posted on Jun, 16 2010 @ 08:52 AM
In lieu of a What in the Hell Forum I will place this here. This just baffles me to no end.
Despite repeated warnings from security experts and internal government sources, the U.S. Government continues to manufacture a key border
security tool in a high-risk foreign country where it’s susceptible to theft by terrorists, foreign spies or counterfeiters.
For the last four years a government contractor has assembled a crucial passport component in a part of Thailand long known as a hotbed of terrorist
activity. An extremist group linked to Al Qaeda is very active in the city (Ayutthaya) where the electronic parts for millions of American electronic
passports are made. Considered an essential component of a new U.S. border security system, the e-Passport contains an electronic chip that holds the
same information that is printed on the booklet’s data page.
Just last month two violent terrorist attacks rocked the area near the factory that assembles the central electronic portion of the e-Passport. First
powerful bombs were detonated by terrorists trying to darken the manufacturing district then a gunman opened fire with 11 millimeter caliber bullets.
This week an investigative journalism group exposed the deplorable conditions in which the crown jewel of American border security is made.
Thai workers assemble inlays that embed wireless transmitters and sophisticated computer chips that store biometric and other personal information
used by customs officials and border guards to verify the identities of those who enter the United States. Many of the workers don’t get security
background checks and police protection is virtually nonexistent in the country’s politically unstable region.
This is hardly earth shattering news but rather a well known national security crisis. In fact, the agency (Government Printing Office—GPO) charged
with producing the e-Passports has for years been warned by its own security officials that the Thai factory poses huge risks. A few years ago an
investigative news series revealed that the U.S. government prioritizes cost savings over national security by outsourcing the e-Passports to overseas
companies. The GPO’s inspector general has also warned of the significant deficiencies in the manufacturing of blank passports.
Unbelievable! Is this really the best effort that our nation can put forth to secure our well being and safety?
So we cut costs here and spend wildly everywhere else. I just read that we are paying $19,000 a month for Nancy Pelosi's California office space.
Hmmm... makes you wonder eh??