Editor's Note: This is the final article on the recent border issues meeting in Animas.

By Mary Alice Murphy

At the March 10 meeting in Animas, a full agenda of speakers led off the session. Caren Cowan, New Mexico Cattle Growers' Association director, served as moderator. Erica Valdez, who, with her husband, runs the family ranch near Animas, organized the event.

The final agenda speaker was Ed Ashurst speaking on Federal Government Cover Ups: What They Don't Want You to Know.

"We're in Texas, going down I-10, and we're going to turn south on Highway 90 to Valentine, Marfa and Marathon," Ashurst said. "You can't see the Rio Grande River to your right. At night, the Border Patrol is not allowed to go past the end of the pavement on the road that goes down to the river through Candelaria, Ruidoso and ultimately to Presidio. The county commissioners are fighting the Border Patrol, which doesn't want them to maintain the road, because they say maintaining it is facilitating the traffic of drugs. The commissioners' argument is that citizens live down that road. They need to get to town for groceries, and ambulances and sheriff's vehicles need to get there.

"On December 7, a friend was kidnapped south of here," Ashurst continued. "The spot where he was kidnapped was 12 miles north of the border. We have a new $20 million Border Patrol facility in Lordsburg, but it's 60 to 80 miles north of the border. Most of the Border Patrol is deployed north of that 12-mile point.

"Now we'll go to Cochise County (Arizona)," he said. "In the past 10 years, there have been several million acres of land burned. Every fire in Cochise County was set by illegals. But the government will not say that. The Horseshoe Tooth Fire cost $50 million and burned 350 square miles of the Chiricahua Mountains. The federal government will not tell you they were set by illegals. But it burned old growth Engelmann spruce, firs and pine. The Center for Biological Diversity will not let you log in the forest, but it's fine and dandy if an outlaw burns it.

"The Monument Fire, which started on the border south of Sierra Vista burned over the Huachuca Mountain and burned homes and businesses," Ashurst said. "It was started by an outlaw drug runner. The government will not say that.

"Two men accidentally burned 140 acres of tumblewoods and they are in prison in Oregon for five years mandatory for setting the fire," Ashurst continued. "The Hammond family was offered help by militia groups, but they refused the help and turned themselves in like responsible citizens, and now they are rotting in prison for 140 acres, but nothing is done about several million acres burned by outlaws from a foreign nation."

He talked about when Nicholas Ivie was shot and killed at the border in October 2012. "The Border Patrol responded to a sensor hit. When they got in close, firing started up, Ivie was killed instantly. Within 48 hours, the government, Janet Napolitano and David Aguilar, told his family that he fired mistakenly on his fellow officers and he was killed by friendly fire."

He said he was well into writing a book, had no intention of writing about Ivie and was only going to write fact. "A man handed me 26 pages of Cochise County Sheriff's narrative of the incident. A sergeant was at the crime scene. His statement completely damns and refutes the federal government claim that there were only unarmed Mexicans at the scene. It describes a blood trail going from north to south into Mexico. It describes empty rifle cartridges. The Border Patrol had pistols. When the FBI interviewed the one man who wasn't shot, he said they knew where Nick Ivie was because he had signaled them and was in radio communication with them. A female Border Patrol agent described screaming and gunfire from a long gun. She saw bodies in the shadows of the night walking past her south into Mexico."

Ashurst recently talked to a Border Patrolman. Ashurst asked him about the Ivie incident, and his "dissertation matched that of the sheriff's narrative. Plus he said they discovered Mexican outlaws that had guns that were from the Fast and Furious incident. Those are his words, not mine, but it's a true story."

"Right now, outlaws are crossing south of Sierra Vista," he continued. "They will ascend Huachuca Mountain and will see lights of Sierra Vista, Tucson, Benson, Tombstone, and Bisbee, and when they descend they will cross a U.S. military base within spitting distance of buildings where Army intelligence people work every day. That is a debacle and a crime. It is disgusting.

"Recently a Border Patrol Commissioner is quoted as saying; 'Any Border Patrolman who doesn't like Obama's amnesty plan, needs to look for another job.' That's a fact," Ashurst said. "A Border Patrol Intelligence agent just sent out a memo decommissioning anyone willing to give intel. They want the Border Patrol to be unsuccessful."

He said Barack Obama had cut by 50 percent aerial surveillance of the border, without Congressional approval. He did it on his own.

"The fact is that is it intentional, deliberate, calculated and planned out in advance," Ashurst said. "The highest officials in the land want the Border Patrol to be unsuccessful."

Ashurst said he was famous for having a terrible relationship with the Border Patrol, but "it's not their fault. There are a lot of patriotic, hard-working, good agents on the ground trying to do their job. It's planned from D.C."

"Hamas, ISIS, the Taliban, al-Qaeda, Los Zetas, and the Sinaloa Cartel have no better asset on earth than Barack Obama," Ashurst said. "We are currently suffering through another election. Mr. Trump wants to build a wall. I'll tell you about a wall. It will do no good unless there are people watching it. They will go over it, under it, through it. If we had people where they want to build a wall, you don't need the wall. What we desperately need is a commander-in-chief who is a patriot and a warrior. We do not need comprehensive immigration reform. What we need; what we have to have is a change in the rules of engagement. God Bless America," he said to a standing ovation.

Cowan noted that Ashurst's opinions are his own and not that of the New Mexico Cattle Growers' Association. "We don't endorse candidates. Make sure your neighbors are registered, get educated on the candidates and take them to the polls. Make sure they vote."

"You have heard the issues tonight," Cowan said. "We need boots on the border. I don't know how many meetings we've had over the past 15 years. With due respect to the federal representatives, we have walked away from these meetings with little or nothing. Erica and I drafted a list of solutions."

They were projected onto a screen. They read (with their capital letters and underlined comments):

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