Gov. Jerry Brown’s Characterization of California’s fence as the “Berlin Wall,” and his Sanctuary State Political gamesmanship with President Donald J. Trump raises suspicions about his agenda as Commander-in-Chief of the National Guard. Gov. Pete Wilson’s Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Robert C. Thrasher (left) launched the Counterdrug Task Force mission that secured the border with compassion for the seasonal migrant. Will Brown’s Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. David S. Baldwin (Right) follow Sanctuary State orders to not cooperate with the federal government to secure the border or stand down the Cal Guard for possible insurrection if Brown so orders? Or will he be loyal to his Constitutional Oath and follow the President of the United States (POTUS) orders as required by his National Security Strategy? (Center pictures: 1990s Counterdrug Patch and Counterdrug State Service Medal)
Filling the Swamp
Gov. Jerry Brown’s sarcastic characterization of California’s Border Fence as the “Berlin Wall,” is false narrative proponents of open borders have been touting since the California National Guard Counterdrug Task Force (CDTF) started erecting the border fence in 1990.
“The wall, to me is ominous,” Brown told NBC’s Chuck Todd on Meet the Press March 26, 2017. “It reminds me too much of the Berlin Wall. When I see that 30-foot wall, I worry somehow, are they trying to keep me in? Or keep them out?
Brown, Kevin De Leon, and other California politicians are living in ivory towers, far removed from the violence, exploitation and dehumanization of illegal migrants they purport to champion. Politicians grown fat and happy and willing to coexist with: Transnational Criminal Organisations (TCO); corrupt Mexican Politicians; crony capitalists; drug kingpins; and a crooked pharmaceutical industry that addicts Americans to the opioids that drug lords pour across the Southwest Border.
Forming an Unholy Alliance, if you will, that’s produced policies of consumerism that has spoiled an entire California generation. Blinding them, to borrow Pope Francis words, “to [the Unholy Alliance’s] profit, without concern for its potentially negative impact on human beings.” 
The Command of Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Robert Thrasher didn’t mindlessly slap a fence on the border in 1990 when called in support President Ronald Reagan’s National Security Decision Directive (NSDD) 221, Narcotics and National Security. The General recruited an elite command staff to scheme operational control of movement along the border and inside California. The intent was to support drug law enforcement agencies (DLEAs) with military resources and technology without stumbling into immigration enforcement.
The mission was full of peril, risk, and temptations demanding exceptional discipline on part of the command and the troops on the ground who came dangerously close to contact with the heavily armed cartels daily. The border’s honey-combed terrain formed a natural fortress for an armed enemy with its Dardanelles of ravines, valleys, and gullies concealing drug runners and coyotes slipping their cargo into California. A natural fortress that Capt. George Patton described as “inhabitable” and the “windiest place on earth” while part of Gen. John “Blackjack” Pershing’s Punitive Campaign to capture Poncho Villas.
The treacherous topography proved deadly during the maiden missions of Border Ranger I and II. In 1988, it took the lives of three California National Guard aviators and five Southern California Sheriff’s deputies who perished when their UH-1 helicopter crashed and burst into flames about 63 miles east of San Diego.
From the ashes of their sacrifices, however, Thrasher raised a phoenix in Maj. William Hipsely from those Border Ranger Command Staffs. The “Hipster” recruited a full-time 500-person Counterdrug Task Force (CDTF) that wreaked havoc upon the deeply entrenched Drug Trafficking Organizations (DTOs) and disrupted the comfort zone of an Unholy Alliance cohabitating with them.
Hipsley’s Task Force surged DLEAs with military systems and networks that harassed the DTOs and disrupted human trafficking, child pornography, prostitution, and human slavery trade coming across the border and operating throughout the Golden State’s High Intensity Drug Trafficking Avenues (HIDTAs). The Hipster, and his highly talented staff like his executive officer, Maj. Jim Koontz, changed border security mentality through application of the Military’s Battle Operating Systems (BOS) to Counterdrug operations, with intelligence scheming known as “Intelligence Preparation of the Border”, or IPB—an adaptation of Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield.
Military intelligence analysts studied the habits, trends, and tendencies of each of the major drug cartel families. Information they compared with human and electronic intelligence data gathered daily to predict DTOs entry at the border and movement along the HIDTAs meandering into every major California and American city to feed their supply lines and distribution points. Although DLEAs credit Hipsley’s Task Force’s support for more $75 billion dollars in illegal drugs seizures is impressive, the true measure of their success was getting into the Cartels’ heads and influencing their decision-making processes.
With task force support, federal law enforcement pressured Cartels to invest heavily in logistics to skirt the BOS and IPB systems. The Cartels invested millions in: underground tunnels; labor for disassembling drug-toting vehicles on the Mexican side of the fence for re-assembly on the California side; hydraulic machines to lift vehicles over the fence; aircraft for flying over the fence; bulldozers and other equipment for building clandestine airstrips; and catapult contraptions for sling-shooting vehicle parts, drugs, and tools over the fence one piece at a time.
Collectively, the CDTF military support multiplied DLEAs capabilities, empowering them to police longer stretches of border with fewer agents.
The centerpiece of these IPB systems was the fence. It meant mobility for DLEAs, and counter mobility for the DTOs and Human Trafficking Organizations (HTO). Wiley Team Engineer Commander Capt. Wade Rowley and his “Damn Engineers (CDTF Team Engineer’s moniker),” reshaped the terrain simultaneously with erecting the fence. They locked 14 miles of discarded Vietnam War-era helicopter landing pads into more than 100 miles of natural terrain obstacles stretching from the Pacific Ocean to the El Centro desert waste lands between 1990 through 1994.
The savvy “Red Necks” carved away the Cartels and HTOs chokepoints, and wiped away ambuscades these criminals once used as “kill sacs” for waylaying and murdering Border Patrol agents, raping their human cargo, or assassinating crime partners no longer of value to them. The Engineers turned pot-holed dirt trails and paths into high-speed avenues for DLEAs to respond, arrest, and save lives of innocent refugees.
Once safe passage, Goat’s Canyon and Otay Mesa became traps, snaring smugglers and bootleggers into the custody of federal authorities. The CDTF forced the Cartel’s distributors and suppliers into the Pacific Ocean for Coast Guard interception, into the land Ports of Entry (POE) for U.S. Customs search & seizure, and into the unforgiving deserts of the El Centro District, where water was scarce, and cities and towns for resupplying were few and far between. Trafficking costs soared, forcing DTO investment in state of the art all-terrain vehicles, boats, and construction of supply and distribution warehouses along the HIDTAs.
It all fit into Maj. Gen. Robert Thrasher’s command philosophy for helping federal authorities secure California’s Southwest border with compassion for the seasonal immigrant, while supporting the broader national strategy of keeping bridges open for comprehensive Immigration reform and diplomacy with Mexico and our South American neighbors to address the root causes of illegal immigration.
Hipsley’s Task Force executed its mission with respect for Posse Comitatus, deference to Mexican Sovereignty through the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, and compassion for Mexican citizen oppressed by their own government. The systems have withstood the test of time providing the infrastructure for disrupting and preventing terrorist infiltration during Global War on Terrorism (GWOT).
Representative Duncan Hunter championed the fence during his watch, and then rallied Congress to pass the Secure Border Act of 2006 because of the fence obstacle/system’s undeniable success in limiting the traction of the drug, human trafficking, and terrorist threats. Today’s Counterdrug “Joint” Task Force’s (CDJTF) owes its heritage to the Hipster’s task force legacy that kept the bad guys at bay and mitigated their bad influences inside California.
The tactical successes gave legitimacy to Reagan’s Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986. IRCA legalized seasonal workers migration, screened criminals, and sanctioned “ethical” employer practices for hiring seasonal workers. But tactical success and comprehensive immigration reform threatened the strategic interests of crony capitalists, greedy career politicians, corrupt bureaucrats, and TCOs profiting from the exploitation of labor, addicted drug users, and Mexican reparations back flowing from illegal immigrants they exploited.
The Unholy Alliance formed a metaphorical wall of its own, so to speak, gridlocked comprehensive immigration reform through powerful lobbies, bribes, and powerful political action committees (PAC) disguised as compassionate human rights groups. They resisted Reagan’s 1986 IRCA by amending the law with loopholes that permitted crony capitalism to continue labor exploitation while hindering citizenship to immigrants legally entering the country. They blockaded the Immigration Reform and Control Acts of 1986, 1990, 1996, and 2007 with allegations they discriminated against Latinos and employed biased methodologies for criminal background checks.
Unholy Alliance’s surrogates like the American Friends Service Committee scandalized military support as “warmongering gone amok, “violation of the Posse Comitatus, and preposterous claims that the CDTF was engaged in immigration enforcement. They mocked Rowley’s and his damn Engineers’ fence by caricaturing it as the Iron Curtain.
The United States Chamber of Commerce and Mexican Government kept the Unholy Alliances pipeline open on the economic front with the 1994 North American Free Trade Act (NAFTA). Touted by then Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortiari, as “exporting goods, not people,” NAFTA was a smokescreen of treachery and betrayal. The Gortiari Administration repealed subsidies to Mexican farmers, eliminated government price regulation for the poor, and imported cheaper American Foods from Corporations like Tyson Foods.
NAFTA and Mexican policy changes crushed Mexico’s food self-sufficiency, escalated unemployment, and ignited an exodus of thousands of displaced Mexican workers northward, or into the employment of CTOs in the drug and human exploitation industries. Crony capitalism flourished as corrupt corporations, again like Tyson Foods, degraded imported Mexican labor with slave wages and less than optimal working conditions, then pressured American Unions to accept lower wages and less favorable working conditions or see their jobs go southward where the Mexican Government has historically oppressed labor.
Gov. Brown understands that fence he ridicules was neither designed to keep him in nor foreigners out, but to protect a Nation against enemies both foreign and domestic. The Sanctuary State is a façade for an embodiment of domestic and foreign ideologies threatening our Nation.
Domestic threats President Donald Trump identifies as bigotry and oppression and the foreign transnational threat he labels jihadists in the National Security Strategy (NSS) he unveiled in December. The same threats with different names targeted in President Reagan’s NDD 221 in 1986.
Bigotry, oppression, and Jihadists are synonymous with the Unholy Alliance that finds safe haven in California’s Sanctuary State Values. An alliance that might conceivably have the protection of the California National Guard with the Brown Administration’s warped Constitutional interpretation of a State Militia.
On the counsel of his military advisor, Adjutant General Maj. Gen. David S. Baldwin, Brown commingled the state National Guard, State Active Duty (SAD) program, the California State Military Reserve (CSMR), and unorganized militia into a mythical State Militia with Brown as its commander in Chief when he signed Senate Bills 807 and 948 into law. The Brown Administration laws elevates California’s full-time SAD force and its State Defense Forces (SDF)—the California State Military Reserve (CSMR)—to Militia status.
The California National Guard and unorganized militia are militias per Article 1, Section 8 of the United States Constitution. The CSMR is not a militia, but a non-professional military “state entity” Congress approved in 1955 for nonlethal ceremonial and administrative purposes. A 1959 California Attorney General Opinion says SAD is a military service member in name only, not subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UMCJ), and is a “state civil service employee.
These new California Military and Veteran Code (CMVC) laws are at odds with Article 1, Section 8 of the United States Constitution that reserves Congress the authority to oversee the administration and arming of Militias. That section is steadfast that Congress trains and disciplines the Militia—not Governors.
The new CMVC laws, on their surface, also has the potential impact of reversing the Thrasher-Command Counterdrug Command philosophy of helping federal authorities secure California’s Southwest border with compassion for the seasonal immigrant, to protecting an Unholy Alliance’s practice of exploiting the undocumented resident.
The Thrasher Command understood the Constitutional roles of militias, and the non-militia functions of CSMR, and SAD, and managed each appropriately. They supervised the SAD and CSMR as a state entity under the auspices of the California State Military Department, and the state National Guard under DoD oversight through the National Guard Bureau (NGB) command in accordance with federal laws governing the Armed Forces.
The Baldwin Command has leveraged SB 807 and 948 to conflate the California National Guard into the equivalent of a Combatant Command accountable to the Governor for Sanctuary State missions; as opposed to a subordinate DoD/NGB Command answerable to POTUS for common defense of the Nation.
Their SAD reform is a loophole through which state bureaucrats with no military training, military education, and minimum military experience, if any, can infiltrate the DoD-trained National Guard staff to promote Sanctuary State agendas and bog down readiness and response.California lawmakers’ juxtaposition of state civil service employees (SAD), SDF, and Militias not only confuses attorneys, the courts, DoD, and the professional military community, but poses a President John F. Kennedy-Gov. George Wallace-like showdown.
At stake are Brown’s “implied” powers as Sanctuary State Commander-in-Chief per states’ rights verses Trump’s NSS objective to protect the American People, the Homeland, and the American Way of Life as the Cal Guard’s Commander-in-Chief.
Brown in as much telegraphed this intent to manipulate the Cal Guard to thwart Trump’s promises to “Build the Wall” and “restore law and order,” when he impetuously announced he would not order the California National Guard to support a fictitious report that 100,000 National Guardsmen would mobilized to help Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) round-up criminal illegals. Behind the scenes, reliable sources inside CSMR tell me the Brown Administration directed the SDF to secretly plan the transport of thousands of unaccompanied South American youth from Texas to Camp Roberts California in 2014, using California National Guard resources to secure, house and sustain them. Plausibly a harbinger of how the Brown Administration plans to use its blended State Militia.
Then there is the potential of a darker apocalypse. With state law enforcement under Sanctuary State orders to be uncooperative with ICE, it’s highly unlikely that Brown’s Office of Emergency Services will betray their boss by executing mutual aid agreements if Antifa, By Any Means Necessary (BAMN), Black Lives Matter (BLM) spiral out control. The mayors of Los Angeles and Berkeley have already stood by idly, dragged their feet, or outwardly ordered police to stand down as violent anarchists unleashed their fury on perceived Trump supporters.
Given Gov. Brown’s irrational hatred for Trump, will he activate the National Guard to suppress anarchy violence? Or will he abdicate his responsibility to protect Californians by forcing President Trump to federalize the Cal Guard? Then play his coy political game of victim, claiming Trump is invoking martial law and employing Pose Comitatus?
Brown and Sanctuary State comrades De Leon, Sen. Ricardo Lara, and Ben Hueso are determined to tear down that rusty old fence that has frustrated an Unholy Alliance. They want to obstruct the Trump Presidency from upgrading it to a wall, and in so doing rip the California National Guard from its Constitutional oath.
The Brown Administration has dumbed down the Golden State’s educational systems, and radicalized its government, court, and entertainment institutions. Now they bring the State Military Department into Sanctuary State compliance with its subtle Constitutional coup de tat of the California National Guard—so it appears.
The Cal Guard Counterdrug legacy is a threat to the Sanctuary State because it symbolizes that “Sanctuary State Values” are not California Values. The fence represents California’s Constitutional Values born from our Judeo Christian Heritage; and therefore the Sanctuary State must revise its history.
In a metaphorical sense, California’s fence epitomizes the Military’s, and Thrasher Command’s in particular, Border Security genius; standing like colonnades of an ancient civilization demonstrating to America that the border can be secured. That fence Brown disdains is testimony that a border/obstacle system works. It eventually propelled Candidate Trump to the White House.
Baldwin’s hurried ambitions have obviously contributed to what is tantamount to an Unconstitutional State Militia. DoD and NGB, however, share fault for playing along with California’s fictional State Militia.
If Baldwin were held to the Title 10 and 32 statutes regulating the Armed Forces that Active Duty and other Active Duty and Reserve Component generals, admirals and O-6s are bound, we would probably being having a different discussion about his legacy. Instead, NGB has shrugged off its oversight responsibility by rationalizing that California’s SAD and its State Defense Force are a “state matter,” overlooking how their commingling with the state National Guard degrades its readiness.
Their reluctance to intercede makes them partially culpable for harming thousands of California National Guardsmen. 
Baldwin is in the unpleasant situation of serving two masters with the Biblical dilemma of loving one while hating the other. His Command has been seduced by the lucrative SAD program; and lacks the strong sense of Constitutional reverence, justice, and honor the Thrasher Command possessed.
His command is out of synch with Trump’s NSS that resurrects the Reagan NDD legacy mission to reduce the flow of illegal drugs, diminish terrorist intrusion, and encourage Mexico’s and South America’s cooperation to confront and defeat these threats. The mission career politicians abandoned and the Unholy Alliance blocked.
Should President Trump’s Secretary of Defense reprimand Baldwin? As Baldwin has publicly conceded, he’s lost public faith. California citizens living within the tinderbox of a Sanctuary State are entitled to an adjutant general faithful to the U.S. Constitution and obedient to POTUS’ orders– the National Guard’s true Commander-in-Chief– “to protect the American People, the Homeland, and the American Way of Life.”
The DOD Inspector General recommended policy solutions to close these loopholes in its 2014 report titled: Evaluation of Department of Defense Interaction with State Defense Forces. Perhaps it’s time to dust off that report and revisit its recommendations with which the Obama Administration non-concurred. The California National Guard’s morale and readiness are suffering under Baldwin’s leadership, making them vulnerable to the violent anarchy of the Sanctuary State like their civilian law enforcement brethren.
For the protection of Californians, and the sake of Cal Guard troops and their families, POTUS arguably has cause for relieving Baldwin of command and draining the swamp the Sanctuary State’s filled.
Blogger’s Note: conclude my series in Part IV exploring the political and military implications of a Secretary of Defense reliving an adjutant general of National Guard Command. I don’t think it’s ever been done. It’s almost as if Adjutant Generals commanding a state federal National Guard have sanctuary from federal laws governing the Armed Forces of the United States as State appointees; even though they are in charge of the federal component.
The closest I can find is Gov. Doug Christie ordered his adjutant general to comply with the Military’s height and weight standards. Small chance of that happening with Gov. Brown’s adjutant general who insiders say is struggling with his weight.
IT would definitely be controversial and politically bold move if Trump’s Secretary of Defense were to relieve Baldwin of Command of the state’s Federal National Guard, creating a monstrous task of unweaving California’s fictitious State Militia. Then again, President Trump is a non-politically correct President who likes to win and promises us we will all win so much that we’ll “Get tired of it.”
Should be fun and interesting research. Stay tuned.!
Footnotes and Commentary
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