An ambitious, multibillion-dollar project to hot-wire the new Southwest border fence with high-tech radar, cameras and satellite signals has been plagued with serious system failures and repeated delays and will probably not be completed for another seven years – if it is finished at all.
There, the supposedly state-of-the-art system combining sensor towers, communication relay systems and unattended ground sensors has been bogged down with radar clutter, blurred imagery on computer screens and satellite time lapses that often permit drug smugglers and undocumented workers to slip past U.S. law enforcement agents, government officials candidly admit.
“It was a great idea, but it didn’t work,” said Mark Borkowski, executive director of the electronic fence program at the Homeland Security Department.
“One of the kickers was that these radars had too many problems with clutter,” Borkowski said. “Wind moving a tree shows up on the radar. And if you have too much of that, how do you find the person in the clutter? Same with cameras. The image is blurry.”
The problems have prompted Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to order a department-wide assessment of the technology project once billed as the capstone to the controversial 2,000-mile combined physical and electronic border fence.
Now the project, which spent $2.4 billion between 2005 and 2009, has hit so many snags that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is freezing its funding.
“Not only do we have an obligation to secure our borders, we have a responsibility to do so in the most cost-effective way possible,” wrote DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano in a press release Tuesday. “The system of sensors and cameras along the Southwest border known as SBInet has been plagued with cost overruns and missed deadlines.”
|We are not one’s that put our thumbs to our noses and go ‘na-na-na-nana-na’ however, we are the sort that does say: When are these people in government going to wake up? People! The original cost estimates and length of the fence were supposed to be around 2,000 miles and six billion dollars; it is now rather obvious that none of this effort is near completion at all. Therefore, we ask the central government specifically, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), now what? People, this is just another failure upon failure above failure that ostensibly happens every time the government gets involved with anything.
Just for the sake of reason we submit to you that NASA put a man on the moon and returned to earth using technology that amounted to less that the ancient Apple II far before the Mac was even a thought.
Ladies and gentlemen far be it from us – yet it appears that the U.S. government doesn’t want a legitimate means of security our borders. Several of us here have loveable “man’s best friend” in dogs, and to keep them from going out into busy traffic or even go exploring ourInvisible Fence has never failed us.