A letter to Congresswoman Hooley:
Your recent e-mail (click here to see) questioning the transfer of port management to Dubai Ports World is a bad, bad example of pandering, and the staffer who briefed you on this issue made a mistake.
If we don't have trustworthy friends in the Muslim world, we will never find peace with an open society based on world trade. We must avoid showing Muslims we are xenophobic, and since this is a transfer from one overseas management corporation (which also was not rigidly inspected before they took the reins) to another, drawing attention to *this* transfer tells Muslims we can't, won't, don't trust them.
Port management companies follow the procedures DHS and the Congress dictate.
If you are truly concerned with security, then provide full funding for 100% inspection, for even if we had 100% US ownership of port management, our container inspection system system inspects only 5% of all containers and only 1 % of containers are inspected overseas.
One nuke (out of how many hundreds of the tens of thousands made? out of how many hundreds of ex-Soviet suitcase nukes which are unaccounted for?) exploding on the deck of a ship in harbor, would make large portions of any city uninhabitable for decades, because water detonations create the worst possible conditions for contamination.
Add to that the likely enhancement of the device by surrounding it with metals which would become radioactive easily, like cobalt (not a controlled or tracked substance because of its industrial utility and commonality). That easy and undetectable step would multiply the lethality of fallout several hundred fold, and anyone with the time to think about the matter would see that cargo inspection has no business being performed in a metropolitan area.
I realize you're overworked and understaffed, and your staff are overworked, but insulting Muslims (which I ain't, by the way) through challenging the transfer of port management to a corporation with Muslim leadership won't make us more secure, and will have the opposite effect. It will add fuel to the fire by insulting the Arab world.
Please, instead, seek full funding for 100% inspection of every cargo container arriving, either offshore or in locations far away from high density population areas. THAT is a positive solution to this problem.