Napolitano’s unveils new border rules, but boondoggle costs millions

Jim Kouri by Jim Kouri on August 10th, 2012

This is article 44 of 65 in the topic Border Issues

Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano on Wednesday unveiled the Obama Administration’s proposed rulemaking which would extend the border zone up to 55 miles, from the current 25 mile restriction, for Border Crossing Card (BCC) holders in the state of New Mexico. This proposed change would allow BCC holders to travel to the towns of Deming, Lordsburg and Las Cruces, N.M., stimulating commerce, trade and tourism activity in the area.

“The proposed extension of the border zone in New Mexico, when finalized, will provide significant economic benefits to many of the smaller communities along the border while maintaining ample safeguards to prevent illegal entry into the United States,” said Secretary Napolitano.

However, no mention was made about yet another example of ineptitude on the part of Napolitano and her staff. Border security experts are pointing to the loss of more that $225 million spent on a nuclear and radiological detection system boondoggle that failed to operate as advertised, a Law Enforcement Examiner police source said.

In addition, an Inside-the-Beltway, public-interest group reports that Napolitano and her minions at the Department of Homeland Security are proposing another system that may cost as much as $900 million to $1 Billion.

“It’s a classic example of how government wastes taxpayer dollars on risky experiments that inevitably end up costing even more cash to clean up. In this case, the DHS, the monstrous agency created by Congress to protect national security after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, spent hundreds of millions of dollars on fancy detectors that never worked,” wrote officials at Judicial Watch.

The useless machines (Advanced Spectroscopic Portal—ASP) were supposed to detect nuclear or radiological materials smuggled into the U.S. by terrorists or organized crime gangs looking to sell the materials to terrorists, according to Judicial Watch.

“If you need people to buy anything for you, don’t choose people from the Obama administration. They’ll spend a lot of your money and deliver faulty goods,” said political consultant Mike Baker.

The monitors were projected to cost about $1.2 billion, but DHS halted the program after spending a couple hundred million because it wasn’t working, according Internet news site Homeland Security Today.

The equipment was ordered by the DHS following “Red Cell Team” operations that revealed how simple it is to cross both northern and southern borders with weapons of mass destruction including nuclear weapons or radiological material for use in building so-called “dirty bombs.”

In the meantime, lack of nuclear terrorist interceptors aside, the border is “as secure as it has ever been,” according to Napolitano. She said this knowing that in the past, using counterfeit documents and “posing as employees of a company with a Nuclear Regulatory Commission license, Government Accountability Office investigators successfully crossed the U.S. northern and southern borders with the type of radioactive material that could be used to make a dirty bomb.”

In previous GAO covert operations, as reported by the Law Enforcement Examiner, “Red Teams” were successful in sneaking radiological material across both the Mexican and Canadian borders into the U.S. totally undetected. In 100 percent of the attempts by Red Team members, they snuck across the Mexican border and in 80 percent of the attempts they succeeded in getting into the U.S. from Canada with radioactive material.

According to Judicial Watch, DHS officials recently came up with a new $1 billion plan that actually relies largely on older and cheaper hand-held monitors. The acting director of the DHS’s Domestic Nuclear Detection Office, Dr. Huban Gowadia, revealed the grand plan recently at a congressional hearing. Rather than allocate a chunk of change to one large — and extremely risky — program like the ASP monitors, the agency will invest in a mix of technologies, Gowadia told lawmakers.

Gowadia made sure to leave room for perhaps more costly errors, adding that although technological advances have contributed to a revolution in nuclear detection technology, developing it for homeland security applications is an “inherently difficult technical task.” She stated that it’s a major challenge to develop cost effective equipment with sufficient technical performance to ensure widespread deployment, according to Judicial Watch.

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