The Logic Lifeline

A logical approach to sorting out world events. Where logic, opinion and speculation are combined to produce a reasoned, but entertaining reading experience. The unofficial hometown conservative blog of Woodridge, Il

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Is somebody in the government smoking crack?

The NY Post is reporting something that has completely blown me away! Apparantly, we have a company named Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co. in charge of the port operations that includes security for some of our ports. According to the Post, these ports include "New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, New Orleans and Miami". The first kicker is that this company is based in London; meaning we have outsourced a major point of entry into our country to a foreign country. England may be our ally, but this is absolutely foolish.

It then gets worst; really worst. Here is where the crack comes in. Apparently, another company, Dubai Ports World , is purchasing Peninsular. If the name did not tip you off, this company is based in the United Arab Emirates. It would be absolutely insane for the DHS to allow a Middle East company to have any part in our security, even if it were an ally. As the Post points out, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has "financial links" to the September 11th attacks. According to the Post:

If shareholders approve the deal tomorrow, it will give control of various dock operations at some of the country's busiest points of entry to UAE-headquartered DP World.

The FBI has said most of the money for the 2001 terror attacks was funneled to hijackers through UAE banks, and much of the planning took place in the small but rich nation east of Saudi Arabia.

So if this goes through, the security for these ports will be the responsibility of a company from a country with terrorist ties. The story states that this purchase has been approved by the "U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, an arm of the Treasury Department." Somebody in this committee needs to answer if the security link was even considered. If not, somebody needs to be accountable for being incompetent. If so, somebody needs to answer if DHS was informed and consulted of this. This is a huge bungle on somebody's part.

I will point out that Chuck Schumer has approached the Bush administration about this. While I appreciate his targeting this folly, it has the whiff of a plan to play another political card. It would really be admirable if he just did his job here and left politics out.

A related topic that I have mentioned before is the bureaucracy of governmental departments and the mixed political nature of appointees and employees in these departments. We not only suffer from a bloated, red-tape prone government; there is also the likelihood of those with differing partisan baggage they bring to their jobs inside these departments. All it takes is one partisan to make a blooper like this (or as mentioned before making an injured soldier pay for his own body armor damaged in the blast) to grab a huge negative headline that could even be used in campaigns. This is why these "mistakes" need to be fully investigated and to be sure to have accountability controls in place and enforced.

So going backwards, using a middle-eastern based company to secure our ports is insane. Outsourcing any of our security to any other country is foolish. The last thing we want is to see a nuclear device or other WMD come in through these ports.

Hat Tip: Instapundit.com, although Glenn Reynolds does not seem as shocked as I am.

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