Friendly fire? Or is the FBI off target again with agent’s death?
Fallen Border Patrol agent Nicolas Ivie
Border Patrol agent Nicolas Ivie’s tragic death outside Naco, Arizona earlier this week should not be handled as a political football for Washington’s spin mills
On October 2, the desert was quiet, well lit under a day old full moon, when gunfire erupted. It’s been reported that three Border Patrol agents responded to a tripped ground sensor, set to warn agents of intruders north of the U.S. border. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) claims Border Patrol agents were somehow separated, took defensive positions and began shooting at one another under a dark Arizona night. At 1:30 am the moon would have been near its zenith and 95-98 percent brightness. It was not dark.
However, many agents are not buying the friendly-fire theory. “One of the first things agents learn when they attend the Border Patrol Academy is ‘situational awareness’ and knowing where their partners are located in relation to a possible smuggling scene,” according to a source that wishes to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation. “It’s also interesting that the FBI is not talking about the four sets of footprints, three heading south to Mexico and one set headed east toward highway 80 to Douglas.”
Carol Capas, spokesperson for the Cochise County Sheriff’s Department confirmed that agents were tracking footprints at the scene. And backing-up this story is a Reuters report a day after the murder that said, “Mexican troops arrested two men on Wednesday suspected of involvement in the killing of a U.S. Border Patrol agent shot dead in Arizona while responding to a tripped ground sensor, Mexican security officials said.” There are also reports that Mexican authorities found the body of another suspect dead, shot in the head twice, suicide they say.
“While it is important to emphasize that the FBI’s investigation is actively continuing, there are strong preliminary indications that the death of United States Border Patrol Agent Nicholas J. Ivie, 30 and the injury to a second agent were the result of an accidental shooting incident involving only the agents,” said FBI spokesperson James Turgal.
Why is the administration so quick to protect the cartels or smugglers as they did in the Brian Terry murder case? Terry was gunned down by Mexican rip crew bandits who often rob other smugglers or illegal immigrants crossing the border into the U.S. It’s been nearly two years since the December 2010 murder and the only thing that has been confirmed is two of the weapons recovered came from the failed gun walking program “Fast and Furious.” An under reported fact is FBI officials removed a third weapon at the murder scene because it belonged to one of their informants, which was allegedly not inventoried in the Terry case. (Link story) Why?
Those familiar with crime scene procedures agree the Terry murder scene was mishandled from the beginning.
Typically murder/crime scenes are cordoned off, extensively photographed, statements are taken and within a few days the autopsy is released to media – law enforcement pursues and arrests its perpetrator and a trial commences. Yet, two years later the Terry family is still waiting for answers? As the country watched the Obama administration try to distort the facts in the Fast and Furious scandal, the same figureheads are orchestrating the Ivie murder investigation. It’s important to remember the country is now less than a month away from Election Day and the political consequences could not be more important.
Additional unconfirmed reports in southern Arizona say Agent Ivie’s final radio transmission said; “we’re taking fire.” Another inconsistency with the friendly fire conclusion is the second agent Johnson was shot in the buttocks and ankle that suggests he was not facing the shooter. Also, if it were an instantaneous exchange of gunfire agent Ivie would not have been able to radio in to the station. According to reports yesterday agent Ivie died instantly with a gunshot would to the head.
Border Patrol agents typically carry a combination of 40 caliber semi-automatic handguns, 12-gage shotguns, M-16 or AR-15 type rifles, while the weapon of choice for smugglers is an AK-47 type rifle. A trained veteran agent would undoubtedly know the difference between the sounds of a handgun, rifle or AK-47. Gun experts have said the wounds to agent Ivie’s head would clearly show if an AK-47 or AR-15 killed agent Ivie.
Also a statement released today indicates a high-powered rifle and handgun were recovered near the scene of the shooting. What are the details surrounding these two “newly reported” weapons? When were they recovered and who exactly found them – information pertaining to the firearms has yet to be released.
Couple all that with the following statement by a fellow Arizona agent; “It was three of our guys checking a sensor and those f******s waited for our guys at the sensor and ambushed them. One had a rifle and the other two had handguns and opened fire. One dead… We busted 10 mules with 10 double bundles of drugs last week. Sounds like retaliation.”
Sheriff Babeau talked about numerous perils agents and law enforcement face on a daily basis. “Bersin and other high level cabinet members acknowledged that there are bounties placed on federal and even local law enforcement members by the drug cartels and (which is consistent with) what we have seen in Pinal County, which is 70 miles north of the border. (Read story here)
The FBI’s friendly fire narrative
On Thursday the FBI, began to leak the possibility of friendly fire. By Friday, mainstream media was reporting the FBI theory without question. Sound familiar?
As we know with the tragic murder of agent Brian Terry in December 2010, the friendly fire scenario was also used. Sources in Arizona believe the FBI may be using the friendly fire story to suppress evidence about this incident. Earlier in the week USA Today reported Cochise County Sheriff Department Commander Marc Denney’s opinion that “It was basically an ambush.”
Looks like the FBI investigators want the residents of Arizona to believe that Border Patrol agents are such rookies they would engage in a firefight with themselves. The FBI isn’t talking about the four sets of footprints. Was there another border patrol agent from the Douglas BP Station? Was there a drug smuggler who had a car nearby? Was he American or a Mexican national? Nobody at the FBI is talking.
Another lingering question that hasn’t been answered is why would the border patrol agents shoot first? The agents are taught to only return fire if they are under fire. There are strict rules of engagement within the border patrol. This rule ensures agents aren’t shooting without imminent danger and agents must account for any missing rounds in their magazines after each shift. Agents say this keeps them accountable.
Border Patrol was founded in 1924, and they have a proud history of not firing their weapons at each other, something the FBI wants to change. Another fact to remember is Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is trying to bring Border Patrol under their agency, something agents are vehemently against.
Nearly two years after agent Terry’s murder, the family, law enforcement and media still don’t have a comprehensive report. What was discovered was the fatally flawed “Fast and Furious” program operated by the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) a gun walking scheme where more than 2,000 high-powered firearms crossed the U.S./Mexico border and into the willing drug cartel hands.
“Leadership failed and everything I’ve learned as a rank-and-file police officer, Army private and field grade officer; whom ever is in charge is responsible in the end. Whether he knew it or whether he should have known, Eric Holder (the nation’s top cop at Main Justice) created an environment and a dynamic that resulted in the murder of not only one agent that we can prove, but also hundreds of Mexicans have been killed with Fast and Furious weapons. This guy was not held accountable; he has not resigned so he should be fired. I believe he, and others in the government, should be held accountable even criminally,” Sheriff Babeu concluded.
It’s also important to note that prior to Brian Terry’s murder in Peck Canyon, Border Patrol were engaged in several gunfights with drug smugglers. In 2009, another Border Patrol agent was wounded in Peck Canyon while engaged in a firefight with rip crews. And yet, agent Terry carried bean bag rounds in his weapon, reportedly a memo from DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano stated agents were to use less-than lethal force against smugglers.
The families of the fallen agents deserve to know the truth. They deserve to have the investigation unfold without the unmistakable aura of politics being played. If Americans can’t trust the integrity of law enforcement, who can they trust, NCIS Hollywood?
Whether this was friendly fire or enemy fire the families are entitled to the truth. The FBI’s track record seems to be faltering and agent Ivie’s death should not receive the ho hum, nothing is going on here political treatment. Arizonian’s are not buying Department of Homeland Security’s Secretary Janet Napolitano’s story, that the borders are secure, in fact, Cochise County still has murdered rancher, Rob Krentz’s death unsolved. The border fence is far from being finished in Cochise County, much of it remains barbed wire or no fence at all, according to Capas of the Sheriff’s Department.
Just like the recent 9/11 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, the government sought to blame the murders of four Americans on a YouTube video. It took more than a week for the White House to come clean and tell the American people what really unfolded.
Fellow Border Patrol agent Joel Ivie said his brother “was a hero.” And just like agents, Ivie and Terry, the Navy SEALs who died in Libya protecting fellow Americans from a terrorist attack, the families deserve the truth and transparency from their government, whether friendly or enemy. The truth will only prevail if all in law enforcement agencies abide by the “rule of law” 100 percent of the time. The truth is not an inconvenient alternative, it must prevail every time to preserve the trust and honor law enforcement is tasked to uncover.