Past Features

September 9, 2017

Trump Prototype Wall Selection
Raises Questions
Will someone explain the plans?

A graphic presented by border patrol during a presentation about the proposed border wall. ---NBC News.
NBC News -- September 8, 2017  
DHS Seeks Designs for 'See-Through' Section of Trump's Wall
    The Department of Homeland Security took another step this week toward building President Donald Trump's promised wall along the southern U.S. border.
    U.S. Customs and Border Protection said Thursday they'd awarded contracts to four companies to build prototypes for the stretch of the desired barrier made of non-concrete materials that can be seen through. [...]
    A rendering given to NBC News last week from CBP officials depicts a multi-faceted wall that features a concrete stretch facing the U.S. and non-concrete stretch facing Mexico that would allow officials to see through it.
    The image shows the concrete portion of the wall (E) would sit on the U.S.-facing side of an electronically monitored zone and another barrier (B) --- which can be seen through --- faces toward the Mexico. The monitoring zone would be about 150 feet wide and alert patrol agents if someone breached the initial border barrier.
    CBP, a division of the DHS, announced Thursday that it had awarded contracts for prototypes of the non-concrete portion to Caddell Construction Co., of Montgomery, Ala., KWR Construction, Inc., of Sierra Vista, Ariz., ELTA North America Inc., of Annapolis Junction, Md., and W. G. Yates & Sons Construction Company, of Philadelphia.

Glenn Spencer -- September 9, 2017
What is going on at DHS/CBP?
    A graphic used by Customs and Border Protection to explain the Trump administration's border wall raises serious questions. Who made this drawing - one of the prototype wall proposers? How could the design call for a 150-foot “Enforcement Zone” when, between El Paso and San Diego, the border “wall" will probably be restricted to a 60-foot easement now owned by the government?
    And, would the government really consider a new 150 foot buffer zone along the Rio Grande River? And, since much of what is proposed for Texas involve construction atop levees, how would this drawing apply at all in Texas?
    In summary, didn't the use of this graphic just confuse the issue?
    As reported by the Arizona Republic, CBP had said:
  "The agency said that it would not consider bids focused exclusively on technology such as ground sensors or remote video surveillance because 'technology alone will not meet the requirements of this solicitation.'"
    Yet, one of the winning bids is from an electronics company, ELTA North America, Inc. that specializes in ground radar.
    Does their proposal include the construction of a fence or wall - or does it focus exclusively on technology?
    Also, I cannot help but notice what the Washington Post had to say: "ELTA is a defense manufacturer owned by the state-run Israel Aerospace Industries. The parent company is under investigation for bid rigging and bribery, according to Haaretz. ELTA, which makes radars, opened new U.S. headquarters in Maryland in May."
    Bid rigging and bribery? Couldn't our government find a company without that stain?
    What is going on at DHS/CBP?