Past Features

May 23, 2017

Glenn Spencer is on vacation until Sept. 5 -- In the meantime we
will revisit recent daily features --- Today: May 23, 2017

The real border wall...
against accountability

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Glenn Spencer -- May 23, 2017
One wall President Trump must knock down
    In a 2016 hearing of the House Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security, Rep. Norma Torres, (D-CA) asked acting BP Chief Vitiello to define operational control and situational awareness. He took some time to define situational awareness, but did not define operational control. Was this just a simple matter of forgetting the question? No, this was part of a decade-long effort by the top management of DHS/CBP to avoid the term operational control.
    What is operational control? The Secure Fence Act of 2006 defines it:
(b) OPERATIONAL CONTROL DEFINED.-- In this section, the term "operational control" means the prevention of all unlawful entries into the United States, including entries by terrorists, other unlawful aliens, instruments of terrorism, narcotics, and other contraband.
   Chief Vitiello could have answered Rep. Torres' question by simply saying: "Operational control is the prevention of all unlawful entries.” Instead, he spent time giving a definition of situational awareness - something that can't be measured --- and avoided talking about operational control - no doubt on orders from above.
    It took me years to figure out that high officials in DC had reverse-engineered the famous Peter Drucker quote, "If you can't measure it, you can't improve it."
    They didn't want to improve border security, so they simply made sure no one could measure it.
    I drilled down into this issue in a talk I gave at a 2013 conference --- GovSec West: “What is border security and how will be know when we have it?”
    If candidate Donald Trump had watched this presentation, he would have realized just what a complex web of deceit top-level people, including the Secretary of Homeland Security, had woven. Imagine a campaign slogan: “If elected, I'm going to measure operational control.' Not exactly words to "move the hearts of men”.
    Donald Trump did move the hearts of men --- and women, but now he has to move a DHS/CBP that has built a wall of resistance around the use of operational control as a measure of success of border security.
    That is one wall President Trump must knock down.