Past Features

July 21, 2017

How did the Integrated
Fixed Towers Happen?

Spotlight on Chairwoman McSally

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Glenn Spencer -- July 21, 2017
Rep. Martha McSally - Call me as a witness
    For the past fourteen years I have worked on the problem of our inability to count everyone who crosses the border illegally.
    I have a patent for a system called SEIDARM, Seismic Detection and Ranging System, that does the job.
    The Arizona border ranch where I developed this technology is in Rep. Martha McSally's district, but she has so far not taken the opportunity to drive 20 miles from her Sierra Vista office to see it --- or meet with me.
    In early 2016, McSally was named to head the Border and Maritime Security Subcommittee, replacing Chairman Candice Miller, who was doing an excellent job at digging into the problem of establishing operational control of our border.
    Even though she campaigned on the promise of achieving operational control of the border, as evidenced by her record, Chairwoman McSally seems to have shied away from the subject.
    Last year I did a four-part look at a 2016 McSally's hearing that dealt with the effectiveness of border technology....
Part I --- Part II --- Part III --- Part IV
    Throughout her hearing it seemed that no real attempt was made to raise the issue of operational control of the border, which she promised to do as a candidate for reelection --- and which is in the title of the hearing.
    We have since learned that one of her witnesses, Rebecca Gambler of the GAO, failed to inform the subcommittee that the Integrated Fixed Tower program had not been properly tested, and another witness, Border Patrol Chief Vitiello, had certified the Integrated Fixed Towers, knowing that they had not been properly tested.
    During the hearing Chairwoman McSally said: "But as far as I can tell, the only procurement that is working well and on budget is the Integrated Fixed Tower program, located principally in my district..."
    Today, those Integrated Fixed Towers in her district sit idle, most likely never to be used as is.
    Chairwoman McSally should know who I am and that I have warned repeatedly that the IFT project was not being properly evaluated.
    She may have an argument for plausible deniability, however, as we have never met.
    Maybe she should call me as a witness.