Loy:�Strangelove takes a back seat to color-coded warnings

| 9/17/2003

It’s a bit of a stretch to imagine Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge straddling a falling nuclear bomb while waving a cowboy hat and screaming “Yeehaw!”

But the image must have come to some of the 600 people who attended the National Defense Transportation Association Conference Sept. 16 at the Hyatt Regency Crown Center hotel in Kansas City, MO.

"The tools of the trade of the Cold War are obsolete," Adm. James M. Loy of the Transportation Security Administration said, as reported by The Kansas City Star.

"The bomb, the old intelligence liaisons, the tactics and consequences of mutual destruction which worked against the Soviet Union – and which we've never had to use – don't work against this enemy.

"The old `five minutes to midnight Dr. Strangelove' has been replaced by Secretary (Tom) Ridge's threat-level index,” he said. "The federal government has helped to secure transportation, but the system never will be foolproof.”

Loy said new protection approaches involve a Transportation Worker Identification Credential. Transportation workers such as truckers, longshoremen, rail and transit employees will eventually be required to carry the card. The TWIC would be required of all workers with access to secure areas at airports, loading docks, depots and other vulnerable points.