If there were a competition within the Obama administration for the most clueless cabinet member, it would be a more exciting contest than the NFL playoffs or the NCAA tourney. Unquestionably, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano would get a 1-seed. Her latest:
The Obama administration's approach to U.S.-Mexico border security "is working," Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said on Monday, and anyone who suggests otherwise is "misstating the facts and unfairly politicizing border issues."
Speaking at the University of Texas at El Paso, Napolitano hailed the administration's Southwest Border Initiative for strengthening the border "in a way that many would not have thought possible." She also described in detail the administration's "smart and effective approach" to enforcing immigration laws throughout the country.
At the same time, Napolitano admitted the administration is "deeply concerned" about the violent Mexican drug cartels that are trying to undermine the rule of law in northern Mexico. "So today I say to the cartels: Don't even think about bringing your violence and tactics across this border. You will be met by an overwhelming response. And we're going to continue to work with our partners in Mexico to dismantle and defeat you."
While the U.S. "must guard against spillover effects into the United States," Napolitano said it "is inaccurate to state, as too many have, that the border is overrun with violence and out of control. "This statement?often made only to score political points?is just plain wrong," Napolitano said. "Not only does it ignore all of the statistical evidence, it also belittles the significant progress that effective law enforcement has made to protect this border and the people who live alongside it."
Napolitano's self-congratulation comes on the heels of a somewhat different analysis of the situation. That description came from Arizona's Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu:
Babeu said Napolitano's claim was "not surprising." But he also said her remarks did not reflect conditions on the ground in Arizona, where in the last two years the amount of illegal drugs entering the state that have been confiscated by local authorities has doubled, and the number of pursuits of criminal illegal aliens has tripled.
"Why isn't the secretary of Homeland Security speaking to these threats?" Babeu asked in a telephone interview with CNSNews.com. "Why does she keep trying to convince us through argument that everything is just fine to the point that she's trying to hypnotize us into believing this crap."
The National Sheriffs' Association cited in its press release that Babeu "has earned both statewide and national attention for his strong stance against illegal immigration." The release said that Babeu's "stance and actions against those responsible for drug and human trafficking has earned him the distinction as one of ?America's Toughest Sheriffs on Illegal Immigration.'"
In her Thursday address at George Washington University, Napolitano said DHS's efforts have been "relentless and effective" and that the agency's priority continues to be "the removal of criminal aliens who pose a danger to public safety and national security." But Babeu said the Obama administration's strategy on border security is "unacceptable" and is not working.
"[Napolitano] continues this mantra of everything is just fine; unprecedented resources have been added; the border's more secure than ever before," Babeu said. "She does not speak to the fact that more people this past fiscal year came through the Tucson section of Arizona and across our border than were apprehended."
So who ya gonna trust on what's happening down there? The recently named "Sheriff of the Year" who is actually on the ground along the border...or Janet Napolitano's officially scripted statements from her cushy office in Washington, D.C.? Exactly.