Can Do!

In an earlier article for, Mr. Robert Pfriender proposed a security system that is an absolute must for our nation..

“In recent days,” he wrote, “we have been treated to Sens. Schumer and Clinton proclaiming that they are stronger supporters of port security than President Bush and demanding that the ports remain in American hands. And across our nation similar statements have been made by the officials we need to trust will keep us safe from a nuclear holocaust.

“Now, for the harsh, honest reality: We are not safe. We are not even close to being safe. And despite all the grandiose political pronouncements, hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars spent, and the consolidation of many federal departments into the gargantuan Department of Homeland Security, we are no safer from a terror attack with a weapon of mass destruction today than we were on Sept. 11, 2001 …

“The officials of Customs and Border Protection, or CBP, choose to rely on a program they call the ‘Container Security Initiative’, or CSI, which is a virtual (as opposed to a reliable physical) ‘inspection’ of containers …

“Further, these ‘inspections’ are often carried out by foreigners at foreign ports, and CBP can only rely upon the honesty and integrity of these foreign inspectors. Worse, there are only a few dozen ports enrolled in this program out of thousands of ports worldwide. Appallingly, none of these ports are located in countries which are the most serious threats to our national security.

“CSI is perhaps best characterized as a dangerous program, as it offers something much worse than poor security, namely a false sense of security that leaves us even more vulnerable to a catastrophic attack …

“Each and every container that arrives on our shores must be assumed to be carrying a nuclear warhead, until we have irrefutable proof that it does, in fact, not. And until that proof (which must be physically verified, not by a virtual guessing game of ‘Risk Management’ or statistical analysis such as CSI), it must never be allowed near our shore. Never, ever – it’s that simple.

“CSI is just ludicrous. Customs and Border Protection has no idea at all if a container has a nuke onboard, even if it were one of the few containers subject to its ridiculous, very amateur screening practice. If a warhead is here, it is much, much too late. All the claims about CBP knowing what is in a container because it gets the manifest 24 hours in advance of the container’s arrival are just plain nonsense since it’s extremely easy to alter the manifest or simply lie about its contents on the manifest.

“Think about this simple concept for a moment: If the nuke never gets into our ports, then it can’t explode there. If a nuke does come into our port, it is already much too late.

“OK, so what is the solution, you may ask? Fortunately, it is very simple. We need to make sure the nuke never, ever arrives in our mainland port. We need to implement an immediate crash program of building offshore cargo container security inspection ports. And, we need to require that each and every cargo container is physically inspected at those security ports before it ever reaches within 10 miles of our shores. If it explodes, it will be out in the ocean, not in one of our cities.

“Our government cannot get this wrong, not even once. The stakes are just too high; the tragic results would be absolutely irreversible and unprecedented in human history …

“The solution: True inspection

“Something needs to change and change quickly before the reality of this problem becomes apparent to us in a tragic way that would make 9-11 look insignificant in comparison.

“One possible solution is the development of the Offshore Super-Security Inspection Ports that has been proposed by a consortium that includes my company, Allied International Development, Ltd. These offshore ports would provide the highest level of threat protection from weapons of mass destruction concealed in cargo shipping containers by facilitating comprehensive robotic inspection of all containers before they arrive on the United States mainland.

“These ports would enable true inspection (as compared to the mere virtual screening of CSI) of the containers for all types of weapons of mass destruction. The offshore Super-Security Inspection Ports would even have capabilities to quarantine chemical and biological materials detected. Various technologies to neutralize and prevent the detonation of any nuclear weapons that may be encountered are being explored.

“These new, high-technology security inspection ports will feature a safe, deepwater, 25-mile offshore location providing an effective distance barrier to any nuclear, biological or chemical weapons incident that may occur during the inspection of the containers.

“Most importantly, the Super-Security Inspection Ports will preclude any weapon of mass destruction concealed within an inbound cargo container from ever arriving on the U.S. mainland and the possibility that it could be utilized within the territory of the United States.

“The design, development and construction of the Super-Security Inspection Ports will cost an average of $ 5.5 billion each. In comparison, the Congressional General Accountability Office estimates that missile defense programs will cost the United States $ 53 billion between 2004 and 2009. The Offshore Super-Security Inspection Ports project will be privately financed and does not require any public funding.

“The inspection procedure will not add significant time or unreasonable expense to the shipping process.

“The ports will be operated by the federal government under contract from the consortium.”

Now take another look at our Vol. VII, Art. 2 commentary, “How times have changed …”

We asked, “All things considered, why aren’t we dealing with today’s assault on our nation as we dealt with the 1941 assault? There was no threat to our mainland or its citizens back then, as there is now, but starting from scratch, here’s what we did from 1941 through 1944 …

“All told, we delivered 5,150 vessels to the U.S. Navy from 1941 to 1944, yet none of the time and effort devoted to shipbuilding stood in the way of those who were simultaneously building the more than 125,000 aircraft needed for the conduct of the war.

“Tanks, artillery, ordinance, wartime equipment and supplies of every description … all in a day’s work …

“We’re a lot worse off today.”

And because we’re a lot worse off, we need to begin the construction of Mr. Pfriender’s Offshore Super-Security Inspection Ports without delay. Within two year’s time, and with the same “Can Do” attitude of the 1940s, as many as a half-dozen of these vital stations can be in place and operating.

Within that same time frame, our working U.S. shipyards, in conjunction with selected revitalized yards, can embark upon a shipbuilding program for the construction of Jones Act container ships, each retrofitted with the patented shipboard storage, retrieval and inspection system we’ve been discussing in these commentaries. Reasonable in size and without design variations, many dozens of these clones can be built every year. Let’s face it … many hundreds could be built every year.

These two simultaneous construction programs are necessary because of the threat from terrorists and because the annual increase in the numbers of containers are compounding that threat. Meanwhile, the number of foreign-owned container ships will be steadily increasing in order to keep pace with the volume of goods being shipped.

But as for putting the country’s security in the hands of non-American inspectors in overseas ports, should we really expect those folks to place our best interests above their own? The Nassau Guardian made it a point to remark that, “lowly-paid non-American workers could be susceptible to taking bribes … in fact it has been seen that some US lawmakers have been caught being on the take … and if it is only a matter of money changing hands, the people who are ultimately in control of illicit goods, will find a way to get them to a destination”. [Do you still believe CSI is infallible?]

Here’s what the two construction programs will do for our country:
– The Offshore Super-Security Inspection Ports will inspect/scan all containers aboard foreign-owned vessels, and although a delay is inevitable, homeland security will be assured.
– Each Jones Act vessel, with the patented capability to inspect/scan 100% of its containers while underway, will steam directly into port with no delay.

Annual increasing volumes of containers will require more vessels, both foreign-built and U.S.-built, and additional Super-Security Ports will be required to service the foreign newbuilds. [Can Do!]