Monday, July 9, 2012

Bean Bags: Did Brian Terry face the same life-threatening restrictions as coalition troops in Afghanistan?

Last week, I noted the following:
British soldiers say that new procedural tactics implemented by the Obama administration in Afghanistan has resulted in a huge spike in military casualties.

The number of British soldiers being shot dead in Afghanistan is spiraling as new tactics ban them from shooting at the Taliban until they are fired at themselves...

Soldiers blame efforts to slash the number of civilian casualties ordered by the US general in command of Coalition forces, [General John Allen].

Troops... said they are now more vulnerable at road-junction checkpoints or while patrolling Taliban heartlands.

One corporal said: “When I arrived in Helmand, my officers said our tactics were going to change. They said if I saw somebody carrying a rifle or a rocket launcher, I shouldn’t fire at him. Only if he shot at me or a member of my patrol, and I could see a muzzle flash, could I use my weapon.
And now, the question arises: Are Border patrol agents in the U.S. receiving similar suicidal directives from the Obama administration?

Federal officials revealed on Monday that Border Patrol agent Brian Terry and an elite squad of federal agents initially fired bean bags -- not bullets -- at a group of heavily armed Mexican drug cartel bandits along the Arizona-Mexico border in December 2011, Fox News reported. Terry was shot and killed, during the exchange.

Likewise, Fox News reported in March of 2011 as follows:
"When the suspected aliens did not drop their weapons, two Border Patrol agents deployed ‘less than lethal' beanbags at the suspected aliens,” according to a FBI search warrant request filed in the U.S. District Court in Tucson on Dec. 29...

The warrant appears to support claims made by Terry’s brother, Kent, and former U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo that Terry’s team -- part of the U.S. Border Patrol Tactical Unit, also known as BORTAC -- was under standing orders to always use bean-bag rounds first before using live ammunition.

"There was a group of four guys with my brother and two had lethal and two had non-lethal weapons there," Kent Terry told Fox News Friday...

One expert insists the order has been applied to at least all BORTAC teams in Arizona – if not the entire Border Patrol.

“That order stemmed from the incident on the El Paso-Juarez border in which an agent discharged a sidearm to defend himself from rock throwers,” said Andy Ramirez, founder of the advocacy group Friends of the Border Patrol. Ramirez was referring to a June shooting that left a 15-year-old Mexican boy dead.

Mexico was outraged at the incident, so Victor Manjarrez Jr., then chief of Border Patrol’s Tuscon sector, “acquiesced by ordering agents to use non-lethal loads,” Ramirez said...

Ramirez said regardless of whether the men were ordered to use the bean bags, the simple fact that a Border Patrol tactical team was armed with bean bag ammunition at all was “asinine.”

“BORTAC is like a SWAT unit; they’re our most highly trained, specialized unit of agents. These guys go in when we have a serious problem. It would be like sending a SWAT team into a bust with bean bags. ... They were outgunned by far.”
Sadly, the Obama administration has sent Brian Terry and his border patrol colleagues into the thick of battle armed with bean bags.

And, in all likelihood, Terry would still be alive today, were it not for this "asinine" and perilous 'bean bag' policy. Nevertheless, we still need to know whether U.S. border patrol agents are under strict orders to rely solely, and exclusively, on their beanbag weaponry until they are fired at themselves.

Is the administration giving them the same restrictive and suicidal directives that they have given to the NATO forces in Afghanistan?

Terry’s brother, Kent, and former U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo, say, 'yes'. They are, in all likelihood, correct.