Saving Americans From The Great Threat To The North
As the noise level decreases in Wyoming, those along the Canadian border can expect the volume to increase. The Department of Homeland Security has decided (three years later) that the world's longest undefended border bears substantially closer scrutiny in the post-9/11 era. The Bellingham (Washington) Air Marine Branch, the first of five such facilities, was dedicated last Friday and, by the end of the year, will have 70 staff, two helicopters (one of them a Blackhawk), a Pilatus PC-12 and a high-speed boat. Although the new border patrol will undoubtedly be on the lookout for terrorists, by far the greatest illegal activity at the boarder is likely drug and human smuggling. The U.S. is the main market for a particularly powerful strain of marijuana known as "B.C. bud" (not that we'd know) and illegal immigrants (particularly from Asia) sneak into to the U.S. from Canada. The base has funding to operate eight hours a day. Similar facilities will follow in Plattsburgh, N.Y., Detroit, Grand Forks, N.D. and Great Falls, Mont.