Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Who's Minding Our Ports?

Outsourcing which could jeopardize national security is about to be implemented.

From The Center for Security Policy, February 14, 2006:
"...[A] secretive government committee has decided to turn over the management of six of the Nation's most important ports - in New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Miami, Baltimore and New Orleans - to Dubai Ports World following the UAE [United Arab Emirates] company's purchase of London-based Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co., which previously had the contract....

"America's seaports have long been recognized by homeland security experts as among our most vulnerable targets....

"Entrusting information about key U.S. ports - including, presumably, government-approved plans for securing them, to say nothing of the responsibility for controlling physical access to these facilities - to a country known to have been penetrated by terrorists is not just irresponsible. It is recklessly so...."
Read the whole thing here.

To object to the above proposal, contact your elected representatives here and here. Do it now!

[Hat tip: Sixth Column]

35 Comments:

At 2/14/2006 11:07 PM, Blogger City Troll said...

If this deal goes through how long before containers full of weapons, nukes and jihadists are walking right through the front door?

This is some scary Sh*t

 
At 2/15/2006 1:51 AM, Blogger MonicaR said...

Alright then. I wrote to my representatives. This is insane. It's getting more insane every day.

 
At 2/15/2006 1:56 AM, Blogger Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

Maybe it's because they're just plain stupid, or maybe it's because they spent too much time trying to fulfill their fantasies about thousands of Americans being killed, but every time I hear a Democrat opine that we should be spending billions of dollars putting nuclear bomb detectors in all of our seaports, I want to just slap the shit outta them with a coal shovel.

How big is the blast radius of a nuclear bomb?

Hint: If there's a nuclear bomb in a US seaport, it's too frickin' late to detect it.

It'll be like the subway cameras in Britain. Nice before and after photos of suicide bombers, and plenty of dead and injured. We're gonna stop terrorism by making sure the media has a nice shot on television!!!

Whatever happened to the good old days, when we kicked ass and kept kicking ass until there was no more ass to kick?

 
At 2/15/2006 7:43 AM, Blogger beakerkin said...

There was supposed to be technology that shoots air through sea containers. The technology is fairly expensive but worth it.

I worked in this area and customs is backlogged. Some of my coworkers are ex customs agents and the list of items is never ending.

 
At 2/15/2006 9:41 AM, Blogger Mark said...

I can think of few things more absurd than allowing this to go through! One has to ask oneself: Do we still deserve our freedom?

 
At 2/15/2006 9:51 AM, Blogger WomanHonorThyself said...

Does anyone know the rationale behind this?..Could there beeeeeeeeee one?

 
At 2/15/2006 11:51 AM, Blogger Cubed © said...

Anybody who hasn't done so, RUN, don't walk, to your favorite book source and read Paul Sperry's "Infiltration."

If this sort of behavior continues, the world according to Glen Reinsford (http://www.thereligionofpeace.com) as he illustrated in his book "Age of Tolerance," will be our fate.

And for you Europeans, read Jane Scully's book, being published one chapter at a time, on http://www.6thcolumnagainstjihad.com.

We have to do something--the Minutemen see the value of the adage, "If you want something done right, do it yourself."

I am clinically depressed about this utter failure of our Protectors to do their sworn duty. They no more honor their oaths of office than the Muslims do.

Prozac, anyone?

 
At 2/15/2006 12:59 PM, Blogger Gindy said...

Somehow I am not surprised. I see more of this happening in the future.

 
At 2/15/2006 1:35 PM, Blogger MonicaR said...

The question is how to stop this?
We are citizens of this country and not completely hamstrung just YET.

 
At 2/15/2006 3:38 PM, Blogger American Crusader said...

This is so ridiculous I keep thinking someone's going to say "just kidding". What the hell did we form the Department Of Homeland Security for?

"I am clinically depressed about this utter failure of our Protectors to do their sworn duty. They no more honor their oaths of office than the Muslims do."

Let me have some of your Prozac cubed.

 
At 2/15/2006 5:46 PM, Blogger Iran Watch said...

Well that's a little scary. Maybe we should have Iran guarding our uranium supplies. The creation of the Department of Homeland Security has been a failure. We have the US Coast Guard guarding our ports but then the containers are monitored by a Dubai -based company? Why not a Yemen-based company then? We've seen how good they are guarding prisoners.

 
At 2/15/2006 6:28 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

A February 14 NY Post commentary:

PORT INSECURITY

Do the feds really want to place the ports of New York and New Jersey in the hands of a Middle East country with ties to the Sept. 11 hijackers? As The Post reported on Sunday, that's what's about to happen, now that Dubai Ports World has won control — for $6.8 billion — of British-owned Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co.

The purchase gives Dubai Ports control of six U.S. ports — including, in addition to New York-New Jersey, Miami, Baltimore, Philadelphia and New Orleans.

True, the deal reportedly was approved by the top-secret U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, which decided there was no security risk.

But at a time when security in the ports remains unacceptably lax, we wonder whether this is a wise move.

Dubai Ports, after all, is owned by the United Arab Emirates, whose banking system — considered the commercial center of the Arab world — provided most of the cash for the 9/11 hijackers. Indeed, much of the operational planning for the World Trade Center attacks took place inside the UAE.

And while the Bush folks now consider the UAE a major ally in the war against terror, the Treasury Department has been stonewalled by the emirates, and other Arab countries, in trying to track Osama bin Laden's bank accounts.

The new leader of Dubai, one of the seven small countries that make up the UAE, has said all the right things about fighting radical Islam since 9/11.

But this remains very much an Islamist nation, where preaching any religion other than Islam is prohibited.

New York Sen. Charles Schumer, for one, thinks this is a case where it's better to be safe than sorry.

Noting that the nation's ports "remain top terrorist targets," Schumer rightly argues that "we would not outsource military operations or law-enforcement duties."

Likewise, he says, "we should be very careful before we outsource such sensitive homeland security duties."


The fact is, control of America's ports increasingly is being placed in private — and foreign — hands. And there's no guarantee that today's ally in the War on Terror will remain such tomorrow.

There already is reason enough for concern about security in the ports: Homeland Security officials concede that it is impossible for them to fully inspect all but a tiny percentage of the containers that enter from abroad.

Though no one likes to discuss it publicly, smuggling in weapons of mass destruction likely can most easily be done through the ports.

Supporters of the deal insist that it doesn't give al Qaeda opportunities it doesn't already enjoy. That's no comfort.

 
At 2/15/2006 10:04 PM, Blogger Jason_Pappas said...

I've written my reps. I'll do it again in a few days.

Chuck Schumer is skeptical but with some letter writing from my fellow New Yorkers, perhaps we can change that to "is outraged."

 
At 2/15/2006 10:36 PM, Blogger David Schantz said...

It's pretty clear now. The lunatics are in charge of the asylum. My elected officials will be contacted.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

 
At 2/16/2006 7:18 AM, Anonymous Patrick said...

The world just gets scarier and scarier. If the worlds last remaining super power can let such a huge ball drop, then things look grim for us smaller countries.

 
At 2/16/2006 10:22 AM, Blogger American Crusader said...

Jason...we obviously live in the same state, but you have a lot more trust in our senators than I do. Chuck Schumer is more interested in making headlines opposing every move Bush makes then he is in protecting New York.

 
At 2/16/2006 3:19 PM, Blogger Cubed © said...

American crusader,

PASS the Prozac back - it's my turn again.

Y'know, I just about don't care what Schumer's motives are. we're at the stage where anyone who opposes the Islamic infiltration, for any reason, needs to be encouraged. We are SO DAMNED FAR DOWN THE ROAD TO DHIMMITUDE!

I can't do it this week, but I think Dag's idea of "Blue Scarf Thursdays" in local McDonald's is a pretty good one. No telling what sort of good could come of knowing how many of us there are!

 
At 2/16/2006 3:20 PM, Blogger Cubed © said...

Oops. "McDonalds." Or is is "MacDonalds?" Oh, well; you catch my drift.

 
At 2/16/2006 6:45 PM, Blogger MissingLink said...

This sounds unreal.
On one had all this securirty at the airports and now - BANG - we don't worry about much larger security risk???
I mean you can launch a nuclear device from a ship.

 
At 2/16/2006 7:06 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Monica R,
There is no sense to this proposal! I've written my Senators and Reps, and will write them again--even two days.

Is this story about our ports getting coverage in any of the msm?

 
At 2/16/2006 7:37 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Handing over security at our ports, oft touted as one of our weakest security points, is insane! Suicidally insane!

Iran Watch: We have the US Coast Guard guarding our ports but then the containers are monitored by a Dubai -based company? Why not a Yemen-based company then? We've seen how good they are guarding prisoners.

Makes the same kind of (non)sense. In David's words: lunatics are in charge of the asylum.

As Crusader points out: what's the point of DHS if we're going to han over the monitoring to UAE?

Beamish: Maybe it's because they're just plain stupid...

Is it all about the money?

Beamish and Missing Link,
Nobody near a port will be spending any money if a nuke is detonated nearby. Those who profit will be far, far away.

Cubed,
I'll have to dig out a blue scarf. Lots of Mickey D's around here.

If this keeps up, we'll all be on Prozac--or medicines to combat radiation (if the worst happens).

Patrick: The world just gets scarier and scarier.

No doubt on that one.

Jason, We must keep slamming our elected officials with letters on this one.

Beak: There was supposed to be technology that shoots air through sea containers.

Do we have that?

Troll:If this deal goes through how long before containers full of weapons, nukes and jihadists are walking right through the front door?

Duh! Doesn't our government get that?

Mark is right to ask this question: Do we still deserve our freedom?

I ASK AGAIN...WHY ISN'T THIS STORY GETTING THE PUBLICITY IT SHOULD BE GETTING? INSTEAD, WE HEAR OVER AND OVER AGAIN ABOUT THE VP'S HUNTING ACCIDENT. ARGGGGHHH!!!!

 
At 2/17/2006 12:06 AM, Blogger MonicaR said...

I've noticed some stuff in the MSM about it today. Also our Reps. are speaking out against it and the White House is defending it. Time to write to the President I guess.

 
At 2/17/2006 8:13 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Fox & Friends is carrying the story this morning. The coverage this morning emphasizes that UAE does some money-laundering for terrorist organizations.

I also found this today:

White House Defends Port Sale to Arab Co.
Feb 16 3:48 PM US/Eastern

By TED BRIDIS and DEVLIN BARRETT
Associated Press Writers

WASHINGTON


The Bush administration on Thursday rebuffed criticism about potential security risks of a $6.8 billion sale that gives a company in the United Arab Emirates control over significant operations at six major American ports.

Lawmakers asked the White House to reconsider its earlier approval of the deal....

Rep. Vito Fossella, R-N.Y., urged congressional hearings on the deal....

"At a time when America is leading the world in the war on terrorism and spending billions of dollars to secure our homeland, we cannot cede control of strategic assets to foreign nations with spotty records on terrorism," Fossella said.

Critics also have cited the UAE's history as an operational and financial base for the hijackers who carried out the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

"Outsourcing the operations of our largest ports to a country with a dubious record on terrorism is a homeland security and commerce accident waiting to happen," said Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. "The administration needs to take another look at this deal."

Separately, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said Thursday it will conduct its own review of the deal and urged the government to defend its decision.

In a letter to the Treasury Department, Port Authority chairman Anthony Coscia said the independent review by his agency was necessary "to protect its interests."

The lawmakers pressing the White House to reconsider included Sens. Schumer, Tom Coburn, R-Okla., Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., and Chris Dodd, D-Conn., and Reps. Foley, Fossella and Chris Shays, R-Conn.

 
At 2/17/2006 8:40 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Saw this at Troll's site:
comments@whitehouse.gov

I've already sent my first "comment" to the White House.

 
At 2/17/2006 1:53 PM, Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

Hey, AOW...here's why the White House does give two cold farts in hell about anyone's opinion.

"Treasury spokeswoman Brookly McLaughlin said the 12-agency Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States, chaired by Treasury Secretary John Snow, had reviewed the transaction and did not object.

Snow is a former chairman of freight rail company CSX Corp., which sold its global port assets to Dubai Ports World for $1.15 billion in 2004 -- the year after Snow had left the company for the Bush administration."


The White House is pocketing the swag. Get it?

Damn, you people are going to learn how this game is being played sooner or later, but I fear it's later...much later.

 
At 2/17/2006 3:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hillary to the Rescue...

-FJ

 
At 2/17/2006 6:20 PM, Blogger MissingLink said...

I think the media is too busy with Cheney's bird's shot to worry about such details as national security.
And the US Democratic party as well - what kind of political opposition are they?

 
At 2/17/2006 7:01 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Duck,
Most developments in politics are all about following the money. Shouldn't be, though, especially in matters of national security.

 
At 2/17/2006 7:02 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Missing Link,
I'm worn out with the hunting-accident story.

 
At 2/17/2006 7:21 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

FJ,
Yesterday I predicted that Hillary would take this position and so informed my class.

And here it is!

Get ready for Hillary to position her run for the White House, predicated on the issue of national security. The TV show Commander In Chief is another set-up in this regard--lots of emphasis on tough-on-terrorism.

 
At 2/18/2006 7:59 AM, Blogger Bassizzzt said...

Bob Goodlatte practically knows me personally by now. I have written to him at least 20 times about things like this.

 
At 2/18/2006 10:15 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Update from Global Security Newswire, February 16, 2006:

U.S. Watches Dubai Banks for Proliferation Ties

WASHINGTON — U.S. Treasury Department representatives are monitoring the possibility that money flowing through banks in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, could be supporting WMD proliferation by countries such as Iran, a Treasury official told a House of Representatives subcommittee today (see GSN, Feb. 13).

The director of the agency’s Foreign Assets Control Office, Robert Werner, expressed continued concern in the wake of Dubai-based activities of the Dutch bank ABN Amro that in December 2005 led the United States to fine the bank $80 million for improper transactions with Libyan and Iranian clients. The case involved U.S.-prohibited wire transfers for Iranian and Libyan clients by the bank's Dubai employees.

“I'm very concerned by the type of activities that the ABN Amro case demonstrated,” Werner told the Financial Services Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee. “We intend to look at other situations that maybe may involve other international banks involved in that kind of conduct.”

Asked by subcommittee Chairwoman Sue Kelly (R-N.Y.) whether he was concerned ABN Amro had “laundered” WMD-related Iranian transactions through Dubai, Werner said officials from his office recently met in the United Arab Emirates with officials of that country to discuss WMD proliferation.

He said the office, which administers U.S. sanctions against entities of national-security concern, would continue to monitor Dubai as a possible hub for circumvention of WMD-related sanctions.

“The possible use of UAE-incorporated companies by Iranian agencies or citizens is of great concern to us,” he said.

Despite Kelly's suggestion that Treasury might designate Dubai as a “jurisdiction of primary money-laundering concern,” Werner expressed confidence in his UAE interlocutors.

“They are anxious to engage in a dialogue with us,” he said. “My feeling is that they're striving to work with OFAC.”

Replied the chairwoman, “Perhaps a bit of cynicism on the part of Treasury in dealing with these people might be in order.”

U.S. President George W. Bush issued an executive order in June 2005 on blocking transfers of U.S. assets to entities of proliferation concern. Eighteen suspect companies have been listed so far under the order, including six in Iran and 11 in North Korea. Among other activities, Werner's office conducts investigations that provide evidence for listings of suspect entities under the order.

 
At 2/21/2006 9:29 AM, Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

http://thinkprogress.org/2006/02/20/uae-military-equipment/

Frankly, I don't think this is a big deal. We really haven't ceded port authority or security but it does get the right's knickers in a knot so it has value.

Distressing to watch the Dems join the fear mongerers on this but there really isn't much difference in the parties. The Repubs like to parade a little more. That's about it.

 
At 2/21/2006 8:18 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Duck,
What is and what isn't a big deal is often determined via hindsight. Think 9/11.

Of course, the Dems are going to make hay out of this one. Many voted Republican in 2004 on the basis of national security. So, of course, the Dems are going to exploit the weak link here. And I so predicted before Hillary came out strong on national security.

I want to know the lobbyists favoring UAE's involvement in our ports. And I also want to see the money trail.

When in doubt, follow the money!

But, honestly, I don't expect the truth to come out. Too many politicians' careers are at stake.

 
At 2/21/2006 8:21 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Duck,
That's a very interesting link about UAE's moving of U.S. military equipment.

Thanks!

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home