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America's Seaports Are NOT For Sale...
News Sarasota ^ | 2/24/06 | Matt Bruce

Posted on 02/24/2006 4:07:28 AM PST by Matt Bruce

SARASOTA, FL (NS/AP) -

Dubai Ports World has now offered to delay part of its $6.8 BILLION deal to take over Administrative Operations at 6 U.S. Seaport's...

There is NO way that ANY of our Nation's Seaport's should be for sale to ANYBODY!

The recent announcement disclosing a Company owned by a Nation with links to Terrorism, the United Arab Emerates (UAE), was going to take over 6 of our Nation's Seaport's with the United Kingdom (UK) run Port Administrative and Management Company has met a strong challenge against this happening...

With only 6-8% of our Imported Containers actually being inspected on a 'good day', how can anyone think this could keep our Nation's Seaport's safe???

I have been in and out of Seaport's all along the Eastern Seaboard and Gulf Waters for over 30 years and I can tell you that we STILL do have security issues in our Nation's Seaport's...

The Mayor's of all 6 of these Seaport's have come out against the takeover by the UAE owned Company. In addition, two Republican Governor's have now come out and said they are NOT in favor of this action in their State's...

These two Republican governors are threatening legal action to block the UAE company from taking over operations in major U.S. ports and some GOP lawmakers say the deal should be "closely examined."

In the uneasy climate after the Sept. 11th terrorist attacks, the Bush administration decision to allow the transaction is threatening to develop a major 'political headache' for the White House...

New York Gov. George Pataki and Maryland Gov. Robert Ehrlich on Monday voiced doubts about the acquisition of a British company that has been running six U.S. ports by Dubai Ports World, a state-owned business in the United Arab Emirates...

The British company, Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co., runs major commercial operations at ports in Baltimore, Miami, New Jersey, New Orleans, New York and Philadelphia...

Both governors indicated they may try to cancel lease arrangements at ports in their states because of the DP World takeover...

"Ensuring the security of New York's port operations is paramount and I am very concerned with the purchase of Peninsular & Oriental Steam by Dubai Ports World," Pataki said in a news release. "I have directed the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to explore all legal options that may be available to them."

Ehrlich, concerned about security at the Port of Baltimore, said Monday he was "very troubled" that Maryland officials got no advance notice before the Bush administration approved the Arab company's takeover of the operations at the six ports...

"We needed to know before this was a done deal, given the state of where we are concerning security," Ehrlich told reporters in the State House rotunda in Annapolis...

The arrangement brought protests from both political parties in Congress and a lawsuit in Florida from a company affected by the takeover...

Public fears that the nation's ports are not properly protected, combined with the news of an Arab country's takeover of six major ports, proved a combustible mix...

Republican Sen. Lindsay Graham of South Carolina said on Fox News Sunday that the administration approval was "unbelievably tone deaf politically." GOP Rep. Tom Davis of Virginia said on ABC's "This Week," "It's a tough one to explain, but we're in a global economy. ... I think we need to take a very close look at it."

Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey said Monday that he and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., will introduce legislation prohibiting the sale of port operations to foreign governments...

At least one Senate oversight hearing was planned, and several Congressional Representatives in these State's are talking about doing the same thing...

Critics have noted that some of the 9/11 hijackers used the UAE as an operational and financial base. In addition, they contend the UAE was an important transfer point for shipments of smuggled nuclear components sent to Iran, North Korea and Libya by a Pakistani scientist...

The Bush administration got support Monday from former President Carter, a Democrat and frequent critic of the administration...

"My presumption is, and my belief is, that the president and his Secretary of State and the Defense Department and others have adequately cleared the Dubai government organization to manage these ports," Carter told CNN. "I don't think there's any particular threat to our security."

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff made the rounds on the talk shows Sunday, asserting that the administration made certain the company agreed to certain conditions to ensure national security. He said details of those agreements were secret...

During a stop Monday in Birmingham, Ala., Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said the administration had a "very extensive process" for reviewing such transactions that "takes into account matters of national security, takes into account concerns about port security."

Now I would invite all of YOU to go take a look and see what PAC's are busy stuffing $money$ into our elected Politician's pockets to try to make this Port Takeover happen. You can be SURE there's a $money$ trail 'somewhere' associated with all of this...

This is ALL about the $money$ and we are talking about BILLIONS going to the Country who will run the Seaport's...

I will also venture to 'guess' that somewhere along the way is an 'open spigot' of crude OIL associated with all of this activity with the UAE...

Granted the UK run and UAE owned Company will only be responsible for the daily Administrative and Management activities at those 6 Seaport's and we have been told they will not in ANY way be responsible for Security.

However, the main problem is the cargo inside the crates and containers, and the 'paper trail' that is NOT being checked thoroughly. If a shipping bill says the cargo contained inside of a crate or container is children's toys or baby bibs, it might in fact be something 'else' because the paperwork did not show the TRUE nature of the contents. Can things be 'slipped into' the United States without our knowing about it? ABSOLUTELY!!!

How can this be SAFER? This happens all the time with Ocean and Air Foreign cargo. I have even picked up cargo when I was on the road in my Truck which was marked WRONG on the paperwork and the contents inside wound up being something totally different. Of course in MY case, I took the container back to the Seaport, but I wonder how many other's have not???

Who even knew what was inside some of those containers? Do we know ever really know, not hardly, at least not 100% of the time and that IS the problem...

Unless you thoroughly check what's inside and x-ray everything coming into the USA, you can NOT be sure of the contents inside of the crate or container...

WHY is it this doesn't happen? *TIME*...Yes 'time', because it would slow down the loading and unloading process and stack up our Nation's Seaport Docks. Remember all the Oil Tankers sitting off the United State's East Coast a few years ago when there was no place to put their crude oil cargo???

This is what THE main problem is we ALL face because of only checking less than 10% of what comes IN to our Country. Maybe we should just take our time and be CERTAIN of what comes into our Country???

If YOU have an opinion or want this Seaport takeover more thoroughly investigated, YOU need to call the numbers below and 'say so'. If YOU don't, shame on YOU...

The phone numbers to call to voice YOUR opinion in Washington, DC are 202-456-1414 for The White House and 202-224-3121 for the U.S. House & Senate Switchboard...

We can NOT allow the UAE to take over 6 of our largest Seaport's and leave us more VULNERABLE to Terrorist's attacks. This is not about infringing on the rights of an Arab Country, this IS about protecting America...

Don't forget the UAE is the Country which has previously laundered $money$ for Terrorist's and with whom '2' of the 9/11 Hijackers came from...

For Now, That's Just 'OUR' Opinion...

Matt Bruce Managing Editor & Publisher News Sarasota.com

A Newsbull Contributing Columnist


TOPICS: Business/Economy
KEYWORDS: dubai; hillaryclinton; portauthority; ports; seaport; seaports
SARASOTA, FL (NS/AP) -

Dubai Ports World has now offered to delay part of its $6.8 BILLION deal to take over Administrative Operations at 6 U.S. Seaport's...

There is NO way that ANY of our Nation's Seaport's should be for sale to ANYBODY!

The recent announcement disclosing a Company owned by a Nation with links to Terrorism, the United Arab Emerates (UAE), was going to take over 6 of our Nation's Seaport's with the United Kingdom (UK) run Port Administrative and Management Company has met a strong challenge against this happening...

With only 6-8% of our Imported Containers actually being inspected on a 'good day', how can anyone think this could keep our Nation's Seaport's safe???

I have been in and out of Seaport's all along the Eastern Seaboard and Gulf Waters for over 30 years and I can tell you that we STILL do have security issues in our Nation's Seaport's...

The Mayor's of all 6 of these Seaport's have come out against the takeover by the UAE owned Company. In addition, two Republican Governor's have now come out and said they are NOT in favor of this action in their State's...

These two Republican governors are threatening legal action to block the UAE company from taking over operations in major U.S. ports and some GOP lawmakers say the deal should be "closely examined."

In the uneasy climate after the Sept. 11th terrorist attacks, the Bush administration decision to allow the transaction is threatening to develop a major 'political headache' for the White House...

New York Gov. George Pataki and Maryland Gov. Robert Ehrlich on Monday voiced doubts about the acquisition of a British company that has been running six U.S. ports by Dubai Ports World, a state-owned business in the United Arab Emirates...

The British company, Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co., runs major commercial operations at ports in Baltimore, Miami, New Jersey, New Orleans, New York and Philadelphia...

Both governors indicated they may try to cancel lease arrangements at ports in their states because of the DP World takeover...

"Ensuring the security of New York's port operations is paramount and I am very concerned with the purchase of Peninsular & Oriental Steam by Dubai Ports World," Pataki said in a news release. "I have directed the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to explore all legal options that may be available to them."

Ehrlich, concerned about security at the Port of Baltimore, said Monday he was "very troubled" that Maryland officials got no advance notice before the Bush administration approved the Arab company's takeover of the operations at the six ports...

"We needed to know before this was a done deal, given the state of where we are concerning security," Ehrlich told reporters in the State House rotunda in Annapolis...

The arrangement brought protests from both political parties in Congress and a lawsuit in Florida from a company affected by the takeover...

Public fears that the nation's ports are not properly protected, combined with the news of an Arab country's takeover of six major ports, proved a combustible mix...

Republican Sen. Lindsay Graham of South Carolina said on Fox News Sunday that the administration approval was "unbelievably tone deaf politically." GOP Rep. Tom Davis of Virginia said on ABC's "This Week," "It's a tough one to explain, but we're in a global economy. ... I think we need to take a very close look at it."

Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey said Monday that he and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., will introduce legislation prohibiting the sale of port operations to foreign governments...

At least one Senate oversight hearing was planned, and several Congressional Representatives in these State's are talking about doing the same thing...

Critics have noted that some of the 9/11 hijackers used the UAE as an operational and financial base. In addition, they contend the UAE was an important transfer point for shipments of smuggled nuclear components sent to Iran, North Korea and Libya by a Pakistani scientist...

The Bush administration got support Monday from former President Carter, a Democrat and frequent critic of the administration...

"My presumption is, and my belief is, that the president and his Secretary of State and the Defense Department and others have adequately cleared the Dubai government organization to manage these ports," Carter told CNN. "I don't think there's any particular threat to our security."

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff made the rounds on the talk shows Sunday, asserting that the administration made certain the company agreed to certain conditions to ensure national security. He said details of those agreements were secret...

During a stop Monday in Birmingham, Ala., Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said the administration had a "very extensive process" for reviewing such transactions that "takes into account matters of national security, takes into account concerns about port security."

Now I would invite all of YOU to go take a look and see what PAC's are busy stuffing $money$ into our elected Politician's pockets to try to make this Port Takeover happen. You can be SURE there's a $money$ trail 'somewhere' associated with all of this...

This is ALL about the $money$ and we are talking about BILLIONS going to the Country who will run the Seaport's...

I will also venture to 'guess' that somewhere along the way is an 'open spigot' of crude OIL associated with all of this activity with the UAE...

Granted the UK run and UAE owned Company will only be responsible for the daily Administrative and Management activities at those 6 Seaport's and we have been told they will not in ANY way be responsible for Security.

However, the main problem is the cargo inside the crates and containers, and the 'paper trail' that is NOT being checked thoroughly. If a shipping bill says the cargo contained inside of a crate or container is children's toys or baby bibs, it might in fact be something 'else' because the paperwork did not show the TRUE nature of the contents. Can things be 'slipped into' the United States without our knowing about it? ABSOLUTELY!!!

How can this be SAFER? This happens all the time with Ocean and Air Foreign cargo. I have even picked up cargo when I was on the road in my Truck which was marked WRONG on the paperwork and the contents inside wound up being something totally different. Of course in MY case, I took the container back to the Seaport, but I wonder how many other's have not???

Who even knew what was inside some of those containers? Do we know ever really know, not hardly, at least not 100% of the time and that IS the problem...

Unless you thoroughly check what's inside and x-ray everything coming into the USA, you can NOT be sure of the contents inside of the crate or container...

WHY is it this doesn't happen? *TIME*...Yes 'time', because it would slow down the loading and unloading process and stack up our Nation's Seaport Docks. Remember all the Oil Tankers sitting off the United State's East Coast a few years ago when there was no place to put their crude oil cargo???

This is what THE main problem is we ALL face because of only checking less than 10% of what comes IN to our Country. Maybe we should just take our time and be CERTAIN of what comes into our Country???

If YOU have an opinion or want this Seaport takeover more thoroughly investigated, YOU need to call the numbers below and 'say so'. If YOU don't, shame on YOU...

The phone numbers to call to voice YOUR opinion in Washington, DC are 202-456-1414 for The White House and 202-224-3121 for the U.S. House & Senate Switchboard...

We can NOT allow the UAE to take over 6 of our largest Seaport's and leave us more VULNERABLE to Terrorist's attacks. This is not about infringing on the rights of an Arab Country, this IS about protecting America...

Don't forget the UAE is the Country which has previously laundered $money$ for Terrorist's and with whom '2' of the 9/11 Hijackers came from...

For Now, That's Just 'OUR' Opinion...

Matt Bruce Managing Editor & Publisher, News Sarasota.com

A Newsbull Contributing Columnist

1 posted on 02/24/2006 4:07:30 AM PST by Matt Bruce
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To: Matt Bruce

I just want to know that the money earned won't find its way into the hands of terrorists.


2 posted on 02/24/2006 4:11:52 AM PST by cripplecreek (Never a minigun handy when you need one.)
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To: Matt Bruce
Don't forget the UAE is the Country which has previously laundered $money$ for Terrorist's and with whom '2' of the 9/11 Hijackers came from...

For what it is worth, over half of the hijackers flew from the UAE to the U.S. (Library of Congress Federal Research Division's December 2005 UAE country profile, page 25, section "Terrorism".):

Dubai is strongly linked to the September 11, 2001, attack on the United States; more than half of the hijackers flew directly out of Dubai International Airport to the United States. In response to concerns that the UAE banking system had been used by the 9/11 hijackers to launder funds, in mid-2002 the UAE adopted legislation giving the Central Bank the power to freeze any suspected accounts for seven days without prior legal permission. In addition, banks have been advised to carefully monitor transactions passing through the UAE from Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, and are now subject to more stringent transaction and client reporting requirements. As of late 2004, however, evidence suggested that al Qaeda was continuing to use Dubai as a logistical hub for international travel, planning, and finance.

3 posted on 02/24/2006 4:17:03 AM PST by snowsislander
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To: Matt Bruce
No one is taking over any US Ports. US Ports are run by local Govt Port Authorities. More nonsense from the Port Deal Hysterics whose level of chicken little panic is ONLY exceeded by their utter ignorance of the facts.

Question for the Port Deal critics. Using YOUR logic, since most of the financial and operational support for 9-11 was staged thru Germany, Germany is as great a threat to the US National Security as is UAE. When does your the embargo of Germany start?

4 posted on 02/24/2006 7:15:58 AM PST by MNJohnnie ("Good men don't wait for the polls. They stand on principle and fight."-Soul Seeker)
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To: Matt Bruce
UAE-based firms have operated in Houston for years

Their presence hasn't raised any misgivings about port security.

5 posted on 02/24/2006 7:18:54 AM PST by Dog Gone
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To: Dog Gone

My entire point here is that we are NOT checking enough containers and crates and their cargo coming into our Seaports to say our Ports are SAFE...

Having been in the Trucking Business over 30 years and going in and out of Nations Seaports, I am deeply concerned about cargo that is merely checked, 'in some cases', by reading the shipping documents or bills of lading...

It is not x-rayed 100% and not opened up and inspected 100%. The latest statistics say only 6-8% of our Seaport cargo is actually 'inspected'...

In 'many' cases, what it says on the paperwork 'is not' what's listed on the paperwork. This IS wrong!

I don't care how long it takes or by what means it takes to do so, we MUST check out the cargo 100%. This IS an extremely dangerous situation that has NOT gotten any better, for the 'most' part, over the years...

We actually have 'some' PRIVATE small Island Seaports in several smaller Cities in Florida, like Riviera Beach, that are owned by Steamship Lines. The City, County & State do not run them and security there is provided by private companies like Wakenhut, just to name one...

Our MAJOR Seaports 'should be' run BY Americans and NOT
farmed out' to ANY other Country. At this point I would be in favor of asking a Company like Halliburton to 'step in' and take charge because I have more confidence in THEIR ability to DEFUSE this situation and do the job RIGHT. 64% of the people polled, according to FOX, do NOT want to see the UAE involved in our Nation's Seaports...

Wake Up America & Wake Up President Bush & The Maritime Commission! This issue has already cost the GOP votes during the '06 mid-term Election that they couldn't afford to lose...

This is NOT a Democrat or Republican issue we're talking about here, it's an AMERICAN issue and AMERICANS need to be running our Seaports...

God Bless America & Those Who Protect & Defend HER!

Matt Bruce
Sarasota, FL


6 posted on 02/25/2006 5:39:37 AM PST by Matt Bruce (News Sarasota.com)
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