Thursday, March 03, 2005

On The Mark -- Who Says Our Ports Aren't Safe -- Hypocrisy Decade

There have been numerous reports about how all of our ports are vulnerable to terrorist attack because the government is not providing enough funding – about 90% of federal transportation security funds go to airports.

Well, people, you’re wrong. We’re doing an excellent job of protecting some of our ports. Well, the ports in places like St. Croix and the state of Arkansas anyway. In fact, Arkansas received grants to enhance port security at six different locations.

Yeah, that’s right. Arkansas. Six locations. For those not familiar with U.S. geography, Arkansas is a landlocked state.

The inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security conducted an audit of grants recently awarded to various ports and found a number of them to be unwarranted. I hope it didn’t take too long to discover that the funding for ports in Arkansas (as well as other locations) is preposterous.

You figure it must be a clerical error, right? What else makes sense?

Asa Hutchinson, a former ARKANSAS congressman, and current department UNDERSECRETARY FOR TRANSPORTATION SECURITY had this to say in defense of the grants:

"If only the strategic ports would have been funded then there would have been an inspector general's study saying, 'You left a gap, and the other ports have not had their security addressed sufficiently.' " Like Arkansas, surely.

As a Los Angeles Times editorial stated, “We can just picture the uproar over St. Croix going undefended. Thankfully, Hutchinson will leave office next week, which is not soon enough.”

Yes, but how did it get this far without someone saying, “Wait a minute, this is ridiculous”? Without an audit this would have simply slipped through.

Makes one wonder what IS slipping through.


a-[e] said...

I don't know whether to laugh or cry...

On The Mark said...

I think you have no choice but to laugh, then cry.