March 24, 2006
-- by Dave Johnson
In the aftermath of the Dubai ports dispute, the Bush administration is hiring a Hong Kong conglomerate to help detect nuclear materials inside cargo passing through the Bahamas to the United States and elsewhere.This is not like the Dubai ports deal, where terrorists who might get nukes might be able to infiltrate the company handling ports. This is a country, a communist dictatorship with nukes, now in charge of our port security, specifically in charge of detecting nukes.
The administration acknowledges the no-bid contract with Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. represents the first time a foreign company will be involved in running a sophisticated U.S. radiation detector at an overseas port without American customs agents present. [emphasis added]
Josh Marshall remembers that in the 1990s Republicans were so concerned that "Trent Lott went so far as to call Hutchison "an arm of the People's Liberation Army." (In fact, Lott was correct.) And now they're giving them CONTROL over detecting whether a nuke is being sneaked into our country.
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I keep hearing that Hong Kong, which handles about twice the amount of cargo as the entire US, manages to inspect every cargo container coming into its port. Fine. Kudos to them. I'd been thinking that maybe we should call them in as consultants. I never thought for a minute, though, that we should turn our security, especially for something as important as nuclear bombs, over to them, or to anybody else! I guess there's not going to be any end to this kind of insanity until we get Bush out of office.
On the one hand, we consider ourselves the most powerful nation in the world, vastly superior to everyone else in every way. On the other hand, even the most backward third world country wouldn't be this stupid about something as important as national security. Not if it wanted to remain a sovereign nation. WE HAVE GOT TO TAKE CONTROL OVER PORT SECURITY!
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