A Piece of Cake

A large segment of the U.S. Congress is loudly insisting upon 100% inspection of intermodal containers destined for U.S. seaports. An even larger number within the maritime industry has taken a strong stance against such an effort. Without a doubt, however, politicians will submit bills to support their position without even knowing whether or not 100% inspection is even possible, and this legislation, in one form or another, will be approved. The expenditure of billions of dollars will be thrown at R&D; and at any likely-sounding system solely with the aim of securing the vote of an ignorant and frightened electorate.

Politicians, of course, state that their only concern is the safety and security of the citizenry. Well, that’s hogwash, and Robert Pfriender proves that in his book, “No place to run”.

The maritime authorities, on the other hand, state that their primary concern is that inspecting 100% of incoming containers will slow down and even break down the nation’s supply chain. That’s also hogwash. Their real concern is the adverse effects such time-consuming inspections will have on their bottom lines.

So who’s right? The politicians who are demanding a 100% inspection rate, or those with the responsibility of delivering the goods to the American consumer?

“If we can screen every passenger who boards an airplane, we can screen every cargo container that enters our ports,” said NJ Sen. Frank Lautenberg. “Screening only one container out of 20 is a recipe for disaster.”

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff’s response was that inspecting every container “is like saying we ought to strip-search everybody who gets on an airplane. I mean, in theory, that would make us very safe, but I think it would destroy the airline industry.”

Dr. James J. Carafano has stated that “inspecting every container that is shipped to the U.S. makes no sense. Doing so would cost billions of dollars and drown authorities in useless information.”

But NY Rep. Jerry Nadler correctly pointed out that if only suspicious, or high-risk, containers were inspected, terrorists would simply put bombs in low-risk containers.

So which side has the correct slant on things? Both sides do. But how can 100% inspection be achieved without bringing our economy to a grinding halt? Isn’t that very notion rife with contradiction? Not at all. We can have our cake and eat it, too. We’ve already proved it.

How have we proved it? Please turn back to our “Can Do!” commentary (Vol. VII, Art. 15). We need to begin the construction of the Offshore Super-Security Inspection Ports, and simultaneously, we need to begin the construction of our patented container ships. Those two programs will cover all bases, and it’s the only way … the only way … 100% security can be guaranteed for our country.