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A Shortage of Facts

Thursday, May 18, 2006 1:23 AM

So while it's seemingly big news that the Senate approved 370 miles of triple-layered fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border, I think it's fair to ask how much of the 1,951 miles already have some form of barrier, and how effective those measures are at deterring illegal immigration.

Otherwise, this is just good money following bad money.

Similarly, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has questions about where the troops will come from (of California's 20,000 members, just over 10% are deployed in Iraq and Louisiana) and how the President's proposal will be funded. Nothing gets politicians going more than the ol' unfunded mandate.

Arnold gets extra points for asking about the criteria for ending the mission.

Because someone has to ask, and it's not going to be Donald Rumsfeld, who offered that deployment to the border would sharpen their skills.

Rumsfeld stated that the Guard's role would not be one of law enforcement, but of support � providing surveillance, communications, and construction help.

Support of what? Non-existant Border Patrol agents?

Rumsfeld claimed the Guard's role would not last longer than two years.

If you listen carefully, you can hear the White House lying.

Though they insist that lawmakers have been briefed on their ever-expanding (and still illegal) wiretap program, comments in the wake of an additional briefing were quite telling.

In fact, prior to this morning, only half of the fifteen members of the Senate Intelligence Committee had been briefed on the program.

But Senator Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) said it was overdue. "This is something that should have happened, frankly, long before now."

And Senator Trent Lott (R-Mississippi) admitted, "I've never been comfortable with this administration's reluctance to give us proper briefings."

Senator Dianne Feinstein made the profound comment that CIA Director -nominee General Michael Hayden, "... (has) got to show that, yes, he can stand up to the Pentagon and he can give unvarnished intelligence, speak truth to power."

And Dianne's a fine example of how not to do it.

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