Sunday, January 16, 2011

No more bricks in the virtual wall

Remarkable.  A boondoggle of a government plan actually gets shut down instead of continuing to throw good money after bad.  It was halted for review last March, and now the virtual fence is no more.

The Obama administration canceled Friday the troubled, billion-dollar "virtual fence" project along the U.S. border with Mexico and said it will turn to other security measures to better guard the desert region.
The SBInet project, begun in 2006 and run by Boeing, was designed to pull together video cameras, radar, sensors and other technologies to catch illegal immigrants and smugglers trying to cross the porous border.
But it faced setbacks, missed deadlines and cost overruns. The Department of Homeland Security said the project spent $1 billion to cover just 53 miles in Arizona.

The virtual fence was never going to work.  Almost four years (and over $1 billion dollars) ago I poked fun at the head of the Border Patrol, who argued that the virtual fence would detect 95 percent of illegal border crossings.  That was so obviously false.

So now we can feel relief that it was stopped and/or embarrassment that it was ever started.


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