Screengrab from https://twitter.com/jacobsoboroff/status/1083370905621970944


Some of the coverage of the border wall has gone from hysterical (overwrought) to hysterical (nonsense that causes uncontrollable guffaws). Prime example is this bit of stupidity.

This has set off all manner of jeers from opponents of the wall.

Let’s knock some of this aside.

1. All obstacles can be breached. This was discovered by the Romans when they used catapults, ballistae, and trebuchets to breach city walls. The fact that the wall can be breached is not news. The issues are a) what tools are necessary, what tools do you have available, and c) how long will it take. The objective is to push channelize people from areas with a wall to an area without a wall. This reduces the amount of area you have to cover with people. By using sensors, aerostats, and drones to cover the wall you can detect attempts at breaching the wall.

2. This is not the steel slat construction that is favored by the current administration. This is the steel-bollard-filled-with-concrete version. I’ve got no strong preferences for either. But keep in mind you’re looking as steel pipe filled with concrete and these clowns are claiming that this can be cut by a household saw…one doofus claims that the saw would cost $15. If that is true, then define “household.”

3. There is no imagery in the report of the wall being cut. What you see is a still image provided by Customs and Border Protection and a bespectacled soy-boy making some rather exotic claims (serious question, when did men stop having shoulders?). I’ll provide a spoiler alert. Any $15 saw will be a handsaw and there is no handsaw that can cut this. I’ll go further, your typical reciprocating saw is not going to do it either unless you have a truckload of blades, a couple of days to spare, and a tank-car full of BENGAY®.

4. This report is based on an NBC report that nowhere makes the “household” saw claim.

President Donald Trump has repeatedly advocated for a steel slat design for his border wall, which he described as “absolutely critical to border security” in his Oval Office address to the nation Tuesday. But Department of Homeland Security testing of a steel slat prototype proved it could be cut through with a saw, according to a report by DHS.

A photo exclusively obtained by NBC News shows the results of the test after military and Border Patrol personnel were instructed to attempt to destroy the barriers with common tools.

It refers you to this story by San Diego PBS affiliate KPBS. This is what is says about the wall breaching.

But a U.S. Customs and Border Protection report shows new barriers could fail in that job — at least if they’re based on the steel and concrete barriers that were tested in last year’s $5-million Otay Mesa prototype project. The models were meant to inform future wall designs, combining different features of the prototypes.

The heavily-redacted government documents reveal every mock-up was deemed vulnerable to at least one breaching technique. The report, obtained by KPBS through a Freedom of Information Act request filed in January, shows the final results of tactical teams trying to breach or scale the prototypes and mock-ups of the wall. During testing, the teams who observed the damage caused by one breaching technique decided to postpone it on other mock-ups. The technique’s nature was redacted.

While most of the tools and all of the breaching techniques are redacted in the report, the document does reveal the use of a plasma cutter and a quick saw. One redacted photograph under the quick saw section is labeled as “breached.”

Again, define “household saw.” If you own a construction business, sure, you might be able to. Otherwise, your household can’t do this.

Why MSNBC chose to file a report that was obviously false is not much of a mystery. That’s how they roll. But the larger message is that the people who are against the wall are now reduced to making ridiculous and fatuous arguments. This is simply the most blatantly dishonest.

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