November 2, 2007, - 1:05 pm

Latest Homeland Security Boobery: Be on the Lookout for Small Boats

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.

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6 Responses

You say “Islam means submission”. If that was so, why would President Bush and Secretary of State Rice tell us that “Islam is Peace”?
Why should I believe you over our President? Why are you trying to indict one of the world’s great religions? Terrorism is caused by a minority of trouble making radicals, as we know.

SmartGrowthAdvocate on November 2, 2007 at 1:55 pm

Sounds to me like another ploy to bilk money out of people, using terrorism as the reason. Much like using global warming as a way to bilk money via emissions inspection, and the selling of green points (who gets to sell them, anyway? Who’s the governing body?)

CaptShady on November 2, 2007 at 1:55 pm

Small boats: think USS Cole in Yemen. Extrapolate from that to a ferry, or tanker in harbor. It could happen very easily. That DHS put out a warning ‘late’ is irrelevant. It should have been thought of and prepared for by state and local governments.

undaunted on November 2, 2007 at 2:22 pm

Is there anything that our Government will not attempt to put a tax on or a registration number?
This is a ridiculous program that will not result in any improved security for our ports.
Tell me, undaunted, how will the registration number on a row boat or inflatable help the security of our ports?

ScottyDog on November 2, 2007 at 4:49 pm

I just saw the most ridiculous Law and Order: Criminal Intent. A Muslim scuba diver (from an Egyptian terrorist family) is found dead with pictures of underwater gas lines in NY harbor.
In the end, the plot “twist” was that the Muslim was set up by a really rich white guy from an old slavetrading family. The FBI, of course, is convinced he’s a terrorist, while the D’Onofrio character knows immediately that he’s just a happy-go-lucky innocent kid. It was the most nauseating PC-dreck ever. I think the episode was entilted “Depths”.

sonomaca on November 2, 2007 at 6:35 pm

Something this idiotic could only come from someone higher-up at DHS. Field personnel would know that registrations are already maintained on small boats by all states (Texas Dept of Parks & Wildlife, in Texas where I live)and are available through NLETS (National Law Enforcement Telecommunications System). Small boats all have a registration number consisting of a 2-digit state code, followed by either four numbers and two letters or three numbers and three letters. If they check with their field personnel they would probably find out that the two character state code is not always identical with common postal abbreviations for states (EXAMPLE:California usually abbreviated “CA”, but California boat registration number prefix is “CF”). Registration numbers are normally on the bow of the vessel (that’s the front, where the boat comes to a point, for those geniuses at DHS). Boat registrations maintained by all states also include the Boat Hull Number(BHN), also called the Hull Identification Number (HIN). The BHN is a permanent identifying number that is stamped onto the boat by the manufacturer and is similar to the VIN on a car or truck. Boats manufactured in 1974 or later will normally have a 12 character BHN, consisting of a three character prefix identifying the manufacturer, followed by a five character sequential production number, and ending with a four character number identifying the month and year of manufacture. Some states’ registrations often contain the serial numbers for the motors, if the boat has inboard motors, and serial numbers for the outdrive for boats with an inboard/outdrive propulsion system. Again, that would be for small boats. Boats over five tons are known as “documented vessels” and are registered with the Coast Guard. Given this, I would have to agree with the above positions that DHS is just looking for another money wasting bureaucracy to
justify even bigger budgets seeing as how the states have it covered already.

CornCoLeo on November 2, 2007 at 8:24 pm

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