Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Last night, Congresswoman Gifford's Permanent Checkpoints Work Group voted 13-3 in favor of a comprehensive border security strategy and against permanent checkpoints. That vote was greeted by a standing ovation from those in attendance.

Although you would not have known this information reading the articles in the Daily Star. I am not sure what meeting Portillo and McCombs were at, but they completely missed that somewhat important point in their writings. One explanation could be that the editors at Lee HQ in Davenport, Iowa spiked that important detail from their stories. Competent journalists such as McCombs and Portillo would not normally have overlooked that critical element.

Some of the other highlights from last night.
  • Over 700 in attendance.
  • During the more than one hour of public comment period, residents from throughout the region echoed the key concerns with permanent interior checkpoints -- namely that they did not seem effective and that they threaten the public safety of surrounding communities. More than one member of the public, as well as members of the Work Group, asked specifically why the Border Patrol felt that they could secure nearly 8,000 sq. miles of U.S. Territory but not fully secure the 261 miles of the Tucson Sector's international border. Chief Gilbert did not have a satisfactory answer to this, particularly regarding the added burden his strategy places on local law enforcement agencies.
  • Work Group members and members of the public expressed disappointment and frustration with the fact that Chief Gilbert was quoted on the front page of the Star as saying he was not interested in hearing about alternatives to a permanent checkpoint and that the work group had been formed only to talk about the specifics of such a checkpoint. Chief Gilbert declared that he stood by all his quotes in the article, but did not agree with the headline. Funny, it seems the headline pretty well summed up his views.
More later....

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