American investigative journalist and activist, James O’Keefe, recently made headlines for donning an Osama bin Laden costume. Halloween is still months away, but O’Keefe’s attire had a different purpose – he was attempting to illustrate the lack of security along the U.S.-Mexico border in West Texas. He was actually able to cross the Rio Grande River from Mexico into Texas undetected, dressed as Osama.
O’Keefe, who is well-known for his headline-grabbing sting videos that often involve disguise and trickery, also recorded himself in the act of crossing the border. He released the footage on Monday, calling it ‘Project Veritas’. In the video, he can be seen crossing into Mexico twice – once in regular clothes and the second time dressed in an army costume and an Osama Halloween mask. His video release arrived amidst a national debate in America about border security.
“Project Veritas has just returned from the U.S.-Mexican border,” the video description states. “What we discovered there should worry every American. Here in West Texas, the border is just a muddy sliver of river.” And then the video goes on to show O’Keefe splashing his way through the Rio Grande to the other side, effectively entering another country.
“The U.S. border patrol was nowhere in sight. It was obvious – this border is not secure. No one is on watch. Even Osama bin Laden could cross.”
Ironically, the official White House website claims that ‘today border security is stronger than it has ever been’. But O’Keefe said that his stunt proves the federal government’s policy is actually lax and needs to be overhauled. “President Obama is trying to deny the obvious,” he stated.
“We proved that border security is national security. The fence is not complete. The border is not secure. In fact, the video shows the border fence is a joke. The primary responsibility of the commander-in-chief is to protect the homeland. With a single trip to the border, we proved that President Obama and Congress have failed miserably and are misleading America.”
In addition to exposing the ease of crossing the river, O’Keefe also highlighted an unguarded footbridge and a compromised fence. He actually traveled to the end of the border fence, where there is a shockingly huge gap that anyone could cross. “If you wanted to get under this fence, you’d just have to push it open it’s almost like a gate right there and anyone can just get right through,” he said.
On Tuesday afternoon, U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman Roger Maier responded to the video. He said that since O’Keefe was escorted by a local sheriff, the border patrol agents were under the impression that the location was secure, and they didn’t investigate further.
“U.S. Border Patrol agents were working in the area when they noted a convoy of vehicles approaching the border area from within the United States,” Maier said. “Border Patrol agents confirmed that vehicles were associated with the Hudspeth County Sheriff’s Office and that the HCSO vehicles did not require any additional engagement.”
“The group was not challenged further since their presence is routine and agents did not observe any suspicious activity originating from Mexico. In its entirety, the reporter’s video clip misrepresents the facts associated with this event,” he added.
But another American Customs and Border Patrol official – who commented anonymously – had a different view of the issue – he said that his agency’s forces are actually stretched to the breaking point. “We can’t be everywhere at once. This is typical of what you’ll find in Texas.”
“The guys who are on the front lines aren’t even on the front lines anymore. They’re dozens of miles inside the U.S. How can we catch the bad guys if we never get to see them unless they’re standing on American soil?”
Meanwhile, O’Keefe might have broken a few laws in Mexico, but he isn’t too bothered about it. “I don’t know what the Mexican law is and frankly, I don’t care. All I know is nobody was there protecting our national security.”
“I had my passport with me, but no one on either side of the border was there to stamp it,” he revealed in an interview with U.S. News. “There are roughly 12 million illegal Mexicans in the United States, so my potentially violating the laws of Mexico would make the net immigration tally 12 million to one