Monday, June 11, 2012

Law withholds cruise-safety information

I have attached a link for you to read.  It is from The Arizona Republic, business section, first page, Sunday 06/09/2012, Page 1.  The writer, Robert Anglen, accurately describes how lobbyist and Congressmen create "Hollow Logs"--those laws that appear just what the constituents have been asking for--on first appearance (or on the outside of the log, while inside the law (log core) the bill has been completely negated by specific wording.  In this case the law appeared to be going forward in the manner the constituents wanted..(
The bill's main meaning was" requiring cruise lines to report all serious crimes aboard ships to the FBI .  Originally, it required the U.S. Coast Guard to maintain a public database of all serious crimes on cruise ships.  Language added before passage altered the bill so that only crimes "no longer under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation were reported in the public database ."
"The upshot: The public is not allowed to see reports of all alleged crimes aboard ships.  Where the FBI once publicly reported more than 400 crimes a year, only six crimes on ships in the past nine months have been listed on the public database.  And cases not investigated by the FBI--for example, allegations handled by ship security staff--never will be reported in the database under the new law".

Several things to notice:
1".  The people supporting the law worked with the public entities until final wording was worked out, they felt secure that what they had shepherded was going to be the law, however small changes were made in the final wording that was not privy to the public prior to passage.
       a.  Lobbyists from the cruise industry have a great deal to lose if this information gets out to the public
            they will lose a large amount of business.  The way the bill is written now, the public is not allowed
            to see the reports of alleged crimes--the FBI had reported over 400 crimes a year, this past nine
            months period had only listed 6 crimes on ships
             i.  The driving force behind this bill is Kendall Carver whose daughter mysteriously disappeared
                 on an Alaskan Cruise in 2004, he has dedicated his life to holding the cruise line industry more
                 accountable for passenger safety .  Carver had no idea it had changed until last year 
                 when the first crime reports came out.  Mr. Carver and other cruise-safety experts have spent
                 months trying to determine how and why the wording in the bill was altered."
      b.  The way things stand now.  People looking for safety issues on cruise ships, won't find much on the
            record .  This gives people a false sense of security.  This could be considered fraud by the  Cruise
            Lines with a complaisant federal government trying to protect an economic asset.