Did Esequiel Hernandez Jr. Die in Vain?

Here is what happened the last time we “militarized” the uS border with Mexico. Apparently the answer to the question is, yes. — jtl, 419

by Dr Jimmy T (Gunny) LaBaume

This obviously irritated, frustrated and angered him. He demanded, “Just answer the question! How long? A couple of days? A week? How long?” Persisting for the sake of preserving my privacy, “Well, I don’t know–a couple of days maybe (actually it had been 3 weeks). Why do you want to know all of this?”

Now, most any prudent man would realize that anyone (in his right mind) doing something illegal is not likely to stand up to authority in this manner. Why would he want to attract such unwanted attention? I believe this Customs Agent is a prudent man, but I had challenged his authority. How dare some common, low-life civilian question his authority to ask anything that he wants to ask! He was determined to make me pay for my insolence and blatant disrespect. “Pull right over there to one of those tables and step out of the vehicle.” I stepped out of the vehicle with a copy of a little booklet entitled The US Constitution and Interesting Facts About It.

One of the agents that approached the vehicle ask the same question again, “How long have you been in Mexico?” I said, “Look, I am a United States Citizen. I am not carrying anything taxable or illegal. I have not been any place that is illegal to be. I am not going any place that it is illegal to go. I do not do anything for a living that is illegal to do. And that is all you need to know about me. That is because I believe if mankind has ever set his hand to a truly divinely inspired document, this is it (holding up the Constitution booklet)!”

I continued, “ I frequently hear people say, ‘if you don’t have anything to hide, then you shouldn’t mind.’ I don’t buy that–not for a minute! The average law abiding, hard working, tax paying citizen has sat idly by while his rights have deteriorated to the level of those of a police state. While, at the same time, violent criminals are roaming the streets because they know how to demand their rights. It is high time, beginning here and now, that those of us who have nothing to hide also begin to stand up for our rights. So again, why are you asking me all of these personal questions?”

The only reply I could get was that such questions were a routine part of their “investigation.” What investigation? Was I a suspect being questioned? If so, do I not have a right to have an attorney present? Is the answer to that question not clearly found in the Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the Constitution? Was I not supposed to be informed of that right before questioning? Did the Miranda case not clarify that?

These are all rhetorical questions with two answers: (1) constitutionally, as our founding fathers intended, yes or course; (2) according to generally accepted “investigative” procedures currently being employed by law enforcement (and upheld by corrupt judges),  no way!

When the two agents began to search my vehicle, I inquired, “Are you guys sure you don’t need a search warrant to do this?” The inspector answered directly and without hesitation, “Yes, we’re sure,” and continued his search, uninterrupted. What ever happened to the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution?

At some point prior to this, the same inspector had told me that “A lot of people don’t know this, but you are really not in the United States right here (in the port of entry). This actually ‘no man’s land.” That’s when I ask, “Are you telling me that, as long as I am standing right here, I have no rights?”

The answer was some sort of incoherent mumble. Due to the “heat of battle” it is very difficult to remember the exact sequence of events, but I think this was about where he disappeared only to reappear a short time later with his supervisor in tow (that’s the way all good “Fourth Branch” bureaucrats keep their ass covered). The supervisor said, “I understand that you have some questions about our procedures.” I answered, “No, I don’t have any questions.” He thanked me and promptly left. I chastised the officer, “What did you go get him for? He ain’t nothin’ but just another (expletive deleted) bureaucrat–you of all people should know that!” That elicited a smile–we had began to communicate.

It was along about this point where I informed the inspectors of my having been around the United States Marine Corps, off and on, for 35 years (since 1962) and that I am a veteran of two wars (Vietnam and Desert Storm). Consequently, there should be no doubt in anybody’s mind that I love my country. However, I recently quit the Marine Corps less than two years short of retirement–I simply got to the point that I could no longer, with a clear conscience, support what my country’s government has evolved into. A mockery has been made of the Constitution. It has been drug through the mud, folded, spindled, and mutilated until it is no longer recognizable–and I simply can not support that.

One of the inspectors had also been a Marine. So as any two “Jarheads” will, we promptly entered into an exchange of opinions about the myriad of current problems besetting the Corps (as well as every other branch of America’s military) mostly in the name of “political correctness.” That is when and how I learned of the tragic murder of Esequiel Hernandes Jr.

Jesus Sanchez’ letter to the editor in the May 29 issue of the Presidio International called for “the Marine murder (of Esequiel Hernandez Jr. to) be condemned and spend his life in jail.” It also implies that this tragic event has some sort of racial overtones. Yes Jesus, a heinous crime has been committed. But it was not a crime against any particular race. It was a crime against all races–all men who aspire to be free–and the young Marine at the scene did not commit it! How might this be? Although all we can do at this point is speculate, let’s take a look at how each of the players might have viewed his particular circumstance.

It is easy to imagine how Esequiel might have perceived the situation. He is tending to his own business, on private property, then suddenly he comes face to face with strange intruders. Most all of us who grew up in rural areas are quick to defend our lives, our families and our property. Perhaps that is what was in his mind. Or, perhaps he was shooting at a rabbit and didn’t even realize that he was shooting in the direction of well camouflaged Marines.

On the other hand, one of the “intruders” is a young Marine (who is also of Hispanic decent) and only a couple of years older than Esequiel. He is only where he was ordered to be and doing what he was ordered to do–and he simply reacts as he was trained to react. It is also easy to imagine that he too may be a victim. Regardless of the legal outcome, he will surely bear a heavy burden for the rest of his life.

As a Vietnam veteran I know how it feels to be held personally responsible for crimes resulting from stupid decisions made by incompetent and corrupt politicians and “leaders.” This case is reminiscent. Just like the Vietnam war, the war on drugs is one of the biggest con jobs yet to be pulled on the American people. Just like the Vietnam war, the Marine had no business being where he was in the first place. Just like the Vietnam war, the tactical approach to the war on drugs is not working and is actually making the situation worse. (The drug problem is one of decadent moral values stemming primarily from the disintegration of the family. It is not one of supply side economics.)

After 10-15 years and zillions of dollars, you would think that our “leaders” would have figured all this out. Are they stupid? To the contrary, corrupt politicians, judges, and especially high ranking “Fourth Branch” bureaucrats have no desire to see the war won. One reason is that there is simply too much pork in that barrel. In addition, it conveniently provides the excuses they need to enact more and more draconian measures to circumvent the constitution and gain total control over the people.

The mere existence of Joint Task Force 6 (JTF-6) is not only blatantly unconstitutional (not that that matters much anymore), it is causing our founding fathers to thrash in their graves. Just the thought of our employing our military against our own people was revolting to them.

So who is responsible–who should be held accountable? Unlike in the Vietnam war, we should leave the warriors alone–they are as much victims as the rest of us. We should start with the first layer of supervisors–both civilian and military. From there we should work our way up both the civilian and military chains of command through the Border Patrol Chief and the Commandant of the Marine Corps and right on up the chain all the way to the President of the United States. Will this ever happen? Probably not–just like with Vietnam, rats get fat while good men die.

As long as we let them, they will continue their flagrant abuses of power, and the corrupt political and judicial system will continue to allow it. If the death of Esequiel Hernandez Jr. contributes to the re-taking of our beloved federal republic-turned police state, he will not have died in vain. May he rest in peace.

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Land and Livestock International, Inc. is a leading agribusiness management firm providing a complete line of services to the range livestock industry. We believe that private property is the foundation of America. Private property and free markets go hand in hand—without property there is no freedom. We also believe that free markets, not government intervention, hold the key to natural resource conservation and environmental preservation. No government bureaucrat can (or will) understand and treat the land with as much respect as its owner. The bureaucrat simply does not have the same motives as does the owner of a capital interest in the property. Our specialty is the working livestock ranch simply because there are so many very good reasons for owning such a property. We provide educational, management and consulting services with a focus on ecologically and financially sustainable land management that will enhance natural processes (water and mineral cycles, energy flow and community dynamics) while enhancing profits and steadily building wealth.
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