imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

U.S. Fearing Drug Cartels Gangs and Terrorist Using Our Rail & Bus Systems

by Michael Webster Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2008 at 9:44 PM
mvwsr@aol.com 949 494-7121

While commercial aviation remains a possible target, federal, state and local law enforcement believe that international drug dealers, gangs and terrorists have turned their attention to other modes of transportation. U.S. Rail and other mass transit are being used as part of the global network of drug traffickers, these routes are being used by Mexican drug cartels, smuggling contraband into American cities. And this same lack of security is providing terrorist the opportunities to do great harm to Americans by taking advantage of the vulnerable U.S. surface transportation.

According to an Amtrak press release this week they will start randomly screening passengers' and there carry-on bags in a new security push that includes officers with automatic weapons and bomb-sniffing dogs patrolling platforms and trains.

But is it enough to protect the American people? Security annalist Ron Adler says, “no this is but a drop in the bucket for what’s really needed to secure our rail and bus systems”.

 

In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, Congress recognized the threat to transportation security – including rail and mass transit – and passed the Aviation and Transportation Security Act (ATSA), which created TSA.  ATSA provided specific security mandates for aviation, such as the deployment of federal passenger screeners at airports across the nation and the screening of every piece of checked baggage for explosives by December 31, 2002.

TSA met these mandates and that accomplishment was mainly due to public out cry. And the fact the airline industry was on the ropes due to the lack of passengers. Many Americans at that time were just plain afford of flying because they did not feel safe and believed airports and the air planes themselves were not secure.

 

Even worse ATSA did not provide specific guidance for rail and mass transit security.

Instead to date the federal government still has not stepped up to the plate to move forward with critical plans to secure our nation’s rail and mass transit systems. Instead, the Administration continues to approach the problem with piecemeal solutions instead of developing an overarching strategy that could be used to guide initiatives. Similarly, the Administration also has failed to devote significant resources and manpower to rail and mass transit research and development. Many Americans think expensive technology will play an important role in deterring and preventing future chemical, biological, or radiological attacks.

 

While commercial aviation remains a possible target, federal, state and local law enforcement believe that international drug dealers, gangs and terrorists have turned their attention to other modes of transportation. U.S. Rail and other mass transit are being used as part of the global network of drug traffickers, these routes are being used by Mexican drug cartels, smuggling contraband into American cities. And this same lack of security is providing terrorist the opportunities to do great harm to Americans by taking advantage of the vulnerable U.S. surface transportation.

 

Americans watched in shock as terrorists struck at the heart of our ally’s mass transit system, killing fifty-two people and injuring more than 700 others.  In London that July

attack started at the heart of rush hour, with three bombs exploding at 8:50 am on London’s Underground subway system. Less than an hour later at 9:47 am, as London’s subway system was completely shut down, an explosion tore through the back of the number 30 Hackney to Marble Arch bus. Those struck down were ordinary people, not that different from many Americans, who were going about their usual routine; commuting to work, school, or tourist sites.

 

After the bombings, Congress called on the Administration to move quickly to reinforce

our nation’s rail and mass transit systems to prevent such an attack from happening on American soil. Yet, to date the Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation

Security Administration (TSA) have failed to produce a comprehensive strategy to secure

America’s rail and mass transit system.  In addition, the Department and TSA continue to focus1 almost exclusively on aviation security, spending, on average, per air passenger as compared to only one penny per rail/mass transit security passenger.

 

The Department has made excuses for this failure by stating that mass transit security is a

shared responsibility between federal, state, and local partners, and that the federal government has provided significant support for the past three years. This “partnership,” however, has long left state and local governments paying the check without really knowing what they are paying for and why.

 

Still other reasons that America’s rail and mass transit systems are such inviting targets to terrorists is because they are vast, open, and easily accessible. There are over 300,000 miles of freight rail lines and over 10,000 miles of commuter and urban rail system lines in the country.  Each weekday, 11.3 million passengers in 35 metropolitan areas and 22 states use some form of rail and mass transit.  Americans also use public buses to get to work, to see friends, and to go shopping. In 2005, Americans rode public buses more than 6 billion times.

 

On average, more than 306,000 customers use the San Francisco BART System on a

daily basis.  The Chicago Transit Authority’s (CTA) 1,190 rapid transit cars operate over seven routes and 222 miles of track. CTA trains provide about 500,000 customer trips each day and serve 144 stations.  On a typical weekday in Washington, DC, 1,538 trains operate over 206 miles of track.  During the month of April 2006, the average weekday rider ship in Washington, DC was 739, 525.  As Karl Wycoff, the head of the Organization of Security and Co-operation in Europe’s (OSCE) Antiterrorism Unit stated in a recent speech, “Public transport networks are the arteries of contemporary societies, without which modern urban life is impossible.”

 

In a recent survey, the Rail Conference of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters

(IBT) noted a disturbing lack of security along the railroad tracks and in rail yards across the country.  Forty-two percent of the IBT employees surveyed stated that railroad companies have not increased the frequency of inspections at critical infrastructure points (i.e bridges, tunnels) designed to detect and prevent acts of terrorism.  Sixty-three percent reported that their train or equipment was delayed or left unattended for an extended period of time prior to or during their tour of duty. Fifty-five percent of this time, hazardous materials were on board. When asked whether there was visible rail police presence in the rail yard on the day that they were surveyed, ninety-six percent said “no”.

 

To correct these deficiencies, GAO recommended that the Department establish a

timeline for completing the framework for analyzing rail and mass transit risks and ensure that the risk assessment methodologies used by all agencies are consistent with this framework.

GAO has recommended that TSA establish a plan for completing its methodology for conducting risk assessments and evaluate whether the risk assessments methodology used by Grants and Training should be leveraged to facilitate the completion of risk assessments for all rail and mass transit systems.  The prior system of duplication of effort was costing taxpayer dollars and wasting valuable resources while the nation’s rail and mass transit systems remained at risk.

 

Another problem for our government has been information sharing it has long been a challenge within the current Administration. The 9-11 Commission Report released in 2004 highlighted this problem. Subsequently, the 9/11 Discourse Project, a non-profit organization led by the members of the 9/11 Commission, recognized in 2005 the continuing flaws and gave the Department a “D” for its efforts.

According to the group, “there remain many complaints about the lack of information sharing between federal authorities and state and local level officials.”

 

The Department’s partnership failures extend beyond its ability to get along with state

and local governments to the private sector and frontline employees of the rail and mass transit systems. The Administration has not actively engaged these employees. These men and women are the eyes and ears of these systems yet the Administration has not consulted with them on its initiatives. Nor, has the Administration ensured that they are trained to respond to a terrorist event.

 

Nor has the federal government  stepped up to the plate to move forward with

critical plans to secure our nation’s rail and mass transit systems. Instead, the Administration continues to approach the problem with piecemeal solutions instead of developing an overarching strategy that could be used to guide initiatives. Similarly, the Administration also has failed to devote significant resources and manpower to rail and mass transit research and development.

 

As the London bombings anniversary approach, it is clear that the Administration, the

Department of Homeland Security, and TSA must do more to secure our nation’s rail and mass transit systems.

  

Terrorists must simply not be given the opportunity to attack these systems.

 

 

 

Report this post as:

Local News

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 8:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 9:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 10:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 9:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 8:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 8:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 11:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 8:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A27 5:37AM

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A13 12:39AM

lausd whistle blower A11 6:58AM

Website Upgrade A10 10:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 8:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 6:58PM

Change Links April 2018 A01 6:27PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Antrhopocène, le grand effondrement S19 9:53AM

Creative Destruction Hack Diamonds Windows/iOS/Android - Creative Destruction Generator S19 12:51AM

Abolir l'économie S18 11:18AM

The Dictatorship of Corporations S17 5:26PM

18 Lethal Consequences Of Hunting S17 3:13PM

Paraphysique de l'outplacement déontologue S15 6:51AM

Creative Destruction Hack Mod Generator S15 3:49AM

Shopping du bashing S14 8:42AM

After Lehman Brothers, Experts Say Global Financial Crisis Can Happen Again S13 8:28PM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen S12 9:30PM

Probabilités de fin d'humanité S12 6:49AM

Florida Area of Migrant Farmworkers Denied Right to Construct Health Clinic near NaplesCIW S11 2:57AM

Propagande de virus, virus de propagande S10 7:34AM

Steer clear of work morality! S09 12:10PM

Sweatshop Lodge Ceremony Continues in US Fed Prisons Led by Inmates S08 6:17PM

Paraphysique de l'origami S08 7:11AM

The Shortwave Report 09/07/18 Listen Globally! S06 11:23PM

August 2018 Honduras Coup update S06 12:28PM

Du réussissement putréfié S06 10:55AM

Brett Kavanaugh Filled The 5th Circuit With Execution Judges S06 6:14AM

Log S06 4:25AM

Augusta Georgia Woman Gets 5 Year Prison Sentence for Writing About Russians Crime Acts S05 8:29AM

Paraphysique de contextualité S05 8:29AM

Crisis Regulation in Global Capitalism S03 3:39PM

Ex-voto de réification S03 10:24AM

Please Oppose Warmonger, Execution and Torture Supporting Bush Operative Brett Kavanaugh A31 10:45PM

Paraphysique d'exploitation occultation A31 10:24PM

Ryan Zinke Is Charging Taxpayers For A Trophy Hunters' Council A31 2:10PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy