Salon Magazine published a blockbuster article today about how the FBI gutted a cruise safety law designed to protect the cruising public.
The article states that the grassroots International Cruise Victims (ICV) association worked for years with Congress to pass, on an overwhelmingly bipartisan basis, the Cruise Vessel Security & Safety Act. The new cruise law required the FBI to post incidents of cruise ship crimes on an internet database maintained by the U.S. Coast Guard.
But shortly before the act passed into law, the FBI inserted language which watered the reporting requirements down to the point that the database is worthless. Before the law passed, each year hundreds of rapes and violent crimes on cruise ships were reported by the cruise lines. Now, only a handful are reported. For some quarters, nothing is reported.
You can see the bogus database here.
Was the cruise industry behind the changes to the cruise safety bill?
The article points to the incestuous relationship between the FBI and the cruise lines which hire former FBI officials to maintain a cozy relationship with the FBI. Although the new cruise safety law was designed to force greater transparency from the cruise lines, the FBI’s manipulation of the bill results in just the the opposite result – greater secrecy and opportunity for the cruise lines to cover the crimes up.
The bottom line? The cruising public is kept from reviewing the true crime statistics. And the cruise lines and some travel agents use the bogus database to advertise that cruising is safe!
The article quotes ICV CEO Ken Carver, President Jamie Barnett, (photo, in Washington D.C.) and board member (and our client) Laurie Dishman.
Cruise expert Ross Klein, who has testified before Congress several times, is also mentioned.
The article refers to a couple of articles from Cruise Law News as well.
The behind-the-scenes maneuvering by the FBI and its friends frustrated the democratic process and the hard work of the ICV organization. But one thing is certain, the ICV under the leadership of CEO Carver and President Barnett will keeping working until the original language is back in the cruise safety law.
Photo credit: Ken Carver and Jamie Barnett – by Jim Walker