Port security: U.S. fails to meet deadline for scanning of cargo containers

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by bruno, Jul 15, 2012.

  1. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world...ners/2012/07/15/gJQAmgW8mW_story.html?hpid=z1

    Got to hand it to the Fed bureaucrats- 1/2 % of containers get scanned for Nuke content before shipping ; and the DHS reports that 99% of containers are scanned on arrival and there are no cases of finding Nuke materials in US ports so there is no threat. But would they find anything?:
    Meanwhile every 3 year old and 93 year old and everyone in between practically has to strip down to their skivvies, gets scanned, X-rayed, patted down and generally hassled just trying to get on the shuttle flight to NYC from Logan. (Make sure that you don't take more than 3oz of shampoo aboard that flight- you might be a security risk!:rolleyes:)
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2012
  2. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

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    Haven't I seen that movie...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_qLie2058dI
     
  3. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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  4. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

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    Or should you say unwillingness.

    Heaven forbid we actually enact a TAX on incoming ships to pay the cost ($16 Billion per the article) to pay for the security we need to continue bringing in the best the world has to offer in a SAFE manner.

    NOOOO! We are addicted to CHEAP imported junk that distracts us from the fact that we can't make anything ourselves anymore. Our politicians' decisions are a reflection of our own weakness.

    Free trade doesn't shouldn't come at the price of endangering our country. Trust me, many of our trading partners pass on the cost of checking imported goods to the importers.
     
  5. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Interesting stuff. I don't think the U.S. could reasonably scan 100% of cargo.... ever. There are a few things to consider. First, security of the port of origin for cargo. The security surrounding port facilities overseas also counts for something.


    Now, you want to board every ship pulling into the U.S.? You'll have to dramatically increase the size of CBP and the Coast Guard. And that is at a time the Coast Guard is shrinking. So... that's not going to happen.

    If you want to hold up shipping.... you'll cost the U.S. economy billions.


    What you'd really appreciate is the interview with San Diego's deputy port director (or something like that) from Customs.
     
  6. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    But after saying all of that, I have VERY FEW positive things to say about DHS as an organization.
     
  7. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

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    The scanning should happen any time during loading (which is actually preferable and IIRC Customs does some work at foreign ports already). Plenty of ways to certify cargo. It really should be a multi-national effort with customs from all countries present at ports world-wide. If you don't play along, your ship docks nowhere. Simple enough.

    That should handle the cargo.

    As to pickups at sea, well that is entirely another issue... I agree, this would be difficult to police.
     
  8. 2009KPer

    2009KPer Member

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    I think you're really underestimating the amount of cargo and vessels that flow through our ports - and it's not all containerized. One-hundred percent screening would require an enormous amount of resources to pull off efficiently.

    DHS can't even handle the proper implmentation of the TWIC program which was started years ago. I doubt they could take this on without severely slowing things down to a crawl and wasting gobs of money.
     
  9. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    100% screening of anything is not realistic and with the sheer volume of material coming thru US ports is probably un-doable.

    But developing a statistically significant and capable system of scanning isn't unachievable- the technology clearly exists to field a scanning system that has the sensitivity to detect the highest risk items. But it is clear as even the most partisan of Senators from both sides of the aisle have expressed- the DHS is unwilling to actually make concrete steps to rapidly field a capable system. Bureaucracy at it's finest. If you have never actually worked in Washington, the tactic of appearing to do something without actually spending much time doing so is a finely honed skill of Government agencies and they practice it when they are pointed at a project that they haven't initiated themselves. In this case- the DHS seems to me to have decided that this is not something they support , so they don't actively and aggressively pursue a meaningful implementation.
     
  10. osdad

    osdad Member

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    DHS has always been striving for the appearance of security (as opposed to real security). Think about the hundreds of harbors along our coast; or the thousands of chemical plants in our cities, or the millions of unguarded RR tracks criss-crossing the nation. So they pick airports where 1) there was a horrific breach that caused the agency to be formed in the first place, 2) is possible to enact, and 3) is highly visable. It's #3 that is most important as that is what keeps the money flowing.
     

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