WASHINGTON, June 18 — When the storm erupted several months ago over plans by a United Arab Emirates-based company to take over management of a half-dozen American port terminals, one voice resonated in Washington.And, second, breaking news that the first courts martial at the Coast Guard Academy has kicked off with a plea of not guilty.
"The top priority should be working with the overseas terminal operators and putting in place a system that is being piloted in Hong Kong," Mr. Flynn told a House panel in March. "We have to view every container as a Trojan horse."
Homeland Security Department officials and lawmakers had been aware of the innovative port security approach in Hong Kong, but they had been reluctant to embrace it, convinced that screening every container at a port would be impractical. Mr. Flynn's forceful advocacy has changed that view.
But as Democrats and Republicans rushed to act on his advice, one fact usually remained in the background: From 2003 until 2005, he was a paid consultant to the Science Applications International Corporation, or S.A.I.C., the San Diego company that manufactured the system and could make hundreds of millions of dollars if its port security solution is adopted worldwide.
At the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, where cadets in pressed shirts and gold-buttoned blazers train to become officers, a court-martial this week could provide a far less distinguished view of student life, one involving sex and drinking to the brink of unconsciousness.Who was it would said "the only thing worse than being in the news is not being in the news"?
Cadet Webster Smith, 22, pleaded not guilty Monday to charges of rape, sodomy, extortion and assault at the start of his court-martial, the first of its kind in the 130-year history of the academy.
Smith faced misconduct accusations from several female cadets. Pretrial testimony in the case centered on several nights of heavy drinking, including one in June 2005 in Annapolis, Md.