Trump's fantasy border wall is already being built right? That's what Trump tells us. We need to "finish the wall" he bellowed at a recent campaign rally.
To that end, Trump tweeted a time-lapse video of construction on the border this week, but Task and Purpose found that the video was actually shot last September.
The footage, which was filmed more than five months ago on Sep. 18, 2018, isn't really new wall construction at all, and certainly not part of the ongoing construction of "the wall" that Trump has been haggling with Congress over.
"It's a replacement project," Mike Petersen, public affairs director for the Army Corps of Engineers' South Pacific Division, told Task & Purpose. "I was in the division 12 years ago and we were doing border wall replacement work back then."
The footage shows work on the Santa Theresa Project Border Wall Replacement Project, a push to upgrade a 20-mile stretch of pre-existing vehicle barriers to bollard-style fence, Peterson told Task & Purpose.
On the subject of what's actually happening with Trump's decision to declare a "national emergency" and order the military to build a wall -- nothing is happening yet.
A coalition of states and other groups have filed lawsuits in federal court to block Trump's orders, but those orders are not being carried out yet because Trump declared a national emergency without doing any advance work to prepare for it.
According to the Military Times, the Department of Defense is waiting for the Department of Homeland Security to identify locations where a wall would bolster the troops who've been asked to deploy razor wire along the border.
The Pentagon has asked Department of Homeland Security to identify locations where border wall construction would improve the “effectiveness" of military troops deployed there, a key justification required to redirect military construction spending that would otherwise go to local base projects.
In a memo, dated Feb. 18, DoD asked DHS to identify “priorities for potential construction,” a U.S. official familiar with the memo’s contents told Military Times. Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan is asking for a priority list, as well as the data used to generate that priority list, to help him determine “what projects we support” and what could be delayed, the official said.
If improving the "effectiveness" of troops deployed on the border is legally required for diverting funds to build a wall, one wonders if that means troops will be asked to remain there permanently to justify construction.
Aside from deploying wire along the border, Trump's border troops are not doing anything consequential. Federal law prohibits them from participating in law enforcement activity so there's not much they can do. And now the Pentagon is asking where it should build an unnecessary wall for troops who have no substantiated reason to be there.
Everything about this is stupid.