Arizona's 'Cokeheads' the National Guard

TUCSON, Ariz. -- There were so many Arizona National Guardsmen eager to run cocaine from the border of Arizona and Mexico to Tucson and Phoenix, that the FBI had to shut down its sting, Operation Lively Green.
While those soldiers were being sentenced in recent months in Tucson, the Arizona National Guard announced its soldiers would be commanding an armed drone in Iraq by remote control from Tucson.
From Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, a unit controls the MQ-1B Predator, used for armed reconnaissance, surveillance and targeting in Iraq.
While Arizona media reported both stories about  the Arizona National Guard in Tucson -- cocaine running from the border and operating an armed, remote control drone in Iraq -- reporters didn't seem to notice the irony.
Arizona National Guardsmen ran cocaine in uniform in official vehicles, and even flew loads of cocaine in planes, to avoid being noticed, according to court documents.

The cocaine runners included a recruiting officer working in Tucson public schools.
The Guardsmen were not the only soldiers and law enforcement officials smuggling cocaine. During sentencing, nearly 100 others emerged, ranging from a Nogales police officer and a prison guard to US Air Force squadsmen at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson patrolling the border by air and smuggling cocaine.
Which brings us to the present, and the fact that Arizona National Guardsmen are helping build the border wall on the Tohono O'odham Nation. While an Indigenous Peoples' delegation was at the border on Tohono O'odham land, near San Miguel, on Nov. 8, 2007, the National Guardsmen were part of the crew building the wall.
This border wall construction has already been responsible for the contractor digging up the graves of the O'odham ancestors. Further, the border wall will be a barrier to the annual traditional ceremony, when O'odham normally walk across their traditional ancestral territory this spring.
Although the politicians call it a "vehicle barrier," it is still a barrier that disects the ancestral territory of the O'odham.
Now, Border Patrol agents, the alien invaders of the O'odham, are telling them they will have to have US passports to walk across their traditional homelands beginning in January. Many O'odham were born at home and do not have passports, or the means to purchase passports.
But you're not likely to read about this in the media. It remains one of the most censored issues.

About Brenda Norrell

Brenda Norrell has been a news reporter in Indian country for 34 years. She is publisher of Censored News, focusing on Indigenous Peoples, human rights and the US border. Censored News was created after Norrell was censored, then terminated, by Indian Country Today after serving as a longtime staff reporter. Now censored by the mainstream media, she previously was a staff reporter at numerous American Indian newspapers and a stringer for AP, USA Today and others. She lived on the Navajo Nation for 18 years, and then traveled with the Zapatistas. She covered the climate summits in Cochabamba, Bolivia, and Cancun, Mexico, in 2010.

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About Brenda Norrell

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Biography

Brenda Norrell has been a news reporter in Indian country for 34 years. She is publisher of Censored News, focusing on Indigenous Peoples, human rights and the US border. Censored News was created after Norrell was censored, then terminated, by Indian Country Today after serving as a longtime staff reporter. Now censored by the mainstream media, she previously was a staff reporter at numerous American Indian newspapers and a stringer for AP, USA Today and others. She lived on the Navajo Nation for 18 years, and then traveled with the Zapatistas. She covered the climate summits in Cochabamba, Bolivia, and Cancun, Mexico, in 2010.