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Time Flies

Last week the ‘virtual fence’ was the greatest thing since sliced bread, and was helping the Border Patrol scoop up scads of bad guys.

This week the Washington Post reports ‘Virtual fence’ along border to be delayed

The Bush administration has scaled back plans to quickly build a “virtual fence” along the U.S.-Mexico border, delaying completion of the first phase of the project by at least three years and shifting away from a network of tower-mounted sensors and surveillance gear, federal officials said yesterday.

Technical problems discovered in a 28-mile pilot project south of Tucson prompted the change in plans, Department of Homeland Security officials and congressional auditors told a House subcommittee.

Though the department took over that initial stretch Friday from Boeing, authorities confirmed that Project 28, the initial deployment of the Secure Border Initiative network, did not work as planned or meet the needs of the U.S. Border Patrol.

This is perimeter security. Prisons require perimeter security as does the military. Prisons use this type of equipment for perimeter security. Why not ask the Bureau of Prisons what they use? The military versions assume armed assault. Illegal border crossing does not normally involve armed assault and land mine use would probably be frowned upon, as would the machine guns, mortar positions, and Claymores, so why don’t we stop trying to militarize another government function and deal with what little reality is available in this stupid waste of money.

11 comments

1 Carl { 02.28.08 at 2:31 pm }

The article doesn’t say what the technical difficulties are. Are they military secrets, to avoid preparations for circumventing the barrier ahead of time?

Robert Frost, with a great deal of insight, wrote that, “Something there is that doesn’t love a wall.”

Those who try to wall somebody out run a big risk of discovering that they are actually walling themselves in.

2 Bryan { 02.28.08 at 5:43 pm }

Exactly so, Carl, which is why I suggest that the prison system is the place to look for this kind of technology, because the Hedgemony is trying to turn the country into a prison.

Stalinists, the entire crew.

3 oldwhitelady { 02.28.08 at 8:20 pm }

What? What’s this “sliced bread” you mentioned? 🙂

Someone mentioned that we could save a LOT of money if we got Mexico to become our 51st state. We would have no need for that fence. Corporations would hate that idea, though.

4 oldwhitelady { 02.28.08 at 8:21 pm }

ack… Someone at work mentioned….

5 Bryan { 02.28.08 at 8:43 pm }

I’m not sure that they would agree as it would mean accepting part of our national debt.

6 Steve Bates { 02.28.08 at 11:55 pm }

OWL, I believe Mexico has more sense than to join the U.S. at this point in history.

Following Carl’s lead, let me paraphrase: “Good fences make good neighbors good no-bid contracts.” I still haven’t met anyone here who thinks the fence, physical or virtual, is a good idea.

7 Bryan { 02.29.08 at 12:33 am }

Having driven the El Paso to San Diego route too many times, and being stationed in West Texas, I know what the terrain is like, and a fence is a criminally stupid waste of money. Anyone who really wants to get across that border will, unless you have the people, and they want to do everything except hire the people.

8 fallenmonk { 02.29.08 at 8:09 am }

If it wasn’t my tax money being flushed down the toilet this Keystone Kops thin would be funny. However as my Grandpa used to say it’s like throwing rocks down a sinkhole.

9 Bryan { 02.29.08 at 10:11 am }

Well, at least they are keeping up the grand traditions of corporate IT – the reports say that the project designed, planned, and installed without talking to any of those expected to use it.

10 Badtux { 03.01.08 at 1:01 am }

My suspicion is that the “technical problems” had to do with the tower equipment being stripped and sold to the nearest metals recyclers within hours of being erected :-).

– Badtux the Snarky Penguin

11 Bryan { 03.01.08 at 8:56 am }

It’s possible the “bad guys” had figured out how to use it to track the Border Patrol.

One of the problems at the new crossing on Otay Mesa was adjusting the sensors. Some were picking up snakes crawling over them and others needed a loaded 18-wheeler to trigger.