Borders

Border Patrol Audits Show Failed Projects, Wasteful Spending

Remember that big fence?

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In the past decade, the federal government has showered billions of dollars on border security and enforcement.

The money has purchased everything from a huge increase in border law enforcement workers to new vehicles, miles of fencing and all variety of high-tech surveillance gear.

It's also bought a lot of nothing.

One example: A program designed to purchase sophisticated radiation detectors for ports of entry to better guard against terrorism attempts was abandoned in 2011 after years of haphazard planning and poor results of the new equipment. Among other things, it sounded false alarms for radiation in such materials as granite and kitty litter, according to a government report.

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  1. Actually, the problem wasn’t that the equipment was not effective. It was working as designed. The problem was that no one bothered to note how much naturally occurring radioactive sources are around us, day in, day out. You won’t find me standing near clay (e.g. kitty litter), bricks, &c. Even systems designed to detect particular isotopes by characteristic radiation are going to be tripped up, especially if looking for a (partially) shielded nuke. Don’t blame the equipment when it’s the id10ts in charge of requirements that can’t get it right. Any nuke could tell you the same precautions/limitations if they were awake in class.

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