05/25/2005 05:00 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Problems on the Port Side

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So it turns out the 9/11 president, whose entire reelection campaign was based on scaring us into believing that he could keep us safer than the other guy, has not only failed to shore up the most vulnerable part of our national defense but has actually made the situation worse. This is from Eric Lipton in today's New York Times:

The Department of Homeland Security's effort to extend its antiterrorism campaign overseas by enlisting help from importers and foreign ports has been so flawed that the program may have made it easier at times to smuggle unconventional weapons into the United States, Congressional officials say. Homeland Security has reduced inspections in the United States of cargo coming from 36 foreign ports and 5,000 importers that were certified under its antiterrorism initiatives. But the department has failed to confirm whether most of those importers have tightened security or whether thousands of high-risk containers headed to the United States were inspected at ports overseas, agency records show.

According to critics, the unofficial slogan of the importer certification program is "Trust, don't verify."

Don't you feel safer now?

Thankfully, we can all take comfort in the Bush administration's proven ability to quickly admit mistakes, learn from them, and make the appropriate adjustments.