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Permanent DHS Checkpoints Planned For Arizona Highways (special report - part 4)

Written by Subject: Arizona's Top News
The video appearing below is part 4 of a 14 part series highlighting a town hall meeting organized by Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. The meeting was held on September 2, 2009 in Green Vally, Arizona to discuss/debate a recent GAO report on internal suspicionless homeland security checkpoints:

In the video, GAO spokesperson Richard Stana continues with his presentation on the findings of a GAO report regarding internal homeland security checkpoints. Highlights from this part of the presentation appear below:

* Stana discusses the proposed layout of the permanent checkpoint currently in the planning stages for I-19 South of Tucson, Arizona.
* Stana admits that even though the Border Patrol has developed metrics for determining the effects checkpoints have on local communities, the agency is not using those metrics
* Stana states his team found general support for internal checkpoints already established. A review of the report however shows that most of the individuals sampled from local communities were law enforcement, politicians and Border Patrol personnel. In other words, individuals with a vested interest in such operations. Very few average citizens or business owners from local communities were polled and no attempt at an independent survey was made making Mr. Stana's observations self-serving at best.
* Stana claims insufficient information exists to draw conclusions regarding the effects of internal checkpoints on local crime rates, property values, tourism levels, etc.
* Stana claims seizures at and around internal checkpoints in the Tucson sector are up from previous years but fails to provide any context for the claim. Specifically, Stana fails to point out that in 2008, internal checkpoint interdictions only accounted for 0.5% of the total in the Tucson sector even though 10% of Tucson sector personnel were assigned to internal checkpoint operations.
* Stana claims the Border Patrol needs more resources so the agency can address circumventions around internal checkpoints but fails to point out that internal checkpoints are already a circumvention measure for illegal traffic crossing the actual border.

In summary, Stana continues to reinforce my observations that the GAO report wasn't designed to be an independent, honest analysis of the utility and effectiveness of internal checkpoints but rather a tool to grease the way for the continued expansion of the burgeoning American police state.

Links to parts 1 - 3 of this special series appear below:

* Part 1

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