Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Port of Seattle terminal evacuated

Unusual news this afternoon:
Bomb squads are responding to Terminal 18 on Seattle's waterfront after a canine bomb team found possible explosives in a container, the Coast Guard said this afternoon.

Mike Milne, spokesman for Customs and Border Protection, said "a couple of (cargo) containers were set aside for standard exam'' and a CBP dog trained to detect explosives "alerted on it."

CBP followed standard protocols and summoned the Port of Seattle Police bomb squad "to see if there is a threat."

The container was supposed to hold oily rags but inspectors found objects that were not on the inventory. U.S. Customs and Border Protection then sent in its bomb team.
UPDATE: A bomb squad inspected a pair of Pakistani cargo containers, but thankfully no explosives were found. The P-I has more.

Senator Maria Cantwell issued this statement in response to the incident:
Today’s evacuation of the Port of Seattle's Terminal 18 provides a stark reminder that our seaports remain vulnerable to attack. They remain vulnerable in great part because we have not made the necessary investments both here and abroad to secure our ports and the global supply chain. We must focus our efforts on screening cargo at the port of origin before it is loaded on a vessel destined for the U.S.

Port security remains woefully under-funded, and because of this, vulnerabilities we have known about for years continue to pose a threat to our communities. This shortcoming undermines the overall security of our nation and threatens the viability of our economy.

Legislation currently exists that would enhance the security of our seaports significantly.

However, the Republican leadership in the Senate has refused to bring this legislation up for consideration despite the continued urging from senators on both sides of the aisle.

We are operating on borrowed time and we must act now to address these threats. I’m calling on the Senate Majority Leader to bring up port security legislation as soon as the Senate returns from recess. The House has passed port security legislation and the Senate must act.
This statement serves as additional proof that it is the Democrats (especially our own Senators - Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray), not the Republicans, who want to implement policies that will ensure the safety of America. Republicans talk a good game but their real agenda has already been exposed - and it's a farce. The United States deserves and needs better leadership.

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