Boeing built a $1 billion ‘virtual’ border fence that is virtually useless
Five years, $1 billion dollars! That’s how long and how much money it took for defense contractor Boeing to build just 53 miles of “virtual fence” along the Arizona-Mexico border that’s virtually useless. (That calculates to about $18 million+ per mile!)
The Secure Border Initiative (SBI) was started in 2005 under the Bush administration, which touted the program as a key component to securing the nation’s vast borders. Last week, the Obama administration decided to pull the program to prevent further cost overruns on a project that is deemed too expensive and not effective enough.
Boeing for scoring a sweet deal that allowed them to spend $1 billion without having to deliver a working technology on budget or on time. Imagine what would happen if every American business can earn that kind of money for doing a shoddy job?
The Bush administration for effectively selling the flawed but cool-sounding concept of a “virtual fence” to bolster the Republican’s political street cred on border security and tough immigration stance.
American taxpayers for having to pay $1 billion for a technology that doesn’t work. To matters worse, taxpayers still have to pay more money to deal with border security and illegal immigration.
The Obama administration for trying to fix yet another bad project initiated by its predecessor. Of course, given the short-term collective memory of the American political and media establishment, the Obama administration’s move will be attacked for wasting taxpayer money, not pulling the plug fast enough, being “weak” on border security, and etc.
- Yahoo News/Associated Press: Obama administration ends high-tech border fence
- NYTimes.com: Homeland Security cancels ‘virtual fence’ after $1 billion is spent
- ABCNews.com: Homeland Security axes Bush-era ‘virtual fence’ project
- US Government Accountability Office reports on the Secure Border Initiative (SBI): (1) Secure Border Initiative: DHS needs to strengthen management & oversight of its prime contractor – Oct. 18, 2010; (2) Secure Border Initiative: DHS needs to reconsider its proposed investment in key technology program – May 5, 2010; (3) Secure Border Initiative: DHS has faced challenges deploying technology and fencing along the southwest border – May 4, 2010; (4) Secure Border Initiative: Testing and problem resolution challenges put delivery of technology program at risk – March 18, 2010; (5) Secure Border Initiative fence construction costs – Jan. 29, 2009; (6) Secure Border Initiative: SBInet expenditure needs to better support oversight and accountability – Feb. 15, 2007.
- Boeing.com: Secure Border Initiative
- US Customs & Border Protection: Secure Border Initiative (SBI)
- Department of Homeland Security: Southwest Border Fence