Friday, July 02, 2004
USCG is quietly going about its business
Almost entirely overlooked in the war on terror is what looks to me to be a significant step in the right direction -- "New international security measures took effect Thursday at seaports worldwide. As a result, the Coast Guard barred at least six ships - of 265 that were expected to arrive on Thursday - from entering U.S. ports. The United Nations-imposed rules are designed in part to prevent terrorists from smuggling themselves or materials such as radioactive 'dirty bombs' aboard cargo ships. The rules allow the Coast Guard to board every foreign vessel that approaches a U.S. port to make sure it has a security officer, an alarm system, a way to check the identification of everyone on board and a way to restrict access to the ship's bridge and engine rooms. DHS Secretary Tom Ridge said the rules will add to measures already in place. According to the Homeland Security Department, more than 95% of the nation's overseas cargo moves through U.S. ports"