FBI claims narcos want to nab cops?

The FBI has now weighed into the “drug cartel” problem along the U.S.-Mexico border by issuing a bulletin claiming there is an “immediate threat to law-enforcement personnel,” according to a front page story in today’s San Antonio Express-News.

From the story:

MEXICO CITY — The FBI warned all federal agents Friday that a Mexican drug cartel has 250 armed men on the border near Matamoros and is planning to kidnap two federal agents in the United States and smuggle them into Mexico where they will be murdered.

The FBI office in San Antonio declined to discuss the source of the information, but issued a written bulletin warning of an "immediate threat to law-enforcement personnel."

The bulletin goes on to say the "extremely violent" drug-smuggling organization known as the Gulf Cartel already sent a contingent that are believed to have valid visas to enter the United States.

"Due to the nature of this immediate threat, all law-enforcement personnel are being cautioned to ensure appropriate measures are taken as well as to keep a high degree of vigilance," the bulletin states.

Rene Salinas, a spokesman for the FBI in San Antonio, said the information is "uncorroborated," but that federal agents and police are being told to use extra caution.

Salinas stresses that “the FBI bulletin ‘is law-enforcement sensitive’ and not intended for the public,” the Express-News reports.

Well, someone leaked the bulletin to the media. Coming on the heels of the orchestrated narco-paranoia stories published earlier this week by the New York Times and Washington Post and the travel advisory issued in the wake of the newspaper stories by the U.S. State Department, it sure does sound like someone might be unleashing a media propaganda campaign.

Why would narco-traffickers hatch a plot to randomly kidnap and murder federal agents? The same question was raised with respect to why narco-traffickers would kidnap and murder innocent American citizens, without seeking ransom, in a story Al Giordano and I penned earlier this week.

What possible gain is there in such a cockeyed scheme? All it would do is bring more heat down on the dopers' operations. Even a narco-trafficking organization has the common sense not to commit an act of open war against the military might of the U.S. government.

But could there be another explanation for the warning. Maybe the FBI itself is trying to drum up a media frenzy to legitimatize actions it wants to take in Mexico, or to open the door for more direct interference in Mexican affairs by the White House?

There is ample precedent for such FBI manipulation of the U.S. media. Documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and detailed in a story by a weekly newspaper in Texas shine a light on the practice. The story tracks the history of a national FBI operation targeting alleged insurance fraud related to staged auto accidents.

From the story:

The FOIA documents show the FBI operation was designed from the start to exploit media coverage. The operation was conceived and implemented over a one-and-a-half-year period (November 1993 to May 1995) and was structured to culminate in a single media event on a single day, referred to as a "national takedown" day, the FOIA documents show. Takedown day involved the coordination of 41 FBI field offices nationwide in executing Operation Sudden Impact-related raids, warrants, indictments and press announcements on May 24, 1995. A Dec. 1, 1993, memo from FBI headquarters to the field offices concerning Operation Sudden Impact states the following:

"It is recognized that (FBI) field offices will be at various stages of their investigation at the takedown date. It is believed that each office will most likely still be in a position to contribute significantly to the takedown event. At the culmination of this initiative, field offices may choose to participate by executing arrests or search warrants, announcing indictments, or announcing recorded convictions. Prior to this event, the media packages will be prepared by (FBI headquarters) and distributed to field office media representatives."

The coordinated media push planned for takedown day involved the distribution of a boiler-plate press release drafted at FBI headquarters and provided to the local field offices.

"Field offices are encouraged to prepare their own media release and as a guide, the FBI National Press Office has prepared the following draft copy of a media release for the May 24 takedown," states a May 19, 1995, memo from FBI headquarters to the field offices.

The boiler-plate press release outlined the details of Operation Sudden Impact and included figures on the number of individuals targeted as well as pre-packaged quotes from the director of the FBI, Louis Freeh.

The local field offices also were encouraged to coordinate "local press conferences with their respective United States Attorney's Office and participating state and local agencies," according to a May 4, 1995, memo from FBI headquarters to the field offices.

"Field offices are reminded to include in their media release those investigative agencies that have supported the FBI in this initiative," the memo states. "The National Insurance Crime Bureau has been instrumental to many of these cases and NICB (a private, insurance-industry funded investigative group) has for distribution material and video tapes that may be of value to field offices during preparation of media statements and/or live media coverage."

The field offices also were told to time searches for the takedown day to the hour (11:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time). Mention is also made in the FOIA documents of important pending legislation that would benefit the FBI and of the desire of the FBI to establish itself as a major player in the investigation of health care fraud.

"This initiative (Sudden Impact) through the diligent efforts of the participating field offices has served to further establish the FBI as a law enforcement agency actively involved in combating health care fraud," states the May 4, 1995, memo. "Congressional leadership also recognizes the bureau's capabilities in investigating complex health care fraud cases and legislation has been introduced that would provide the FBI and all law enforcement with improved investigative tools, better criminal statutes and investigative resources."

The chest thumping is also evident in an Aug. 31, 1994, memo directed from FBI headquarters to the field offices:

"Only the FBI has the capacity of approaching a serious crime problem as identified in Operation Sudden Impact in such a comprehensive and effective manner."

As a result of the propaganda blitzkrieg orchestrated by the FBI, the nation's media were played like the keys of a grand piano on takedown day, May 24, 1995. At least 20 major daily newspapers across the country -- from USA Today, the Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times to the San Antonio Express-News, the San Francisco Chronicle and the Philadelphia Inquirer -- ran with the story as the FBI intended, according to a ... search of electronic news archives; much of the coverage involved little more than rewritten versions of the boiler-plate FBI press release, according to a ... content analysis of the articles. In San Antonio, five local TV stations aired a total of eight separate segments on the raids ....

So, is the recent narco “bulletin” issued by the FBI for real, or is it just another attempt to play the grand piano for the benefit of yet another inaugural gala? According to the Express-News story, U.S. Embassy spokesman Jim Dickmeyer assures us it is the former:

"People do not do this for political reasons, they do it for security reasons," Dickmeyer said. "No one is trying to be alarmist."

Well, if it is really about security, why issue a bulletin (that is subsequently leaked to the press) announcing that there is a plot afoot to kidnap and murder federal agents along the border – a plot the FBI became aware of based on an “uncorroborated” source?

Now if you really wanted to find out if that source was right, and get at the people behind the supposed plot, would you announce to the world that you were looking for the perpetrators? Or might you do some real police work first, to investigate who’s behind the alleged plot (so the perps don’t have the chance to scurry back into the shadows, to hatch the plot on another day)?

I think we all know the answer to that question.

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