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    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    Lastest border scheme only wastes $700 million

    Editorial board, The Republic | azcentral.com 8:38 p.m. EDT March 15, 2014

    Our View: Homeland Security is taking another shot at a virtual fence

    Here's a through-the-looking-glass example of cutting government waste, Department of Homeland Security-style.

    The last time DHS's Customs and Border Protection launched a virtual fence, the failed SBI-net system cost taxpayers $1 billion. Big money.

    The latest high-tech border surveillance scheme is expected to waste only $700 million, according to the Government Accountability Office. A little less waste.

    That means 300 million fewer of your tax dollars will disappear into a black hole named "Oops, We Flubbed It Again."

    Is that reassuring? No.

    Mistakes should become lessons, not recurring themes. Some in Congress agree.

    "In this time of limited budgets, we cannot repeat the mistakes of the past," Rep. Candice Miller, R-Mich., said during a congressional hearing where the GAO report was discussed.

    Alas, the same hearing also included an odd assurance from Customs and Border Protection's Mark Borkowski, assistant commissioner for the Office of Technology Innovation and Acquisition. "What we saw in the demos was impressive," he told Congress.

    Well, no worries then. Demos never lie.

    Except the GAO pointed out significant problems with the agency's plan for high-tech border surveillance. They included:

    • Lack of performance measures.

    • Lack of coordination among components of the system.

    • Failure to independently verify long-term costs.

    • Limited testing of surveillance towers, the most expensive single component.

    What's more, the GAO said Customs and Border Protection has not documented how or whether existing surveillance technology helps agents catch smugglers or migrants entering the country illegally. Nor is it particularly interested in knowing what works or doesn't.

    Borkowski told Congress: "We want to collect the data, but I would caution, until we collect it and study it, it is still an open question as to how much utility it would provide us."

    Who needs facts?

    We do.

    DHS recently awarded a $145 million contract to Israeli-based Elbit Systems to erect up to 50 fixed surveillance towers along the Arizona-Mexico border. Testing was limited.

    This may satisfy border hawks who like to pour money on the problem. But with apprehensions in Texas outpacing those in Arizona, you have to wonder if Homeland Security is fighting the last border war.

    Border security is about more than just spending money on fences, virtual or steel.

    Security should be part of a carefully developed plan. Dare we say comprehensive? It should build on what works and respond to current trends. Without data, Homeland Security can't produce more than scattershot strategies that look good in demos.

    Congress should demand far more accountability. Cutting waste means more than just wasting less than last time.

    http://www.azcentral.com/story/opini...lance/6428205/
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    What better way to sabotage securing the border than to squander money on systems that do not work? Obama gets the best of both worlds. He neutralizes criticism from his opponents by claiming to be spending huge sums of money to secure the border. Thus he creates the false image that he is honestly trying to control illegal immigration while in reality he is facilitating it by using ineffective methods. We know what does not work from experience, and this is what he chooses to spend the money on -- nothing suspicious there. The failure of this system will then be used by the open borders lobby to support their claim that the whole immigration system is broken and there is no way to fix it. You know—“look we tried; we spent 700 million dollars and still the border is out of control. No matter what we do still they come in, etc. blab, blab, blab. Give up surrender; accept it as a fait accompli, etc. blab, blab, blab. Just wait until Grover Norquest start spouting this crap and gullible “tea partiers”start echoing it -- Rand Paul?


    Operation American Spring, 16 May 2014. Be there to demand Obama, Eric (The Thug) Holder and the Marxist junta resign, leave town and never return. Be there before you are made into an illegal foreigner in your own country.

    REMEMBER THE UKRAINE AND HOW COMMON CITIZENS FORCED A CHANGE OF THEIR GOVERNMENT OVER NIGHT.
    Last edited by csarbww; 03-16-2014 at 03:56 PM.

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