Murphy's Law: June 2, 2002


Border control has long been a "lie mutually agreed upon." Even the strictest dictatorships had borders that could be crossed. But police states can make it difficult to get large items in or out of the country. Not so with the United States. Some 95 percent of Americas 1.2 trillion dollar annual foreign trade goes through 361 river and sea ports. The major dangers are the millions of cargo containers in transit at any moment, and hundreds of ships moving in and out of these ports. Suicide bombers could put weapons of mass destruction (nuclear, biological or chemical), or even large conventional bombs in one of these containers or ships and detonate them inside one of these ports. America's peace time border control forces (Coast Guard, immigration and customs personnel) are not numerous enough, nor equipped, to guard against this sort of threat. And given the enormity of the task, no one in the government wants to bring a lot of attention to something that could cost an enormous amount of money and probably still not work. 


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