/ July 26, 2010 02:21 PM
Since the Multiple Ranches In Laredo, TX Taken Over By Los Zetas story broke several days ago I have been quite surprised at the reactions to the story.
When the story was first posted it was not a fully confirmed story as Kimberly Dvorak had only one source within law enforcement. The story remained posted that way for hours as I awaited confirmation. From 4AM until 1PM EST it received little attention as it was not 100% confirmed.
(Update August 10, 2010): Evidence has been released in the Los Zetas ranch seizure story)
I then received word that Kimberly has a second source within law enforcement and it was 100% confirmed.She posted her story and I updated my story with the fact it was confirmed and spread it around at that point. I sent it out to others at around 1:45 PM On July 24.
At first it was picked up by several other blogs and started to spread quickly, making its rounds of Facebook and Twitter as well. During the spreading the story took on a life of its own. The story was exaggerated to the point where it seemed like thousands of Los Zetas had stormed across the border shooting everyone in their path and taking on law enforcement head-on.
This was simply not the case and not what was reported in the story. Here is what was known and reported in the story of which anyone can read clearly.
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.
Whether it is lone members or squads is not certain.
Anonymous sources in law enforcement in the Laredo area tonight have passed on word that US law enforcement agencies are in the area and are weighing their options regarding the ranches.
There is no claim that there was any gunfire, any wounded, the size of the Zetas at the ranches, nor the size of law enforcement on the scene. That is because at the time it wasn't known. I reported what was passed on by the sources in law enforcement through Kimberly Dvorak.
There was no comment made that the standoff even was a continuing event at the time the story went wide at 1:45 PM. When it was reported at 4AM there was no knowledge whether it was an event that happened over an hour or whether it was still ongoing. It was said that law enforcement was in the area. I did make speculation that they may be waiting for federal assistance, but that was speculation on my part assuming that it was ongoing. It was not stated as fact. I responded to other claims that afternoon in the article "Why The Los Zetas Ranch Story Matters - Confirmation And Why A Media Blackout?".
The fact that the scenario is completely plausible is what made the story spread with others. That and my credibility.
Websites who had posted the story started demanding that the sources be produced and "outed" immediately - within hours of the story being spread. In an uncaring fashion as to the sources, their jobs or their livelihoods, they demanded if Kimberly didn't reveal them, they were going to retract their stories. Prior to the story going wide people had called law enforcement in the area and were receiving mixed messages from the area. Some claimed that they received affirmation of "something going on", but no specifics. Others claimed that they were told "we cannot confirm", but they did not receive a denial. After the story went wide some said they were receiving denials and disavowing of knowledge on any of it. Later in the day an FBI source said they don't reply to rumors, which to many seemed to be a little odd.
When Kimberly did not reveal her sources out of journalistic integrity - within hours - these same websites decided to go the slanderous route of not simply retracting the story, but of declaring it an outright lie and an outright hoax. I personally take offense to those claiming this was either.
For nearly 8 years I have been covering illegal immigration here at this website. I have always made sure to wait before publishing a story and making sure it is confirmed. That is why I waited all night and all day for other sources to confirm before I sent the story out in the first place. There are several things I would like to address that have floated around on this story.
First, anyone who claims that I intended this as some wide-scale hoax to fool the internet or scare people or militias into action, absolutely has no idea of who I am. A hoax is a planned event meant to fool others. There was no such planning in this to fool others, I reported the story. Those who would spread such vile rumors did not look beyond this story to see the past work I have done and their lack of intellectual curiosity and "reporting" of their own is severely flawed and questionable. You can look around on the net to see who those individuals are right now.
Second, anyone who claims that this was an outright lie is also asserting that I intentionally did not tell the truth. It does not take much effort to go read my initial report and to see that I in no way exaggerated the story. I reported what was available from information at the time.
Third, there are those who are claiming this is some sort of setup to take me down. That there was a conspiracy from either the Obama administration or those who are for open borders to plant the story and trick me into publishing a false story so that they could discredit me. I disregard this out of hand. For them to plan this and to know ahead of time that the sources would go to Kim and then myself and be spread so far and wide - and then to know that they would all turn on me within hours - is beyond consideration to anyone who actually stops to think for a minute. No one has that much control.
Fourth, some are claiming this is racist and that I reported this because I hate Hispanics. It has nothing to do with race. I didn't know what race the ranchers were, the law enforcement, nor the Los Zetas. It was a national security issue.
Fifth, "Come on, just admit it you were lied to. This is all a lie, just come clean. If it wasn't a lie you were mislead and you should just admit it. ADMIT IT NOW! I'M WARNING YOU!". The absolute vicious attacks on me - that seem to escalate as time goes on - and the constant badgering for me to come out against a story which is true and backed up by sources, just to apparently go along with the crowd, quite honestly disgusts me.
I STAND BY THE STORY
To those of you out there who have decided to turn on this story, the reporter, the sources and myself with vicious lies, rumor and innuendo I have no pity for you. Your attacks have gone beyond the pale and I'm sure your readers can see that for themselves.
It is one thing to question a story, to come to your own conclusions and to state them as such. It is quite another to try to add things to the story, or to what the initial reports were, in order to support your opinion - making up things about those who passed the story on to fulfill your own fantasies. The fairest of all who question seems to be Mondo at Death By 1000 Papercuts where he has filed several reports such as questioning the story with integrity not slander. He questions, but does not condemn.
I can see from the point of view of those looking in from the outside. I do not live in a bubble. The sources have not come forward as yet, that would leave the story up for doubt as to its truthfulness to those not in direct contact with the sources, those who have not looked at Dvorak's work and those who have not been following the violence along the border and its impact on the United States. A story refuting the story can report as such, but vicious attacks of hoax, liar and racist? You have no integrity at all.
Many of those reporting this have no contact with me, have never met me and do not follow immigration or homeland security except for sensational news they think they can use to gain readership.
To those who demand that the sources come forward just for their own wants and needs, have you no shame? These sources in law enforcement would put their jobs, livelihoods, futures and possibly even their lives at risk by coming forward. But in your eyes they must do so immediately simply because you want your fancies fulfilled. They also would sacrifice Kimberly Dvorak and her integrity on the pyre of their own self-interest.
I have more honor than that and am willing to stand here and take the heat and accusations and give them time to make their own decisions. For demands to be made that they make such a decision within hours is ludicrous. To those who claim as such, they should put themselves in their shoes for just a bit. The border is dangerous. Being in law enforcement on the border is dangerous. Politicians are dangerous when threatened that they have not been doing their jobs. All of these and more would be turned on these sources if they choose to come forward.
Those who know me, have met me and have worked with me and have followed my work for year are sticking beside me and I thank them for that. It is not easy to do so when such accusations are being hurled around.
As for myself and Kimberly - and to some extent Jeff Schwilk, we have born the brunt of the attacks and continue to do so. We have been vilified. The sad thing is that if and when the sources come forward, those that are showing hate would then turn to despising us. In having to report that the story was true after such vicious attacks, they would despise us because they will have to tell their readers that they were wrong. I was not looking for any kind of attention or having some sort of "win" in reporting this.
There is no win in the end except that the truth comes out. And I believe it will, with time.
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Posted by Digger on July 26, 2010 02:21 PM (Permalink)
Digger: You just don't know Schwilk like I do. He's a reactionary, calls everyone in the media "the mexican media" no matter what the story is. If Schwilk can't get a 100% pro story, it's corrupt. Just look the the enemies list on his web site.Has alienated every law enforcement agency in San Diego county ignoring him and if he were to run nude down Broadway in San Diego, no police would respond and no credible news organization would cover the story except the examiner. Remember I sat in court with this man, surveyed labor sites with this man, watched this man demolish canyons like Bonsall. To put your reputation on this "pink flamingo" dimiinishes your credibility with me and others, I can hear the delete from favorites on browsers all over the country. You have been duped. Ask yoursewlf one question, TWO DAYS and nothing? Ruby Ridge, Branch Dividian, Waco, Eloien City, immediate news coverage, with Cell phones, cameras, internet, neighbors, ham radio operators, general gossip and nothing? You overestimate Obama and his power. It's a no such story kooked up by a few exetemeists and an internet blog that calls itself a paprer. I get more news from the Reeder. Here lies the credibility of Digger Amato, duped by Sgt. Bilko.
Posted by: Ray Carney on July 26, 2010 04:53 PM
The unfortunate reality of the situation is that this story could have easily caused harm to come to people who read the story and were called to action.
MULTIPLE, real, fully armed, honest to god, ready to die, militas were activated.
Thank goodness people started to question the story when things didn't check out.
Bloggers have even more responsibility for journalistic integrity because their messages can be distributed instantly through the world. I hope this situation makes you and other bloggers out there with an audience to think twice about pushing the post button next time.
Posted by: cyberfr0g on July 26, 2010 05:33 PM
I can't for the life of me imagine what would be gained by putting a story like this out if Digger wasn't working from what he thinks are credible sources. My instinct on this is that something did happen. Law enforcement was involved and initially let information out as would be normal. If, after leaking the story they were then told by higher ups to hush, and other government agencies became involved the story would be squashed and a blackout imposed. If the story were to get out the political ramifications could be devastating. Having watched the news for many years I have seen too many stories disappear from media to later learn it should have been shouted from the roof tops. Again, what could possibly be gained by making a story up? If anyone can come up with some scenario I would love to hear it. Until then, I’m sticking with my instincts.
Posted by: Barry on July 26, 2010 05:52 PM
So basically we still have no identification of exactly which ranches were taken over and no identification of the ranchers. Is that about the size of it at this point?
Just say for the sake of argument that the whole story is true. The way the story is presented here is not credible. You claim you have confirmed the story but really it is still unconfirmed. You have two sources basically saying that they heard of something happening but nobody has turned up to say it happened to them.
I don't for a moment believe that Texas law enforcement would allow its citizens to be run off their property without doing anything. There are more credible scenarios:
1. Someone hears the gunfire from across the border and flees the area. They run into town until things cool off, one person says something to another person and you have a case of the "telephone game" gone wild where the story morphs into something totally different and then someone gets hold of the juicier version.
2. A group of people is seen coming across the border at about the same time as the gunfire erupts and the residents flee. Rinse lather repeat with the rumor mill.
I have actually seen stuff like this happen. I remember once on the East Coast where there was a report that someday a volcanic mountain in the Azores might give way and cause a tsunami on the East Coast. Within two hours the story had morphed by word of mouth that "there's going to be a tidal wave at 7pm tonight". I kid you not. And people were going down to the beach to WATCH IT come in!
I am not saying you made the story up and I am not saying that the people you talked to didn't tell you what they told you. I am saying that so far the story is just hearsay. You might be able to shut up a law enforcement agency but you aren't going to shut up the hundreds of people who have traveled through that area between then and now.
Posted by: crosspatch on July 26, 2010 06:06 PM
Minuteman dude saying we should nuke mexico makes our side look like crazy people. That was a foolish comment. I have a lot of anger towards mexico and south america over this border crisis but completely disagree with nuking them.
["Minuteman" comment referred to removed - come on do you really think someone named "Minuteman" would come in and post such crap? There are people trying to discredit out there - Digger]
Digger you gained me as a reader through this ordeal. I added you to my favorites and look forward to more articles. I believe your sources and I think the zetas did occupy a couple ranches but their so sneaky and sly they probably got away. In san diego they just busted a mexico drug cartel and their head operation was based out of san diego. For people to act like this story is impossible to believe are really showing their lack of knowledge with the border. I wouldn't even pay attention to them they are a waste of time.
Posted by: tyler on July 26, 2010 06:37 PM
There are no "ranches" on Minerales Annex, in Laredo. Look on mapquest/google earth if you don't believe me. Ground is too steep for many dwellings, many cliffs out their back doors. This area is full of colonias (rural shacks for the very poor with mostly no utilities). The area is also within the city limits as it's south of Mines Road. Quite a few US carriers (like Warren Transportation) with yards all around there (commercial property). El Primero Horse Training Facility right there also (owner runs horses in Kentucky Derby, ask him too look out his window).
Only ranch is the old Ben-Hur to the west, and it isn't under occupation. Nothing more than a few gravel mines and a few more mobile homes.
Leg work? Any calls to any of the businesses out there? I'll drive down the dirt road again if you need me to, it's a little muddy right now due to all the rain. Verify, Verify, Verify. Not that hard nowadays. The locals around here find the story quite humorous, you get this from The Onion guys?
Do you really want me, an anglo living in the area for years, to believe that an officer was really on the scene saying it's an invasion? Where was he parked, in a mud hole or on the busy highway? I bet his unit is still stuck out there.
On the bright side, see the creek, illegals have used it for decades to make it to the highway because brush to thick...USBP has 2-3 units watching that creek daily.
Posted by: Mike on July 26, 2010 06:46 PM
I picked up on this story which I linked to from another site. Yes it is sensational and yes it is believable. Is it true? We either take Digger's word and see how it pans out or we take him into the town square and stone him.
I posted the story on my blog with a disclaimer that it was unverified by me.
I don't think digger was trying to pull a fast one. I have never been to journalism school, but I do know you don't reveal sources. Especially those in law enforcement. I will continue to follow this story and wish to thank digger for the courage to stick his neck out.
And besides, can anyone here honestly say they have never been hoodwinked?
Posted by: NMC on July 26, 2010 06:50 PM
Read the latest Examiner? When a publication uses "what if's" you know they are back peddling on their original story. In the media biz, this is called the non-denial denial. Don't feel bad, you joined an elite club called "the shwilked" a small group burned. Maybe next time you might rely on credible sources. It's going to take time to gain your reputation back. Maybe another SPLC or ADL expos'e would do it, GREAT pieces. As for Kimberly, Guess her unemployment check will be in the mail. Digger.... please listen to real people, not meglomaniacs.
Posted by: Ray Carney on July 26, 2010 06:56 PM
"Kim was also involved in the Acorn investigation with Breitbart"
That should have been your first clue.
"That and my credibility."
Well, I don't think that will be an issue anymore.
Posted by: jimspice on July 26, 2010 07:03 PM
Digger: Didn't you know that Kimberly is Schwilk's press agent. Rumor around the county is that he's "bionking" her. Considering the press he get's it's a good assumption. The ACORN story was given to her by the two who actually did the scan, no other media outlets would touch it and as bor Breitbart....... Nuff said. He's got his own credibility problems now, as you do.
Posted by: Ray Carney on July 26, 2010 07:24 PM
"I STAND BY THE STORY"
Yeah, well, there goes YOUR credibility...
And FWIW, MY readers DO see what I commented on here and have applauded me for calling you on this bullshit and YOUR insanity for not taking this down or calling bullshit on it yourself...
Rest in Peace, YOU have killed your blog and credibility...
Posted by: TexasFred on July 26, 2010 07:26 PM
Digger: Remenber I got a $135.000 judgement along with Schwilk for calling a Korean ACLU worker a slut, what do you think will happen with this "wolf cry". FBI? Trial? Florence Colorado. Remember the time we live in, OBAMA. Still want to stand by your story? If I were you I'd change the page.
Posted by: Ray Carney on July 26, 2010 07:38 PM
And what did we learn from all of this? Don't post it if you haven't confirmed it yourself or if the sources are not credible. The examiner is not a credible source and they were using you as one of their sources. Big Red Flag there.
Posted by: SD on July 26, 2010 07:41 PM
Digger: You stand by your story, You stand alone. I think my credibility is more accurate than a radical, his concubine and a web site who didn't check before posting. You got Schwilked and Dvorskaked. I have CONFIRMED my sources, not convicted felons, but LEGAL Ham radio operators, friends, family and associates, what do you have? Credibility? that's gone.
Posted by: Ray Carney on July 26, 2010 07:49 PM
Digger: Many people rely on your expert opinions and commentary, many news (MSM) have quoted you in their stories, I have read your stuff since you created your site. I consider you an expert in the issue of illegal immigration, many do also. But you fell for the "uber right extremists" and posted nonsense, like Brietbart, everyone is entitled to have their "oops" but the minute Brietbart was advised about the "oops" he immediately corrected the problem. The problem with being "far right" is you don't know who to believe, I always say, trust your eyes, ears and in that little voice in your head, to hell with the rest. This story should have givern you "red flags" but you listened to the uber right instead of your common sense. Well all I can say is "lesson learned" never let it happen again.
Posted by: Ray Carney on July 26, 2010 07:57 PM
What's the frequency, Digger?
Posted by: Dan Rather on July 26, 2010 08:22 PM
Borderland Beat Comments:
Apparently Minerales, the location near which the alleged "seizure" is supposed to have occurred, is a colonia, which often means a shantytown of Hispanic squatters. Google map.
As I said Sunday, July 25, in the meeting in Selma, Texas, my theory is that some Zetas went there to collect some drug money, met opposition, and in a firefight withdrew and took refuge in a couple of nearby ranches. By the time anyone could respond, they had escaped the scene, everyone in the area cleaned up and shut up, and we may no longer have evidence other than the words of a few people whose information is second-hand.
There have been such violent encounters elsewhere, in Arizona, California, and New Mexico, that have followed a similar pattern, except that some leave dead bodies. Almost everyone involved has a stake in covering it up.
I spoke to some people Sunday afternoon at a gun show in San Antonio who are attending to security for some ranchers, who provided confirmation that gangsters are oppressing ranchers in the area, to get them to allow operations across their land without interference. So that part seems to be happening, and has been for a long time. I have been reporting since 1995 of efforts by the drug traffickers to gain effective control of U.S. territory, along the border, in inner cities, and along transshipment corridors, through bribery, extortion, and intimidation of property owners and local officials. This was discussed by a lawyer, Joseph Delany, in an 1999 article.
If nothing else, this made a good start at a dry run, and we can learn some lessons from it, like whom we can count on.
So it may not have been a “hoax”, but a report that made it seem like something it wasn't, by use of the word "seizure", suggesting a long-term seizure of territory, rather than as a transitory incident.
We need to focus attention on the threats to U.S. sovereignty over our own territory that such intrusion involves. Border security is a separate issue from immigration, and even if immigrants were no more likely to commit crimes than citizens, the need to keep out criminals may be great enough to keep out harmless immigrants as well if the two cannot be distinguished.
July 26, 2010 2:00 PM
Posted by: Jon on July 26, 2010 09:20 PM
Latest update. Dispute all you want. I will wait for the reporter(s) to confirm or not. So far they stand by their story. That's good enough for me.
You all speculate all you want.
Isn't it interesting that NO pictures (for or against) have been posted? If there is so much doubt and this went viral, why did those people not go (immediately) to those two ranches and take pictures that showed otherwise?
Remember, this all happened within HOURS and there was ample opportunity for photographs on the side that denied to SHOW that it was all bunk.
No pictures because.......... oh......... I see ..........
Posted by: Forensic Nurse on July 26, 2010 09:23 PM
You critics sure are wasting a lot of energy going after Digger when the real folks you should be going after are in Washington DC. It is they who have allowed the border to be so porous and it is they who will be to blame for any violence on our side of the border from the cartels.
Posted by: Don't Mess With Texas on July 26, 2010 09:31 PM
Prove a negative? What do you want? Photos of dirt? Photos of empty fields? Photos of houses without Zetas out front?
Not too bright, are you?
Posted by: Veritas on July 26, 2010 09:47 PM
Dude....The day you want to grow up and report on a story....make sure you have your facts straight....I saw this story on another site..
I wasn't familiar with the source so I gave it the benefit of the doubt (I'm responsible for more than a few page hits).....Now, if Diggers Realm is listed as a "Source"... Not even gonna waste my time.. I'll be sure to share my story with more than a few others..
Glad you trust your sources...Hope they cost you a few bucks.....
Ohhhhhhh....No...Breaking reports.....Real Aliens have just landed in Jersey....They've overtaken a farm....
You want sensationlism.....take a lesson from Wells...He did it much better than you have...
Posted by: SCORP` on July 26, 2010 11:05 PM
I live 5 miles from the border and I can find no confirmation at all on this story.
Posted by: Laura on July 27, 2010 12:05 AM
What exactly have you been doing for the last 48 hours? Confirming sources? Doing some legwork?
Listen, where is the new info? Something has to have happened within the last 48 hours. Why no new info from those anonymous LPD sources?
Call me unimpressed. Somehow you go IMMEDIATE confirmation that this was going on, now we have to "wait until the story comes out?" Why?
Just because you thought it might have been true, that doesn't give you a free pass....
Posted by: Jay on July 27, 2010 01:00 AM
ALIPAC used our extensive network to put the breaks on this unverified and likely bogus story yesterday. Now Digger Dan Amato is attacking us.
Dan, it is time for you to man up and stop blaming everyone else over this.
You have caused yourself and the movement for secure borders harm by putting out a claim that American ranches were being taken by military grade forces out of Mexico. Such an incident, if real could start a civil war, mass panic, a stock market crash, and more.
Instead of verifying your sources, you rushed the story out and ran it based on unconfirmed hearsay.
You should be thanking ALIPAC for trying to prevent more bloggers and activists from becoming your victims by posting and circulating your story.
You should also cease the elaborate excuses and blame games and issue a public apology FOR NOT VERIFYING THE SOURCES YOU USED IN YOUR ARTICLE that caused so much confusion.
Posted by: William Gheen on July 27, 2010 01:09 AM
Getting a little desperate are we William? What will you say when the sources come forward?
This was all over the place way BEFORE you tried to "coattail it" and claim that it spread far and wide because of you...as you always do.
I don't put a lot of faith in people who tried to sabotage all three rallies in Arizona in May and June because they weren't allowed to get their grubby hands on all the money and take all the credit.
Even Tom Tancredo has called you out on your character assassination of Dan Smeriglio.
Read Tom's statement here
Your name is mud in this movement after having pretty much yelled at every single leader over the phone.
People can read all about your destructive behavior to this movement here
Have anything else to say in public?
Keep on pushing...
Posted by: Digger on July 27, 2010 01:28 AM
Unlikely that those good people would sacrifice their credibility on a complete hoax. It is quite possible that SOMETHING important hapopned.
However, if NO credible testimony, no timeline, no exact location, no specifics, no pictures, no videos, no audio, no seizures of drugs or weapons, no documents, are produced, then how can we believe that anything happened,anywhere, to anyone, any time, at all?
Please-- give us SOMETHING, anything.
Posted by: BorderLine on July 27, 2010 02:45 AM
Interesting, the amount of tarring and feathering of Digger including the claims of Digger losing "credibility" because the media hasn't released any "photos" with "credible news sources" not reporting the story and the claims the authorities would, never, ever, sit on a story.
For everyone bashing Digger, I'd like to ask:
Can anyone provide links to media reports of the Falcon Dam incident where the news media reported the incident as it unfolded? An incident which, according to a news report in June, happened "sometime in May". An incident involving Homeland Security, the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, state authorities, the local sheriff, and the Los Zetas.
According the June news report, the federal government stated there was a very credible threat the Los Zetas were going to blow up the dam. A threat which led to the federal, state, and local authorities responding to the scene and Homeland Security issuing a warning. A report which included the Los Zetas handing out handbills and using blowhorns to warn Mexicans to get out before they blew up the dam.
This was a very real incident which, when it occurred, wasn't covered by the media. The media wasn't informed by the federal, state, or local authorities who were involved in the incident when it occurred. The public learned about the incident after it occurred with the media reporting the incident occurred "sometime last month". Which leads to, why didn't the media report include the actual date of the incident? Why was the news report vague about an extremely important detail of the story? The media news source didn't publish photos or videos of the incident. Why did the authorities wait to release very few details of the incident to the media? Details which include the date of the incident, a date which would have given the public info on the period of time which elapsed between when the incident occurred to when the Feds decided to inform the media.
It seems to me if you're gonna judge Digger, castigating Digger for not being a "real news source", in all fairness, you should use the same "high standards" of the news media. The standard of reporting a story which had occurred "sometime last month". A story which the news media didn't report until they were informed by the authorities who didn't report the incident until "sometime" after it occurred.
And, for those of you who have made disparaging comments against Digger, if, at any time in the past, you've bitched about the media or the authorities not being forthcoming about a story, you've outed yourselves as hypocrites willing to throw Digger under your hypocritical powered buses.
Posted by: Casual Observer on July 27, 2010 03:10 AM
See, I knew I could trust you, because I blogged about it as soon as I read it, except I didn't get any flack over it. Maybe by the time I regurgitated it people already heard about it? And we all know how "main stream media" is, controlled. The real news is right here.
Posted by: joebanana on July 27, 2010 09:12 AM
Next time Digger why don't you go to the Militia in the area and ask them whats up. Don't worry about the info, sounds like something did happen there and i would suspect the US government had something to do with a cover up as usual.
Posted by: Larry Dunnington on July 27, 2010 11:32 AM
A friend told me about this hubbub (nobody here in Laredo was talking about it) so I drove out FM 1472 yesterday. Went past the Baptist Church all the way to the where 1472 and Mines Rd. split. Followed Mines road to where it ends, then turned around and went down the road to the Spohn Ranch. Turned around at the gate and drove back to the office. Didn't see any activity whatsoever and, in fact, only saw a couple of border patrol vehicles the whole time, both in town. So, if Zetas have overrun any ranches on that road, either they are keeping it very quiet or nobody on the US side cares about it.
Did see a couple of hawks, though, including a sharp-shinned.
You may stand by the story, but my guess is that you're 100% wrong.
Posted by: Dan Taylor on July 27, 2010 11:54 AM
>>"Interesting, the amount of tarring and feathering of Digger including the claims of Digger losing "credibility" because the media hasn't released any "photos" with "credible news sources" not reporting the story and the claims the authorities would, never, ever, sit on a story."
Ok, nice try....but where are the updates from Digger? Apparently the drug cartels, along with Digger's credibility, just disappeared....
Posted by: Jay on July 27, 2010 12:11 PM
Interesting discussion. Why do so many appear so heavily invested in this being a "hoax"--which means a purposely-manufactured event?
There's more to come on this story. I doubt the time line, however, will be influenced by anyone's desire for a quick resolution.
Posted by: theBorderIsSecure on July 27, 2010 12:20 PM
Yes, I have plenty more to say in public Digger. I have to say that it is apparent from your comments here that you did not just make a big mistake by running a story without verifying the facts or the sources, but that is about all you do.
You are consistently lying Digger Dan Amato and don't you think for one moment you can stand or prevail with lies.
Even if this story turned out to be true, which is unlikely, you were very wrong to run this story without practicing the slightest level of journalistic ethos.
You tarnished the credibility of a lot of innocent websites, groups, bloggers, and activists by putting this out there without verifying facts and sources.
There are plenty of real horror stories at our border without you confusing the issues due to unprofessional actions.
So I will speak and I will "push" all I want. Go ask your buddy Tancredo to come defend you on this one and see what he says. Neither you nor he speak for this movement or the other leaders.
Putting out a correction on your screw up was the right thing to do and we have received numerous emails of thanks for our efforts to clear the air of your tarnished report.
Always someone else to blame Digger? When do you plan to apologize for not verifying your sources and facts? Why will you not express some condolences to all of the people you have upset with your report? It's everyone else, but not you right Digger?
Me and ALIPAC will pull through just fine. You are the one that just burned your reputation nationally by crying wolf.
Posted by: William Gheen on July 27, 2010 01:19 PM
People are taking Digger behind the proverbial wood shed for a whooping, but they should NOT be doing that to him.. They should be doing that to the Main Stream Media and our Govt.. They both sit on stories until it is USEFUL to them.
I believe there was a 'Media Blackout' about this incident.. I mean after all, if word of this got out, what would it do to Nobama getting his 30 million Undocumented Democrats Amnesty?? There would be a hue and cry throughout the land for a SECURE BORDER. And YES, Militias would be activated and sent down there to 'help out' Not even Nobama could stop what would happen...
Just look at this weekend, FoxNews was supposed to play this story and when the piece came up, they hit with a 'breaking news story' about something silly that most people could care less about.. And then nothing about it after that
@Ray Carney: Dont you have something else better to do then sit here and post??
You still have my Support Digger !!
Posted by: AzP on July 27, 2010 01:28 PM
I stick by you and by Jeff having known and read both of your reporting for years. I have never known either of you men to be hoaxers or invent hypothetical conspiracy theories.
It is a shame that these opportunist trolls use this forum to slander but that is their MO so go figure.
This egomania and trolling is making us all a laughing stock. And makes our patriot movement look feeble in the eyes of Mexico, Los Zetas and La Raza.
We need to get back to the camaraderie that we once had in our patriot community fighting for the same cause which is to Restore our Republic and Secure the Border.
Kudo's to you brother Digger ditto for our brother Jeff.
Posted by: Bonfire on July 27, 2010 01:44 PM
Dan Amato, no one gets away with lying about Los Zetas. Good luck with this one...
Posted by: Javier F. on July 27, 2010 02:29 PM
Just a note that if I actually was such a lying, cheating person why would I allow comments questioning the story and my credibility to stand when I could just delete them outright?
Just something to think about as you read through the negative posts like those of William Gheen who are simply bashing me.
Just a note on Gheen, he is notorious for banning and deleting comments and people from his forums who question anything he says. Ask around on that, you'll find plenty of people. You can start with the comments section here: http://www.diggersrealm.com/mt/archives/003397.html
Where you'll find people who have dealt with him for years that state things as such:
Gheen asks for money, but doesn't contribute anything toward the other peoples events that he attends besides a few emails. Yet when he goes out of town, he stays in a suite in 5 star hotels.
Posted by: Digger on July 27, 2010 03:58 PM
Oh and as for credibility Mr. Gheen, you accused Senator Lindsey Graham of being gay months ago... where are your sources and evidence? It's been quite awhile and everyone is waiting with baited breath....
Posted by: Digger on July 27, 2010 04:27 PM
I have reason to believe that something is going on in Laredo, though nothing first hand. I'm in Corpus Christi TX, and, allegedly, through several friends there does seem to be some shady business going on there. I'm afraid that other border incidents in TX have been covered up in the past only to be revealed months later, and probably by accident. For example, the Los Zetas terrorist plot to blow up that dam near laredo. I'm in Texas and didn't even know about it myself until Death By A Thousand Paper Cuts brought it up on their blog. This was not reported in the local media or in the major media until it came up 4 months later as not even the main topic of some article.
The response to Digger with this in mind strikes me as absurd and really offensive. I do not know any of you personally, but I do find these attacks on Digger to be extraordinarily offensive. I did get a chance to take a peek at "TexasFred's" block and noticed right away that he was talking about "the extreme right". Frankly, that gives off a red flag right there. What extreme right? Digger? The Tea Party? "Fundamentalist" Christians? He mentioned seeing STORMFRONT talking about this and getting all "gung-ho". Seems to me that the only time I ever hear someone mention the "extreme right" and compare people to Nazis is when we're dealing with a RINO. In this case, a RINO trying to get popular using vile language at someone elses expense. Guys like TexasFreds are the worst kind of bottom feeder in the conservative movement, and I feel great shame that I let him get that little "hit" when I took a look at that blog of his. Rott in hell Texas Fred.
Posted by: Ricardo on July 27, 2010 06:46 PM
And as for this Gheen dufus. Undermining the entire conservative movement, especially with pulling those stunts involving Tancredo, is the worst sin. Another bottom feeder jumping at their chance for relevance.
Posted by: Ricardo on July 27, 2010 06:51 PM
I live in Texas, and based on the confusing facts, a friend and I drove all night and went to Laredo, TX, arriving at 8:00 AM. It was a sleepy, beautiful and tranquil day. We traveled north on Mines (a/k/a 1472) about 22 miles, and then back. The one thing we found on "Minerales Annex" is a metal recycling business ... http://www.recycleinme.com/rim-billy/home.aspx
We also saw 4 birds, no aerial surveillance as was described: These are my posts...
"Friends and I spent the better part of yesterday afternoon and night trying to confirm or deny the rumors about an incursion by the Mexican drug cartel into Laredo and the seizure by it of two ranches. Personally, I wanted to do my own research without relying on anyone else's information and/or confirmation, so a friend and I drove all night and arrived in Laredo at 8:00 AM this morning (Sunday). We took Mines Road north (a/k/a 1472) for more than 22 miles off I-35. There is nothing to report. We passed 4 border patrol cars each with two agents going in opposite direction and 2 border patrol vehicles parked along the side of the road facing opposite direction as we headed north. There is no visible aerial surveillance; no helicopters, or military air support (can't address drones). We headed back to I-35 and returned to Austin. We checked the coordinates on the way home: N 27' 39" 15, W 99' 33" 41). We passed some cyclists (a la Lance Armstrong). People were out and about enjoying their Sunday. There were 5 police cars parked at police headquarters that shared a building with the fire trucks (on Mines), there was not any unusual or frenzied activity at all, and the bridge / border crossing in Laredo had almost no activity. We observed only one minivan enter the US during the short time we stopped to observe and take a picture. We were unable to figure out what Minerales Annex is except to guess that it may be a designation for a parcel of land. There is no street by that name that we were able to find. For clarification, while driving north on Mines, we believe that you travel within the Laredo city limits, then leave and travel through another city/town/village, and then briefly enter the Laredo city limits again.
It appears as if the information regarding the seizure of two Texas ranches (and "safe evacuation" of the respective families) by the Mexican drug cartel, Los Zetas, in Laredo were inaccurate, and I apologize for my part in spreading untrue rumors and for perpetuating a hoax. We must report accurate information and hold ourselves to a higher standard, or we are as guilty as they."
"...What's scary is that citizen response to this hoax could have caused Martial Law to be declared. Question boldly, my friends. This could have been catastrophic!"
"...We took photos, and I spoke with customers and employees at gas stations and fast food eateries. I can only report what my friend and I saw, and we spent about 2 hours driving around, asking questions, and looking for ourselves. I can only share my honest and accurate observations with you. What you choose to believe is always your personal choice and one which only you can make. I truly regret my actions and regret my complicity in what appears to be a monumental hoax."
As to why ... I don't know. Kimberly may have been going for a Pulitzer, but now her credibility has been seriously questioned. There could never be a blackout... someone would always take picture with cellphone or something. There was nothing. I did send an email to the editor at cypress times, to Kimberly on Facebook, to you, and to Jeff Schwilk c/o SD Minutemen. Unless you see it firsthand, or can verify not through heresay, but hard facts, it is much safer to stand back for a moment. Individuals have a responsibility for anythinig that is posted.
Posted by: Susan K on July 27, 2010 08:37 PM
Hell, over 100 square miles of AZ has been taken by the drug smugglers. No qualms here in AZ stating the facts. 30 miles south of PHX all the way to the "border". It wouldn't be surprising that this would happen in Texas. It's already gone on and is going on. We had this happen here, in Phx, in a home invasion. Mexicans dressed as Phx Pd, storming a drug house and killing the occupant. They set a trap for Phx PD to be ambushed. These guys had the firepower and vests. Some were captured, some got away. This was hush hushed, but came out due to JD Hayworth and Phx Pd sources. Number one in kidnapping, number two in home invasion. Illegal Immigration is NOT a "victimless" crime.
Posted by: chick on July 28, 2010 02:30 AM
Here is another 6 minutes that "never happened"
11 July 2010
a gun battle that took place in Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico (just south of Hidalgo, Texas) on July 11th, 2010. Because our Southern borders are "more secure than they've been in the past 20 years" this was not reported anywhere in the "mainstream" U.S. press. Consequently, it must never have happened... except it did.
It'a video - but the audio is the main thing.
Incase you don't want to google where this is. It's right across the border from Mc Allen Miller International Airport and not too far from Nuevo Laredo and Laredo.
Posted by: forensicnurse on July 29, 2010 12:54 AM
About 170 miles apart. That IS quite a ways. As I said before. Not too bright, huh?
Posted by: Veritas on July 29, 2010 05:44 PM
Retraction yet? Standing by your story? What story?
Posted by: Jay on July 29, 2010 10:14 PM
I'm not going to try and judge the propriety of your story Digger. I wasn't there, and I have come accept your sincerity as whole within this movement. However, as pointed out by myself and others who have made likewise sincere efforts to expose the facts regarding Schwilk and Nightingale, your avoidance of any negative publicity surrounding them gives rise to my skepticism when they are behind any references within your stories. Below, the two quotes from your comments contained within this thread are precisely the issues many of us have had with Schwilk and Chelene:
"Just a note on Gheen, he is notorious for banning and deleting comments and people from his forums who question anything he says. Ask around on that, you'll find plenty of people. You can start with the comments section here: http://www.diggersrealm.com/mt/archives/003397.html"
"To those of you out there who have decided to turn on this story, the reporter, the sources and myself with vicious lies, rumor and innuendo I have no pity for you. Your attacks have gone beyond the pale"
Just as you suggest of others, both of them are religious practitioners of that philosophy. As long as the they are granted the right to be unquestionably sound as sources or pillars of propriety in your writings, I think I will be doing a double take on your credibility. Once again, I do not doubt your sincerity to the movement in general.
I didn't mention Gheen in the mix because you have covered him fairly well, and for me he is like a bad smell in a crowd of otherwise decent people. I just move away
Posted by: Davi Rodrigues on July 30, 2010 02:09 PM
Yeah, the 'truth' about this will come out about the same time Michelle's 'whitey tape' magically surfaces.
Your credibility suffers every minute you hang on to this hoax.
Posted by: Nigel P on August 2, 2010 12:00 AM
Posted by: Digger on August 10, 2010 06:42 PM
YO DIGGER , LIKE MIKE , I LIVE IN THIS AREA, I MOUNTAIN BIKE UP/DOWN SANTA ISABEL CREEK, BORDER PATROL ALL OVER THE PLACE OUT HER. I MTB ALL THE MINES ROAD RANCHES/TRAILS/HILLS. IVE ASKED PPLE LIVING OFF THE CREEK, NO ONE KNOWS JACK, ANY NEW LEADS , LET ME KNOW, ILL DO LEG WORK, LITERALLLY, ON THE 29er BIKE O MINE!!!!
CONTACT ME firstname.lastname@example.org if u need some inside local scoop.
Posted by: tony on December 16, 2010 08:29 PM