Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Entering the United States with 'dirty-bomb' material


As reported in Breitbart.com

Investigators enter US with 'dirty-bomb' material
Mar 27, 2006

Two undercover government threat vulnerability teams made simultaneous entries at the U.S.-Mexican border and the border with Canada carrying radioactive material in their vehicles in December 2005, the Government Accountability...Please read the rest of the article for details

Hope that Customs and Border Protection (CBP) can plug the hole. The United States has to be ever so vigilant.

Unfortunately we have the democratic legislators keeping the administration busy with legality of NSA warrantless wiretaps, President Bush trying to manage the war on terror, partisan pundits refusing to cross the non-partisan bridge to help secure our country.

The Dems, Lollywood (yes with an L), MSM, and other whacked out organizations from both sides of the aisle want to keep the people occupied with things like "Impeach Bush" and partisan power struggling. Four proven reliable anchors that could protect us in the storms of life: stability, unity, renewal, and reality have been thrown out the window.

God willing, we will make it the next three years without a major conflagration occurring in the United States. One has to wonder how close we are to one here?

For additional information on nuclear smuggling please read the following GAO study released in June 2005:

COMBATING NUCLEAR SMUGGLING

Efforts to Deploy Radiation Detection Equipment in the United States and in Other Countries; What GAO Found

Four U.S. agencies, the Departments of Energy (DOE), Defense (DOD), State, and Homeland Security (DHS), are implementing programs to combat nuclear smuggling by providing radiation detection equipment and training to border security personnel. From fiscal year 1994 through fiscal year 2005, the Congress has appropriated about $800 million for these efforts, including about $500 million to DOE, DOD, and State for international efforts and about $300 million to DHS for installing radiation detection equipment at U.S. points of entry. The first major initiatives to combat nuclear smuggling concentrated on deploying radiation detection equipment at borders in countries of the former Soviet Union. In particular, in 1998, DOE established the Second Line of Defense program, which has installed equipment at 66 sites mostly in Russia through the end of fiscal year 2004. In 2003, DOE began its Megaports Initiative to focus on the threat posed by nuclear smuggling at major foreign seaports and to date has completed installations at two ports. Regarding efforts at U.S. points of entry, the U.S. Customs Service began providing its inspectors with portable radiation detection devices in 1998 and expanded its efforts to include larger-scale radiation detection equipment after September 11, 2001. This program is continuing under DHS, which reported in May 2005 that it has installed more than 470 radiation portal monitors nationwide at mail facilities, land border crossings, and seaports.

A common problem faced by U.S. programs to combat nuclear smuggling is the lack of effective planning and coordination among the responsible agencies. For example, we reported in 2002 that there was no overall governmentwide plan to guide U.S. efforts, some programs were duplicative, and coordination among U.S. agencies was not effective. We found that the most troubling consequence of this lack of effective planning and coordination was that the Department of State had installed less sophisticated equipment in some countries leaving those countries’ borders more vulnerable to nuclear smuggling than countries where DOE and DOD had deployed equipment. Since the issuance of our report, the agencies involved have made some progress in addressing these issues. Regarding the deployment of equipment in the United States, we reported that DHS had not effectively coordinated with other federal agencies and DOE national laboratories on longer-term objectives, such as attempting to improve the radiation detection technology. We found that a number of factors hindered coordination, including competition between DOE national laboratories and the emerging missions of various federal agencies with regard to radiation detection.

The effectiveness of the current generation of radiation detection equipment is limited in its ability to detect illicitly trafficked nuclear material, especially if it is shielded by lead or other metal. Given the inherent limitations of radiation detection equipment and difficulties in detecting certain materials, it is important that the equipment be installed, operated, and maintained in a way that optimizes its usefulness. It is also important to note that the deployment of radiation detection equipment— regardless of how well such equipment works — is not a panacea for the problem of nuclear smuggling. Rather, combating nuclear smuggling requires an integrated approach that includes equipment, proper training of border security personnel in the use of radiation detection equipment, and intelligence gathering on potential nuclear smuggling operations.

Hope we learn from our mistakes before it is too late. Please read this informative GAO report

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