reports suggest federal officials aren’t paying enough attention
to the terrorist threat posed by containers unloaded each day from
the nation’s 361 ports onto trucks to travel the nation’s highways.
it easy to accomplish, federal authorities would inspect each container
from its starting point to its final destination.
that’s not realistic, said Robert C. Bonner, commissioner of Customs
and Border Protection at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
frankly, it would be counterproductive and damaging to the U.S.
economy to inspect 100 percent of the 7 million sea containers or
the 11 million trucks that arrive in the United States every year,”
Bonner said during testimony Sept. 9 before the Senate Committee
on Commerce, Science & Transportation.
must use some kind of risk-management techniques to identify and
screen the relatively few high-risk shipments out of the millions
of virtually no-risk shipments,” Bonner said. “I am pushing to improve
our ability to focus our efforts on the high-risk shipments. We
are also working with the intelligence community and others to improve
our targeting rules and systems.”
also said he wanted to increase inspection rates through the rapid
deployment of radiation detection technology, as well as large-scale
X-ray imaging systems. This kind of technology “has dramatically
increased our ability to inspect high-risk containers, but it has
done so in a way that does not interrupt the flow of legitimate
commerce,” he added.
Peter Guerrero, director of physical infrastructure issues for the
General Accounting Office, said much more should be done to secure
the nation’s entire transportation network.
whose agency is the investigative arm for Congress, testified it
could cost hundreds of billions of dollars to secure the transportation
network, which includes 3.9 million miles of roads, 600,000 bridges,
361 ports and more than 5,000 public-use airports.