Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Slam Dunk

Querétaro is about 450 miles from the nearest beach, and farther still from the nearest wet t-shirt contest, so we've generally decided not to wade into the whole "Don't go to Mexico for Spring Break" controversy. Our opinion has been that, unless you're spending Spring Break in Juarez (in which case there's something very, very wrong with you), it's completely safe, though at the same time we'd rather these throngs of drunken underage buffoons went elsewhere. We don't really know how important Spring Break is to the Mexican economy, but we're pretty sure that a nation dependent on horny teenagers sleeping six to a room and subsisting on tequila shooters is not a nation destined for greatness.

Still, when the disgraced former head of the Central Intelligence Agency gets pulled into the discussion, we're interested. This is a long excerpt from an email that's been making the rounds lately:

Some important and very relevant inside information regarding the security situation in Mexico has come to my attention:

I just received a call from an acquaintance who is friends with the son or George J. Tenet, a former director of the CIA from 1997-2004. This acquaintance, is also scheduled to Spring Break in Acapulco next week (and was clever enough to buy insurance on the trip so that plans could be canceled for full refund and who just might cancel his plans after what I will tell you). Mr. Tenet’s son also had plans to go on Spring Break to Acapulco, but Mr. Tenet called the head of Mexican intelligence to see what the deal really is. After his conversation, he has decided to cancel his son’s trip because of the security risks, which according to my friend (who received information firsthand from Tenet’s son are as follows:

Mexican authorities and the drug cartels are in the process of negotiations (obviously). The US State Department has already issued warnings to college students not to Spring Break in Mexico due to the current violence. They have done so because they know a lot more than we do, but they, however, do not tell the whole story like it really is for a variety of reasons. What the American public allegedly does not know at this point (according to my friend) is that the drug cartels have offered an ultimatum to Mexican intelligence. Although I do not know the specific terms of this ultimatum, I have heard that if the terms are not met by the end of this week (perfect timing as our spring break coincides with the one week expected to bring more American college students to Mexico than any other week), the drug cartels have threatened to begin targeting young spring-breaking Americans next week with kidnappings and shootings in the 3 biggest hot-spots of Cancun, Cabo San Lucas, and Acapulco (the one destination of the three that is already very unsafe, more so than the others). Some Americans have already been caught in crossfires in Acapulco when they weren’t even being targeted. If drug cartels were to start targeting American spring breakers next week, the situation would become such a clusterfuck that nobody, not even bodyguards or policemen would be able to handle. Furthermore, think about how easy it would be to blow up one or both of the clubs where Americans go to party in Acapulco.

I imagine this information does not come out publicly because those destinations would immediately start to go crazy and become a total mess (definitely completely unmanageable by Mexican authorities) when residents and current spring-breakers hear the news...

Alberto Sevilla
The Wharton School
Candidate for Bachelor of Science in Economics, May 2009
Double Concentration in Finance and Real Estate
3913 Pine Street, Apt. #2F
Philadelphia, PA 19104

It's worth stepping back for a second and asking ourselves, in light of the events of the past several months, which institution has done more to fuck up the world, Langley, or the Wharton School? Alberto Sevilla is about to graduate with a double major in finance and real estate, and will likely play an active role in extricating us from the current financial crisis. He is also, based on this email, either a total rube with the IQ of a bag of hammers, or a liar, since his friend's "firsthand" account is largely bullshit.

The e-mail message exaggerated some of the facts, saying that Mr. Tenet, who resigned from the C.I.A. in 2004, had consulted with the head of Mexico’s spy agency and had been told that the cartels had threatened to harm tourists.

It turns out that no conversation between the spy chiefs took place, and thus no such threat was disclosed, Mr. Harlow [Tenant's former spokesman at the CIA] said. “It’s true that his son was considering going to Mexico for spring break, but Mr. Tenet looked at the public State Department warnings and news accounts and determined it probably wasn’t a good idea to go down there,” Mr. Harlow said. “As for the rest of it, there’s no there there.”

But enough about Alberto Sevilla, who is certainly not the dumbest college kid pondering a Spring Break vacation in Mexico. Instead, let's just savor the image of George Tenet reading cautionary information from the State Dept., deciding it's valid, and, as a result, recommending that young American men and women (or at least his own son) not be sent into a dangerous foreign country. My God, how he's grown.

    Update: A friend has suggested, in fairness to young Mr. Sevilla, that Tenent hijo may have indeed said what Sevilla reported, and in doing so was simply carrying on the family tradition of inflating evidence and exaggerating threats. We guess we can't knock a kid for trying to impress his old man.

    Later Update: Well, sometimes we can.


Anonymous said...

Never been to Juarez. But I did spend one regretful (and miraculously disease free) night in Boystown outside Nuevo Laredo. ugh

Anonymous said...
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Burro Hall said...

Previous comment deleted in the interest of preserving a source of comedy gold.

-- Burro Hall Administrator

Anonymous said...

well, ah been to juarez, and it was scary. miles of yonke stands constructed from plywood...the other side was scarier - el paso had scary folks with rifle racks in their pickups who picked up prostitutes and made them scream loudly in the hotel rooms all night long, not happy screams...