Editor's note: This story has now been updated with information from Glenn Beck's Tuesday night broadcast. The text report below has been updated with some of the pictures from GBTV broadcast. The most graphic of the photos we are including only in the video for GBTV subscribers in the on-demand version of the full broadcast that can be seen here.
This video clip is Beck's introduction -- it does not contain graphic images:
As America prepares to draw down from wars abroad, it faces a new conflict as a vicious drug war spills across our southern border with Mexico.
Former Border Patrol Agent Zachary Taylor told The Blaze just how grave the threat really is.
Taylor broke down the imminent dangers and expanded upon the case that the U.S.-Mexico border has become the soft underbelly of U.S. homeland defense.
It's not just an immigration problem, Taylor insisted, but also a major national security vulnerability.
A former US Border Patrol Agent himself, Taylor says all these threats have been exacerbated by current Obama administration policies and deliberate distortions by much of the media.
To understand the scope of the problem, Taylor first wants the public to recognize that the dominant media narrative is intentionally false. As a former and longtime Border Patrol Agent, Taylor balked at the notion that illegal immigration is simply a function of people seeking a better life.
He feels there is a lot of nefarious activity that goes unaddressed, and said: "The main problem is that the American press is working in conjunction with the administration to keep the facts about what is happening in Mexico and Central America a secret. They are hiding it in plain sight, deception I would call it."
Taylor continued: "Our institutions have been corrupted, the 4th estate has been corrupted. It is a tool of disinformation… A psychological warfare operation being waged against the American people using things to deflect their attention."
According to Taylor, many of the people coming across the border are entering America illegally with the intention of doing real harm. They are coming with drugs, guns and inflicting violence, or are part of elaborate human smuggling networks with direct ties to the vast criminal cartels. The appeals to human compassion and "America is a nation of immigrants" meme ignores this very real and growing threat to the United States.
Which brought our discussion to the vicious and powerful Mexican drug cartels.
Taylor made it clear that there is no level of violent depravity or government corruption outside the ability of the cartels. The Sinaloa, the Zetas, and others narco-insurgents are engaged in beheadings, mutilations, sexual assaults, as well as videotaped torture campaigns similar to what most people associate with Al Qaeda.
"I have never seen this level of terrorist messaging," Taylor said, referencing the brazen brutality of the criminal syndicates. Taylor provided the Blaze with slideshows that depict unspeakable cruelty - true evil - that has become the calling card of the cartels. Vans full of headless and dismembered bodies, human carcasses strewn about the side of a desert road - all of it intended to strike terror in the hearts of Americans, as well as Mexicans.
Taylor believes the cartel campaigns are not limited to the nuts and bolts of the drug trade. He told The Blaze that he feels the cartels want to have a hand in Mexican national elections and hope to help bring a sympathetic leftist government to power.
The approximately 45,000 casualties of the drug war so far have been largely a response to Mexican President Calderon's attempts to crack down on the cartels. If the drug barons were able to help install a leftist, anti-American government that would turn a blind eye to the drug trade, it would be a huge victory for the narco-traffickers. And a huge problem for the United States.
"Mexico has an insurgency on its hands -- that is exactly what the problem is -- and America will have the same problem as it makes it easier to get across the border," Taylor said.
But Taylor brought some outside elements into his analysis. He stated that drug cartel activity and terrorist activity are both transnational in nature, which means groups from around the world have become involved.
In this case, that means the Shia militant group Hezbollah.
Taylor said that Hezbollah is allying with the drug and alien smuggling operations at the border to help finance their operations in the Middle East. And in the event of hostilities with Hezbollah's benefactor -- Iran -- Taylor is concerned that the cartel smuggling networks could help make America's WMD nightmare come true.
"Get them close enough and effective enough, they [Hezbollah] could smuggle a Weapon of Mass Destruction into the United States."
For those who would say the threat of a WMD smuggled into the U.S. is hyped or remote, Taylor points to a YouTube video from 2009 in which Muslim cleric Abdullah al-Nafisi talked about bringing 4 lbs of anthrax into the U.S., which he gleefully claimed would kill 330,000 people. It's still available for anyone to see on YouTube, as shown below courtesy of MEMRI.TV:
Faced with all these threats, the federal government has refused to devote enough resources to the problem in Taylor's view. On the contrary, Taylor believes the Obama administration is engaged in efforts to bureaucratically subvert border security for political gain.
When the subject turned to the brave efforts of our border agents, Taylor painted a picture of an undermanned, outgunned, and bureaucratically hobbled federal Border Patrol force. He shared a number of disheartening anecdotes and cases that showed U.S. border efforts are not only insufficient -- decisions are being made at the top of the federal government to make border enforcement more difficult.
Those policy decisions can and do have lethal consequences. In the infamous killing of former Marine and Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, operational guidelines ordered that non-lethal force was the preferred first option of defense for Terry. This ignored the fact that there had already been several attempts to shoot Border Patrol agents in the same area with high-powered rifles.
In 2009, almost exactly one year before Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed by border bandits, another group of BP officers were on ATVs near Ramanote canyon in Arizona. Armed smugglers opened fire on the agents, wounding one in the ankle/foot area, but the other agent was able to withdraw.
The smugglers, however, did not retreat, despite the fact that other border patrol agents came into the area to assist. Taylor said "not only will they [bandits] open fire on Border Patrol, they will advance on them in an attack."
A helicopter arrived on the scene, according to Taylor, but shockingly, the helo crews were prohibited from exfiltrating the wounded agent. Instead, the Border Patrol brought in a horse to carry the agent out of the area to a waiting helicopter because of DHS protocol.
It took 4 1/2 hours from the time of the engagement until the medical evacuation was completed. This was all due, as Taylor put it, to DHS policy with no basis in anything other than slowing down enforcement efforts, endangering Border agents in the process.
Taylor added that the Department of Homeland Security did away with CAS (Close Air Support) helicopters in December 2011 even though with a FLIR-mounted surveillance system, the choppers "almost guarantee you will catch your quarry."
Taylor doesn't mince words about this. He believes the removal of the choppers is an attempt to intentionally hamper the effectiveness of border operations.
The federal government is "killing the operation through policy and how they deploy assets… it's about spending money and making the show, not about effectiveness."
Currently, there are even federal agency turf wars making border enforcement more difficult. Border Patrol Agents are not allowed to enter or pursue on federal wildlife refuges without permission. As some of these preserves -- which fall under the Department of the Interior -- can stretch for nearly a hundred miles from the border, they are basically a smuggler's paradise.
House of Representative Bill 1505 would give agents unfettered access to anywhere within 100 miles of the border, but the mere fact that this legislation is needed speaks volumes about the present state of border security, as Taylor put it.
There can also be clear politics at play in how Border Patrol cases are handled. Agent Jesus Diaz was found not guilty of excessive force by two different internal review boards, but the US Attorney's Office interceded and successfully prosecuted the agent for excessive force.
Taylor said that the federal court did not allow any background info at the trial of Agent Diaz, and the words of four inexperienced agents were used against him in court.
For this offense, Diaz was charged and spent time in prison. In addition, Taylor said it has come to light that all four of the rookie border patrol agents who testified against Diaz have since washed out of the agency.
As if the southern border were not enough, there are problems at the northern U.S. border, as well. Taylor claims that the Obama Administration is intentionally making it easier to illegally cross the northern border through bureaucratic obstacles. The National Forest Service does not allow unfettered access to Border Agents, and DHS is ceasing many transportation checkpoints along the border with Canada.
For Taylor, all of this adds up to a situation that gravely threatens U.S. national security and endangers Americans.
Asked how this state of affairs could continue, or even be allowed to worsen, Taylor summarized his case bluntly.
"This administration is trying to facilitate the entry of illegal aliens into the United States."