1. Dear Drugs-Forum readers: We are a small non-profit that runs one of the most read drug information & addiction help websites in the world. We serve over 4 million readers per month, and have costs like all popular websites: servers, hosting, licenses and software. To protect our independence we do not run ads. We take no government funds. We run on donations which average $25. If everyone reading this would donate $5 then this fund raiser would be done in an hour. If Drugs-Forum is useful to you, take one minute to keep it online another year by donating whatever you can today. Donations are currently not sufficient to pay our bills and keep the site up. Your help is most welcome. Thank you.
  1. Balzafire
    This weekend a story about two ranches near Laredo, Texas being overrun by the infamous Los Zetas drug cartel spread through the internet like a California grass fire. The story went so far as to call the intrusion "an act of war" against the United States.

    After checking several credible sources, the story was concluded as being false according to US Border Watch president Curtis Collier. Collier stated, "We have checked our contacts in the Laredo area including media contacts, Laredo Police, Webb County Sheriff's Office and the Texas Department of Public Safety. All sources confirm this story is inaccurate."

    Collier continued, "We will continue to monitor this story for any further developments, but for now consider this issue closed."

    Contacts in the Laredo DPS office stated, "We have not heard about this story, but if something like that was going on, we would be supporting the Webb County Sheriff's Department. Everything is normal in Laredo, Texas."

    Webb County Sheriff's office stated, "We have been inundated with calls on this matter. We have received no 911 calls related to this. There is nothing going on in our county at this time."

    It appears all is well in Laredo, Texas... For now.

    By Bob Price at Jul 26, 2010 12:00 PM


  1. Balzafire
    Here is more:

    Invasion USA: What's wrong with Loredo?

    Tell Chuck Norris to stand down. Invasion USA never happened.


    I contacted both the Laredo Police Department and the Webb County Sheriff yesterday and debunked claims that Los Zetas gunmen from the Gulf Cartel has crossed the border from Mexico and took over two ranches in Texas. The Laredo Morning News also refuted the claim. Pro 8 News, the NBC affiliate, didn’t think enough of the absurdity to even comment on it… they found the installation of a new traffic light more newsworthy.

    Absurdly, the same trio of sites that cried wolf are still sticking by their story, utter lack of credible evidence aside.

    Cypress News publisher John G. Winder is sticking with the story, not because any additional evidence has been produced, but because the two sources for his version of the story, blog Digger’s Realm and Examiner.com’s San Diego (CA) County Political Buzz Examiner blogger Kimberly Dvorak are standing by their militiamen and anonymous police sources.

    The original Cypress Times story? A re-publication of the original Digger’s Realm story.

    The Digger’s Realm story? Two anonymous Laredo police sources and a San Diego California Minuteman named Jeff Schwilk who claims he got his information from… an anonymous Laredo PD officer.

    San Diego County Poltical Buzz Examiner Kimberly Dvorak? She claims her information also comes from two anonymous Laredo PD sources.

    Are we noticing a pattern here? Every bit of of this claim, which has now scattered far and wide across the Internet, can be traced back to two anonymous police department sources of a police department that does not even have jurisdiction where the alleged invasion is taking place.

    I invite Digger and Kimberly Dvorak to provide me with the names and contact information of their anonymous police sources. Perhaps the officers will provide me with the answers to two simple questions that neither blogger has apparently thought to establish yet.

    * What are the physical addresses of the two ranches Los Zetas are said to have taken over?
    * What are the names of the ranchers that have been displaced from their ranches by Los Zetas?

    It seems rather odd that the stories promoting this claim say that people were forced out, but that neither has thought to name, locate, or try to interview the best possible eyewitnesses. That is what you would expect from competent journalists. We’re not seeing it here.

    Instead, we’re offered a conspiracy theory where law enforcement at every level, the media, and the citizens of Webb County are conspiring to cover up an invasion by a handful of drug dealers.
    * * *

    As bizarre as the Invasion of Laredo is as a story, the most disappointing thing about it thus far isn’t that a handful of conspiracy theorists could concoct such a story, but that our federal government has created the conditions for such a flight of fancy to appear absolutely possible.

    We are a nation governed by generations of Republicans and Democrats that desire an open border for nefarious political reasons, led by a President, U.S. Attorney General, and Congress that do not every pretend to care about the lives of American citizens or the sovereignty of our nation. We are citizens abandoned, adrift, and worried about our future, threatened by a very real and very violent war between Mexican authorities and powerful drug cartels.

    Given all this context, all the evidence of failure of a government unwilling to protect our national sovereignty or our citizens, and it isn’t difficult to understand how a story like the Laredo ranch invasion seems entirely plausible.

    Barack Obama, Janet Napolitano and Eric Holder have failed us. This invasion may have been a hoax, but at the same time, it serves as a very real reflection of their incompetence.

    by Bob Owens 07/27/2010
  2. TheUnicorn
    This just goes to show the power of both scare-moungering, and the internet.
  3. Balzafire
    [h2]Update from US Border Watch on Laredo Los Zetas Story[/h2]
    The US Border Watch investigation continues into the story, or non-story about the alleged takeover of two Laredo area ranches. To this point, all direct confirmations indicate the story did not happen. We still have a couple of loose ends to tie up and hope to do that soon.

    The real story is, why is this a story and more importantly, why is it a believable story? The reason it is believable: The American people have lost faith in the government to secure our country from attack. Even though this story appears to be false, it is VERY believable.

    Here is what does appear to be true at this time. It does appear there was a call to the Webb County Sheriff's Office for some reported trouble that the sheriff’s department responded to. I have not been able to talk to the Sheriff's Office about the details of that call. It appears the response to the call was a brief investigation by US Border Patrol and the Webb County Sheriff's Office. Most likely the Texas DPS as well. The result of the investigation is that nothing was wrong. Perhaps the call was in response to gunfire being heard from across the river. I have not yet been able to confirm this.

    We have been invited to come check this out for ourselves by the Laredo Police Department. They told us they would welcome our visit and show us whatever we need to see. Arrangements for this trip are ongoing at this time.

    As more information develops, I will keep you posted as promised.

    By Bob Price at Jul 27, 2010 5:27 PM
  4. Balzafire
    [h1]ADVISORY: Los Zetas Ranch Occupation Story Is Probably Bogus[/h1]
    Friends of ALIPAC, bloggers, leaders, and members of the media,

    As the primary focal point of information flows regarding the borders and illegal immigration, ALIPAC has both released astounding information to the public that was verified and we have stopped stories that were fakes.

    Many of you will remember the fake Shawna Ford photos, and some other false stories and rumors that ALIPAC took steps to quell.

    Today, we are issuing an advisory that the story being circulated on many blogs titled “Mexican Cartels Invade Texas” or “LOS ZETAS TAKES OVER TEXAS RANCHES” that was written by blogger Dan Amato aka Digger is unconfirmed. In fact, it is starting to look like it is completely false.

    While we will hold the door open for the possibility there’s some fire with this smoke, the story claims that the paramilitary drug and alien importing gang Los Zetas had invaded our side of the border and taken over several ranches in the US thus sending the American occupants running for their lives.

    In the past, materials from Dan Amato were welcome at ALIPAC, but his materials are no longer allowed in our archives after we observed Digger writing and attempting to publicize false information on multiple occasions.

    The current story he has circulated has not been confirmed using any of the standards or practices we would use, or any professional would use, to verify before releasing such claims.

    Claiming that military grade forces have actually seized US territory is not a matter that should be treated lightly. The threat of that happening is very real and the intense and costly reaction to such an incident is nothing to take chances with. Dan Amato took a lot of chances and ran a story that was just a rumor.

    Now we have reports from local law enforcement, local media, and citizens who live in the area Digger claims is under Los Zeta occupation and they all say there’s nothing like that happening in the area.

    While ALIPAC has documented, and fought against, many legitimate media blackouts on stories like these, we are not seeing the usual patterns that we have experienced before around this story. This coupled with the fact that Digger of Digger’s Realm BLOG acted on complete hearsay from a lone second hand source might indicate that a media blackout is not the true problem.

    We will advise everyone, if this story changes or actual verification or evidence surfaces.

    Until then we are advising everyone not to post or circulate the unverified claims by Digger that Los Zetas has taken over ranches in Texas.

    Furthermore, no new materials by Dan Amato or Digger’s Realm are allowed in ALIPAC’s archives because those materials do not meet our quality standards and we have a big problem with groups or individuals who make sensational claims without proper verification and confirmation that our readers and activists would expect.

    The ALIPAC Team 07/27/2010
  5. Balzafire
    Zeta Invasion Rumors Die Like Vampires


    The rumor spread like wildfire and then died like the Edward Cullen character in the movie "Twilight" (yet even in the light of day, it actually still hasn't died). Mid-morning this past Saturday a web site (referring to itself as an on-line publisher) claimed that Texas had been invaded. More specifically, the article claimed that two ranches on the American side of the border in Laredo Texas had been overtaken by Los Zetas. The real issue here is that even after denials, these people still insist that the event happened.

    The scary thing is, it's as if some people actually want to believe there's a media conspiracy. They would actually rather hear their news from people who reinforce their beliefs. Opposing viewpoints be damned. And in the case of the drug cartels taking over ranches in Laredo, they apparently aren't even that interested in the truth.

    It is true that in the past, Los Zetas and other Mexican nationals have crossed the U.S.-Mexico border. These incursions have concerned many people in the U.S. government and along the border. It is also true that Los Zetas have established training camps on the U.S. side of the border (this really isn't new news). It is also true that the border violence, especially in Ciudad Juarez has resulted in bullets fired across the border and recently striking the El Paso city hall. Further, it is true that teenagers associated with the drug cartels are members of street gangs and now even populate some high schools in Texas.

    It is not true that two ranches in Laredo Texas were taken over by Los Zetas this past weekend.

    Some in the blog world have cited the lack of coverage by their foils, the traditional media, as proof that "something was going on." Others have claimed that because local law enforcement did not respond to their inquiries, there was something going on.

    It is not true that two ranches in Laredo Texas were taken over by Los Zetas this past weekend.

    Los Zetas are dangerous and deadly. They behead and dismember their targets. Yes, Los Zetas are rogues with an objective of overtaking the drug cartels and inserting themselves firmly into the game of the drug war (actually, they already are a factor). It is true that Los Zetas and elements of other drug cartels have exerted influence in places like Austin Texas.

    It is not true that two ranches in Laredo Texas were taken over by Los Zetas this past weekend.

    As early as 2005 there were publicized incursions across the border by Los Zetas. If we need only one reason to secure the border, it should be to keep the violent elements of Mexico's drug cartel war out of the United States. But it could well be too late.

    Maybe it is, but I don't consider this a function or matter of the extreme conservative blog world making a non-issue into a major event, even in the face of denials and facts to the contrary.

    But officials with the Laredo Police Department, Webb County Sheriff's Department and Border Patrol said they knew nothing about such an incident, while Erik Vasys, an FBI spokesman in San Antonio, said the agency does not comment on rumors. "The public would be the first to know if anything was going on," said Webb County Sheriff Martin Cuellar on Sunday afternoon. "Our deputies went out there and talked to ranch owners in the area and found nothing."

    Someone even "tweeted" me that "We in TX are routinely getting hit with gun fire coming from Mexico side war," It's pretty easy to talk about things happening from a distance. Well, this "tweeter" lives in North Texas, approximately 500 miles from where I sit right now (if you aren't concerned with the speed limit I sit about 2 hours from Laredo).

    Fear mongering for what purpose? Certainly, the weekend before Arizona SB1070 is supposed to go into effect has nothing to do with it, right? Distracting everyone from the real issues of border security and immigration enforcement is not a productive thing to do.

    By Jay Fraser on July 28, 2010
  6. Balzafire
    [h1]Right-Wingers Stand By Their Fabricated Mexican Drug Cartel Raid Story[/h1]

    According to anonymously-sourced reports pushed by right-wing blogs last weekend, members of Mexico's notorious Zetas drug gang crossed the border into Texas and, "in what could be deemed an act of war," seized two ranches near the border town of Laredo. The situation was dire, wingers warned, but a government enforced media blackout kept knowledge of the raid from the general public.


    No, not really.

    Here's the thing: the "raid" never happened.

    The story originated with Jeff Schwilk, the founder of the anti-immigration San Diego Minutemen. In an interview with TPM, Schwilk said he has a friend who has a friend in the Laredo, Texas police department. According to Schwilk, the Laredo PD source contacted Schwilk's friend late on July 23, saying "some big stuff was going down."

    "He was mad, he was upset" that the media was not covering the incident, Schwilk said. "They were waiting for the feds to come in."

    Schwilk, who calls his group "basically an intelligence center" and "a news source without a news outlet," sent the tip to Dan Amato, also known as Digger, who blogged the news on his website, citing Schwilk, at 4:11 a.m. on July 24. Amato wrote:

    The bloodbath continues along our southern border and now word is coming in that Los Zetas, the highly trained killers formerly with the Gulf Cartel, have crossed into the United States and taken over at least two ranches in the Laredo, Texas area. I am receiving word that the owners of the ranches have evacuated without being harmed. The source is law enforcement in the area.

    Hours later, at 11:18 a.m., writing for examiner.com, Kimberly Dvorak "confirmed" the report with "two sources inside the Laredo Police Department."

    In what could be deemed an act of war against the sovereign borders of the United States, Mexican drug cartels have seized control of at least two American ranches inside the U.S. territory near Laredo, Texas.

    The story spread. Michelle Malkin, Breitbart.tv and the Jawa Report picked it up, among others. The report raged on Twitter. The Laredo police department was flooded with calls.

    But as local reports suggested and TPM confirmed, law enforcement in the area had no idea where the bogus story came from.

    "Basically everyone was shrugging their shoulders," Joe Baeza, an investigator and public affairs officer with the Laredo Police Department, told TPM. "There was no proof or evidence that was found."

    Baeza was puzzled by what any potential Zeta invaders would even want with the land they supposedly took over. The land is in "strategic proximity to nothing, when they have all sorts of availability of ways to get into the country beside the one piece of land."

    "The really strange part is that nobody believed the locals," Baeza said. Dan Amato, Schwilk and others have decried a supposed media blackout, but Baeza pointed to a local paper and NBC affiliate, both of which had debunked the story.

    And furthermore, the ranches where the raid supposedly took place aren't even within the Laredo police department's jurisdiction, so there is no reason to believe department personnel would have responded to an incident there.

    The local law enforcement agency that would have responded if the Zetas had actually invaded is the Webb County sheriff's office. They too, were baffled, if not outright frustrated, by the reports. The sheriff's office's public information officer Maru De La Paz told TPM the story was "nothing but a rumor" and "there is nothing of that sort happening." And what about the source in the Laredo police department? "The Laredo police department has no jurisdiction" over the ranch land in question, she said.

    So are the creators of the story backing down? No way. Amato has continued to blog the story, treating it as a cover-up. He hasn't responded to TPM's request for comment. Dvorak responded to our e-mail by saying: "I stand by my source and story and an update is forthcoming." Schwilk said the report had been confirmed by "dozens of people," but that "the government doesn't want this stuff getting out."

    Others on the right, however, are disavowing the story. Michelle Malkin amended her original post with an update that reads: "Updated: No US ranch seizures, 51 bodies discovered in Monterrey," while Bob Owens at Big Government is taking the Laredo police department at their word and says it "never happened."

    Eric Lach July 30, 2010
  7. Balzafire
    Balz's note: ....and for those who can't get enough of this story; The following opinion from a blogger.

    (Cocksucker)#421 - JEFF SCHWILK

    Not only should it be kept in mind that the GOP Cocksuckers only care about two things, money and their own asses, but they have a lot of little giveaway quirks that they will display with pride:

    A. Ignorance (which people used to be ashamed of.)
    B. A touching faith in the free market to solve all problems that recalls a little girl and Santa Claus. (Thereby giving us such things as massive corruption and huge cost overruns in Iraq as they outsource everything to the 'free market.)
    C. A conviction just as powerful as their faith in the free market that government is not just bad, but evil. (Which causes our most experienced civil servants to leave government, leaving us with political hacks like Heckuva Job Brownie.)
    D. A readiness to believe everything but the truth. (Which explains the following story.)
    E. Authenticity is better than competence. (Which explains why you should pull the lever for the other guy if one of them campaigns as a 'real' workingman/soldier/pastor.)
    F, A suspicion that everyone thinks they are 'better' than they are.(Like they set the bar really high, for starters.)
    G. A simmering racism that they think no one else sees. (Then they deny they are racists, when they get caught.)
    H, That they can do anything better than people who do it for a living. (The entire Teabagger movement reminds me of that loudmouth neighbor who, when he hears of problems with your pipes, says, "Aw, you don't need a plumber. Where's a wrench?" And then proceeds to flood your basement.)
    I. Their inability to admit error. (It's true. They fuck up constantly and never admit it. Remember when the Drunken Frat Boy was asked at the end of his term if there was anything he thought he should have handled differently and he said he couldn't think of a single thing?)
    J. A willingness to wreck government in order to prove their dumb belief that government doesn't work. (Never admit it, I said.)

    There are more, such as , or their belief that most people are total rubes who can be made to believe ANYTHING or their weird propensity to copy the leftist organizations they claim to hate, but that's another topic; the lettered are the main ones that account for Types like Schwilk.

    Schwilk describes himself as a "news source without a news outlet," One of his friends who has ANOTHER friend in the Laredo Police Department tells Schwilk that Los Zetas, the drug cartel in Mexico, has taken over two ranches in the area of Laredo, Texas and forced the owners to flee for their lives. The writer of a right-wing blog, Dan Amato, known as 'Digger,' hears it from Schwilk and runs with it.

    He is followed by:
    Kimberly Dvorak
    Michelle Malkin
    Jawa Report

    Also, the subject gets batted around on Twitter.

    Trouble is, it wasn't true.

    Los Zetas had NOT seized two ranches in the Laredo area, nor anywhere else on the border. It wasn't even in the Laredo PDs jurisidiction, so how a member of the PD would even have responded to an incident there is inexplicable. The agency that DOES have jurisdiction is the Webb County Sheriff's Department and it is going "Huh?" to the furor. WCSD has no complaints, no incident reports, no nothing. The local newspaper and the local NBC affiliate both say the story is nothing more than a rumor. Furthermore, strategically, the land is worthless if you wanted to sneak across the border.

    Rule D, however, was firmly in effect.

    As more and more information comes in, Malkin and others who want to be taken seriously, back down from the non-story, in a classic example of Rules H and I, though, 'Digger' is still screaming that it's true and that there is a cover-up in progress. 'Digger' is enraged that the mainstream media will not cover his 'story.' Meanwhile, TPM Muckraker is referring to the entire incident as 'Red (Tamale) Dawn.'


    With thanks to TPM Muckraker.

    S. Olson
    Posted by S. Olson at 6:58 PM

To make a comment simply sign up and become a member!