securing our ports the Bush way

Posted by: garyW

securing our ports the Bush way - 02/13/06 02:56 PM

UAE Co. Poised to Oversee Six U.S. Ports <br><br>"A company in the United Arab Emirates is poised to take over significant operations at six American ports as part of a corporate sale, leaving a country with ties to the Sept. 11 hijackers with influence over a maritime industry considered vulnerable to terrorism. <br><br>The Bush administration considers the UAE an important ally in the fight against terrorism since the suicide hijackings and is not objecting to Dubai Ports World's purchase of London-based Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co. <br><br>The $6.8 billion sale is expected to be approved Monday. The British company is the fourth largest ports company in the world and its sale would affect commercial U.S. port operations in New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, New Orleans, Miami and Philadelphia. "...<br><br><br><br>also, link<br><br><br>"The United Arab Emirates has been described as a leading military ally of the United States. In 2005, the UAE acquired the first 10 of 80 F-16E/F Block 60 multi-role fighters in a $6.4 billion purchase."<br><br>"But officials said the UAE has not fully responded to repeated appeals from the Treasury Department to halt money-laundering activities exploited by Al Qaida and aligned groups. They said that for years Dubai served as a base for Al Qaida operatives, including those who destroyed the World Trade Center and a Pentagon wing in 2001."<br><br><br>
Posted by: DLC

Re: securing our ports the Bush way - 02/13/06 03:47 PM

Bush and Co. are mis-managing Billions of our dollars... from FEMA to Iraq... now this.. they have opened the Treasury valts to ever y Bush leaning contractoir in the USA... and now the World !! <br><br>we taxpayers are getting fscked like no welfare Mom ever dreamed of doing... they may have stolen thousands, but we're talking Billions $$$ here !!<br><br>David (OFI)<br>
Posted by: steveg

Re: securing our ports the Bush way - 02/13/06 06:52 PM

Do you think it's possible this is like mass hypnosis? I mean, like it's not really happening, and the whole country is just having the same nightmare at the same time, and soon we're all gonna wake up and it'll be like it never happened? Ya think? Huh? Please? <br><br>
Posted by: garyW

Re: securing our ports the Bush way - 02/13/06 07:17 PM

I'm willing to listen to the Bush supporters here why they think this port contract promoted by Bush could possibly be a good idea, besides for the one reason, you know, the $6.8 Billion. <br><br><br><br>
Posted by: Celandine

Re: securing our ports the Bush way - 02/13/06 07:30 PM

Try going back and watching the very<br>beginning of "Fahrenheit 9/11" again,<br>where the lines are drawn between the <br>Bush Crime Cartel & the House of Saud. <br><br>
Posted by: garyW

Re: securing our ports the Bush way - 02/16/06 09:49 PM

The White House still defending this travesty. link<br><br>Worth repeating: ""But officials said the UAE has not fully responded to repeated appeals from the Treasury Department to halt money-laundering activities exploited by Al Qaida and aligned groups. They said that for years Dubai served as a base for Al Qaida operatives, including those who destroyed the World Trade Center and a Pentagon wing in 2001."<br><br><br>...I know sooner or later I'm going to hear "I'm with the President on this one"... or "nice try" and blame it on liberal media hysteria. [bleh!] This is so wrong for national security and goes against everything Bush has said about nations who aid and give safe haven to terrorists. And our ports are where we are the most vulnerable! Do we have to wait for the lame excuse "no one every imagined that Al Qaida would bring WMD into our ports?". <br><br>So what's it going to take... one more attempt by Bush loyalists to avoid debate and sneak it into a defense spending bill so they can blame democrats for approving it too?<br><br>
Posted by: Terry11

Re: securing our ports the Bush way - 02/16/06 11:15 PM

<blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>So what's it going to take... one more attempt by Bush loyalists to avoid debate and sneak it into a defense spending bill so they can blame democrats for approving it too?<p><hr></blockquote><p>That's exactly what I'd expect... and think you do as well.<br><br>
Posted by: newkojak

Re: securing our ports the Bush way - 02/16/06 11:48 PM

Nope, pragmatic criticisms and real outrage about Bush is met with restrained silence. We all ignore news and discussion that we feel is uncomfortable. Political partisans are no different from anyone else.<br><br>-- Charlie Alpha Roger Yankee Whiskey
Posted by: garyW

Re: securing our ports the Bush way - 02/16/06 11:58 PM

Uncomfortable like in selling off National Park land, lowering pay to the military, giving billion dollar sweetheart deals to the oil companies... and now offering port operations contracts to Al Qaida sponsoring foreign countries.<br><br>Yes, quite a week America is having. <br><br><br><br>
Posted by: mojo_jojo

Re: securing our ports the Bush way - 02/17/06 02:42 AM

This is a bad idea. <br><br>
Posted by: Llewelyn

Re: securing our ports the Bush way - 02/17/06 08:31 AM

Well I'm bouncing off walls in internet searches, but it seems that P&O (private company) bought the former port management company (ITO - not finding much on this company) in June 1999. P&O is being bought by this Dubai based company - so Bush & co aren't taking direct payment for purchase of this management control - they're just not objecting to it, based (allegedly) on the recommendation of a committee review of possible security issues.<br><br>Since P&O wants out of this business, I'm guessing their only option is to block the purchase by Dubai co, in which case someone else will buy out P&O, OR allow purchase of the other segments of P&O to go ahead, with either a government or private sector buy out of the US port management business.<br><br>Has anyone found what "management" actually entails or is this media scaremongering. Personally I assume security is still up to Homeland Security - and Homeland Security isn't really tasked with the sea equivalent of air traffic control!! (which is what I assume "management" primarily entails).<br><br><br>- This is gonna get pretty interesting. <br>- Define "interesting". <br>- Oh, God, oh, God, we're all gonna die..<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Llewelyn on 02/17/06 11:39 AM (server time).</EM></FONT></P>
Posted by: garyW

Re: securing our ports the Bush way - 02/17/06 09:06 AM

FoxNews provides this PDF Congressional letter to the Dept. of Treasury <br><br><br>If you dare venture to today's Daily Kos, there are many links showing the bipartisan disapproval of this contract and links to other relevant news to this story. <br><br><br>Some facts about the UAE:<br><br>– The UAE was one of three countries in the world to recognize the Taliban as the legitimate government of Afghanistan.<br><br>– The UAE has been a key transfer point for illegal shipments of nuclear components to Iran, North Korea and Libya.<br><br>– According to the FBI, money was transferred to the 9/11 hijackers through the UAE banking system.<br><br>– After 9/11, the Treasury Department reported that the UAE was not cooperating in efforts to track down Osama Bin Laden’s bank accounts.<br><br><br><br><br>
Posted by: Llewelyn

Re: securing our ports the Bush way - 02/17/06 10:40 AM

Ok, the information I'm bouncing on are details of ITO pre June 1999, how they aquired port management, etc. I think it would be interesting to read.<br><br>While my gut says this might be a bad idea, I have seen nothing real concrete to say why it is. Much of the arguments raised could be levelled at the US by the UK with support of the IRA - US banking system used to transfer money, etc. But there's nothing I've seen linking UAO to state sponsoring of Al Qaida.<br><br>But much of the media coverage seems to be fanning the flames of Arabs=Al Qaida=Axis of Evil=Terrorists are going to be running the US ports on the East Coast.<br><br><br>But nobody seems to be saying what "management of the ports" actually entails. Keeping the lights on? Paying janitors? Moving crates? Organising road/sea traffic? Security? How much oversight does Homeland Security have?<br><br><br>- This is gonna get pretty interesting. <br>- Define "interesting". <br>- Oh, God, oh, God, we're all gonna die..
Posted by: garyW

Re: securing our ports the Bush way - 02/17/06 11:00 AM

Didn't a similar deal happen recently with this committee on foreign investments pushing for the sale of US owned Unocal to a Chinese corporation? I recall that that deal fell apart once the bipartisan opposition got into the media.<br><br>Shelby & Schumer are doing what's right to get this out from secretive committees and into the public forum. If the port deal is or is not a threat, then it should be thoroughly debated in Congress.<br><br><br><br>
Posted by: Llewelyn

Re: securing our ports the Bush way - 02/17/06 11:40 AM

Whatever did happen to Unocal? Did the stay in business? Sell out to someone else? Are they still up for sale?<br><br>The deal I see here is that a UK company wants to sell up and a Dubai company wants to buy it. The US cannot stop that sale - though they do have certain power to place certain conditions on the sale. You cannot force a company to stay in business, so the options I can see are:<br>1) Force the sale to split, so that non-US interests are sold for a lower price. P&O reoffer the US interests on market again.<br>2) Some sort of contract buy back, where the US govt pays Dubai for the US port management.<br><br>Option 1 could result in Dubai no longer having interest in the P&O deal, which would result in the whole kit and kaboodle going back up for sale - this could give the US government the option to buy back the management contract from P&O. But that (and the 2nd option) then leaves the US government with something it's not currently set up to administrate and will probably sell to another company. And we know the right wing manifesto doesn't consider public ownership of business to be a good thing - heck they're trying to sell off the air traffic control!! (which I do consider to be a truely catastrophic idea). I don't know, maybe I missed something - the media seems to be playing scaremongering - but then I'm so cynical about them anyway (they seem to have given up on investigative journalism and expect people to give them the news over the phone), but it sure seems to me the only thing they're interested in is providing a scare story, rather than all the details.<br><br><br>- This is gonna get pretty interesting. <br>- Define "interesting". <br>- Oh, God, oh, God, we're all gonna die..
Posted by: garyW

Re: securing our ports the Bush way - 02/17/06 12:00 PM

As I said, if the one thing accomplished today is to get this deal making out from secret committees and into a public forum. There's too much doubt in this because of what is known with the UAE and our national security. <br><br>Seems like we also went through a similar scenario recently with the torture ban. Bipartisan support, overwhelming public support but the administration opposed it. Even though the bill went through Bush did his 'signing waiver' attachment doodad to negate the whole deal. If it comes down to this same type of action because the FACTS of the issue warrant congressional debate and signed legislation, let the President kill it with the same tactic if that's what he wants. At least it will be clear whether it's in the nation's best interest or the president's. <br><br><br><br>
Posted by: Llewelyn

Re: securing our ports the Bush way - 02/17/06 01:44 PM

The "deal" has been in the open for many months now, and involves the UK co. and UAE. There's no reason to suggest that Bush co has a financial interest in the deal - well people can allege kickbacks, but I've not seen hard facts supporting that.<br><br>But nobody seems to be interested in reporting hard facts, just fearmongering. This Dubai company has been running ports in the rest of the world for a number of years now, we've not seen any major attacks in Australia have we? There's (at minimum) accusation that illegal goods have been trafficed through some of the ports they manage, but nothing to say they knew it was happening or acted to support it - it's probably a safe bet to say that smuggling of illegal goods happens at US borders (airports and seaports and land), how much is supported actively by port authorities or the US government, and how much is just not detected.<br><br>I just wonder what the committee will turn up in another 45 days, that they didn't turn up in the 30 days they alread spent reviewing the sale. Are the US intelligence services going to find anything new? I doubt the US press will - unless someone invites them round for a pot of tea! They've had at least 30 days already to do some investigative journalism and they only thing they've come up with so far is we can't sell our security to foreigners - well bozo's, foreigners have been running these ports for almost 7 years now and you didn't get worked up about it back then - or is it just that these particular foreigners are arabs?!?!<br><br><br>- This is gonna get pretty interesting. <br>- Define "interesting". <br>- Oh, God, oh, God, we're all gonna die..
Posted by: garyW

Re: securing our ports the Bush way - 02/17/06 02:05 PM

So a British owned company had been doing the work, there's nothing of particular concern about that. The reasons stated in the Congressional letter to Snow are the issues of concern. Transferring the contract to a foreign company with issues that compromise our national security, again as it is stated in that letter, is not fearmongering. Would it be fearmongering to be concerned if this same company would also be handling airport security or our nuclear power plants? Do you consider the whole premise of Homeland Security fear mongering? I doubt you do.<br><br>I find it interesting that concerns about this deal are labeled fear mongering when the request is for it to go under more extensive review before it's a done deal.<br><br>Problem is that it's most likely already a done deal and nothing a bipartisan effort can change. So we can just hope for the best.<br><br><br><br><br><br>
Posted by: SgtBaxter

Re: securing our ports the Bush way - 02/17/06 02:08 PM

I'm sure the mafia in Baltimore that runs the docks will have something to say 'bout that. :)<br><br>
Posted by: Llewelyn

Re: securing our ports the Bush way - 02/17/06 02:28 PM

Sorry I wasn't clear - the media reporting has basically been on the fearmongering trail. The senate/congressional letter does raise some concerns. But how much more will be discovered in another 45days that wasn't discovered in the previos 30day indepth investigation (by the same group of people)? If the company has been infiltrated by terrorists, you think they'll be spotted given more time?<br><br>It's also one of the reasons I'm questioning what does "management of the ports" mean? Does it include Security or is that overseen by Homeland Security. How did Homeland Security handle P&O management of the ports? And would that change anytime soon? I'm sure the US government is not going to issue visas wholesale to UAE citizens to take over the ports in question - more likely the current port workers will just be drawing the same paycheck with a different signature and bank account number on them.<br><br>And the media reporting has been so vague I have heard that this is effectively a done deal, so chances are that we won't get another 45days to do another indepth study.<br><br><br>- This is gonna get pretty interesting. <br>- Define "interesting". <br>- Oh, God, oh, God, we're all gonna die..
Posted by: steveg

Re: securing our ports the Bush way - 02/17/06 04:26 PM

Frankly, I'm glad to be outta NYC with this fiasco going on. The cruise ship terminal that's central to this transaction is on the West Side. It's huge. And there are rail yards nearby, too. Hell, Martha Stewart's offices are just a few block south. I can't believe something this stupid ever made it off the cocktail napkin it was scribbled on.<br><br>I never liked Chuck Schumer, but on this issue, I'm his biggest cheerleader.<br><br>
Posted by: mojo_jojo

Re: securing our ports the Bush way - 02/17/06 05:58 PM

I hope you are right. I would rather have la cosa nostra watching our back rather than the UAB any day.. <br><br><P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by mojo_jojo on 02/17/06 08:59 PM (server time).</EM></FONT></P>
Posted by: Llewelyn

Re: securing our ports the Bush way - 02/21/06 09:20 AM

Well finally someone starts answering all the questions I've had......<br><br>Port security still falls to the XXXX Port Authority, Homeland Security, and the Coastguard. The only security that DPW will be involved with is the rent-a-cop who's there to stop people breaking into their offices. And they're only in charge of managing the container terminal, not the other port facilities.<br><br>However, I hear that unlike airports - where Doris the Bagchecker is now required to be a US citizen (following the law changes post-9/11), there is nothing similar required for the ports. So new question - who the heck screwed the pooch on that one?!?!<br><br><br>- This is gonna get pretty interesting. <br>- Define "interesting". <br>- Oh, God, oh, God, we're all gonna die..
Posted by: Michael

Re: securing our ports the Bush way - 02/21/06 02:24 PM

<blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>However, I hear that unlike airports - where Doris the Bagchecker is now required to be a US citizen (following the law changes post-9/11), there is nothing similar required for the ports. So new question - who the heck screwed the pooch on that one?!?!<p><hr></blockquote><p>Like it would matter with our WIDE open borders. Walk on to American soil have your kid. Bingo, it's an American.<br><br>-Foxsports.com, My SB XL hi-lites
Posted by: DLC

Re: securing our ports the Bush way - 02/21/06 03:28 PM

llewelyn,<br><br>I don't think it's fear mongering.<br>Consider this ... <br>(1) A UAE company would be easier for the terrorist to infiltrate than an American company. True ?<br><br>(2) by managiung our ports the UAE company members will learn vital information, about our ports, how things are done, a lot of details... who's to prevent one of those workers of selling this info to terrorists? They use it to get WMDs inside USA !<br><br>The hoopla over this is that for 4 years Bush et al have sold themselves as the Security Administration - "stay with us we'll protect you" !! and now they're selling our security to a company based in the area where the very people we're fighting operate. IT's just not smart nor safe, and the stakes are TOO big to take chances. Thsi is one place you CAN'T be too SAFE.<br><br>What will people say IF/ when a "dirty bomb" goes off in one of these ports ?? Will they say "Duh- I knew we should have trusted them!" TOO late !!<br><br>And this is all for business, NOT security... there are others less risky that could do this ! How about an AMerican company?? geez woun't want to create an AMERICAN jobs would we ???<br><br>Stupid - political move- IMHO !<br><br>One other point to your comment .....<br>"Personally I assume security is still up to Homeland Security - and Homeland Security isn't really tasked with the sea equivalent of air traffic control!! "<br><br>Bad assumption ... Homeland Security / Coast Guard does NOT inspect cargo containers ! These guys will. Think it's worth trusting them? Remember it only takes a few infiltraitors to pull something off... 98% of the workers could be great and we get screwed by the 2% that help the bad guys.<br><br>David (OFI)<br>
Posted by: Llewelyn

Re: securing our ports the Bush way - 02/21/06 04:20 PM

<blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>(1) A UAE company would be easier for the terrorist to infiltrate than an American company. True ?<p><hr></blockquote><p><br>You think? I figure with the amount of background checks that most US companies seem to perform, a person committed to neffarious goals, could quite easily infiltrate most US companies.<br><br>Trouble is that no US company wants in on this deal. So what do you see as a solution. Ports are run by a UK company, who I doubt have the general welfare of the US population high up on their list of things to do. All they're looking after are their financial interests, those interests now include selling the company's assets for lots of money. I wouldn't say that inspecting 2% (or thereabouts) of the containers passing through the ports is being very thorough in protecting the US borders.<br><br>And as Michael pointed out - why bother with US ports when you can just drive across the northern or southern border? If you want to smuggle something into the US I figure so long as you avoid the airports and small boats from Cuba, you're on a pretty safe bet on getting whatever it is into the country.<br><br><br>- This is gonna get pretty interesting. <br>- Define "interesting". <br>- Oh, God, oh, God, we're all gonna die..
Posted by: garyW

Re: securing our ports the Bush way - 02/21/06 04:39 PM

Link<br> "...DP World, a company owned and controlled by the Government of Dubai, United Arab Emerites (UAE)."<br><br>Yes it would be easier for terrorists to infiltrate because it will be controlled by a foreign government. <br><br>
Posted by: DLC

Re: securing our ports the Bush way - 02/22/06 03:21 AM

<blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p> And as Michael pointed out - why bother with US ports when you can just drive across the northern or southern border? <p><hr></blockquote><p>Because if you do the former you dont' even have to come here.<br>You put a device in a container, do a "shell game" shuffle, shipping it through various other ports to confuse the origin and cover the trail. It eventually gets to the USA, and you detonate it remotely. The are so many containers coming in it has a >95% chance of success since we check < 5% of all containers.<br><br>Your way you have to bring it in yourself, sure the risk is probably small, but the former is even less risk. The point is we can't afford to have ANY holes in the security and there are so many now it looks like a fish net !! Homeland Security is a JOKE... a pathetic joke that will protect us about as well as Linus' blanket. Katrina showed us it's all show and no "Go". I just hope if we're hit again becasue of their ineptness, GW gets his just reward ... drummed out of office, along with the other vultures robbing the US Treasury in the name of security.<br><br>David (OFI)<br>
Posted by: Llewelyn

Re: securing our ports the Bush way - 02/22/06 04:24 AM

<blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>Because if you do the former you dont' even have to come here.<br>You put a device in a container, do a "shell game" shuffle, shipping it through various other ports to confuse the origin and cover the trail. It eventually gets to the USA, and you detonate it remotely. The are so many containers coming in it has a >95% chance of success since we check < 5% of all containers.<p><hr></blockquote><p><br>And how is that any different yesterday than it is today. DPW manages many, many container ports around the world, they wouldn't even need to manage the US ports to do what you have already suggested.<br><br><br>- This is gonna get pretty interesting. <br>- Define "interesting". <br>- Oh, God, oh, God, we're all gonna die..
Posted by: DLC

Re: securing our ports the Bush way - 02/22/06 06:25 AM

It's not a huge difference, but this time you can have some operatives HERE to be sure it's overlooked , or shipped inland uninspected (not the whole container, but some of it's contents)... so now it's not just the major ports at risk.<br><br>My main objection is the "outsourcing" period... to the Brits, the Arabs, to ANYone! The Oversight of Security should be an AMERICAN duty... not some one else's.<br><br>David (OFI)<br>
Posted by: Llewelyn

Re: securing our ports the Bush way - 02/22/06 06:47 AM

That's precisely my point - where was the stink when P&O bought management back in June 1999? Or maybe late 2001 when we realised our national security is a joke? The only concrete reason that seems to be surfacing here is that DWP is Arab and P&O is British. Most of the "reasons" are specious:<br><br>- 2 of the hijackers were from UAE. So how about Johnny Walker Lindh? Or the British citizens who went to Afganistan to work with Al Qaeda - can you not level the exact same criticism against the US and the UK?<br><br>- the UAE banks were used to finance the hijackers....along with american banks, swiss banks, german banks, etc, etc, etc.<br><br>If you search hard enough in any company, you can probably find someone who will do something nefarious for a price, you just have to find that price that they'll sell out for and decide if you're willing to pay it!! And anyone with a mind set to it can get an undercover operative into a company with a minimum of preparation, and no questions asked - the media are managing this all of the time - Wasn't it just last year one of the UK press got a reporter into the inner circles of Buckingham Palace, just to show how easy it was and how lax security is. I would imagine that security for the Queen is many times more stringent than that applied to Bob the Docker.<br><br><br>- This is gonna get pretty interesting. <br>- Define "interesting". <br>- Oh, God, oh, God, we're all gonna die..
Posted by: DLC

Re: securing our ports the Bush way - 02/22/06 09:06 AM

Glad we agree..<br><br> <blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p> That's precisely my point - where was the stink when P&O bought management back in June 1999? <p><hr></blockquote><p>I guess that deal wasn't on the radar. Had it been, I wouldn't have liked that either !!<br>And that was pre-9/11, so not many were worried.<br><br>I'm sick of all this corporate crap to screw American Workers, make a few ultra-wealthy, and let these Mega-Corps live off govt contracts from their "plants" in public office like some welfare mother with 10 kids... except in their cases it would take a million welfare mothers to equal the $$ they're skimming from the Treasury!<br>In the end we're all going to pay.<br><br>David (OFI)<br>