Obama Ends High Tech Border Fence

The Obama Administration announced today that it was scrapping the high-tech border fence project known as SBI.

The project cost taxpayers nearly $1 billion and covered 53 miles along the border. It also was hugely invasive. Boeing was the builder, and as I wrote in 2007, there were plans to extend it across some 6,000 miles of the Mexican and Canadian borders in segments in coming years. It was also very privacy intrusive: [More...]

Information captured by the towers -- including live images giving GPS locations of any intruders -- will be streamed live via satellite from command centers in Tucson and Sells to Border Patrol agents with laptops patrolling nearby. Eventually it will be integrated into a wider network, including a fleet of Predator B unmanned surveillance drones.

A new plan is in place. According to Janet Napolitano:

“The new border security technology plan will utilize existing, proven technology tailored to the distinct terrain and population density of each border region, including commercially available mobile surveillance systems, unmanned aircraft systems, thermal imaging devices, and tower-based remote video surveillance systems. Where appropriate, this plan will also incorporate already existing elements of the former SBInet program that have proven successful, such as stationary radar and infrared and optical sensor towers,” the statement said.

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  • Display: Sort:
    So the plan is... (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by kdog on Sat Jan 15, 2011 at 07:35:25 AM EST
    to keep throwing money away on the border control fantasy, only using existing "proven" technology and techniques.

    I guess you could call that a slight improvement, they have capped the loss at 1 billion on the Star Wars Fence....they could have p*ssed away billions more.

    Maybe they are serious about cutting entitlement programs, though I wouldn't be surprised if Boeing gets a new sympathy contract outta the deal, for some other toys we don't need.

    Hmmmm, why don't peole at border crossings (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by jeffinalabama on Sat Jan 15, 2011 at 08:13:42 AM EST
    have to face the average molestation that a passenger from Kennedy to O'Hare?

    Just another interesting question on priorities. I'm not saying either one should.


    Patdown for cigars and tequila. (none / 0) (#8)
    by oculus on Sat Jan 15, 2011 at 10:37:54 AM EST
    The cheap prescription (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by jeffinalabama on Sat Jan 15, 2011 at 11:00:32 AM EST
    drugs. Takes money out of the Amuh'cun drug company profits.

    Also cheap vanilla extract. Can't go letting someone bring in a quart.


    Or cheese and beer in the from the north (none / 0) (#13)
    by jbindc on Sat Jan 15, 2011 at 12:11:45 PM EST
    And guns into Mexico. (none / 0) (#14)
    by oculus on Sat Jan 15, 2011 at 12:44:52 PM EST
    That is a lot of tax dollars. (none / 0) (#1)
    by oculus on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 10:03:07 PM EST

    Fence technology doesn't work (none / 0) (#2)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Jan 15, 2011 at 12:33:45 AM EST
    from what I heard today (on Fox, ok, but still).

    Have to say, he and Napolitano have some political cojones to cancel this thing, given the non-stop high-decibel screeching coming from GOP-owned border states like Arizona and Texas these days not just about illegal immigrants but the drug cartel war going on across the border.

    There have been a couple incidents of bullets flying over the border recently, another one just recently involving a Texas-side road crew.  Not going to take it just on some Republican politician's say-so, but the Texas Republican AG makes a fairly good case it was deliberate, since the road crew was obstructing what he says is a major drug route.  Nobody hurt yet, but it'll happen eventually.

    Not clear to me what Obama's supposed to do that would solve that particular problem, and the GOPers of course never say and Fox never asks.  But it sure must sound convincing to the folks down there.

    Pretty clear to me... (none / 0) (#4)
    by kdog on Sat Jan 15, 2011 at 07:40:54 AM EST
    what is required...a legalized drug trade & open borders would reduce violence all around.  

    Chains, cages, fences, drones, infra-red, corruption...where is the love?


    Come on kdog (none / 0) (#6)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Jan 15, 2011 at 10:00:51 AM EST
    Fix the drug laws?

    Makes sense.

    But the United States of Whoever Decides to Come and When They Want to Come and Go?



    Which would also require Mexico to (none / 0) (#7)
    by oculus on Sat Jan 15, 2011 at 10:37:17 AM EST
    legalize drugs, plus other countries from which the cartels obtain their products.  But then how would the cartels maintain their income and power?  What next?

    Drug laws fo sho (none / 0) (#10)
    by republicratitarian on Sat Jan 15, 2011 at 11:17:26 AM EST
    But if I lived in El Paso I don't think I'd want that part of the border at Juarez opened up. Scary stuff down there. That's just me though.

    NIMBY (none / 0) (#11)
    by jbindc on Sat Jan 15, 2011 at 12:10:54 PM EST
    No constitutional (none / 0) (#12)
    by jbindc on Sat Jan 15, 2011 at 12:11:24 PM EST
    or natural right to love, my friend.

    Depends how you read it... (none / 0) (#16)
    by kdog on Sun Jan 16, 2011 at 06:49:50 AM EST
    that Bill of Rights section is like a love letter to humanity:)

    Yeah oculus, it would require cooperation from all the other nations in the world to open the borders and legalize the violent black market drug trade, especially our two neighbors, can't do it alone...but if we want to reduce violence, it's an idea.

    R-crat...Chicago was pretty scary in the 20's too...prohibition repeal worked to reduce violence.  I think when all that drug money dries up, other rackets are far less lucrative, and are far less tolerated by the civilian population...we can turn the tide on the bad guys if we dry up the majority of their funding via drug and human smuggling.    


    I think you're right (none / 0) (#17)
    by republicratitarian on Sun Jan 16, 2011 at 09:42:23 PM EST
    It would just take some time.

    Wasn't this Senselessbrenner's baby (none / 0) (#15)
    by Towanda on Sat Jan 15, 2011 at 01:14:37 PM EST
    and pet project?  That's what I recall, but I don't see him in the links.  If I recall correctly, then such a conservative critic of "Democrats' spending" ought to have to answer for this waste of funds.