A critical network of cameras and sensors installed for the U.S. Border Patrol along the Mexican and Canadian borders has been hobbled for years by defective equipment that was poorly installed, and by lax oversight by government officials who failed to properly supervise the project's contractor, according to government reports and public and industry officials.
"The contractor sold us a bill of goods, and no one in the Border Patrol and INS was watching," said Carey James, the Border Patrol chief in Washington state until 2001. "All these failures placed Americans in danger."
The GSA inspector general's report said official inattention to the system "placed taxpayers' dollars and . . . national security at risk." A GSA inspection of eight Border Patrol zones found that $20 million had been paid to IMC for work there but that none of its camera systems was fully operating.
"Government officials failed miserably to do their job," said Tim Golden, an IMC subcontractor on the program who later had a falling out with IMC. "It's incomprehensible how inept they were."
Read the whole article in the Washington Post.
Why did it take so long for this to come out? This program goes back to at least 1998 and involves Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D-Tex.) and family members in what certainly seems to be at least a conflict of interest.
Have we been sold out again?