Time Magazine has an important story out today that looks at the Dubai ports deal in the context of broader efforts to secure private sector infrastructure since 9/11. It focuses on the issue of chemical plant security, a topic that I’ve been harping on constantly in recent months:
Today only about 1,100 of the nation’s 15,000 biggest plants participate in the voluntary security program. Even Bush loyalists are worried about the vulnerability that remains. “Not all chemical sites are good partners,” said Asa Hutchinson, a former top Homeland Security official, at a recent chemical-industry gathering. “Some of the top-tier sites will not let Homeland Security inside the fence.”
For my money, the single most important thing that Congress could do in 2006 to strengthen homeland security has nothing to do with FEMA or border security: it’d be passing the Collins-Lieberman chemical security legislation as soon as possible.