Whittel Criticizes Port Security

Monday, June 21, 2004
Robert Whittel expressed his serious concern that, with only two weeks until the International Ship and Port Security (ISPS) code goes into effect, most American ports and ships remain inadequately secure against potential terrorist attacks.

Whittel, a Naval Reserve Officer and former American Maritime Officer, stressed that the security of American maritime facilities is one the most critical -- yet overlooked -- elements of U.S. homeland security.

"America's lack of port security provides terrorists with a huge window of opportunity," Whittel said. "It is essential that we strengthen this vital link in the national security chain."

The ISPS establishes rules and regulations for the prevention of terrorist acts against seaports and ocean-going vessels.

Whittel attributes his deep concern about port security to his military and maritime background and a desire to ensure that businesses, his community and the nation are safe from the threat of terrorism.

Along with his experience as an American Maritime Officer and as a graduate of the Merchant Marine Academy, Whittel also founded his own shipping business and reported directly to the CEO of one of the world's largest maritime fueling companies.

"I've served my country and the industry as an officer aboard a ship and understand the extent of destruction that terrorists could do if they gained access to one of our poorly secured ports," Whittel said.

"Congressional leaders must be able to balance the increased costs associated with security with the need to protect jobs of American workers in this critical industry."

With more than five years of merchant marine industry experience, both ashore and afloat, Whittel's knowledge will be an asset in Congress.

Whittel sharply criticized current Representative Brown-Waite for her unwillingness to focus on national security, specifically her failure to cast a vote on H.R. 2555, an important bill that appropriated $32 billion to the Department of Homeland Security.

"When I discovered that Brown-Waite didn't even show up for this vote, I was shocked and appalled," said the attorney from Brooksville. "We deserve a Representative who is concerned enough about our nation's security to carry out his basic congressional responsibilities."

Out of all cities with eligible ports, only 42 percent have received grants to help with port security (United States Conference of Mayors 9/17/2003).

While many politicians have largely ignored the importance of port security, the intelligence community has stressed its significance.

The Central Intelligence Agency recently concluded that the United States is more likely to be attacked with a weapon of mass destruction brought into the country aboard a ship than one delivered by a missile.

"It's sad that some legislators fail to understand the importance of securing our maritime facilities," Whittel said. "If the United States wants to successfully prosecute the war on terror, we must elect leaders who value and understand national security."

Whittel pointed out that Representative Brown-Waite's failure to vote on H.R. 2555 is emblematic of her consistent, blind, "rubber-stamp" support of the Republican Party line and her overall unwillingness to consider the interests of the voters of District Five.

"She's either rubber stamping legislation for the Bush Administration or she's just not showing up," said Whittel. "The people of District Five need a representative who actually represents them."

Maritime Reporter June 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

Bollinger Fourchon: 13 Years Without a Lost Time Accident

Bollinger Shipyards, Inc. announced that their Bollinger Fourchon, L.L.C. facility has worked 13 years without a lost time accident. Building on a philosophy that starts at the top,

Messer's CEO Norville Announces Retirement

Bill Heller to assume the position as Messer Cuttings Systems’ President and CEO Gary Norville started at Messer Cuttings Systems Inc. in September 1980 selling and installing cutting machines.

Rohr Dredge Continues European Expansion

Rohr International Dredge Holdings, Inc. announced that it acquired Eurl Rohr France, including its current backlog, inventory and all associated intellectual property (IPR), on July 23, 2014.

Maritime Security

The Martitime Security Focus Is Shifting

Former Vice-Admiral and Commander-in-chief of the German Navy Hans-Joachim Stricker, President of the German Maritime Institute (DMI), believes that in terms of

Crew of USCG Cutter Thetis to Return today

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Thetis, a 270-foot medium endurance cutter based out of Key West, Florida, is scheduled to return to homeport Tuesday at 11:45 a.

UN Throws the Book at North Korea Ship Operator

A U.N. Security Council committee on Monday blacklisted the operator of a North Korean ship, which was seized near the Panama Canal last year for smuggling Soviet-era arms,

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Offshore Oil Pipelines Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Repair Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1253 sec (8 req/sec)