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‘Virtual Fence’ Along Border to Be Delayed

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Spencer S. Hsu, Washington Post, February 28, 2008

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.

The announcement marked a major setback for what President Bush in May 2006 called “the most technologically advanced border security initiative in American history.” The virtual fence was to be a key component of his proposed overhaul of U.S. immigration policies, which died last year in the Senate.

Investigators for the Government Accountability Office had earlier warned that the effort was beset by both expected and unplanned difficulties. But yesterday, they disclosed new troubles that will require a redesign and said the first phase will not be completed until near the end of the next president’s first term.

Those problems included Boeing’s use of inappropriate commercial software, designed for use by police dispatchers, to integrate data related to illicit border-crossings. Boeing has already been paid $20.6 million for the pilot project, and in December, the DHS gave the firm another $65 million to replace the software with military-style, battle management software.


The virtual fence was to complement a physical fence that the administration now says will include 370 miles of pedestrian fencing and 300 miles of vehicle barriers to be completed by the end of this year. The GAO said this portion of the project may also be delayed and that its total cost cannot be determined. The president’s 2009 budget does not propose funds to add fencing beyond the 700 or so miles meant to be completed this year.


Original article

(Posted on February 29, 2008)

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I wish that an American president would just have the guts to declare the tide of illegal (and legal) Hispanic immigration an “invasion”, and act accordingly.

Also, “Virtual” fence? Why not just create a second Berlin Wall? Last time I checked, the Wall was quite the deterrent for Europeans fleeing the Iron Curtain…

Posted by Obscuratus at 7:08 PM on February 29

The Virtual Fence has nothing to do with securing the border. It is simply a means to transfer taxpayer’s money to big corporations that employ or will soon employ former politicians and who support current corrupt politicians via donations arranged by lobbyists.

Think about it — Does anyone use virtual fences in your community? Are schools, businesses, and government agencies surrounded by virtual fences or actual fences? Is the White house surrounded by a virtual fence? Why? Because virtual fences are incredibly expensive and don’t work! A well-designed real fence would be easy to build, would be permanent, and, most important, could be built using low-skilled, low-wage workers, thus reducing welfare costs while stimulating those economically depressed border regions. Instead, Bush want to channel billions of Dollars to his wealthy corporate friends. LIES, LIES, LIES.

Posted by at 7:15 PM on February 29

“Boeing has already been paid $20.6 million for the pilot project, and in December, the DHS gave the firm another $65 million to replace the software with military-style, battle management software.”

If you are I were given $65 Billion, how many miles of impermeable metal fence do you think we could have built by now? Instead, this taxpayer money is going toward giant Million Dollar salaries for corporate big wigs, so that they can own beach-front mansions in the Caribbean. Enjoy paying your taxes this year — at least you can be happy that the corporate staff at Boeing are living the good life.

Posted by at 7:24 PM on February 29

As a journalist project, someone ought to research and put together events like this, where the government says X will be done. But then Y time later, X is not only delayed but also weakened. And a further time later, X is further weakened, and so on.
Because the public is focused on day to day issues, it can’t possibly see these important time-spanned parts of reality. But a research journalist could allow them to see this part of a reality. In a democracy it is the people who are voting, and if they can’t see reality they will make bad decisions.

Posted by Evidence at 8:10 PM on February 29

The Bastards will never build any fence. They have signed a secret agreement with Mexico to tear down all borders so by the time any fence is build it would have to be torn down. America is not a democracy anymore. It is realy a police state where the Middle Class is a cash cow needed to pay for all of the Soviet Congress’s schemes.

Posted by the Soviet Republic of New Jersey at 8:17 PM on February 29

So, even this legerdemain they wanted to spoof us with won’t come for another three years.

Posted by St. Louis CofCC Blogmeister at 8:40 PM on February 29

I found a very interesting link pertaining to this article..

Posted by Pitha at 8:53 PM on February 29

Of course they will never build any type of fence. However, the scheme by congress and big business as well as the mexican invasion will come to an end when it all collapses and we enter a huge depression and this country goes broke. Big business is outsourcing at a huge rate and our jobs are all going overseas. Our government in cohoots with big business is allowing the importation of millions of poor unskilled mexicans with high birthrates into the country for slave labor while the overworked, overtaxed american middle and working class picks up the tab for free medical and social services for all of these mexicans and their many offspring. Congress’s spending is out of control, borrowing money from china to send our tax dollars abroad to countries that hate us. Our debt surpassed 1 trillion a year and our dollar is falling. It won’t be too much longer before there is no more middle and working class to fund all this and then boom, the bottom drops out. Mexicans will stop coming and those here will leave in droves because they’ll be more jobs in mexico and by then the US will be like mexico.

Posted by KC at 10:29 PM on February 29

OK, It’s now 6 years after a bunch of illegal aliens brought down the twin towers in NY, and we still have built only a hundred or so miles of fence? Note that during WWII we built a couple hundred ships and submarines, and tens of thousands of tanks and airplanes, moved those all over the world, and won WWII in less time. Our current government is a joke.

Posted by at 10:36 PM on February 29

I thought Bush had got read of the neo-conservatives, why then in the dyeing months of his presidency does he still betray the American people.

Posted by Irish_reader at 10:36 PM on February 29

The problems are not technical. The problems are POLITICAL. As long as a low-life establishment traitor is in the White House, and a low-life puke loyal to a country other than the United States runs the DHS, little if anything will be done to secure the southern border. It does not fit the agenda, which is the creation of the North American Union, merging Mexico, the US, and Canada into one border free super state. But, in order for the merger to take place, the US and Canada will need to be brought down to the third world level of Mexico. That is, except for those with political and corporate connections.

Posted by Sam at 10:49 PM on February 29

Oh for Heavens’ sake - who can’t see through this ridiculous facade by now??!! They aren’t trying to secure that damned border any more than they are planning to deport the overwhelming majority of the millions of invaders already here! Let’s stop kidding ourselves about this…and just wait until the ‘08 election - at this rate, no matter WHO wins, you can bet the forced Hispanicization of America will be a fait accompli!

Posted by HH at 11:25 PM on February 29

Unprecedented signs of the secrecy and deceit of USA elected reps. Why pass laws to quickly & secretly defund and /or repeal them in other bills. This is the hallmark of what is coming. The current political candidates (none are worthy)demonstrate shallowness and breach the nations integrity. Solutions will be found in prosecutions. V

Posted by Vickie at 12:41 AM on March 1

How convenient.
By the end of the next presidents next term.
obama will shut the whole thing down if it gets to that point. This is probably what bush wants.
What about a real fence. Worked pretty well for east Germany and china.

Posted by The writer formerly known as W.S. at 1:46 AM on March 1

Our present leaders are incapable of properly guiding the nation through the dangers it faces, and in fact place their own petty interests and base desires above that of the nations.

Another page in the sad saga of the smirking chimp’s duplicity.
Legislative approval mandated an actual double fence ; over the
traitor’s frivoulous objections which included costs; it was pared down to a single partial fence, with a section of virtual fence. The virtual fence was touted to be cheaper and hi-tech.

The Chimp also shut down a government economic statistics website recently, ostensibly to save money; but the website’s data which was widely used by economists and reporters was showing the reality of our economic decline.

Meanwhile, in addition to the expenses of the Mid-East war; the Chimp is purchasing 21 new Helicopters for VIP transport use.In January 2005, the U.S. Navy awarded the contract for the construction of 23 new Marine One helicopters to AgustaWestland. Marketing itself as an Anglo-Italian firm, AgustaWestland is wholly owned by Finmeccanica, Italy’s largest defense glomerate.

The initial estimate for these helicopters was $6.1 Billion; but has grown to about $7 billion. That would have covered the cost of three double fences along entire southern U.S. border. Sikorsky, a US manufacterer was given the bum’s rush on this deal. AgustaWestland has sold helicopters to Libya and Iran. The deal was speculated to be a kickback to Italy for their initial support in Iraq war. So, even more US manufacturing jobs lost as a direct result of this decision by the Chimp and his minions.

Posted by from the bronx at 8:46 AM on March 1

A virtual fence no doubt with virtual enforcement using virtual border patrol. Kind of like playing a Nintendo game.

Posted by at 10:57 AM on March 1

There was never any intention to build any fence. The talk about the fence was just to shut up the civilians who wanted control of the border. The politicians of both parties pulled the wool over our eyes.

Posted by at 11:51 AM on March 1

The people want an end to illegal immigration and the deportation of illegals. But the politicians don’t want to do it. As Pat Buchanan says “American democracy is a fraud.”

Posted by sandstorm at 2:37 PM on March 1

Smirking chimp! I love it. I am going to plagiarize that one if you don’t mind.
He also looks like Alfred(What me worry? Newman.
Smirking chimp and his barrel full of neomonkeys.
Seriously though this work should go to American workers.
Investing in American manufacturing and infrastructure would do much to ameliorate the plight of America’s workforce.
Wishful thinking.

Posted by The writer formerly known as W.S. at 3:13 PM on March 1

Jorge Bush, capitulating once again to President Calderon and his buddies in Mexico? Why am I not surprised?

Arizona, California and New Mexico in particular have been all but destroyed by the mass influx from south of the border, and once again, unsurprisingly, our people in power show no interest in combating it. I worked for 5 years in Arizona, in Glendale, Tucson and Sun City, and that entire state is now totally unlivable, a big Third World dumping zone.

White flight from California, Arizona and New Mexico was already tremendous even early in the decade, and now it’s out of control. People are going to Mountain States like Montana and Idaho, Midwestern states like Kansas, Wisconsin, Oklahoma and Indiana, East Coast and Southeastern states such as North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee and Pennsylvania, even to European countries such as Germany, especially if they have heritage there.

The upshot is that enormous stretches of Arizona and California in particular, and increasingly New Mexico as well, once regions with a strong European imprint, are now little replicas of the poorest places in Central America, Africa and SE Asia. The entire Southwest and even much of Florida has now become all but uninhabitable, and if our corrupt leaders in power stay in power for much longer, then this will soon be happening to the entire nation.

Posted by Cameron at 4:18 PM on March 1

Obstacles on the battlefield must be kept under observation in order to be effective.

I would presume the virtual fence is to provide direct observation on the physical fence (so that forces can close with and engage the enemy trying to breach it).

The principle is sound, so let’s get it executed.

Posted by at 9:43 PM on March 1

But, in order for the merger to take place, the US and Canada will need to be brought down to the third world level of Mexico. That is, except for those with political and corporate connections.

Posted by Sam at 10:49 PM on February 29…

Exactly! And at the same time, while the US and Canada are being “brought down” by our political and corporate enemies, we’ll be be paying through the nose to build Mexico up. That way, we’ll end up being one big even “playing field”…

All the more for our rich politicians and corporate leaders, and to heck with the rest of us!

Posted by Jackers at 10:07 PM on March 1


While I am sure your Buchanan quote is correct, i.e. “American Democracy is a fraud”, I would restate it to read “Currently, American Democracy is a Lie”.

Our election codes are lies, our tax codes are lies…representative democracy is a lie.

Posted by at 3:19 AM on March 2

We all knew the fence would never be built. What gets me is the
passion this administration, and others before it, has for Hispanics and illegals in general. Do they think these people will ever be able to pay the taxes that law-abiding citizens must pay? They will never be able to support our elected officials in the styles to which they’ve become accustomed. So, why the approval of border jumpers and the salivating over the Hispanic vote. Do you supose there is a quid pro quo somewhere?
Like D.A. King says, “Follow the money.”

Posted by June at 8:26 AM on March 2

It is time for more DIY by private citizens. Grass roots action via the internet like the Minute Men. Start raising funds from regular Americans for a fence and start suing the government for not doing their job. Breach of contract comes to mind. I am over simplifying but you get the picture.

Posted by the way at 10:25 AM on March 2

“But, in order for the merger to take place, the US and Canada will need to be brought down to the third world level of Mexico. That is, except for those with political and corporate connections.”
Take a trip on I 10 through New Mexico and Arizona. South Tucson already looks like Mexico.

Posted by Superman at 11:45 AM on March 2

“I would presume the virtual fence is to provide direct observation on the physical fence (so that forces can close with and engage the enemy trying to breach it).”

The above statement would be correct, except that they don’t plan to build a real fence. The Virtual Fence will be just what the name implies — not a real fence. All this high-tech stuff won’t work, will be unbelievably expensive, will break constantly (how long would your computer or camcorder work, exposed to the hot Arizona sun for 12 hrs every day?), and even if some guy sitting in a monitoring room in Tucson does see an illegal, that illegal will be long gone by the time the message filters down to the guys in the field. A two-layer fence with an intervening “trap zone” is the best.

Posted by at 11:48 AM on March 2

Does this surprise anyone?

Posted by at 1:49 PM on March 2

Fence delayed? Boy, that’s a big surprise!

Posted by at 7:23 PM on March 2

Fence or no fence makes little difference. (If it did make a difference, the cause would be hopeless….cause the fence will never be built.) There will never be a “virtual” fence, only an “imaginary” fence.

Fortunately, we don’t need it anyway. What we do need is for Americans to get off top dead center and quit waiting for liars to make good on worthless promises. There is no political solution…..there will be no soapbox.

Stop hiring the invaders. Stop doing business with anyone who does. Do not sell to them. Do not buy from them. Do not hire any to mow your grass or babysit. Encourage your state to pass laws like Arizona and Oklahoma the keep them from working in this country. If they cannot work, they will not stay. No need to hunt them down, cut off the bongo bucks and they will leave on their own steam.

Posted by Memphomaniac at 12:56 AM on March 3

I wonder if the drug trade coming from the south is having an effect on the politicians wanting a fence and if the citizens formed a grass roots movement to monitor the border if we wouldn’t have the drug cartels shooting innocent civilians?
The first law of goverment is to protect their citizens but I think the powers that be would let a few get shot to discourage normal citizens taking action and stopping illeagle crossings of all sorts.
If we stopped the border crossings then in a short time Mexico would have a Revoulution and some politicians hands would not get the grease from both the drug smugglers and the people smugglers.

Posted by pat at 2:45 AM on March 3

“Homeland Security apprehend 2,000 illegal immigrants”

How many didn’t get caught?

That’s 2000 we have to detain, process, and deport. How much is that going to cost us? Why not just keep them out to begin with?

Posted by Drifter at 6:10 AM on March 3

I wonder how many illegal aliens have been used building these fences.

Posted by at 8:51 AM on March 3

I think I will become a virtual citizen and pay virtual taxes, since we already have a virtual government.

Posted by Lars at 4:04 PM on March 3

Three years! That delay would allow how many to cross? More false statements from the “really respectable” US gov. haha

Posted by Trisket at 5:16 PM on March 3

When the IRS comes calling, just tell’em you sent in a virtual payment. I’m sure they’ll be forgiving.

Posted by Cop at 5:19 PM on March 3

Someone needs to build subdivisions along the Mexican border, then have the residents complain about traffic noise. The walls would go up in no time.

Posted by SouthernWhiteGirl at 1:36 AM on March 4

Civil disobedience is the only answer.

On a mass scale that cannot be put down by the military.

It would be interesting if the military would listen to the politicians or the average man in the street.

Remember there are more of us than them. Lots more.

Posted by at 1:58 AM on March 5

The only option that will succeed at keeping Hispanic illegals in Mexico is a “Wall of Fear” comprised of civilian marksmen targeting every invader who attempts to cross our border…

Posted by at 2:08 PM on March 5

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