My Photo
Location: Montgomery Area, Alabama, United States

Former BUFF driver; self-styled military historian; paid (a lot) to write about beating plowshares into swords; NOT Foamy the Squirrel, contrary to all appearances. Wesleyan Jihadi Name: Sibling Railgun of Reasoned Discourse

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Port Security, Part 2

My apologies: these winsomely lighthearted
depictions of nuke detonations won't seem funny
when this really happens, as I fear it will
in the next few years, Dubai or no Dubai

For some of us on both sides of the political fence who have been worried about the UAE port fracas, it seems we need to pay a little more attention to the basics right here at home (this from ABC via instapundit):

House Republicans vowed to defy President Bush's effort to have a Dubai company take over six major U.S. ports. But ABC News has learned about a port threat from within — a major security breach at the ports of New York and New Jersey.

The two ports handle millions of tons of cargo a year, with scores of cruise ships passing through annually. Truckers who transport much of the cargo are issued ID cards, which give them access to the ports' most sensitive areas.

ABC News has learned that the cards, given to thousands of truckers by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, were issued with virtually no background checks. The Department of Homeland Security recently investigated the New York and New Jersey ports, and found stunning gaps in security.

The new DHS report, obtained by ABC News, shows that of the 9,000 truckers checked, nearly half had evidence of criminal records. More than 500 held bogus driver's licenses, leaving officials unsure of their real identities.

{Note by: sometimes the MSM comes through; good journalismizing here--blog competition must be taking its toll!}

This can be easily fixed, but it probably won't be because the ports are located in staunch Blue States and the local Dems would have to take on the Teamsters to obtain any changes, which they won't. The Teamsters have too much local clout within the Democratic machine (even though the national org has gone Repub several times in the last decades).

Security is always a joke in free societies with relatively unhindered commerce anyway -- it's not profitable and it usually takes a (very big, very expensive) blood priority to make people conscious of it.

I like to recount how, when I was a fierce young bomber pilot, sitting ground alert for the Sainted Strategic Air Command (a moment of silence please; and remove your hats), I used to live in an apartment complex right off the north end of the alert pad, not 200 yards from the double razor-wire fence and not 300 yards from the throat of the "Christmas Tree," out which the bombers would sortie when called on to launch. Had I been a Rooskie saboteur vice a steely-eyed Yankee Air Pirate, I could simply have waited until the Kalxon sounded for real, taken a thump gun out to the apartment parking lot, waited until the first plane got near the throat, taken it out with a grenade or two, and then picked off the rest as they sat helpless on their pads. The security police would have been helpless to stop me, even though they searched us (the crews) going in and out of the alert complex like we were prisoners at San Quentin -- and we were the ones with the keys and codes to the ..... uh ..... devices ..... that I can neither confrim nor deny we carried. The SPs were a joke; the whole idea of security in a free society is a joke -- until something really bad happens.

Nonetheless, it doesn't seem unreasonable to require background checks on teamsters serving our ports, given their critical vulnerability. HLS is dropping the ball again.


<< Home