Thursday, April 22, 2010

Ten years later, Water Station work continues

Sometimes siblings can be very different. The Hunter brothers remind me of the Negroponte brothers, Nicholas and John (see below).

Ten years later, Water Station work continues
April 7, 2010

OCOTILLO ---- For 10 years, John Hunter of Escondido and a small group of volunteers have spent most of their spring and summer weekends in the hot, dry desert east of San Diego trying to save lives.

Volunteers, with federal government permission, place jugs of drinking water in the remote desert in an effort to reduce the number of people who die attempting to cross the border illegally each year.

Admittedly, it's not much, but it could be enough to keep a person from dying of thirst in an area where the temperature regularly exceeds 110 degrees in summer, members of the group said.

Despite the dangers, thousands of illegal immigrants choose to cross the border in the desert to avoid intense patrols to the east around the town of Calexico and to the west in San Diego.

The group, founded by Hunter in 2000, is called the Water Station project. Its name springs from water stations the group builds a few miles north of the U.S. border with Mexico.

John Hunter, a physicist who has helped design and build war-fighting hardware, is the brother of former U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-El Cajon, and the uncle of U.S. Rep. Duncan D. Hunter, R-El Cajon...

As many as 5,607 illegal immigrants have died along the border over the last 15 years...

In the stretches of remote desert that surround the Ocotillo area in Imperial County, about 100 miles east of San Diego, nearly two dozen illegal immigrants die each year, Hunter's group says. Many get lost, disoriented and die of dehydration in the unforgiving heat.

"What we do is really simple," said Ben Cassel, a high school teacher and president of the organization. "We know that there are thirsty people there, and we take water to them."

When the group started, it operated on a shoestring budget of about $5,000, including money out of Hunter's pocket and some donations...

John Negroponte
Negroponte Tries to Cloud Intelligence Analysis on the War on Terror
September 25, 2006
Ivan Eland
The Independent Institute

John D. Negroponte, President Bush’s Director of National Intelligence, is now busy undermining a National Intelligence Estimate which concluded that the U.S. invasion of Iraq has worsened radical Islamic terrorism around the world. He previously had approved the document. According to the New York Times, the highly classified estimate, a consensus view of the 16 spy agencies of the U.S. intelligence community, finds that the U.S. invasion of a Muslim land has motivated the radical Islamic jihadist movement to metastasize and spread around the world. Yet, Negroponte, the president’s political appointee who is in charge, nominally at least, of the 16 agencies, came up with the usual twisted Bush administration phraseology to undercut his own estimate.

Negroponte, in what can only be termed Washington gobbledygook, said of the estimate, “The conclusions of the intelligence community are designed to be comprehensive, and viewing them through the narrow prism of a fraction of judgments distorts the broad framework they create.” That fraction of judgments appears to be 100 percent of the 16 intelligence agencies, because the National Intelligence Estimate represents the consensus view of that community. If instead Negroponte means that leaks of the report by intelligence officials misrepresent the actual classified report, such distortion is unlikely, because the New York Times interviewed more than a dozen officials from various government agencies and outside experts, a sampling of both supporters and critics of the Bush administration.

In reality, Negroponte, without much of a defense for the colossally horrendous ill–effects of the Iraq invasion, is attempting the age–old Washington trick of throwing out arguments, no matter how lame or twisted, to muddy the waters when really bad news has hit the media. A good intelligence professional would stand by and defend the best judgment of his trained intelligence analysts and himself, but alas, Negroponte is also one of the president’s political appointees...

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