(Via LC & IB Bill Quick and Byron York)

Q Mr. President, leaders in Congress, including Senator Frist, have said that they’ll take action to stop the port control shift if you don’t reverse course on it. You’ve expressed your thoughts here, but what do you say to those in Congress who plan to take legislative action?

THE PRESIDENT: They ought to listen to what I have to say about this. They ought to look at the facts, and understand the consequences of what they’re going to do. But if they pass a law, I’ll deal with it, with a veto.

Pass the blatantly unConstitutional McCain/Feingold Incumbent Protection Act — No veto.

Pork barrel laden bills handing out tax payers’ funds in gay abandon — No veto.

And we could go on.

But suggesting that maybe it isn’t such a brilliant idea to hand over the keys to our ports to an Arab country from which 2 of the 19 came?

Oh, THAT he’ll veto.

I might say something more later, but right now I’m incapable of saying anything that wouldn’t make your screens melt…

60 Responses to “President Milquetoast Finally Finds His Veto Pen”
  1. Unregistered Comment by Azygos UNITED STATES

    I really don’t care about losing face over enabling terrorists to take control of our ports.

  2. caveman82952 Comment by caveman82952 UNITED STATES

    Override the fuckin’ veto!!!!…it’s time to quit thinking like a rich globalist and more like an American president. Is this guy clueless? Or simply very selective in what he wishes to protect….?

  3. LC & IB Random Numbers Comment by LC & IB Random Numbers UNITED STATES

    Chill out, folks. All that is happening is that the Brittish firm that pays the longshoreman is being displaced by a Dubai firm that will pay those very same longshoremen.

    The hysteria this has generated is unreal!

  4. Unregistered Comment by LC Wes, Imperial Mohel UNITED STATES

    The fact that Jimmy Carter thinks the port administration handover is a good idea is reason right there to block it…

    (Hat tip: Michelle Malkin)

  5. Unregistered Comment by Azygos UNITED STATES

    Numbers,

    I don’t think it matters whether letting the UAE to take over the ports is right or wrong. If an attack happens (and it will) the conservatives will take the hit if any portion of the attack came through a port. I don’t want the dems in power, ever.

  6. hitnrun Comment by hitnrun UNITED STATES

    But if they pass a law, I’ll deal with it, with a veto.

    Wouldn’t it be ironic if the one and only veto of this Presidency was on an issue that (should) have easily enough support to muster a 2/3rds Override of that Veto?

    The media hasn’t worked out their polls of our legislators yet, but The President is going to have a hard time finding 33 Senators to support him, and this being an election year, supporting him in the House would be radioactive.

    LC Random Numbers- You’re right, at the moment. If DPW takes over the ports tomorrow, there really won’t be a difference. But they’ll have the keys to the port, and after the media and Harbor Patrol scrutiny dies down, they’ll have about as much leeway as any other private entity in conducting their business.

  7. LC & IB Random Numbers Comment by LC & IB Random Numbers UNITED STATES

    Chuck Simmons has the best words for this in a comment at Quick’s blog:

    These companies manage freight operations, and in NYC passenger operations. They load and unload freight, and ensure that it gets in or out of the port via rail or truck. All of their employees are well-paid American union members.

    These companies often compete alongside eachother in the ports. Why isn’t anyone complaining about the Danes? The loser in the bidding war for P&O was a company from Singapore. No complaints?

    The Coast Guard will still do its thing. The various Port Authorities will still do their thing. The ILU will still do its thing and its mob friends will still do their thing.

    What on earth makes anyone think that P&O, a British company, or Moller, a Danish company, is any safer or secure than Dubai Port will be? If the company in Singapore had won its bid, would that be safer?

    There are not a lot of companies that are expert in the maritime transfer of freight and containerized freight. The industry, like so many others, is consolidating and buyouts are going to happen. We cannot stop that.

    All opposition to Dubai will do is cost the country and the ports millions of dollars in damages, thousands of lost jobs and put a crimp in our import / export business. These services were all bid, and contracts let. I do not believe that “We don’t like you” is sufficent grounds for breaching those contracts.

    This is just another attempt to sling some mud on the Administration by distorting the facts and misleading the public. One foreign company is buying another. It will then control various freight managment and transshipment sites in a limited number of American ports.They have warehouses, really big cranes, and piers with berths. Just exactly like many other companies, foreign or domesticly owned, that no one is concerned about. The issue of port security is not a part of this topic, no matter how Schumer and Hillary spin it.

    Well, put, Chuck.

  8. Deathknyte Comment by Deathknyte UNITED STATES

    Nobody, can be that stupid.

  9. Unregistered Comment by LC Wes, Imperial Mohel UNITED STATES

    There’s a lot of good info on the ports issue - pro and con - over at Instapundit right now. Here’s a couple of excerpts:

    Robert Ferrigno, author of Prayers for the Assassin, emails:

    Bush is going to take some ugly political flak for a better cause. The USA needs to strengthen ties with Arab nations. Period. The UAE is not Switzerland, but it’s not Afghanistan either, and yes they recognized the Taliban government. They’re politicians too. If we can do business with Pakistan, and we must, the UAE is as good an Islamic business partner as we’re going to get.

    To take away the deal from the UAE now, for no other reason than their religion, would rightly insult all Muslims, and do irreparable damage to our long term interests. This would not even be an issue if the ports were secure. That should be the focus of conservative attention, not who gets the deal to run the port.

    Several other readers also think that this wouldn’t be such an issue if it weren’t for the cartoon riots.

    John McCain is also backing Bush here. So is Will Collier, who pretty much takes the Ferrigno line. But the Bush Administration set itself up for this, in part, with its response to the Cartoon Wars, as reader C.J. Burch emails:

    When you combine the Dubai thing with the administration’s very lame reaction to the Danish cartoons…well, I’m one dissatisfied customer.

    …MORE: John Cross emails:

    Professor, the UAE has been our ally since the 80’s. I was there during the Iran-Iraq War, and when we hit the Iranians during Operation Praying Mantis, the Iranians responded by going after the UAE oil platforms.

    They are a moderate Arab country that we need to maintain economic engagement with. And they occupy a strategic point. Bush isn’t an idiot…we need to get past the knee-jerk reaction here…

    I still think it’s a bad idea to give any foreign power even administrative control over strategic assets like port facilities, especially post 9/11 - I wasn’t too thrilled with Clinton giving the Chinese the old Long Beach Naval Station for a container port, and even if the Brits previously ran the facilities in question through P&O, they’re still a foreign power - but the Puppy Blender has provided some good points on both sides of the issue that ought to be taken into account.

  10. Deathknyte Comment by Deathknyte UNITED STATES

    Its not a matter of if we don’t like them (I don’t anyway), its more of a matter of we don’t trust them.

  11. Apollyon Comment by Apollyon UNITED STATES

    Considering that two of the hijackers on 9/11 came from the UAE, money for the terrorist attack made its way through the UAE, they were mentioned in the 9/11 commission [not favorably], the UAE openly advocates the destruction of Israel, they were one of the few countries to recognize the Taliban and they recognize Hamas, makes peoples concerns of this deal understandable. I would give no Arab country any influence over our ports. Hell, I wouldn’t even let them run the local cafeteria.

  12. michaelcullen Comment by michaelcullen UNITED STATES

    uae has done more for us in the war on terror than France. and the coast gaurd will still be gaurding the ports. That said I am still a little uneasy with foriegners working the ports. Do we know if it will be americans working at the ports just under the ownership of the UAE or will the workers be from the uae. If it is americans working than I am ok with the whole thing.

  13. LC & IB Random Numbers Comment by LC & IB Random Numbers UNITED STATES

    The Longshorman’s Union will still be the ones who actually “run” the ports. It doesn’t matter one iota who signs the paychecks.

  14. Unregistered Comment by LC Wes, Imperial Mohel UNITED STATES

    uae has done more for us in the war on terror than France. and the coast gaurd will still be gaurding the ports. That said I am still a little uneasy with foriegners working the ports.

    No, the same crews that are working the ports now will continue to work them under the new company. The only thing that will change is who handles administrative duties there (previously the British P&O - Peninsular and Orient - company; now Dubai Ports or whatever the new company is called). And security will still be handled by Customs, the Coast Guard, and city and local port authorities.

    My problem with it is that security arrangements will inevitably have to be coordinated with the port administrators, which looks to me to be a potential security risk should Dubai Ports take over. Of course, with the growing population of radicalized Muslims in Britain, the same problem may have arisen with P&O…which is why I’d prefer a wholly-owned American company to handle operations at our ports.

  15. Unregistered Comment by Lady Heather GLOR UNITED STATES

    I have been willing to give him the benefit of the doubt before, but this has got me boiling with rage.

    WTF is he thinking? And trying to make this a racial issue too?

    Hello? Mr President?

    Caucasian Brits didn’t fly passenger airplanes into those buildings!

  16. LC & IB Random Numbers Comment by LC & IB Random Numbers UNITED STATES

    Wes,
    I think that because of those concerns, DPW will go out of it’s way to increase security, rather that the reverse. They have future contracts to think about. Dubai Ports World has more to lose through a security problem than any US firm would.

  17. Unregistered Comment by LC The Humble Devildog, Imperial Scholar UNITED STATES

    Random,

    er…you’re forgetting something.

    The company in question gets to do the HIRING. And THAT is what frightens me.

    Achmed wants to plant a bomb on a US ship. So, he talks to his cousin Abdul over at Dubai Ports, and has him hire Achmed as a longshoreman. Achmed is a piss-poor longshoreman, but, because cousin Abdul is his boss, he ain’t going to get fired. Once Achmed becomes union (prolly after 12 months, like most other unions), now, he can’t even be fired after he blows up the US ship!

    Heck, Achmed may not even need to show up to work regularly to do it. All he’d have to do is collect a paycheck, and get his port access badge, and he’s got hisself a nice big container ship reduced to smaller parts!

    Would you like to tell me again how safe it is to have a company owned by self-defined enemies of the US run US ports? Hm?

    Capitalism only goes so far, people. The almighty dollar is NOT sufficient justification to sacrifice good common sense, ethics, or morals. I’d say hiring your enemy to watch over your ports violates all three of those tenets.

  18. Unregistered Comment by Sgt.Slappy UNITED STATES

    It’s hard for a rational person to make heads or tails of this. I’ve lurked blogs all over the net, and there are logical, factual, sane voices on both sides of the issue. Some people over at LGF put it thusly (a big example ‘o paraphrase and quote theft here): “Night is day, black is white, up is down, in is out, cats are sleeping with dogs, worlds are colliding…” and so it seems. Mortal enemies on diametrically opposed blogs are agreeing with each other.

    But my gut feeling… something stinks with this deal.

  19. JetBlast Comment by JetBlast UNITED STATES

    I was at first very concerned about this deal with UAE but now that I’ve read rheams of information on the deal, I can’t say that I can oppose it anymore.

    Dubai has boatloads (no pun intended) of cash and they just might have the financial resourses to beef up port security if/when the US demands it.

    If Dubai were to allow any terrorist activity to surface as a result of port operations, the entire Arab world would be shut out from the rest of planet and they’d have no where else to go except for their own holes.

    The ports will still be operated by Union Americans and secured by the US Coast Guard so I can’t see any additional security risk. I would prefer to have an American company operate the ports as well…but what if it were an American company run by someone like Al Gore or Air America?

  20. Unregistered Trackback by Presto Agitato UNITED STATES

    The Last Refuge of Protectionist Scoundrels…

    If that isn’t the shiniest example of pure-assed jingoistic crap I’ve ever seen, then my memory must be failing. I understand the visceral reaction against allowing the sale (not selling, but allowing the sale) of London-based Peninsular and Orienta…

  21. Unregistered Comment by LC Mike UNITED STATES

    The company in question gets to do the HIRING. And THAT is what frightens me.

    Apparently, you haven’t met the Dockworkers’ Union.

  22. DJ Allyn,  ITW Comment by DJ Allyn, ITW UNITED STATES

    Could it be that this particular company, the Dubai Ports World, is a nationalized company owned by the government of the United Arab Emirates — the very same government that refuses to give up information concerning funds transfers used by the fucknozzles who attacked us? How ’bout the fact that over half of the hijackers came directly from Dubai on their way over here? Maybe, you might also consider the fact that the UAE is actively involved as a hub in supplying Iran, Syria, and Libya with nuclear materials. Finally, they were one of three countries in the world who recognized the Taliban as the legitimate government of Afghanistan.

    Stupid plan. VERY stupid plan.

  23. Rowane Comment by Rowane UNITED STATES

    Personally, I think Pres. Bush is trying to “reward” the UAE for thier “help” in the WOT

  24. Son Of The Godfather Comment by Son Of The Godfather UNITED STATES

    At first, I thought this was insanity. My knee-jerk reaction was like others who questioned the deal - “No f-ing way!”

    BUT

    I have to believe that there is something more behind the deal that causes the President to so vigorously defend it… Maybe, just maybe it’s something not so sinister. What if, for instance, there were security reasons to actually HAVE the UAE controlling these ports?

    There was a certain advantage to having idiots enter Iraq from elsewhere to fight the USA in Iraq… Weeded out some of the sewage.

    What if, unbeknownst to the average person, we have assured extreme surveilance and tracking of all aspects of these particular ports, and allow the UAE control knowing, and perhaps even hoping that nefarious activity is routed through?

    I realize it’s a highly unlikely scenario, but geeeez loueeez, there has to be some rational explanation for this odd posturing.

  25. Unregistered Comment by LC Liz GLOR UNITED STATES

    the whole thing makes me uneasy. i dont like the idea at all. if we must make nice-nice with the arabs lets find another way. putting them in control of our ports, seems to me, like playing russian roulet.

  26. Unregistered Comment by docjim505 UNITED STATES

    I have to throw in with Sgt Slappy on this: I don’t know enough about the deal to make a good, informed judgement. On the one hand, I trust Bush in the WOT despite some mistakes that I think he’s made and therefore have to believe that he’s looked long and hard at this and knows what he’s doing.

    On the other hand… HANDING PORTS OVER TO F***ING ARAB CONTROL? IS HE INSANE?

  27. Unregistered Pingback by Inoperable Terran » There it is! UNITED STATES

    […] The President has found his veto pen, but it’s not exactly for a useful cause. (Well, his dad and his “uncle” Bill Clinton would think it is, and they’re all that matter). Posted by Ian S. in […]

  28. SoCalOilMan Comment by SoCalOilMan UNITED STATES

    My initial reaction was “No Way!!”, however, having read arguments on both sides, I’m not quit as adamant. I still lean very strongly against, but would like to hear from the administration the reasons they have for letting this deal go through.

    This sale went through in November and we didn’t hear about it till last week, they should have been getting their message out long ago so we could seen the arguments over months instead of trying to read everything and decide in two weeks.

    When something is sprung on me at the last minute red flags go up because it makes me think there is s detail one side doesn’t want out. Either it’s a good deal and some are just using it to look tough on the WOT, or it’s got problems and Bush was hoping it would slip through unnoticed.

    The President better get someone out here fast and explain why this is an OK deal or I’m not going to buy it.

    Oh, and “we’ve looked at this closely and see no problem” isn’t what I need to hear. Gimme facts.

  29. Unregistered Comment by LC Theresa UNITED STATES

    Pulled the below off the Michelle Malkin site.

    “Washington claims that the United Arab Emirates is a reliable friend and ally of the United States in the war on terror. To the extent that Dubai Ports World is a UAE state-owned company, this may in fact be the key question to ask. The answer is not hard to find if you start looking at the role played by the UAE as an eager financier of the huge worldwide infrastructure of radical Islam built over the past three decades by Saudi Arabia. An infrastructure that’s the main breeding ground of extremism and terrorism.

    From the very beginning in the 1970s, the UAE has been a key source of financial support for Saudi-controlled organizations like the Islamic Solidarity Fund, the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), World Council of Mosques, and the Muslim World League (MWL) as documented in The Muslim World League Journal, an English-language monthly. The IDB alone, for instance, spent $10 billion between 1977 and 1990 for “Islamic activities” and at least $1 billion more recently to support terrorist activities by the Palestinian Al Aqsa and Intifada Funds.

    One of the most successful Islamist operations in the U.S. early on involved the Wahhabi ideological takeover of the Nation of Islam after the death of its founder Elijah Muhammad. Of the $4.8 million “presented” to W. D. Muhammad, Elijah’s son and successor, in 1980 alone, one million came from UAE’s president Sheikh Zayad, according to the August 1980 issue of the MWL Journal. Zayad continued his “philanthropic” activities by donating $2.5 million for a Zayad Islamic Center at Harvard University’s divinity school of all places. The donation had to be returned after it became known that a similar Zayad Center in the UAE was closed because it had become a hotbed of Islamic extremism. And this is likely just the tip of the iceberg. A reliable friend and ally? Perhaps, but hardly one of ours.”

    There is no such thing as a “moderate” muslim/arab state. If they are true believers of the pedophile prophet, they are a threat to our way of life. Period. This is just another step toward the “caliphate”. No arab government can be trusted. Pandering to them hasn’t worked as a foreign policy for decades. It needs to stop.

  30. TPCrasher78 Comment by TPCrasher78 UNITED STATES

    If this port sale goes through and it’s approved, whatever, prepare to grab your ankles, cause it’s coming.

    Sharia Law
    Taliban Living
    Women having to wear a Glad Back over their entire body
    Beheadings
    Stonings
    No TV
    No Radio
    No Internet
    No Free Thought.

    All lovely things in the Mooselimb World, that great beacon of 7th Century Living.

  31. CiSSnarl5.7 Comment by CiSSnarl5.7 UNITED STATES

    I don’t agree with this at all however, I think Dubya is in a damned if you do and damned if you don’t situation here.

    Okay common sense says never allow this to happen, however let’s say the deal happened between the UAE and the Brits…they do thier business and GWB says…”Not no.. but HELL no are we giving control of our ports to an Arab controlled company…”

    Can you imagine the out cry in the Lamestream Media?
    They’ll crucify his ass for being a bigot, a racist, pick your descriptor…and then that just adds to the anti-American sentiment in the Middle East.

    It’s a no win situation, the Dems and thier idiot savants the Media are already attacking ..if he goes the other way they’ll just attack that, this President can’t win either way he goes.

    My take and this is based on actually sailing in, and navigateing many of these areas during my years in the USN is that no matter what… this type of operation and the size of it.. just based on the amount of traffic in and out of one of the ports in question is that it’s a bad idea.

    If you’ve ever been out there especially with access to a radar system, the traffic…. is astounding …..most people never realize just how busy those shipping lanes are. Giving the control over the entry to our ports to ANYONE with ANY questionable issue on thier resume is simply asking for problems.

    But at the same time ..a small nuke or even a bio weapon is just that, small. You can just as easily stash it on a 40 foot cabin cruiser as you can on a 900 foot cargo container ship…so in the end does it really matter who controls the ports?

    Lastly…I’ve got a sneaking suspcion that the traffic coming in to our ports is a bit more closely monitored then the press would have you believe, they’ll spout off about “only 7% of the containers coming in are actually searched” and I think there’s a reason for that…and it has nothing to do with staffing or budgets, that 7% is searched for a reason…something set off a red flag somewhere when that ship was coming in…I can’t say anymore I would know just how it’s done now a days, but I know the tech is there to do it.

    Long range recon and monitoring of shipping has been part of the USN’s duties for many a year. When a war ship sails from Norfolk, Charlston, Mayport, etc with all those radars and systems buzzing they aren’t out there for a pleasure cruise and in a post 9-11 era I got a feeling thier doing a lot more in the way of tracking and monitoring the US littoral sea lanes now. Additionally, there’s other surveillance assetts involved here as well besides USN.

    Anyone else in the USN with a “OS” or “IS” Rating badge on this thread care to comment?

    Snarl

  32. Puddle Pirate Comment by Puddle Pirate UNITED STATES

    For the moment, I’m going to leave my thoughts on this from a political standpoint out of the eqaution. I’m just going to address the “It’s only port operations, not port security” bit I keep hearing.
    As an active duty US Coast Guard LE officer and port security specialist at one of the nations largest port’s, I say that this is bullshit, folks. Absolute and utter BS.
    Couple quick points, although I’m happy to answer questions for anyone who’d like to educate themselves further.
    (1) Those who control cargo handling operations can also influence which containers get scanned by CBP.
    (2) The company that runs the docks and the warehouses (read, facilities, for those of you familiar with MTSA) gets to approve what security firms are hired to guard those facilities, if not hiring them outright.
    (3) CBP and USCG are, for the most part, perimeter defense in the port security world. Not that much we can do once somebody gets inside the fence. The company which runs port operations has oversight on the inside of the fence. Period.
    (4) The number of redundant security safeguards currently in place at US ports makes it likely that any successful terrorist sumuggling of radioactive materials would have to be an inside job.
    I object strongly to my service being used as a public crutch to justify a flawed and extremely dumb idea.

    Thatisall.

  33. Unregistered Comment by LC Mike UNITED STATES

    Okay, stop that! The manager of the port absolutely CANNOT IN ANY WAY influence which containers are scanned/inspected/etc. Specifically, Dubai Ports World had to sign an agreement that inspectors could inspect 100% of the containers coming in and going out. If you know of security personnel who would allow themselves to be so “influenced” either consciously or unconsciously, then you ought to report them to your/their superiors because they’re in the WRONG LINE OF WORK.

    Dubai Ports World bought the British company. It is still same people (the Brits) managing the port, and it is still the Dockworkers who are doing the work.

  34. Puddle Pirate Comment by Puddle Pirate UNITED STATES

    Please, don’t even start with me on the ‘virtues of private security personnel at US ports’. I suppose the guys at the facility we issued a 30K+ fine to last month for having their ENTIRE SECURITY STAFF ABSENT for THREE HOURS on a coffee break were in the wrong line of work? How bout’ the gate guards I see every week asleep on duty for hours at a time whose parent companies continue to be warned and fined by the USCG but continue to do nothing?
    Next, get your facts straight. Dubai isn’t contracting to be the manager of the port. That title belongs to a USCG O-6 who is the ‘Captain of the Port’. Try reading your 33CFR (code of federal regulations) 6 and 160. Dubai is taking over management of facilities AT ports, which is a critical difference. Do a little reading and then get back to me.

  35. Unregistered Comment by Merry, L.C. UNITED STATES

    With all due respect, we very much need our bases in the U.A.E., first in order to hit Tehran should such become necessary and second to protect the Straits of Hormuz. If we do not carry thru on a previously agreed upon deal, wherein ownership changes from a british firm to a dubai firm, and only ownership of the facilities changes, NOT SECURITY procedures, we look like allies that will not keep our word.

    I too was outraged when I first heard about this, but after doing some research into the realities of the impact this would or would not have on port security and the reasons we very much need to keep our word to the UAE and keep our AIRBASES, this is a tempest in a teapot and once again the Democrats care for the appearance of security, not the actuality of security.

    I respect the President’s use of his veto in this instance, although, like many here, I wish he had used it before on other issues. I believe he has a long term vision, hopefully straight to the Mad Mullahs of Iran.

  36. Unregistered Comment by LC The Humble Devildog, Imperial Scholar UNITED STATES

    First of all, Puddle Pirate, thanks for what you do. Even this dumb ole’ Jarhead will recognize that the Coasties are the ONLY branch of the US military that does its job every day.

    Secondly, thanks for backing up my point. I know you didn’t do it intentionally, but, it’s always nice to know that common sense still applies.

    Do NOT hand the keys to your house to your enemy.

  37. Unregistered Comment by Smitty UNITED STATES

    Gee, nobody’s pointing out the fact that ports by their nature regional monopolies.

    I find it strange all our ports that also happen to be local monopolies are owned by sovereign foreigners don’t you?

    Might there be a competitive advantage being a sovereign entity?

    As far as the UAE having “lots of cash” so do we, why not invest some of our SS surplus in stuff like port monopoly infrastructure instead of paper debt?

    Wasn’t the shrub touting an “Ownership society?”

    Oh ya and last but no least, if it’s so classified we can’t talk about it why are we selling it to foreigners?

  38. Unregistered Comment by LC Staci UNITED STATES

    Well Puddle, I’d like to back some of what you say. My lil bro is a Coastie too and has the same EXACT gripes from his experience when it came to being a specialist in port security. Shoot, he wrote my company a fine before I started working here for security guard issues. He has since moved to ship inspections too at one of our largest ports that will fall under this company.

    What a lot of people do not realize, is ultimately, CPB and USCG are a presense but…. it is the where as Puddle pointed out. And yeah, sure, all workers are American based on union requirement. So are the majority of the Freight Truck drivers. (they drive like assholes though)

    I work in one of these ports, one of the ports to be affected by this deal…Miami. The security here is pretty tight even with the hint of a threat. I cannot tell you how many times I had to go through 8 checkpoints after crossing the initial checkpoint just to get to work! But this is just getting in from inside the states from land to ship out. What happens bringing the stuff in is a different matter entirely. That is where I’m concerned and how this is going to change. That is where everyone should be concerned. And guys, the Coasties and CBP are fricken taxed as it is.

    Guys, I’m with Puddle on this. And this story has been ignored. I’ve been hearing about it for a while now, may have to do with working at this. It’s weird too, because I posted a link a while back on it, and no one was outraged.

    I’m hoping that when more details come out, it includes commitments to security. I know the cruise biz has spent a LOT of money on beefing up security.

  39. Unregistered Comment by Fishstyx UNITED STATES

    Puddle,
    How long have you been in the Coast Guard and how lond have you been involved in Port Security?

  40. Puddle Pirate Comment by Puddle Pirate UNITED STATES

    Passed the six year mark a little while ago (really doesn’t seem like it’s been six years. Guess time goes quick when you do something you like). Been doing the Port Security/LE gig pretty much since 9/11.

  41. Rowane Comment by Rowane UNITED STATES

    Has anyone heard the latest, that Pres. Bush didn’t even know about this company being vetted until it was already a done deal.

  42. Unregistered Comment by Fishstyx UNITED STATES

    Im curious how this company is truly any different than any of the other foriegn companies that operate within our ports nation wide?

    Why hasn’t anyone been outraged considering how many ships come from ports that are currently operated by this company? The run terminals all over the world. Many vessels come straight to the US from these very terminals.

  43. Unregistered Comment by Lord Spatula I, King & Tyrant UNITED STATES


    Im curious how this company is truly any different than any of the other foriegn companies that operate within our ports nation wide?

    Well, in the first place, most of the other foreign countries - the British, for example - didn’t have nationals who flew planes into our buildings. :-/

    Why hasn’t anyone been outraged considering how many ships come from ports that are currently operated by this company? The run terminals all over the world. Many vessels come straight to the US from these very terminals.

    This isn’t about other terminals, Fishstyx.  This is about our  terminals.

    Think “fox guarding henhouse”, mkay?

  44. Unregistered Comment by Fishstyx UNITED STATES

    Well, in the first place, most of the other foreign countries - the British, for example - didn’t have nationals who flew planes into our buildings. :-/

    Actually, a British national tried to blow up a plane mid flight while crossing the Atlantic, do you recall the show bomber?

    The UAE is one our strongest allies in the region. In the post 9/11 world, the UAE’s government has been paramount in fighting the War on Terror. Read the following article with some of the specifics. You will also be surprised to know that many upper level position within Dubai Port World are American and British, a number of which are ex-military.

    http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2006/02/22/us_uae_have_sensitive_relationship/

  45. Unregistered Comment by LC The Humble Devildog, Imperial Scholar UNITED STATES

    Fishstyx,

    (this isn’t a slam, or a flame, so, please, don’t take it that way)

    Quick quiz for you:

    What do Timothy McVeigh, Richard Reid, John Lee Malvo, and Jose Padilla all have in common?

    I’ll give the answer before I go to bed.

  46. maxxdog Comment by maxxdog UNITED STATES

    Spats, Some of those jokers were in this country for a long time prior to flying those planes into those buildings. BTW, where did they learn how to fly them?
    Where were the banks they were pulling money out to live on and pay for the schooling? The NSA knew about Atta and couldn’t do anything about him because of the “wall”.
    I’ve seen stuff from people who’s opinions I respect on both sides of this issue. I think the biggest problem here is the lack of communication from the admin! Again! Still!

  47. Unregistered Comment by Fishstyx UNITED STATES

    Lets take another approach to this issue. Lets say this company allowed or a sleeper within smuggled some form of WMD in, within 24 hours of the incident, it would be traced back to the port of entry and the blamed for the attack. Within days Dubai would be a pile of rubble.

  48. Unregistered Comment by LC The Humble Devildog, Imperial Scholar UNITED STATES

    Lets take another approach to this issue. Lets say this company allowed or a sleeper within smuggled some form of WMD in, within 24 hours of the incident, it would be traced back to the port of entry and the blamed for the attack. Within days Dubai would be a pile of rubble.

    Are you crazy?! It took almost a year before we invaded Afghanistan, and another two before we invaded Iraq!

    Besides, to many Muslims, wealth is just a means to an end: the destruction and/or conversion of all non-Muslims. Or, did you forget that dying while fighting the non-Muslims is one of the ONLY two ways a Muslim can see Paradise?

    Y’all are thinking that the profit motive will keep Muslims from attacking us. What profit motive did Mohammed Atta have? Hm?

    Get that into your brain cavity group. Muslims view acquiring wealth as only a TOOL for Jihad, not an end worthy of itself.

    (The answer to the quiz is: They’re all Muslims. Funny, haven’t heard much about that in the press, have we?)

  49. lc ima mommy Comment by lc ima mommy UNITED STATES

    Nobody, can be that stupid.

    Exactly. As outraged as I was over this at first, I’ve let my cooler head have some time to digest it and listen to both sides. I do not think the prez is stupid. The ownership of the port doesn’t make us any more vulnerable today than we were yesterday. I mean jeebus! how many ports are owned by the stinkin chicoms?? And with 80-90% of the containers going unchecked in the first place…c’mon.

    Bush has always said we will support and reward our allies in the WOT. UAE is our ally on that front. They have been very accomodating to our military.
    And it sure throws a wrench in the old “Bush hates brown people” debate doesn’t it? But listening to some of the talking heads on tv, it sure sounds like they are against this deal b/c the owners are A-rabs. What happened to “They’re not all bad”? and “We can’t paint an entire religion with the same brush”?

    I can definitely see both sides of this. Was it a smart move as far as the press coverage and “outrage”?? Probably not. They HAD to know they would be jumped on for this. Is he smart to stick by his administration’s decision? Probably. You give an inch and all that…

    In the end, I really trust President Bush, and I know in my heart that he is doing all he can to keep my kids safe. I also really love the Rott at times like this. I couldn’t wait to find some time to read through these comments, to hear both sides as I knew I would…all sides respected and politely debated.

  50. Unregistered Comment by Fishstyx UNITED STATES

    Are you crazy?! It took almost a year before we invaded Afghanistan, and another two before we invaded Iraq!

    Uhmmmmm….we began attacking Afghanistan less than one month after 9/11, October 7th, 2001 if my memory serves me right.

    The UAE is not a typical Muslim country. In fact, its one of the most westernized countries in the region. Do some research on them and get back to me. Read the article I posted earlier.

  51. Unregistered Comment by RhiGirl UNITED STATES

    In addition to Fishstyx’s link, here’s another one from the Financial Times. (via the Anchoress)

    You know, sometimes the blogosphere jumps the gun in hyperbole when it comes to certain events and issues. This would be one of them.

  52. MuscleDaddy Comment by MuscleDaddy UNITED STATES

    Another article on the topic - makes some good points, about the bigger picture as well as the immediate issue.

    http://www.tcsdaily.com/article.aspx?id=022206H

    I think it doesn’t take into account some of PuddlePirate’s points, but still…

    - MuscleDaddy

  53. dragineez Comment by dragineez UNITED STATES

    DPW already owns CSX. So they’ll control the ports and rail distribution. That doesn’t frighten you? Scares the shit out of me!

  54. Unregistered Comment by RhiGirl UNITED STATES

    DPW already owns CSX. So they’ll control the ports and rail distribution. That doesn’t frighten you? Scares the shit out of me!

    So have they sent uranium by train to some anonymous nuke-producing depot on the Blue Coast yet? :p

  55. Unregistered Comment by LC Joseph Dromedary CANADA

    I think maybe the Dems are gonna “ride the shark” on this one.
    For years they have said that the Republicans were basically racist by nature and now it is THEM saying that “You can’t trust any fucking Ayrab, ya know!”

    They also attacked Dubyah for “losing the respect of our traditional friends” (Read the Fwench, here).
    Now they want to lose the respect of the UAE that has supplied bases for the US, flies US F-16’s (OMG a Clintoon sale) and helps in the WoT. Do you see the Fwench helping? Do you see any US soldiers in Fwance?
    (Except for those brave souls buried there who were killed for Fwance’s freedom)

    If the USCG stills patrols the seas, the Port Authority Security Service is on the shore and the local law enforcement agencies are on line, then what has changed security wise?
    There isn’t gong to be an influx of turbanned crane operators or burqa wearing fork lift drivers.

    I think we should step back and take a long look at this. There is more to it than the immediate horrified reaction that a lot have taken.

  56. Emperor Darth Misha I Comment by Emperor Darth Misha I UNITED STATES

    The fact is that this is one heck of a tone deaf decision by the Bush Administration, coupled with the usual “trust me” arrogance that we got to know and love during the Harriet Miers fiasco.

    Heck, neither Bush, nor even the Dept. of Defense were briefed on this crap until recently? Whiskey Tango Foxtrot — Over?

    Call me paranoid all you want, but a nation harboring hordes of extremely militant terrorists, a nation serving as Money Laundering Central for self-same terrorists and a major fundraiser for madrassahs all over the world does not strike me as somebody I’d like to have an “insider view” of our port operations, no matter how much faith I have in our Coasties, longshoremen and local LE, which is considerable.

    Sheikh Mo may indeed be one heck of a splendid fellow and staunch ally, but I hesitate to give the same blanket assessment to all of his citizens and anybody who works for Dubai Ports, just because he’s a nice guy when we’re looking.

    And pardon me for not giving a shit about the “we need to be nice to muslims” angle either. I’ve got 3,000 good reasons, right off the top of my head, why it should be them being extremely busy making nice with us.

  57. Unregistered Comment by RhiGirl UNITED STATES

    Call me paranoid all you want, but a nation harboring hordes of extremely militant terrorists, a nation serving as Money Laundering Central for self-same terrorists and a major fundraiser for madrassahs all over the world does not strike me as somebody I’d like to have an “insider view” of our port operations, no matter how much faith I have in our Coasties, longshoremen and local LE, which is considerable.

    No offense, Misha, but with that kind of logic, we wouldn’t trust the Germans - however much they dislike us at the moment - just because terrorists like Muhammad Atta and his pals hid out there for awhile before they flew a plane into the WTC. And through the same logic, we wouldn’t be trusting ourselves, given the fact that there are probably quite a few sleeper cells Stateside.

    ‘Sides, this is ONE STATE out of SIX in the UAE that we’re talking about. I don’t think all of al-Qaeda’s hiding out in Dubai.

  58. Unregistered Comment by timmareng UNITED STATES

    Instead of getting too worked up over who makes the profit from handling cargo at our ports, we ought to take a closer look at who is working on those flag-of-convenience ships that carry cargo into our ports.
    Despite some long-overdue improvements in security at US ports following 9/11, we still are not up to speed in identifying crew members and screening those who might be a security risk. There are still several men missing from a Pakistani-crewed ship that was docked in Norfolk in 2002. We don’t really have ANY idea how many men jump ship as stowaways in our harbors every year (I personally know a couple of guys from western Africa who got into the US that way, in the 1980s). Hundreds of foreign crew fly in and out of the US every day. Fortunately, a large number are from the Philippines, one of our closest allies.
    I’m not an advocate of protectionism (I work on board a ship that’s flagged in the Marshall Islands), but think there are still a lot of improvements to be made in our port security. But blocking the sale of P&O to DPW is not one of them.

  59. Unregistered Comment by LC Joseph Dromedary CANADA

    Don’t get me wrong, Misha. As you know, I am in accordance with your outlook 99.9% of the time.

    However, not knowing all the behind the scenes guarantees on security, future bases, help in the WoT, etc, I am remaining somewhat ambivelent about this.

    There seems to be more than meets the eye here.

  60. Mike M Comment by Mike M UNITED STATES

    There seems to be more than meets the eye here.

    I think you might be right, Joe.

    Everybody, I think, has concerns about this deal arising out of very legitimate questions that have yet to be answered. However, you raised an interesting point when you said:

    There isn’t going to be an influx of turbanned crane operators or burqa wearing fork lift drivers.

    According to an article on the AFL-CIO Weblog not everyone is so convinced. James Paylor, president of ILA Local 1566 in Philadelphia made this statement:

    The main thing is that we need consistent enforcement of security. At the Port of Philadelphia, they’re hiring [low-wage workers] making $6 an hour to load and unload cocoa beans—a job that should go to a Longshoreman.

    Now, maybe he’s trying to say your average entry level scab employee isn’t vetted as well as they check out the Longshoremen boys down at the union hall, but beyond that I don’t know what cocoa beans have in common with national security.

    His real point, though, is the union is fearful of losing jobs. That just might explain why the ones squawking loudest about this - Schumer, King, Clinton, Dodd, Boxer, et al - are so motivated. Well, other than for reasons of purely partisan posturing and obstructionism in the Dems’ case, that is. If you follow the money trail back from their coffers, you find it leads right to the Longshoremen.

    Like it says in the article:

    It turns out their objections look to be less and less about American national security and more about plain old politics and political money and a labor union notorious for its ties to organized crime on the waterfront.

    There’s nothing at all wrong with the union trying to protect jobs for their people, but in the case of something this important, I wish the politicians and union bosses would just tell it like it is and knock it off with the obfuscation bullshit.