Popular author and rancher, Ed Ashurst, has shined a bright light over the years on the Mexican cartels and the U.S. government which has refused to protect its citizens from them. At the “Calling Washington Home to the Border” event in Animas, New Mexico in early March, Ashurst’s brutal honesty caused some officials to squirm in their seats, and others to breathe sighs of relief.
A big man, with a commanding presence, Ashurst spoke of government cover-ups and the self-sabotage in a fiery voice that no one could ignore. Over 600 ranchers, law enforcement officials, and politicians sat rapt as he discussed his latest book Alligators in the Moat: Politics and the Mexican Border. In that book, Ashurst exposes the truth about the death of Border Patrol Nick Ivie. He explained that contrary to the government’s claim that Ivie was inadvertently killed by fellow agents, he was in fact, killed by drug smugglers. Border Patrol agents in attendance appeared stunned as Ashurst described a Cochise County Sheriff’s deputy’s report of Ivie’s murder at the hands of cartel mules.
Ashurst talked about the thousands of acres destroyed by fires set by illegal aliens who have never been brought to justice. He questioned a system that could allow those illegal entrants to walk away without consequence, but the Hammond family, could be punished not once – but twice- for “burning 140 acres of tumbleweeds.”
According to Ashurst, not only are the illegal entrant arsonists not facing justice, Border Patrol officials are trying their very best to keep agents hampered and unsuccessful at their jobs.
“As I speak right now there are outlaws crossing the international boundary south of Sierra Vista and they will ascend to the Huachuca Mountains and when they ascend they will see the lights of Tucson, Benson, Bisbee. Tombstone, Sierra Vista. When they descend they will cross a United States military base. They will cross within spitting distance with buildings that have Army intel officers working every day. That is a debacle and a crime. It is disgusting. Recently the Customs Border Patrol Commissioner said that any agent that doesn’t like Obama’s amnesty plan needs to look for another job. That’s a fact. The Border Patrol Intel director sent out a memo that deactivated all confidential informants. In other words -private citizens that are willing to give intel to the Border Patrol. Why?” Ashurst concluded, “He did that because he wants the border patrol to be unsuccessful.”
He touched on the fact that President Obama had cut 50 percent of the Agency’s budget for air support without the approval of Congress. Not only did the president not get their approval, he did not ask them. Ashurst believes the cuts to funding and new policies from the Obama administration are intended to diminish agents in the field. Ashurst pleaded with those in the audience to turn their blame to those in the administration rather than in the field.
“The highest elected officials in our land want the Border Patrol to be unsuccessful. Nobody in this room has been more critical and has a worse relationship with the Border Patrol than I do,” said Ashurst. “I am famous, but I stand here to say it is not their fault. There are a lot of patriotic, hardworking good agents on the force. And if you gathered up every agent in this room and threw them down and tied their hands behind their back you would not be cuffing them anymore than what is happening. It is planned. This disgusting plan comes from politicians in Washington D.C.”
Tying the hands of Border Patrol agents has put countless ranchers and citizens near the border at risk. However, with men like Ashurst fearlessly shining the light and speaking truth to power, the citizens have a fighting chance.