Only a thoroughgoing congressional investigation into the origins, corporate ties and management of the UAV program by CBP could penetrate the veil of unaccountability and nontransparency that currently block serious scrutiny of the OAM's drone operations and acquisitions. Any investigation would also need to push its way past the profusion of military jargon favored by CBP officials to justify and describe DHS drone operations.
Speaking in support of the immigration reform bill called the"Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act,'' passed in the Senate, John McCain boasted that the bill would make the US-Mexico border the "most militarized border since the fall of the Berlin Wall."
This proposed border surge, including the plan to more than double the DHS Predator/Guardian fleet will prove a boon to General Atomics and other military contractors that constitute the core of the military-industrial complex. In doing so, the ever expanding post-9/11 homeland security/border security industrial complex will increasingly merge with the post-World War II military-industrial complex.
Yet the proposed border surge in high-tech spending isn’t responding to demonstrable security threats or remotely associated with the counterterrorism mission of the Department of Homeland Security. Instead, the border and the entire "homeland" will be subject to more drone surveillance as a product of the strange bipartisan politics of immigration reform.
With Predator drones flying overhead and an array of new high-tech ground surveillance systems, the "border surge" also constitutes the frontline of the expanding surveillance state at home.
Photo: Ceremony at General Atomics handing over another Predator-type drone to CBP/OAM chief Major General Kostelnik (center), with GA's Cassidy to his right and Coast Guard Commander Allen to his left/ General Atomics.