Friday, October 06, 2006

Securing Our Borders with Smoke and Mirrors

Get a load of this from the WaPo today. After the Republican-controlled Congress pandered to the brownphobic base by voting to authorize a 700-mile fence on the Mexican border, both the House and Senate have subsequently given Bush a clean slate to determine where and how to appropriate the money for border security.

No sooner did Congress authorize construction of a 700-mile fence on the U.S.-Mexico border last week than lawmakers rushed to approve separate legislation that ensures it will never be built, at least not as advertised, according to Republican lawmakers and immigration experts.

GOP leaders have singled out the fence as one of the primary accomplishments of the recently completed session. Many lawmakers plan to highlight their $1.2 billion down payment on its construction as they campaign in the weeks before the midterm elections.

But shortly before recessing late Friday, the House and Senate gave the Bush administration leeway to distribute the money to a combination of projects -- not just the physical barrier along the southern border. The funds may also be spent on roads, technology and "tactical infrastructure" to support the Department of Homeland Security's preferred option of a "virtual fence."
Bush was quoted:
"That's what the people of this country want," the president said. "They want to know that we're modernizing the border so we can better secure the border."
What the people of the country should want is for Congress to be less manipulative and dishonest in their pursuit of the illusion of doing what they claim to do for the sake of public opinion polls, and then cleverly shifting gears afterwards. What's truly sad is how unaware vast numbers of Americans are to these all-too-common political manuevers.

What will be interesting is seeing which corporations get the contracts for these "virtual" security enhancements.

Crossposted at B3

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