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Kerry says he would do more to protect ports

Kerry says he would do more to protect ports

   Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry injected the issue of cargo security into the national debate when he accused President Bush on Monday of failing to do enough to protect airports and seaports from terrorist attacks.

   “We will reduce the spread of nuclear and biological and chemical weapons and better guard our ports,” Kerry promised.

   Kerry’s brief comments were part of a broader critique on homeland security that the senator delivered to the International Association of Fire Fighters legislative conference.

   His campaign also released a summary of his positions on homeland security in which he says air travel is still not safe in part because most cargo on passenger planes is not screened for explosives, and there are no requirements for criminal background checks for cargo handlers. Kerry’s homeland security plan calls for investing in technology to track the movement and scan the contents of containers, determine whether they contain radioactive material or hazardous chemicals, develop security standards for ports and hire more Customs inspectors.

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