presents The Angry Liberal
Bush's New Hole in Border Security: Big Enough to Drive a Truck Through
April 18, 2002
Good news, America! Our national security is now in the hands of General Motors! Yes, those fine folks who brought you the Corvair now get to participate in protecting America's borders.
Tuesday at Detroit's U.S. - Canadian border, Homeland Security Broker Tom Ridge announced a new partnership between U.S. Customs Service and 60 corporations. This partnership, entitled "The Bush Administration's Great Border Security Sellout" (I'm pretty sure that's what it was called, anyway), will allow planes, trucks and ships that serve U.S. corporations to bypass the normal Customs Service inspection procedures at border crossings. You heard right. The same American corporations that put profit ahead of all else are suddenly going to be on the cargo security honor system.
How is it possible that, having just wrestled airline security away from private industry, we are now allowing private industry to police their own cross-border operations? It's simple: The Bush Administration values corporations over Americans. In its rush to allow its corporate campaign contributors to run the country, we are seeing an initiative written by automakers that compromises border security for profit. And the Bush Administration is only too glad to sign on.
Here's how the program is designed to work: Participating companies are required to tighten their internal security and the security of their suppliers. In return, customs agrees to allow any of their trucks, planes, or ships to cruise right past the checkpoints and deliver their goods. Of course, there will be some expensive hi-tech gadgets that are supposed to identify the vehicle and cargo passing through the border checkpoint. (Gee, I wonder who will pick up the tab for that?)
Here's how the program will likely work: Participating companies will cheat as much as possible in their internal security checks to save money. Interested smugglers or terrorists can simply find work in the weakest corporate link in the supply chain, and with the help of somebody in the United States, begin shipping whatever they want into the country with no questions asked. That amounts to about 600 truckloads of uninspected stuff coming into the United States every day - and that's the cargo for General Motors alone.
If the "insider" scenario is too complicated, the bad guys needn't bother trying to set up somebody in a participating corporation. They just have to get their hands on the "smart border" equipment that allows the corporate vehicles to cruise past the border checkpoint. Al-Qaida members must already be sketching up the plan as I type this. Best of all, if (or, likely, when) a few thousand Americans are killed by some device smuggled into the country using the new corporate fast-lane, customs officials can fine the corporation responsible for the security breach! I feel safer already!
Kids, if you want safer borders, you have to make it harder to get into the United States, not easier. Decent corporations, if there were any, would gladly accept a delay in shipping to improve our nation's security. Instead, you are witnessing yet another triumph of corporate greed over common sense, and an administration, awash in corporate campaign cash, happily participating.
General Motors: If you wish to give me the same treatment you gave Ralph
Nader for criticizing you, please be advised that I like my hookers young
and blonde. Thanks!)
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© 2002, The Angry Liberal
otherwise noted, all original