Past Features

June 6, 2017

Byron York -- The Courier -- June 6, 2017
The border wall moves forward
    New revelations come almost by the minute in the Trump-Russia affair. A reasonable observer might conclude that is all that is happening in the Trump administration. But even as those troubles fill news sites and cable TV, administration officials are quietly moving ahead on one of the president's top campaign promises: the construction of a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. [...]
    Once planners decide where to build, there will then be the question of what to build. If the decision is to build a wall, then the question is: a wall of what? Planners have decided concrete will definitely be involved, even though it hasn't played much of a role in earlier barriers. Why concrete? “It's an interpretation of the vision,'' the senior administration official explained. By “vision,'' he meant it is a way to make Trump's oft-repeated promise of a “big, beautiful wall'' a reality. Trump didn't mean a fence.
    On the other hand, using concrete presents one obvious problem. Whatever barrier is built, Border Protection agents on the U.S. side need to be able to see through it. That's always been a requirement with earlier barriers. So now, officials are looking for creative ideas for a wall that will still allow them full sight of the Mexican side.
    That touches on the most important consideration for planners. A wall isn't just a wall. It is a system — a “smart wall,'' as they call it. It involves building a barrier with the monitoring technology to allow U.S. officials to be aware of people approaching; to be able to track them at all times; to have roads to move people around; the facilities to deal with the people who are apprehended; and more.

Glenn Spencer -- June 6, 2017
Doing it right -- despite the wailing of Ann Coulter
    When first I heard of candidate Trump's plan to build a wall, two years ago, I said “Trump is Wrong About the Wall”, I said he was wrong because, in part, agents “cannot see through a wall.” It is now certain, reports Byron York, that any new barrier will allow agents “full sight of the Mexican side.”
    Candidate Trump was smart to call his barrier a wall, because voters understood what a wall does. President Trump is smart to not build a wall, because agents understand what a wall does.
    Byron York also reports that the barrier will have. "the monitoring technology to allow U.S. officials to be aware of people approaching; to be able to track them at all times.”
    In recent days we have learned that there are many proposals to build a virtual wall, rather than a real wall. One of the proposals sitting at CBP is to use a system made up of SEIDARM and IDENTICOPTER to aid in the planning and implementation of the new barrier, but it would not replace it.
    It shouldn't be too long before the Trump Administration announces its plans for some type of smart wall.
    Notwithstanding the wailing of Ann Coulter, so far the Trump Administration is approaching the issues in a rational manner.