The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing -- Edmund Burke
Saturday, February 25, 2006
Podhoretz- ports -maybe for good measure they coud beef up the port security now that it's been highlighted
"No Republican politician is going to commit career suicide simply because the president asks him to. In 2002, his politically brilliant handling of the homeland-security issue won the Senate back for his party. In 2006, he came out of the White House and essentially demanded that Republicans on Capitol Hill fall in line on a matter that is far too complicated for him or them to explain — and risk his party's majorities in the House and Senate."
"The families of the slain officers have never publicly blamed the Mounties for what went wrong. No lawsuits have been filed. Instead, they have become lobbyists for changing the justice system.
Last October, they went to Ottawa to meet the four main federal party leaders.
They want to see mandatory minimum sentences for offences involving firearms, trafficking of drugs and weapons, sexual assaults of children and for attempts to harm police. They want a revamp of the current sentencing guidelines, which they believe give judges too much discretion, and in some cases, they want conditional sentences scrapped.
They are calling for a review of parole board criteria. They want to see increased funding to the RCMP for manpower and equipment.
They also talk about the utility of the $2-billion gun registry introduced by the federal Liberals."
"BILL TUCKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The president of the International Longshore Warehouse Union has this simple, harsh assessment of port security...
JAMES SPINOSA, PRESIDENT ILWU: We feel that the ports are really, if you really want to get down to it, are much more unsafe today in some cases than they are prior to 9/11. TUCKER: According to him, simple procedures like validation that containers have not been unsealed are no longer routine. Manifest checks are no longer done on the dock by dock workers. Only 5 percent of containers are ever x-rayed to determine if their contents are as they are listed.
Why? Security costs money. It can slow the flow of commerce. And we need that flow to move, creating a security compromise.
JERRY HULTIN, FMR. NAVY UNDERSECRETARY: If you think about the supply of food in America, that the -- when you think large volumes, we need a lot of food coming in by import to feed America. And that warehouses about seven days to 14 days worth of food. After that, spoilage, just the pure volume, says there's not enough food to distribute.
TUCKER: We choose expedience over security.
And then there's the question of background checks. Unlike at the airports, there is no one agency in charge of ports. Every seaport is responsible for conducting its background checks.
Sometimes there are holes. Some of the more recent holes include, from March of last year through this month, 125 illegal aliens were arrested at the Port of Jacksonville. Last October, seven illegal aliens were arrested in Oakland working in a bonded warehouse.
Not even the Navy can get it right. There have been numerous busts of illegal aliens working for contractors doing work on naval bases just in the past year.
TUCKER: One security expert that we spoke with warns that as airport security has been tightened, it's created the need for terrorists to find new ports of entry into the United States. This year's entry -- this year's budget for port security is $2 billion. We're spending $4.5 billion, Lou, for airport security.
DOBBS: Remarkable. Absolutely remarkable. And the money that has been spent, of course, since September 11 to upgrade the security at our nation's airports simply leaves port security with the -- with the most minimal amount of money. And yet, nearly every, every terrorism expert, every security expert says ports are the most likely point of entry for a nuclear weapon, a dirty bomb."
Sober second thoughts needed on the ports sale.....
Welcome Instapundit readers! Thanks Glenn!
Anything that ultimately ends up improving security will be a plus.
Glenn has re-evaluated his initial concerns about the Ports sale
If security is so tight at the ports , how can there be so much theft?
Nationally, $10 billion to $12 billion in merchandise is stolen annually.
More info here on the ports
Security still leaves a lot to be desired
"The Government Accountability Office, a watchdog arm of Congress, concluded in an April 2005 report, "An effective port security environment may be many years away."
Specifically, it cited the vulnerability of cargo containers to tampering at their points of origin overseas, where the agency found only piecemeal inspections.
One month after the GAO release, the Congressional Research Service, in a report to Congress, wrote that despite progress in port security, "many security officials still describe seaports as `wide open' and `very vulnerable' to terrorist attack."
One of the chief complaints has been a lack of funding. Critics note that the federal grant money earmarked for safeguarding the nation's ports typically totals in the hundreds of millions of dollars each year, while aviation security gets billions in grants and a far higher profile."
We're not playing poker here.One major mistake and it's game over.It seems that the condition precedent for this deal or any to go through would have been much better funding and security to already have been in place. It's not. Why take the additional risk? If this deal is so important then they can take the additional 45 days to vet the deal thoroughly and hopefully they can leave their partisanship outside the room as it's too important an issue.However the security situation is not going to be improved in 45 days if it still has major gaps 4 years after 9/11.Any further scrutiny will be a plus as it seems that this seemed like just another deal that was rubber stamped and was only given a cursory once over.There's either a War on Terror or there isn't.As one well known President said " trust, but verify".
"The short answer to the question of where the WMD Saddam bought from the Russians went was that they went to Syria and Lebanon," said John Shaw, former deputy undersecretary of defense, in comments made at an intelligence summit Feb. 17-20 in Arlington, Va.
"They were moved by Russian Spetsnaz (special ops) units out of uniform that were specifically sent to Iraq to move the weaponry and eradicate any evidence of its existence," he said.
These are extraordinary developments. They deserve a full airing in the media, since they essentially validate part of Bush's casus belli for invading Iraq and deposing the murderous Saddam.
But once again, the mainstream media have dropped the ball. They seem more interested in Dick Cheney's marksmanship and American port management than in setting the record straight about one of the most important developments of our time.