Kerry drops anti terror plan after Berger revelations

Talon News:

Shortly after news broke that former Clinton administration National Security Advisor Samuel "Sandy" Berger was being investigated by the Justice Department for illegally removing highly classified documents from the National Archives, the presidential campaign of Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) removed its anti-terror plan from its web site.

Republicans have suggested that the information contained in the documents was used to formulate Kerry's policy, but are limited in proving those charges because the material is still classified. The sudden disappearance of the policy from the campaign web site that coincided with Berger's dismissal supports Republicans' contention that the purloined data formed the basis of at least part of the Democratic candidate's homeland security program.

The link to the policy is now defunct, but the original page was temporarily preserved in a Google cache. The Kerry release outlining the policy is also archived on the conservative discussion board FreeRepublic.com (web site).

Key portions of the policy removed from the web site included the following three passages:

-- Increase Port Security and Accelerate Border Security. Currently, 95% of all non-North American U.S. trade moves by sea, concentrated mostly in a handful of ports. John Kerry believes improvements in port security must be made, while recognizing that global prosperity and America's economic power depends on an efficient system. Kerry's plan would develop standards for security at ports and other loading facilities for containers and assure facilities can meet basic standards. To improve security in commerce, John Kerry believes we should accelerate the timetable for the action plans agreed to in the U.S.-Canada and U.S.-Mexico "smart border" accords as well as implement security measures for cross-border bridges. Finally John Kerry will pursue modest safety standards for privately held infrastructure and will help owners find economical ways to pay for increased security.

-- Secure Nuclear Power Plants, Nuclear Weapons Facilities and Chemical Facilities. John Kerry will appoint an Energy Secretary who takes nuclear plant security seriously and ensures meticulous follow-up to any security violations. He would also order an immediate review of engagement orders and weaponry for plant guards, and ensure attack simulation drills be as realistic as possible. A Kerry Administration would ensure that security of our nuclear weapons facilities is a U.S. government responsibility -- not cede it to private contractors as the Bush Administration considered doing. A Kerry Administration will tighten security at chemical facilities across the nation that produce or store chemicals, focusing first on facilities in major urban areas where millions of Americans live within the circle of vulnerability.

-- Tighten Aviation Security and Combat Threats to Civilian Aircraft. John Kerry will close loopholes in existing regulations on cargo carried by passenger flights and increase the reliability of new screening procedures. Kerry will increase perimeter inspections of U.S. airports and work with international aviation authorities to make sure the same standards are in place at all international airports. He will work with our allies to crackdown on the sale of shoulder-fired missiles that could be used in an attack on civilian aircraft, and are sold on the black market.


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