Past Features

January 30, 2017

NY Times -- January 28
One Certainty of Trump's Wall: Big Money
An earlier attempt tried cameras and radar but ran over budget. The project was a loss for taxpayers. But for contractors, it was a big win.
    It was the border wall that didn't get built.
    In 2006, Boeing and a team of other companies won a federal contract to construct a wall to protect the United States border with Mexico, which stretches roughly 2,000 miles, from California to Texas.
    Five years and about $1 billion later, the government threw in the towel. Costs had ballooned, and the surveillance systems suffered from technical difficulties. Nearly all of the money had been spent on just 53 miles of the border in Arizona.
    The project was a loss for taxpayers. But for contractors, it was a big win.

Glenn Spencer -- January 30  
"How many times does CBP's Mark Borkowski get to fail?"
    In its story on Big Money on the border, the New York Times sets a new record --- just about everything it reported was false and misleading.
    Let's start with its first sentence: "In 2006, Boeing and a team of other companies won a federal contract to construct a wall to protect the United States border with Mexico, which stretches roughly 2,000 miles, from California to Texas."
    Totally false. There was not a single contract. Boeing was given a contract to build the SBInet virtual fence. Other companies such as Kiewit Construction were given contracts to build different sections of the fence.
    When I first Iearned of the Boeing contract I said:
    "A $2 billion contract will be let in September. Nowhere does SBI spell out a goal that can be measured. This is all of the same nonsense we have seen for years. The program will be run by open borders people at DHS/CBP and will accomplish absolutely nothing except lull the people into a false sense of security." --- Glenn Spencer --- July 5, 2006
    Six months later, I attended a SBInet briefing in Sierra Vista. I asked the Boeing rep why his virtual fence was being installed on the very place a Secure Fence Act real fence was to be built. His answer was "We are activators --- we activate what the government tells us to activate." In other words, he didn't know.
    I knew the real fence and Boeing's virtual fence were a ruse on the American people. I even launched Operation B.E.E.F. to prove it.
    I was absolutely right - the virtual fence failed for the reasons I gave.
    And the Secure Fence Act was a ruse.
    If I knew all these things, why didn't the man who wrote the checks know what was going on? And, who might that be? The same man who will be a speaker at a border technology conference going on tomorrow in Arlington, Virginia.
    The man is Mark Borkowski and his subject will be "The State of Acquisition for CBP".
    When I was about to brief him on a new approach to border security in August, 2013, Borkowski said: “You don't have to introduce him, anyone who knows anything about the border knows who Glenn Spencer is”. I then showed him how to detect ultralight aircraft. He wasn't interested, and then went on to spend millions on technology that didn't work.
    In 2006 I said: " The program will be run by open borders people at DHS/CBP and will accomplish absolutely nothing except lull the people into a false sense of security." Right again.
    Back in September of 2015, Robert Lee Maril of Homeland Security News Wired asked: "How many times does CBP's Mark Borkowski get to fail?"
    How many indeed?

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