this is what I’m talkin’ ‘bout!
Robert Reich hits the nail on the head:
I don’t mean to minimize the real danger that a terrorist might sneak into an American port or plant a nuclear bomb in a container heading toward an American port, or a container mounted on a truck that crosses an American border headed for Kansas City.
But if that happens it won’t be because of the nationality of the company that has a contract to run a port, or of its managers, or even its workers on the ground.
It will be because this nation didn’t want to pay for the gamma-ray monitors and radiation scanners and inspectors necessary to oversee more than a tiny percent of containers heading into America. Because we didn’t want to bother with security checks and special ID cards with fingerprints and other biometrics for workers at all ports and border crossings. Because all of this would cost about $7 billion a year, out of a defense and homeland security budget of hundreds of billions, and might slow down commerce through our borders just a bit, and reduce some corporate profits.
You see, the real issue here isn’t about nationality. It’s about what we’re prepared to pay for our security, and whether we pay mostly for a war in Iraq or we finally get serious about security here at home.