new, $5.7 million 50 Agent US Border Patrol station at Port Angeles- an area sharing no land border with Canada.
Still no justification provided by elected officials or the US Border Patrol for an upgrade in staff requiring the 50 agent facility- due to open in the spring of 2012.
Besides sharing no land border with Canada- the Olympic Peninsula is not served by the interstate highway system. The nearest interstate is more than 2 hours away.
Alternate route- Interstate 5 – still more than 2 hours away.
If smugglers & drug traffickers were in a hurry to get to an interstate- the Olympic Peninsula wouldn’t be the place to show up. Maybe this is another reason why we have seen just 2 arrests involving cross-border traffic here & why a report concerning fraudulent overtime went public last year.
Watch for news reports that claim a need for the 50 agent facility because Ahmed Ressam was stopped at Port Angeles in 1999.
Urban legend: The US Border Patrol stopped the Millennium Bomber at Port Angeles-
The US Border Patrol is the primary federal law enforcement agency between the ports-of-entry.
How many US Border Patrol agents were stationed at Port Angeles in 1999?
Secret arrest statistics- for your safety
“Disclosure of the arrest statistics from the Port Angeles station would provide those interested in crossing our borders illegally with information that could aid their strategic targeting of potentially vulnerable areas along the border,” he said in an e-mail. “To maintain operational security these numbers will not be provided.”
Arrest statistics are secret.
Secret arrest policy instantly lifted if something to brag about takes place.
CBP showcases apprehensions on their own web site. Does this report threaten national security?
No secret arrest statistics here
Did news people in the San Diego area place national security at risk by making this report?
Imagine a school district wanting to expand staff and facilities and, at the same time- suppressing public information Re: the number of students enrolled, teachers on staff and number of students graduated in the past 36 months.
Local law enforcement agencies set the example in sharing public information with the public.
March 2011- Local paper submits FOIA request for USBP arrest numbers to justify new 50 agent station. FOIA request denied. FOIA appeal denied.
What is a Border Patrol sector?
The civic units of measure familiar to Americans are states, cities and counties.
The US Border Patrol is broken up into sectors- which are arbitrary federal zones- confusing by design.
Look for reports that provide USBP arrest statistics for sectors- not stations. This reporting format makes it difficult for the public to understand what is going on at the Port Angeles US Border Patrol station.
“Blaine Sector Border Patrol agents, who cover Alaska, Oregon and the western half of Washington state, made 591 arrests in 12 months, the agency announced last week in its annual nationwide arrest report.”
Don’t look for local journalists to question this manipulation of public information.
The people of Erie, PA did not have to submit a FOIA request to find out what justified the expansion of their local Border Patrol station-
No public information/security conflict at the U.S. Border Patrol station (not sector) in Erie, PA.
Erie Station- similar to Port Angeles in that it is separated from Canada by water.
Note: reports of the expansion at Erie include numbers of arrests out of that station:
“The Border Patrol operations in Erie, nearly six years old, include more than 30 agents who apprehended 588 illegal immigrants in fiscal year 2008-09.”
“The Border Patrol’s apprehensions in the Erie area have grown steadily, from 332 in fiscal 2006-2007 to 588 in 2008-09 to 305 so far in 2009-10.
Of those apprehended so far this fiscal year, 136 were individuals found by other law enforcement agencies and turned over to the Border Patrol.”
Discussions on local news web sites reveal an almost fetish-like concern Re: the arrest of illegal aliens- “WHAT PART OF ILLEGAL DON’T YOU UNDERSTAND???”, etc.
Very little in the way of acknowledging that people are not illegally entering the US via the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
The US Border Patrol has had success in capturing Central American immigrants in Forks- 1500 miles north of where they likely crossed into the US.
These arrests often involve mysterious traffic stops conducted by federal agents (see Olympic Peninsula Border Patrol timeline- bottom of page).
If local arrests are not connected in any way to the US/Canada border- maybe every Port Angeles sized town- all across America- should have its own 50 agent US Border Patrol station?
If Olympic Peninsula USBP operations are being downsized, why have local USBP personnel numbers been upsized?
What are the results of the investigation Re: fraudulent overtime claims at the Port Angeles USBP station?
Hey local reporters-
More than a year has passed since August 2, 2011- What are the results of the investigation? No follow up?
DHS is probably best served by stalling on this.
Watch for news reports that attempt to justify the new, 50 agent USBP station at Port Angeles based on preventing another 911.
We are told the #1 US Border Patrol objective is to stop terrorists. The US Border Patrol explains this objective at a local public forum- this YouTube video covers Border Patrol objectives at 3:50.
Don’t look for any coverage admitting that post 911 efforts to keep terrorists from visiting the homeland have failed to keep illegal drugs out.
Olympic Peninsula Border Patrol timeline here.
Watching the Border Patrol-
From Port Angeles:
From Port Townsend:
Photo- Crescent Beach, WA- Vancouver Island in the distance