On February 14, 2008 Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff announced the U.S. government’s intention of accepting the 28-mile section of virtual fence now constructed along the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona by Boeing Company contractors working for the federal government. “I think it looks good,” Chertoff told lawmakers two weeks ago.
The virtual fence is the U.S. government’s politically correct answer to the American citizen’s demands for stronger border enforcement aimed at curtailing the continued influx of illegal aliens into the United States from Mexico. Furthermore, it is their alternative to the 750 miles of double layered border security fencing mandated by the 2006 border fence law which has been under attack by minority special interest groups like the racist organization, La Raza, environmental activists and the Mexican government.
Unfortunately, the $20.6 million dollar project which President Bush hailed in May 2006 as “the most technologically advanced border security initiative in American history,” doesn’t work, and it isn’t that it simply has a few problems that can be quickly ironed out, the virtual fence is an unmitigated fiasco. In fact the fence is such a complete disaster that it’s sensors failed to pick up a group of more than 80 illegal aliens traveling together as they were spotted by a U.S. Border Patrol Agent when they crossed the border into the United States.
Richard M. Stana, the General Accounting Office’s director of homeland security issues, testified before a House subcommittee this week that cameras employed along the virtual fence were purportedly capable of resolving images at a distance of ten kilometers however, in actual practice those cameras proved to be incapable of giving anything close to a clear image at less than half that distance, the radar system is triggered by rain and wind while illegal aliens seem to wander through the area without triggering anything and the U.S. Border Agents operating the multi-million dollar system from it’s Tucson command center have found it nearly impossible to lock any of the virtual fence cameras on previously identified targets.
Rather than scrapping what was obviously an ill advised idea in the first place and possibly jailing a few of the Boeing executives for bilking the American taxpayers out of enough money to fund another one of the Democrat’s social welfare programs, the Department of Homeland Security has given Boeing another $65 million dollars to replace the current software. Meanwhile, homeland security officials are now saying that the virtual fence, which was estimated in 2006 to eventually cost $7.6 billion dollars before the completion of its first 100 miles in 2008, will be further delayed, and at this point in time neither the federal government, the President nor the entire Department of Homeland Security are willing to speculate how much more of the taxpayer’s hard earned money will be chucked into the virtual bottomless pit or when the questionable project might be completed. Richard Stana admitted that the current project, which the Department of Homeland Security has had full control of since its inception, is so half-assed that DHS officials don’t even know the type of terrain over which their proposed boondoggle is supposed to built, they don’t have any idea what materials will be used in it’s construction or how much it will cost the American tax payers to purchase the land where it is to be constructed.
In 2004, the Department of Transportation completed the construction of more than 2,205 linear miles of highway barriers in forty-five different states and in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico at a cost of around $3 billion dollars. These highway barriers are the twelve and forteen foot high sound walls you see on both sides of most American freeways throughout this nation. The construction on these highway barriers was completed in a cost-effective timely manner and neither the construction nor the final product has been shown to adversely impact the sensibilities of individuals living nearby, the drivers on the highways running between them, the migrating birds, mammals, insects, fish, vegetables or other plant life in the area, or the sensitive racial feelings of Latinos illegally living in the affected areas. At the time of this writing no species yet known to man has been forced into extinction as a result of building these highway barriers. It seems entirely logical to assume that if the U.S. Department of Transportation can construct 2,500 linear miles of twelve and fourteen foot high barriers along this nation’s highways, then the federal government should be able to competently and responsibly manage the construction of a mere 750 miles of visually pleasing, double-layered border security fence at a total cost that is far less than what they have already blown out their furry butts for a 28 mile stretch of virtual fence that is virtually worthless and has proven beneficial to nobody outside Boeing who is being paid far too much money to construct it.