commentary on Politics and a little bit of everything else

The technical part of the border war isn’t cheap and some of it isn’t working……

With the administrations latest suspension of the building along the border…..People have begun to take a look at all the high-tech stuff that has been thrown against the problem….

With the GAO in the lead there has been a realization that only thing that the government can count on…

Is Border Patrol officers ‘boots on the ground’….

The Secure Border Initiative Program has been spotty at best……..

The Obama administration’s recent surprise decision to suspend new work on a multibillion-dollar high-tech border control system — the third attempted since 1997 — raises further questions about the government’s use of computer networks and sensors in an effort to seal the border with Mexico.

As part of a broad illegal immigration crackdown called the Secure Border Initiative, a seamless “virtual fence” launched in 2005 was supposed to be up and running by last year. Among other things, the project known as SBInet called for a vast surveillance system along the 2,000-mile Southwestern border capable of detecting immigrants, drug traffickers, and potential terrorists as they attempted to cross into the United States.

But at the current slow pace of construction, SBInet would take decades to complete. Only a 28-mile-long prototype is fully up and running in Arizona, to mixed reviews.

In March, shortly before the House Homeland Security Committee met to discuss SBInet, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced that $50 million in planned stimulus spending on the project had been diverted to other border protection initiatives. That marked a sharp turnabout for the Obama administration, which had professed strong support for the effort.

Napolitano, a former Arizona governor who backed using such technological solutions on the border during her nomination process, saidthat SBInet “has been plagued with cost overruns and missed deadlines.” It also has been marked by technical problems and poor government planning, according to congressional testimony and independentinvestigations by watchdogs like the Government Accountability Office.

The lead contractor on the project, Boeing Co., has earned $615 million so far. Company officials declined requests from the Center for Investigative Reporting to comment on SBInet. Officials from U.S. Customs and Border Protection also would not answer questions about the project.

The problems with SBInet represent what critics call the federal government’s history of overreliance on speculative technology sold at great cost to taxpayers. Washington has spent some $800 million on SBInet. When earlier failed border technology projects are included, the price tag jumps to $1.1 billion, according to figures released during congressional hearings.

Some lawmakers now are questioning whether SBInet should be abandoned.

“At least $800 million so far has been wasted,” Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) fumed in an Aprilhearing. “Think of how that money could have been spent to try to improve our border security. There’s been a lack of oversight; there’s been a lack of accountability, and by most reports, this virtual fence has been a complete failure.”

Backers say that bugs in SBInet technology are being ironed out and the prototype is beginning to produce results, including the apprehension of intruders. Still, the continued march of illegal immigrants into the United States, despite the Secure Border Initiative, has undoubtedly set back efforts at comprehensive immigration reform and perhaps will lead other states to follow the example of Arizona, where a tough new immigration law has triggered protests across the country.

Years in the Making

High-tech border surveillance took on a new sense of urgency in the wake of the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Concerns about immigration and national security merged in a campaign for an array of cameras, sensors, and computer technology that would alert border protection officials when intruders were detected.


May 24, 2010 - Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Computers, Counterpoints, Government, Law, Media, Men, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, The Economy, Travel | , , , ,


  1. Lets be HONEST

    the descendants of this nation had no PERMISSION from the Native Americans to be here

    so people ZIP IT and leave the MIGRANTS alone

    Comment by Timothy Leal | May 24, 2010 | Reply

  2. Agreed….

    Comment by jamesb101 | May 24, 2010 | Reply

  3. So First Alert can’t do everything.

    Big surprise.

    I say go with land mines and especially machine guns in guard towers!

    So I can get a job.

    That gives a 80% pension after 20 years.

    And the Indians (Asian immigrants) had no permission to be here either.

    And they used to rob and kill each other.

    Over roots and berries.

    And an occasional slave or squaw.

    Who knew how to cook the roots and berries.

    But not horses or firearms.

    Creating the Indian way of life.

    Like in the old western movies.

    The European’s introduced those dog soldiers.

    So be warned!

    North America was once part of Ireland before the Continental shift took place.

    A woolly Mammoth told me so!

    So if your not Irish

    You have to leave!

    (Right after the next beer.)

    Comment by Manila Calling! | May 24, 2010 | Reply

  4. And the Indians (Asian immigrants) had no permission to be here either
    theory is some came from Egypt

    Comment by Timothy Leal | May 25, 2010 | Reply

  5. I say go with land mines

    Ah land mines the PRINCESS DIANA personal crusade

    if she had stuck through perhaps 09.11.01 would have not occurred

    Comment by Timothy Leal | May 25, 2010 | Reply

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