November 2, 2007, - 1:05 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
The ever-failing, incompetent “leadership” at the Department of Homeland Security has a brilliant new plan. Be on the lookout for small boats. And license them, so we can create a new, useless bureaucracy.
Do they have any idea how many small boats there are? Millions owned by Americans alone (that’s aside from those owned by foreigners)–17 million, to be exact. The fear is that a small boat could be used to launch a nuclear attack or lethal explosion at a U.S. port. Glad they only just discovered this, since it was a plotline on “24” like two seasons ago. Guess they’ve never heard the phrase, “Life imitates art.”
17 Million of These Aren’t the Threat . . .
THIS is the Threat.
Anyway, the problem here is that the feds want a national, federal ID for all small boat operators. How that’s gonna help us? I’d love to know. Are they going to pore over the 17 million IDs looking for Muslims? No, they aren’t because that wouldn’t be right. Islam is peace, don’t you know (it means “submission”). And I guess they think boat IDs will be–for some magical reason–immune to counterfeiting, unlike every other license granted in America.
Plus, I’m sure the terrorists won’t get smart and use large boats–longer than 100 feet–to mount attacks. By law large boats must have security plans and transponders that relay their positions to the Coast Guard. But, hey, it’s not like that will stop one of them from attacking. Until it’s too late.
There’s an easy solution here: If you see a small boat operated by a Muslim, an Arab, a Middle-Easterner, etc., that’s where you should be looking. But–oh no!–we can’t profile. We gotta, instead, create a whole new Small Boat ID Bureau in Homeland Security because Michael Chertoff’s bloated, ineffective agency and its wasted budget are not big enough.
Nope, don’t profile small boat owners and save America from a possible destructive attack. Let’s create a new ID bureaucracy, instead.
Only in America.
More from USA Today:
The nation’s 17 million small boats are facing increased scrutiny from the Homeland Security Department, which fears they could be used in a nuclear attack or a lethal explosion at a U.S. port.
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said this month that he had ordered agency leaders to “raise the protection level with respect to small boats.” Attacks this decade by terrorists ramming bomb-filled speedboats into a U.S. battleship and a French tanker are worrisome, Chertoff said.
The Coast Guard is seeking a new federal requirement that all boat operators carry identification wherever they are on the water so it can build a database of boaters found in restricted areas. The agency also wants to require state boating courses to teach security protocols such as avoiding cruise-ship terminals and military facilities.
Although new mandates would apply to operators of state-registered boats – usually those with an engine – the Homeland Security Department is focused on protecting major ports near large cities. . . .
The Domestic Nuclear Detection Office plans to test next year whether sensors on buoys and boats can detect radiation from a nuclear or radiological bomb on a small vessel. “This represents a serious vulnerability,” Director Vayl Oxford said. “The consequences would be so extreme.”
Next month, the Coast Guard will give Chertoff a plan to better oversee recreational boats and small ferries and fishing boats with “additional surveillance, monitoring and information systems,” said Dana Goward, director of the Coast Guard’s Maritime Domain Awareness program. “We need to know more about who’s out there.”
Taxpayers, get ready to open your wallets some more for Chertoff’s boondoggles. But you won’t be buying any measure of security. We must profile, instead.
It’s not the small boats, it’s who’s in them. And, sadly, our government isn’t scrutinizing that.
Big (ineffective) Government Smoke and mirrors, my friends.
Tags: America, Coast Guard, Dana Goward, Debbie Schlussel, Department of Homeland Security, director, director of the Coast, Domestic Nuclear Detection Office, Homeland Security Department, Homeland Security Secretary, law large boats, Michael Chertoff, security protocols, Small Boat ID Bureau, U.S. port, United States, USA Today, Vayl Oxford