There is only one functioning pier. It looks stable, but it is not. Sgt. Joshua Palmer, a U.S. Army diver, said that he and his men have examined every piling and that the news is not good. Many are splintered at the tops, tipped with frayed rebar where there should be solid concrete. It is not clear whether the pier can handle the weight it needs to bear. "I'm just a grunt, but I don't know. There's a lot missing under this pier," Palmer said.
The Americans weren't happy that a French naval vessel, the Francis Garnier, had docked. They weren't being competitive. They were being cautious. The French ship and its cargo could have tipped the pier over like an empty paper cup.
One of the Navy divers said, "Put on your life preservers." He wasn't kidding. Nearby, the civilian engineer for the Navy had made a pendulum out of a piece of string, a twig and a weight -- a half-full plastic eyedropper. He told a sailor to keep an eye on it.
"If it starts to swing, run," he said.
I'm not an engineer, nor do I blog as one: you don't have to be to recognize what's being described here.
And I'll bet that if the pier collapsed- or does- and the French ship takes damage, they'll bitch that our people didn't give them 'sufficient warning' or some other "It's not our fault!" crap.
Pointed to by Ghost of a Flea, who also notes that when you don't care about truth you can say anything:
Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez has once again accused the United States of playing God. But this time it's Haiti's disastrous earthquake that he thinks the U.S. was behind. Spanish newspaper ABC quotes Chavez as saying that the U.S. navy launched a weapon capable of inducing a powerful earthquake off the shore of Haiti. He adds that this time it was only a drill and the final target is ... destroying and taking over Iran.
Hugo, you miserable slut, if we could cause a friggin' earthquake your body would be buried in your Presidential Palace.
And the mullahs would be similarly interned; hey, if we could cause one, we could target it, right?