Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Border Security Industrial Complex

As Dwight Eisenhower was preparing to leave the White House, his parting words were to warn of the "military industrial complex" -- an alliance of civilian and uniformed Pentagon functionaries and private corporations that lived off Pentagon contracting. Linda Valdez in the Arizona Republic fears a "border-security industrial complex" is aborning in the "virtual fence" being built across the Arizona desert. Boeing and others corporations are building it for Homeland Security. She reviewed thoroughly the recent report of the Government Accountability Office on the fence and concludes a very defective system is being delivered to U.S. government at the taxpayer's expense. In conceiving and constructing it the builders didn't even ask the Border Patrol what they thought of it. Most veterans of the border watch were skeptical. Now the country is stuck with at least 60 miles of a lemon. The billions that went into it -- and Valdez assumes will continue to go into future sections -- would have been better spent as developmental aid to Mexico and Central America. Improve social conditions, education and job opportunities that the billions could have bought in the villages would had been a more effective deterrent to migration.

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