Current Events and the Psychology of Politics

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Feb 1st, 2011

U.S. Security on Canada Border Lacking 

Image via Talking Points Memo

Feb. 1, 2011

WASHINGTON — Fewer than one in every 100 miles of the U.S. border with Canada is adequately secured, a government watchdog agency said on Tuesday.

The study by the Government Accountability Office said just 32 miles of the nearly 4,000-mile northern border “reached an acceptable level of security” last year, according to the Border Patrol’s assessment. …

The Obama administration has been under intense pressure to beef up security on the nearly 2,000-mile southwest border with Mexico, to prevent spillover from raging drug cartel violence in Mexico and to stem an influx of illegal immigrants.

However, the report flagged what it said was a higher “terrorist threat” on the northern border “given the large expanse of area with limited law enforcement coverage.”

It also noted drug, cash, weapons and human smuggling networks operating across the northern frontier. …


2/2/11 Update

Gov’t Accountability Office Slams DHS Control Of Northern Border

Click for enlarged image

Ryan J. Reilly

Feb. 2, 2011

Janet Napolitano and the Department of Homeland Security have long been facing criticism over whether the feds are doing enough to secure the Mexican border. But the Government Accountability Office (GAO) said in a report this week that the government is ignoring the threat on the porous border shared with our neighbors to the north.

DHS has been challenged in its efforts to address the threat of illegal activity on the northern border “where the extent of illegal activity is unknown, but the risk of terrorist activity is high,” the authors of the GAO report write.  …

The maritime border on the Great Lakes and rivers is “vulnerable to use of small vessels as a conduit for potential exploitation by terrorists, alien smuggling, trafficking of illicit drugs and other contraband and criminal activity,” according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. …

Full story


Topical report on this site

New Terrorism Forecast for U.S. (Dec. 26, 2008)


FROM THE ARCHIVES: One Year Ago — February 1, 2010

Iraq Mass Casualty Bombing


Female suicide bomber strikes pilgrims in Iraq (MSNBC, Feb. 1, 2010) — More than 50 people are dead and another 100 are wounded after a female suicide bomber detonates among a group of Shiite pilgrims in Iraq.’s Dara Brown reports. (00:44)

One year ago today, I reported that a female suicide bomber walking among Shiite pilgrims in northern Baghdad detonated an explosives belt, killing at least 54 people and wounding around 117.


FROM THE ARCHIVES: Two Years Ago — February 1, 2009

Afghan Villagers Protest Raids

Afghanistan Civilian Deaths
An Afghan villager elder holds his walking stick as he talks with U.S. soldiers who have come to pay money for repairing homes destroyed during U.S. raids in Inzeri village in the Tagab Valley of Kapisa province north of Kabul, Afghanistan; Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2009. (Photo credit: Jason Straziuso / AP)

Two years ago today, on Feb. 1, 2009, I reported that three recent U.S. Special Forces operations in Afghanistan killed 50 people — the vast majority civilians, according to Afghan officials — raising the ire of villagers and President Hamid Karzai. The problem, Afghan officials say, comes when ordinary villagers hear the commotion of Special Forces nighttime raids and, fearing robbers or an attack from a hostile tribe, grab their guns and run outside or fire from their homes. U.S. forces then fire back and end up killing civilians.

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