Tuesday, February 21, 2006

By Popular Request: America's Ports

Everyone I have talked to lately is incensed. Ghost, Liz, CJM (for starters) are all raging over the Treasury Department's approval of a decision to SELL six AMERICAN ports (including New York and one right here in Philly) to a company controlled by the United Arab Emirates (Dubai Port World).

Why should we be concerned? "U.S. seaports handle 2 billion tons of freight each year but only about 5 percent of containers entering the United States are examined on arrival."

Even soon-to-be-ousted Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell is questioning this decision:
"PA Governor Ed Rendell says he has nothing against the Arabs but he’s not alone in questioning the approval in Washington of any foreign power moving into security sensitive areas like American ports." (source)

Local politicians on both sides of the aisle are complaining about this --I think they realize their constituency will be aghast when they get wind of this...
"The United Arab Emirates does not have a good track record in America’s war on terror according to lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. Dubai, they say, has been a transport point for nuclear components that have been shipped to Iran, North Korea and Libya and they charge the country has not been cooperative in the hunt for Osama Bin Laden,” said NJ Congressman Rob Andrews." (source)

"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, a New York Democrat.

U.S. officials have said money for the September 11 attacks was wired through the United Arab Emirates' banking system. Two of the September 11 hijackers were UAE citizens.

"Six of our largest commercial ports are being handed over to a country that is seeking to be Iran's free-trade partner and has been linked to the funding and planning of 9/11," said Rep. Mark Foley, a Florida Republican.(source)

I must be numb because I can't even get worked up over it --and have tried for five days so I could write this post. I guess it's because I'm not shocked or surprised. This country is in denial and I have hardened to the decisions being made that put us at further risk.

Some people say we "deserved" 9/11 because of our foreign policy -- I say we will "deserve" the next horror because we some turned a blind eye to 9/11 and let "progressive" thinking block any possibility of safety...

UPDATE: Jeb Bush blows his (very, very tiny) shot at taking over for his brother in the Oval Office today by saying that he "he has faith in his brother's administration over its decision to allow an Arab-owned company to operate major U.S. ports, including in Miami." (source)

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