Monday, July 16, 2012

16 July 2012 One if by land, two if by sea

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

By Douglas Frantz, Published: July 15

The Obama administration has failed to meet a legal deadline for scanning all shipping containers for radioactive material before they reach the United States, a requirement aimed at strengthening maritime security and preventing terrorists from smuggling a nuclear device into any of the nation’s 300 sea and river ports.
The Department of Homeland Security was given until this month to ensure that 100 percent of inbound shipping containers are screened at foreign ports.
But the department’s secretary, Janet Napolitano, informed Congress in May that she was extending a two-year blanket exemption to foreign ports because the screening is proving too costly and cumbersome. She said it would cost $16 billion to implement scanning measures at the nearly 700 ports worldwide that ship to the United State

Navy confirms American vessel fires on boat off Dubai in possible mistaken threat; 1 dead

By Associated Press, Updated: Monday, July 16, 12:45 PM

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The U.S. Navy says a security team aboard one of its ships fired on a small boat after it disregarded warnings and raced toward the vessel near the Dubai port of Jebel Ali..
Lt Greg Raelson, a spokesman for the Navy’s Bahrain-based 5th Fleet, says sailors aboard the USNS Rappahannock issued a series of warnings Monday before resorting to lethal force using a .50-caliber machine gun.
Cassi Creek::  there was no rain evident this morning.  Daily hike with Mike resumed.  We managed to complete the trek before the heat of the day set in.  I also managed to mow the major portions of the yard that can be mowed.  Gloria came back from a lab draw and shopping trip in time to provide string trimmer support with the electric trimmer.  The gas-powered string trimmer is too likely to damage some of the valves and pipes from the pool and pool heater.  There is some trimming that should be done along the driveway and road, and some around the well.  For now, it will hold. For a cooler day, perhaps later in the week.  
          The failure to implement effective cargo screening for nuclear weaponry and radioactive materials is disturbing.  There is no valid excuse for this administration to drop the ball on such screening, just as there was no valid excuse for the Bush administration to fail at implementation.  Congress was quick to pass resolutions and bills that demand additional safety measures during the post 9-11 days.  Congress is also adept at refusing to fund such measures. 
          16 billion dollars estimated as the cost of implementing screening for such weapons at foreign ports is a very small sum compared to the cost of allowing a single nuclear device to be detonated in a major American port city.  But the necessity for increasing tax revenues in order to pay for such security will continue to prevent the teavangelists voting to levy such taxes. 
          It seems that the GOP/teavangelists would rather see a major U.S. port city covered with green glass than to see bi-partisan compromise and the increased taxation applied toward national security necessities.  There is no glamour in applying expensive scientific detection devices to eliminate the risk of being attacked by Islamic terrorists or Iranians intent upon suicide.  Voting to fund such technology will not impress the majority of the anti-intellectual voter base, and it will not please that incomparable dweeb, Norcrist, who has most of the GOP/teavangelist members of Congress by the balls. 
          We’ve ignored the necessity of applying money and science to provide national security and they will likely emulate the British marching on Concord. 
          Also defining national security, the USNS Rappahannock  responded to the too-close approach of a small craft in the Persian Gulf by opening fire with .50 caliber firearms, killing one person and injuring others, after the small craft had ignored various warnings to stand off.  The USNS Rappahannock is a non-commissioned auxiliary vessel, configured to provide underway replenishment (un-rep) delivering fuels and dry cargo to other vessels in the fleet without necessitating a port call.  She is owned by the Navy, crewed mostly by civilians, and carries an on-board Navy defense team during operations in a combat theater.   It was such a team that acted today to defend the ship. 
          There will be complaints and denials by Iran, and perhaps other regional nations.  There was no legitimate reason for any small craft to approach a U.S. Navy vessel underway in the Persian Gulf.  Refusing to stand off was sufficient reason to defend the ship. 

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