West Virginia Democrat John D. Rockefeller IV, chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, took a moment last year during a hearing on post-Sept. 11 security issues to summarize the problem with international cargo security.
“We need to work harder to find ways to balance our security needs with our need to move goods and people efficiently,” he told Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. “They don’t have to be mutually exclusive.”
But that balance shifted after last month’s discovery of U.S.-bound bombs disguised as printer cartridges on a UPS plane in Britain and in a FedEx facility in Dubai. Lawmakers’ calls for security improvements began shortly after the Obama administration confirmed that the packages contained explosives.