Sunday, July 1, 2012

DHS to Border Patrol: If Attacked, Run Away and Hide

Border Patrol agents have received directives in the case of an ‘active shooter’ incident, in that they are first to “run away” and, if unable, to “hide”.  Only as a last resort, while calling on local law enforcement to respond forcefully where armed Border Patrol agents are now directed not to, are they to “become aggressive” and “throw things” at the terrorists trying to shoot them. 

Not so fast . . .

At first, it would appear that the instructions, contained in a 45-minute computer tutorial and a pamphlet, would logically be given to office personnel and civilian employees but would not apply to armed agents, required to be so at all times, even off duty.  But no – in response to enquiries by Fox News, Michael Friel, spokesman for US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), stated:
CBP workforce training is designed to prepare all employees, including leaders, managers, supervisors, law enforcement personnel and non-law enforcement personnel, to understand their own roles and the roles of their fellow employees in responding to threats.  In an active shooter scenario, employees are taught to take actions that keep them alive. [emphasis mine]
An attack such as this is characterized by the training as an example of “workplace violence”, echoing the official description of the massacre of 13 dead (including a pregnant woman) and 37 wounded at Fort Hood by Nidal Hasan in November 2009.  (Hasans’s trial is finally due to begin next August, so the term ‘speedy trial’ is now defined as something less than three years.)  This tamps down the language that would be upsetting to the Professional Indignants, and lumps terrorist attacks in the same category as disgruntled postal workers.

The instruction is another case of the blithering sense of ‘cover your ass’ mentality promulgated by the present nomenklatura of the administration.  Agents such as these have received field and firearms training that includes the standard definition of the use of deadly force, meaning that one is permitted to use force that can result in serious bodily harm or death, if that person reasonably believes that an attacker poses an immediate or imminent threat to the life of that person or those around him.  It boggles the mind to consider why this principle would be so parsed.  The DHS spokesman speaks of keeping employees alive, yet this policy ignores the responsibility, even if only moral, to protect others.

Other examples which come to mind include one by Katie Pavlich, an authority on the Fast and Furious investigation and author of a bestseller on the subject, who also brings to our attention that when Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed, the DHS policy that his team used was to first fire bean bags at the illegal Mexican bandits on Arizona soil.  This is the same mentality that had the US government post signs some 80-100 miles from the Mexican border in Arizona, warning US citizens to avoid the area due to “armed criminals and [drug and human] smuggling vehicles”, and to advise them to detour to “public lands north of Interstate 8”, within about 30 miles of Phoenix.  I saw similar signs in and around Big Bend National Park in Texas.  There is also the advice to call 911, but in much of this area, at least where I have been, there is no cell phone coverage.  Once this became a political issue, the signs were quickly toned down with more neutral language, but it still conveys the distinct meaning of surrendering our territory because we simply don't have the gumption to defend it.

Brandon Judd of the National Border Patrol Council, the union for the agents, sums up the new instructions:
We are now taught in an ‘Active Shooter’ course that if we encounter a shooter in a public place we are to ‘run away’ and ‘hide’.  If we are cornered by such a shooter we are to (only as a last resort) become ‘aggressive’ and ‘throw things’ at him or her.  We are then advised to ‘call law enforcement’ and wait for their arrival (presumably, while more innocent victims are slaughtered).
Mr Judd is concerned that agents will be “disciplined or fired” if they violate this policy by stopping an assault with a firearm.  Can you blame him?

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