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February 26, 2006

Dept Homeland Security Objected to Ports Deal

-- by Dave Johnson

Homeland Security Objected to Ports Deal

The Homeland Security Department objected at first to a United Arab Emirates company's taking over significant operations at six U.S. ports.

Posted by Dave Johnson at February 26, 2006 8:44 AM

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Comments

Wanna place a bet on whether or not we end up with this insane deal?

Posted by: MJ [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 26, 2006 10:57 AM

Obviously ink is cheap. This is a non-story. Homeland Security didn't like the deal to begin with, so they negotiated to get the deal they wanted. Wow! Breaking News!!! I can only assume the point of this story is to give liberals a headline to bandy about for the next few weeks, as if they had actual knowledge of an event.

Posted by: HappyOD [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 26, 2006 1:43 PM

MJ,

The deal should go through. WE won the Presidency, and WE control both houses of Congress. If you want the power to have some control over events, I would suggest you work with your party to moderate your EXTREME views, and try to win a few elections.

Posted by: HappyOD [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 26, 2006 2:26 PM

"There ought to be a man with a hammer behind the door of every happy man" --Anton Chekhov

Posted by: Copeland [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 26, 2006 4:50 PM

What did you OD on, Happy? 60 Minutes just had a report on how our ports are managed, pointing out everything I've been saying all along. We don't have any port security. Anybody could put anything into those 40 ft. containers, 95% of which don't get inspected. Then those containers are put on trains and trucks and shipped all over the country. Anyone could track a container using GPS technology and detonate a bomb in one anywhere in the country they want. After all, the destination's on the outside of the container so they can pick and choose. Frankly, it gives me a grim sort of satisfaction that the rest of the country is just as much at risk because of the lack of port security as we are. I live a few blocks north of the WTC site, in the heart of the NY harbor, so I saw what can happen and I tend to take security seriously. Keep in mind that most of those who died in the collapse of the Twin Towers, a financial center, were far more likely to be Republicans than Democrats. Those determined to blow us up don't discriminate by political party.

That's just for starters. We don't manage the security of our piers. The company that owns or leases the piers manages the security. The Coast Guard is so underfunded all it can do is to set regulations and hope the pier managers follow them. Customs doesn't have enough personnel to inspect more than 5% of the containers. What they do is examine the paperwork, try to spot anything suspicious, and pray a lot. The Port Authority of NY and NJ has filed suit to stop the deal. Why would they do that if there's no security risk?

We've allowed our shipping industry to become moribund. We barely have any merchant ships, the merchant marine doesn't really exist any more, we don't have the facilities to build merchant ships to get this situation under control, or the trained people to man them if we did. The sane way to control security would be to use our own ships -- and manage our ports ourselves. Ever hear of the Trojan Horse?

Posted by: MJ [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 26, 2006 5:45 PM

MJ,

The conditions you describe existed before this deal was announced. The company currently managing the ports is also a foreign company. If the security measures being taken are inadequate, then they have been inadequate for all managing companies up till now. If security measures need to change, than either of the two companies would suffice. The 5%/95% number is a red herring. It would be impossible to check much more of the cargo on all the ships, without paralyzing our national trade. 60 minutes feels confident that they can throw out this thoughtless bunkum because they know you won't care to analyze their report, as long as it's got a negative spin towards the Bush administration. But the main point to be taken from your post is that ALL THAT RHETORIC HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE UAE PORT DEAL. The fact that you have made some kind of tenuous connection between the so called current security lapses, and the UAE deal speaks volumes. As with Dave, your beliefs are driven exclusively by your idealogy. I would suggest you seek information from varying sources, to try to open up your thought processes. I would suggest starting with the columnists at TownHall.com. The articles are concise (unlike most of Dave's links), and often witty. I hope you attain the freedom of thinking differently than your peer group.

Posted by: HappyOD [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 26, 2006 7:42 PM

Happy, you haven't got an idea in Hell what my "ideology" is, or whether I have one. You're the one up to your eyeballs in ideology. Much of what I wrote was not in the 60 Minutes report. Of course you'll only watch things you are certain are ideologically correct, so you have no idea what was in the report. As a matter of fact, the report pointed out that our total lack of port security predates the UAE deal. Comparing port management by a British company to port management by a company owned and run by the government of UAE, which financed the attack on the World Trade Center and has been involved with smuggling nuclear materials into Libya, Iraq, and Iran, seem to me to be on quite a different level in terms of security. The report didn't point that out, either. It also didn't point out that the Port Authority, which Bush also cites as being in charge of port security, has filed a lawsuit to stop the deal. I doubt they would do that if they felt there was no problem with security if the deal goes through. If Bush feels it has to cater to the UAE let them buy Disneyland or something that doesn't put national security at risk.

Posted by: MJ [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 27, 2006 5:57 AM

MJ, as I read the NY Times, it seems Bush was unaware of this deal until it was approved. It simply went through normal channels in various departments. This means Bush is not "catering to the UAE" as you suggest. Also, if I read your reply correctly, we are in agreement that your previous post referencing the 60 minute segment had nothing to do with the UAE deal. As far as the Port Authority goes, they are politcal opportunists, getting their line in the water, just to see what they hook.

Posted by: HappyOD [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 27, 2006 7:08 AM

I just heard on CNN that the British government may block the sale of the port holdings now in the hands of the British company to the UAE. Maybe we'll be saved by the British once again.

Happy, all you do is spew propaganda, and then if nobody bites, you spew insults.

Posted by: MJ [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 27, 2006 11:26 AM

MJ,

I'm trying to follow your comments as if they were part of a thread, with each reply referring to the previous comment. Like a conversation. Maybe I don't understand how you're using this blog. For example, I'm baffled how you have read any insults into my previous post, or any of my posts on this thread. On the contrary, my comments on this thread strike me as dry, and dangerously close to boring. If I have insulted you here, please point me to the specific incident, and I will be glad to apologize. I don't think insults are fun to read or strike anyone as witty. I attempt to at least keep my posts readable, and do try for some wit from time to time.

As to your post: When were we saved by the British the first time? I thought it was the other way around.

Posted by: HappyOD [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 27, 2006 1:53 PM

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