US fails "dirty-bomb" test...

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by blackfox, Mar 29, 2006.

  1. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

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    #1
    oops. I feel so much safer. WTF?


    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/03/28/AR2006032800774.html
     
  2. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #2
    Again, or still? MSNBC had a piece on this a few weeks ago. I know I feel safer. :rolleyes:
     
  3. scem0 macrumors 604

    scem0

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    #3
    Yet if a microwave didn't pass this test people would be up in arms...

    America :rolleyes:.

    e
     
  4. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #4
    There are tons of this stuff already inside the border that could easily be stolen if you know where to look. There's no need to sneak it through.
     
  5. blackfox thread starter macrumors 65816

    blackfox

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    #5
    I'm probably just late to the party...

    I would've thought more people would find this important and disturbing.
     
  6. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    #6
    I do.

    Let's see, we elected this bunch because of.......why was it again?

    Oh yeah, because they're so great at security.
     
  7. jelloshotsrule macrumors G3

    jelloshotsrule

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    #7
    don't be so narrow minded

    tax cuts too!!
     
  8. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #8
    You can't stop border jumpers. You can't stop drug smuggling. Why would anybody think there could be perfection about "horribles"?

    The nuclear material was brought in openly, though, with phony paperwork. Somebody want to figure out how hard it is to fake documentation? In today's world of color laser printers?

    It doesn't matter what political party is control or how security agencies are reorganized. That's totally irrelevant to anything. All that matters is the will to do it, the "want to". If that exists--and most people think it does--either a low-yield nuke device or a dirty bomb is gonna go off somewhere in the US.

    Even the USSR with its KGB couldn't protect Russia's borders well enough to keep drugs out of the country. How can anybody in a country as open as this one expect to keep Bad Things out?

    'Rat
     
  9. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #9
    Because that's what we were told. Not perfection, but that it would get better. It hasn't. I think I'm allowed to expect better after 9/11. Especially considering all the talking points about how much safer they'd make us than the other guy.

    I like how they defeated the port security bill.
     
  10. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #10
    Damn right. We're giving up liberties for nothing? WTF?
     
  11. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #11
    Have you seen V for Vendetta yet? If you haven't, you should. It's all about slight of hand. Give the perception of making people safer while actually making things worse. All while taking away civil liberties that have nothing to do with actually fixing the root problems.
     
  12. scem0 macrumors 604

    scem0

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    #12
    I agree, excellent movie.

    I just hope people see the parallels. They are very hard to miss... but the American masses have surprised me many times with their stupidity :(.

    e
     
  13. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #13
    It's hard not to. What's funny is that there were some condemning the movie for being anti-Bush before most people even saw the comparison. Rather than say it wasn't about him, they actually implied it was, which kinda makes it seem like they're ok with all the horrible things the Chancellor did in it.

    That's what you should be afraid of.
     
  14. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #14
    solvs sez, "Because that's what we were told." Yup.

    "I'm from the government, and I'm here to help you."

    "The check's in the mail."

    "Darlin', when I get home on Monday, I'm gonna file for divorce."

    "I won't..." (Well, never mind.)

    'Rat
     
  15. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #15
    The neocons shouldn't have promised it if they weren't going to deliver. I remember all that talk of being attacked if the Dems won, but who is actually making things worse and defeating bills to increase the much needed funding for the checks we do, then trying to spend the money on bridges to nowhere attached to defense bills? But drowning the government in the bathtub isn't going to help on this one. They're already trying to do that, and that's kinda the problem.

    "I'm from the gov and I'm here to help" should be a good thing, not a nonexistent thing. ;)
     
  16. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #16
    "The neocons shouldn't have promised it if they weren't going to deliver."

    I imagine many of them thought they could deliver. Maybe some cynics merely figured that window-dressing would be adequate to calm the public, but I wouldn't bet the farm on that.

    When I first started reading excerpts of the Patriot Act, it struck me that most of the protections were protection for VIPs in government. I didn't really see much for "just us folks".

    To be halfway fair, though, when I think of the sprawling infrastructure of the U.S., it's difficult to see how we can be doing a lot better than we are. It's a numbers game: The number of airports, of flights, of people. The number of ports, of ships, of containers. The number of ports of entry. Same for power plants and refineries, etc.

    The feds have to compete for qualified, competent people to hire and train. Even after training, it takes six months to a year before they're really nearing a reasonable competency level on the job. Folks that like to hang out at Starbuck's aren't likely to sign up for Border Patrol duty at Yuma, AZ, in summertime. A liberal arts major is unlikely to hire on with US Customs to inspect containers.

    I don't see it getting easier...

    'Rat
     
  17. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #17
    The solution is obvious to anyone with half a brain: hire all those illegal immigrants you're all overrun with.
     
  18. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #18
    skunk, I included "competency". Start off with some ability to speak the language, as well as read and write. I'm not being facetious or derogatory, either.

    'Rat
     
  19. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #19
    Maybe for you. But I'd suggest you need some glasses the help you see then.

    Personally I can see a lot of ways that we can be doing better, it's just a matter of national priorities. We have the technology and capability to inspect 5% of the cargo arriving at our ports. Why not take that to 100%? Or if that proves cost-prohibitive, lets try for 75%. Let's start mandating hardening of critical infrastructure like nuclear power plants and chemical storage facilities. Even help those businesses pay for said upgrades with public money. Let's get more cops and firefighters and first responders and border patrol on the streets. And let's get their communication gear upgraded so they can communicate with each other better. Let's implement ALL the recommendations of the 9/11 commission. Let's get someone competent running FEMA. And let's have a national conversation about how we're willing to implement data mining in the pursuit of our enemies.

    That's just off the top of my head. If we weren't engaged in a (conservatively) $4 billion preemptive war of choice, and hadn't cut taxes for the richest among us at the same time, we'd have the money to begin to talk about these things. Saying you can't see how we could do any better is defeatism at it's height. It's cutting and running on the American homeland. Evildoers want to harm us, and you can't think of how we could do better?

    I bet if it was President Kerry's problem you could think of lots of ways we could be doing better! ;)
     
  20. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #20
    Okay, mac, I'll rephrase it: I don't see how we could do a lot better with the money and manpower available. Or with the sort of thinking that's been shown, insofar as agency reorganization, etc.

    As far as the money, we could cut military stuff, we could cut social stuff, we could raise tax rates. The latter would tend to reduce total income over the long haul, of course...Short term, any or all of that would allow more security. But first you have to persuade the Congress--both parties--that it's doable and contributes to re-election.

    I don't know: How many people are there in US Customs Service who are involved in inspections of containers? To go from 5% inspection to 75% would mean fifteen times as many. Then there are railroad cars from Mexico, and semis. I have read that cross-border traffic just at Laredo is 35,000 semis per day. I know that the Presidio, Texas, crossing is expected to rise to 4,000 per day.

    Hmmm. Y'know, looking at the magnitude of "real security", I might just well fall back on my original statement. :)

    'Rat
     
  21. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #21
    Oh I think $400 billion would go a long ways towards getting started. And that doesn't even count the potential money from reversing tax cuts for the elite ivory-tower dwellers among us.
     
  22. scem0 macrumors 604

    scem0

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    #22

    I am! :(

    e
     
  23. gekko513 macrumors 603

    gekko513

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    #23
    I just saw it, actually. Great movie!
     
  24. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #24
    Having spent a few years in the transportation field, let me tell you that even 50% inspection rates are impossible.



    First off, we need to look at the countries we are importing from.

    http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/statistics/highlights/top/top0512.html

    According to this chart, 75.8% of imports in 2005 came from just 15 countries. Of those 15, the only one that has any direct connection to terrorism is Saudi Arabia. I would bet that the majority of imports from SA are oil. Sort of hard to hide a dirty bomb in an oil tanker. It could be argued that China, Malaysia and Venezuela are in part anti US but it seems that Malaysias imports consist mostly of clothing and Venezuelas' mostly of oil. China is worrying, especially if they decide to duke it out with Taiwan, but something tells me that China has less risky and more effective methods than rogue nuclear material.

    So, does it make sense to inspect 100% of all goods imported from the UK and Germany or does it make sense to focus on the countries where terrorists are more able and likely to bribe customs officials?

    Anyone who thinks that 100% inspection rates are going to save this country from terrorists is insane. We have one of the largest and least protected borders in the world. CA, WA and OR are filled with little used bays and inlets where it would be very easy to land a small craft, much less the panhandle of Alaska.

    All that customs can do is focus on those countries where access is most likely and shipments most able to conceal weapons. We import more goods than any other country in the world. If we were to impose even a 50% inspection rate at point of origin on all the goods coming into the US, the cost would be phenomenal. Of course, it might drive jobs back to the US, but it would kill free trade.
     
  25. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #25
    And that's what it comes down to. Money. We spend so much on so many unimportant things, then give tax cuts to those who don't need them because they don't like paying high taxes. But if those taxes were better spent, a conservative balanced budget, essentials taken care of, fair taxation... is that too much to hope for?

    What we have now is the worst of both worlds. A government that spends like liberals (albeit not on liberal programs that work who desperately need it), then taxes like conservative with a surplus. Thus pissing off both sides.
     

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