Glenn Spencer Calls for Action
Public Must Demand the Truth about Border Fence
On December 7, 2008, a date that will live in infamy, the Department of Homeland Security lied when it issued a press release stating it had completed 284 miles of border fence. Unfortunately the media, including The Lou Dobbs Show and the Washington Times, are letting them get away with it.
The Dec. 7 DHS Press Release (partial)
“The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is moving forward today with multiple advancements in the construction of pedestrian and virtual fencing along the southwest border. These advancements will add to more than 284 miles of fencing already in place and enable construction of roughly 670 miles of fencing by the end of December 2008″ (emphasis added)
American Border Patrol was skeptical of this claim so it launched an aerial survey. Completed on January 18, the survey found a total of 164 miles of fence on the border, not 284 miles as claimed by DHS. ( Later, DHS said it included vehicle barriers in the definition of fence. As I have said, if a fence is something you can walk through or step over, I have a bridge for sale in Brooklyn. In other words, DHS lied.)
On the night of December 23, 2007, two nights before Christmas and shortly after the deceptive Dec. 7th DHS press release, Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson pushed through her amendment on a voice vote, thus gutting the Secure Fence Act.
ABP spent two weeks working on the survey data to make sure it was accurate. It produced a report consisting of a summary (see PowerPoint presentation) and two DVDs. One DVD has is a video summary and includes separate chapters for each town along the border where fencing has been installed. A second Data DVD contained a Google Earth file with more than 300 aerial photographs detailing each part of the border. These DVDs allow an independent assessment of ABPs report on the amount of fence along the border. This report is available to the general public.
Our next challenge was to get the truth to the American people.
On January 21, I received an e-mail from a CNN producer asking about the fence. He said:
“I was just checking out your site about DHS’s claim of having built more fence than you say they have. We are very interested. Have you completed your report? I would love to see anything you have with as much detail as possible.”
Later the same day, January 21, I heard Lou Dobbs say “about 150 miles of fence built last year.” I e-mailed the producer saying that is not true.
Here is his response:
“I know!!! [Sentence excluded that would identify him]. Anyway, I pitched the story to Dobbs show this afternoon. It usually takes a few days to work its way through CNNs bureaucracy but I can’t wait. I was shocked to see the pics of what passes as fencing.”
My correspondence with the CNN producer continued and I received 17 e-mails from him between Jan. 21 and Feb. 7.
Lou Dobbs was well aware of the discrepancy between what Secretary Chertoff was saying about the border fence and what was true. This is not a trivial matter. Dobbs has been a severe critic of Chertoff, but when presented with air-tight evidence by a CNN producer that Chertoff was lying about the fence, he chose to ignore it. Why?
CNN is well aware of American Border Patrol. In the past year I twice flew CNN video crews in the Border Hawk M. Lou Dobbs knows who we are but for some reason chose not to tell his viewers about American Border Patrol. Why?
On January 27 I flew to Washington, D.C. to hand-deliver the Operation B.E.E.F. year- end report. During my visit I briefed staffs of Sen. Hutchinson (R-Tx) and Sen. Sessions (R-Al) as well as those of Congressman Hunter (R-Ca) and Tancredo (R-Co). I was called back to meet with a staff member of the Senate Subcommittee on Administration Oversight. I also met with former Attorney General Ed. Meese, III, who suggested a possible Senate hearing.
On January 28 I and Chuck Floyd, a member of ABP’s board of directors, met with Jerry Seper, a reporter with the Washington Times. Seper seemed extremely interested in the border fence story and said he checked American Patrol’s Web page “two or three times a week.” After about an hour, Seper said the paper would no doubt run with the story. I waited for nearly two weeks, but saw nothing.
On Feb. 20 I got an e-mail from Seper saying they might get to our story in the future. Then on the 21st, the Washington Times published a story under the Seper byline: Texas cities opposed border fence. Seper discusses the entire border fence project in detail without mentioning the discrepancies pointed out by the Operation B.E.E.F. report.
Jerry Seper is a reporter and not an assignment editor. He did the Texas story because he was assigned to do it. But why didn’t he mention the dispute over the amount of fence when he had absolute proof that DHS was not telling the truth?
Finally, on January 23 the New York Times reported the following:
Bush administration officials said Friday that they would begin using new technology to create a virtual fence along sections of the border with Mexico, and that construction had been completed on 302 miles of physical fence. (emphasis added.)
That was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I doubt that the New York Times would have run that line had the Washington Times and Lou Dobbs covered the Operation B.E.E.F. story.
So there we have it. The deceit and deception of our government is allowed to continue because otherwise brave journalists and reporters have somehow been silenced.
I hope the American people have not been silenced and I hope they speak out and demand the truth about the border.
Article Source: American Patrol