What?!? You mean US ports aren’t secure?!?

Piercing port security easy as hitching a ride

Seattle Times:

Ports appear to have left at least one gaping hole in their security — a hole so big you could ride a truck through.

We did, several times.

If you would liike to feel that that the homeland is secure, do not read the linked article. (via EagleSpeak)


  1. Stories like this arent worth very much. The reporter proved that he could get into the port. (Yawn) He didnt prove that he could covertly gather together several people into a cell, acquire explosives, manufacture a bomb, commandeer a truck, get into the port, sneak the bomb off of the truck onto a ship, and detonate it. There is more to terrorism than walking through a door and more to security than guarding the door. In order to be a free country and an economic superpower we have to be an open country (and take the risks that go with it). We make a tradeoff between security and freedom and prosperity every day.

  2. Ryan: Well, he wasn’t trying to prove he could gather a cell and build a bomb. He did prove he could get into the port and that they didn’t check empty containters. So if the bomb is built, he can get in and get it onto a ship. Your dismissal of the threat seems to rest almost completely on the idea that no one would be able to get the resources to build a bomb. Ask Oklahoma City if that’s a reasonable assumption. No doubt freedom comes at a cost to security. But I don’t think a little security is uncalled for.

  3. Ryan’s right. commandeering a truck is extraordinarily difficult, what with the door and all. I agree, if this guy didn’t do the entire scheme, beginning to explosion, it *ESSENTIALLY PROVES* that our security is adequate. Otherwise the reporter would have caused something to have blown hup. Yawn is right. It’s time we all took a nap. I’m *SURE* everything will be just fine if we let things just kind of…happen…

  4. It’s funny (well, not really) that this was in the Seattle area. While vacationing up therel ast month, we were sitting in line to board a ferry and I said something to the effect of ‘If you’re running a business, at some point, it’s not going to seem to make sense to keep paying for security.’ I was driving a rented minivan and could have driven anything I wanted onto that ferry. What are things going to be like in three years, assuming there are no more terrorist attacks in the US? As Nicholas said, it’s boring. No one likes to do it, and after uneventful months or years on end the guard is certain to be down. Meanwhile, businesses are going to (at the very least) cut corners with security and more and more often slash it down or dispense with it completely if they think they can get away with it.

  5. Murdoc, I live in the Seattle area. Blowing up a ferry isn’t any different than setting off an explosive on a busy freeway for the most part, unless you’d care to hijack the vessal and attack PSNS, but you don’t need a ferry to do that. So high security for the ferries is kind of pointless. The real danger to the port & city would a be big bomb aboard a container coming from somewhere else, say North Korea. Much cheaper than a missile, longer ranged and a lot more accurate.

  6. Mark: You’re absolutely right that bombing a Seattle-area ferry wouldn’t be the most effective terrorist attack. I didn’t mean to imply that it would be. I was told by an area resident that security on the ferries (and the big floating bridge) was really stepped up after 9/11. To see this supposed ‘security’ so lax was a bit disappointing. If we’re going to call for and pay for security, let’s do it. As far as I could tell, the security procedures and personnel were not accomplishing anything. FWIW, let’s take all those personnel and have them start checking incoming shipping containers. If they all work overtime they might get the number actually checked up to 2.5% or so…