Saturday, March 12, 2005

9/11 CHANGED NOTHING Last week I had the chance to hear a lecture by Stephen Flynn, a homeland security expert, one-time Coast Guard official, and author of America the Vulnerable: How Our Government Is Failing to Protect Us from Terrorism.

According to Flynn:

1. A terrorist attack at a major U.S. port would cause a ripple effect that would bring the international shipping network--the backbone of the world economy--to a standstill for days or weeks, not hours or minutes.

2. In the wake of such a disruption, a global recession would be inevitable.

3. The people who control the world's major ports are vividly aware of this nightmare scenario and are eager to implement enhanced security measures. But such procedures will not be effective unless they are adopted universally, or nearly universally.

4. There is not a single official in the federal government working to develop or implement new, post-9/11 port security procedures or standards. The Bush administration doesn't view the enhancement of port security as a federal responsibilty.

CONTRAPOSITIVE is edited by Dan Aibel. Dan's a playwright. He lives in New York City.