Susan Luzzaro 9:45 p.m., June 18
Alan Bersin's "Our Border" Site Goes Offline
In the wake of the departure of San Diego's Alan Bersin from his job as U.S. Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, one of his favorite projects at the federal agency has suddenly disappeared from the web.
Visitors to "Our Border," a social media project hosted at Ning.com, are currently being greeted by a message saying "Our Border will be back soon...In the meantime you can follow us on twitter or visit http://CBP.gov"
As we reported back in September 2009, Bersin set up the site when he was President Obama's "border czar" at the Department of Homeland Security.
Billed as "a Southwest Border Civic Network," the site had an initial problem getting members who signed on to provide much detail about themselves, so a Bersin aide announced a special incentive:
“This network and these connections will only last if we know each other, if we take a moment to talk about why each of us is here. What brings you to this site? Are you a DHS employee, a community leader, an activist?”
"We’ll be watching the forum and looking for the two best introductions. Those two members will receive a phone call from DHS Assistant Secretary for International Affairs and Special Representative for Border Affairs Alan Bersin.”
Among those who followed through were "a former senior intelligence analyst for the State of California”; “the supervising Criminal Intelligence Analyst at the Arizona Counter Terrorism Center”; a “co-founder of the Border Patrol Auxiliary”; an ex–Secret Service employee currently working for the Transportation Safety Administration; and “the president of a small company with a focus on homeland security and keeping America safe.”
Bersin's departure today did not come as a surprise, as his so-called recess appointment by the president when the Senate Finance committee failed to schedule a confirmation hearing was set to expire next week.
"My service as commissioner has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my public life," he said in a statement issued today.
"I am immensely proud of the significant and meaningful achievements we have made on our borders and at our nation's ports of entry over nearly two years."