Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 25, 2011

U.S. Special Operations In Mexico

Three puzzle pieces about operations against Mexican drug cartels let me assume that U.S. Special Forces are involved in recent mass killings of alleged Zeta Cartel members in Mexico.

From a piece which ran on October 20 in the LA Times: Mystery group targets Veracruz drug cartel

VERACRUZ, Mexico — Callers to the radio program were voicing support for the Matazetas, the Zeta killers.

Better they fight among themselves. Let them kill each other. Anything to rid us of thugs who long ago took control of our city and are slaughtering our people.
Yet, it also comes with a disturbing question: Just who is behind the killings of Zetas? Another drug gang? Agents acting on behalf of the government or military? An ad hoc group whose presence is tolerated by authorities as well as the public?
On Sept. 20, nearly three dozen half-naked bodies were dumped in broad daylight on a busy highway underpass in a well-to-do tourist area of Veracruz, the state capital. Fourteen more turned up days later — during a convention of the nation's top state and federal prosecutors. Then, on Oct. 6, barely 48 hours after announcing a major security offensive, military and police found 36 bodies, and 10 more turned up the next day.

In videotaped presentations, a group of masked men with military bearing have claimed responsibility for the spate of killings, portraying it as a cleansing operation. Many bodies had a "Z" for Zeta written on the back with ink marker, a witness said.

The mystery group announced it was in Veracruz as "the armed branch of the people, and for the people."

My first though after reading the above was "That's JSOC".

The U.S. Joint Special Operation Command and its Special Mission Units does dirty work against terrorists, often in cooperation with the CIA. It sometimes uses local forces which it trains, supplies with information and leads into combat. It is also quite good at Information Operations, i.e. issuing propaganda in support of its operations. Those callers to the radio program supporting these mass killings may be something other than random radio listening Mexican civilians.

Are such U.S. units involved in extralegal killing of assumed drug gangsters in Mexico?

The Zeta Cartel was founded by 30 former Mexican Army Special Forces. Anyone who wants to fight them needs some superb military capabilities. The success of the Matazetas, the Zeta killers, points to high qualified military trained personal with additionally very good access to information about the gangs.

Today's NYT adds to the picture on the intelligence side:

As the United States has opened new law enforcement and intelligence outposts across Mexico in recent years, Washington’s networks of informants have grown there as well, current and former officials said. They have helped Mexican authorities capture or kill about two dozen high-ranking and midlevel drug traffickers, and sometimes have given American counternarcotics agents access to the top leaders of the cartels they are trying to dismantle.

Typically, the officials said, Mexico is kept in the dark about the United States’ contacts with its most secret informants — including Mexican law enforcement officers, elected officials and cartel operatives — partly because of concerns about corruption among the Mexican police, and partly because of laws prohibiting American security forces from operating on Mexican soil.
[T]he United States, hoping to shore up Mexico’s stability and prevent its violence from spilling across the border, has expanded its role in ways unthinkable five years ago, including flying drones in Mexican skies.

U.S. drones over Mexico do not only allow for visual surveillance, which is often useless, but also for the more effective SIGINT, signal intelligence, side of the drone capability. IMSI catcher on board of the drones allow the operators to know the location of each mobile phone in the surveillance area and to listen to what is said through them. If one has the number of a mobile phone of a suspect the drone can find out where the person who carries it is and which other phone carriers that person is meeting. This method of finding assumed suspects and their networks has been used in Iraq and is widely used by JSOC in Afghanistan, often with deadly consequences for innocent civilians.

A third piece for the puzzle comes from a blog post Col. Pat Lang wrote in December 2009: JSOC and the Mexican drug lords

I suggest that [JSOC] should be unleashed on the Mexican drug cartels. Kill or capture. Kill or capture. Those should be the instructions. The legal niceties could be "cleaned up" through arrest or execution warrants. On the other hand, maybe that is not necessary if recent history is a guide.

As one can tell from the dates of the comments to the piece, Pat Lang reissued that post three days ago on the front page of his blog. It is now back in the archives. But why did he republish it?

In recent days there were reports about mysterious mass killing of Zetas by high qualified military personal, acknowledgment of high-tech U.S. intelligence operations against the drug cartels in Mexico and a former Defense Intelligence Agency head relaunched a two year old blog post that demanded JSOC "kill or capture" operations against drug cartels.

Looks like a duck, walks like a duck, ...

Unlike the Taliban the Zetas do have the capability to hit inside the United States. If JSOC is really operating those death squadrons in Mexico we can soon expect some violent retributions on the northern side of the border.

Posted by b on October 25, 2011 at 01:44 AM | Permalink


Good post b. And you are right on the money about the most likely consequences.

Posted by: amar | Oct 25, 2011 2:07:41 AM | 1

The return of the "El Salvador Option" to Mexico? The zombie one trick pony of death, mayhem, and catastrophic failure is off to the races again.

c&p >>

sorry, haven't been able to make links work here since b's return.

Posted by: anna missed | Oct 25, 2011 4:53:23 AM | 2

Another very good post. I think you nailed it.

Posted by: Joseph | Oct 25, 2011 7:02:15 AM | 3

So, let's compare and contrast this with all foreign policy....for example, the Neocons and their allegedly "incompetent" incursion into Iraq, and the "fill in the blank" and their allegedly "incompetent" and "stupid" incursion into Libya.....and so forth and so on.

It brings me back to an underlying theme which I have put on offer here, and it's not so much that any of this is about ideals and ideology, so much as it is about perpetuating the existence of the Military Industrial Complex.....a Complex which now supersedes any notion of a Nation/State. As part of the strategy of perpetuation, you build it up only to tear it down, offering absurd rationales and pretexts to the easily deluded public in order to manufacture consent for continual violence and war.

Pursuant to that, Iraq is put on the shelf, or in the bullpen if you will, for possible destruction when it may be needed in the future. They destroyed it, allowed it to build some semblance of order in its place, and reserve the right to destroy it once again when the Zeitgeist presents itself, Max Boot be damned.

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Oct 25, 2011 8:27:31 AM | 4

Oh, and in this case, we can say with certainty, this is scum murdering I hope they inflict numerous casualties amongst their brethren....but sadly, that's never the case. the cowards prefer to target the innocents because, in the end, they are just that, murderous, thieving cowards who don't want a fair and even fight.

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Oct 25, 2011 8:30:18 AM | 5


You're amazing. But I'm curious how all this fits into the whole CIA drugs/weapons thing across the boarder. Are the Zetas fighting against the Corporation or are they in bed with them? Is all this just another fight to control the lucrative drug trade or is something deeper happening?

Questions, questions, and with this kind of story nothing is what it seems.

I'm also a little curious as to why the U.S. Federal Government has taken to busting medical pot in California and other areas?


Posted by: DaveS | Oct 25, 2011 8:30:22 AM | 6

And then there is this for consideration.

....the D.E.A. has been expanding its global reach. It now has 87 offices in 63 countries. One of the things foreign governments love about the agency: its wiretapping capability.

The DEA has emerged from the shadow of the FBI and become much more than a drug agency. Its intelligence capabilities are in great demand, world-wide, but not always for the right reasons. This detailed article on the leaked Wikileaks cables concerning the DEA and war on drugs begins with Central and South America, where some governments want access to its technologies to go after political opponents.....

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Oct 25, 2011 8:54:41 AM | 7

yikes, freaky....

Posted by: annie | Oct 25, 2011 11:35:23 AM | 8

Gangs are infiltrating the US army

Posted by: nikon | Oct 25, 2011 12:02:09 PM | 9

Recently, b,et al, i've been thinking:

* With the recent Iran/Zetas/Saudi Assassin scam, the Obama admin. has laid the seeds of faith should anyone suggest that violence by a Mexican drug cartel -- specifically, the Zetas -- is an act of "terrorism", originating from the middle east, and specifically with Iran.

* Now, there appears to be a serious US-assisted action against the Zetas, resulting in lots of dead people.

* If the Zetas retaliate, then....?

A new 9-11?

War with Iran?

Posted by: china_hand | Oct 30, 2011 10:03:40 AM | 10

@10, if the Zetas are the real deal, then any retaliation would be issued upon some VIPs on the U.S. side of the border. Any retaliation that is visited upon innocents on the U.S. side of the border that fails to take out anyone of import reveals at least one of two things, and perhaps both.

1.) The event is a false flag terrorist event.....the ultimate purpose for said event to be revealed by the actions taken and cover story provided subsequent to said event.

2.) The Zetas are not a truly independent organization, but rather are loosely affiliated within the nefarious complex web of the WOD (War On Drugs).

I believe it is both, but the second is a highly nuanced relationship, and the rules of engagement do not follow conventional logic. Remember, the U.S. trained these scum in scumbaggery. All of these snakes crawled out of Medusa's head. Keep your eyes on Medusa, yet remain vigilant about the potential of Medusa's snakes.

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Nov 1, 2011 9:21:27 AM | 11

The comments to this entry are closed.