Skip to comments.Ports of Politics (take a deep breath and read the Wall Street Journal's take on this one folks)
Posted on 02/21/2006 11:21:25 PM PST by presidio9
the notion that the Bush Administration is farming out port "security" to hostile Arab nations is alarmist nonsense. Dubai Ports World would be managing the commercial activities of these U.S. ports, not securing them. There's a difference. Port security falls to Coast Guard and U.S. Customs officials. "Nothing changes with respect to security under the contract," Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said yesterday. "The Coast Guard is in charge of security, not the corporation."
In a telephone interview yesterday, Kristie Clemens of U.S. Customs and Border Protection elaborated that "Customs and Border Protection has the sole responsibility for the cargo processing and cargo security, incoming and outgoing. The port authority sets the guidelines for the entire port, and port operators have to follow those guidelines."
The timing of this sudden uproar is also a tad suspicious. A bidding war for the British-owned P&O has been going on since last autumn, and the P&O board accepted Dubai's latest offer last month. The story only blew up last week, as a Florida firm that is a partner with P&O in Miami, Continental Stevedoring and Terminals Inc., filed a suit to block the purchase. Miami's mayor also sent a letter of protest to Mr. Bush. It wouldn't be the first time if certain politicians were acting here on behalf of private American commercial interests.
As for the Democrats, we suppose this is a two-fer: They have a rare opportunity to get to the right of the GOP on national security, and they can play to their union, anti-foreign investment base as well. At a news conference in front of New York harbor, Senator Chuck Schumer said allowing the Arab company to manage ports "is a homeland security accident waiting to happen." Hillary Clinton is also along for this political ride.
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
Look, various foreign companies are involved in managing terminals throughout the country. Most of the employees will be Americans, and all must pass DOHS screening. They will not be "running" the ports. Get a grip people!
I think EVERYONE on FR should be forced to read this. Then retake the FR poll. :)
It shows that ignorance and emotion sells, and those are the two best "qualities" the democrats have.
I feel much better now since the same people protecting our southern border will be securing the ports..nothing will get through unless it has two legs and speaks Spanish...
I posted my first article on this a few days ago, and I said then that we were missing a lot of parts to this story. On the surface, yes, the Bush Administration looked INCREDIBLY stupid. They may be stupid (I am not a mindless Bush defender). They are not THAT stupid. The people who were making judgements did not have all the information. This article does not exhonerate them. The Journal's politics tend to run towards libertarian free-market live and let live. That being said, everyone here would be well-advised to hold off on their judgements. I now think Bush was EXACTLY right in the way he played this today, threatening to veto. If he's right, he needs to make a strong point so there is no middle ground on this.
That being said, wouldn't it just have been easier to make sure no arab country had anything to do with our ports in the first place?
The people protecting our southern border are very competant. They are grossly understaffed for the area they have to cover. The problems facing ports customs are entirely different.
BTW, Michael Savage is our Morford. The man is an embarassment.
The Brits should have never had our ports, Singapore runs a port in California, this should have never happened, but we have precident, the brits and singapore.
But what are we to do now, alienate and P*SS off one our best allies in the WOT? We need them folks.
Savage is a tool
I know nothing about Port Security and Port Operations.
But, I won't let the damn friggin loser media tell me what opinion I should form. If these bastards are piling on Bush one more time right after the Cheney story fizzled, I can only think it is not as simple as the lame media is making it out to be.
I trust Bush on National Security. Nobody can say he does not have National Security interests foremost in whatever decisions he makes.
Interesting that if you look at the "editorial" sidebar, this article is currently bracketed by two otherwise levle-headed conservatives who are in a panic over this one. Mark Levin, whom I probably respect most after Thomas Sowell was having a conniption on his radio program tonight.
How much truth is there to the liberal accusations that the Bush family is heavily involved in Saudi and Mideast Oil?
I, too, want to know more about this issue. One question that bothers me is who is in charge of hiring, paying and negotiating contracts with the longshoremen. If you recall, not too long ago there was a major tie-up at West Coast ports before Christmas that had economic repercussions across the country as shipments from the Far East could not be unloaded. It was not only Christmas items, it was also parts for manufacturing businesses. I don't know if it affected military suppliers. Even if the security aspects were not vulnerable to a foreign management, would the unloading be vulnerable.
I seem to recall that certain associates of Osama bin Laden made a killing on Wall Street because they knew how to invest prior to 9/11. Could the same thing happen with a major port tie-up, and could it be engineered by a foreign government?
Of course, containers will continue to be a problem. When traveling out of New York through the Holland Tunnel and across the Pulaski Skyway, I noticed that there was a major container depot almost directly under the bridge over the Jersey marshes. One large bomb could destroy a major exit from New York and Jersey City.
I am well aware of the situation on the southern border, its problem is with the top not the bottom. The same President oversees both areas of responsibility, so forgive me if I don't jump on the bandwagon and accept his "this is a secure deal" as well as his "guest worker" shamnesty deception.
OK, I'm satisfied. After all, "port operators have to follow those guidelines".
There is no call to bring immigration into this. The guest worker issue has NOTHING to do with national security.
Again, don't be satisfied. Just understand that you, me and the rest of the world doesn't know enough about this story yet to be making such rash generalizations. This story is starting to remind me of Katrina. The press is desperate for something new to attack Bush with, and they are finding a warm audience with this one.
I wonder if any of these people who have shot off their mouths will change their mind when they learn all the facts. or will they just be stubborn and make up some other reason to be against it?
And the crates, are inspected by US Customs NOT some arab outfit. And the same union workers that are working the ports now are going to be the same ones that will be working there in a few months.