Past Features

July 23, 2017

How did the Integrated
Fixed Towers Happen?

Failure of government accountability

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Glenn Spencer -- July 23, 2017
The need for rational management of our border
   Rep. Martha McSally raised money for reelection, saying: “I need your help and the aid of patriots across America to IMMEDIATELY SECURE and GAIN OPERATIONAL CONTROL of our Southern border!”
    When asked what operational control of the border was, the Managing Director of Homeland Security for the GAO said back in 2013 that CBP should define it.
    Operational control is set in the law as the primary border responsibility of the Secretary of Homeland Security.
    It is defined in that law as the “prevention of all unlawful entries…..”
    I invented technology for the purpose of measuring operational control by counting all unlawful entries, including low-flying aircraft.
    On August 21, 2013, I briefed CBP Commissioner Borkowski on this new technology, and showed him this video.
    Borkowski expressed absolutely no interest in this technology --- then or since. I later realized why this may be so.
    For the past eleven years, Commissioner Borkowski has been fixated on the idea of using radar to guide border cameras.
    Could it be that he had a problem with my technology because does a better job than radar by providing reliable detection of intrusions on the entire border? Radar needs line-of-site to detect human movement, and, as I explained earlier, this is not possible in many areas of the border.
    Had Borkowski embraced my technology, it might well have threatened his billion-dollar Integrated Fixed Tower project.
    There may be another reason. Up until my invention came along, CBP had no way of measuring operational control of the border.
    Back in 2013, Borkowski told a house subcommittee of a measure called the Border Condition Index.
"So imagine everyone's surprise when Mark Borkowski, a top Homeland Security technology official, told Miller that not only was BCI not ready, but that it won't measure border security and was never meant to." --- Front Page Magazine, March 23, 2013.
    After seeing my technology, Borkowski may have realized that it could measure operational control of the border --- and the degree to which his Integrated Fixed Towers could help to do the job. This may not have been good news.
    In my judgement, my technology was such a threat to Borkowski's IFT project that he may have even gone out of his way to keep it from being used --- anywhere --- including convincing Northrop Grumman to stop talking to me.
    (This is a serious charge, but all that Attorney General Sessions has to do to investigate it is interview the people directly involved --- and there were many. I can provide names, dates and places. The entire thing could be done in a week in Washington, D.C.)
    I have been on a 15-year campaign to guide our border security efforts by using modern management systems and methodologies. The debacle that the Integrated Fixed Tower program appears to be rapidly becoming is a perfect example of what happens when that rational approach is not followed.