What Rice & Bush Won't Tell You About Port Security & What They Hope You Won't Find Out
First of all, what Rice & Bush know about port security might start to fill a thimble, but that's just me being kind to them. (I need to stop that, don't I?)
Here's what Rice is saying:
Rice to soothe fears over ports row on UAE visit
By Saul Hudson
BEIRUT (Reuters) - Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice hailed the United Arab Emirates as a key ally on Thursday as she tried to soften U.S. lawmakers' opposition to a deal that would let a firm from the Gulf state manage some American ports.
Speaking to reporters hours before she was due in the UAE capital Abu Dhabi, Rice said the U.S. administration had spent three months vetting the deal, dismissing concerns by several Congress members that it could be a threat to national security.
Here's what Bush is saying:
Bush Says Ports Deal Not a Security Threat
By TED BRIDIS, Associated Press Writer 6 minutes ago
WASHINGTON - President Bush on Thursday sought to calm an uproar over an Arab company taking over operations at six major American ports, saying "people don't need to worry about security."
Under a secretive agreement with the administration, a company in the United Arab Emirates promised to cooperate with U.S. investigations as a condition of its takeover of operations at six major American ports, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.
The U.S. government chose not to impose other, routine restrictions.
I was saving the following facts on port security issues ( from a retired Coast Guard source) for my weekly column tomorrow (The Blog Box), but they need as much exposure as possible. Coastie for truth (his online screen name) has the facts and the background to back them up:
The Dubai Ports World Deal - Through a Coast Guard Veteran's EyesGee, a terrorist (of whom I'm supposed to be afraid at all times) could dock in Baltimore, walk a few short blocks to the Inner Harbor, and wreak some havoc... all thanks to Bush & Rice. Didn't they tell us that we had to be right all of the time, but the terrorists only had to be right once?
The "Port Service Company" receives, manifests, loads, offloads, and transfers the containers. Normally, this is monitored for drugs -- but there are "holes." The "Port Service Company" has the "expertise" (in a "perverse kind of way") to know where the holes are.
Second, the "Port Service Company" frequently prepares the manifest. This is the legal document enumerating what the ship is carrying, shipper, recipient, port on loaded, port to be off loaded. This guides (or misguides) the inspection.
Third, frequently the "Port Service Company" performs "ship chandlering" - that's the sale of consumables and low level spare parts. This is not inventoried or manifested.
Fourth, merchant mariners' documents. It is fairly easy to enter a country on "Merchant Mariner's Documents" (functions like a mini-passport). No visa requirements if you stay within some distance of the port. This is popular with drug dealers - and could be a route for terrorists. In many countries a "Port Service Company" can issue "documents" (note - these are not Master, Mate, Pilot, Engineer, Radio Officer licenses or "Competency Documents") which are good enough to get you off of the ship while it's in port.
Fully vetted? Bush didn't even know this deal had been made, for crying out loud! When the White House says "fully vetted," two words spring to mind: Harriet Miers. Of course, there are many more: WMD; Michael Brown; Prisoner Torture; and the beat goes on...
So you think you know Delilah?
Judges 16:19-- And she made him sleep upon her knees; and she called for a man, and she caused him to shave off the seven locks of his head.